Dehar meiN, naqsh-e-vafa, vajah-e-tasalli na hua Hai yeh woh lafz ke, sharminda-e-ma’ni na hua

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Dehar   meiN,  naqsh-e-vafa,   vajah-e-tasalli  na  hua

In this world trail of faithfulness is no reason for comfort

Hai yeh woh lafz ke,  sharminda-e-ma’ni na hua 

This word, faithfulness, is the word that never was ashamed of its meaning

Dehar= this world     Naqsh=mark, trail   vafa=faithfulness, affection    vajah=reason   tasalli=comfort  Lafz= word sharminda-e-ma’ni= guilty of its meaning 

This is the 1st verse of Ghalib’s 9th ghazal.  This ghazal is a popular ghazal. It has 7 verses and all of them are beautiful and are bursting with great thoughts. It has been sung by many artists including Lata. For audio, please click here

Meaning: In this world, many lovers aspire to leave trail of their faithfulness for others to take page and emulate. Why? Because, they were impressed by the stories of faithfulness (wafa) of great lovers; and now want to emulate them. Ghalib says that these people’s hopes and aspirations have no foundation. In this world faithfulness is only a rosy word; it has no truth. When faithfulness it self is imaginary, how can one emulate or leave its trail? Then, how can our heart get comfort from the (imaginary) mark of faithfulness? It is bogus! True lovers like Ghalib know this fact and this truth is also understood by the word “faithfulness” it self. In this verse, Ghalib has personified the word “faithfulness” or “Wafa”. Ghalib says it is this reason that word “faithfulness” is not ashamed that its meaning is so lofty and its truth is so fake.

Ghalibologists’ opinions: 

Be-khud Dehlavi :Those who try to establish the mark of faithfulness’ are wasting their time. For this reason, imprint of faithfulness is never a comfort for true lovers.  In every period, it is a tradition of this world, that faithful and true people are always persecuted. The poet calms his heart in the second line of the verse.

Taba Tabai:People remain faithful and expect to leave a trail (of true love) behind; and, comfort their hearts. But even after remaining true and faithful if there is no comfort, then the word faithfulness is meaningless, a fake. In conclusion, talk of faithfulness of lovers is a humbug talk

Bekhud Mohani:
In the world, no peace could be gained from the word ‘faithfulness’. This is the word which has never placed itself under obligation tomeaning; that is, this is a meaningless word.

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