Photo Of The Day




Chinese Garden Of Friendship

Translation - Ghar Humara, Jo Na Rote (Ghalib)

ghar hamara, jo na rote bhi, to wiran hota
bahr gar bahr na hota to bayaban hota

tangi-e-dil ka gila kya, ye wo kafir dil hai
ki agar tang na hota, to pareshan hota

bad-e-yak umr-e-wara, baar to deta bare
kash rizwan hi dar-e-yar ka darban hota

Line 1/2 - The poet laments that my home would have still been desolate (deserted), even if i did not cry. If the ocean was not an ocean, it would have been a desert. If i had no worries, no regrets, no unfulfilled desires even then I would have been lonely (all his life Ghalib was a prisoner of the misery of human existence). If the ocean was not an ocean (and i lost and hopeless in the middle of it), then it would have been a desert and i would still be a bewildered and despondent lost in its endless sands dunes.

Line 3/4 - Why should i bemoan and complain about my tormented and tortured heart. This heart of mine is such an infidel heart. That if it was not in torment and pain(of longings of love), then it would have been anxious(about human existence). Ghalib laments that even if rigors of love were not there, his heart would have still be restless and uneasy.

Line 5/6 - I have not been able to find the meaning of words used in Line 5. So this interpretation is based on what i read on the internet. The poet says that after a life time of piousness and piety(where he abhors from alcohol and other vices) they would have finally granted him entry into heaven. I wish if the guards to heaven were the doorkeeper of my beloved's door. Ghalib says that entry to heaven was much easier (compared to what he is facing in meeting his lover) , and had the same guards had been at his beloved's door, he would have succeeded in having a glance of his lover.

Meaning of difficult words :-
wiran = deserted
bahr = sea
bayaban = desert
rizwan = doorkeeper of paradise
darban = doorkeeper

The Gathering Storm

The Indian govt. came out with a 'white' paper on the 'black' money. Anybody who ever works in Indian IT knows what a white paper is. In most cases, it's a charade. It's a mishmash of weekend google-ing and some lazy re-phrasing. Same has been the case with the govt.'s white paper. A white paper for the sake of white paper. This government has become an epitome of ineptitude and 'one step forward and two step back'. This is not the time to shake this off as pangs of coalition and fractured polity. If you can't perform there is no compulsion to stay put. They can very well move out. It is this self-serving and meek behavior that is causing such a policy logjam that is detrimental to modern capitalistic environment. India is no more a dangling juicy piece of meat for which investors are willing to wait on the sidelines. Today's money is 'hot money'. It just does not wait. It flows somewhere else. Besides the new dynamics of investment, today fiscal scenario is nothing short of precarious. The balance of payment is acute, trade deficit is nearly 140$ billion annually. Gold & crude imports is bleeding India fiscal situation. Rupee is not finding a bottom. Inflation is showing no signs of abating. The euro crises does not sound as remote as Europe. The high interest rate is making private companies cut short on capacity expansion. Policy paralysis on reforms, environmental litigation, subsidy and fiscal rationalization is grinding the wheels of economy to halt. On top of this, scams and bureaucratic safe play is burning the candle on the other side. This is when huge segments of youth joining the workforce. Somebody needs to show spine and put the regional satraps to size and break this logjam. If a white paper needs to come, then it needs to come on how many jobs will not be created if the economy slips couple of percentage. How many people will not be pulled out of poverty if critical reforms remain stuck. This is what is the need of the times is.

