Mirza Asadullah Khan (Ghalib)-27-12-1797(Agra) To 15-02-1869 (Delhi)
The way a drop is swallowed up in the sea, and that is his goal,
Thus when pain passes beyond the limit, will be obliterated and turn into medicine.
(The drop made of water and its merging with the sea is a homecoming, the lover is made of pain, and his submerging in pain is also a homecoming. Both the journeys are the same.)
The storehouse of my destiny was only this much,
That when a connection of the heart would be made with you, then separation would occur.
(This verse is about hopelessness.)
(If a person expects to fail in some task, and fails, he does not feel as much vain longing, regret, suffering, as he does if the task is done and he is ruined by it.)
(You and I are like a combination lock, after some effort and care, we click, and then instantly we are drawn apart.)
In order to repair the trouble of the heart, the schemes created so much struggle that the heart was finished off,
The way by constant rubbing neither does a knot remains, nor is the cord left, so my heart was finished off by its cure.
(If many attempts are made, usually the knot becomes even tighter, and to open it becomes impossible.)
(He is not lamenting but reporting only the loss of all possibility of the knot ever being opened.)
Now a time has come when she does not show me even tyranny, oh my God,
Her distaste, anger, and hatred reached such an extreme that it does not even please her to be tyrannical to me, to become such an enemy of the possessors of faithfulness.
(Do not break off relations with me, if nothing else, at least show enmity. Depriving the lover even of cruelty is indeed a harsh treatment.)
(Juxtaposed to that invocation of God.)
When I saw that because of weakness and feebleness, my weeping changed into cold sighs,
Then only I was convinced about the problem of the changing of elements, that water becomes air.
(Ghalib accepts scientific principles only because they correspond to emotional realities. Evaporation is not the observation of sun and water, but the experience of tears and sighs.)
How can I erase from my heart the thought of your hennaed fingers,
Has the fingernail ever been separated from the flesh?
(It can not at all be erased. It is possible that death might occur.)
(Ripping out a victim's fingernails is a classic form of torture. Nails will grow back again and the thought as well.)
The way spring clouds rained down and became a cause for joy,
And to weep and weep in the grief of separation and be finished off, is for me a cause for joy.
(What a great example of a simile.)
(Spring cloud raining down and thus vanishing. Lover weeping his heart out and become entirely empty and obliterated.)
If the scent of rose does not long to arrive in your street,
Then why does it like, despite its delicacy, to be trodden under foot by the spring breeze?
(The scent of rose is always wandering here and there, but the lover because of the ardor of love and jealousy thinks, even the delicate and coquettish ones are mad, in love with you.)
(Beloved is flirting again, that is why the rose-scent is pursuing you.The lover knows it well.)
If you want to understand the problem of longing and wonder,
Then take a look at the metal mirror, in the rainy season verdigris[Rust]runs over it so that it will again shine brightly after polishing.
(The polishing done by spring is that greenness that silently appears and fills in brownness, colorlessness, the ugly earth with greenness. The polishing breeze has such an intensity to effect that even the metal polish-marks of the mirror can not help but be affected by it, and the mirror too becomes green.)
(Here again, Ghalib being Ghalib.)
Oh Ghalib, the springtime, flourishing of flowers gives pleasure,
The duty of humans is that in whatever state they might be, they should behold the scenery of the world.
(A requirement of fully human integrity, the eye ought to become open, no matter what kind of reality it is destined to behold.)
(Wide open eyes will have good effects.)