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Mirza_Ghalib_(1988_TV_series)_DVD_coverA classic ghazal by the legendary Urdu poet Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, this ghazal also featured in the 1988 TV series, Mirza Ghalib, written and produced by poet Gulzar with Naseruddin Shah playing the role of Ghalib.

A beautiful description of this ghazal is elaborated in the book “Ghalib: Epistemologies of Elegance” by Sara Suleri Goodyear and Azra Raza, and is shared below –
“The poem may appear deceptively simple because of the brevity of each misra, and indeed its avoidance of overly elaborate metaphors. The poet’s canvas, however, opens with large scale laments on the passage of time and moved into an exquisite miniaturization of detail”

Below is the ghazal interspersed with the English translation of each couplet. The English translation is from the same book as mentioned above.

vo firaaq aur wo visaal kahaan
vo shab-o-roz-o-maah-o-saal kahaan

Where are those separations and those unions
Where are those nights and days, those months and years

fursat-e-kaarobaar-e-shauq kise
zauq-e-nazzaaraa-e-jamaal kahaan

Who has the leisure for the industry of passion
Where is one’s longing to behold the glorious

dil to dil vo dimaagh bhi na raha
shor-e-saudaa-e-Khat-o-Khaal kahaan

The heart vanished, the mind seems vacant
Where is the turmoil produced by that countenance

thi wo ik shakhs ke tasavvur se
ab vo raaNnaaii-e-Khayaal kahaan

It was imagining that one person
Now where is the grace of those lost thoughts

aisaa aasaan nahiin lahuu ronaa
dil mein taaqat jigar mein haal kahaan

It is not a simple thing to crty tears of blood
The heart exhausted, the body in enervation

hamse chhutaa qimaar_Khaanaa-e-ishq
vaan jo jaayen girah mein maal kahaan

Gambling dens of love have escaped me
If I go, what have I left to stake

fikr-e-duniyaa mein sar khapaataa hoon
main kahaan aur ye vabaal kahaan

Now I beat my head against the heartaches of the world
What fresh proximity do I have with this turmoil

muzamahil ho gaye quvaa ‘Ghalib’
wo anaasir mein aitadaal kahaan

How listless your body is now Ghalib
Where is the equilibrium that held those elements

A clip of Jagjit Singh rendering this ghazal in his inimitable voice is below: