mila na diya ho sharaab meN – mirza Ghalib

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

ملا نہ دیا ہو شراب میں ۔ مرزا غالبؔ

۱

ملتی ہے خوئے یار سے نار اِلتہاب میں

کافر ہوں گر نہ ملتی ہو راحت عذاب میں

۲

کب سے ہوں کیا بتاؤں جہانِ خراب میں

شب ہائے ہجر کو بھی رکھوں گر حساب میں

۳

تا پھر نہ انتظار میں نیند آئے عمر بھر

آنے کا عہد کر گئے آئے جو خواب میں

۴

قاصد کے آتے آتے خط اک اور لکھ رکھوں

میں جانتا ہوں جو وہ لکھیں گے جواب میں

۵

مجھ تک کب اُن کی بزم میں آتا تھا دور جام

ساقی نے کچھ ملا نہ دیا ہو شراب میں

۶

جو مُنکِرِ وفا ہو فریب اُس پہ کیا چلے

کیوں بد گماں ہوں دوست سے دشمن کے باب میں

۷

میں مضطرب ہوں وصل میں خوفِ رقیب سے

ڈالا ہے تم کو وہم نے کس پیچ و تاب میں

۸

میں اور حظِ وصل خدا ساز بات ہے

جاں نذر دینی بھول گیا اِضطراب میں

۹

ہے تیوری چڑھی ہوئی اندر نقاب کے

ہے اک شکن پڑی ہوئی طرف نقاب میں

۱۰

لاکھوں لگاؤ ایک چُرانا نگاہ کا

لاکھوں بناؤ ایک بگڑنا عتاب میں

۱۱

وہ نالہ دل میں خس کے برابر جگہ نہ پائے

جس نالے سے شگاف پڑے آفتاب میں

۱۲

وہ سِحر مدعا طلبی میں نہ کام آئے

جس سِحر سے سفینہ رواں ہو سراب میں

۱۳

غالبؔ چھٹی شراب پر اب بھی کبھی کبھی

پیتا ہوں روزِ ابر و شبِ ماہتاب میں

मिला न दिया हो शराब में – मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

मिलती है ख़ू-ए यार से नार इल्तेहाब में

काफ़िर हूँ गर न मिलती हो राहत अज़ाब में

कब से हूँ क्या बताऊँ जहान-ए ख़राब में

शब-हा-ए हिज्र को भी रखूँ गर हिसाब में

ता फिर न इंतेज़ार में नींद आए उम्र भर

आने का अहद कर गए आए जो ख़्वाब में

क़ासिद के आते आते ख़त एक और लिख रखूँ

मैं जानता हूँ जो वो लिखेंगे जवाब में

मुझ तक कब उन की बज़्म में आता था दौर-ए जाम

साक़ी ने कुछ मिला न दिया हो शराब में

जो मुनकिर-ए वफ़ा हो फ़रेब उस पे क्या चले

क्यूँ बद-गुमाँ हूँ दोस्त से दुश्मन के बाब में

मैं मुज़्तरिब हूँ वस्ल में ख़ौफ़-ए रक़ीब से

डाला है तुम को वहम ने किस पेच-ओ-ताब में

मैं और हज़्ज़-ए वस्ल ख़ुदा-साज़ बात है

जाँ नज़्र देनी भूल गया इज़्तेराब में

है तेवरी चढ़ी हुई अंदर नक़ाब के

है एक शिकन पड़ी हुई तरफ़-ए नक़ाब में

१०

लाखों लगाऊ एक चुराना निगाह का

लाखों बनाऊ एक बिगड़ना इ’ताब में

११

वो नाला दिल में ख़स के बराबर जगह न पाए

जिस नाले से शिगाफ़ पड़े आफ़्ताब में

१२

वो सेहर मुद्दआ-तलबी में न काम आए

जिस सेहर से सफ़ीना रवाँ हो सराब में

१३

ग़ालिब छुटी शराब पर अब भी कभी कभी

पीता हूँ रोज़-ए अब्र ओ शब-ए माहताब में

 

