zarf-e qadah Khwaar dekh kar-Ghalib-raina

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

ظرفِ قدح خوار دیکھ کر ۔ مرزا غالب

۱

کیوں جل گیا نہ تابِ رخِ یار دیکھ کر
جلتا ہوں اپنی طاقتِ دیدار دیکھ کر

۲

آتش پرست کہتے ہیں اہلِ جہاں مجھے
سر گرمِ نالہ ہائے شرر بار دیکھ کر

۳

کیا آبروئے عشق جہاں عام ہو جفا
رکتا ہوں تم کو بے سبب آزار دیکھ کر

۴

آتا ہے میرے قتل کو پَر جوشِ رشک سے
مرتا ہوں اُس کے ہاتھ میں تلوار دیکھ کر

۵

ثابت ہوا ہے گردنِ مینا پہ خونِ خلق
لرزے ہے موجِ مے تری رفتار دیکھ کر

۶

وا حسرتا کہ یار نے کھینچا ستم سے ہاتھ
ہم کو حریصِ لذّتِ آزار دیکھ کر

۷

بِک جاتے ہیں ہم آپ متاعِ سُخن کے ساتھ
لیکن عیارِ طبعِ خریدار دیکھ کر

۸

زُنّار باندھ سُبحۂ صد دانہ توڑ ڈال
رہرو چلے ہے راہ کو ہموار دیکھ کر

۹

اِن آبلوں سے پانؤ کے گھبرا گیا تھا میں
جی خوش ہوا ہے راہ کو پُر خار دیکھ کر

۱۰

کیا بد گُماں ہے مجھ سے کہ آئینے میں مرے
طوطی کا عکس سمجھے ہے زنگار دیکھ کر

۱۱

گِرنی تھی ہم پہ برقِ تجلّی نہ طور پر
دیتے ہیں بادہ ظرفِ قدح خوار دیکھ کر

۱۲

سر پھوڑنا وہ غالبِ شوریدہ حال کا
یاد آ گیا مجھے تری دیوار دیکھ کر

ज़रफ़-ए क़दह-ख़्वार देख कर – मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

क्यूँ जल गया न ताब-ए रुख़-ए यार देख कर
जलता हूँ अपनी ताक़त-ए दीदार देख कर

आतिश-परस्त कहते हैं अहल-ए जहाँ मुझे
सर-गर्म-ए नालहहा-ए शरर-बार देख कर

क्या आबरू-ए इश्क़ जहाँ आम हो जफ़ा
रुकता हूँ तुम को बे-सबब आज़ार देख कर

आता है मेरे क़तल को पर जोश-ए रश्क से
मरता हूँ उस के हाथ में तलवार देख कर

साबित हुआ है गर्दन-ए मीना पे ख़ून-ए ख़लक़
लर्ज़े है मौज-ए मै तिरी रफ़तार देख कर

वा हसरता कि यार ने खेंचा सितम से हाथ
हम को हरीस-ए लज़्ज़त-ए आज़ार देख कर

बिक जाते हैं हम आप मता-ए सुख़न के साथ
लेकिन अयार-ए तब-ए ख़रीदार देख कर

ज़ुन्नार बांध सुबहा-ए सद-दाना तोड़ डाल
रहरौ चले है राह को हमवार देख कर

इन आबिलों से पांव के घबरा गया था मैं
जी ख़ुश हुआ है राह को पुर-ख़ार देख कर

१०

क्या बद-गुमाँ है मुझ से कि आईने में मिरे
तूती का अकस समझे है ज़ंगार देख कर

११

गिरनी थी हम पे बरक़-ए तजल्ली न तूर पर
देते हैं बादा ज़रफ़-ए क़दह-ख़्वार देख कर

१२

सर फोड़ना वो ग़ालिब-ए शोरीदा-हाल का
याद आ गया मुझे तिरी दीवार देख कर

 

Click on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion.
1
kyuN jal gaya na taab1-e ruKh2-e yaar3 dekh kar
jalta4 huN apni taaqat5-e didaar6 dekh kar
1.brilliance 2.face 3.beloved 4.burn in pain of regret 5.strength, capability 6.to see
The poet/lover saw the brilliant face of the beloved but did not burst into flames because of his strength/capability to bear such a sight. Now he is burning in pain of regret (that he has such capability), because it would have been better to go up in flames at the sight of the beloved. That would have been a fitting tribute to her beauty.

