koii ummeed bar nahiN aati-Ghalib

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

کوئی اُمّید بر نہیں آتی ۔ مرزا غالبؔ

١

کوئی اْمّید بر نہیں آتی
کوئی صورت نظر نہیں آتی

٢

موت کا ایک دن معیّن ہے
نیند کیوں رات بھر نہیں آتی

٣

آگے آتی تھی حالِ دل پہ ہنسی
اب کسی بات پر نہیں آتی

٤

جانتا ہوں ثوابِ طاعت و زہد
پر طبیعت اْدھر نہیں آتی

٥

ہے کچھ ایسی ہی بات جو چپ ہوں
ورنہ کیا بات کر نہیں آتی

٦

کیوں نہ چیخوں کہ یاد کرتے ہیں
مری آواز گر نہیں آتی

٧

داغِ دل گر نظر نہیں آتا
بو بھی اۓ چارہ گر نہیں آتی

٨

ہم وہاں ہیں جہاں سے ہم کو بھی
کچھ ہماری خبر نہیں آتی

٩

مرتے ہیں آرزو میں مرنے کی
موت آتی ہے  پر نہیں آتی

١٠

کعبے کس منہ سے جاؤگے غالبؔ
شرم تم کو مگر نہیں آتی

कोई उम्मीद बर नहीं आती – मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

कोई उम्मीद बर नहीं आती
कोई सूरत नज़र नहीं आती

मौत का एक दिन मो’य्यन है
नींद क्यूँ रात भर नहीं आती

आगे आती थी हाल‐ए दिल पे हंसी
अब किसी बात पर नहीं आती

जानता हूँ सवाब‐ए ता’अत‐ओ‐ज़ोहद
पर तबीयत उधर नहीं आती

है कुछ ऐसी ही बात जो चुप हूँ
वरना क्या बात कर नहीं आती

क्यूँ न चीख़ूँ के याद करते हैं
मेरी आवाज़ गर नहीं आती

दाग़‐ए दिल गर नज़र नहीं आता
बू भी अए चारा-गर नहीं आती

हम वहाँ हैं जहाँ से हम को भी
कुछ हमारी ख़बर नहीं आती

मरते हैं आर्ज़ू में मरने की
मौत आती है पर नहीं आती

१०

का’बे किस मुंह से जाओगे ग़ालिब
शर्म तुम को मगर नहीं आती

 

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. Also see the many Ghazal composed in this bahr/zamin by well-known and not so well-known poets over the years. kalidas gupta raza dates this Ghazal to 1847. A lot of shu’ara/poets have used this zamin to compose their own. They will all be posted over time. This one also has an English re-composition of badri raina.
1
koii ummiid1 bar2 nahiN aati
koii suurat3 nazar nahiN aati   
1.hope 2.bar aana” – to be fulfilled, to bear fruit 3.face, possibility
The poet/lover is the depth of pessimism. He does not see any hope coming to fruition or any possibility. But surat can also mean face – face of the beloved. Thus even this minimum hope of being able to see the face of the beloved is not being fulfilled. At a superficial level this is about the beloved but it could also be the anguish of a tortured soul trying to understand the mysteries of the universe and not getting anywhere.

2
maut kaa ek din mu’ayyan1 hai
niiNd kyuuN raat bhar nahiN aati   
1.specified, determined
The day of death is decreed. Why am I unable to sleep? This rhetorical question has at least three possible answers. (a) fear of death keeps him awake, even though knowing that it is inevitable, he should be accepting of it (b) it is not fear of death but the studied indifference of the beloved that keeps him awake or (c) it is his inability to understand the mysteries of nature.

3
aage1 aati thii haal-e dil2 pe haNsii
ab kisii baat par nahiN aati   
1.before, earlier 2.condition of the heart
Earlier I could laugh at the condition of my heart, but now I cannot laugh at anything … either because conditions have gotten so bad that I have lost the ability to laugh or because I have lost my sense of humour.

4
jaantaa huN savaab1-e taa’at2-o-zuhd3
par tabiiat4 udhar nahiN aati
1.reward 2.prayer, obedience (of divine strictures) 3.piety, abstinence 4.disposition, temperament
I am well aware of the rewards of prayer/observing divine edict and of piety/abstinence but my temperament is not inclined towards it (ritualistic prayers and piety).

5
hai kuchh aisi hi baat1 jo chup huuN
varna2 kyaa baat3 kar nahiN aati     
1.circumstance, condition, reason 2.otherwise 3.talk, speak
There is a particular reason that I am silent, otherwise do you think I don’t know how to speak. Who can deny that Ghalib can speak. The special reason why is silent may be that he is protecting the reputation of the beloved. Another possibility, is that he is silent in the face of criticism because he does not deem it worthy of a reply.

6
kyuN na chiiKhuuN ke yaad karte haiN
meri aavaaz gar nahiN aati
She does not pay any attention to the poet/lover when he speaks to her. But if he stops speaking then she summons (yaad karna can also mean summon, ask to come). There is a Catch-22 so the poet/lover is justified in screaming in frustration.

7
daaGh-e dil1 gar nazar2 nahiN aataa
buu bhi aye chaaragar3 nahiN aati   
.wound/scar of the heart 2.sight 3.healer
The poet/lover’s heart burns with the fire of love. The healer is unable of seeing this scar. The poet/lover is frustrated at the healer’s inability to see/cure his ailment. If he cannot see it, he should at least have been able to smell the burning passion. The ‘healer’ could be a third party, the beloved herself or perhaps god.

