Kehte ho “Na denge hum, dil agar pada paya”

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Kehte ho “Na denge hum, dil  agar  pada paya”

You say, “I won’t return heart, if I find it dropped

Dil kahan ke gum kije? Hum ne Mudda’a paya

I have no heart left, how will I lose? Now I know your purpose.

Mudaa =issue, purpose

This is the first verse of third Ghazal. First she’r/verse of any Ghazal is called Matl’a or riser. It is from the Arabic word Tulu = to rise; like sunrise. In the Matl’a both the lines of a verse must rhyme; hence, it is very musical. A good Matl’a is celebrated forever. In above she’r Ghalib goes back to his childhood when he used to play with his sweet heart. As we all know, children are mischievous; if a friend drops something, the other playmate will pick it up and hide it. Then he/she would tease and quietly say something like “Finders keepers” or “If I find some thing I won’t return it.” By this utterance, the other child will know that he/she has dropped or lost some thing. So when Ghalib’s sweetheart teasingly uttered “I won’t return heart, if I find it dropped” Ghalib knew that he lost his heart and she found it. To this Ghalib replies, “I had only one heart and now I don’t have it; so sweet heart, I know the purpose of your utterance. It means that you have stolen it.”

To some of you, this verse may seem childish; however, it has a deeper meaning. Like many top Urdu poets, Ghalib wants to prove that he is the greatest lover of all times; even greater than Majnu, Farhad, Romeo, Ranjha, or Vamiq. In the above she’r Ghalib wants to tell us, unlike others, he is a born lover; right from childhood his sweetheart use to steal his heart and then tease him. Throughout his book of verse (Divan) Ghalib talks about his superiority over other lovers.

Applaud Ghalib’s mastery of art in above verse. He says his childhood story and his apex position among lovers of all time, in just two short lines. Notice also the use of same word “Dil” twice in one verse; a rarity in Ghalib’s work. That is because the 1st line of verse is a quote.

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