juu-e baar-e naGhma hai – Ghalib

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

جوئے بارِ نغمہ ہے ۔ مرزا اسداللہ خاں غالب

۱

شوخیِ مضرابِ جولاں آبیارِ نغمہ ہے
برگ ریزِ ناخنِ مُطرب بہارِ نغمہ ہے

۲

کس سے اے غفلت تجھے تعبیرِ آگاہی ملے
گوشہا سیمابی و دل بے قرارِ نغمہ ہے

۳

سازِ عیشِ بے دلی ہے خانہ ویرانی مجھے
سیل یاں کوکِ صدائے آبشارِ نغمہ ہے

۴

سُنبُلی خواں ہے بہ ذوقِ تارِ گیسوئے دراز
نالۂ زنجیرِ مجنوں رشتہ دارِ نغمہ ہے

۵

شوخیِ فریاد سے ہے پردۂ زنبور گُل
کسوتِ ایجادِ بُلبُل خار خارِ نغمہ ہے

۶

نشّہ ہا شاداب رنگ و سازہا مستِ طرب
شیشۂ مے سروِ سبزِ جوئے بارِ نغمہ ہے

۷

ہم نشیں مت کہہ کہ برہم کر نہ بزمِ عیشِ دوست
واں تو میرے نالے کو بھی اعتبارِ نغمہ ہے

۸

غفلت استعدادِ ذوق و مدّعا غافل اسدؔ
پنبۂ گوشِ حریفاں پُود و تارِ نغمہ ہے

 

 

जूए-बार-ए नग़्मा है – मिर्ज़ा असदुल्ला ख़ां ग़ालिब

शूख़ी-ए मिज़्राब-ए जौलाँ आब्यार-ए नग़्मा है
बरग-रेज़-ए नाख़ुन-ए मुत्रिब बहार-ए नग़्मा है

किस से ऐ ग़फ़्लत तुझे ताबीर-ए आगाही मिले
गोश-हा सीमाबी‐ओ‐दिल बे-क़रार-ए नग़्मा है

साज़-ए ऐश-ए बे-दिली है ख़ाना-वीरानी मुझे
सैल याँ कूक-ए सदा-ए आबशार-ए नग़्मा है

सुंबुली-ख़्वाँ है ब ज़ौक़-ए तार-ए गेसू-ए दराज़
नाला-ए ज़ंजीर-ए मज्नूँ रिशता-दार-ए नग़्मा है

शूख़ी-ए फ़र्याद से है पर्दा-ए ज़ंबूर गुल
किस्वत-ए ईजाद-ए बुलबुल ख़ार-ख़ार-ए नग़्मा है


नश्शा-हा शादाब-रंग‐ओ‐साज़-हा मस्त-ए तरब
शीशा-ए मै सर्व-ए सबज़-ए जू-ए-बार-ए नग़्मा है

हम-नशीं मत कह कि बर-हम कर न बज़्म-ए ऐश-ए दोस्त
वाँ तो मेरे नाले को भी एतबार-ए नग़्मा है

ग़फ़्लत इसतेदाद-ए ज़ौक़‐ओ‐मुद्द’आ-ग़ाफ़ल असद
पंबा-ए गोश-ए हरीफ़ाँ पूद‐ओ‐तार-ए नग़्मा है

 

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. I found this to be a particularly difficult Ghazal with abstruse and far-fetched similes, but rewarding if you take the time to work through it. Ghalib de-selected all except two ash’aar in the final version of his divaan. What is presented here is the original complete version in the original order. According to chronology in kalidas gupta raza’s compilation this was composed in 1816 when Ghalib was 19 years old!
1
shooKhi1-e mizraab2-e jaulaaN3 aab-yaar4-e naGhma hai
barg-rez5-e naaKhun-e mutrib6 bahaar7-e naGhma hai    
1.mischief 2.plectrum, finger pluck for stringed musical instruments 3.running, moving 4.watering, nurturing 5.scattering leaves 6.singer, musician 7.spring
The mischief of the running/moving finger pluck/plectrum/mizraab is the ‘waterer’ of song. The leaf-scattering of the fingernail of the musician is the spring time of music. Leaf scattering is also like the fall – pat-jhaR – which is followed by spring. Thus, pain (pat-jhaR or striking strings of the instrument) are a necessary part of creating joy (naGhma/Ghazal/spring).

