Ghazal 145, Verse 12x


a;sar soz-e mu;habbat kaa qiyaamat be-mu;haabaa hai
kih rag se sang me;N tu;xm-e sharar kaa reshah paidaa hai

1) the effect of the burning of love is 'Doomsday'[-ishly] unceremonious
2) kih from the vein, within the rock, a fiber/filament of a spark-seed emerges


be-mu;haabaa : 'Without respect, unceremonious'. (Platts p.204)


reshah : 'Fibre; filament; nerve; vein (of a leaf)'. (Platts p.612)


He says that from the effect of the burning of love, the rock-vein becomes the fiber of a spark-seed. That is, in the burning of love there's such fire that it burns up even the heart of the rock. But in rock, where has the burning of love come from? As long as this would not be apparent, the theme of the verse is only a meaningless claim. (361)

Gyan Chand:

The effect of the burning of love is unbounded. It has engulfed rock too in fire. The 'vein of the rock' [rag-e sang] is that fiber that is created by the bursting open of a spark-seed. If a seed is sown, then from it a fiber emerges. In rock, a spark-seed has been sown, and it has burst open and is taking on the form of a 'vein of the rock'. That is, its every vein has become full of a flame of fire.

== Gyan Chand, p. 368


DOOMSDAY: {10,11}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}. This verse is from a different, unpublished, formally identical ghazal, {359x}, and is included for comparison. On the presentation of verses from unpublished ghazals like this one along with formally identical divan ghazals, see {145,5x}.

On the subject of sparks and rocks, see {20,6}.

The present verse is a wild and woolly tribute to the versatility of kih .

=A to B: The burning of love is unceremonious, 'so that, as a result' a spark-seed emerges.

=B to A: 'Because, since' a spark-seed emerges, therefore the burning of love is unceremonious.

=A and B: The burning of love is unceremonious, 'in that, such that, while' a spark-seed emerges

=A or B: [Either] the burning of love is unceremonious, 'or' a spark-seed emerges. (These things are similar, so it's hard to tell them apart.) (This reading feels a little awkward, but it's possible.)

Because both lines are so abstract, a full range of possibilities for kih can be made operative. Not quite the fullest perhaps, since there's no reason to consider it a quote-introducer here. But everything else seems to be possible. Since it's not clear what we're talking about anyway, how can we narrow the options? For more examples of exactly this kind of structure, see the next verse, {145,13x}, and then also {145,16x}.

Of course, such multivalence can be so fuzzy that the game isn't worth the candle: having worked to figure out the possibilities, how richly are we rewarded?