Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi

hazaaro.n Khvaahishe.n aisii ki har Khvaaish pe dam nikale
bahut nikale mere armaa.N lekin phir bhii kam nikale

[khwaish: desire]

हज़ारों ख्वाहिशें ऐसी के हर ख्वाहिश पे दम निकले
बहुत निकले मेरे अरमान लेकिन फिर भी कम निकले।

I have a thousand desires, all desires worth dying for
Though many of my desires were fulfilled, majority remained unfulfilled.

This is another philosophical sher of Ghalib. Here he talks about human desires which define human existence. Life is all about desires. While some of these desires do get fulfilled, others don’t. With the passage of time new desires keep getting added in this long list of desires. So even if many of a man’s desires are fulfilled, he is never satisfied, for many still remain unfulfilled.

Dare kyuu.N meraa qaatil kyaa rahegaa usakii gardan par
vo Khuu.N jo chashm-e-tar se umr bhar yuu.N dam-ba-dam nikale
[chashm-e-tar: wet eyes; dam-ba-dam: continuously]

डरे क्यों मेरा कातिल, क्या रहेगा उसकी गर्दन पर
वो खून, जो चस्म-ए-तर से उम्र भर यूं दम-बा-दम निकले।

Why should my murderer/killer be afraid for what will remain on her neck?
This blood that has flowed continuously from my wet eyes throughout life.

Ghalib asks his slayer (his beloved), why she fears slaying him? No blood will remain on her neck (hand), even if she slays him for he has no blood left in him. All his blood has flown continuously through his eyes all his life. So she need not fear any legal or moral compunction in killing him. She will not be punished for slaying him.

nikalanaa Khuld se aadam kaa sunate aaye hai.n lekin
bahut be-aabaruu hokar tere kuuche se ham nikale
[Khuld: paradise; be-aabaruu: disgrace; kuuchaa: street]

निकलना खुल्द से आदम का सुनते आए थे लेकिन
बहुत बे-आबरू होकर तेरे कुचे से हम निकले।

We had heard of Adam’s expulsion from Paradise
With great disgrace I came out of your street.

This ‘sher’ though one of Ghalib’s of-quoted ones has been subject to various interpretations by scholars. While the apparent meaning is pretty clear, some of the different interpretations are like, (a) while the fate of Adam was long in the past, I suffer this disgrace now (b) people have heard about Adam’s case and so sympathize with his suffering, I have suffered no less. Hali (Ghalib’s student) says that the addition of the word ‘bahut’ implied that his disgrace was far greater than Adam’s. Take your pick…

huii is daur me.n ma.nsuub mujhase baadaa-ashaamii
phir aayaa vo zamaana jo jahaa.N se jaam-e-jam nikale
[daur: era, ma.nsuub: association, baada-aashaami: wine drinking]
[jam-e-jam: goblet of King Jamshed]

हुई इस दौर में मनसूब मुझसे बाद:असामी
फिर आया वह ज़माना जो जहाँ में जाम-ए-जम निकले।

In this era wine drinking has become associated with me
The time has come for the Goblet of King Jamshed to re-appear in this world.

Ghalib says that in this era wine drinking has become synonymous with his name. So the time for King Jamshed’s goblet to reappear has come. It is believed that King Jamshed was the discoverer of wine and goblet. Here he compares his prowess of drinking to King Jamshed.

huii jinase tavaqqo Khastagii kii daad paane kii
vo hamase bhii ziyaadaa Khastaa-e-teG-e-sitam nikale
[tavaqqo:expectation; Khastagii:injury, daad: appreciation]
[Khasta: broken/sick/injured, teg-e-sitam: sword of cruelty]

हुई जिनसे तवाक्को खस्तगी की दाद पाने की
वो हमसे भी ज्यादा खास्त:-ए-तेग-ए-सितम निकले

From those whom I expected appreciation of my wounds
They turned out to be even more wounded by the swords of tyranny.

Another of Ghalib’s sher subject to multiple interpretations and also according to us, philosophical. Here he says that how could he expect any appreciation of his sufferings, when others suffer more than him. In this world everyone seeks understanding of their own problems but fail to realize that others have problems too and that their problems may be of a far greater magnitude than ours. Some writers have interpreted it as Ghalib’s lament as to how his beloved could appreciate his wounded feelings when her own feelings had been wounded by someone else i.e. her love for the other person had not been reciprocated.

muhabbat me.n nahii.n hai farq jiine aur marane kaa
usii ko dekh kar jiite hai.n jis kaafir pe dam nikale
[dam nikalna: to die]

मुहब्बत में नहीं है फर्क जीने और मरने का
उसी को देख कर जीते हैं, जिस काफिर पे दम निकले।

In love there is no difference between life and death
I live to see her, the one, over who I die.

In love, the boundary between life and death is erased. One thinks of the lover all the time, lives in the hope of seeing her, and is ready to lay down his life for her. Well, slightly run of the mill stuff from Ghalib, this one.

Kahaa.N maiKhaane ka daravaazaa 'Ghalib' aur kahaa.N vaaiz
par itanaa jaanate hai.n kal vo jaataa thaa ke ham nikale
[maikana: bar, vaaiz: preacher]

कहाँ मैखाने का दरवाज़ा 'ग़ालिब' और कहाँ वाइज़
पर इतना जानते हैं, कल वह जाता था के हम निकले।

Where the door to the bar, where Ghalib and where the preacher (how can you compare them)
But I know this much, yesterday, when he was going, I was coming out.

The preacher calls wine drinking all bad and goads people against it. But I guess he too has his ‘pegs’. So despite all his teachings of abstinence, he too drinks (implying that addiction to wine is universal and that drinking comes naturally to people). Now, what we like about this sher is its tongue in cheek approach. He does not directly accuse the preacher of drinking, but says yesterday he saw him ‘passing by’ the bar and so was surprised. The rest he leaves to the imagination of the reader.



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C.H. Atma sings Hazaon Khawhisen

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