Ghazal 128, Verse 4x


dil kaar-gaah-e fikr-o-asad be-navaa-e dil
yaa;N sang-e aastaanah-e bedil hai aa))inah

1) the heart is a workshop of thought/imagination, and Asad is without the voice/wealth of the heart
2) here, the doorsill-stone of Bedil is a mirror


fikr : 'Thought, consideration, reflection; deliberation, opinion, notion, idea, imagination, conceit; counsel, advice; care, concern, solicitude, anxiety, grief, sorrow'. (Platts p.783)


navaa : 'Voice, sound; modulation; song; air; — a certain musical tone or mood; riches, opulence, wealth, plenty; subsistence'. (Platts p.1157)


Asad has no heart, although the heart alone is always a workshop of thought/imagination. For us, the doorsill of Bedil has become a mirror-- and that very thing is our heart, the source of our thought/imagination. Only on the style of Bedil is our thought/imagination of poetry based, and that very doorsill-stone is Asad's mirror.

== Asi, p. 204


That is, the workshop of thought/imagination, where themes of verses are molded, is the heart, and Asad doesn't have a heart at all. Helplessly, he sets out toward Bedil's doorsill-stone, which is the manifestation-place of lofty themes-- like a mirror, in which surrounding scenes are reflected.

== Zamin, p. 307

Gyan Chand:

In the very verse before [{128,3x}], Ghalib has called the mirror a 'knee of deliberation'; that is, the mirror too collects equipment for thought/imagination. Probably the doorsill-stone too offers this same advantage.... Here, bedil is not the poet Bedil, but rather the 'heart-less' lover.

He says, 'The workshop of thought/imagination is the heart; Asad is devoid of a heart. For others, the heart is a bolster/cushion of thought/imagination (or a doorsill-stone)-- for heart-less me, the mirror is doing this work. I look in the mirror and begin to think about various aspects of my individuality, as if the mirror is my doorsill-stone.'

One other meaning of this verse is: The place of thought/imagination is the heart, and Asad has no heart. For this reason the doorsill-stone of Mirza Abd ul-Qadir Bedil is a mirror. Looking into a mirror, one can meditate and think/imagine. For Asad, Hazrat Bedil's poetry is a mirror of thought/imagination, or a workshop of thought/imagination. In the word bedil there is an iihaam . The second interpretation is simpler and clearer.

== Gyan Chand, p. 316


MIRROR: {8,3}

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}.

Asad is not 'without a heart', although all the commentators flatly say that he is. Rather, what he doesn't have is something more complex: the navaa of the heart-- which can range from a 'voice' or 'song', to 'wealth' or 'opulence' (see the definition above). So it's possible that he might have a heart, but one that is somehow dysfunctional, or non-functional.

In any case, he might well see himself as a 'reflection' of an earlier poet named 'Heart-less'. And since we know that the young Ghalib had an extravagant admiration for Bedil (on this see {8,5x}), he might well imagine prostrating himself at the doorsill of Bedil's house, so that the polished marble doorsill-stone might almost act as a (metaphorical) mirror for him.

Note for translation fans: On the translation problem posed by be-dil , see {8,2}.