Translation - Bas Ke Dushwaar Hai (Ghalib)

bas ki dushwaar hai har kaam ka aasaan hona
aadmi ko bhi muyassar nahin insaan hona

giriya chaahe hai kharaabee mere kaashaane ki
dar-o-deevaar se tapke hai bayaabaan hona

waa-e-deewaangee-e-shauq, ke har dam mujhko
aap jaana udhar aur aap hee hairaan hona

jalva az_bas ki taqaaza-e-nigah karta hai
jauhar-e-aaina bhi chaahe hai mizhgaan hona

ishrat-e-qatl_gah-e-'ehl-e-tamanna mat pooch
id-e-nazzaara hai shamsheer ka uriyaan hona

le gaye khaak mein ham daagh-e-tamanna-e-nishaat
tu ho aur aap ba_sad_rang-e-gulistaan hona

ishrat-e-paara-e-dil, zakhm-e-tamanna_khaana
lazzat-e-reesh-e-jigar gharq-e-namakdaan hona

kee mere qatl ke baad usne jafa se tauba
haay us zood_pashemaan ka pashemaan hona

haif us chaar girah kapde ki qismat 'ghalib'
jis ki qismat mein ho aashiq ka girebaan hona

Line 1/2 - The poet says that it is just too difficult to ask (it is nearly impossible a wish) that every work be easy. Even, men do not succeed always (not always possible) in becoming human. They may be flesh and blood and guts, but they lack the spirit and emotion and empathy that makes them human. It is those difficult tasks/situations that separate the real from the ordinary.

Line 3/4 - My tears wishes the dilapidation of my home. The dripping from the walls and doors is turning this house of mine into wilderness. This dripping water is surrendering my home to a state of desolateness. The metaphor could be that just as leaking water is delivering my home to ruins, in the same way my tears has destroyed my home for i am always pondering (and so per-occupied) over my condition that i leave the house to decay.

Line 5/6 - The poet says my madness(obsession) for her love is so much that every time I go to see her, I return surprised and disappointed (by her indifference). He is surprised because he knows beforehand that her glimpse would not be possible, yet he finds somehow again and again at her door.

Line 7/8 - Her radiance and beauty is of such magnitude that it demands an observation (a sighting). Even the streaks on the mirror wishes to become eyelashes. The mirror is already fulfilling the demand to look at her. In watching her, even the old mirror comes to life and streaks become the eye lashes of her. Even the scratches are embellished at the sight of her radiance.

Line 9/10 - Ask not of the celebration that pervades over the butcher-houses of the ones with desires of love. The raising of the sword (unsheathing it bare) is like sighting of the Eid's moon. The hopeless lovers when brought forward to be slaughtered, and when the sword is raised to decapitate them, seeing their eventual release from the pain and suffering, the sight of the blade of the sword seems to them as the sighting of the Eid's moon(an event that is long awaited and after which festivities can begin).

Line 11/12 - I will be turned to dust (died and buried long ago) and take along with me the wound of my desire and yearning for happiness. May you remain and you become a garden of hundred colors. His death would provide her the grounds on which his beloved will bloom in hundred colors. Even though his love was unrequited, he wishes that her fame and glory spreads further and he will be comforted by this.

Line 13/14 - This one is obtuse. The poet says that the celebration and the joy of winning the piece of the heart of his beloved is in the infliction of the wound of desire onto himself. Like the enjoyment for the piece of liver is to drown itself in the container of salt. It could also mean just as the liver becomes more tasteful when dropped in the salt (even though it sounds hurtful) , the lover's heart celebrates the the infliction of the wound of desire

Line 15/16 - After my killing (murder), she renounced all oppression & cruelty. Oh how the shame of one that gets easily ashamed (embarrassed). The beloved was so indifferent and apathetic to him, that after his death, she realised her mistake. And this is when she used to get embarrassed easily (atleast so the people say) but it took my murder to actually melt her so called soft heart.

Line 17/18 - Ghalib laments that Alas!, the fate of that quarter yard of cloth, Ghalib!. Whose fate is to become the collar of the lover. That collar which will always be soaked in tears of the lover and one day ultimately the lover will tear it off to bare his wounded hurt out.

