Translation - Dil Hi To Hai Na Sang (Ghalib)

dil hi to hai na sang-o-khisht dard se bhar na aaye kyon?
royenge ham hazaar baar, koi hamein sataaye kyon?

Line 1/2 - The poet says it is only a heart and not some stone and bricks. Why will it not fill up with pain? With a sense of aggravated injury/anguish, the poet aggrieve that I am not made of stone and bricks that I don't feel pain. Even my cup of pain brims. I will cry a thousand times. Why does someone want to keep tormenting me? The second line echoes the first line provoked sense of injustice in saying that I am crying endlessly for I am being subjected to torment. The couplet as with Ghalib most works can be directed at the beloved or at the rigors of the existence where each passing day brings new misery.

dair nahin, haram nahin, dar nahin, aastaan nahin
baithe hain rehguzar pe ham, ghair hamein uthaaye kyon?

Line 3/4 - The poet says it is not a temple, nor a mosque. It is neither a door, nor a home. It is a pathway (public road) that I am sitting on, why are the others making me get up? This couplet though simple can take multiple connotation, each elegant in it own way. Ghalib says that he is not in the temple, nor inside the mosque thus independent of any religious affiliations. Also he is not inside a household or a door thus free from the drudgery of married life and household and social mores. No one can accuse him of religious impropriety or trespassing, instead he is deliberately sitting on the public road and no one can remove him from here now. In just two lines, he has aimed at religious as well as social tie-ups and asked to be left alone in the middle of the street, with no faith and no relations or love. Why can't I live like this? Why do you not let me live, out here.. alone.. unloved? Simply brilliant!

jab woh jamaal-e-dil_faroz, soorat-e-meher-e-neem_roz
aap hee ho nazzaara_soz, parde mein munh chupaaye kyon?

Line 5/6 - The poet says when that beauty of yours is so brilliant that it shins up the admirer's heart. Your face is like the mid-day sun, radiant and beaming and eye-blinding You are the one who is worth seeing, so why do you hide your face in the veil? Again multiple interpretations can be put forth. The poet says that your beauty is such a treat to watch but why do cover it with a veil? It can also be argued that poet is saying that your beauty is so brilliant and radiant that any unworthy person seeing you will be blinded by it and hence you actually don't need to cover your face to protect your modesty for no unworthy can eye you directly. Ghalib being ghalib, one can also interpret that these lines are complaints to the Omnipotent one. Why does God need to hide his true self. Your one sight/miracle would be enough to make people go blind in devotion.

dashna-e-ghamza jaan_sitaan, naawak-e-naaz be_panaah
tera hee aks-e-rukh sahee, saamne tere aaye kyon?

Line 7/8 - This is an absolute play on words. The poet says that with those dagger pointed amorous glances that literally take one's life away, those senses-pleasing grace, those haughty demeanor, those amorous behavior of yours is like rain of arrows from which there is no relief. The beloved with her subtle though flirty (not in a crude but as an artistic charm) and yet a bit overbearing manners evokes a deadly potency that there is no escaping them. The second line states that with such deadly charm, even the reflection of your beautiful face can not can not afford to come before you for it will be waylaid by its bewitching glance. Why do you risk yourself coming before the mirror and come face to face with it?
       
qaid-e-hayaat-o-band-e-gham asl mein dono ek hain
maut se pehle aadmee gham se nijaat paaye kyon?

Line 9/10 - After couple of heavy worded sher, this is simple on words but meaty on meaning. The poet laments that prison of life and the chains of sorrow are both in fact essentially the same thing. Why would man be released from pain before death? Ghalib in its brutal nakedness of human existence says that prison of human existence, the endless misery of being is fundamentally same (derive from same source) as continuous pain that afflicts the mortal soul. It is not possible to not have sorrow/pain in this existence of ours. Both go hand in hand. So why would a person be freed from this drudgery before death? Why would one expect so? There is no escaping this pain in our lives and the only escape is the eventual death.

husn aur uspe husn_zan rah gayee bulhawas ki sharm
apne pe 'eitmaad hai, ghair ko aazmaaye kyon?

Line 11/12 - The poet says that beauty and on the top of it the smartness and intelligence that his beloved displays. The lusty stranger was able to keep his honour and not be ashamed. There is calm confidence on oneself, but why do you want to test the other? Ghalib says that his beloved is someone who is extremely beautiful not only physically but from the heart as well, and the intelligence and confidence she oozes that she does not get intimated by other watching her or be conscious of her mannerisms. Her supreme confidence (due to her personality) makes her indifferent to the surrounding so that the lusty admirer is able to ogle at her without the risk of being caught by her eyes and hence be ashamed. You have confidence in yourself, but why do you test the strangers/others?

wahan wo ghuroor-e-iz'z-o-naaz yaaN yeh hijaab-e-paas-e-waz'a
raah mein ham mile kahaan, bazm mein wo bulaaye kyon?

Line 13/14 - The poet says over there, there is pride and vanity over the splendor and manners/grace. While over here there is modesty made possible due the respect and upright behavior. Where would we meet on the  road? Why would she call me to the social gathering that she is having. Ghalib aware of the stark social differences between him and his beloved comments that while there self-esteem prevails due to their mannerisms and splendor, over here its humble rectitude and self respect. The difference is so bare, that why would he be invited to the social meeting happening at her place and there is no place where they can meet on the road away from the prying eyes so as not to risk public embarrassment.

haan wo naheen khuda_parast, jaao wo be_wafa sahi
jisko ho deen-o-dil 'azeez, uskee galee mein jaaye kyon?

Line 15/16 - The poet says that yes she is not God-worshiper, she is unfaithful, agreed! One who loves his faith and his heart, why would they go to her street? Ghalib in conversation with some one (presumably the so called keepers of the faith/society). They warn the poet about his beloved's Godless ways and lack of devotion, besides doubting her faithfulness to him as well. The poet with a hint of irritation says that "agreed, she is not god-fearing and its fine if she is unfaithful as well. Why (those who so call love their heart and faith) why do they frequent her street?" Ghalib in other ways hinting that he does not care about his heart and his faith, for he will continue to go after his beloved but those so called moral custodians themselves are aware and maybe frequenting her street and yet preach the exact opposite to him.

'ghalib'-e-khasta ke baghair kaun se kaam band hain?
roiye zaar-zaar kya, keejiye haay-haay kyon?

Line 17/18 - Since the wretched Ghalib is not more, what worldly activities have come to stop? Why weep bitterly? Why wail about it now? Ghalib (now dead) says that the normal activities of the world are going on as before, despite the end of this miserable existence. So why do you weep and moan and make a big matter about. The pleasures and the sorrows and the daily grind and the hustle bustle of life is still there. Why do you unnecessarily lament my departure?

Meaning of difficult words -
sang = stone
khisht = brick
dair = temple
haram = mosque
dar = gate
aastaan = abode
rehguzar = pathway
jamaal = beauty
faroz = shining/luminous
meher = sun
neem_roz = mid day
nazzaara_soz = beautiful/worth seeing
dashna = dagger
ghamza = amorous glance
jaan_sitaan = destroying life
naawak = a kind of arrow
aks = image
hayaat = life
band-e-gham = chains of sorrow
nijaat = release/liberation
husn_zan = good opinion of a person
bulhawas = slave of passions/very greedy
'eitmaad = reliance/dependance
ghuroor = pride
iz'z-o-naaz = respect and beauty
hijaab = veil/modesty
paas = regard
waz'a = behavior
bazm = social gathering
parast = worshiper
deen = religion/faith
khasta = sick/injured
zaar-zaar = bitterly

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