Ghazal 187, Verse 3x


yuu;N ba((d-e .zab:t-e ashk phiruu;N gird yaar ke
paanii piye kisuu pah ko))ii jaise vaar ke

1) after the restraint/control of tears, {casually / like this} I would walk around the friend/beloved
2) the way someone, having drunk water 'on' somebody [would walk around] the chosen/desired one


phirnaa : 'To turn, go round, revolve, whirl; to circulate; to turn back, to return; to walk, walk about, walk to and fro; to wander, rove, ramble'. (Platts p.286)


kisuu is an archaic form of kisii (GRAMMAR)


var : 'Wished for, desirable, precious, excellent, best; eldest; ...—choice, election; wish, desire, request; boon, blessing, favour; ... a bridegroom; husband'. (Platts p.1185)


vaarii : 'A victim; —devoted one; —intj. My life! my darling! my precious one!: — vaarii-pherii s.f. Going round a person, or waving anything round the head of a person (as a sign of being an offering or sacrifice for his or her welfare); devoting oneself (for): — vaarii jaanaa , or vaarii honaa (- par ), to sacrifice or devote oneself (for another, saying, 'I devote myself for thee,' —a phrase used by women; —syn. .sadqah jaanaa '. (Platts p.1174)


Tears have filled the eyes, and they are going around the beloved; so to speak, they have walked around her and are drinking water 'on' her. This is a custom-- that 'on' a sick person, or 'on' some beloved, they walk around and drink water. Now for water to use the simile of tears, and for the glass to use tear-filled eyes, is well established.

== Asi, p. 230

Gyan Chand:

I have restrained the tears in my eyes, and after this I am circling all around the beloved. It seems as if someone would have poured water on the head of some loved one and drunk it. To pour water on the head of someone and drink it is a sign of taking that person's misfortunes upon oneself [balaa))e;N lenaa]. To restrain the tears and walk around the beloved is necessary because the beloved is displeased at our weeping.

== Gyan Chand, p. 354



For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

The second line relies in the Hindi-side idiom vaarii-pherii (see the definition above), Urduized as vaar-pher and cleverly split between the phirnaa in the first line and the vaar in the second. Gyan Chand explains the ritual as it seems to be envisioned in the present verse. For more on such 'may I be your sacrifice!' rituals of blessing, see {162,10}.