Meaning of the difficult words :-
dushwaar = difficult
muyassar = possible
giriyaan = weeping
kaashaana = house
bayaabaan = wilderness
az = from/then/by
jauhar = skill/knowledge
taqaaza = demand
mizhgaan = eyelid
ishrat = joy/delight
shamsheer = sword
uriyaan = naked/bare
nishaat = enthusiasm/happiness
sad_rang = hundred colors
ishrat = joy/delight
paara = fragment/piece
lazzat = taste
reesh = wound
gharq = drown/sink
namakdaan = container to keep salt
jafa = oppression
zood = quickly
pashemaan = ashamed/embarrassed
haif = alas!
girah = one sixteenth of a yard
girebaan = collar

Frankenstein-esque



Another one of Sir Attenborough's timeless classic nature documentaries on BBC. Scary!

Photo Of The Day

Colors Of The Fall, Mount Wilson, NSW

Colors Of The Fall, Mount Wilson, NSW

Colors Of The Fall, Mount Wilson, NSW

Translation - Woh Firaaq Aur Woh Wisaal (Ghalib)

woh firaaq aur woh wisaal kahaan ?
woh shab-o-roz-o-maah-o-saal kahaan ?

fursat-e-kaarobaar-e-shauq kise ?
zauq-e-nazzaraa-e-jamaal kahaan ?

dil to dil wo dimaagh bhee na rahaa
shor-e-sauda-e-khatt-o-khaal kahaan ?

thee woh ik shakhs ke tasavvur se
ab woh raanaai-e-khayaal kahaan ?

'eisa aasaan naheen lahoo rona
dil mein taaqat jigar mein haal kahaan ?

hamse choota qamaar_khaana-e-ishq
waan jo jawain, girah mein maal kahaan ?

fikr-e-duniyaan mein sar khapaata hoon
main kahaan aur ye wabaal kahaan ?

muzmahil ho gaye quwa'a 'ghalib'
wo anaasir mein 'eitdaal kahaan ?

Line 1/2 - Ghalib laments that gone are those days of meetings and separation, those are no more. The joy of meetings and torment of separation are moments of the past. Also gone are those nights of our union, those days and months and years. Where are those moments of warmth (of our encounters) and the anguish of your going away. Where are those days and months and years of our love now. The poet could be pondering over the loss of his beloved or maybe apathy of his lover now (for her love towards him is no more what it used to be).

Line 3/4 - The poet says who has the time to pursue hobbies. He is not in the business of following leisurely pursuits these days. All he does is to think about his love and his beloved. Now, where is the enjoyment in the sight of beauty. There is no pleasure in it (now). This couplet can be interpreted in many ways. It could also mean who has time for leisure when being in love itself is so engaging, but I am being denied the delight of appreciating the beauty of my beloved.

Line 5/6 - Ghalib says that not only his heart, I have lost my mind as well earlier for love (or fleeting thoughts of love). Where is now that tumultuous madness for that mole and beard. Where are those infatuations, those tenderly feelings that earlier used to make him mad and seemed so real. But now those seemingly genuine feelings fade away, the person doubts what was those prior thoughts that seemed so wonderful at that time. Again, highly interpretive.

Line 7/8 - Asad says her mere existence was a result of somebody's thought. She existed only in fancy thoughts of an individual. Now those affectionate thoughts are no more. He fantasies about (not his) the beloved, he constantly dreams about her from whatever little he has heard about her from an acquaintance. But he has lost that fantasy now, not because he has lost her, but because she was never his to begin with. It could mean that those fantasies were result of someone (the poet referring himself) thought, and those imaginations (whatever it maybe, not necessarily of beloved) are no more.

Line 9/10 - Ghalib laments it is not easy to cry your heart out. Where is the strength left in the heart and where is the condition of the liver. Weeping tears of blood leaves him so drained, that there is no physical and emotional strength left in him. This couplet though easy to understand does not fit into the usual train of rueful thought as in like comparing old (and better) times with now that other couplet in this gazal have meant.

Line 11/12 - I have lost my love for the gambling houses, where is the money in my purse that I would go there now. The poet fond of visiting the gambling houses, misses that he is not able to go there now due to lack of money.