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.
1
milti1 hai Khu2-e yaar3 se naar4 iltehaab5 meN
kaafir6 huN gar na milti7 ho raahat8 azaab9 meN   
1.is similar to 2.nature, character, habits 3.beloved 4.fire, hellfire 5.rising/roaring flames 6.sinner, condemned to hell, unbeliever 7.obtain, derive 8.comfort, pleasure 9.torment, torture
There are many interesting witticisms in this she’r. He is comparing the flames of hell to the anger/nature/character of the beloved, not the other way round i.e. the design of hellfire is based on the example set by the beloved. But I will be damned if I did not get pleasure from the torture that she visits on me. The use of the word ‘milti’ in two very different senses in the two misra is enjoyable. But then, since he has created the imagery of hellfire there is little doubt that he is poking fun at the concept. The second misra may be translated as “I will be an unbeliever, if I did not enjoy the torture of hell”. This implies that he is NOT an unbeliever and if he were not, why would he be in hell?

2
kab se huN kya bataauN jahaan-e-Kharaab1 meN
shab-haa2-e hijr3 ko bhi rakhuN gar4 hisaab5 meN   
1.wretched world 2.plural of shab/night 3.separation (from the beloved) 4.if 5.reckoning, counting
How can I tell you how long I have been in this wretched world especially if I count the (long, interminable) nights of separation from the beloved.

3
taa1 phir na intezaar2 meN niind aaye umr bhar
aane ka ahd3 kar gaye aaye jo Khwaab meN    
1.so that 2.waiting, anticipation 3.promise
Even in showing favours (promise to visit), the beloved tortures the poet/lover. She appears to him in his dream and promises to come visit him so that he may never be able to sleep again.

4
qaasid1 ke aate aate Khat ek aur likh rakhuN
maiN jaanta huuN jo vo likheNge javaab meN   
1.messenger
The poet/lover has been sending missives through a messenger and receiving angry responses and is quite used to it. He has sent off a letter to the beloved and wants to keep the next one ready because he already knows what she is going to write in response.

5
mujh tak kab un ki bazm1 meN aata tha daur-e-jaam2
saaqi3 ne kuchh milaa na diyaa ho sharaab meN    
1.assembly, gathering 2.circulation of cup 3.wine server, beloved
The wine server and the beloved are likely the same person. In her gathering in which all lovers are sitting in order and receive the decanter one after the other. Normally, it never arrives at the poet/lover’s place because it is used up by the time it gets to him. But today it has arrived full, so he wonders if the saaqi/beloved has ‘mixed something in it’ i.e. made it particularly potent. She is trying all her lovers for their capacity to bear/withstand this wine. Apparently no other lover is equal to the task that is why the decanter has arrived with some wine in it. Only the poet/lover has the capacity.

6
jo munkir1-e vafaa2 ho fareb3 us pe kya chale
kyuN bad-gumaaN4 huN dost se dushman ke baab5 meN    
1.denier 2.faithfulness, fidelity (in love) 3.deceipt 4.suspicious 5.theme, subject, door
The more conventional interpretation offered by experts is …. the beloved is ‘munkir-e vafaa’ i.e. she completely denies the very concept of fidelity. So, declarations of love and entreaties of fidelity, by the rival will not work on her. Why should I be suspicious about (the subject/theme of) the rival. My own interpretation is different from that of many experts. I dare to offer it as an alternative. IF ‘baab’=door, ‘fareb’=accusation of deceipt, ‘kya chale’=how can it work, ‘dost’=rival (not unusual because all lovers are fellow sympathisers) and ‘dushman’=beloved (also not unusual, she is always cruel). She is free to show favours to whoever and however many she wants to and cannot be accused of deception, because she does not believe in fidelity. The poet/lover has spotted the rival at her door. But is this enough grounds to be suspicious of her? No. The poet/lover clings on to hope. My interpretation would be stronger IF it were ‘baab pe’ not ‘baab meN’. But then Ghalib has used ‘lab-e saaqi meN salaa mere baad’.

