Sataishgar hai Zahid, is qadar, jis baugh-e-RizwaN ka Woh ek gul-dasta hai, hum be-khudoN ke taaq-e-nisyaN ka

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Sataishgar  hai   Zahid,  is  qadar,   jis  baugh-e-RizwaN  ka

The saintly man, the zahid/monk, is lavishing praise on the garden of Rizwan heaven). 

Woh ek gul-dasta hai, hum be-khudoN ke taaq-e-nisyaN ka

But in actuality, that that garden is mere a flower-bunch that we, in our state of oblivion/ecstasy, left on an alcove of forgotten stuff 

sataishgar=one who lavishes praise  zahid=a saintly person  who is always busy in worship, a monk      bagh=garden    Rizwan=name of the angle who is in charge of heaven      baugh-eRizwaN = garden of angel Rizwan, the heaven     Gul=flower,  dasta=handle    Gul-dasta=a flower-bunch, a bouquet     khud=self      be=without         Be-khud=without self, a person  lost in thoughts, absent from self, oblivion, ecstasy taaq=a shelf carved in a wall, a niche, an alcove        nisyaN= a mental disease in which the patient forgets the past; oblivion, forgetfulness       taaq-e-nisyaN=an alcove of forgotten stuff

This is the 1st verse of Ghalib’s 10th ghazal.  It has 12 verses and most of them are beautiful, bursting with great thoughts. This verse being first verse of a ghazal, its both lines rhyme. Such rhyming 1st verse of a ghazal is called Matl’a. In Urdu rising of the Sun is called “Tuloo”. Since the Sun of a ghazal also rises from the 1st verse, the first verse is called Matl’a, a place of rising.

 Meaning: In this verse the word “taaq-e-nisyaN” is the soul of the verse; we must understand it first. Suppose things that we have forgotten, or are off from our conscious, or are of least of interest, are put in an alcove, this alcove would be our “taaq-e-nisyaN” or alcove of forgotten stuff.

Ghalib, in this verse, ridicules both the Zahid (monk) who craves for heaven, and the heaven itself. The Zahid (monk) chose the path of Allah’s worship so as to qualify for heaven. Ghalib says that this Zahid (monk) is all praise for the heaven, and is hell bent on winning the trophy of heaven. To qualify, he worships Allah every moment. But, the Jannat (heaven) that he seeks so intensely is of no importance to us─ the Be-khud(s), who live in oblivion/ecstasy. The heaven that the monk seeks so intensely, is mere a flower-bunch that we left in an alcove of forgotten stuff and forgot all about it.

Finer aspects of this verse: This verse of Ghalib, is full of imagination, exaggeration and, mockery. Ghalib equates heaven, which many yearn and die for, with a flower-bunch that he, in state of ecstasy/oblivion, had put in a Taaq-e-nasiyaN (alcove of forgotten stuff) and had forgotten about it. Thus, he shrinks the value of heaven to an ordinary flower-bunch. Again, ridiculing the monk he says, “Oh my friend Mr. zahid, I am consumed and lost in thought of my supreme beloved. The heaven that you cherish so dearly and sing its praise nonstop, is mere a flower-bunch that I left in a Taaq-e-nasiyaN (alcove of forgotten stuff) and forgot all about it. Oh monk, you name this flower-bunch heaven and lavish praise on it! Surprise! Surprise!

To put on a shelf means to quit, to leave, to reject. Saying, “put in alcove/shelf of forgotten stuff”, is a super exaggeration. An interesting point to note is that we put flower-bunch in an alcove (taaq) for decoration.

Ghalibologists’ opinions:

Aasi’s opinion: Ghalib mocks at heaven but uses respectable words. He likens the heaven with a flower-bunch; the flower-bunches are used for decorating.

Hasrat’s opinion: We are in that beautiful station of trance/ecstasy/oblivion, where in comparison, the heaven looks very ordinary.

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