Shab, KHumar-e-Shouq-e-Saqi, rast’KHez-andazah tha Ta, muheet-e-ba’da, Surat-e-KHana-e-KHamyazah tha

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This is the 1st verse of Ghalib’s 19th Ghazal. 

Shab, KHumar-e-Shouq-e-Saqi, rast’KHez-andazah tha

Last night, eagerly waiting for Saqi, was like apocalypse (Qayamat)

Ta, muheet-e-ba’da,  Surat-e-KHana-e-KHamyazah tha

In boredom of his absence) even wine in bottles was crossing its fill mark and the wine-house looked like a house of pandiculation; wine and wine lovers were stretching and yawing in dullness of Saqi’s wait 

shab=night     KHumar=hangover  shaouq-e-saqi =intense wait for Saqi (Cupbearer); Unless Saqi offers no one can dare drink  rastKHez= apocalypse, Qayamat andazah=like rastKHez andazah=like apocalypse (Qayamat)    Ta=so much so, evenMuheet= circumference line,  fill mark ba’da=wineMuheet-e-baada=fill mark of wine   Surat=like Khana=house  Khamyazah=pandiculation, stretching and yawning (in boredom, waiting for Saqi)

Meaning: Last night, wine lovers were intensely waiting for Saqi to pour them new wine and remedy their hangover. Waiting for Saqi was like apocalypse (Qayamat). Saqi’s absence created such intense boredom so much so wine in bottles was stretching and yawning, crossing its fill lines. The whole tavern looked like a yawning temple.

Finer aspects: The cardinal rule of tavern is that one should not drink unless Saqi serves. In absence of Saqi, wine lover must wait his arrival. Even though in tavern drums and bottles of wine are full, wine lovers suffering hangovers, dare not touch unless cupbearer (Saqi) serves them.

We all are dispensed our portion of life and luck. Although tempting things are all around us, unless Saqi or almighty offers, we cannot have it. We must wait for Saqi to arrive and serve; meanwhile we must suffer dullness and yawning. To Ghalib, whole word looks like a yawning house. Here everyone is waiting for his/her portion.

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