Ghazal 328x, Verse 6


;Gaflat-e diivaanah juz tamhiid-e aagaahii nahii;N
ma;Gz-e sar ;xvaab-e pareshaa;N hai su;xan kii fikr me;N

1) a madman's heedlessness is nothing except a preface/preliminary to awareness
2) the essence/pride/'brain' of the head is a disordered dream, in the thought/concern of poetry/speech


tamhiid : 'Arranging, disposing; arrangement, disposition, adjustment, settlement, management; confirmation; preliminary, preamble, introduction, preface'. (Platts p.337)


ma;Gz : 'Brain; — marrow; — kernel; pith; pulp; crumb (of bread); the inside (of anything), the chief substance or essence (of anything); — intellect; — pride, arrogance; — the best kind of pearl'. (Platts p.1051)


;xvaab : 'Sleep; dream, vision'. (Platts p.494)


pareshaan : 'Dispersed, scattered; disordered, confused; dishevelled, tossed (as hair); amazed, distracted, perplexed, bewildered, deranged; troubled, distressed, wretched; ruined'. (Platts p.259)


su;xan : 'Speech, language, discourse, word, words'. (Platts p.645)


fikr : 'Thought, consideration, reflection; deliberation, opinion, notion, idea, imagination, conceit; counsel, advice; care, concern, solicitude, anxiety, grief, sorrow'. (Platts p.783)


That is, a madman's external/apparent heedlessness is in reality a covert preface to obtaining awareness. Thus when a poet is absorbed in thought about poetry, then his mind remains disordered, like a 'disordered dream', the interpretation of which is beautiful and full of meaning.

== Zamin, p. 258

Gyan Chand:

By 'heedlessness' is meant unconsciousness. If someone sees a wild/terrifying dream, then after waking he mentions it, and at that time he is fully conscious. A madman's brain is disordered like a wild/terrifying dream. Thus the conclusion can be drawn that the next step of consciousness will be conversation. In this way his distracted-headedness is nothing other than the insight of consciousness.

== Gyan Chand, p. 286


DREAMS: {3,3}
MADNESS: {14,3}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

For more on ;xvaab-e pareshaa;N verses, see {44,5x}.

Here's another excellent example of Ghalib's cleverness in construction: the two commentators might almost be reading two different verses. Zamin reads a verse in which the poet's apparent madness is actually an indispensable prelude to his literary creativity. Gyan Chand reads a verse in which the craziness of a 'disordered' dream is to be overcome by the process of talking about it. According to the official definition of su;xan as 'speech' (see the definition above), Gyan Chand is on very firm ground; but in the usage of the ghazal world, su;xan is basically poetry, so that Zamin has the better of it (and could also bolster his case by citing the literary sense of tamhiid ).

But what's really striking in this verse is the 'fresh word' ma;Gz , which doesn't appear at all in the published divan. (Mir too uses it only rarely; see M{224,2}.) Its literal meaning in Persian is 'brain', from which the other meanings spin out (see the definition above). But the difference among, say, the 'kernel of the head', the 'essence of the head', and the 'pride/arrogance of the head' could be considerable-- especially when paired with the even more versatile fikr (see the definition above). For the 'disordered dream' in that ma;Gz-e sar could be engaged in 'thought', 'imagination', 'counsel', 'concern', 'anxiety', or 'sorrow'-- with regard to poetry and/or speech.

And that 'regard' too is, thanks to the i.zaafat , very flexible. Is the fikr 'of' poetry/speech about creating it, or suffering from it, or identical to it, or belonging to it? We could end up anywhere from 'the thought involved in creating poetry' to 'the anxiety caused by (one's own or another's) speech'. As so often, Ghalib has given us a set of building blocks, and left us to decide for ourselves what to make from them.