Ba faiz-e-be-dili, nomidi-e-javed aasaN hai
By the grace of distress, it is easy for me to survive the eternal disappointment
Kushaish ko hamara uqda-e-mushkil pasand aaya
Opening process itself liked my difficult knot; (now it want touch it)
Ba faiz = By the grace be-dili=distress nomidi (na ummidi) = disappointments javed = eternal, constant Kusha= open Kushaish = (knot) opening (divine) process uqda = a knot, aproblem uqda-e-mushkil = knotty or difficult problems Note: Hazrat Ali, son-in-law of Prophet Mohammed’s ( peace be upon him) title is Mushkil-kusha or one who opens difficult knots. In times of trouble, Muslim, especially Shi’as remember Hazarat Ali for help.
This is the 2nd verse of Ghalib’s 8th ghazal. This ghazal is not popular at street level and its verses are difficult to understand yet it they are packed with so much energy and punch that I don’t want to skip them. Meaning: Suppose you buy a painting by Picasso or by M.F. Hussain. Would you try to alter it? No, you will leave it untouched. Ghalib is expanding on this theme with a twist. Ghalib is distressed because of his failure in love or for any other mundane reasons. This has led him into a state of eternal disappointment. If we had such misfortune we would say it is a punishment from God or it is because of our Karma. However, Ghalib takes credit for his state of constant despair (nomidi-e-javed) as if it is his own creation and says hamara uqda-e-mushkil or my difficult-knot, is liked by kushais, the opening process itself, so much so that it didn’t prefer even to touch it. It left it untouched.
Kushaish could be an angle or a separate God or goddess as Hindus and Greeks believe. He thinks that because his state of despair is preserved as a model by the divine authority, his condition would never change. Such belief has made him content and now he does not run after Dua دعا દુઆ or Dava دوا દવા Now his life has become easy; thanks to his be-dili or distress.
This is an extraordinary way of thinking about out difficulties and misfortune. If we think that our misfortunes and our difficult knots of lives are so unique and so great that they are accepted as a model by the Almighty, then there is no point in Dua or Dawa; our state of misery won’t change. And, we should be content the way we are. When battalions of problems and misery descend on me I say “Kushaish ko hamara uqda-e-mushkil pasand aaya” That eases my suffocation.
This sh’er may be a satire also. We are told by various religious authorities that God has made prophets, Imams, Gurus etc. as permanent models of extreme good or made the Satan a model of extreme wickedness. They don’t change. So, Ghalib boasts that his state of difficulties and knotty problems is also a permanent state.
The philosophical theme of “Be satisfied with what you are; and, don’t get crazy after solutions” runs throughout the Ghalib’s book. It doesn’t mean that he was a pessimist. He was living in a time when his beloved King Bahdurshah was just deposed and banished in Rangoon jail by the ‘angrez Ru-siyah’ (blackened face British) as he calls them. Despised groups of that time like Sikh, Jat, Marathas, and Gorkhas had got the sudden meteoric rise in military and civil jobs for supporting British. Most of Delhi people were in distress and felt helpless. This holocaust condition reflects in Ghalib’s poetry. In one of his Farsi she’r he says to a drowning person: Why do you want to remain afloat by beating your hands and feet against the waves of this sea? The surface of the sea is hot like fire of hell; but if you quit, you will go to the bottom of the sea and there it is like sal-sabil, an eternal peace. To drown is better than the fear of drowning.
Origin of Ghalib’s distress or ‘be-dili’ may be rooted in his love affair. So, indirectly he is thanking his love.
Another poet has said: Shukria ae pyar tera Sukria Dil ko kitna khubsurat gham diya ! Thank you, oh love, thank you What a beautiful grief for my heart