Ghazal 129, Verse 6x


har daa;G-e taazah yak dil-e daa;G-inti:zaar hai
((ar.z-e fa.zaa-e siinah-e dard-imtihaa;N nah puuchh

1) every fresh wound is a single wound-awaiting heart
2) the offering/breadth of the spaciousness of the pain-testing breast-- don't ask!


daa;G : 'A mark burnt in, a brand, cautery; mark, spot, speck; stain; stigma; blemish; iron-mould; freckle; pock; scar, cicatrix; wound, sore; grief, sorrow; misfortune, calamity; loss, injury, damage'. (Platts p.501)


((ar.z : 'Presenting or representing; representation, petition, request, address; — Breadth, width'. (Platts p.760)


fa.zaa : 'Width, spaciousness, openness, extensiveness (of ground, &c.); an open area, a court, a yard; a spacious tract, a wide expanse of land, a plain'. (Platts p.782)


Every fresh wound in my heart is, so to speak, a single heart that is waiting for a wound. Then, in such a situation, why do you ask about the offering/breadth and spaciousness of this breast that is testing pain? If there were any limit or reckoning, then it would/could be expressed. (205-06)


Someone has asked, 'Your heart is a great mad-house of collected pain-- after all, how much capacity does it have? And to what extent can pain be contained within it?' In reply, the poet says, 'Don't ask about the spaciousness-- to put it briefly, every wound in my breast is in its own right a heart that is waiting eagerly to endure a fresh wound. Just consider that this series of wounds is in this way unstoppable and endless.' (308-09)

Gyan Chand:

My breast likes pain and wounds; it tests their intensity. When a new wound of longing occurs, then it becomes a kind of heart that would be waiting for pain. As if each new wound searches for another new wound. How can the expansiveness/scope of such a wound-loving breast be conveyed!

== Gyan Chand, p. 317


TESTING: {4,4}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

ABOUT NOUN COMPOUNDS ('REVERSED IZAFATS'): This verse displays two sets of Persian-style 'reversed izafats' [i.zaafat-e maqluub] or what I call 'noun compounds': 'wound-wait' [daa;G-inti:zaar] and 'pain-test' [dard-imtihaa;N]. These constructions, so versatile and ubiquitous in English ('junk food', 'horse show', 'show horse', 'vacuum cleaner', 'fire hose', 'time machine', 'endurance test'), are uncommon in Urdu. (Cases like :taalib-((ilm are just dropped i.zaafat phrases; a real noun compound would be ((ilm-:taalib ). Ghalib uses such compounded nouns more freely in his early verses, in which he's more willing to warp the syntax of his lines; he includes Indic words too. As in English, the relationship of the two nouns is flexible and must be deduced from the context. Sometimes I have trouble analyzing the niceties of such constructions; for more precision and detail, you should be sure to consult a Persian reference grammar or handbook of rhetoric.

Some examples of noun compounds: {3,11x}; {11,4x}; {12,5x}; {24,10x}; {40,6x}; {64,1}; {68,3}; {69,4x}; {79,3x}; {79,5x}; {128,2x}; {129,5x}; {130,5x}; {145,7x}; {155,4x}; {208,10}; {211,8x}; {217,8x}; {222,2x}; {227,1} // {307x,1}; {320x,5}; {404x,2}; {404x,7}. (Petrified compound words that have Persian-verb-based second elements are of course another matter, and appear everywhere: consider jigar-sozii and sar-parastii and the like, and the extremely bonded case of dil-chaspii .) On serial izafats that include the (inverted?) adjective-noun pair ;xuunii;N-navaa , see {80,3}. There's also 'loss of the izafat' [faq-e i.zaafat]; on this see {81,8x}.

The wordplay with ((ar.z and fa.zaa suggests a vision of the lover's breast as becoming constantly wider and more open (which in principle is of course a virtue). Each wound contributes to the process by literally 'opening up' and exposing a new, formerly inner part, so that the surface area increases. And then each wound itself somehow becomes a whole new heart, ready and waiting for another wound, starting the process all over again in what must quickly become something like a fractal geometry of constantly multiplying wounds and hearts.

Is this grotesque, or what! It reminds me of {62,6} with its vision of many additional blood-spouting eyes.

Anyway, this whole process is so enjoyable that the breast is 'pain-testing'-- because it's constantly looking around for newer and sharper sources of pain, and never gets enough.This pain-testing heart is well worthy of making, or else of becoming, an 'offering' or a 'presentation' so extraordinary that it's simply inexpressible in words.