7
maiN muztarib1 huN vasl2 meN Khauf3-e raqib4 se
Daala hai tum ko vahm5 ne kis pech-o-taab6 meN    
1.restless, uneasy, fearful, agitated 2.union 3.fear 4.rival 5.suspicion, imagination 6.perplexion, dilemma, hesitation
There are too many conflicting interpretations. I will choose only one which I prefer and add my own twist to it. The ‘huN’ in the first misra is to be interpreted as ‘hoNga’-will become. This is not an actual union but a discussion about a future tryst for union. The beloved is making excuses, suggesting that the poet/lover might get agitated and fearful upon meeting her. He protests, do you think I will be agitated because of the fear of a rival. What kind of a hesitation has this illusion put you into? No, I am not going to be agitated, do not hesitate, invite me to our tryst.

8
maiN aur hazz1-e vasl2 Khuda-saaz3 baat hai
jaaN nazr4 deni bhuul gayaa izteraab5 meN    
1.joy, good fortune 2.union 3.god given 4.offering, sacrifice 5.agitation
The poet/lover has received a promise of union and is agitated – me and being offered the good fortune of union! How can this be? It must be a gift of god and in my agitation, I forgot to offer my life in gratitude. I have a suspicion that this gratitude is towards the beloved, not god.

9
hai te’ori1 chaRhi hui andar naqaab2 ke
hai ek shikan3 paRi hui tarf4-e naqaab2 meN    
1.wrinkled forehead, scowl 2.veil 3.crease, wrinkle 4.side
The poet/lover has asked the beloved to raise the veil and let him see her. She scowls at him from behind the veil which is strong enough that it causes a wrinkle to appear on the side of the veil.

10
laakhoN lagaau1 ek churaanaa nigaah2 ka
laakhoN banaau3 ek bigaRnaa itaab4 meN    
1.attachments, favours 2.glance 3.adornments 4.anger, annoyance
The poet/lover compares two facets of the beloved and clearly indicates which he prefers. On the one side, a thousand favours, on the other a single stolen glance. Maybe it is the beloved who is stealing a coy look at the poet/lover and he catches her doing so. That is worth a thousand favours that she might show. One one side, a thousand adornments, on the other a single look of annoyance.

11
vo naala1 dil meN Khas2 ke baraabar jagah na paaye
jis naale se shigaaf3 paRe aaftaab4 meN    
1.wail 2.straw 3.hole, tear 4.sun, used here to mean the skies
The beloved is particularly hard hearted. The poet/lover wails in pain, strong enough to make a tear in the skies but it would find no room in her heart, not even as much as a sliver of straw.

12
vo sehr1 mudd’aa-talabi2 meN na kaam aaye
jis sehr se safina3 ravaaN4 ho saraab5 meN    
1.magic 2.demanding/achieving goals/desires 3.boat 4.launch 5.mirage
Launching a boat in a ‘lake/river’ that is actually a mirage is an impossible task. But even if you have the ability to perform such magic/illusion, you will not reach your desired goal i.e. win the beloved’s heart.

13
Ghalib chhuTi sharaab par ab bhi kabhi kabhi
piitaa huuN roz-e-abr1 o shab-e-maahtaab2 meN    
1.cloudy day 2.moonlit night
In poetic convention, and perhaps because clouds bring much sought rain for crops, rainy days are a time of celebration as are moonlit nights. Thus while claims to have given up wine, he still drinks/celebrates (on the sly?) on cloudy days and moonlit nights.

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.
1
milti1 hai Khu2-e yaar3 se naar4 iltehaab5 meN
kaafir6 huN gar na milti7 ho raahat8 azaab9 meN

1.is similar to 2.nature, character, habits 3.beloved 4.fire, hellfire 5.rising/roaring flames 6.sinner, condemned to hell, unbeliever 7.obtain, derive 8.comfort, pleasure 9.torment, torture

There are many interesting witticisms in this she’r.  He is comparing the flames of hell to the anger/nature/character of the beloved, not the other way round i.e. the design of hellfire is based on the example set by the beloved.  But I will be damned if I did not get pleasure from the torture that she visits on me.  The use of the word ‘milti’ in two very different senses in the two misra is enjoyable.  But then, since he has created the imagery of hellfire there is little doubt that he is poking fun at the concept.  The second misra may be translated as “I will be an unbeliever, if I did not enjoy the torture of hell”.  This implies that he is NOT an unbeliever and if he were not, why would he be in hell?
2
kab se huN kya bataauN jahaan-e-Kharaab1 meN
shab-haa2-e hijr3 ko bhi rakhuN gar4 hisaab5 meN

