Ghazal 213, Verse 3x

{213,3x}

((ajz-e diidanhaa bah naaz-o-naaz-e raftanhaa bah chashm
jaadah-e .sa;hraa-e aagaahii shu((aa((-e jalvah hai

1) weakness of seeings, through/with coquetry; and coquetry of goings, through/with the eye
2) the path of the desert of awareness is a ray of glory/appearance

Notes:

((ajz : 'Powerlessness, impotence, weakness, helplessness, submission, wretchedness'. (Platts p.759)

 

diidan : 'To see, look, observe; to perceive, feel, experience; — seeing; experiencing, &c.'. (Platts p.556)

 

raftan : 'To go, going, going away, departing; dying'. (Platts p.595)

 

shu((aa(( : 'The rays or beams of the sun, sunbeams, sunshine, radiance, light, splendour, lustre'. (Platts p.728)

Zamin:

He says that the path of the desert of awareness (the external world) is a ray of glory/appearance (traces of divinity). On this path, to walk while watching the footsteps (that is, to walk with the eyes cast down) is precisely coquetry; and through coquetry (pride) to stare fixedly is entirely weakness. (378)

Gyan Chand:

In the verse, through different arrangements of the phrases the following meanings can emerge:

(1) The prose of the verse is: 'The weakness of seeings is, for the coquetry of the beloved, the path of the desert of awareness. The coquetry of goings is, for the eye of the lover, a ray of glory/appearance.' By 'weakness of seeings' is meant that because of the intensity of glory/appearance the lover's eye becomes dazzled and is unable to see. The lover was unable to endure the beloved's glory/appearance; from this the beloved became aware of her own beauty. Through the coquetry of the beloved's gait, the lover saw a ray of glory/appearance.

(2) The prose of the verse is: 'The weakness of seeings (for the coquetry of the beloved) is a path of the desert of awareness and a ray of glory/appearance. The coquetry of goings (for the eye of the lover) is a path of the desert of awareness and a ray of glory/appearance.' That is, the beloved observed that the lover was unable to endure the sight of her. From this the beloved became aware of the intensity of her own beauty, and a ray of her glory/appearance became visible [to her]. When the lover's eye saw the coquetry of the beloved's gait, then he became aware of the intensity of her beauty, and a ray of her glory/appearance became visible [to him].

(3) The prose of the verse is: 'The weakness of seeings has been made for the coquetry of the beloved, and the coquetry of goings has been made for the eye of the lover. Through this occurrence, the road of awareness for both beloved and lover is a ray of glory/appearance. For the lover, there is the failure to endure the glory/appearance of the beloved; and this powerlessness over coquetry has come into existence in order to please her inner-self. The coquetry of the beloved's gait came into existence for the lover's eye. Attaining awareness of these realities is a ray of the glory/appearance of Truth, for both beloved and lover. The beloved became aware of the lover's weakness of sight; the lover, of the coquetry of the beloved's gait.

If the verse would be taken to have four parts-- A, B, C, D-- then the first interpretation is (A C) (B D). The second is (A C) (A D) (B C) (B D). The third is (A B) (C D).

== Gyan Chand, pp. 381-382

FWP:

SETS == GENERATORS
JALVAH: {7,4}

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}.

Gyan Chand's analysis of the verse just bowls me over! It's so rare for any of the commentators to acknowledge the radical undecidability of verses like this-- but in this case Gyan Chand takes the verse apart almost as systematically as I would, and even uses a - b - j - d to refer to the clauses. It's a classic 'generator' verse, from which mix-and-match meanings can be spun out in all directions.

Unfortunately, it isn't the best specimen of its kind. The level of abstraction is so high that the verse is actually too much of a generator, and the structure feels limp and floppy. None of the indefinitely many ways of putting it together is really thrilling.