Friday, 19 May 2017

A new interpretation of a Ghalib sher
Zulmat kade mein mere shab-e-gham ka josh hai
Ek shama hai daleel-e-sahar, so khamosh hai
Mirza Ghalib
Great Urdu poets often write not in direct language but in indirect language, using hints, suggestions, allusions or indications. So to understand their real meaning the reader must go behind the plain literal and superficial meaning, and try to find out the deeper real meaning which the poet is trying to convey. To find out this deeper real meaning you have to often use your head to find it out, and often it may not be evident to you initially.
 Also, Urdu poetry has the quality that several meanings can be given to many shers ( couplets ). Sometimes a meaning can be given by the reader which even the shayar ( poet ) may not have contemplated.
So let us interpret the above sher of Ghalib, the greatest Urdu poet.
Zulmatkade means place of darkness, shab means night, gham means sorrow, shamaa means flame, daleel means proof or argument, sahar means dawn, khamosh means silent.
My own interpretation of the sher, which reflects the present conditions in India is this :
" Even in these dark miserable times there is a passionate fire of optimism in me
When the candle which has burnt all night gets finally extinguished it increases the darkness
But it is also proof that the dawn ( i.e. the beginning of a new prosperous era ) is shortly coming "
In other words, the greater the suffering of the Indian people, the nearer is the Revolution

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