Line 13/14 - I bang my head trying to figure out a solution to the problems of this world. The troubles of the world are keeping me agitated and engaged. I forget to tell myself that these problems are not of my doing or my tastes (not that it would have mattered.) The problems are much bigger than me. Where am I and What could I have done of those. Those worries of the world transcends my abilities and my senses. It could also mean that Ghalib is very capable of pondering over worldly miseries but he does not, instead being absorbed in the pursuit of love for lover is what he is.

Line 15/16 - The poet says that he is physically exhausted. All is limbs and physical power has been depleted now. Where is the moderation in the elements now. Where is the balance in my fate now. Why does not good times (or fortune) arrives now to soothe his wearied and tired spirit.

Meaning of the difficult words :-
firaaq = separation
wisaal = meeting
shab = night
maah = month
zauq = delight/joy
jamaal = beauty
tasavvur = imagination
raanaai-e-khayaal = tender thoughts
haal = spiritual ecstasy
qamaar_khaana = casino
girah = knot/joint
wabaal = calamity
muzmahil = exhausted/idle
quwa'a = limbs
anaasir = elements
'eitdaal = moderation

Transation - Hazaaron Khwahishain Aisi (Ghalib)

hazaaron khwahishain aisi ki har khwahish pe dam nikle
bahut nikle mere armaan lekin fir bhi kam nikle

daare kyun mera qaatil kya rahega uski gardan par
woh khoon, jo chashm-e-tar se 'umr bhar yoon dam-ba-dam nikle

nikalna khuld se aadam ka sunte aayain hain lekin
bahut be-aabru hokar tere kooche se ham nikle

bharam khul jaaye zaalim tere qaamat ki daraazee ka
agar is turra-e-pur-pech-o-kham ka pech-o-kham nikle

magar likhwaaye koi usko khat, to hamse likhawaaye
hui subah aur ghar se kaan par rakhkar qalam nikle

hui is daur mein mansoob mujhse baada_aashaamee
fir aaya wo zamaana, jo jahaan se jaam-e-jam nikli

hui jinse tavaqqo khastagee ki daad paane ki
wo hamse bhi ziyaada khasta-e-tegh-e-sitam nikle

mohabbat mein nahin hai farq jeene aur marne kaa
usi ko dekh kar jeete hain jis kaafir pe dam nikle

zara kar jor seene par ki teer-e-pursitam nikle
jo wo nikle to dil nikle, jo dil nikle to dam nikle

khuda ke waaste parda na kaabe se uthaa zaalim
kahin 'eisa na ho yaan bhi wohee kaafir sanam nikle

kahaan maikhaane ka darwaaza 'ghalib' aur kahaan waaiz
par itana jaante hain kal wo jaata tha ke ham nikle


Line 1/2 - Ghalib says that there are thousands of desires, each of the desire so splendid that they are worth dying for. My heart literally dies longing for each of those desires. Many of those desires have already been fulfilled yet I wish/yearn for more. The human existence is never satisfied with it. The list is so long that even in my entire lifetime, some were fulfilled though yet many more remain.

Line 3/4 - Why should my killer be scared of the crime committed. There will be no blood on her hands (her neck is not going to be on the sword for slaying me). All my blood has already flowed out from my eyes continuously shedding tears(blood) all my life due to the grief that I have seen in my life (or maybe love). My lover should not feel guilty or fear for killing me for I am already dead with so my grief in my life.

Line 5/6 - We have heard from times immemorial about the expulsion of Adam from the garden of Eden (heaven) after the Fall Of Man, so was my humiliation(even more than what Adam faced) when I was leaving the streets on which my beloved lived. Ghalib laments what was his sin against what Adam did. Why is he being viewed more unfavorably than Adam.

