Ghazal 116, Verse 7


mujh se kahaa jo yaar ne jaate hai;N hosh kis :tara;h
dekh ke merii be-;xvudii chalne lagii havaa kih yuu;N

1) when the beloved said to me, 'In what way do the senses go/depart?'
2) having seen my self-lessness, the wind began to blow-- 'like this'


hosh : 'Understanding, judgment, intellect; sense, discretion; — mind, soul' -- ... hosh jaate rahnaa :  To lose (one's) senses, &c.'. (Platts p.1241)


That is, 'the senses fly away in this way'. (125)

== Nazm page 125

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, the beloved had inquired from me, how do the senses fly away? Having seen my self-lessness, the wind began to blow. The meaning of this was that 'look, the senses fly away in this way'. (177)

Bekhud Mohani:

The wind began to blow, 'in this way'. That is, in the way that a gust of wind issues forth, in the same way, before the beloved, the lover's senses too keep leaving him in the blink of an eye. That is, the wind had pity on my self-lessness, and saved me from the fault of not responding to a question. (236)


BEKHUDI: {21,6}

This is the second in the set of three 'mystical' verses referred to in {116,5}. And what a lovely one it is! It has what are surely the most elegant sound effects in the whole divan, with the wind saying (or at least miming) yuuuuuuuuu;N -- a perfect wind-like soughing sound.

The beloved's question is, needless to say, multivalent. It could be general: 'What kind of phenomenon is this mystical self-lessness, anyway?' (Naturally she wouldn't know, being the center of her own solipsistic universe as she is.) Or it could be specific and technical: 'What does it feel like when you lose your senses and go into that trance state?' Or it could be personal and emotional: 'What causes you to lose your senses and go into that trance state?' (In which case either it's sincere and naive, or else she's just fishing for compliments.)

And of course, the speaker can't reply, because he's in the exact state she's inquiring about. Perhaps he was already in it and she didn't notice; or perhaps he just fell into it from one moment to the next, maybe even at the sound of her voice.

So the wind replies on the speaker's behalf. Perhaps it simply blows, and thus illustrates the fugitive, uncontrollable, 'natural-force' quality of the self-lessness that the lover experiences. Or perhaps it even courteously blows the words 'like this', or some windy equivalent of them, in order properly to answer the question.

But what is the wind doing participating in this conversation, anyway? Is the speaker so mystically into it (or out of it) that his spirit now dwells among the cosmic forces, and the very winds themselves come and socialize with him? Is he such a dire or extreme case of self-lessness that even the wind compassionately wants to come to his rescue (as the animals in the desert cared for the helplessly mad Majnun)? Is the beloved such a 'force of nature' herself that even the winds hasten to provide information when she asks for it? As so often, Ghalib permits (or requires) us to invent much of the verse's context for ourselves.