Ghazal 211, Verse 5x


saaz-e ((aish-e be-dilii hai ;xaanah-viiraanii mujhe
sail yaa;N kuuk-e .sadaa-e aabshaar-e na;Gmah hai

1) the making/instrument/harmony of the enjoyment of heart-lessness is house-desolation, to me
2) the flood, here, is the cry/shriek of the voice of the waterfall of melody


saaz : 'Making, preparing, effecting; feigning; ... apparatus; instrument, implement; harness; furniture; ornament; concord, harmony; a musical instrument'. (Platts p.625)


be-dilii : 'Heartlessness [i.e., being disheartened], dejection; dissatisfaction, discontent'. (Platts p.202)


kuuk : 'Crying; sobbing, wailing; cry, scream, shriek (of a human being, or of a peacock, or cuckoo, &c.); a warble, a trill'. (Platts p.863)


aab-shaar : 'Water-fall, cascade'. (Platts p.2)


My heart-lessness is the foundation of leisure/freedom, and for me the musical instrument of that enjoyment of heart-lessness is my house-desolation. And that flood is the cry of the voice of the house-instrument of melody, which is a source of enjoyment. (261)


kuuk = harmony, the sound of an instrument. This is the same theme as that of {15,10}. For a waterfall, the simile of a melody is extremely eloquent; the cause of similitude is movement and voice. (375-76)

Gyan Chand:

kuuk = the mingled voices of instruments or musicians. For me, even in the destruction of the house there is equipment for enjoyment. The enjoyment is that of heart-lessness and despair. The flood comes, which will destroy the house. To me it seems like the sound of the raga of a waterfall. The 'waterfall of melody' is a very good construction. The meaning of saaz is 'apparatus, equipment'.

== Gyan Chand, p. 379


HOME: {14,9}
MUSIC: {10,3}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

On the distinctiveness of this ghazal, see {211,1}.

At the center of the verse is the striking word kuuk , which has not been used in any divan verse; it should surely be considered a 'fresh word'. Platts gives it a feeling of despair (see the definition above), while Zamin and Gyan Chand insist on a musical sense (presumably related to the idea of a bird's 'warble' or 'trill'). But even among bird calls, Platts's first example is that of a peacock, and anybody who has ever heard peacocks calling knows the eerie wildness of their cry. In the context of the verse such a sound works perfectly, taking our minds back and forth between a musical tone and a cry of desolation.

Also at the heart of the verse's wordplay is saaz , an excellently multivalent word; its possibilities are exploited even more elaborately in {147,2}. Almost all of its possibilities (see the definition above) work well in the context of the verse.

The commentators are right-- a 'waterfall of melody' is a wonderful construction. It takes our imaginations in directions that partly converge, and partly diverge.

In {15,10} Zamin has chosen the perfect verse for comparison. Much of the discussion of that verse will apply to the present one as well.

On 'heart-lessness', see {8,2}.