Ghazal 222, Verse 3x


tamaashaa hai kih naamuus-e vafaa rusvaa-e aa))ii;N hai
nafas terii galii me;N ;xuu;N ho aur baazaar rangii;N hai

1) it's a spectacle-- that the honor/shame of faithfulness is disgraced through rule/manner!
2) in your street, the breath would be blood-- and the bazaar is lively/'colorful'


naamuus : 'Reputation, fame, renown; esteem, honour, grace, dignity; — disgrace, reproach, shame'. (Platts p.1118)


aa))iin : 'Regulation, institute, statute, rules, law ... body of laws, code; enactment, edict, ordinance, canon, decree, rule; custom, manner'. (Platts p.116)


rangiin : 'Coloured, ... ; of various or many colours, variegated; fine, showy, gandy; adorned, ornamented; elegant, ornate, flowery, florid (as language or style); figurative, allegorical, metaphorical; gay, lively, jovial; fond of gaiety, addicted to pleasure'. (Platts p.602


Alas, what a Doomsday it is, what a spectacle it is-- that the laws and rules of the world have made my honor of faithfulness disgraced! What the hell, is there any limit to this disgrace, and is there any end to this cruelty? --that I was slain in your street, and my blood was shed in your lane, and through this the whole bazaar is becoming colorful! It's a verse for practice/training [riyaa.z].

== Asi, p. 265


aa))ii;N = adornment, and custom; here both meanings are invoked. The meaning is that the breath became blood in your street. Your street should have become colorful. Why has the whole bazaar been made full of color? That is, the affair that was between you and me should have remained limited only/emphatically to us. Why has our secret been caused to reach the ears of Others?

== Zamin, p. 389

Gyan Chand:

In your street, the lover himself was slain. Outside the street, it was a secret. From the street, the blood flowed out and went into the bazaar. The bazaar became colorful, and and the secret of passion became disgraced. Out of respect for the laws of passion, we had gone into your street and were slain there. But it caused the honor of the faithfulness of passion to be mingled with the dust.

== Gyan Chand, p. 389


TAMASHA: {8,1}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

The 'shame/honor' duality of naamuus (see the definition above) and related words is discussed in {3,5}.

The 'A,B' structure of the second line is irresistibly provocative-- how does the first clause connect to the second? The two clauses might simply depict opposite situations: the subtle suffering of the lover's inner world, contrasted with the crude physical colorfulness of the bazaar. Or they might in fact be parallel situations: the lover's life-breath is bloody red, while the bazaar is full of blazing colors, especially reds.

My own favorite reading is a cause-and-effect one: the lover's breath would turn (or be turned) to blood in the seclusion of the beloved's street; and as a consequence, the public bazaar would be full of color. This is a grandiose mystical effect-- the lover's inner passion is the real energy source that enlivens the whole outer, physical world. Perhaps without his passion, the bazaar would be pallid and drab, or might not even be able to exist at all. Compare the even more grandiose (and more enjoyably structured) {62,8}.

The relationship of aa))ii;N to the rest of the verse is really rather obscure; this seems a significant weakness.