Ghazal 221, Verse 3


josh-e junuu;N se kuchh na:zar aataa nahii;N asad
.sa;hraa hamaarii aa;Nkh me;N yak musht-e ;xaak hai

1) from/through the fervor of madness, nothing comes into view, Asad

2a) the desert, in our view/'eye', is a single handful of dust
2b) a single handful of dust in our eye, is the desert



That is, having seen the desert, such a fervor of madness was created that nothing [else] now appears to me; as if the desert were a fistful of dust-- and the eye in which dust would be seen, what else appears? (251)

== Nazm page 251

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'Through the spectacle of the desert, so much fervor has been created in my madness, that now nothing is visible; as if the desert, for our eye, has become a pinch of dust'. That is, the eye in which grains of dust would fall-- what can be visible to it? (309)

Bekhud Mohani:

1) [Nazm's view is quoted]
2) When the fervor of madness has reached its limit, then in our eyes the desert can't exist. That is, it no longer has any reality.
3) In the fervor of madness I've kicked up so much dust that in every direction nothing but dust, nothing but dirt, is visible, and the desert has vanished from before my gaze.
4) Madness always severs worldly relationships. Thus they always construe love (whether it be of a human beloved or of the True Beloved) as madness. And for the renunciation of relationships to the world, the word 'madness' is common among the poets. Here by 'desert' is meant the world, and by 'madness' is meant the madness of passion. (455)


[See his comments on Mir's M{1741,3}.]


DESERT: {3,1}
EYES {3,1}
MADNESS: {14,3}

Why does the madman find that nothing comes into view? Here are some possible reasons:

=Madness has made him unable to focus his gaze and see things coherently.
=Madness has caused him to damage his eyes somehow.
=Madness has taken him into the desert, where there's nothing much to be seen anyway.
=Madness has given him an ineffable, cosmically vast field of vision.

And what is the poetic 'proof' of this abstract claim? Here are some possible readings of the second line:

=In the speaker's 'eye'/view/opinion, the desert is nothing much to look at-- no better than a handful of dust.
=In the speaker's madness he's thrown handfuls of dust on his head and in his eyes, which obscures his sight of the desert and everything else.
=The speaker's mad, mystical field of vision is now so huge that from his lofty perspective the whole vast desert is nothing but a handful of dust (compare {43,3}).
=The speaker is now so solipsistic that he disdainfully considers nothing outside himself to be of any importance at all (compare {208,4}).
=The speaker is now so remote from the world that he considers a handful of dust to be no different from a whole desert (compare {138,1}).

Come right along, ladies and gentlemen, service is buffet-style only-- load up your tray with your own favorite choices, mix and match them, try them one by one or stir them together-- and then don't hesitate to come back for a second round!

My own favorite item in this brilliant buffet is the delicious 'symmetry' of the second line. To the speaker, in his mad grandiosity, the whole desert is nothing more than a handful of dust. And/or in his mad solipsism, a single handful of dust in his eyes is the whole desert.