Ghazal 321x, Verse 3


mai;N chashm-e vaa-kushaadah-o-gulshan na:zar-fareb
lekin ((aba;s kih shabnam-e ;xvurshiid-diidah huu;N

1) I, (with) a wide-opened eye; and the garden, gaze-{captivating/deceiving}
2) but in vain-- for I am dew that has seen the sun


vaa honaa : 'To be or become open; to open; to be freed or liberated; to be relieved of sorrow, to become cheerful'. (Platts p.1171)


kushaadah : 'Opened, uncovered, disclosed, discovered, detected, revealed, expanded, spread out, displayed'. (Platts p.835)


fareb : 'Deceiving, cheating; alluring, seducing, captivating, winning (used as last member of compounds)'. (Platts p.779)


diidah : 'Seen, observed, perceived, felt, experienced; having seen, &c.'. (Platts p.556)


My eyes are open, and the garden is attention-attracting and gaze-attracting. But all this is useless for me, because I am like that dew which the drawing-power of the sun would be attracting. The gist is that no matter how good and pleasing the garden of the world may be, what can I do? I am being drawn in quite a different direction.

== Asi, pp. 173-174


My being open-eyed is in vain, because the dew too is open-eyed, but when does the sun give it the leisure for the sight of springtime?! Although my eyes too are opened, and the garden is gaze-captivating, on my head is the sun of death, which is preparing to obliterate me like the dew.

== Zamin, p. 255

Gyan Chand:

I have my eyes open, and the garden is gaze-captivating. How good it would be if I could take a long look! But all this is useless. My life is as momentary as that of the sun-devoured dewdrop.

== Gyan Chand, p. 281


EYES {3,1}
GAZE: {10,12}
SUN: {10,5}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

Strictly speaking, the first line contains two nouns, each with its own adjectival phrase: 'I' and '(with) a wide-opened eye'; 'garden' and 'gaze-captivating'.

The second line begins by letting us know that something in the first line is 'in vain'. As we move the stress from one possibility to another, the connection with the (explanatory) second line changes as well. So, what exactly is 'in vain', and why is it in vain? Here are some possibilities

=the speaker's wide-open eyes (because they are doomed, like dewdrops)
=the captivatingness of the garden (because the speaker won't live long enough to experience it)
=the speaker's gazing at the garden (because having seen the dazzling sun, he 'has no eyes for' (!) anything else)
=the speaker's longing to gaze at the garden (because he is about to be obliterated)

The phrase 'dew that has seen the sun' is superb, because the whole verse is about 'seeing'. And idiomatically, diidah can include the sense of 'experienced' (see the definition above). Compare the use of aatish-diidah in {1,5}.