Ghazal 319x, Verse 6


gar ho balad-e shauq mirii ;xaak ko va;hshat
.sa;hraa ko bhii ghar se ka))ii farsang nikaaluu;N

1) if wildness would be a guide/conductor of ardor to my dust
2) even/also the desert, I would remove some leagues from my/its house


balad : 'A city, town, district, province, country; (met.) at home, i.e. conversant with, capable of, equal to; hence a guide to others, a conductor, escort, convoy'. (Steingass p.197)


va;hshat : 'A desert, solitude, dreary place; — loneliness, solitariness, dreariness; — sadness, grief, care; — wildness, fierceness, ferocity, savageness; barbarity, barbarism; — timidity, fear, fright, dread, terror, horror; — distraction, madness'. (Platts p.1183)


farsang : 'A parasang (about 3¾ English miles), a league'. (Platts p.778)


We have died in the desert, we are among Majnun's neighbors; thus (in the 'tongue of our condition') we say: 'If my dust would become aware of my ardor for wildness, then it would flee in such a way that along with it the desert too would be removed from its house'. But this meaning is not conveyed by the words. The construction of the first line is jumbled. The verse deserves to be overlooked.

== Zamin, p. 252

Gyan Chand:

balad = Guide. After dying, I have become dust and am flying around. Through my whole life, because of wildness, in the ardor of passion I kept moving around. Later, if wildness would show my dust the path of moving in ardor, then not only would I cause the dust of the desert to fly around-- rather, I would remove the desert some miles from its place. The extremity of wildness is that the way he himself has come some miles away from his home, in the same way he ran the desert out of its own settled place.

== Gyan Chand, p. 276


DESERT: {3,1}
HOME: {14,9}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

One enjoyable implication of the verse is that the speaker's dust would be no ordinary dust. Rather, it would be so dominant, so potent in its wildness and ardor, that it would govern the behavior of all the dust in the desert. If 'wildness' would be its guide, then it would similarly be the guide of the whole desert.

Then there's the obvious question, from whose 'house' would the desert be removed? The commentators think that the desert would be removed to quite a distance from its own place, since it would be dragged along in the wake of the wild lover's madly moving dust.

But it's also possible that the desert might somehow be conflated or connected with the lover's own home. (A case in point: {35,8}.) On this reading, the wild lover's dust would arise after his death and leave his house, dragging along with it the whole desertful of dust that had been living with him there. (Perhaps he had been keeping the desert as a kind of pet?) I enjoy these verses of sheer grandiosity.