Ghazal 214, Verse 16x


vuh sho;x apne ;husn pah ma;Gruur hai asad
dikhlaa ke us ko aa))inah to;Raa kare ko))ii

1) that mischievous one is proud/arrogant over her beauty, Asad
2) having shown her a mirror, let someone always break it


ma;Gruur : 'Proud, arrogant, presumptuous, haughty, self-conceited; fastidious'. (Platts p.1051)


To show her a mirror and break it is so that she would see her equal [javaab] with her own eyes, and her pride in her uniqueness would not remain established, and in every fragment of the mirror an equal to her would be visible. Someone has a verse:

na:zar aate kabhii kaahe ko itne ;xuubruu ik jaa
yih ;husn-e ittifaaq aa((iinah un ke ruubaruu ;Tuu;Taa

[how would so many beautiful ones ever have been visible in one place?
through a fortunate chance, the mirror before her broke]

== Asi, p. 263


That is, if a mirror will be broken before her, then in this way the pride of uniqueness that has settled in her head will be banished. However many pieces of the mirror there will be, every one of them will be seen to resemble her face.

== Zamin, p. 382

Gyan Chand:

In the mirror, her reflection will be visible. There can be two reasons for breaking the mirror:

1) Since she is proud/fastidious about her beauty, and in the mirror a duplicate [;saanii] will be visible. At this she will be annoyed. To placate her, the mirror would be broken, so that the mirror would not remain confronting her.

2) She is proud/fastidious about her beauty. She should be shown her duplicate in the mirror, and the mirror should be broken, so that she would realize the outcome of beauty and her heart would receive instruction. In this way her pride would also be broken.

== Gyan Chand, p. 384


MIRROR: {8,3}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Why should the addressee break the mirror? Gyan Chand gives two enjoyably apposite and opposite reasons: either to indulge the beloved's arrogance (by removing the reflected sight of her peer), or else to chasten it (by showing how beauty is destined to 'break'). Asi and Zamin agree on a different idea: that every fragment of the mirror would then show her a peer (so that her pride in her 'uniqueness' would be removed). As usual, Ghalib leaves us to decide for ourselves the meaning of this notable 'gesture'.

Most of Ghalib's mirrors are metal; for some other special glass ones, see {16,2}.