Ghazal 142, Verse 4x


;xvushaa vuh dil kih saraapaa :tilism-e be-;xabarii ho
junuun-e yaas-o-alam rizq-e mudda((aa-:talabii hai

1) bravo to that heart that would be entirely an enchantment of carelessness/unawareness!
2) the madness of despair and melancholy is the sustenance/'food' of object-seeking


:tilism : 'A talisman; enchantment, magic; a mystery; mystical devices or characters; an image (or other object) upon which such devices or characters are engraved or inscribed (contrived for the purpose of preserving from enchantment, or from a variety of evils, &c.)'. (Platts p.753)


be-;xabarii : 'Imprudence; carelessness, heedlessness; stupidity'. (Platts p.204)


rizq : 'Means of subsistence or support, subsistence, food, daily bread'. (Platts p.591)


mudda((aa : 'What is claimed, or alleged, or pretended, or meant; desire, wish; suit; meaning, object, view; scope, tenor, drift; — object of search'. (Platts p.1015)


That heart is very fine that would have become entirely an enchantment of carelessness. It would have no feeling of peace, nor of joy. Madness and despair are in truth excuses and pretexts for object-seeking. As long as they are present in the heart, passion cannot be perfect.

== Asi, pp. 219-220


That is, madness, despair, melancholy are screens that are adopted for object-seeking. The one who arrives at freedom is the one who would avoid all these things and remain intoxicated and self-less.

== Zamin, p. 327

Gyan Chand:

Some object or purpose would be adopted. When struggle and effort would be made to fulfill it, then what will be gained? Madness, despair, melancholy-- object-seeking only wins this much. How fine is the heart that would have become an enchantment of intoxication and carelessness! It would be acquainted with neither an object, nor despair and melancholy.

== Gyan Chand, p. 335


MADNESS: {14,3}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

A :tilism is a magic world created and sustained by a powerful magician; such enchantments are the stuff of the 'Dastan of Amir Hamzah' (of which Ghalib was particularly fond) and many other elaborate works in the North Indian romance tradition. In principle such magic practices are un-Islamic (since they invoke powers other than God), but in practice the lines are often blurry (see the definition of :tilism above, which includes 'mystery' and 'talisman').

In the present verse, what exactly is an enchantment (or mystery) 'of' carelessness? Thanks to the flexibility of the i.zaafat , it could be an enchantment that is created by carelessness; or an enchantment that creates carelessness; or an enchantment that consists of carelessness; or an enchantment related to carelessness in some other way. Thus the situation of the heart remains mysterious and is itself unknowable.

In any case, the implication is that be-;xabarii -- itself a highly pejorative term; see the definition above-- is the (only?) escape from the 'madness of despair and melancholy'. In the mad lover's world, awareness is apparently coextensive with suffering. And the lover's suffering in turn gives rise to, sustains, becomes 'food' for, purposeful planning and action. So by implication the verse tells us that such 'object-seeking' is-- what exactly? Futile? Doomed? Counterproductive? A source only of further suffering? Obviously, whatever such 'object-seeking' may be, it's something so disastrous that the alternative-- a heart completely full of magically generated, carefully cultivated be-;xabarii -- is a cause for congratulation.