Ghazal 211, Verse 8x

{211,8x}

;Gaflat isti((daad-e ;zauq-o-mudda((aa-;Gaafil asad
punbah-e gosh-e ;hariifaa;N puud-o-taar-e na;Gmah hai

1) heedlessness-- a preparation for taste/relish; and Asad is purpose-heedless
2) the warp and woof of melody is cotton in the ears of the Rivals

Notes:

;Gaflat : 'Unmindfulness, forgetfulness, neglectfulness, negligence, neglect, inattention, heedlessness, inadvertence, remissness, carelessnes'. (Platts p.771)

 

istidaad : 'Preparing, making preparation, getting ready for; skill, aptness, aptitude, merit; means; mental powers, talent'. (Steingass p.53)

 

;zauq : 'Taste, enjoyment, delight, joy, pleasure, voluptuousness'. (Platts p.578)

 

mudda((aa : 'What is claimed, or alleged, or pretended, or meant; desire, wish; suit; meaning, object, view; scope, tenor, drift'. (Platts p.1015)

 

;hariif : 'A fellow-worker (in one's craft or ordinary occupation), an associate, a partner, a mate; — a rival, opponent, adversary, antagonist; an enemy'. (Platts p.477)

 

puud : 'Woof, the threads woven in the breadth of a piece of cloth across the warp (called, in Persian, taar )'. (Platts p.278)

Zamin:

Heedlessness is a quality of the preparation for taste/relish, and being heedless of purpose (or having a purpose of being heedless) is a quality of Asad's. The meaning is that Asad's melody-singing is without purpose, and the Rivals' taste is defective and ineffectual. Then, if a melody would have access to their hearts, how would it achieve this? It becomes cotton and is stuffed into the ears. (376)

Gyan Chand:

Asad's taste is heedlessness-preparation; that is, it is capable only of heedlessness. Asad is heedless of purpose. In the ears of friends, the warp and woof of musicality has turned to the cotton of heedlessness and settled [there]. That is, because of music they are absorbed in heedlessness.

Ghalib has in some verses expressed a veiled sarcasm against Ibrahim Zauq. For example: {177,12}. My view is that in the present verse, by ;zauq is meant Ibrahim Zauq. Now look at the meaning of the verse: 'Zauq Sahib is heedlessness-preparing, and Asad is heedless of purpose. Into the friends' ears melody has stuffed cotton.'

== Gyan Chand, p. 380

FWP:

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

I like to think of this verse as Ghalib's boast of his radical poetic freedom. After all, 'heedlessness' or 'carelessness' (see the definition above) is the (best?) preparation for 'taste, relish', and Asad claims to be 'purpose-heedless'. Does that mean he's heedless of purpose, or that he has a purpose of being heedless? Zamin points out that both readings are possible.

In either case, his 'Rivals'-- perhaps this time, rivals in poetry rather than love-- take a much more formalized approach. They carefully weave the 'warp and woof' of their melody/poetry, paying such close attention to technical craftsmanship that the (cotton) threads become a form of 'cotton' in their ears, preventing them from 'hearing' song or poetry.

Still, the 'connection' between the lines is not very satisfactory.

Normally Ghalib's punbah is a punbah-e rauzan ; on this see {87,4}.

Note for grammar fans: mudda(aa-;Gaafil seems to be a noun compound or 'reversed izafat'; on this see {129,6x}.