02-tark-e vafaa ka gumaaN nahiN-mirza Ghalib

For word meanings and explanatory discussion in English click on the tabs marked “Roman” or “Notes”.

ترکِ وفا کا گماں نہیں ۔ مرزا غالبؔ
۱
ہم پر جفا سے ترکِ وفا کا گماں نہیں
اک چھیڑ ہے وگرنہ مراد امتحاں نہیں

۲

کس منہ سے شکر کیجیے اس لطفِ خاص کا
پرسش ہے اور پائے سخن درمیاں نہیں

۳

ہم کو ستم عزیز ستمگر کو ہم عزیز
نا مہرباں نہیں ہے اگر مہرباں نہیں

۴

بوسہ نہیں نہ دیجیے دشنام ہی سہی
آخر زباں تو رکھتے ہو تم گر دہاں نہیں

۵

ہر چند جاں گدازیِ قہر و عتاب ہے
ہر چند پشت گرمیِ تاب و تواں نہیں

۶

جاں مطربِ ترانۂ ہِل من مزید ہے
لب پردہ سنجِ زمزمۂ الاماں نہیں

۷

خنجر سے چیر سینہ اگر دل نہ ہو دو نیم
دل میں چھری چبھو مژہ گر خوں چکاں نہیں

۸

ہے ننگِ سینہ دل اگر آتش کدہ نہ ہو
ہے عارِ دل نفس اگر آذر فشاں نہیں

۹

نقصاں نہیں جنوں میں بلا سے ہو گھر خراب
سو گز زمیں کے بدلے بیاباں گراں نہیں

۱۰

کہتے ہو کیا لکھا ہے تری سر نوشت میں
گویا جبیں پہ سجدۂ بت کا نشاں نہیں

۱۱

پاتا ہوں اس سے داد کچھ اپنے کلام کی
روح القدس اگرچہ مرا ہم زباں نہیں

۱۲

جاں ہے بہائے بوسہ ولے کیوں کہے ابھی
غالب کو جانتا ہے کہ وہ نیم جاں نہیں

तर्क-ए वफ़ा का गुमाँ नहीं – मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

हम पर जफ़ा से तर्क-ए वफ़ा का गुमाँ नहीं
एक छेड़ है वगर्ना मुराद इमतेहाँ नहीं

किस मुंह से शुक्र कीजिये इस लुत्फ़-ए ख़ास का
पुर्सिश है और पा-ए सुख़न दर्मियाँ नहीं

हम को सितम अज़ीज़ सितम्गर को हम अज़ीज़
ना-मेहर्बाँ नहीं है अगर मेहर्बाँ नहीं

बोसा नहीं न दीजिये दुश्नाम ही सही
आख़र ज़बाँ तो रखते हो तुम गर दहाँ नहीं

हर-चंद जाँ-गुदाज़ी-ए क़हर‐ओ‐इताब है
हर-चंद पुश्त-गर्मी-ए ताब‐ओ‐तवाँ नहीं

जाँ मुत्रिब-ए तराना-ए हल-मिन-मज़ीद है
लब पर्दा-संज-ए ज़मज़मा-ए अल-अमाँ नहीं

ख़ंजर से चीर सीना अगर दिल न हो दो-नीम
दिल में छुरी चुभो मिझ़ा गर ख़ूँ-चकाँ नहीं

है नंग-ए सीना दिल अगर आतिश-कदह न हो
है आ’र-ए दिल नफ़स अगर आज़र-फ़िशाँ नहीं

नुक़्साँ नहीं जुनूँ में बला से हो घर ख़राब
सौ गज़ ज़मीं के बदले बयाबाँ गिराँ नहीं

