Ghazal 147, Verse 6x


sar-navisht-e i.z:tiraab-anjaamii-e ulfat nah puuchh
naal-e ;xaamah ;xaar-;xaar-e ;xaa:tir-e aa;Gaaz hai

1) the fate/'head-written' of the agitation-resultingness of intimacy/affection-- don't ask!
2) the stalk/throat of the reed-pen is the disquietude of the inclination/idea of the beginning


sar-navisht : 'Written on the forehead'; destiny, fate, lot, fortune'. (Platts p.649)


anjaam : 'End, termination, completion, accomplishment, conclusion; result, upshot; accident; vexation'. (Platts p.88)


naal : 'A hollow tubular stalk (esp. of the lotus); any tubular vessel (of the body); the navel-string; the gullet, throat, neck... ; —a tube, pipe; a hollow reed'. (Platts p.1117)


;xaar-;xaar : 'Disquietude'. (Platts p.483)


;xaa:tir : ''Whatever occurs to or passes in the mind,' cogitation, thought, suggestion; memory, remembrance; —mind, soul, heart; inclination, propensity; affection, regard, favour; pleasure, satisfaction; will, choice'. (Platts p.484)


Don't ask to what extent restlessness and agitation have been written, in the end, in the fate of love and affection! It's as if the naal kii ;xaamah (the sound that comes from the reed, through its fear of being cut, at the time of pen-making), or else the pen itself, in the beginning of love, act as thorns. That is, at the time of the writing of the fate of love, the sound of the pen, or the pen itself, are for the beginning of love thorns that cause restlessness.

== Asi, p. 235


That is, when the decision about love's culminating in restlessness began to be written on the forehead of love, then the reed for the pen, from the very beginning of that fate-writing, became a thorn in the robe; that is, the mood of restlessness hadn't even been fully written down, when the writing itself became restless. [As in the case of this verse]: {61,3}.

== Zamin, p. 255

Gyan Chand:

;xaar-;xaar is the doubt and anxiety over the fulfillment of some longing. The fate or 'head-written' of intimacy is being written. The vein of the pen that is writing the fate is, for the heart at the beginning of passion, a thorn of anxiety-- that is, in the very commencement of passion a pricking thing has come into the heart. For this reason, how much agitation has been written into the fate for the conclusion of intimacy-- don't ask! If the beginning is with anxiety and doubt, then the end ought to be complete agitation.... To present in the neck/throat of the reed-pen a thorn, is 'delicacy of thought'.

== Gyan Chand, p. 362


WRITING: {7,3}

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

The remarkable versatility of the i.zaafat phrase ;xaa:tir-e aa;Gaaz guarantees that the verse will remain open-ended. For the meaning of ;xaa:tir can be anything from 'thought, memory', through 'mind, heart', through 'affection, regard', to 'pleasure, satisfaction' or 'will, choice' (see the definition above). Then the i.zaafat makes it impossible to be sure whether this 'X of the beginning' is, say, an X that is 'about' the beginning, or an X that occurs 'during' the beginning', or an X that itself 'is' the beginning.

Of course there's the wordplay: the 'head-written', the 'throat'; then the 'stalk' and the 'thorn'; then the 'concludingness' [anjaamii] versus the 'beginning'.

But even more enjoyable is the emphatically audible set of initial ;xe sounds: ;xaamah ;xaar-;xaar-e ;xaa:tir , concluded by the voiced counterpart, the ;Gain in aa;Gaaz . A perfect evocation of a rough, agitated, scratchy 'throat'-- the kind that might be created by the scraping of a thorn.

Compare the preeminent 'scratching of the pen' verse, {169,13}.