Translation - Dard Ho Dil Main Toh Dawa (Ghalib)

dard ho dil main toh dawa keejay
dil hi jab dard ho toh kiya keejay

Line 1/2 - When pain afflicts the heart, medicine needs to be done. When heart itself is pain, then what to do? Such a easy going colloquial lines best for any occasion! The poet says when there is pain in the heart, a medicine would do the trick. But when the heart itself is one causing pain, when the grief of the heart is so overwhelming, then what needs to be done.

hum ko fariyaad karni aati hai
aap suntay nahi toh kiya keejay

Line 3/4 - We know how to complain/appeal.You do not listen, what to do? The point referring to the apathy and harsh indifference of the beloved and laments what more he needs to do to get her attention. The lines could also be interpreted as Ghalib's multiple appeals to indifferent English officers & declining Mughal empire to get his pensions restored in which he ultimately fails.

in butoon ko khuda se kiya matlab
tauba tauba , khuda khuda , keejay

Line 5/6 - What meaning do these idols have with God. Heavens forbid, Pray to God! The poet says what these idols that you so adore have to do with God. Repent now and pray to God and ask for forgiveness!

ranj uthanay say bhi khushi ho gi
pahlay dil dard aashna keejay

Line 7/8 - Bearing grief too will bring happiness. First, adjust your heart to be friends with pain. This is the best lines of this ghazal. The poet points that one has look inside of themselves for comfort in state of utter loneliness and grief. Grief too will bring happiness, but first make your heart accept pain and then grief will no longer hurt that much!

arz -e- shookhi , nishat -e- alam hai
husn ko aur khud numa keejay

Line 9/10 - This coquetry and playfulness that you exhibit, is the joy of the world. Un-hide yourself some more of the beauty you possess. The poet says to his beloved that her behavior is the ecstasy that the world cherishes and long for. Show them some more of your beauty for the world waits for it.

dushmani ho chuki ba qadr wafa
ab haq -e- dosti ada keejay

Line 11/12 - We have become enemies on the account of (lack of) loyalty. Now pay the dues of the claim to the friendship. This can also be read as enmity has become to the extent of loyalty. Now pay the dues of the right to the friendship. I like the second interpretation better. The poet says we were enemies earlier but now that enmity has turned to loyalty. Please pay the dues (favors that I may have) of the right to our friendship now.

maut aati nahi kaheen Ghalib
kab tak afsoos ziist ka keejay

Line 13/14 - The end (death) does not come somehow, Ghalib. Till when do we need to feel regret for this life. The poet says death does not come even though I have been in wait for it. Till what time should we continue to feel sorry for life. Instead of this hopeless existence, I would have wanted death but that is not coming on it own and so life goes on in its usual pace.

Meaning of difficult words -
taubah = swore off
ranj = grief
aashna = good friend
arz = to exhibit
shookhi  = playfulness, mischief; coquetry,
nishat = joy, happiness
alam = world
numa = to show, to unhide
ba-qadr = to the extent of, according to
wafa = loyalty
ziist = life, existence


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