Dhamki meiN mar gaya, jo na bab-e-naburd tha
He, who was weak didn’t belong to battlefield, died just in a threat.
Ishq-e-naburd pesha, talbgar-e-mard tha
Love’s resume is war; it sought a brave fighter.
Dhamki = threat, Baab= gate, chapter Naburd =Battle, war Pesha=occupation,business
This is the 1st verse of Mirza Ghalib’s 7th ghazal. Being the first verse of a Ghazal, it is called Matla the beginning or riser Its both lines rhyme in Qafiya “rd” & Radif “tha” This Ghazal is not popular at street level but it has a Sufi-color; and, I love it.
Meaning: The person who was weak and didn’t belong to battlefield of love, died just in one threat; he couldn’t face love’s demands. Love’s occupation/resume is struggle and war; being so, love demands brave warriors who can conquer and win difficulties and calamities of love. If, a person has no courage then fear will render his love meaningless.
Please notice that Ghalib has used past tense in above verse by using word “Tha”. It means that he is pointing to something that happened in the past. It seems that he is pointing at the great love story of Shirin and Farhad. As we know, Farhad fulfilled the great challenge put forth to him: Dig a canal in rocky mountains, called Koh-e-Besutun, and make milk flow through it, and Shirin will be yours.
However, at the end he was tricked. He was told that Shirin had already married. On this news, Farhad killed him self by striking the very pickaxe that he used in digging the canal, on his own head and died. Ghalib probably wants to ridicule Farhad that he was not brave enough because he ended his fight prematurely.
If we consider “Love” as love of God, then the verse means: Those who leave path of God, when they face difficulties and problems, are like cowards who die just in one threat. Love of God is a great struggle and it demands the brave warriors who would never give-up and fight till finish.
Ghalibologists’ opinions:Bekhud: “died just in one threat” points at Farhad. Ghalib says he himself didn’t give up love just in one threat and that he fought bravely at every step.