Ghazal 129, Verse 5x


;Gaflat-mataa((-e kaffah-e miizaan-e ((adl huu;N
yaa rab ;hisaab-e sa;xtii-e ;xvaab-e giraa;N nah puuchh

1) I am the {stupor/heedlessness}-merchandise of a tray of the balance-scale of justice
2) oh Lord, the account of the harshness of the heavy/painful/valuable dream/sleep-- don't ask!


;Gaflat : 'Unmindfulness, forgetfulness, neglectfulness, negligence, neglect, inattention, heedlessness, inadvertence, remissness, carelessness; —soundness (of sleep), unconsciousness, drowsiness, stupor, insensibility, a swoon'. (Platts p.771)


mataa(( : 'Merchandise; goods, chattels, furniture; clothes, effects; utensils; valuables'. (Platts p.990)


kaffah : 'The tray of a pair of scales'. (Platts p.1039)


miizaan : 'A balance, pair of scales'. (Platts p.1105)


sa;xtii : 'Hardness, stiffness, rigidity, firmness; tightness; stinginess; obduracy, obstinacy; intenseness, intensity, vehemence, severity; harshness, asperity; sternness, austereness; violence, atrocity; cruelty; grievance, hardship; adversity, indigence, distress, difficulty, evil, calamity'. (Platts p.644)


giraa;N : 'Heavy, weighty, ponderous; great, important, momentous; difficult; burdensome, grievous; —precious, valuable; dear, expensive'. (Platts p.901)

Gyan Chand:

Oh Lord, if you will weigh my deeds in the scale of justice, then I will turn out to have only the capital of stupor. I slept a sleep of great stupor. Don't ask for an account of its harshness. (318)


DREAMS: {3,3}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is from a different, unpublished, ham-:tar;h ghazal from 1816, and is included for comparison. In the unpublished ghazal, this was the fifth verse.

When merchants settle their 'accounts', they need to weigh up different commodities in the two pans of the balance-scale-- either against fixed weights, or simply against each other. In the divine balance-scale of justice, one of the two pans contains the speaker's only merchandise: himself as a sort of incarnation or essence of 'stupor' or 'unmindfulness'.

The grammar seems to require ;Gaflat-mataa(( to be a noun compound, the 'goods or 'merchandise' that consist of 'negligence' or 'heedlessness' or 'stupor'. For more such noun compounds, and discussion, see the next verse, {129,6x}.

If he and his essential property of 'stupor' are in one pan of the scale, what's in the other? A verse like {79,2} would suggest that there ought to be some equilibrium in the 'account': he's been guilty toward the Lord, but the Lord also owes him a similarly large amount of recompense. So perhaps the speaker has been afflicted, during his 'stupor', with painful, harsh, violent dreams; perhaps their 'weight' has weighed down the other pan enough to compensate for the (also heavy) 'stupor' in the speaker's pan.

Or perhaps the speaker and his stuporous dream/sleep are in fact 'merchandise' of great value? Perhaps his dream is genuinely 'momentous' or even 'precious' (see the definition of giraa;N above); on this reading, it would be in his pan of the scale, not the other. The contents of the other would be determined by divine 'justice'. Does the speaker perhaps dream the universe, or (re)constitute it in his mind during his 'heavy' nights of dreaming? Compare {98,10}.

A traditional Indian balance-scale: