Ghazal 351x, Verse 4


ko))ii aagaah nahii;N baa:tin-e ham-diigar se
hai har ik fard jahaa;N me;N varaq-e naa-;xvaa;Ndah

1) no one is aware of the inwardness of each other
2) every single individual in the world is an unread page


baa:tin : 'The internal or intrinsic state, character or circumstances (of a man or a thing); the inward part; the secret thoughts; mind, heart; disposition of the mind; recesses of the mind'. (Platts p.123)


ham-diigar : 'Each other; both; together'. (Platts p.1234)


fard : 'A single person, an individual; a single thing or article; ... a single sheet or strip (of paper)'. (Platts p.778)


No one is aware of the secrets of each other's hearts. So to speak, every single individual in the word is a kind of page that has not been examined by another, and that no other has read.

== Asi, p. 207


fard = single individual; sheet of paper. From the benefit of this [double] meaning, he has created a verse-- that is, a person is a person, and also an unread piece of paper, such that one person doesn't know the state of another's heart.

One should look at what a meaningless thing it was to say 'every person is an unread page'-- which, by 'joining a line' [mi.sra(( lagaanaa], he made meaningful. Just this is the task of the poet, and just this is his accomplishment.

== Zamin, p. 311

Gyan Chand:

It's amazing-- why did Ghalib omit such a clean/clear and good verse from the selection [for his divan]? What is in someone's heart? No one else knows. In this way every person in the world is like a page of a book that, to this day, would not have been read by anyone. What a psychological truth he has expressed!

== Gyan Chand, p. 321


WRITING: {7,3}

For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.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

There's one little touch in the first line that's especially intriguing: the ham-diigar , with its clear and strong sense of mutuality (see the definition above). It's reflected in the translation too, for normally in that context we'd say 'of anyone else' (which maintains the separateness) rather than 'of each other' (which creates or affirms a kind of mutuality). The effect is to perturb or question the very isolatedness that the line asserts.

In short, one way to read the line is that something exists of which no one is aware, and that something is a kind of 'mutual inwardness' or 'shared inwardness'. (Thus the reason that every person is an unread page is unawareness, rather than unreadability.)

There's also the wordplay that Zamin points out, of fard as both 'individual' and 'piece of paper'.

Compare {215,8}, another lament about human isolation.