१०

कहते हो क्या लिखा है तेरी सर-नविश्त में
गोया जबीं पे सिज्दा-ए बुत का निशाँ नहीं

११

पाता हूँ उस से दाद कुछ अपने कलाम की
रूह उल-क़ुदुस अगर्चे मेरा हम-ज़बाँ नहीं

१२

जाँ है बहा-ए बोसा वले क्यूँ कहे अभी
ग़ालिब को जानता है कि वो नीम-जाँ नहीं

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. mirza asadullah KhaaN Ghalib (1797-1869). I dare not write any introduction. On more than one occasion Ghalib has warned his readers that he needs no introduction or even address. I humbly comply. kalidas gupta raza dates this Ghazal to 1847, when Ghalib would have been 50 years old. He may have been attending mushaa’era at the Red Fort. There are Ghazal composed in the same zamin by aazurda, shefta and momin (two each) and Ghalib also has one more. All are collected and linked to the same icon.
1
ham par jafaa1 se tark2-e vafaa3 kaa gumaaN4 nahiN
ek chheR5 hai vagarna6 muraad7 imtehaaN8 nahiN   
1.cruelty 2.give up, renounce 3.fidelity, faith 4.suspicion 5.mischief, playfulness 6.otherwise 7.intention, purpose 8.test
The beloved is always cruel to the poet/lover. This is not because she is suspicious of his fidelity/steadfast love for her. This only her playfulness, otherwise it is not her intent to test his fidelity. She is quite confident of her hold on him. The other possibility is that the poet/lover is indeed under the accusation of faithlessness. But he suspects that the real reason why she is cruel is not that, but something else. All of this is her mischievous playfulness, she does not intend to test his faith. But in any case the poet/lover is a victim and is miserable.

2
kis muNh se shukr1 kiijiye is lutf2-e Khaas3 kaa
pursish4 hai aur paa5-e suKhan6 darmiyaaN7 nahiN  
1.thanks 2.favours, kindness 3.special 4.asking/inquiring about well-being 5.foot, step 6.speech 7.middle
‘pursish’ often refers to the visit to the death bed. The poet/lover is on his last breath and the beloved has come to ask about him. This is a special favour. ‘kis muNh se’ is an expression that means – how can you summon the courage to do something. How can I summon the courage to thank her for this special favour, I don’t have the ability to speak. Here Ghalib is using ‘paa-e suKhan – steps of speech’ to mean the ability to speak. ‘darmiyaaN – middle’ means that if something is not ‘in the middle’, it means that is not available to use.

3
ham ko sitam1 aziiz2 sitamgar3 ko ham aziiz2
naa-mehrbaaN4 nahiiN hai agar mehrbaaN5 nahiN
1.punishment, pain 2.loved, liked 3.one who inflicts pain, beloved 4.unkind 5.kind
The beloved is sadistic. She loves inflicting pain. The poet/lover is masochistic, he likes pain. Thus, if she is unkind to him, it should not be interpreted to mean that she is not kind. It is out of her kindness that she does what he likes i.e., inflicts pain. Thus, if she is unkind, then she is kind!

4
bosah1 nahiiN na diijiye dushnaam2 hii sahii
aaKhir zabaaN to rakhte ho tum gar dahaaN3 nahiN   
1.kiss 2.blame, abuse 3.mouth
A standard of beauty in urdu poetic tradition is that the beloved has a vanishingly small waist and mouth. Thus, in the second misra he says – even if you don’t have a mouth at least you have a tongue. Because she does not have a mouth, she cannot give him a kiss. But at least she has a tongue and can use it to abuse him.

5
har-chand1 jaaN-gudaazii2-e qahr3-o-itaab4 hai
har-chand1 pusht-garmii5-e taab6-o-tavaaN7 nahiN   
1.although, even though 2.agony/pain/melting of the heart/soul 3.tyranny 4.anger 5.back warmth, comfort 6.fortitude, ability to bear 7.youth, strength
Unlike most ash’aar of a Ghazal this one is not a ‘stand alone’ she’r. It has to be read in conjunction with the next she’r to get the full meaning. Even though the heart/soul melts in agony of tyranny and anger; even though there is no warm support/backing of fortitude and strength. Even though all this is going on … the story continues in the next she’r.

6
jaaN1 mutrib2-e taraana3-e hal-min-maziid4 hai
lab5 parda-sanj6-e zamzama7-e al-amaaN8 nahiN   
1.soul 2.singer 3.song 4.is there not any more 5.lips 6.user of a sheet of music 7.musical gurgling like that of the underground spring of the well of zamzam 8.peace, refuge, reprieve
‘hal min maziid’ is a fragment of a verse of the qur’aan in which hell is asked if it is full and it responds saying, ‘are there not any more’ – implying that there is infinite room for sinners in hell.
From the previous she’r … even though his soul is in agony, even though he does not have the strength to bear … still … his soul sings the song of ‘is there not any more’ i.e., he wants even more agony from the beloved. His lips do not sing from the sheet of music of begging for reprieve.

7
Khanjar1 se chiir2 siina3 agar dil na ho do-niim4
dil meN chhuri chubho mizsha5 gar KhuuN-chakaaN6 nahiN   
1.dagger 2.tear open 3.breast, bosom 4.two pieces 5.eyelashes 6.blood dripping
A single glance of the beloved tears the heart into two pieces. Should this not happen, he invites her to tear open his breast with a knife/dagger. The eyelashes of the beloved pierce the heart/liver and blood drops from them. Should this not happen, then pierce a knife into my heart. The emphatic invitation to more torture reinforces the idea that her glance and eyelashes are more than enough to do the job.

8
hai naNg1-e siina2 dil agar aatish-kadah3 na ho
hai ‘aar4-e dil nafas5 agar aazar-fishaaN nahiN   
1.shame, disrepute 2.bosom 3.fire-place 4.disgrace 5.breath 6.fire-spreading
If the heart is not on fire (with passion) then it is shameful for the breast. If the breath does not spread fire (of passion), then it is disgraceful for the heart.

9
nuqsaaN1 nahiN junuuN2 meN balaa3 se ho ghar Kharaab4
sau gaz zamiN ke badle bayaabaaN5 giraaN6 nahiN   
1.loss 2.passion 3.used in the sense of ‘devil may care’ 4.destroyed 5.wilderness 6.(is it not more) valuable
The picture is of a mad/passionate lover ala majnuN wandering through the wilderness. Why should I care if the house is destroyed in my mad passionate. In exchange for a 100 yards of land (that used to be my house), is the whole wilderness not of enough value? The second misra is to be read as a rhetorical question.

10
kahte ho kya likha hai teri sar-navisht1 meN
goya2 jabiiN3 pe sijda4-e but5 ka nishaaN6 nahiN   
1.written of the forehead i.e., fate/destiny 2.as if 3.forehead 4.prostration 5.idol, beloved 6.mark
People who perform namaaz/prostration regularly (or more often than prescribed) sometimes end with a bruise/bluish/internal bleeding mark that is considered a sign of virtue. Such a person would be destined for heaven. The poet/lover has been doing sijda to the idol/beloved and has such a mark (not from namaaz). Yet she asks him “what’s written in your destiny” as if there is no mark of ‘idol-prostration’ on his forehead.

11
paataa huN us se daad1 kuchh apne kalaam2 ki
ruuh-ul-qudus3 agarche4 mera ham-zabaaN5 nahiN   
1.praise 2.words, verse 3.jibriil, archangel Gabriel 4.even though 5.speaking the same language
Even though the angel Gabriel does not speak the same language as I do, I still get appreciation from him for my verse. Recall that Ghalib claims that his verse is inspired by messages that jibriil brings …
aate haiN Ghaib se ye mazaamiiN Khayaal meN
Ghalib sariir-e Khaama navaa-e sarosh hai

12
jaaN hai bahaa1-e bosa2 vale3 kyuN kahe abhi
Ghalib ko jaanta hai keh vo niim-jaaN4 nahiN   
1.price, value 2.kiss 3.it may be so 4.half-alive, cowardly, fearful
The price of a kiss is life i.e., the poet/lover is willing to lay down his life for that reward. But why should the beloved admit it just yet. She knows Ghalib, and knows that he is not a coward. If she were to state her price, he would willingly take her up on it. That is why she does not admit it yet.

