Ghazal 164, Verse 7

{164,7}

jalvah phir ((ar.z-e naaz kartaa hai
roz-e baazaar-e jaa;N-sipaarii hai

1) glory/appearance again makes an offering/presentation of coquetry
2) it's the day of the bazaar of life-surrendering

Notes:

((ar.z karnaa : 'To make representation (of), to represent, to submit, to state humbly; to report; to memorialize; to make application (for), to apply (for), to request, beg'. (Platts p.760)

 

((ar.z : 'Presenting or representing; representation, petition, request, address;—(v.n. fr. عرض 'to be broad'), s.m. Breadth, width'. (Platts p.760)

 

arz : 'Price, value; quantity; esteem, veneration, honour'. (Platts p.40)

Nazm:

That is, it's the day of the bazaar of the lover's life-surrendering-- that the glory/appearance of the beloved is offering the merchandise of coquetry, and asking who is a buyer of it. (177)

== Nazm page 177

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, the glory/appearance of the beloved, displaying the merchandise of coquetry and arrogance, is saying, which life-sacrificing [jaan-baaz] lover is the buyer of this? As if the bazaar of life-surrendering is, every day [har roz], at its height [garmii-e baazaar]. (237)

Bekhud Mohani:

jaan sipaarii = to sacrifice one's life. The beloved's glory/appearance is again eager for the market [sar-garm-e baazaar], and it's the time of the lovers' sacrificing their lives. (319)

FWP:

SETS
COMMERCE: {3,3}
JALVAH: {7,4}

From the first line, we can tell only that glory/appearance is 'offering' or 'presenting' coquetry. The multivalence of ((ar.z karnaa (see the definition above) makes it impossible to tell where the verse is going. It's even deliberately confusing, almost like a kind of iihaam , since most of the meanings involve humility and submissiveness, which are not at all what we expect from the beloved or her glory/appearance. Under mushairah performance conditions, of course, we'd then have to wait as long as conveniently possible before hearing the second line.

Only on hearing it do we suddenly realize that the 'offering' being made in the first line was a commercial proposition, like an 'offering' of stock in a company, or the 'offering' of merchandise. This is piquant in itself, since Ghalib doesn't use all that much commercial imagery. There's also the pleasure of the meaning of ((ar.z as 'breadth, width', which makes the coquetry sound like something that can be spread out like a fine fabric for display and sale; moreover, there's added pleasure of the hovering homonym arz , meaning 'price, value, quantity', which in oral performance would be indistinguishable from ((ar.z . (See the definitions above.)

Thus no humility on the beloved's part is involved, but simply a shrewd business transaction. And in the bazaar (our borrowed rendering of baazaar ) here come the eager customers, ready to purchase the 'offering' with their own stock-in-trade: their 'life-surrendering'. To our minds, the bargain is wildly unequal: what the beloved offers is a renewable resource that she can well afford to spare; what the lover pays for it is no less than everything. Is it even possible for a customer to 'buy' something that involves the customer's own death? If he's not around to take possession of it, can he really be said to have 'bought' it and to 'own' it?

The second line is given by Arshi with an i.zaafat after roz ; this is thus the preferred or primary reading. But it's also metrically possible to read the line without the i.zaafat , as Bekhud Dihlavi does. Both readings make enjoyable kinds of connection with the first line. A bazaar could be held only on certain days, or only once a year, as part of some special festival or event. So this bazaar could be a special event-- the beloved so rarely makes this irresistible offering, and the buyers are rushing to take advantage of it. Or it could be a constant, daily occurrence (on the secondary reading)-- there's no end to the rush of buyers, day after day they come in search of such an 'offering'.

The relatively uncommon phrase jaa;N-sipaarii finds its supreme, most amusing moment in {95,1}.

An illustration from Id ki tahniyat, Lucknow, 1822 (New York Public Library), generously provided by Maliha Noorani (April 2013):