Ghazal 323x, Verse 4


ne .sub;hah se ((alaaqah nah saa;Gar se vaas:tah
mai;N ma((ri.z-e mi;saal me;N dast-e buriidah huu;N

1) neither attachment to prayer-beads nor commitment to the wineglass
2) I, in an 'appearance-place of similitude', am a cut-off hand


ma((ri.z : 'Place of the appearance, or occurrence, or manifestation (of a thing); scene (of); place of meeting; — the case of the appearance, &c. (of a thing); — occurrence; occasion (of); contingency.


mi;saal : 'Likeness, similitude; simile; analogy; parable, metaphor; specimen, example, model; a case adduced as a precedent'. (Platts p.1001)

Gyan Chand:

I have no connection either with prayer-beads, or with the wineglass-- that is, I am neither an Ascetic, nor a debauchee [rind]. For me the illustration of a cut-off hand can be given-- that is, of a hand that wouldn't even be fit for any task.

== Gyan Chand, p. 514


ISLAMIC: {10,2}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

The first line, with no verbs, carefully preserves its opaqueness. Then the second line enhances the effect of its final phrase by throwing in the phrase ma((ri.z-e mi;saal . That phrase has some notable qualities:

=The phrase is entirely unnecessary. If the speaker could directly call himself, for example, a 'drawn-out lament' or a 'dropped tear' in {323x,2}, he could similarly call himself a 'cut-off hand' in the present verse.

=The phrase is unduly long and complex. To make a simile, more convenient and familiar forms ( ki :tara;h , jaise , maanind-e , and the like) are readily available.

=Both words are Arabic, and together they have a clunky, pompous-sounding effect (especially ma((ri.z ).

=Although both words are Arabic, they are joined together by the Persian i.zaafat construction; this is held to be undesirable if not quite forbidden, and thus is distracting.

=The phrase is bookended by mai;N before it and me;N after it, which further sets it apart and calls attention to it.

As far as I can tell, the only reason for it to be there is to distract the mushairah audience with a bundle of 'filler' that delays the climax of the line, and contrasts in every possible way with the punchy, simple, closural dast-e buriidah .

Compare the 'cut-off tongue' in {321x,5}, and the even more gory 'cut throat' in {322x,6}.

Note for grammar fans: Of course, the ne in the first line is just nah , but spelled so as to enable it to be a long syllable.