Translation - Kisi Ko De Ke Dil Koi (Ghalib)

kisee ko de ke dil koee nawaa_sanj-e-fughaan kyon ho?
na ho jab dil hee seene mein to fir munh mein zubaan kyon ho?

Line 1/2 - When one has given his heart away, why would one lament and be a singer of pain and distress? When there is no heart in the body itself(for it's lost), then how must there be tongue in the mouth? (to cry and grieve). The poet says why must you grieve after you willingly gave away your heart. Why this waling now? If there is no heart left, then why must the tongue continue to cry! Isn't lament and sorrow part of the deal of falling in love. Then why this anguish? You signed for it!

woh apnee khoo na chodenge, ham apnee waz'a kyon badlein?
subak_sar banke kya poochein ki ham se sar_giraan kyon ho?

Line 3/4 - She would not leave her habit, why should I change my behavior? Should I become light-headed and ask her 'why are you so arrogant with us?'. The poet obviously irritated with the beloved's angry temperament says she will not change her mood, so why should I change my behavior and abandon my self-respect Light-headed and easy going should I, ask her as to why is she so proud. The second line can be said by either of them, but then nobody says it. They both are hopelessly in their molds and stuck together, deserving each other.

kiya gham_khwaar ne ruswa, lage aag is muhabbat ko
na laaye taab jo gham ki, woh mera raazdaan kyon ho?

Line 5/6 - The comforter/sympathizer(eater of grief) has disgraced me, to hell with this love! The one who does not have  strength/courage during grief, why would he be my confidant? Ghalib says that my sympathizer has betrayed me, to hell with this love which made my sympathizer uneasy and weak so as to reveal our secret. He who did not have strength to endure this grief, how did he became my confidant.

wafa kaisee? kahaa ka ishq? jab sar phodna thehra
to fir 'ei sang_dil tera hee sang-e-aastaan kyon ho?

Line 7/8 - What loyalty? Which love? When my head smashing has been decided upon to settle these questions. Okay then, o-stone hearted and merciless one, why then it has to be the stone at your threshold? The poet says if I am to smash my head to settle the question of love and loyalty, then why it has to be your door-sill stone.Why would I choose that one, I could very well smash myself against any stone lying around. Why would I endure more bitterness going to your door, o stone-hearted cruel!

qafas mein mujh se roodaad-e-chaman kehte na dar hamdam
giree hai jis pe kal bijlee woh mera aashiyaan kyon ho?

Line 9/10 - Don't be scared of telling me my dear friend, the state(report) of the garden, even though I am in a prison. Why must that little nest be mine, where a lighting struck yesterday. The poet, a little caged bird, implores another bird, tell me my friend - don't be scared, tell me the state of the garden for I can't see it for myself. Why would the little nest that was destroyed in yesterday lightning strike be mine? Why would it be my nest? A true metaphysical question? The garden is our world and the cage is our life. Why the sorrow had to hit me? of all the people why God choose me for this grief? What did I wrong? A sense of disbelief and despair as well, for it must not have be my nest? Absolutely Brilliant!!

ye kah sakte ho "ham dil mein naheen hain" par ye batlaao
ki jab dil mein tumhee-tum ho to aankho se nihaan kyon ho?

Line 11/12 - You can say "aren't we in your heart", but tell me this if you are one and only in the heart, then why are you hidden from the eyes? Here the beloved complains to the lover "aren't we in your heart", to which the lover says tell me when you are so firmly in my heart then my are you not visible to my eyes. The lover a bit provoked, says you are complaining if you see me in your heart, but let me assure you that you are firmly there, but then why not in front my eyes.

ghalat hai jazba-e-dil ka shikwa, dekho jurm kiska hai
na khincho gar tum apne ko kashaakash darmiyaan kyon ho?

Line 13/14 - The complaints about the desires of the heart were wrong. But see whose fault was it? If you do not pull yourself away, then why would there be a struggle between us. The lover says I agree that those my complaints about desires of love were improper, but then whose fault is it. You draw me towards yourself. But you pull your self away. If you do not pull yourself away, then why would there be a struggle between us.

ye fitna aadmee ki khaana_weeraanee ko kya kam hai?
hue tum dost jiske, dushman uska  aasmaan kyon ho?