mirza asadullah KhaaN Ghalib (1797-1869).  I dare not write any introduction.  On more than one occasion Ghalib has warned his readers that he needs no introduction or even address.   I humbly comply.  kalidas gupta raza dates this Ghazal to 1847, when Ghalib would have been 50 years old.  He may have been attending mushaa’era at the Red Fort.  There are Ghazal composed in the same zamin by aazurda, shefta and momin (two each) and Ghalib also has one more.  All are collected and linked to the same icon.
1
ham par jafaa1 se tark2-e vafaa3 kaa gumaaN4 nahiN
ek chheR5 hai vagarna6 muraad7 imtehaaN8 nahiN

1.cruelty 2.give up, renounce 3.fidelity, faith 4.suspicion 5.mischief, playfulness 6.otherwise 7.intention, purpose 8.test

The beloved is always cruel to the poet/lover.  This is not because she is suspicious of his fidelity/steadfast love for her.  This only her playfulness, otherwise it is not her intent to test his fidelity.  She is quite confident of her hold on him.  The other possibility is that the poet/lover is indeed under the accusation of faithlessness.  But he suspects that the real reason why she is cruel is not that, but something else.  All of this is her mischievous playfulness, she does not intend to test his faith.  But in any case the poet/lover is a victim and is miserable.
2
kis muNh se shukr1 kiijiye is lutf2-e Khaas3 kaa
pursish4 hai aur paa5-e suKhan6 darmiyaaN7 nahiN

1.thanks 2.favours, kindness 3.special 4.asking/inquiring about well-being 5.foot, step 6.speech 7.middle

‘pursish’ often refers to the visit to the death bed.  The poet/lover is on his last breath and the beloved has come to ask about him.  This is a special favour.  ‘kis muNh se’ is an expression that means – how can you summon the courage to do something.  How can I summon the courage to thank her for this special favour.  I don’t have the ability to speak.  Here Ghalib is using ‘paa-e suKhan – steps of speech’ to mean the ability to speak.  ‘darmiyaaN – middle’ means that if something is not ‘in the middle’, it means that is not available to use.
3
ham ko sitam1 aziiz2 sitamgar3 ko ham aziiz2
naa-mehrbaaN4 nahiiN hai agar mehrbaaN5 nahiN

1.punishment, pain 2.loved, liked 3.one who inflicts pain, beloved 4.unkind 5.kind

The beloved is sadistic.  She loves inflicting pain.  The poet/lover is masochistic, he likes pain.  Thus, if she is unkind to him, it should not be interpreted to mean that she is not kind.  It is out of her kindness that she does what he likes i.e., inflicts pain.  Thus, if she is unkind, then she is kind!
4
bosah1 nahiiN na diijiye dushnaam2 hii sahii
aaKhir zabaaN to rakhte ho tum gar dahaaN3 nahiN

1.kiss 2.blame, abuse 3.mouth

A standard of beauty in urdu poetic tradition is that the beloved has a vanishingly small waist and mouth.  Thus, in the second misra he says – even if you don’t have a mouth at least you have a tongue.  Because she does not have a mouth, she cannot give him a kiss.  But at least she has a tongue and can use it to abuse him.
5
har-chand1 jaaN-gudaazii2-e qahr3-o-itaab4 hai
har-chand1 pusht-garmii5-e taab6-o-tavaaN7 nahiN

1.although, even though 2.agony/pain/melting of the heart/soul 3.tyranny 4.anger 5.back warmth, comfort 6.fortitude, ability to bear 7.youth, strength

Unlike most ash’aar of a Ghazal this one is not a ‘stand alone’ she’r.  It has to be read in conjunction with the next she’r to get the full meaning.  Even though the heart/soul melts in agony of tyranny and anger; even though there is no warm support/backing of fortitude and strength. Even though all this is going on … the story continues in the next she’r.
6
jaaN1 mutrib2-e taraana3-e hal-min-maziid4 hai
lab5 parda-sanj6-e zamzama7-e al-amaaN8 nahiN

