The Musky Wine of Heaven
Ghalib‘s ‘Jannat ki Bada E Gulfaam O Mushkbu’ translated by Sunil Datta
Each time I open my mouth, the Great One Says: “You-You, who are you?
Help me, How would you describe the style of such a conversation?
A spark is lacking in awe. Lightning lacks playfulness.
Neither has the Great One’s adroit fierceness.
My jealously arises because my rival gets to speak to you;
Otherwise its okay if he ruins my reputation.
Blood makes my whole shirt stick to my body.
The good thing is I dont have to repair my collar.
With the whole body cindered, the heart was clearly burnt.
Digging into the ashes, what’s the point of that?
Blood flowing along through the veins doesn’t impress us.
If blood doesn’t drop from the eyes, it’s not real blood.
My main attraction to Heaven has always been its wine
That musky, fuschia-colored wine we’ve been promised.
If it’s drinking time, I need large containers.
Let’s put away these mingy cups and flagons.
My gift of speech is gone but even if I still had it
What reason would I have to put desire into words?
Since he’s a friend of the Emperor, he oozes arrogance.
How else can Ghalib gain any respect?
— xxx —
Har ek baat pe kahate ho tum ki tu kya hai,
tumhin kaho ke ye andaz-e-guftagu kya hai
Na shole mein ye karishma na barq mein ye ada,
koi batao ki wo shokh-e-tundakhu kya hai
Ye rashk hai ki wo hota hai hamasukhan hum se,
vagarna khauf-e-badamozi-e-ad kya hai
Chipak raha hai badan par lahu se pairahan,
hamari jeb ko an hajat-e-rafu kya hai
Jala hia jism jahan dil bhi jal gaya hoga,
kuredate ho jo ab rakh justaju kya hai
Ragon mein daudate phirane ke hum nahi qayal,
jab aankh hi se na tapaka to phir lahu kya hai
Wo cheez jisake liye hamako ho bahisht aziz,
sivae bada-e-gulfam-e-mushkabu kya hai
Piyun sharab agar khum bhi dekh lun do char,
ye shisha-o-qadah-o-kuza-o-subu kya hai
Rahi na taqat-e-guftar aur agar ho bhi,
to kis umeed pe kahiye ke aarzoo kya hai
Bana hai shah ka musahib, phire hai itarata,
varna shahar mein “ghalib” ke aabaru kya hai
- One thousand desires | An Ode to Mirza Ghalib (diligentcandy.com)
- Na tha Kuchh to Khuda tha by Mirza Ghalib (bazmetimepass.wordpress.com)