Line 15/16 - This calamity/affliction is sufficient to lay waste a person's home. Who ever is you friend, why would sky be his enemy? The lover says that calamity that this friendship with you is (beloved), is more than enough to destroy a person's home. Why would sky be his enemy for he has friends like you.

yahee hai aazmaana to sataana kis ko kehte hain?
`adoo ke ho liye jab tum to mera imtihaan kyon ho?

Line 17/18 - If this a test or a trial, then I don't know what a torment is? If you have already moved your loyalty to my enemy, then why is it examination or trial of mine? The poet says I wonder if this is a test, for it does not look like one, it looks more of a torment. I wonder what torment is in my beloved's dictionary. If you are already committed to my enemy, then why this examination of mine. The beloved probably with his new love purposefully in front of the poet and the poet wonders if this is a test or torment and wonders why he is still under test for she is no longer his?

kaha tumne ki "kyon ho ghair ke milne mein ruswaaee?"
baja kehte ho, sach kehte ho, fir kahiyo ki "haan kyon ho?"

Line 19/20 - You say that "why would there be disgrace/dishonor in meeting the other". You say it correct, you say it truthfully, say it again that "surely why would there be?". The lover says that you(beloved) say what harm is there in meeting the rival, where is there any disgrace in it? Yes, you are right, you speak truth, my dear - can you say it again "why would there be?". The lover in a hint of sarcasm and mocking his beloved asks her to echo her reasoning again.

nikaala chaahata hai kaam kya taa'anon se too 'ghalib'
tere be_mehar kehne se wo tujh par meharabaan kyon ho ?

Line 21/22 - What purpose do you wish to achieve with these taunts, Ghalib. Why would she oblige you, when you keep saying unkind words to her. The lover has been saying flattering words to his beloved, but that has not helped his cause. So now he has taken to saying unkind words to her in the hope she does the exact opposite (i.e. to be kind to him), but again this scheme does not work.

Meaning of difficult words -
nawaa_sanj = singer
fughaan = cry of pain or distress
khoo = habit
waz'a = conduct/behavior
subak_sar = light headed/unsteady
sar_giraan = arrogant/proud
gmam_khawaar = comforter
taab = courage/patience
raazdaan = friend
sang_dil = hard hearted/merciless
sang-e-aastaan = threshold
qafas = cage/prison
roodaad = report/statement
nihaan = hidden
jazba = desire/feeling
shikwa = complaint
kashaakash = struggle/dilemma
darmiyaan = between
fitna = quarrel
khaanaa_weeraanee = ruining of home
'adoo = enemy
imtihaan = examination
ruswaaee = disgrace
baja = right/correct
taa'an = taunter
be_mehar = unkind/repulsive

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 Flatrock Falls, Blue Mountains, NSW

Weeping Rock, Blue Mountains,NSW

The Rubaiyat : Quatrain XV























And those who husbanded the Golden Grain,
And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.



This is the fifteenth quatrain of the Fitzgerald's The Rubaiyat. Continuing with the same motif as the previous quatrain, where Khayyam says that hope that sometime prospers or flounders is something no to be taken to heart for all is transitory. The poet here says all those who used their resources and energies wisely and prudently (conserved and used frugally each and every grain he had in his store) , and all those who extravagant and wasteful (and flunged the fistful of grain to the winds like a rain). All will be same, the same end awaits all. They will be no golden earth that awaits any of them. No golden grave await any. And once buried, no one would want to dug them up again. The same cold grave awaits all, same of rich or poor, same for king or beggar, same for wise or foolish. And once you lay buried, no one would want to dig you out. No one would care anymore, be it anyone. The dead will sleep quietly alone and undisturbed, irrespective of who were they. 

