Ghazal 130, Verse 6x

{130,6x}

.zab:t-e junuu;N se har sar-e muu hai taraanah-;xez
yak-naalah bai;Thiye to nayastaa;N u;Thaa))iye

1) from the control/restraint of madness, the tip/'head' of every hair is melody-exciting
2) if you would sit, wholly a lament, then you would raise up a reed-thicket

Notes:

In the second line, the polite imperatives are used like generalized future subjunctives. (GRAMMAR)

 

naistaan (of which nayastaan is a variant): 'A reed-bed; a cane-brake'. (Platts p.1167)

Asi:

From the restraining of madness, from every hair on my body a single melody is emerging. And such a mood has come to exist that if I would sit for a little while then the mood of a reed-thicket would come about. (216)

Zamin:

He has established the evidence for the sitting of yak naalah -- that is, to sit with control/restraint as long as it takes for a single lament to be subdued, so that the tongue will remain silent. But flowing along, it will become a tongue, and will lament aloud. In this way a whole reed-thicket will rise and stand, in order to lament. The construction naalah bai;Thiye is extremely novel and strange. (316)

Gyan Chand:

By naalah bai;Thiye is meant that one would suppress the lament and exercise control/restraint. When we restrained the screams and cries, then the hairs on the body stood up and, in the 'tongue of their condition', began to complain. So to speak, when we suppressed a single lament, then we raised up a jungle of bamboo. The similitude with the reed-thicket is not only because of the tip of every hair standing up, but is also because of the complaint. A reed-thicket is a collection of bamboo [baa;Ns], from which reed-flutes [baa;Nsurii] are made, and they lament. Thus a reed-thicket is a tumult-factory.

== Gyan Chand, p. 331

FWP:

SETS
MADNESS: {14,3}
MUSIC: {10,3}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

The idea of course is that the effort of restraint is so great, and the inward lament so potent, that every hair on the mad lover's body stands up. When the tiny hairs stand up straight, they resemble reed-flutes both in shape and in musical potential. Thus the body creates, in effect, a reed-thicket.

Compare {10,3}, a more dramatic treatment of a very similar theme; it also discusses the reed-thicket imagery.

Zamin is right to complain about the beginning of the second line; I'm surprised that Asi and Gyan Chand don't seem to be bothered by it. But I take it to be yak-naalah bai;Thiye , meaning to sit in such a state of madly suppressed lament that one becomes, in effect, wholly a lament. That is, I'm interpreting the yak idiomatically, the way ek is often used; for more on this see {78,6}.

Modern South Indian reed flutes: