Ghazal 145, Verse 8x


ta.sarruf va;hshiyo;N me;N hai ta.savvurhaa-e majnuu;N kaa
savaad-e chashm-e aahuu ((aks-e ;xaal-e ruu-e lailaa hai

1) among wild ones there is the use/exploitation/power/art of the imagings/picturings of Majnun
2) the blackness of the deer's eye is a reflection of the beauty-spot on the face of Laila


ta.sarruf : 'Turning, changing...; employment, use, application; possession, occupancy, sway; holding at (one's) disposal, disposal; expenditure, expenses; extravagance; diverting from (its) proper use, misapplication, misappropriation, embezzlement; power, influence, art, cunning; supernatural power (as affected by holy men among Muslims)'. (Platts p.325)


va;hshii : 'Wild, untamed; shy; unsociable; —uncultivated; uncivilized, barbarous; savage; untractable'. (Platts p.1183)


ta.savvur : 'Imaging or picturing (a thing) to the mind; imagination, fancy; reflection, contemplation, meditation; forming an idea; idea, conception, perception, apprehension'. (Platts p.326)


lailaa is used, instead of lail;aa , to harmonize with the other rhyme-words in the ghazal.


That is, since the images of Majnun have become prevalent and influential over the wild animals, the blackness of the wild deer's eye has become the beauty-spot of Laila's face. This too is only a 'poetic claim'; the intention is only the simile.

== Zamin, p. 360

Gyan Chand:

Among the wild animals thoughts of Majnun prevail even now. The best representative of the animals is the deer. Majnun used to see the deer's eyes as resembling Laila's eyes; even now the blackness of the deer's eye seems to be the reflection of the beauty-spot on the cheek of Laila.

== Gyan Chand, p. 367


EYES {3,1}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}. This verse is from a different, unpublished, formally identical ghazal, {358x}, and is included for comparison. On the presentation of verses from unpublished ghazals like this one along with formally identical divan ghazals, see {145,5x}.

Gyan Chand gives us a basic reading-- but the verse goes so much deeper. One key to it is the irresistible multivalence of ta.sarruf (see the definition above). What exactly are the animals doing with the 'imagings/picturings of Majnun'? They might be 'turning, changing' them; they might be making 'use' of them; they might be taking 'possession' of them; they might be engaging in 'misappropriation' or 'embezzlement' of them; they might be making them the basis of a 'power' or 'art'-- or even a 'supernatural power'.

And what is the 'them' to which they are doing one or more of these things? The i.zaafat in ta.savvurhaa-e majnuu;N is a further source of enjoyable complexity. The 'imagings/picturings of Majnun' could be ones that (used to) 'belong to' Majnun, so that the animals have indeed legitimately inherited, or even stolen or 'misappropriated', the powers that Majnun had. Or they could be 'imagings/picturings' that Majnun habitually used to perform, so that the animals now (consciously or unconsciously) imitate or replicate his behavior.

Or they could even be 'imaginings/picturings' that are 'of' Majnun. The animals 'imagine' or 'picture' Majnun-- and the resulting vision is, paradoxically but perfectly, only of Laila. (For more on this kind of multivalence, see {41,6}.)

The emblematic illustration of the 'deer's eye' is also elegantly chosen. An eye, uniquely, can both see and be seen. If the deer's eye obtains its unfathomable blackness from the black beauty-spot (on this see {85,3}) on Laila's face, is this because the deer itself is an imaginative 'seer' of Laila's face? Or is it because the deer is 'seen' (by other animals? by the world in general?) to have a 'reflection' of Laila's beauty? Does the deer somehow control or perform this process, or is it innocently unaware of the beauty that's being expressed through it?

As usual in the ghazal world, the qualities of lover and beloved are primary, and those of nature are secondary or derivative (for more such examples, see {4,8x}). But in this verse nature is represented by the animals among whom Majnun lived; and these animals take what is apparently quite an active role in channeling the power of passion for their own advantage.