Shor-e-pand-e-naseh ne zakhm par namak chhiRka

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 Shor-e-pand-e-naseh ne zakhm par namak chhiRka

Pestering of (naiveté) preacher rubbed salt on my wounds

Aap  se  koi  poochhe,  ‘Tum  ne  kya  maza  paya?

Ask his Excellency, ‘Hey! What pleasure did you derive?’

Shor=noise; cries   Pand=advice    Naseh= preacher; advisor

 This is the last verse of fourth Ghazal; contrary to Urdu practice, Ghalib has not used his pen name Ghalib or Asad in this verse; hence it can’t be called “maqt’a”. This kind of ending of a Ghazal is rare.

 In above she’r Ghalib lashes his anger at a preacher. Ghalib, in love, has lost every thing; naiveté folks like preacher, who don’t understand tests and rules of love, try to dissuade him from his (disastrous?) journey in path of love. In Urdu and Persian poems, preachers are called Nasih, Sheikh, or Waiz. In Urdu poems, there is so much ridicule against preachers, pundits, mullahs, Sheikhs, Zahid, Waiz and Nasih, because for two reasons: 1. Many times in secret they enjoy the same thing what they forbid in public. 2. Or, what they forbid is that they themselves never tasted; so their experience is only hear-say. In Urdu poems, they are always ridiculed and addressed in third person singular with disrespect. Poets argue that these folks have never experimented with wine and love, how then they know what wonderful things they are missing; as somewhere else Ghalib says, “Hai! kambakht tu ne pee hi nahiN –Oh Unfortunate soul! You never tasted it.”

 Ghalib gets weary of these unsolicited advices from preachers. When they ask him to abandon pursuit of his love, he actually gets fired up more and his love-wounds become fresh and painful. So, he expresses his anger in a unique way. It is common to address a lowly person by high titles of Aap, Shrimaan, Huzur, Janab etc., just for ridicule. This verse is unique style of Ghalib: He says “Aap se koi puchhe (Ask his Excellency)” but then immediately changes his addressing etiquette and says “Tum ne kya maza paya?” (Hey! What pleasure did you derive?)

 A special note for those who can read Urdu: This Ghazal’s Qafiya (rhyme) ends in Alif such as Dawa, Rasa, Aazma etc. In this Ghazal Ghalib has used Qafiya “maza” with Alif; this is a miss-spell. Mazah is written: mim+ ze + small round hai. Ghalib changed hai with Alif. In Persian such exchange is prohibited; however, in Urdu under influence of Bhakha (a Hindi dialect) and Hindi, it is considered to be okay. This is rare; a lesser poet would have been a subject of criticism.


This post is also available in: Hindi Urdu Gujarati