Ghazal 349x, Verse 8


ne sar-o-barg-e aarzuu ne rah-o-rasm-e guft-guu
ai dil-o-jaan-e ;xalq tuu ham ko bhii aashnaa samajh

1) neither provisions for longing, nor a practice/custom of conversation
2) oh heart and life of creation-- consider even/also us a friend/acquaintance!


barg : 'Provisions or necessaries for a journey or march'. (Platts p.148)


sar-o-barg : 'Apparatus; means of subsistence; desire, lust'. (Steingass p.667)


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


rah-o-rasm : 'Practice, usage, custom'. (Platts p.708)


guft-guu : 'Conversation, discourse, dialogue, common talk, chitchat; altercation, dispute, debate, expostulation, controversy, contention squabble'. (Platts p.910)


aashnaa : 'Acquaintance; friend; associate; intimate friend, familiar; lover, sweetheart; paramour'. (Platts p.58)


Neither are any provisions for longing gathered for me, nor would there be any practice/custom of conversation. Oh you who become the heart and life of the word, you who fulfill the heartfelt desire of the world, consider even/also us a friend/acquaintance. We too are among your lovers; we too have you on our mind-- thus you ought to take a bit of thought for us too.

== Asi, p. 213


That is, there's neither the enthusiasm/spirit for longing in us, nor is it possible that any path to conversation with you would emerge. We know that only/emphatically you are the life and heart of creation/creatures; to only/emphatically you we make the plea to consider us too to be your friend/acquaintance!

== Zamin, p. 315

Gyan Chand:

Oh friend, neither do we have equipment for longing for you, nor is there the practice/custom of conversation with you. You are the beloved of the whole world. If you would consider us too to be your acquaintance, then it will be a kindness toward us. After all, we can never meet and talk with you. The verse is full of vain longing.

== Gyan Chand, p. 329


SPEAKING: {14,4}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

Raza's text omits the word bhii . This is an obvious calligraphic error, since the omission makes the line unmetrical. I have restored the missing bhii from other texts.

As so often, the first line is a verb-free 'list' of two negated items. Under mushairah performance conditions, we're obliged to wait a bit before we are are allowed to hear the second line and thus can acquire an interpretive context.

When we hear the second line, we can realize that this is a verse in which the beloved seems to be God (for others, see {20,10}). Conceivably 'heart and life of creation' could be addressed to a very much divinized human beloved, but the lack even of 'provision for longing' suggests extreme remoteness; in any case such abstract hairsplitting is hardly worthwhile.

What's really moving is the final plea for that omnipotent Beloved to consider us-- 'even' us, or us 'too'-- to be an aashnaa . What kind of a plea is that? Is the first line a list of the speaker's weaknesses (on which the addressee might deign to take pity), or is it a list of the addressee's cruelties (of which the speaker is making a complaint)?

Moreover, an aashnaa can be anything from a mere 'acquaintance' to an 'intimate friend' or 'lover' (see the definition above). Is the speaker humbly asking for something like a mere nod of recognition? Or does he mean that being accepted as an aashnaa would imply some level of genuine acknowledgment, or even improved access? Needless to say, we're left to decide all these questions for ourselves.

It's intriguing that this verse recycles all three of the same internal rhymes-- aarzuu , guft-guu , tuu -- that figured in {349x,4}. The tuu is in a particularly pivotal position, since it falls metrically in the first half of the line, right before the quasi-caesura, but is semantically part of the second half of the line. The result is to isolate it somewhat, and thus to increase the aural emphasis placed on it.

Note for grammar and meter fans: In the first line those two ne occurrences are really just nah ones, spelled that way to permit them to be metrically long.