Ghazal 320x, Verse 5


afsurdah-e tamkii;N hai nafas-garmii-e a;hbaab
phir shiishe se ((i:tr-e sharar-e sang nikaaluu;N

1) dispirited/chilled with dignity/gravity is the breath-heat of the friends
2) again/then from the bottle I would bring out the 'attar' of a spark from a stone


afsurdah : 'Frozen, frigid, benumbed; withered, faded; dispirited, dejected, low-spirited, melancholy'. (Platts p.62)


tamkiin : 'Gravity, dignity, majesty, grandeur, greatness, authority, power'. (Platts p.337)


a;hbaab : 'Friends, lovers; dear ones'. (Platts p.28)


((i:tr : 'Perfume, fragrance; essence; ottar (or otto) of roses, &c.'. (Platts p.762)


That is, dignity and self-regard have cooled the congeniality of the friends. In order to warm them up, I would bring out from the bottle, attar from the 'rose' of a spark. By 'bottle' is meant the lively/facetious temperament; and by the attar of the rose of a spark, 'hot' poetry/speech.

== Zamin, p. 253

Gyan Chand:

((i:tr-e sharar-e sang = the attar of fire-- that is, wine. Because of unmovingness, the motion of the friends' bodies has become cooled and dispirited/chilled. In order to awaken in their breath the heat of life, I would take out from the bottle the attar of fire and present it.

== Gyan Chand, p. 278



For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

If you find the word nafas confusing, see {15,6}.

Zamin feels that the friends have grown pompous and turned into stuffed shirts; Gyan Chand feels that they've merely been sitting in one position for too long. Zamin's reading not only is more enjoyable, but also makes much better use of tamkii;N (see the definition above). We're offered the unusual sight of the lover solicitously seeking a cure for the ailment of his friends, rather than the other way around.

In actual fact, attar is made from flowers and herbs; especially famous is attar of roses. It is oil-based and intense, so that a small dab would be quite potent. A drop or two might conceivably be placed beneath someone's nose to create a sudden invigorating shock, the way smelling salts used to be used. Since a 'spark' is red like a rose, it might be taken as a drop of attar of roses.

But why should the spark come specifically from a stone? In the ghazal world, when rocks are struck, sparks emerge from their 'veins' the way drops of blood would emerge from human veins (on this see {20,6}). So the spark is red not only like a rose, but also like a blood-drop. And since stones are also thrown by boys at madmen (on this see {35,10}), creating (desirable) wounds, the sparks have a double resonance with blood-drops.

Note for grammar fans: In the first line the noun compound nafas-garmii seems technically to be a 'reversed i.zaafat '; on these see {129,6x}.