Ghazal 223, Verse 5x


;xaimah-e lail;aa siyaah-o-;xaanah-e majnuu;N ;xaraab
josh-e viiraanii hai ((ishq-e daa;G-e beruu;N-daadah se

1) Laila's tent/pavilion is black, and Majnun's house is ruined/wretched
2) the ebullience of desolateness/ruin is from/with the passion that has (been?) given an outward wound/scar


josh : 'Boiling, ebullition; effervescence; heat, excitement, passion, emotion; lust; fervour, ardour, zeal; vehemence; enthusiasm; frenzy'. (Platts p.397)


viiraanii : 'Desolation, depopulation, destruction, ruin, dilapidation; desert place'. (Platts p.1209)


beruu;N : 'Without, on the outside, out'. (Platts p.208)


daadah : 'Given, bestowed, imparted; —having given (used chiefly in comp., e.g. taab-daadah , 'heat-imparted,' inflamed)'. (Platts p.500)


Whatever he has said is all very well. But there's no explanation for a quality of passion as daa;G-e beruu;N-daadah .

== Zamin, p. 391

Gyan Chand:

((ishq-e daa;G-e beruu;N daadah = passion that has left wounds/scars. A wound/scar is a sign of despair and failure. Because of passion, there is the ebullience of desolateness. In Laila's tent there is the blackness of mourning, and Majnun's house is a ruin-- that is, passion destroys lover and beloved both.

== Gyan Chand, p. 391


HOME: {14,9}

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 For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

The arresting first line means that the verse works better than the previous one, {223,4x}. But both verses have second lines that begin with the same word, and of course both use the same rhyme-word (as does {223,3x} as well). We can see the young Ghalib's experimental energies in action.

The general effect of the second line is apparently to say that the lovers' passion is so extreme that it has manifested itself in the destruction not merely of themselves, but of their dwelling places as well. But like the second line in {223,4x}, it's annoyingly broad in its range of possibilities. Has passion 'given' the outward wound/scar, or has this mark 'been given' (see the definition above) to passion by the lovers? And is this good or bad, is it deliberate, or inadvertent, or unavoidable? And is the 'ebullience' located in the lovers, or in passion, or in the 'desolateness' itself? It's remarkable how Ghalib's brilliant ambiguities can become so overdone that they don't quite catch hold of our imagination. I don't find this one as irritating as {223,4x}, but it's still kind of maddening to feel in the first line some glimmer of what might have become a brilliant verse-- but then doesn't manage to do so. The second line needs to be punchier, pithier, less terminally abstract.