1.wretched world 2.plural of shab/night 3.separation (from the beloved) 4.if 5.reckoning, counting

How can I tell you how long I have been in this wretched world especially if I count the (long, interminable) nights of separation from the beloved.
3
taa1 phir na intezaar2 meN niind aaye umr bhar
aane ka ahd3 kar gaye aaye jo Khwaab meN

1.so that 2.waiting, anticipation 3.promise

Even in showing favours (promise to visit), the beloved tortures the poet/lover.  She appears to him in his dream and promises to come visit him so that he may never be able to sleep again.
4
qaasid1 ke aate aate Khat ek aur likh rakhuN
maiN jaanta huuN jo vo likheNge javaab meN

1.messenger

The poet/lover has been sending missives through a messenger and receiving angry responses and is quite used to it.  He has sent off a letter to the beloved and wants to keep the next one ready because he already knows what she is going to write in response.
5
mujh tak kab un ki bazm1 meN aata tha daur-e-jaam2
saaqi3 ne kuchh milaa na diyaa ho sharaab meN

1.assembly, gathering 2.circulation of cup 3.wine server, beloved

The wine server and the beloved are likely the same person.  In her gathering in which all lovers are sitting in order and receive the decanter one after the other.  Normally, it never arrives at the poet/lover’s place because it is used up by the time it gets to him.  But today it has arrived full, so he wonders if the saaqi/beloved has ‘mixed something in it’ i.e. made it particularly potent.  She is trying all her lovers for their capacity to bear/withstand this wine.  Apparently no other lover is equal to the task that is why the decanter has arrived with some wine in it.  Only the poet/lover has the capacity.
6
jo munkir1-e vafaa2 ho fareb3 us pe kya chale
kyuN bad-gumaaN4 huN dost se dushman ke baab5 meN

1.denier 2.faithfulness, fidelity (in love) 3.deceipt 4.suspicious 5.theme, subject, door

The more conventional interpretation offered by experts is …. the beloved is ‘munkir-e vafaa’ i.e. she completely denies the very concept of fidelity.  So, declarations of love and entreaties of fidelity, by the rival will not work on her.  Why should I be suspicious about (the subject/theme of) the rival.  My own interpretation is different from that of many experts.  I dare to offer it as an alternative.  IF ‘baab’=door, ‘fareb’=accusation of deceipt, ‘kya chale’=how can it work, ‘dost’=rival (not unusual because all lovers are fellow sympathisers) and ‘dushman’=beloved (also not unusual, she is always cruel).  She is free to show favours to whoever and however many she wants to and cannot be accused of deception, because she does not believe in fidelity.  The poet/lover has spotted the rival at her door.  But is this enough grounds to be suspicious of her?  No.  The poet/lover clings on to hope.  My interpretation would be stronger IF it were ‘baab pe’ not ‘baab meN’.  But then Ghalib has used ‘lab-e saaqi meN salaa mere baad’.
7
maiN muztarib1 huN vasl2 meN Khauf3-e raqib4 se
Daala hai tum ko vahm5 ne kis pech-o-taab6 meN

1.restless, uneasy, fearful, agitated 2.union 3.fear 4.rival 5.suspicion, imagination 6.perplexion, dilemma, hesitation

There are too many conflicting interpretations.  I will choose only one which I prefer and add my own twist to it.  The ‘huN’ in the first misra is to be interpreted as ‘hoNga’-will become.  This is not an actual union but a discussion about a future tryst for union.  The beloved is making excuses, suggesting that the poet/lover might get agitated and fearful upon meeting her.  He protests, do you think I will be agitated because of the fear of a rival.  What kind of a hesitation has this illusion put you into?  No, I am not going to be agitated, do not hesitate, invite me to our tryst.
8
maiN aur hazz1-e vasl2 Khuda-saaz3 baat hai
jaaN nazr4 deni bhuul gayaa izteraab5 meN

