Saturday, 4 May 2013

Ghalib's ghazal 68- harif-e-matlab-e-mushkil

For to its own maze unequal, the Mystic path enchants
& Prayer's Alexandrine purpose, Khizr supplants

Why wander the waterless wastes of univocity, ego?
You yet retain a conception of high and low.

Its tryst is a glorious spectacle but where is the Mind?
Where Alexander's mirror by Anticipation refined?

Every atom of the Udhri being but Sun worshipping sand
Night & the Desert's love-play may the Simoom understand!

The bowl of the starry Heavens is the waste-paper basket of the glib
Don't ask the depth of Siduri's flagon of Madness, Ghalib!

Al Khdir (Khizr), who first appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh, led Alexander to the Waters of  Life but drank from them alone.
Alexander is considered the inventor of the mirror. (So the one Empire he can't conquer, command his attention/ Allah to Alexander allots the Mirror's invention). 
The Banu Udhra were a sun-worshiping tribe who 'died when they fell in love'. Lailah & Majnun belonged to this tribe.
Wisdom dispensing Siduri, in the Epic of Gilgamesh, kept a Tavern at the end of the World.

(See Prof Pritchetts 'Desertful of roses' for full commentary)

arīf-e mat̤lab-e mushkil nahīñ fusūn-e niyāz
duʿā qabūl ho yā rab kih ʿumr-e ḳhiżr darāz
1) it's not equal to a difficult purpose, the incantation/enchantment of prayer/desire/neediness
2) may the blessing/prayer be accepted, oh Lord, that the lifetime of Khizr be long
nah ho bah harzah bayābāñ-navard-e vahm-e vujūd
hanūz tere taṣavvur meñ hai nasheb-o-farāz
1) do not be, foolishly/absurdly, a desert-wanderer of the illusion/imagination of existence
2) still/now in your imagination/thought is lowness and highness
viṣāl jalvah tamāshā hai par dimāġh kahāñ
kih dīje āʾinah-e intiz̤ār ko pardāz
1) union is a {glory/appearance}-spectacle, but where is the mind/spirit/mood
2) such that a finish/perfection would be given to the mirror of waiting?

har ek żarrah-e ʿāshiq hai āftāb-parast

gaʾī nah ḳhāk huʾe par havā-e jalvah-e nāz
1) every single sand-grain of the lover is a sun-worshipper
2) even on [his] having become dust, the desire/wind of the glory/appearance of coquetry did not go
nah pūchh vusʿat-e mai-ḳhānah-e junūñ ġhālib
jahāñ yih kāsah-e gardūñ hai ek ḳhāk-andāz
1) don't ask about the extent/capacity of the wine-house of madness, Ghalib
2) where this bowl of the heavens/'wheel' is a mere/single/particular/unique/excellent dust-bin

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