Borges : Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius (Summary)

Continuing with my extensive reading of Borges, I read this strange story where the narrator discovers a fictitious country (and latter a fictitious planet) that had been created as a part of a giant scheme by a secret society. The ideas of this false world later manifest themselves in this world and no longer we are able to make out the differences between these two and in essence - This our world becomes Tlön.

During a dinner with a friend, references to mysterious country named Uqbar come up. Not finding it in their encyclopedia copy, they find it mentioned in another copy of the same encyclopedia. The narrator is fascinated by Uqbar for the details around it add more mystery rather then solving it. Names, rivers, places all seem exotic, remote and unknown. He also notes "that the literature of Uqbar was one of fantasy and that its epics and legends never referred to reality, but to the two imaginary regions of Mlejnas and Tlön". Chance references to that country keep cropping up. A family friend accidentally leaves him a substantial related work, "Encyclopedia of Tlön Vol XI". Now he had access to a vast fragment of an unknown planet's entire history, its philosophy, its algebra, its literature and everything in between. Tired of looking for the missing volumes, his colleagues propose that they undertake the task of reconstructing those missing pieces. From here the story delves into languages, maths and philosophy of Tlön. An extreme form of idealism is practiced in Tlön. "Their language and the derivations of their language - religion, letters, metaphysics - all presuppose idealism. The world for them is not a concourse of objects in space; it is a heterogeneous series of independent acts". In one half on Tlön, the language have no nouns but verbs in place, in the other half adjectives are used instead. "The literature abounds in ideal objects, which are convoked and dissolved in a moment, according to poetic needs. At times they are determined by mere simultaneity".

Psychology is the main discipline here. Universe is proposed as a series of mental processes which do not develop in space but successively in time. In other world, they do not conceive that the spatial persists in time. Consequently causality is alien. Complete idealism invalidates all science. "Every mental state is irreducible: there mere fact of naming it - i.e., of classifying it - implies a falsification. There are no sciences on Tlön, not even reasoning. The paradoxical truth is that they do exist, and in almost uncountable number. The meta-physicians of Tlön do not seek for the truth or even for verisimilitude, but rather for the astounding. They judge that metaphysics is a branch of fantastic literature. They know that a system is nothing more than the subordination of all aspects of the universe to any one such aspect. Even the phrase 'all aspects' is reject-able, for it supposes the impossible addition of the present and of all past moments. Neither is it licit to use the plural 'past moments,' since it supposes another operation."

One school negates time as says the present is indefinite and future has no reality other than as a present memory. Another says that all time has elapsed & we live in only in remembrance. Many school abound, each more fantastic than the other. The basis of its mathematics is the notion of indefinite numbers. They maintain that the very act of counting modifies the quantities and converts them from indefinite into definite sums. The basis of their geometry is not the point, but the surface. Their fiction contains a single plot, with all its imaginable permutations. Both the thesis and the antithesis are present in it. A book which does not contain its counter book is considered incomplete. Even perceived reality is changed to exert this idealism. Physical objects are created just by the force of imagination. The 'past' becomes hostage to the present. The present become hostage to perception and perceiving. "Things became duplicated in Tlön; they also tend to become effaced and lose their details when they are forgotten. A classic example is the doorway which survived so long it was visited by a beggar and disappeared at his death. At times some birds, a horse, have saved the ruins of an amphitheater."

In the postscript, it is revealed that the narrator and the world now know that Tlön & Ubqar are fictitious, invented by a secret society. The society worked for three hundred years and came up with a imaginary planet Tlön with an understanding that will have no relation with Christ as proposed by later financier of this project. As Tlön is revealed to the world, later objects from Tlön begin to appear in the real world. Soon all the forty volumes of Tlön are revealed and the ideas Tlön starts to take hold on the earth. Mankind is obsessed by it. "Ten years ago any symmetry with a resemblance of order - dialectical materialism, anti-Semitism, Nazism - was sufficient to entrance the minds of men. How could one do other than submit to Tlön, to the minute and vast evidence of an orderly plant? It is useless to answer that reality is also orderly. Perhaps it is, but in accordance with divine laws - I translate: inhuman laws - which we never quite grasp. Tlön is surely a labyrinth, but it is a labyrinth devised by men, a labyrinth destined to be deciphered by men. The contact and the habits of Tlön have disintegrated this world. Enchanted by its rigor, humanity forgets over and again that it is a rigor of chess masters, not of angels." The narrator predicts in a hundred years, earth will lose its languages and countries to those of Tlön. This world is Tlön now. End.