2
aatish-parast1 kahte haiN ahl2-e jahaaN3 mujhe
sar-garm4-e naalah-ha5-e sharar-baar6 dekh kar  
1.fire worshipper 2.people of 3.the world 4.busy in, enthusiastic, fired up 5.plural of naalah-wailing 6.raining sparks
The poet/lover is constantly busy in wailing (longing for the beloved). His wails are so intense that they appear to be raining sparks (or spewing pain, since fire is associated with pain). So people (of this world, who do not understand universal spirituality) think that he is a fire-worshipper. There is an interesting unstated conflation of fire-worshipper, idol-worshipper … all this super-imposed on his own intense spirituality in the universal sense.

3
kya aabru1-e ishq jahaaN ‘aam2 ho jafa3
rukta huN tum ko be-sabab4 aazaar5 dekh kar  
1.dignity, respect 2.common 3.cruelty 4.without reason 5.affliction
There is no dignity in love if cruelty is commonplace. Cruelty by the beloved should be reserved for the true lover i.e. the poet. When the poet/lover sees the beloved being indiscrimately cruel to any and all, he pulls back because he sees the dignity of his own love called into question.

4
aata hai mere qatl1 ko par josh2-e rashk3 se
marta huN us ke haath meN talvaar dekh kar  
1.killing, slaughter 2.enthusiasm, abundance, wave 3.envy
The beloved comes at him intent to slaughter him, but he dies of envy, which rises like a wave and kills him … because he sees the sword in her hand, and the sword is now a rival. Her hand should be holding him, not the sword. So, he dies of envy even before the strike of the sword.

5
saabit1 hua hai gardan-e mina2 pe Khoon-e-Khalq3
larze4 hai mauj5-e mai6 teri raftaar7 dekh kar  
1.proven 2.flask 3.blood (murder) of creation 4.tremble 5.wave 6.wine 7.speed, style, gait
There is a conflation of many beautiful and witty pictorializations. The beloved/saaqi has indulged in drinking. Her inebriated gait, waving, her waist slender like the neck of the flask, causes the gathering to die in pure awe at the sight. The blame for this mass murder falls on the “neck” of the flask. The ripples on the surface of the wine as the flask is set down is as if it is trembling in fear of the punishment that is sure to follow this mass murder.

6
va hasrata1 ke yaar2 ne kheNcha3 sitam4 se haath
ham ko harees5-e lazzat6-e aazaar7 dekh kar  
1.alas 2.beloved 3.pulled back 4.cruelty 5.greedy 6.pleasure 7.pain
The beloved afflicts pain on the poet/lover and he enjoys it so much so that he is greedy for more of that pleasure. Alas, the beloved has pulled back from such cruelty when she realized that he relishes the pleasure that this pain affords him. But now that she stops, it is yet another form of pain that has been inflicted on him and he can relish that! A virtuous catch 22.

7
bik jaate haiN hum aap mataa1-e suKhan2 ke saath
laikin ‘ayaar3-e tab’a4-e Kharidar dekh kar  
1.treasure 2.verse 3.standard, quality 4.nature
The poet and his suKhan are sold to the audience. But this poet is very selective/discriminating. He gets sold only to those who can understand him, only after evaluating the quality of their nature.

8
zunnaar1 baaNdh subhah2-e sad-daanah3 toR Daal
rahrau4 chale hai raah5 ko hamvaar6 dekh kar
1.janev, hindu ceremonial thread 2.tasbeeh, rosary (islamic) 3.hundred beads 4. traveler 5.path 6.smooth, level
Break/cut the tasbeeh/rosary of hundred beads and tie a janev/hindu thread. A traveler chooses the smoothest route. The implication is that the bumps of the bead are not smooth but just the thread of the janev is smooth, therefore preferable. Ghalib is making sarcastic fun of the rituals and appendages of ritual as well as declaring the one-ness of all spirituality.

9
in aabiloN1 se paNv ke ghabra2 gaya tha maiN
ji Khush hua hai raah3 ko pur-Khaar4 dekh kar  
1.blisters, boils 2.worried, anxious 3.path 4.full of thorns
The poet/lover is an inveterate wanderer. He constantly travels the path of love/passion and has blistered feet. He was getting anxious about his blistered but then was relieved that the path of love was thorny. The thorns on the path will puncture his blisters and relieve the pain. The path of love gets more painful if you try to relieve pain!

10
kya bad-gumaaN1 hai mujh se ke aaiine meN mere
tooti2 ka aks3 samjhe hai zangaar4 dekh kar  
1.suspicious 2.parrot 3.reflection, image 4.green rust spots, verdigris
Mirrors of the time were polished metal which could develop greenish ‘rust’ spots. The beloved sees these and mistakes them for the image of a parrot. She suspects that the lover is keenly gazing at this image and cannot stand the thought. For her, his attention should be exclusively on her image, all the time.

11
girni thi hum pe barq1-e tajalli2 na toor3 par
dete haiN baada4 zarf5-e qadah-Khwaar6 dekh kar  
1.lightning 2.brilliance, enlightenment 3.Mt. toor/Sinaai 4.wine 5.capacity 6.wine-drinker, patron of the tavern
Biblical/Quranic story is that Moses went up Mt. Toor asking to see god. Divine manifestation came in the shape of lightning strike which pulverized the mountain and Moses fainted. He did not have the capacity to see. Ghalib claims that he has that capacity, therefore god should have caused lightning to strike him not Mt. Toor, just like the saaqi serves wine only in proportion to the capacity of the patron.

12
sar phoRna vo Ghalib-e shoridah1-haal2 ka
yaad a gayaa mujhe teri deevaar dekh kar
1.disturbed, mad 2.condition
The poet/lover is standing apart from himself and speaking about himself to the beloved. The poet sees here wall which reminds him of how Ghalib in a frenzy of love used to bang his head against the wall, perhaps the very same wall of the beloved.

1
kyuN jal gaya na taab1-e ruKh2-e yaar3 dekh kar
jalta4 huN apni taaqat5-e didaar6 dekh kar

1.brilliance 2.face 3.beloved 4.burn in pain of regret 5.strength, capability 6.to see

The poet/lover saw the brilliant face of the beloved but did not burst into flames because of his strength/capability to bear such a sight.  Now he is burning in pain of regret (that he has such capability), because it would have been better to go up in flames at the sight of the beloved.  That would have been a fitting tribute to her beauty.
2
aatish-parast1 kahte haiN ahl2-e jahaaN3 mujhe
sar-garm4-e naalah-ha5-e sharar-baar6 dekh kar

1.fire worshipper 2.people of 3.the world 4.busy in, enthusiastic, fired up 5.plural of naalah-wailing 6.raining sparks

The poet/lover is constantly busy in wailing (longing for the beloved).  His wails are so intense that they appear to be raining sparks (or spewing pain, since fire is associated with pain).  So people (of this world, who do not understand universal spirituality) think that he is a fire-worshipper.  There is an interesting unstated conflation of fire-worshipper, idol-worshipper … all this super-imposed on his own intense spirituality in the universal sense.
3
kya aabru1-e ishq jahaaN ‘aam2 ho jafa3
rukta huN tum ko be-sabab4 aazaar5 dekh kar

1.dignity, respect 2.common 3.cruelty 4.without reason 5.affliction

There is no dignity in love if cruelty is commonplace.  Cruelty by the beloved should be reserved for the true lover i.e. the poet.  When the poet/lover sees the beloved being indiscrimately cruel to any and all, he pulls back because he sees the dignity of his own love called into question.
4
aata hai mere qatl1 ko par josh2-e rashk3 se
marta huN us ke haath meN talvaar dekh kar

1.killing, slaughter 2.enthusiasm, abundance, wave 3.envy

The beloved comes at him intent to slaughter him, but he dies of envy, which rises like a wave and kills him … because he sees the sword in her hand, and the sword is now a rival.  Her hand should be holding him, not the sword.  So, he dies of envy even before the strike of the sword.
5
saabit1 hua hai gardan-e mina2 pe Khoon-e-Khalq3
larze4 hai mauj5-e mai6 teri raftaar7 dekh kar

1.proven 2.flask 3.blood (murder) of creation 4.tremble 5.wave 6.wine 7.speed, style, gait

There is a conflation of many beautiful and witty pictorializations.  The beloved/saaqi has indulged in drinking.  Her inebriated gait, waving, her waist slender like the neck of the flask, causes the gathering to die in pure awe at the sight.  The blame for this mass murder falls on the “neck” of the flask.  The ripples on the surface of the wine as the flask is set down is as if it is trembling in fear of the punishment that is sure to follow this mass murder.
6
va hasrata1 ke yaar2 ne kheNcha3 sitam4 se haath
ham ko harees5-e lazzat6-e aazaar7 dekh kar

