Transation - Hazaaron Khwahishain Aisi (Ghalib)

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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