2
kis se aye Ghaflat1 tujhe ta’biir2-e aagaahi3 mile
gosh-haa4 siimaabii5 o dil be-qaraar6-e naGhma hai   
1.heedlessness, uncaring 2.interpretation, explanation 3.awareness 4.ears 5.mercury-like, restless 6.eager, restless
This is addressed to the poet’s own Ghaflat, heedlessness which is personfied here. O, Ghaflat, how can you or who will explain/teach you the meaning of awareness. Your ears are restless (like a bubble of mercury) and your heart is all too eager and desirous of song/Ghazal. Is the poet addressing himself … you will always be forgetful/uncaring of the outside, material world because you are restless to compose and composing is its own reward for you.

3
saaz1-e a’ish2-e be-dili3 hai Khaana-viiraanii4 mujhe
sa’iyl5 yaaN kuuk6-e sadaa7-e aabshaar8-e naGhma hai   
1.making, building 2.comfort, pleasure 3.dejection, sorrow, losing heart 4.desolation of the heart 5.flood 6.call/note of the cuckoo 7.sound 8.waterfall
Most people would consider “Khaana viiraani – desolation of the heart” to be a disastor. But to the poet this is the making/formation of the pleasure of “be-dili”. This is because in the intensity of love he has lost his heart. Intensity of love of what? The beloved, god or of composing verse! The flood “sa’iyl” is concerning for most people. But ‘yaaN’ meaning ‘here’, for the poet, it is the cascading musical sound of the waterfall i.e. the sound of his Ghazal. He is prepared to go through the pain of Khaana-viiraani and/or sa’iyl to write.

4
suNbulii-KhwaaN1 hai ba zauq2-e taar3-e gesu4-e daraaz5
naalah6-e zanjiir-e majnuN rishta-daar7-e naGhma hai    
1.singer of raag suNbulii 2.taste, desire 3.dark 4.hair 5.long 6.wailing, crying 7.relation, relative
suNbulii is the name of a raagini and suNbulii-Khwaani is its singing. suNbul is also a fragrant plant which is often used as a metaphor for the beloved’s long hair. Thus, the cry/wail/painful sound of the chains of majnuN is ‘suNbulii-Khwaani’ i.e. singing the raagini suNbulii, because of the taste/desire for the long, dark hair of the beloved. That is why it has a relationship with song/naGhma.

5
shooKhi1-e faryaad2 se hai parda-e-zaNbuur3 gul
kisvat4-e iijaad5-e bulbul Khaar-Khaar6-e naGhma hai    
1.mischief 2.complaint, protest 3.web of the wasp, latticed/perforated veil, musical note 4.dress 5.invention 6.thorns, thorny
It is because of the mischief of the complaining cry that the rose has become a ‘parda-e-zaNbuur’ i.e. its bosom (petal) has been rent in so many places that it looks like a perforated veil. The bulbul creates, with its cry/wail/sad sound a thorny (painful, sad) naGhma/song. It is the mischief of this cry that tears the heart of the rose and it becomes like a dress/latticed veil.

6
nashsha-haa1 shaadaab-raNg2 o saaz-haa3 mast-e tarab4
shiisha5-e mai6 sarv7-e sabz8-e juu-e-baar9-e naGhma10 hai    
1.intoxications (pluralized) 2.verdant 3.musical notes 4.intoxicating song 5.cup 6.wine 7.cypress 8.green 9.rippling river 10.song, Ghazal
In urdu poetic convention the wine cup/bottle is likened to the graceful, tall and slender cypress. Intoxications are verdant and colourful and musical notes are intoxicating. The glass of wine is like the fresh green cypress by the bubbling river with its ripples and musical sounds. It is a beautiful overlay of the imagery of sounds, greenery, colour and intoxication.

