Ghazal 322x, Verse 7


hai junbish-e zabaa;N bah dahan sa;xt naa-gavaar
;xuunaabah-e halaahal-e ;hasrat chashiidah huu;N

1) the movement of the tongue in the mouth is severely distasteful/'indigestible'
2) I am one who has tasted the 'blood-water' of the poison of longing/grief


naa-gavaar : 'Undigested; indigestible; unwhole some, unpalatable, unpleasant; unacceptable'. (Platts p.1111)


;xuunaabah : 'Bloody water; blood; a torrent of blood; tears of blood; blood turned to water (through grief)'. (Platts p.497)


halaahal : 'A species of deadly poison'. (Platts p.1231)


haalaahal : 'A sort of deadly poison (produced at the churning of the ocean by the gods and demons); — poison, venom (generally)'. (Platts p.1216)


chashiidah : 'Tasted; experienced; having tasted; having experienced'. (Platts p.434)


To me the movement of my tongue in my mouth seems severely distasteful and bad. And from it I feel an extreme level of bitterness and displeasure, because I have already drunk the poison of longing/grief.

== Asi, p. 173


By poison the tongue is abraded/'cut', and when it has been cut then its movement will certainly be painful/troublesome. Thus he says, I have drunk the poison of longing/grief; when my tongue moves in my mouth, then it causes pain/trouble.

== Zamin, p. 254

Gyan Chand:

For longing/grief he has given the simile of the halaahal poison, and for the halaahal poison, that of blood-water (water mixed with blood-- that is, tears of blood). I have tasted the poison of longing/grief. The taste in my mouth has become bitter; thus the movement of my tongue in my mouth is severely distasteful. If the metaphor would be pushed far, then the meaning would be that no longing of mine was fulfilled. It's a state of severe hopelessness; the inner-self doesn't want to talk to anyone.

== Gyan Chand, p. 280


FOOD: {6,4}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

Here is a verse based entirely on wordplay about eating. As so often, the first line is deliberately, tantalizingly, uninterpretable. Since the mouth has been affected by the poisonous 'blood-water' of longing or grief that the speaker has 'tasted', every movement of his tongue is 'distasteful' or 'unpalatable' (fortunately we have a similar range of metaphorical usages in English).

For the unusual, striking word halaahal , the verse should also get 'fresh word' credit. The word comes directly from the Sanskrit, and refers to a cosmically deadly poison that emerged from the churning of the Ocean of Milk. (According to Macdonnel, both spellings, haalahal and halaahal , are found in Sanskrit.) In the divan itself, the word never appears.