Ghazal 166, Verse 5


kahaa;N tak ro))uu;N us ke ;xaime ke piichhe qiyaamat hai
mirii qismat me;N yaa rab kyaa nah thii diivaar patthar kii

1) {for how long / to what extent} would I weep behind her tent-- it's a disaster/Doomsday!

2a) in my destiny, oh Lord, was there not a wall of stone?!
2b) in my destiny, oh Lord, what was not a wall of stone?!



So that I would have smashed my head open and ended the struggle. (180)

== Nazm page 180

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The meaning is that neither is there so much turmoil in our weeping that we would cause the tent-curtain to float away, and a sight of the beloved would be vouchsafed to us; nor is there such effect in our weeping that she would become restless in the tent and emerge from it, or call us into the tent. And from fate there's not even, instead of a tent-curtain, a stony wall, so that in a state of hopelessness and despair we might beat our head against the wall and die. (240-41)

Bekhud Mohani:

If there were a wall of stone, then we could comfort our heart by saying 'It's a stone wall, the sound of weeping doesn't reach her'-- and now, that cruel one does hear, and shows no mercy. (324)


Compare {112,5}. (226, 263)


DOOMSDAY: {10,11}
STONE: {62,5}

This verse is inshaa))iyah to the max; in fact it is a wildly exclamatory one. Both lines are full of emotion, and it's clear that they lament the lover's dire situation; but as in so many verses, the lines are grammatically and semantically quite independent, and how exactly to connect the two lines is left up to us. Ghalib is of course careful to give us no guidance. Here are some examples of the connections that could be made:

=How long would I go on weeping behind her tent, when I know she'll never send for me? Why isn't there a stone wall around, so that I could bash my head against it and end my misery (2a)?

=How long would I go on weeping behind her tent? Even these flimsy canvas walls are beyond my power to break through, and she'll never send for me-- everything in my life is a stone wall, what is there in my destiny that's not a stone wall (2b)? (This is a secondary reading, but still enjoyable.)

=How long would I go on weeping behind her tent? If she only lived in a stone house, there would be a convenient wall for me to bash my head against. (Compare {112,5}.)

In the first line, the invocation of Doomsday sounds like merely a conventional image for a great, terrible disaster. But in the second line, a direct invocation to the Lord reminds us that Doomsday, the day when the dead will rise up and be judged, is a religious concept. Enjoyably, the lover is so far from paying attention to his religious obligations that he actually reproaches God for not making it convenient for him to commit the religiously prohibited act of suicide.