Ghazal 184, Verse 4x


huu;N giraftaar-e kamii;N-gaah-e ta;Gaaful kih jahaa;N
;xvaab-e .saiyaad se parvaaz giraanii maa;Nge

1) I am a captive of the ambush-place of heedlessness-- where
2) from the 'sleep/dream of the Hunter', flight would demand heaviness


ta;Gaaful : 'Unmindfulness, heedlessness, forgetfulness, neglect, negligence, inattention, inadvertence, indifference, listlessness'. (Platts p.328)


;xvaab-e .saiyaad : 'A feigned sleep; any contrivance for deceiving game'. (Steingass p.478)


giraanii : 'Weight, burden; heaviness; gravity; importance; — scarceness, scarcity, dearth, dearness; rise (in price); — heaviness of spirit; depression; grief, vexation'. (Platts p.902)


I have gone and become a captive in that ambush-place where flight, having demanded heaviness from the dream of the Hunter, remains longing for rest or repose. Then, how can the harshness of that ambush-place be described-- where flight itself is a seeker and desirer of rest.

== Asi, p. 226


;xvaab-e giiraa;N = deep sleep. giraanii-e parvaaz = for the wings to become sluggish, so that the bird could not fly. ;xvaab-e .saiyaad = feigned sleep; that is, that in order to capture the prey, the hunter would pretend to sleep.

He has called heedlessness an 'ambush-place', where the wings of flight would become sluggish, such that they would obtain heaviness from the 'deep sleep' of the Hunter.... The gist is that the beloved's heedlessness has become the 'Hunter's sleep' and has captured me. That is, I considered her to be simple, naive, unaware-- and she made her attack.

== Zamin, p. 338

Gyan Chand:

;xvaab-e .saiyaad = that feigned sleep of the Hunter, that he shows in order to deceive the birds. On one side of the 'ambush-place of heedlessness' is the Hunter, who is pretending to be asleep. I myself am on the other side, without the ability or even the desire to fly. My flight wants to become heavy-winged, so that I wouldn't be able to fly and would become a prisoner. Since the Hunter is seemingly absorbed in a 'heavy sleep', my flight seeks 'heaviness' from exactly this. That is, my heedlessness is so great that I forget to fly, and stay sitting there.

== Gyan Chand, p. 345


BONDAGE: {1,5}
DREAMS: {3,3}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of his choices; I thought it was interesting and have added it myself. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

This is a verse in which the speaker/lover is a bird; on these, see {126,5}.

The 'ambush-place of heedlessness' seems to be a kind of low-energy netherworld. The Hunter is either in a deep, 'heavy' sleep/dream or pretending to be so, while the hunted bird itself is already in some sense a captive, since its power of 'flight' is seeking to acquire some of the Hunter's 'heaviness'. Thus for one reason or another, the Hunter is not pursuing, nor is the prey fleeing. The 'heedlessness, inattention, listlessness' (see the definition of ta;Gaaful above) seems to affect both parties.

In a Persian idiom, the 'sleep of the Hunter' (see the definition above) refers to a feigned sleep designed to deceive the prey, in preparation for an attack. What the Hunter feigns is thus a deep or 'heavy' sleep, a ;xvaab-e giraa;N . The hypnotized, deer-in-the-headlights 'flight' of the poor deluded bird seeks not to escape but to come closer-- to share in that 'heaviness' and languour, or 'gravity, importance', to acquire some of that same giraanii for itself.

But the whole 'ambush-place of heedlessness' is one where both parties may be heedless-- or may not be so at all. The beloved may be feigning to be 'heedless' toward the prey, so that she's resorting to the 'sleep of the Hunter'. Or she may in fact be genuinely indifferent toward the bird, so that her status as a Hunter is based only on the lover's desperately framed metaphor. The hunted bird may be 'heedless' in failing to flee, and fly, for its life. Or it may be 'heedless' in a deeper sense, deliberately rushing into captivity, seeking to make its wings too 'heavy' for flight. Another verse about an 'ambush-place' and 'heedlessness': {314x,4}.