1.joy, good fortune 2.union 3.god given 4.offering, sacrifice 5.agitation

The poet/lover has received a promise of union and is agitated – me and being offered the good fortune of union!  How can this be?  It must be a gift of god and in my agitation, I forgot to offer my life in gratitude.  I have a suspicion that this gratitude is towards the beloved, not god.
9
hai te’ori1 chaRhi hui andar naqaab2 ke
hai ek shikan3 paRi hui tarf4-e naqaab2 meN

1.wrinkled forehead, frown 2.veil 3.crease, wrinkle 4.side

The poet/lover has asked the beloved to raise the veil and let him see her.  She frowns at him from behind the veil which is strong enough that it causes a wrinkle to appear on the side of the veil.
10
laakhoN lagaau1 ek churaanaa nigaah2 ka
laakhoN banaau3 ek bigaRnaa itaab4 meN

1.attachments, favours 2.glance 3.adornments 4.anger, annoyance

The poet/lover compares two facets of the beloved and clearly indicates which he prefers.  On the one side, a thousand favours, on the other a single stolen glance.  Maybe it is the beloved who is stealing a coy look at the poet/lover and he catches her doing so.  That is worth a thousand favours that she might show.  One one side, a thousand adornments, on the other a single look of annoyance.
11
vo naala1 dil meN Khas2 ke baraabar jagah na paaye
jis naale se shigaaf3 paRe aaftaab4 meN

1.wail 2.straw 3.hole, tear 4.sun, used here to mean the skies

The beloved is particularly hard hearted.  The poet/lover wails in pain, strong enough to make a tear in the skies but it would find no room in her heart, not even as much as a sliver of straw.
12
vo sehr1 mudd’aa-talabi2 meN na kaam aaye
jis sehr se safina3 ravaaN4 ho saraab5 meN

1.magic 2.demanding/achieving goals/desires 3.boat 4.launch 5.mirage

Launching a boat in a ‘lake/river’ that is actually a mirage is an impossible task.  But even if you have the ability to perform such magic/illusion, you will not reach your desired goal i.e. win the beloved’s heart.
13
Ghalib chhuTi sharaab par ab bhi kabhi kabhi
piitaa huuN roz-e-abr1 o shab-e-maahtaab2 meN

1.cloudy day 2.moonlit night

In poetic convention, and perhaps because clouds bring much sought rain for crops, rainy days are a time of celebration as are moonlit nights.  Thus while claims to have given up wine, he still drinks/celebrates (on the sly?) on cloudy days and moonlit nights.

1
Unruly fire does best compare the fierceness of her mind;
Should bliss not lie in blazing heat, I am a heretic, I am blind.
2
I know not how long I have been a part of this sordid mess,
For each night has been a million years, and each day – little less.
3
Since she wished for me the agony of sleepless wait for good,
She promised, when I dreamt at night, to come, whenever she would.
4
O, let me scribble another plea, more poignat than the previous one,
For I know the answer he must bring, when my courier should return.
5
Never before did her gracious wine flow across to me;
Then why tonight?  Oh, I tremble, lest the cup should poisoned be
6
No deceit can ever be worked on her, a stranger to painful love;
Then why need I fear the endeavours of my friend, pray tell me now.
7
My bliss in this togetherness is halved for fear of a rival claim;
But why that uneasiness in you, for it is no double game.
8
Me, and this promise of delight! O praised be God’s decree;
In gratitude I should have gifted life, but I forgot, in ecstasy.
9
Her brow within the veil is creased by a frown of great disgust;
So potent that the veil itself does catch the crease and bust.
10
In every amorous overture spasms of delight;
And every tender annoyance a captivating sight.
11
The moan that does across the sun a mighty fissure draw,
Fails in her heart to find the foothold of a straw.
12
The eloquence that makes the ship sail forth in the desert sand,
Has, likewise proved so impotent to make her understand.

2 comments:

    1. Thank you. At 76, I am keenly aware of the ticking clock. I am working away and hope to do so until I drop. Thanks again for the appreciation.

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