7
ham-nashiiN1 mat kah2 ke barham3 kar na bazm4-e a’ish5-e dost6
vaaN to mere naale7 ko bhii etebaar8-e naGhma hai    
1.friend 2.say 3.disrupt, confuse 4.gathering 5.pleasure 6.friend, beloved 7.wails, cries 8.trustworthy, respected
The poet/lover has been admonished by a friend to be quiet and not disrupt the party of the beloved with his wailing. The poet/lover responds – O, my friend, do not ask me not to disrupt/confuse the party of the beloved. There my wails carry the trust/esteem of song. In other words, the beloved is pleased to hear my wails (perhaps because they prove her grip over lovers).

8
Ghaflat1 istedaad2-e zauq3 o mudduaa-Ghaafil4 asad5
paNba6-e gosh7-e hariifaaN8 puud-o-taar9-e naGhma hai    
1.heedlessness, not caring 2.preparation, readiness 3.taste, skill 4.not caring for objective/reward 5.Ghalib’s earlier taKhallus/pen-name 6.wick, cotton ball 7.ears 8.rivals 9.warp and woof, basics of music
Heedlessness (not caring for reward) is a necessary preparation and skill for ‘zauq’ i.e. good taste, discriminating skill, O, asad, you are muddua-Ghaafil i.e. uncaring for end result/reward. For the ears of the rivals the the warp and woof of song/Ghazal is like a cotton ball stuck in the ears i.e. they cannot hear/appreciate it.

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.  I found this to be a particularly difficult Ghazal with abstruse and far-fetched similes, but rewarding if you take the time to work through it.  Ghalib de-selected all except two ash’aar in the final version of his divaan.  What is presented here is the original complete version in the original order.  According to chronology in kalidas gupta raza’s compilation this was composed in 1816 when Ghalib was 19 years old!
1
shooKhi1-e mizraab2-e jaulaaN3 aab-yaar4-e naGhma hai
barg-rez5-e naaKhun-e mutrib6 bahaar7-e naGhma hai

1.mischief 2.plectrum, finger pluck for stringed musical instruments 3.running, moving 4.watering, nurturing 5.scattering leaves 6.singer, musician 7.spring

The mischief of the running/moving finger pluck/plectrum/mizraab is the ‘waterer’ of song.  The leaf-scattering of the fingernail of the musician is the spring time of music.  Leaf scattering is also like the fall – pat-jhaR – which is followed by spring.  Thus, pain (pat-jhaR or striking strings of the instrument) are a necessary part of creating joy (naGhma/Ghazal/spring).
2
kis se aye Ghaflat1 tujhe ta’biir2-e aagaahi3 mile
gosh-haa4 siimaabii5 o dil be-qaraar6-e naGhma hai

1.heedlessness, uncaring 2.interpretation, explanation 3.awareness 4.ears 5.mercury-like, restless 6.eager, restless

This is addressed to the poet’s own Ghaflat, heedlessness which is personfied here.  O, Ghaflat, how can you or who will explain/teach you the meaning of awareness.  Your ears are restless (like a bubble of mercury) and your heart is all too eager and desirous of song/Ghazal.  Is the poet addressing himself … you will always be forgetful/uncaring of the outside, material world because you are restless to compose and composing is its own reward for you.
3
saaz1-e a’ish2-e be-dili3 hai Khaana-viiraanii4 mujhe
sa’iyl5 yaaN kuuk6-e sadaa7-e aabshaar8-e naGhma hai

1.making, building 2.comfort, pleasure 3.dejection, sorrow, losing heart 4.desolation of the heart 5.flood 6.call/note of the cuckoo 7.sound 8.waterfall

