Bas ke hooN, Ghalib! aseeri maiN bhi aatish zir-e-pa

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Leg iron

Bas ke hooN, Ghalib! aseeri maiN bhi aatish zir-e-pa

Oh Ghalib! In captivity also, I behave as if my feet are to fire (dancing).

Moo-e-aatish   deeda  hai  halqa    meri    zanjeer   ka

Links of my leg-chain to me are as fragile as coils of burnt hair  

Bas ke=let it be known       Aseeri=Captivity aatish= fire      zir-e-pa= under my feet Moo=hair(fragile)   Atish deeda=has seen fire (burned)   Halqa=circle (a link of an iron chain)         zanjeer=chain

Explanation  (Tashrih): Please picture that Ghalib, a thinker/reformist, is in lockup, for his radical thinking; his legs & body are secured with an iron chain. What do you think? Would he quit his love? Would he stop seeking the ultimate truth, love? He challenges his captors: he says, “Though I am shackled in iron chains, and my feet are to lire; it is nothing before my resolve. For, when I shall dance in ecstasy it will create so much heat that these links of iron chain will be so fragile; they will be like coils of burnt hair. They will crumble soon.”

This she’r is super in spirit of great courage called Himmat-e-aali Imagine you are going through a testing time. You are chained by misfortune and adverse circumstances. You feel like quitting pursuit of your beloved goal. Recite this she’r and you shall feel a great courage. I have recited “ Moo-e-aatish deeda hey halqa meri zanjir ka” in my terrible times and I felt great courage.

Beauty of the she’r is in coinage of a new idiom: Moo-e-aatish deeda = coils of burnt hair.

Seemingly great difficulties are as fragile as burnt hair, provided, despite of shackles, if one gathers enough courage to dance an ecstasy dance. Ghalib’s coinages of words have become universal in Urdu literature. Many Urdu literary works are titled after these coinages. Ghalib does not use one word twice in one she’r. In this she’r he has used “Aatish” twice; but both are used in a form of idiom (Muhavra). Such use is universally permitted

This post is also available in: Hindi Urdu Gujarati