Ghazal 174, Verse 9


;xi.zr sul:taa;N ko rakhe ;xaaliq-e akbar sar-sabz
shaah ke baa;G me;N yih taazah nihaal achchhaa hai

1) may the Great Creator keep Khizr Sultan green/flourishing
2) in the Shah's garden, this fresh new/young plant is good



It is in praise of Khizr Sultan, son of Bahadur Shah Zafar. (196)

== Nazm page 196

Bekhud Dihlavi:

Prince Khizr Sultan was a son of Bahadur Shah Zafar; this verse is in his praise. (253)

Bekhud Mohani:

May the Mighty Lord keep Khizr Sultan happy and thriving, may he flourish well. In the King's garden this small plant (child) is very good. (343)


Khizr Sultan was Zafar’s son and Ghalib’s pupil. He was born in 1831, and on September 23, 1857, was killed by a bullet from Major Hudson. Since this ghazal is from after 1847, this verse should not be understood as connected with the birth of Khizr Sultan. (318)



Besides the (rare) personal flattery of two royal patrons, the verse is based entirely on wordplay around ;xi.zr , which means 'green' in Arabic. It of course also evokes Khvajah Khizr, who wears green robes and is associated with water and fertility. In the verse, sar-sabz -- literally 'green-headed'-- and baa;G and taazah and nihaal all echo these associations.

That doesn't make it a very interesting verse, since even minor poets can spin out such sets of associations by the yard. But it makes the verse slightly less mediocre than it would otherwise be-- which isn't saying much. It's easy to see why Ghalib might have recited this verse at court, but I wonder why he bothered to include it in his published divan editions, when he omitted so many much better ones.