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My thin heart cannot eat this grief
…. of mine enough.
My sorrow is full because there is not
…. rose wine enough.

I am ashamed to tell
…. the Cupbearer
I will drink even sediment
…. if it is fine enough.

There is no arrow in the bow,
…. no hunter in ambush.
In the corner of this cage,
…. I can recline enough.

How I revere abstinence!
…. Am I a hypocrite?
I half thirst for a reward
…. for being dry enough.

How proud the smart ones are.
…. They take the road not taken.
But ritual ways bind their feet
…. and are routine enough.

Leave me at Zamzam.
…. Why should I want to circle the Ka’aba?1
My pilgrim robe is soaked
…. with wine enough.

It will torture me if things
…. do not work out
now that she has given in.
…. I guess I whined enough.

O death, my liver is not yet blood
…. dripping from my eyes.
I have things to do!
…. Give me time enough.

Could there be someone
…. who does not know Ghalib?
He is notorious, but as a poet
…. he is divine enough.

1 The Ka’aba is the most holy temple in Mecca, and the Well of Zamzam is said to have been revealed to Hagar, the wife of Abraham, when their son, Ishmael was weeping with thirst and kicking the earth. It is in Mecca, near the Ka’aba, and is a place of pilgrimage for millions who come to drink its water.

(Ghazal 232)

غم کھانے میں بودا دلِ نا کام بہت ہے
یہ رنج کہ کم ہے مےِ گلفام بہت ہے

کہتے ہوئے ساقی سے حیا آتی ہے ورنہ
ہے یوں کہ مجھے دردِ تۂ جام بہت ہے

نے تیر کماں میں ہے نہ صیّاد کمیں میں
گوشے میں قفس کے مجھے آرام بہت ہے

کیا زہد کو مانوں کہ نہ ہو گرچہ ریائی
پاداشِ عمل کی طمعِ خام بہت ہے

ہیں اہلِ خرد کس روشِ خاص پہ نازاں
پا بستگیِ رسم و رۂ عام بہت ہے

زمزم ہی پہ چھوڑو مجھے کیا طوفِ حرم سے
آلودہ بہ مے جامۂ احرام بہت ہے

ہے قہر گر اب بھی نہ بنے بات کہ ان کو
انکار نہیں اور مجھے ابرام بہت ہے

خوں ہو کے جگر آنکھ سے ٹپکا نہیں اے مرگ
رہنے دے مجھے یاں کہ ابھی کام بہت ہے

ہوگا کوئی ایسا بھی کہ غالب کو نہ جانے
شاعر تو وہ اچّھا ہے پہ بد نام بہت ہے

Asadullah Khan Ghalib (1797–1869), known by his pen name, Ghalib, is the famous romantic and mystical poet of the Mughal Empire in India. His poems are characterized by great wit, puns, and a mystical, erotic imagery so passionate as to veer at times into the surreal. He is the acknowledged world master of the ghazal, though certain Persian poets such as Hafiz and Rumi give him a run for his money!