Mirza Asadullah Khan (Ghalib)-27-12-1797(Agra) To 15-02-1869 (Delhi)
Nothing about her is free of artifice and deceit,
Even if she shows affection, then I know it is trick.
(Even if she shows affection, I feel no happiness, thinking that her love has no stability, and I also begin to think, let me see what comes after this love.)
(When she makes an affectionate gesture, when she offers her heart to you, that is when you should really better look out.)
(Ultimately, this verse is also witty and even quite amusing.)
I cannot talk openly about the question of union,
And she in her simple-heart cannot understand the meaning without its being expressed clearly.
(This verse outwardly seems to be about the beloved, but concealed within it is also a reference to those people who used to call Ghalib's poetry meaningless or difficult to understand.)
(Ghalib knew that his philosophy and words are too lofty for the criticizers to understand and any change means intolerable deterioration. So it is a kind of stalemate, such that only God can resolve them.)
Her glance of coquetry has no connection with the eyebrow,
The glance of coquetry is certainly an arrow but it is not the eyebrow.
(The arrow of this glance of coquetry strikes its targets through the bow of the intention of the heart. Thus, the wound it causes are always of different kinds. Sometimes it makes the lover love it with the happiness, sometimes it slays him with the arrowhead of anger.)
(To call eyebrow a bow, and the glance an arrow, is an old simile. Mirza Ghalib has taken a new track. The niche of the lips is its bow. The arrow has no connection with the eyebrow. Ghalib has created a new bow for the arrow of glance.)
Thanks to you, everybody will be able to bye a heat and life cheaply,
In passion for you everybody has gotten sick of heart and life. In bazaars, they are being sold cheaply. I will bye another heart and life.
(Beloved has said, it is not as if you are dying. In reply, he says 'what do I care of my life', as long as you are in the city. Your cruelties have reached such a limit that everybody's heart and life have become a burden. If my one life goes, lives are openly available in markets.)
(When and if the lover does manage to get up, canter into bazaar and bye another heart and life.)
If we have obtained dexterity in idol-breaking, what is the benefit,
As long as we remain alive, so long there will also remain one more heavy stone blocking the path of mystic philosophy of the divine. A big heavy stone, our existence, is still present.
(As long as pride, arrogance and ego is there, then it is useless to mention of an individual mystic knowledge. One should first become a human being.)
(Humans are sinful by nature, their existence itself guarantees that their path of progress will remain blocked.)
(We routinely break all other stones but find that the stone of our lives can only be broken by our death.)
(What a wry, dry and amused comment.)
The blood of the liver is in turmoil, I would have been wept to my heart's content,
If only I had received many pure-blood-scattering eyes.
(When the state of the blood of the liver in turmoil, how can I weep enough with my only two eyes.)
(From here we can only extract an idea of how intensely the poet desires to weep.)
(Once you have got the intention of Ghalib, you have got the whole verse.)
I am a lover of her voice, I would not give a damn if my head is cut off,
To such an extent that if at the time of my murder she would keep on saying to the executioner "Yes strike again, yes deliver another stroke, yes inflict another wound.
(I love her voice to such an extent, that I have no grief at all over my murder.)
(Her saying, "Yes use the sword more" pleases me so much that I have no care for my life is being lost.)
(As I die, the only wish in my heart is that she would not stop talking.)
People think that the world illuminating sun, as usual, rises in the east,
A Thousand of scars are hidden in my heart, every day at dawn I show people a new scar.
(Every scar in my heart is a sun.)
(Probably people make the mistake because the red sun is nothing much, pallid wimpy little candle, compared to my scar. Thus, what people call the sun is only one of my scars.)
(Curious people come to visit me and see by now legendary scars. I show them everyday different one. Whenever I unveil one of them, people are so overwhelmed and dazzled that they invariably mistake it for the sun itself. I have to calm them down.)
If I had not given you my heart, then I would have experienced peace for a few moments,
If I had not died, then I would have sighed and groaned a few days more.
(Both lines are in one style and of one glory, and this is the style of speech, that no one before Ghalib had ever adopted in Urdu.)
(Now we have to compare, few breaths in peace Vs heaving a few more sighs.)
When the temperament starts to move again after being halted, then it moves more strongly,
The way when a risen stream finds a path, it flows with a great deal of force.
(When after some days of non-production my temperament is move to compose poetry, the more force is created in it. Then I compose, and I compose well.)
(Ghalib's poetry would ideally consist of nothing but versified lamentation.)
In the world there are other very good poets,
But it is accepted, every body says with one voice, that MIrza Ghalib's style of speech is distinct from everybody's.
(This is Mirza Ghalib's specialty.)
(No one have been endowed with a style of speech like this.)
(This matter is widespread and commonly known.)