Mein huN aur afsurdgi ki aarzoo, Ghalib! Ke dil Dekh kar tarz-e-tapak-ahl-e-duniya, jal gaya

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Mein huN aur afsurdgi ki aarzoo, Ghalib! Ke dil

I wish company of depression, Oh Ghalib! for  my heart burned 

Dekh  kar   tarz-e-tapak-ahl-e-duniya,  jal  gaya

when I saw people had warm-greetings & smiles on their faces; but, hearts full of malice.

afsurdagi= depression, sorrow       aarzoo= desire     tarz= method, a way   tapak = meet some one with extreme warmth and enthusiasm     tarz-e-tapak  = the method of showing love        ahl= people        ahl-e-duniya = people of this world

 This is the last verse of Ghalib’s 5th Ghazal. Last verse of a Ghazal in which a poet includes his Nome de plum (takhallus), is called maqta. Maqta is derived from Arabic trilateral root   r q u Qa-ta-a means to cut, to end.

 Meaning: When we see disgusting behavior of friends and people of this world, we feel depressed, our hearts get torched, because they meet us with extreme warmth and smile, but in their heart they carry intent to hurt us. When this happens our hearts hate pleasure and become friends with depression or withdrawal.

 Another Ghalibologist, Aasi, adds:  The point that Ghalib, here, is making: When a heart gets torched and gutted, it doesn’t become zero; another emotion, depression, springs up. There is never a vacuum in heart, any time.

 This verse mocks the situations that we experience every day. A Mulla or priest is eager to show us path to heaven; his eyes full of tears for us, but his sight is on our check book. People, nations, and Governments look and talk sweet, but their intentions are diabolic. They promise us liberation and peace but will actually bomb, kill, or least harm us. That is their moral high ground

 There is equally excellent verse from another poet on the above subject, I don’t recall poet’s name. This verse rivals Ghalib in complexity and meaning. It is my favorite:

Gila-e-jafa-e-wafa numa jo ha-rem ko ahl-e-ha-rem se hai 

The false look of reverence on face of people of Kaaba, but mal intentions in hearts.

Kisi butkade mein bayaN krdooN to sanam bhi kahe “Hari-Hari” 

If I narrate this story in a temple to idols, the false Gods, they also, in  disgust, will cry: Oh my God! Oh my God!!

gila = narration of complaint, criticism    jafa=oppression, tyranny, harm        wafa = fulfillment of promise, loyalty ha-rem = compound around Kaaba in Mecca, house of God a sanctuary      ahl = dwellers      but = idol              butkada = place where idols are kept, a temple          bayaN = narration  sanam = (beautiful) idol        Hari= Sanskrit for God  Hari-Hari= like tauba-tauba in Islam

 Meaning: If I narrate to idols (false Gods) in a temple, how people of Kaaba (house of God) outwardly show extreme reverence, but inside their hearts carry enmity and great harm for Kaaba, the idols will utter, in surprise, Hari Hari.  Oh my God, Oh mu God, people of Kaaba are like this!

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