8
ham vahaaN haiN jahaaN se ham ko bhii
kuchh hamaarii Khabar1 nahiN aati   
1.news, awareness
The poet/lover is beyond himself with grief. His condition is such that he is not even aware of himself. Alternatively, the poet/sufi has reached such a state of trance that he has forgotten himself.

9
marte haiN aarzu1 meN marne ki
maut aati hai par nahiN aati
1.desire
No desire of the poet/lover has been fulfilled. He is so frustrated with it and that he desires to die. But even that desire is not fulfilled even though he is willing to die (i.e. willing to give up everything) to get that desire fulfilled. There is a beautiful circularity in this willing to die in order to die.

10
kaabe kis muNh1 se jaaoge Ghalib
sharm tum ko magar nahiN aati   
1.face – used here to mean dignity
With what face/dignity will you go to the kaaba, O Ghalib. Don’t you feel ashamed?

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.  Also see the many Ghazal composed in this bahr/zamin by well-known and not so well-known poets over the years.  kalidas gupta raza dates this Ghazal to 1847.  A lot of shu’ara/poets have used this zamin to compose their own.  They will all be posted over time.  This one also has an English re-composition of badri raina.
1
koii ummiid1 bar2 nahiN aati
koii suurat3 nazar nahiN aati

1.hope 2.bar aana” – to be fulfilled, to bear fruit 3.face, possibility

The poet/lover is the depth of pessimism.  He does not see any hope coming to fruition or any possibility.  But surat can also mean face – face of the beloved.  Thus even this minimum hope of being able to see the face of the beloved is not being fulfilled.  At a superficial level this is about the beloved but it could also be the anguish of a tortured soul trying to understand the mysteries of the universe and not getting anywhere.
2
maut kaa ek din mu’ayyan1 hai
niiNd kyuuN raat bhar nahiN aati

1.specified, determined

The day of death is decreed.  Why am I unable to sleep?  This rhetorical question has at least three possible answers.  (a) fear of death keeps him awake, even though knowing that it is inevitable, he should be accepting of it (b) it is not fear of death but the studied indifference of the beloved that keeps him awake or (c) it is his inability to understand the mysteries of nature.
3
aage1 aati thii haal-e dil2 pe haNsii
ab kisii baat par nahiN aati

1.before, earlier 2.condition of the heart

Earlier I could laugh at the condition of my heart, but now I cannot laugh at anything … either because conditions have gotten so bad that I have lost the ability to laugh or because I have lost my sense of humour.
4
jaantaa huN savaab1-e taa’at2-o-zuhd3
par tabiiat4 udhar nahiN aati

1.reward 2.prayer, obedience (of divine strictures) 3.piety, abstinence 4.disposition, temperament

I am well aware of the rewards of prayer/observing divine edict and of piety/abstinence but my temperament is not inclined towards it (ritualistic prayers and piety).
5
hai kuchh aisi hi baat1 jo chup huuN
varna2 kyaa baat3 kar nahiN aati

1.circumstance, condition, reason 2.otherwise 3.talk, speak

There is a particular reason that I am silent, otherwise do you think I don’t know how to speak.  Who can deny that Ghalib can speak.  The special reason why is silent may be that he is protecting the reputation of the beloved.  Another possibility, is that he is silent in the face of criticism because he does not deem it worthy of a reply.
6
kyuN na chiiKhuuN ke yaad karte haiN
meri aavaaz gar nahiN aati

She does not pay any attention to the poet/lover when he speaks to her.  But if he stops speaking then she summons (yaad karna can also mean summon, ask to come).  There is a Catch-22 so the poet/lover is justified in screaming in frustration.
7
daaGh-e dil1 gar nazar2 nahiN aataa
buu bhi aye chaaragar3 nahiN aati

1.wound/scar of the heart 2.sight 3.healer

The poet/lover’s heart burns with the fire of love.  The healer is unable of seeing this scar.  The poet/lover is frustrated at the healer’s inability to see/cure his ailment.  If he cannot see it, he should at least have been able to smell the burning passion.  The ‘healer’ could be a third party, the beloved herself or perhaps god.
8
ham vahaaN haiN jahaaN se ham ko bhii
kuchh hamaarii Khabar1 nahiN aati

1.news, awareness

The poet/lover is beyond himself with grief.  His condition is such that he is not even aware of himself.  Alternatively, the poet/sufi has reached such a state of trance that he has forgotten himself.
9
marte haiN aarzu1 meN marne ki
maut aati hai par nahiN aati

1.desire

No desire of the poet/lover has been fulfilled.  He is so frustrated with it and that he desires to die.  But even that desire is not fulfilled even though he is willing to die (i.e. willing to give up everything) to get that desire fulfilled.  There is a beautiful circularity in this willing to die in order to die.
10
kaabe kis muNh1 se jaaoge Ghalib
sharm tum ko magar nahiN aati

1.face – used here to mean dignity

With what face/dignity will you go to the kaaba, O Ghalib.  Don’t you feel ashamed?

koi ummeed bar nahiN aati – mirza Ghalib – Raina’s Rendition
1
Lost in night, my hopes have foundered all
And no inkling of respite, however small
2
O death indeed shall come some destined day
But why must friendly slumber stay away
3
My suffering heart would once arouse my mirth
But nothing distracts me now, nothing on earth
4
I know that eventime is sacrosanct
O helpless grief, my will should ill relent
5
Do not misconstrue my speechless state
For there are things no tongue may ever relate
8
So sunk am I in insensible despair
I hardly know myself, I hardly care
9
In my desire for death, I yearn and die
Death dances close to me, yet passes by
10
How dare I confront ka’aba with my sins
Such ego, and such lack of shame, impious twins

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