Ghazal 175, Verse 7


((ishrat-e .su;hbat-e ;xuubaa;N hii ;Ganiimat samjho
nah hu))ii ;Gaalib agar ((umr-e :tabii((ii nah sahii

1) consider only/emphatically the joy/sociability of the companionship of beautiful ones to be a 'piece of luck'
2) if, Ghalib, no natural lifespan occurred, then so be it


((ishrat : 'Social or familiar intercourse, pleasant and familiar conversation, society; pleasure, enjoyment, mirth'. (Platts p.761)


.su;hbat : 'Companionship, society, company; an assembly, meeting, association; a fair; discourse, conversation, intercourse; carnal intercourse, coition, cohabitation'. (Platts p.743)


;Ganiimat : 'Plunder, spoil, booty; a prize; a boon, blessing, a God-send; a piece of good luck, good fortune; abundance; convenience; accommodation'. (Platts p.773)


:tabii((ii : 'Of or relating to the natural or innate disposition or temper, &c.; natural, of nature, innate; physical; intrinsic'. (Platts p.751)


Although ((ishrat and .su;hbat mean the same thing, the Persian divan has used ((ishrat with the meaning of 'happiness' or 'joy'; for that reason, this i.zaafat will become correct. (197)

== Nazm page 197

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'The happiness that is obtained in the companionship of beautiful ones, that is not stable for even a moment/breath-- oh Ghalib, consider it a 'stroke of luck'. If it has no enduringness, then so be it.' (255)

Bekhud Mohani:

Oh Ghalib, granted that a natural lifespan is much desired. But when it can't be obtained, then the enjoyment of the companionship of beautiful ones is itself a 'stroke of luck'. That is, their companionship will be in exchange for a natural lifespan. (345-46)



For discussion of nah sahii , see {175,1}.

If we take the cleverly placed little hii to be restrictive ('consider only...'), then the implication is that we should value only the joy/sociability of the companionship of beautiful ones, and should regard a natural lifespan as worthless by comparison, so that we don't care a bit of we don't have it. And if we take the hii to be an intensifier ('consider especially...'), then we are urged to console ourselves with the joy/sociability for the loss of a natural lifespan, even if its loss causes us real sorrow.

Either sense of hii works beautifully with the multifarious possibilities of ;Ganiimat (see the definition above). Literally, it is 'something taken from an enemy' [;Ganiim], and its classic reference was plunder acquired on the battlefield. That meaning itself works well: since fate is against us, let's seize and value whatever we can get. The meanings like 'blessing' and 'God-send' and 'good fortune' are equally appropriate: we should gratefully appreciate the joy/sociability vouchsafed to us. For more on ;Ganiimat , see {90,4}.

Then, of course, a basic question remains: how do we connect the two lines? Is A the cause and B the effect (the companionship of beautiful ones cuts short one's life)? Is B the cause and A the effect (if one is doomed anyway, one should value the brief pleasures of beauty and sociability)? Or are both A and B parallel parts of the same larger reflection on the nature of life?

Nazm is being rather nit-picking about ((ishrat . In Urdu generally, it seems to mean joy first, and sociability as a distant second. Compare the usage in {17,5}, where the primary meaning is definitely 'joy'.