Aaj vaN tegh-o-kafan bandhe huye jata huN meiN Oozr mere qatal karne meiN voh ab laveyNge kya?

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Aaj vaN tegh-o-kafan bandhe huye jata huN meiN

Today, I am going to her wearing a sword and a burial garment 

Oozr mere qatal karne meiN voh ab laveyNge kya?

How will she, now, excuse herself from killing me? 

tegh=sword     kafan=burial garment      Oozr=excuse, copout  laveyNge=old Urdu meaning Layenge

Meaning: In this verse, Ghalib talks about his firm determination. For Ghalib, to be slain by his beloved’s sword is a great honor, a lifelong dream. However, she makes trivial excuses for not killing him; such as she doesn’t have sword or she wouldn’t like washing or burying Ghalib’s dead body. She has misgiving; she reasons that Ghalib wants to die at her hand because he wants her to give him last rites of washing his body before burial.

For removing her distrust Ghalib says, “Today I will go to her in burial garment and carry a sword. I will tell her, here is the sword for killing and that I have taken my last bath, and am in burial garment. Now you should have no excuse; just hold this sword and whizz it on my neck”

Finer aspects of the verse: The words javeNgi, laveNge, farmaneNge etc are replaced by JaeNge, laebge, farmaenge in modern Urdu.

Ghalibologists opinions: BeKhud says use of phrase “putting on burial garment” has created special effect: who can excel this high bar of firm determination––give life for love.

This post is also available in: Hindi Urdu Gujarati