The story is more a philosophical take on idealism than a fantasy. In this imaginary planet, causality is not possible for time does not exist. A consequence of that is there is no identity. There is nothing to connect a thing to others or to itself as it is passing through space. A extension of no identity means that there is no equality. A thing that no one sees or senses, is not perceived to exist. Any learning is impossible now and so are the sciences. Perceiving is supreme and the underlying reality is denied. In Tlön, what I hold in hand today is different from what I had in my hand yesterday (Even though I am holding the same thing). As Identity is missing, so is Equality. No two things are same. No two things are connected. A thing 'lost' means a duplication is created that we will 'find'. Lost and Found are not actions, but just remembrances. In a sense, there is no underlying reality to anything. Everything is what the mind perceives and outside of it, there is none. Everything becomes hostage to the perception and even physical objects that do not exist are created by sheer thought. A lost object can be found by two person in two different places because they are looking for it. To deal with this world, they proposed that there is only one supreme subject, that this indivisible subject is every being in the universe and that these beings are the organs and masks of the divinity. The other person finds it because he already knows he lost it. This all knowing subject takes the place of God in Tlön. Among other ideas the story explores, is the reality itself can be created. Like God, we have created the whole planet Tlön and its entire workings and this imagined reality is so powerful & simulating that in it we begin to lose the actual reality of earth. Probably God's reality is too complicated for us to see through, what interests is the model created by us, however bizarre though seemingly orderly and simple. For everything there is down to an irreducible state that can not be any more simpler. A labyrinth created by humans for humans, as opposed to the one created by God.

Translation - Phir Kuch Is Dil Ko Beqarari Hai (Ghalib)

fir kuch is dil ko beqaraaree hai
seena zoya-e-zakhm-e-kaaree hai

Line 1/2 - Again, this heart of mine is somewhat restless. My chest searches for a deep hurt(wound). Ghalib says my heart is longing again, it looks as if it is seeking a fresh deep wound. To assuage my uneasy heart, I may do something that may give me a fresh wound.

fir jigar khodane laga naakhun
aamad-e-fasl-e-laala_qaaree hai

Line 3/4 - Again, my finger nails plough deep with in my liver. The season of red flowers have arrived. This red flowers, this spring stirs up desire and all it does is to agitate me like as if my finger nails are cutting deep my liver (again the Ghalib heart-liver scheme, liver is akin to a blood producing organ)

qibla-e-maqsad-e-nigaah-e-niyaaz
fir  wahee  parda-e-'amaaree hai

Line 5/6 - The direction of my objective are those glances that I so much desire. Again, she is not bothered and indifferent (mentioned here as seated on a veiled canopy seat on an elephant immune to whats going around her). My purpose is to catch those glances of my beloved, but she is indifferent to grant him these.

chashm-e-dallaal-e-jins-e-ruswaaee
dil khareedaar-e-zauq-e-khwaaree hai

Line 7/8 - These eyes are slaves of things that make me cry.This heart is buyer of only those things.My eyes only sees her and the sight makes me sad and demeaning for she does not respond. But then my heart is buyer of only such actions. I can't help myself doing it again & again, even if it degrades me.

wohee sad_rang naala farsaayee
wohee sad_goona ashq_baaree hai

Line 9/10 - Those same hundred moods of the lamenter. And those same hundred times of lamentation.The poet says, those hundred state of the lover whose love is unrequited and those hundred times of mourning, there are all the same as he confronted last time. The temper, the agony is all the same.

dil hawa-e-khiraam-e-naaz se fir
mahshristaan-e-beqaraaree  hai

Line 11/12 - Again, the heart is running with desire liking a racing wind. The heart is restless as if it is it was the last day before apocalypse. This heart again is like a strong wind filled with desire, and at the same time is uneasy as if it was the last day before the apocalypse. Their is a mighty desire, at the same time the horror as to how the lover would respond.

