Ghazal 322x, Verse 5


huu;N garmii-e nishaa:t-e ta.savvur se na;Gmah-sanj
mai;N ((andaliib-e gulshan-e naa-aafriidah huu;N

1) through the heat of the joy of imagination, I am singing/'song-measuring'
2) I am the Nightingale of an uncreated garden


garmii : 'Heat, warmth; ... glow; fervour, fervency, ardour; activity, briskness, throng (of a market); — ... excitement; attachment, warm affection'. (Platts p.905)


ta.savvur : 'Imaging or picturing (a thing) to the mind; imagination, fancy; reflection, contemplation, meditation; forming an idea; idea, conception, perception, apprehension'. (Platts p.326)


na;Gmah-sanj : 'A measurer of sounds, i.e. a musician'. (Platts p.681)


aafriidah : '[perf. part of aafriidan ... ] part. adj. Created'. (Platts p.62)


From the heat of the happiness of my own imagination, I am singing. So to speak, I am a Nightingale for whom a garden has even now/still not been created. But he is happy and joyous.

== Asi, p. 172


The meaning is that the themes of my poetry are [habitually] entirely strange and alien themes. That is, such that no one has versified-- and if anyone has versified them, then 'my wealth was given from the concealment-chamber of eternity' [a Persian line of Ghalib's].

== Zamin, p. 254

Gyan Chand:

I am imagining successes that I expect in the future, and from the joy of that I am singing. So to speak, the garden of which I am the Nightingale has not yet/now come into existence. After some time, it will flourish. If we would not take this verse as limited to the ordinary happinesses of life, but would read it as applying in a symbolic way to his poetry, then the meaning will be that 'The thoughts that I am expressing cannot be understood today; generations yet to come will understand them'. So to speak, my poetry is a garden of the future.

== Gyan Chand, p. 282


MUSIC: {10,3}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

Well, here it is: the rose of the 'uncreated garden' of Ghalib's entirely unpublished ghazals. It is, deservedly, very famous. (And it happens to be placed between an awkward verse and a truly grotesque one.)

People who want to think of Ghalib as a particularly 'modern' poet, one who was 'ahead of his time' or even 'our contemporary', tend to go with Gyan Chand, and read 'uncreated' as 'not yet created'. This reading also has the advantage of being theologically correct, since it implies that God has simply not gotten around to creating that garden yet.

But of course, the actual meaning of aafriidah is neither more nor less than 'uncreated'; it is the perfect participle of the Persian verb aafriidan , 'to create' (see the definition above). Thus it could refer to:

=a garden that might be created in the future

=a garden that will never be created

=a garden that is created only by, and within, the poet's imagination

=a special kind of garden called an 'uncreated garden'

How provocative those four possibilities are! Each of them is piquant in its own way. And each of them has its own intriguing connection to the first line. The verse is simple, flowing-- and inexhaustible.

In this verse the speaker identifies himself specifically as a bird; for other such verses, see {126,5}. This verse also belongs to what I call the 'independence' set, the many verses that valorize the use of one's own resources, even if inferior, and deprecate the humiliation of borrowing from, or relying on, external sources. (For discussion of these verses, see {9,1}.) The present verse might well have an exultant tone, as the Nightingale glories in his own creative powers.