Ghazal 146, Verse 3x


nashshah-e mai be-chaman duud-e chiraa;G-e kushtah hai
jaam daa;G-e shu((lah-anduud-e chiraa;G-e kushtah hai

1) the intoxication of wine, without the garden, is the smoke of an extinguished/'killed' lamp
2) the wine-glass is the flame-covered wound/scar of an extinguished/'killed' lamp


anduud : 'Covered, overlaid, incrusted, plastered over, washed over; anointed, smeared, &c. (used as last member of compounds)'. (Platts p.90)


If there would be intoxication, and there would be no garden, then that intoxication is like smoke from an extinguished candle. And in that situation, the wine-glass seems to be a wound/scar that has been reddened by flame. (228-29)


Intoxication mounts to the brain, and smoke too arises-- this is the affinity between intoxication and the smoke of a lamp. He has said chiraa;G-e kushtah because an extinguished lamp is proof of a non-flourishing gathering; in any case, a wine-drinking party that is devoid of garden and stream-bank is non-flourishing [be-raunaq].

The second simile for the wine-glass is 'a flame-covered wound/scar of an extinguished lamp'. This too is the same wine-glass that would circulate outside the garden. A wine-glass has a similitude with a wound with regard to shape and blood-stainedness, and since the glass is brimful of liquid fire (that is, wine), for this same reason he has called it a flame-covered wound. But with an extinguished lamp the quality of being flame-covered is not actually seen; probably for this reason he omitted the verse [from the divan]. (345)

Gyan Chand:

In intoxication, it's as if from the stomach vapors/fumes rise up toward the brain; thus the simile of smoke for them is appropriate. If wine would be drunk without going into the garden, then its intoxication will be like the smoke of a lamp that is being extinguished; and the wine-glass will be like the wound/scar of an extinguished lamp-- a lamp of which even the wound/scar will be extinguished.

== Gyan Chand, pp. 351-352


Gyan Chand has made the verse quite pedestrian. Smoke and intoxication have the following similarities:

(1) Smoke rises slowly in the form of a spiral, as if it were going round and round, suggesting dizziness. Intoxication also rises slowly, going up and making the drinker dizzy, as if smoke were spiralling away. The sensation is pleasurable and it also gives a feeling of instability.

(2) Intoxication is always a shade of darkness: the third stage of intoxication is to be siyaah-mast ; the fourth and the final stage is to be ;xaraab . It's obvious that siyaah-mastii is similar to smoke; ;xaraab means 'destroyed, preferably by a flood'. The similarity between darkness, the flow of wine, the wave of intoxication, and the flood is obvious.

(3) Intoxication makes a person un-alert; that is, one who doesn't see properly; it's commonly said that nashe me;N kuchh nahii;N suujhtaa . Hence intoxication = darkness = smoke.

But Ghalib goes beyond these well-known similarities. The smoke rising from an extinguished ('killed') lamp is a thing of sadness, suggesting all kinds of loss. So drinking in a place which is not a chaman (= garden = locale of pleasure = beloved's company) is actually a sad thing, or it causes sadness. One does get intoxication, but the intoxication brings sadness; it has smoke-like properties, but the smoke is that of an extinguished (killed) lamp.

Consider the second line: Wine is often compared to fire, for obvious reasons. It has a fiery taste; it has a fiery colour; it rises in the glass the way flame rises from the hearth, etc. Strong wine is called do-aatashah , 'having two fires', hence double-distilled; sih-aatashah is also a familiar phrase. Now when you extinguish the lamp, its wick tends to remain fiery and glowing for a few seconds. So a wine-glass in which there's wine is a container of fire (= burning spark = wick of a lamp just extinguished). Fire leaves a scar when it doesn't burn something fully. So the wine-glass, though full of fire, is like a scar left by a fire, for it's bright and hot (with wine=fire), like the wick of a just-extinguished lamp.

== (--Private communication, July 2009)


WINE: {49,1}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

I didn't feel very comfortable with this verse; there was obviously some kind of connection in it that I hadn't fully fathomed. Faruqi had marked it out most particularly as a fine verse, and I couldn't see why. So I asked him, and he was kind enough to reply in some detail. His analysis is reproduced above. The metaphorical use of 'garden' was something I hadn't factored in; also the idea that when fire doesn't burn something fully what's left is a 'scar'.