Translation - Shauq Har Rang Raqeeb-e-Sar (Ghalib)

shauq har rang raqeeb-e-sar-o-saamaan niklaa
qais tasveer ke parde mein bhee uriyaan niklaa

Line 1/2 - The desire and yearning turned out in every color and hue to be an opponent of being well possessed. Qais, even in the veil of the picture turned out to be nude. The poet says that to be well possessed and having all the material wealth is an enemy of the passion and desire. One can be passionate only or one can be of good possession only as both these qualities are enemies of each other. Case in point being the Qais (majanun) who was a passionate lover but was possession-less and roaming around with no clothes. Even when his painting is made, he is always made naked. In the second line, there is a nice wordplay on veil and nakedness (both being such opposite quantities). A painting, an expensive possession to have, yet it could not hide or negate the nakedness of the passions of Qais.

zakhm ne daad na dee, tangee-e-dil ki yaarab !
teer bhee seena-e-bismil se par_afshaan niklaa

Line 3/4 - The wound did not do justice to the tightening or the narrowness of the heart. O God! Even the arrow would go through the wounded heart and emerge out with its wings rattled and restless. The poet says that this wounds of mine, it will not put end to the tightness of the heart. I was expecting this wound to ease the narrowness of my heart. (maybe this grief stricken heart would be let go of its tightness by my the wound). Such is the tightness, that even the arrow that made this wound, would pass through my afflicted heart and come out on the other side, rattled and bewildered (wings fluttering). Maybe even the arrow of beloved's airs, could not relive the lover of its unease. The arrow comes out of the lover, doing nothing and itself (the arrow) escapes hurriedly with wings fluttering (as if wishing to escape such tightness).
boo-e-gul, naala-e-dil, dood-e-charaagh-e-mehfil
jo teree bazm  se nikla, so parishaan niklaa

Line 5/6 - The fragrance of the flower, the cry of the heart, the smoke from the lamp at the gathering. Whoever came out of your gathering, they come out confused and troubled. The poet says, whoever came to your gathering, they all came out dazed and troubled. Smell the flowers displayed in the gathering. Their fragrance is so transitory that even a mild waft can undo it. Look at the smoke that rises from the lamp. Look at the shapes it makes as if they are writhing in pain. And finally hear the lament of my heart, for my heart is wounded at the thought of being just another guest in this gathering among so many of your guests. You did not grant me any special favors, or a private meeting. My heart laments at the sight of so many rivals each vying for your attention. All of me and my senses (sight, sound and smell) are leaving your gathering in a troubled state.

dil-e-hasrat zadah tha maida-e-lazzat-e-dard
kaam yaaron ka ba-qadr-e-lab-o-dandan nikla

Line 7/8 - The longing stuck heart, was like dishes/flavor of pain served on the dining table. My friends came to taste according to their capacity of their lips and teeth and they emerged satisfied. The poet says my longing stricken heart was a dining table for all the flavors and delicacies of pain. And my friends had their full share based on their capacity of lips and teeth and yet their was more left on the table. My pain was enough for their (friend's) appetite to suffice and their work was done!

thee nau_aamoz_fana'a  himmat-e-dushwaar_pasand
sakht mushkil hai ki yah kaam bhee aasaan nikla

Line 9/10 - The novice in oblivion was difficulty loving courage. It is severe difficulty that this work also turned out to be easy. Even in oblivion, this newcomer was able to get the better of such terrible circumstances for he was a danger loving courageous person. Now it becomes difficult to find a more hostile and dangerous world for him, for this oblivion turned out to be too easy for him.

dil mein fir giryaan ne ik shor uthaaya 'ghalib'
aah  jo qatra na  nikla tha, so toofaan  nikla

Line 11/12 - In the heart, weeping again there rose a tumult, Ghalib. aah (sigh), that drop that did not left, thus a storm emerged. The poet says, again the weeping arose and with it a tumult. The use of phir means it is second time around. The first time I was weeping, I could control this tumult in my heart within myself, such that not even a drop of tear exited my eyes. But this time, this tumult has unleashed a storm and now I am weeping uncontrollably. One another interpretation could be, that what appeared to be a drop held by my self-control was in fact a storm that has now unleashed itself. The tumult and the ferment of my distress is a storm unlike the calm and control of the un-exited tear drop that I thought earlier.

Meaning of difficult words -
raqeeb = opponent
serr-o-saamaan = with belongings
qais = majanoon
uriyaan = nude
daad = justice
seena-e-bismil = wounded heart
par = wings
afshaan = rattled
boo = fragrance
gul = flower
naalaa = cry
dood = smoke, esp. from a lamp that's been extinguished
haasrat-zadah = longing stuck
lazzat = flavor
maida = dinning table
dandan = teeth
nau_aamoz = beginner
dushwaar = difficult
fanaa = oblivion
giryaan = weeping
qatra = drop

Read more posts on Ghalib.


  1. Another gem from u, i had always loved Ghalib, but you have given me so many more reasons to keep doing so.
    I have a request, can it be possible for you to translate Naqsh Fariyadi in its unabridged version??
    You translated the abridged one, would love to see you translating the unabridged one.

  2. @Susanta - Thanks for coming by! I will surely add your request in my todo list :)