Ghazal 349x, Verse 4


hai ;xa:t-e ((ajz-e maa-o-tuu avval-e dars-e aarzuu
hai yih siyaaq-e guft-guu kuchh nah samajh fanaa samajh

1) the writing/letter of the weakness of 'we and you', is the beginning of the lesson/reading of longing
2) this is the accounting of conversation: don't consider it anything, consider it oblivion!


;xa:t:t : 'A line, a streak, or stripe, a mark; lineament; — writing, character, handwriting chirography; a letter, epistle'. (Platts p.491)


dars : 'Reading, learning to read; a lecture; a lesson, exercise'. (Platts p.512)


aarzuu : 'Wish, desire, longing, eagerness; hope; trust; expectation; intention, purpose, object, design. inclination, affection, love'. (Platts p.40)


siyaaq : 'Numeration (by the Arabic alphabet); arithmetic, ciphering; account-keeping'. (Platts p.708)


The first lesson of longing is only/emphatically weakness-- that is, when someone forms a longing, at that very moment weakness is created. So to speak, the accounting and lesson [siyaaq-o-sabaaq] of conversation here is only/emphatically that everything should be imagined as trifling and petty/worthless, and nothing should be considered as anything other than oblivion.

== Asi, p. 213


That is, the first lesson of longing is the story of our and your weakness-- neither are you anything, nor are we anything. So to speak, however many words/ideas are related to us and to you, they are all essentially oblivion and nonexistence. [Zamin brackets {349x,2}, {349x,3}, {349x,4} and offers this commentary on them all as a group.]

== Zamin, p. 314

Gyan Chand:

siyaaq-e guft-guu = the flowingness of speech. The longing for the True Beloved-- that is, the first lesson of passion-- is that I and you-- that is, the whole of humanity-- are entirely weak, dust-bound, and essentially dust. They have no rank/status at all. These words of mine are a method of clear conversation-- don't consider them to be anything else. Consider only that the beginning of the lesson of longing is oblivion-- that is, in the road of passion, the very first halting-place ought to be to keep showing weakness and to become obliterated.

== Gyan Chand, p. 328


SPEAKING: {14,4}
WRITING: {7,3}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

For discussion of the extensive internal rhyme within this verse, see {349x,1}.

The commentators take 'we and you' simply as a reference to 'all human beings'. But since it appears in a context of both 'longing' (of a lover for a beloved) and 'conversation' (between us and you), it has a real feeling of intimacy as well. But all that longing and conversation and intimacy are powerless. Neither they nor any other kind of human solidarity or mutuality can give any grounding, any solidness, to human life; in any real reckoning, it's all only 'oblivion'.

This has to be one of the bleakest, most nihilistic verses that Ghalib ever composed. It's the antithesis of his far more numerous 'grandiosity' verses (on these see {5,3}).

Intriguingly, Ghalib soon afterwards recycled all three of the internal-rhyme words-- tuu , aarzuu , guft-guu -- in {349x,8}.