Shab huii, anjum-e-rakhshnda ka manzar khula
Night befell and scene of star studded brilliant sky unfurls
Is takalluf se ke goya buutkade ka dar khula
With such glamor and hoopla as if door of a temple has swung open.
Shab= night anjum=star rakhshnda=shining, brilliant manzar= scene takalluf= glamour, hoopla goya= as if, it can be said buutkada=house of idol, a temple
This is 2nd verse of Ghalib’s 14th ghazal.
Meaning: During reign of Mughal dynasty, poetic assemblies were hosted in Red Fort under his sponsorship. In 1st two lines Ghalib has pictured a scene of such an assembly. He begins his Ghazal with a prayer. He begs, “Oh Allah this assembly is a treasure of talent. Keep its doors open forever”
In this verse Ghalib looks at the star studded sky and says, “Night has arrived and once again scene of sky loaded with brilliant stars, has unfurled.” Then he looks at a temple whose doors had just swung open and its idol surrounded with brilliant lamps jumps out in Ghalib’s eyes. Hindus honor their temples as holy; they also consider the shining lamps of temple also sacred. Allah’s throne called Arsh is in heaven. His Arsh is surrounded by brilliant stars. When the curtain of day’s drama goes down, and with great fanfare night’s curtain goes up exposing starry sky, to Ghalib it looks as if door of a temple has swung open, exposing its brilliant lamps.
Urdu poets, in tradition of Farsi and Arabic poetry, looks at God, Kaaba, mosque, pious zahid, Imam, rituals, etc. with critic and taunt: a nontraditional way. However they revere idol, temple, Brahmin, and thing related to idols. This is because poets call their beloved an idol, a Buut and worship her. Since idols reside in temples and the Brahmin serves idol with such devotion, poets honor both the temple and the Brahmin and every thing around them. However they do it with utmost care; lest they be accused of blasphemy by the religious right. They wrap their words with touches that could be interpreted in different ways. By adoring prohibited things such as idol worshiping and wine poets are able to attack idiosyncrasies of established religions.
Ghalib shows his mastery on that art in above verse. He looks at brilliant sky surrounding heaven but compares it with lamps of a temple, as if lamps of temple were equal or superior to stars.
Finer aspects of this verse: Ghalib call stars in sky lamps of a temple.