Ghazal 117, Verse 6x


nah dekhe;N ruu-e yak-dil sard ;Gair az sham((a-e kaafuurii
;xudaa yaa is qadar bazm-e asad garm-e tamaashaa ho

1) may we not see a face that is entirely/'single-heart' cold/cool, other than a candle of camphor
2) oh Lord, to this extent may Asad's gathering be eager/'hot' for spectacle!


kaafuurii : 'Of camphor, made of camphor; camphorate; white as camphor, transparent white, snow-white'. (Platts p.802)


afsurdah : 'Frozen, frigid, benumbed; withered, faded; dispirited, dejected, low-spirited, melancholy'. (Platts p.62)


'Oh Lord, in Asad's gathering may the heat of spectacle be to such an extent that we would not find even a single heart to be cold! If there would be anything cold, then let it be only the camphor of the candle.'

== Asi, p. 194


May the gathering be eager for a spectacle-- that is, may the people of the gathering (it is Asad's gathering of ghazal-recitation) be so happy and joyous that the gathering would be lively/'hot'. That is, may Asad's poetry be widely popular. Or this: may the candle of the beloved's radiance enliven Asad's gathering and cause the market for the camphor candle to be cold. Or else this: that there are found to be in Asad's gathering other 'people of heart' besides Asad; thus there is hesitation in seeking privacy with the beloved.

== Zamin, p. 288

Gyan Chand:

sard-ruu = melancholy/cold [afsurdah]

'Oh Lord, in Asad's gathering may so many beautiful ones be assembled, and because of them may so much enthusiasm come into the gathering, that no one's heart would remain melancholy/cold except for that of the camphor candle. Camphor is cool/cold [;Than;Daa]. For this reason the heart of the camphor candle can be cold-- that is, melancholy.

== Gyan Chand, p. 304


CANDLE: {39,1}
TAMASHA: {8,1}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of his choices; I thought it was interesting and have added it myself. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

On expressions compounded with yak , see {11,1}.

In South Asia, camphor is traditionally considered to be medicinal and 'cooling'. Melancholy too has an aspect of coldness, as Gyan Chand makes clear when he explains sard-ruu (see the definition of afsurdah above). By contrast, enthusiasm is metaphorically warm or hot; thus Asad (assuming that he is the speaker, as seems most plausible) wishes that his gathering would be 'warm' and lively, with nothing cool/cold in it except the camphor candle.

The commentators assume that Asad wishes, as any host would, for a successful party: 'Oh Lord, may everybody have a good time!'. But actually his aspirations are considerably bleaker than that. What he really asks of the Lord is that everybody in the gathering would be 'eager/hot for a spectacle'-- that they would be enthused at the prospect of seeing some kind of a show, so that at least 'to this extent' [is qadar] Asad's gathering would be lively and successful. In {22,9}, the rumor that Ghalib would be 'torn to pieces' brought out many eager spectators; in that case it turned out that the hoped-for 'spectacle' didn't actually take place, but who knows-- maybe things would turn out differently this time!