This ghazal has ten verses in it. JS & Company very intelligently selected the three verses for this rendition. The first verse has love affection aspect as in a ghazal , but could not be metered with the tune so it was sung without taal. The second and third verses were carefully picked as per meter of the tune and for the Hindu and Muslim audience who enjoy Urdu poetry. Second verse refers to the worshiping of Idols (Buth in Urdu) and the third, to the concept of heaven in religions. Ghalib being a Muslim himself did not wanted to appear as an authentic proponent of Hinduism, so he just kept himself from what he had heard. In the third verse Ghalib writes something that negates the concept of heaven in his own religion and could have earned him the title of Blasphemer, but he does it so intelligently that no one can raise a finger at him. Apart from the apparent meaning, if one closely examine this verse it can be noticed that Ghalib puts himself to safety by making the verse as if it was addressed to Ghalib by someone else. The thought is provoking and any mind can wander or question the authenticity of heaven.
I often get amazed at Jagjit Singh's interpretation of melody matching so well with the poetry, so much so that if one forgets the words the melody utters them back. A great musician he was and I believe he was the best to have brought such top class poetry back into masses. I was inspired to cover this from a rendition included by Gulzar, Jagjit Sing and Naseerudin Shah for the Indian Documentary "Mirza Ghalib" 1988 TV serial. Hope you all enjoy it.
I found a sensible translation from the net and liked it for its simplicity. Reproducing it with minor changes.
Each time I get a glimpse of her
a slow radiance rises on my face.
She sees me glowing thus, and thinks:
why, this invalid is all better again!
Let’s see what gains lovers accrue
prostrating before such wanton icons.
Well, here’s a Brahmin who has decreed:
this year will be a good one.
I know the truth about paradise, but
you will agree Ghalib, if this fable
provides cold comfort, then
the thought’s not bad. Not bad at all.
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