Ghazal 143, Verse 8x

{143,8x} me;N dil inti:zaar-e :turfah rakhtaa hai magar
fitnah taaraaj-e tamannaa ke liye dar-kaar hai

1) in union, the heart keeps a watch/wait for a rarity/wonder-- but/perhaps
2) mischief, for the devastation of longing, is necessary


:turfah : 'Novel, rare, strange, extraordinary, wonderful; — a pleasing rarity; a novelty, a strange thing, a wonder'. (Platts p.752)


fitnah : 'Trial, affliction, calamity, mischief, evil, torment, plague, pest (applied to persons as well as things ... ) — temptation, seduction'. (Platts p.776)


taaraaj : 'Plunder, pillage, devastation'. (Platts p.304)


dar-kaar : 'Necessary; in requisition, required, wanted'. (Platts p.513)


Even in union with the beloved, the heart has a watch/wait, and the watch/wait is a rather extraordinary one. Apparently at that time there's no need for any watch/wait at all. This is enough: that for the devastation of longing, there seems to be some mischief that is necessary.

== Asi, p. 238


magar = perhaps. Waiting is for union; in union, what is waited for? Except this: that some mischief, in a veiled way, is thinking about how to devastate longings. dar-kaar hai = is working. It can also be this: that the heart is engaged in raising some mischief.

== Zamin, p. 359

Gyan Chand:

In union, longings become fulfilled and waiting is ended. The poet has created a theme that even in union, waiting remains, and it is a strange waiting. It's possible for longings to end in two ways: the first is that they would be fulfilled; the second is that someone would so greatly torment the person that the longings would be overthrown and finished off. The lover is waiting, in union, for the longing to be finished off in the second way. The beloved will raise some mischief; the heart is waiting to see by what kind of mischief the longing will be destroyed.

One other meaning of the verse is possible. In our life, after every happiness some difficulty or mischief appears. In union, the longing has entirely grown and flourished. I feel afraid-- to destroy our success, which mischief will appear? That is, even in moments of peace, the threat of unexpected disaster remains.

== Gyan Chand, p. 366


‘UNION’: {5,2}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Even in the midst of the lover's supremely longed-for joy, his heart is looking out for something more, something else, some :turfah -- some 'pleasing rarity' or 'wonder' (see the definition above). Perhaps he feels the kind of letdown that we all know, after getting something we want ('I thought it would be... but is this really all there is to it?'). Then the line ends with magar -- that is to say, with either 'but' or 'perhaps'. What an intriguing setup for a mushairah, in which the audience too would have to 'wait' a bit, and would hope for some 'pleasing rarity' in the second line!

If we take the magar to mean 'perhaps', then in the second line we learn that a tormenting, vexatious kind of 'mischief'-- one of the beloved's trademark qualities-- is perhaps necessary for the real taaraaj-e tamannaa . Apparently longing can't be truly assuaged by the sheer sweetness of union. Rather, a bit of spice, saltiness, even bitterness is required for the most piquant effect. The beloved's vexatious, even cruel 'mischief' is what provides ths missing relish that heightens the experience and makes it fully effective, so that the longing is not just temporarily sated but is actually wiped out.

If we take the magar to mean 'but', then the connection between the two lines changes considerably. A new contrast develops: what the speaker is waiting and hoping for is a :turfah , a 'pleasing rarity'; but what is actually needed to wipe out his longing completely is the beloved's fitnah , 'mischief'. He thinks he wants more (kinds of) pleasure, but what he actually needs-- this being the ghazal world-- is an added fillip of cruelty and pain.