Ghazal 323x, Verse 1


mumkin nahii;N kih bhuul ke bhii aaramiidah huu;N
mai;N dasht-e ;Gam me;N aahuu-e .saiyaad-diidah huu;N

1) it's not possible that, even absent-mindedly, I would be at rest
2) in the desert of grief, I am a deer who has encountered/'seen' the Hunter


aaramiidah : 'Rested, reposed, quiescent'. (Platts p.39)


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

Gyan Chand:

In the wilderness/jungle, if any deer would see the Hunter and would not come within his net, even then it would constantly be in a panic-- 'May I not be captured!'. It cannot, even by accident, be at rest. In the wilderness/jungle of grief, just this is my mood as well.

== Gyan Chand, p. 513


DESERT: {3,1}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

The Persian diidah of course literally means 'having seen', but in Urdu its range has broadened to include 'having felt or experienced' (see the definition above). This broader sense is clear in {1,5}, which compares the mad lover's shackle to a 'singed hair' or a 'hair that has seen fire', a muu-e aatish-diidah .

The verse is notably stark and simple, so that the phrase .saiyaad-diidah , with its emphatic closural position, echoes in the memory. But what exactly has the deer 'seen', or 'felt', or 'experienced', that has left him forever traumatized, or at least agitated? Something ominous? Something terrifying? Something hypnotic? Perhaps even something divinely glorious? After all, agitation and restlessness isn't necessarily a sign of trauma; it can equally result from ecstasy, anticipation, longing, and so on. As so often, it's left up to us to decide.