1.soul 2.singer 3.song 4.is there not any more 5.lips 6.user of a sheet of music 7.musical gurgling like that of the underground spring of the well of zamzam 8.peace, refuge, reprieve

‘hal min maziid’ is a fragment of a verse of the qur’aan in which hell is asked if it is full and it responds saying, ‘are there not any more’ – implying that there is infinite room for sinners in hell.
From the previous she’r … even though his soul is in agony, even though he does not have the strength to bear … still … his soul sings the song of ‘is there not any more’ i.e., he wants even more agony from the beloved.  His lips do not sing from the sheet of music of begging for reprieve.
7
Khanjar1 se chiir2 siina3 agar dil na ho do-niim4
dil meN chhuri chubho mizsha5 gar KhuuN-chakaaN6 nahiN

1.dagger 2.tear open 3.breast, bosom 4.two pieces 5.eyelashes 6.blood dripping

A single glance of the beloved tears the heart into two pieces.  Should this not happen, he invites her to tear open his breast with a knife/dagger.  The eyelashes of the beloved pierce the heart/liver and blood drops from them.  Should this not happen, then pierce a knife into my heart.  The emphatic invitation to more torture reinforces the idea that her glance and eyelashes are more than enough to do the job.
8
hai naNg1-e siina2 dil agar aatish-kadah3 na ho
hai ‘aar4-e dil nafas5 agar aazar-fishaaN nahiN

1.shame, disrepute 2.bosom 3.fire-place 4.disgrace 5.breath 6.fire-spreading

If the heart is not on fire (with passion) then it is shameful for the breast.  If the breath does not spread fire (of passion), then it is disgraceful for the heart.
9
nuqsaaN1 nahiN junuuN2 meN balaa3 se ho ghar Kharaab4
sau gaz zamiN ke badle bayaabaaN5 giraaN6 nahiN

1.loss 2.passion 3.used in the sense of ‘devil may care’ 4.destroyed 5.wilderness 6.(is it not more) valuable

The picture is of a mad/passionate lover ala majnuN wandering through the wilderness.  Why should I care if the house is destroyed in my mad passionate.  In exchange for a 100 yards of land (that used to be my house), is the whole wilderness not of enough value?  The second misra is to be read as a rhetorical question.
10
kahte ho kya likha hai teri sar-navisht1 meN
goya2 jabiiN3 pe sijda4-e but5 ka nishaaN6 nahiN

1.written of the forehead i.e., fate/destiny 2.as if 3.forehead 4.prostration 5.idol, beloved 6.mark

People who perform namaaz/prostration regularly (or more often than prescribed) sometimes end with a bruise/bluish/internal bleeding mark that is considered a sign of virtue.  Such a person would be destined for heaven.  The poet/lover has been doing sijda to the idol/beloved and has such a mark (not from namaaz).  Yet she asks him “what’s written in your destiny” as if there is no mark of ‘idol-prostration’ on his forehead.
11
paataa huN us se daad1 kuchh apne kalaam2 ki
ruuh-ul-qudus3 agarche4 mera ham-zabaaN5 nahiN

1.praise 2.words, verse 3.jibriil, archangel Gabriel 4.even though 5.speaking the same language

Even though the angel Gabriel does not speak the same language as I do, I still get appreciation from him for my verse.  Recall that Ghalib claims that his verse is inspired by messages that jibriil brings …
aate haiN Ghaib se ye mazaamiiN Khayaal meN
Ghalib sariir-e Khaama navaa-e sarosh hai
12
jaaN hai bahaa1-e bosa2 vale3 kyuN kahe abhi
Ghalib ko jaanta hai keh vo niim-jaaN4 nahiN

1.price, value 2.kiss 3.it may be so 4.half-alive, cowardly, fearful

The price of a kiss is life i.e., the poet/lover is willing to lay down his life for that reward.  But why should the beloved admit it just yet.  She knows Ghalib, and knows that he is not a coward.  If she were to state her price, he would willingly take her up on it.  That is why she does not admit it yet.