Sadgi wa purkari, be-KHudi wa hushyari

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  This the 4th verse of Ghalib’s 4th Ghazal.

Sadgi wa purkari, be-KHudi wa hushyari

Husn ko taghful mein jur’at aazmaN paya

Sadgi = simplicity, benign-looks purkari = pretending, cunning or dhong in Urdu   Be-khudi = not paying attention, lost in other thoughts    taGhaful = Ghaflat = carelessness, inattention       Jura’at = courage, guts    aazmaN = testing       Jura’at aazmaN= gut testing

This is a beautiful verse: simple construction, beautiful wording, and rhyming music.

Ghalib is describing a scenario when he is watching his beloved (from a hiding). He finds that she is lost in thoughts, and not paying attention to her surroundings, her hair blown by breeze and curves exposed. How can he control himself? He thinks that it is easy to steal a touch of her unfurled hair or at least have a closer peek at her; however, Ghalib warns himself: Beware! Looks are misleading; her simplicity and benign-looks, in reality, are cunningness, pretending, or a “dhong”. Her inattention is actually a ruse to test your spirit and guts.

Ghalib bears out the fact that inattentive beauty is always gut-testing. Try to approach an inviting and benign looking rose; thorns may hurt you. You must approach beauty with care and respect!

If we take this verse to higher level of true love, called ishq-e-haqiqi in Sufism terminology, it makes a different meaning. God is beauty and he is in everything. God, to us, seems inattentive and unaware. This tempts us to do things we are not supposed to do as per laws of love. Yet, many situations are so tempting and gut testing that we can’t control our impulses and do things that we are not supposed to do. We pay price for those unbecoming behaviors. God’s Bekhudi is actually Hushyari.

Please note the wordings of this verse. Ghalib has used opposite words called “tazad”

Sadgi‘s opposite is purkari; Bekhudi’s opposite is hushyari. In second misr’a (line) he uses a new word “taghaful” to describe inattention; he doesn’t repeat the word be-khudi from the first line.

This post is also available in: Hindi Urdu Gujarati