Most people would consider “Khaana viiraani – desolation of the heart” to be a disastor.  But to the poet this is the making/formation of the pleasure of “be-dili”.  This is because in the intensity of love he has lost his heart.   Intensity of love of what?  The beloved, god or of composing verse!  The flood “sa’iyl” is concerning for most people.  But ‘yaaN’ meaning ‘here’, for the poet, it is the cascading musical sound of the waterfall i.e. the sound of his Ghazal.  He is prepared to go through the pain of Khaana-viiraani and/or sa’iyl to write.
4
suNbulii-KhwaaN1 hai ba zauq2-e taar3-e gesu4-e daraaz5
naalah6-e zanjiir-e majnuN rishta-daar7-e naGhma hai

1.singer of raag suNbulii 2.taste, desire 3.dark 4.hair 5.long 6.wailing, crying 7.relation, relative

suNbulii is the name of a raagini and suNbulii-Khwaani is its singing.  suNbul is also a fragrant plant which is often used as a metaphor for the beloved’s long hair.  Thus, the cry/wail/painful sound of the chains of majnuN is ‘suNbulii-Khwaani’ i.e. singing the raagini suNbulii, because of the taste/desire for the long, dark hair of the beloved.  That is why it has a relationship with song/naGhma.
5
shooKhi1-e faryaad2 se hai parda-e-zaNbuur3 gul
kisvat4-e iijaad5-e bulbul Khaar-Khaar6-e naGhma hai

1.mischief 2.complaint, protest 3.web of the wasp, latticed/perforated veil, musical note 4.dress 5.invention 6.thorns, thorny

It is because of the mischief of the complaining cry that the rose has become a ‘parda-e-zaNbuur’ i.e. its bosom (petal) has been rent in so many places that it looks like a perforated veil. The bulbul creates, with its cry/wail/sad sound a thorny (painful, sad) naGhma/song.  It is the mischief of this cry that tears the heart of the rose and it becomes like a dress/latticed veil.
6
nashsha-haa1 shaadaab-raNg2 o saaz-haa3 mast-e tarab4
shiisha5-e mai6 sarv7-e sabz8-e juu-e-baar9-e naGhma10 hai

1.intoxications (pluralized) 2.verdant 3.musical notes 4.intoxicating song 5.cup 6.wine 7.cypress 8.green 9.rippling river 10.song, Ghazal

In urdu poetic convention the wine cup/bottle is likened to the graceful, tall and slender cypress.  Intoxications are verdant and colourful and musical notes are intoxicating.  The glass of wine is like the fresh green cypress by the bubbling river with its ripples and musical sounds.  It is a beautiful overlay of the imagery of sounds, greenery, colour and intoxication.
7
ham-nashiiN1 mat kah2 ke barham3 kar na bazm4-e a’ish5-e dost6
vaaN to mere naale7 ko bhii etebaar8-e naGhma hai

1.friend 2.say 3.disrupt, confuse 4.gathering 5.pleasure 6.friend, beloved 7.wails, cries 8.trustworthy, respected

The poet/lover has been admonished by a friend to be quiet and not disrupt the party of the beloved with his wailing.  The poet/lover responds – O, my friend, do not ask me not to disrupt/confuse the party of the beloved.  There my wails carry the trust/esteem of song.  In other words, the beloved is pleased to hear my wails (perhaps because they prove her grip over lovers).
8
Ghaflat1 istedaad2-e zauq3 o mudduaa-Ghaafil4 asad5
paNba6-e gosh7-e hariifaaN8 puud-o-taar9-e naGhma hai

1.heedlessness, not caring 2.preparation, readiness 3.taste, skill 4.not caring for objective/reward 5.Ghalib’s earlier taKhallus/pen-name 6.wick, cotton ball 7.ears 8.rivals 9.warp and woof, basics of music

Heedlessness (not caring for reward) is a necessary preparation and skill for ‘zauq’ i.e. good taste, discriminating skill, O, asad, you are muddua-Ghaafil i.e. uncaring for end result/reward.  For the ears of the rivals the the warp and woof of song/Ghazal is like a cotton ball stuck in the ears i.e. they cannot hear/appreciate it.

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