Ghazal 326x, Verse 6


butaan-e sho;x kii tamkiin-e ba((d az qatl kii ;hairat
bayaa.z-e diidah-e na;xchiir par khe;Nche hai;N ta.sviire;N

1) amazement at the after-murder dignity/grandeur of the mischievous idols
2) on the blank-book/'whiteness' of the eye of the prey, has drawn pictures


sho;x : 'Bright (as colour, &c.), cheerful, gay, sprightly; buxom; brisk, spirited; humorous, sly; whimsical, capricious, playful, mischievous; petulant, saucy, bold, daring, hardened, strong; insolent, presumptuous; brazen, wanton, impudent, shameless'. (Platts p.736)


tamkiin : 'Gravity, dignity, majesty, grandeur, greatness, authority, power'. (Platts p.337)


bayaa.z : 'Whiteness ... ; blank book, commonplace book, note-book'. (Platts p.205)


khe;Nchnaa : 'To draw, drag, pull; to attract, to draw in ... ; to draw (a sword, or a bill, or a line or figure); to delineate, to sketch; to paint;'. (Platts p.887)


ta.sviir : 'Picture; drawing; sketch; painting; portrait; an image'. (Platts p.326)


The rule/convention is that the face/aspect of the murdered remains in the eye of the murdered one. He says that when the mischievous idols, after murdering the lover, show dignity, then there is amazement at their artificial coquetry. The picture sinks into the white of the murdered one's eye.

== Zamin, p. 262

Gyan Chand:

The mischievous beautiful ones killed a prey, and after that created a scene of great pomp and authority. Having seen this, the prey was amazed, and he drew a picture of this imposingness on his eye. bayaa.z = blank copy-book; the pupil of the eye too can be a blank copy-book. It's well known that when a snake is killed, then on the pupil of its eye a picture of the killer is drawn. The snake's mate, having seen this picture, seeks out the killer and bites him. Something of this kind is here-- that amazement has made, on the eye of the murdered prey, a picture of the arising of the beautiful murderer.

== Gyan Chand, pp. 294-295


EYES {3,1}
IDOL: {8,1}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

On the special nature of ;hairat , see {51,9x}.

There turns out to be a special word, 'optography', for the idea that the last image seen before death is retained on the retina of the eye. This idea was apparently common in the later nineteenth century; who knows whether Ghalib actually believed it or not? In any case this verse takes liberties with the idea, by choosing as the site of the image the 'white' or 'whiteness' (= blank copy-book) of the eye, rather than the retina.

The image was captured by 'amazement', which was apparently inspired by the contrast between the pre-murder 'mischievous' behavior of the idols, and their post-murder 'dignity, gravity' or 'grandeur, power'. Zamin thinks that the amazement was caused by the artificiality of this (show of) tamkiin ; Gyan Chand thinks that it was caused by the genuineness of it. Perhaps Gyan Chand is right-- perhaps it's the 'mischievous' (see the definition above) behavior that's artificial, and only at the moment of final surrender can one experience the true nature of the beloved's grandeur.