My fate is engraved on my forehead

Today we have a Ghalib ghazal. It has been sung beautifully by Mehdi Hassan:

and Farida Khanum:

Hum par jafa se tark-e-wafa ka gumaan nahin
Ik cherr hai wagarna muraad imtehaan nahin

( Her indifference to me is not a sign that she wants to break our relationship,
She is only teasing me and not testing my faith)

Kis munh se shukr keejiye is lutf-e-khas ka,
Pursish hai aur paa-e-sukhan darmayan nahin

( How can I thank her for this special grace/gift,
She is asking me about my well being without saying even a word)

Humko sitam aziz, sitamgar hamein aziz,
Na meharbaan nahin hai, gar meharbaan nahin

( Her cruelty is dear to me, and she, though cruel is dear to me,
She is not unkind to me though she is also not considerate)

Hai nang-e-seena, dil agar aatish kada na ho,
Hai aar-e-dil, nafs agar aazar fishaan nahin

( if the heart is without the fire of love then it is a shame for the chest,
Useless is that breath/sigh that does not set the heart ablaze)

Nuksaan nahin junoon mein, bala se ho ghar kharab,
Sau gaz zameen ke badle, bayaabaan giraan nahin

( I have not lost anything in my passion/madness, though I am homeless,
In place of a 100 yards piece of land, I now roam in infinite wilderness. Is that not a huge gain?)

Bosa nahin na deejiye, dushnaam hi sahi,
Aakhir zubaan to rakhte ho tum, gar dahaan nahin.

( Okay do not kiss me, instead shut me up with an abuse,
Surely you have a tongue, even if you have no lips)

Kehte ho “kya likha hai teri sarnawisht mein?”
Goya jabeen pe sajda-e-but ka nishaan nahin?

( You ask me “what is written in your fate?”
Look at my forehead, don’t you will see “reverence for beauty/worship for beauty” engraved on it? That is my fate.)

Paata hoon us se daad kuch apne kalaam ki,
Roohulqadas agarche mera humzubaan nahin.

( If someone really appreciates my poetry, it is the holy angel,
Though I must say that the holy angel does not share my viewpoint that I express in my poems)


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jo yeh kahay ke rekhta, kyonkar ho rashk-e-Farsi
gufta-e-Ghalib aik baar parh ke use suna ke Yuun!

( if you meet someone who says “ why would farsi(Persian) ever be envious of Urdu( rekhta)? Farsi is a superior language”,
Read to him a few poems of Ghalib and tell him: This is why!)

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