jalwa fir arz-e-naaz karta hai
roz-e-baazaar-e-jaan_sipaaree hai

Line 13/14 - The magnificence shows itself in flirty & coquettish ways again. And like a every day market, they resign their lives into the hands of others. The poet says the brilliance shows itself in those teasing ways. And like a market, they are subject to whims of the others who may or may not appreciate it. A possible reference to the courtesans resigning to the whims of the buyers.

fir usee bewafa pe marte hain
fir wohee zindagee hamaaree hai

Line 15/16 - I am dying for that betrayer again, It the same old life of mine, again. The poet says he can't help falling again for that indifferent lover. And again, the same old life of mine will repeat. The cycle of pleading (akin to my dying) and her continued indifference has now become my life.

fir khula hai dar-e-adaalat-e-naaz
garm  baazaar-e-fauj_daaree  hai

Line 17/18 - Again, the doors of courts of love are open. The markets of authoritarian justice are hot now. Again, I am on trial by the moral guardians who claim to be attestator of love, and their tyrannical judgement are usual and hard. Another reference could be that my lover is accessible now, and those looks and nuances are frequent and intense.

ho raha hai jahaan mein andher
zulf kee fir sarishta_daaree hai

Line 19/20 - There is darkness enveloping the world. Again, they have turned their locks of hair. Darkness engulfs my world now. She has turned the locks of her hair over me again.

fir kiya paara-e-jigar ne sawaal
ek  fariyaad-o-aah-o-zaaree  hai

Line 21/22 - Again, a piece of my heart(liver) cried out a question. And a long sigh, a pleading also ran out. Every piece of my heart pleads out a question, every corner of my heart cries out. A sigh leaves my lips, a humble request goes out.

fir hue hain gawaah-e-ishq talab
ashq_baaree ka hukm_zaaree hai

Line 23/24 - Again, those witnesses of love have been summoned. The order has been given to let the lamentation continue. The poet says attestors of love came and spoke, and the decision was made to keep the lover mourning. These witnesses decided that the lament of the lover should continue.

dil-o-mizhgaan ka jo muqadamaa tha
aaj fir uskee roob_qaaree hai

Line 25/26 - That case of mine, of my heart and her eyelashes. Today again they put their mind to work instead of their heart. The poet says that his argument was of love, of his heart and of her subtle glances. But instead of the heart, the judgement was given from the mind. (and not in his favor, for if it had been given with heart, his case would have surely won)

be_khudee be_sabab naheen 'ghalib'
kuchch to hai jiskee pardaadaaree hai

Line 27/28 - This state of bliss, of ecstasy is not without any reason, Ghalib!. There is something that is hidden or veiled. This insulation from self, this state of detachment from self is not without any reason. There has to be a reason for this, which is hidden from view. Ghalib says this alienation of his has a reason which is not in plain view. Many interpretation are possible. The ways of the God are hidden for what was His purpose in this state of mine. Another could be that only Ghalib knows why he is indifferent and it is a higher and supernal truth that no all commoner can understand.

Meaning of difficult words -
zoya = searcher
zakhm-e-kaaree = deep wound
aamad = arrival
fasl = season/harvest
laalah = red flower
qibla = respect for elder, direction of prayer
niyaaz = desire
'amaaree = rider's seat with a canopy on an elephant or camel
chashm = eye
jins = things/items
zauq = taste
jalwa = splendour
jaan_sipaaree = resigning one's life into the hands of another
sad = hundred
naala farsaayee = lamenter
sad_goona = hundred times
ashq_baaree = lamentation
khiraam = speed
mahshar = the last day
mahshristaan = place of the last day
dar = abode
fauj_daaree = military court
sarishta_daaree = a regulator's position
paara = fragment
mizhgaan = eyelashes
roob_qaaree = to put the mind into work
talab = search/desire/request
be_khudee = rapture
be_sabab = without any reason
pardaadaaree = to hide

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