Ghazal 104, Verse 3x


hu))ii yih be-;xvudii chashm-o-zabaa;N ko tere jalve se
kih :tuu:tii qufl-e zang-aaluudah hai aa))iinah-;xaane me;N

1) such/'this' self-lessness came to the eye and tongue, through your glory/appearance
2) that the parrot is a rust-stained padlock in the mirror-chamber


qufl : 'A padlock, a lock; a bolt'. (Platts p.793)


zang-aaluudah : 'Covered with rust, rusty'. (Platts p.618)


In the idiom khulnaa means 'to speak informally'. Mirza has this verse: {14,4}. From this, he has created the simile that the parrot in the mirror-chamber, having seen your glory/appearance, has become so self-less that like a rusty padlock it has forgotten how to open.

This simile is as uncouth as it is novel. Even if a padlock would open, would it begin to trill [like a parrot]? A second flaw is that if the tongue/mouth closed and became a rusty padlock (although Mirza has not called the tongue/mouth a padlock, he has called it a parrot), the eye that because of self-lessness remained fixed open-- what happened to it?

If he had composed the second line like this, then what a good verse it would have been: kih :tuu:tii :tuu:tii-e ta.sviir hai aa))iinah-;xaane me;N [that the parrot is a parrot in a picture, in the mirror-chamber].

== Zamin, p. 240

Gyan Chand:

A rusty padlock is a lock that cannot open. A parrot is made to sit before a mirror and caused to practice human speech. In a mirror-chamber, for a parrot to remain closed-up like a lock is a sign of its being very ashamed. The verse can have two meanings like this:

1) Through your glory/appearance, my eyes and tongue both have been overcome by self-lessness. I was not able to get a word out of my mouth. In your presence I ought to have spoken greatly, I ought to have told the state of my heart, but silence was such a contrary/unnatural thing-- like a parrot's remaining silent in a mirror-chamber.

2) Into a mirror-chamber you came, and a parrot too came. After the parrot had seen your glory/appearance, such self-lessness overspread its eye and tongue that its speech was ended and, like a rusty lock, it could not open.

== Gyan Chand, p. 267


BEKHUDI: {21,6}
JALVAH: {7,4}
MIRROR: {8,3}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of his choices; I have added it myself, because Ghalib chose it for inclusion in Gul-e ra'na (c.1828). For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

On parrots and mirrors, see {29,2}; on mirror-chambers, see {10,5}.

The idea certainly seems to be, as the commentators observe, that just as a rusty lock cannot open, a parrot who has seen the beloved's glory becomes so entranced that it cannot open its mouth-- even in a mirror-chamber, where it ought to be maximally stimulated to speak. What else is there in the verse? I can't see why Ghalib chose it for his selection, Gul-e ra'na.

In {48,2}, Ghalib introduces a combination lock, and gets much more mileage out of its 'opening' than he does here from the present lock's inability to open.