1.alas 2.beloved 3.pulled back 4.cruelty 5.greedy 6.pleasure 7.pain

The beloved afflicts pain on the poet/lover and he enjoys it so much so that he is greedy for more of that pleasure.  Alas, the beloved has pulled back from such cruelty when she realized that he relishes the pleasure that this pain affords him.  But now that she stops, it is yet another form of pain that has been inflicted on him and he can relish that!  A virtuous catch 22.
7
bik jaate haiN hum aap mataa1-e suKhan2 ke saath
laikin ‘ayaar3-e tab’a4-e Kharidar dekh kar

1.treasure 2.verse 3.standard, quality 4.nature

The poet and his suKhan are sold to the audience.  But this poet is very selective/discriminating.  He gets sold only to those who can understand him, only after evaluating the quality of their nature.
8
zunnaar1 baaNdh subhah2-e sad-daanah3 toR Daal
rahrau4 chale hai raah5 ko hamvaar6 dekh kar

1.janev, hindu ceremonial thread 2.tasbeeh, rosary (islamic) 3.hundred beads 4. traveler 5.path 6.smooth, level

Break/cut the tasbeeh/rosary of hundred beads and tie a janev/hindu thread.  A traveler chooses the smoothest route.  The implication is that the bumps of the bead are not smooth but just the thread of the janev is smooth, therefore preferable.  Ghalib is making sarcastic fun of the rituals and appendages of ritual as well as declaring the one-ness of all spirituality.
9
in aabiloN1 se paNv ke ghabra2 gaya tha maiN
ji Khush hua hai raah3 ko pur-Khaar4 dekh kar

1.blisters, boils 2.worried, anxious 3.path 4.full of thorns

The poet/lover is an inveterate wanderer.  He constantly travels the path of love/passion and has blistered feet.  He was getting anxious about his blistered but then was relieved that the path of love was thorny.  The thorns on the path will puncture his blisters and relieve the pain.  The path of love gets more painful if you try to relieve pain!
10
kya bad-gumaaN1 hai mujh se ke aaiine meN mere
tooti2 ka aks3 samjhe hai zangaar4 dekh kar

1.suspicious 2.parrot 3.reflection, image 4.green rust spots, verdigris

Mirrors of the time were polished metal which could develop greenish ‘rust’ spots.  The beloved sees these and mistakes them for the image of a parrot.  She suspects that the lover is keenly gazing at this image and cannot stand the thought.  For her, his attention should be exclusively on her image, all the time.
11
girni thi hum pe barq1-e tajalli2 na toor3 par
dete haiN baada4 zarf5-e qadah-Khwaar6 dekh kar

1.lightning 2.brilliance, enlightenment 3.Mt. toor/Sinaai 4.wine 5.capacity 6.wine-drinker, patron of the tavern

Biblical/Quranic story is that Moses went up Mt. Toor asking to see god.  Divine manifestation came in the shape of lightning strike which pulverized the mountain and Moses fainted.  He did not have the capacity to see.  Ghalib claims that he has that capacity, therefore god should have caused lightning to strike him not Mt. Toor, just like the saaqi serves wine only in proportion to the capacity of the patron.
12
sar phoRna vo Ghalib-e shoridah1-haal2 ka
yaad a gayaa mujhe teri deevaar dekh kar

1.disturbed, mad 2.condition

The poet/lover is standing apart from himself and speaking about himself to the beloved.  The poet sees here wall which reminds him of how Ghalib in a frenzy of love used to bang his head against the wall, perhaps the very same wall of the beloved.

Key Search Words:

1
O that I had been instantly consumed by the radiance of her face,
Than have to steel myself to bear this blazing disgrace.
4
Behold how she advances bold for fatal reprimand;
I die for envy of the sword, for there might be my hand.
5
Upon the brimful cup is proved the guilt of a massacre;
For the toxic tempo of your elan is impossible to bear.
7
My faculties, all charmed, salute the true critic of my verse;
Unto him I bequeath my soul, besides this poetic converse.
9
The blisters on my burning soles had terrrified all my sense;
How heartening to discover that the path is thorny hence.
12
When I espy those massive walls of stone, that do not give,
All my mad insensed appeal, my agonies I relive.