Ghazal 124, Verse 7


;Gaalib bhii gar nah ho to kuchh aisaa .zarar nahii;N
dunyaa ho yaa rab aur miraa baadshaah ho

1) if even/also Ghalib would not be, then theres no such harm/loss--

2a) the world would be, oh Lord, and my King would be
2b) may the world be, oh Lord, and may my King be!


.zarar : 'Harm, injury, hurt, mischief, damage; defect, deficiency, detriment, loss; --poverty; affliction, distress, anguish'. (Platts p.749)


That is, may my lifetime too be given to the king. (133)

== Nazm page 133

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, if an accomplished poet like Ghalib would not be in the court, then that would cause no such great harm; but oh Lord, may the world exist, and may my praised king exist. (188)

Bekhud Mohani:

May the Lord grand that my king would live as long as the world would remain; if Ghalib too doesn't remain safe, then there's no great harm. Even in this commonplace closing-verse of Mirza's two words are worthy of scrutiny: (1) bhii ; (2) kuchh aisaa . That is, from Ghalib's nonexistence there is indeed some harm, but not all that much. And Ghalib's rank is seen to be below only the king's, and above the world's. (252)


[See his comments on Mir's M{920,2}.]



The first line offers two readings, based on the two possibilities ('even', 'also') of bhii . Both possibilities are offered within an 'if' clause, which is followed by a generalized, vague 'then' clause that promises further explanation in the second line.

When we then hear the second line, we realize that its two subjunctive verbs also admit of two quite different interpretations. One is of reassurance and stability (2a): Ghalib might not be there, but the world would still be there, and the king would still be there, so the necessary elements for cosmic continuity would be present. (On the idiomatic uses of the phrase in the second line, see Faruqi's commentary linked above.)

But that yaa rab easily shades over into an expression of uncertainty, anxiety, and ostentatiously humble prayer (2b): if Ghalib is not there, then at least, oh Lord, let the world exist, and let the king live on!