Line 7/8 - This couplet is tough. Ghalib says that his tormentor must not have any misgiving about the length of his stature or notions about the esteem that he seems to be held in. All that false belief about oneself will be cleared if the metallic pin in the turban that is holding the curls of the hairs gives way. Ghalib essentially says that these external finery should not allow one to create an false illusions of standing/respect. A smallest of slip will show your true colors to everyone. It could also mean that the false notion of height will give way if the clip falls that holds that tuft of hairs arranged over the head to look tall.

Line 9/10 - Ghalib says that he is willing to write letters to her (his lover) if any one wants him to write a letter for them. Every morning he wanders leaving his home with a pen in his ear hoping someone will ask him to write their letters to her. It could mean that his lover is not responding to his letters, he meanwhile is waiting expectantly for her reply. He does not want to approach her again directly, instead would help other write one so that he could hear some news from her.In this hope, he leaves home every day with a pen in his ear.

Line 11/12 - Another tough one. Ghalib says in these times, wine drinking is being associated with me. My name has become synonymous with drinking. So the time is right for the cup of Jamshid to reappear in this world. The exact significance is open to many interpretations. The cup of Jamshid is said to be filled with elixir of immortality and can one see future/universe by looking into it. King Jamshid is said to have discovered wine. It could mean that a drunk like me, (of same levels as King Jamshid) needs the cup to see that elusive truth and conquer death. It could also mean that history has repeated itself, previously Jamshid had all the wine and knowledge of the universe and now Ghalib has both and he has become Jamshid of this age.

Line 13/14 - Ghalib laments he expected some appreciation from them for his afflicted wounds and sufferings, but they turned out to be more wounded/weary by the cruel sword of the tyrant. Ghalib says that everyone hopes that someone else would understand their suffering/problems but everyone seems to be suffering under the crushing load of life and living. Some have troubles which are much larger than his but still the heart hopes that someone comes along and gives a compassionate shoulder. It could also mean that he was expecting sympathy from his beloved, but his lover seems to be more wounded by someone else.

Line 15/16 - In real love, there is no difference between living and dying. Life and death is one and same when in true love. I live by looking at her, that infidel for whom I am willing to die. The use of infidel seems unusual and may mean that his lover is someone who does not conform to current social norms Or she could be a sinner for taking life of her lover in form of a ritualistic sacrifice.

Line 17/18 - Ghalib says to put some pressure on your heart to remove that cruel arrow that pains the heart. For if the arrow comes out, so will the heart. And if the heart comes out so will your life. It means that even though this waiting in love is a suffering that constantly pains his heart, but if he removes the love of his life than he will lose the meaning for living and eventually lose his life.

Line 19/20 - For God sake, don't lift the cover off Kaaba you tyrant. It might be that the infidel turns out to be our lover. So do not be so interested in uncovering deeper secrets about others, for you could be in for a surprise about yourselves someday. It could mean that don't lift the covers of Kaaba for you may find the same infidel statues inside meaning if you uncover the secrets of each religion than you will find that God is everywhere. He is in the sacred Kaaba as well as in the unholy idols inside Kaaba. The same lines could also show Ghalib's overarching cynicism in faith as-in what if the same infidel cast in stone(that we so despise) is revealed here. Indeed highly interpretive.

Line 21/22 - Ghalib says O Ghalib!, How can you compare where the door to the bar is and where the preacher is in the same breath. They are ways apart due to the preacher's piety and religious beliefs. But I can tell you this, that yesterday when I was leaving the bar, I saw him entering it. In such simple words he exposes the hypocrisy of the religious orthodoxy that preaches one thing and does exact opposite.

Meaning of difficult words :-
khuld = heaven
koocha = street
chashm = eye
tar = wet
dam_ba_dam = continuously
waaiz = preacher
daraazee = length
qaamat = stature
turra = an ornamental tassel worn in the turban
pech-o-kham = curls in the hair/complexity
tavaqqo = expectation
khastagee = weakness/weariness
daad = appreciation
khasta = broken/sick/injured
tegh = sword
sitam = cruelty
mansoob = association
baada_aashaamee = association with drinking
jaam-e-jam = cup of Jamshid