Aaina kyun na doon ke tamasha kahen jise - Ghalib

aaina kyun na doon ke tamasha kahen jise
aisa kahan se laaun ke tujhsa kahein jise

Line 1/2 - Why would not I offer a mirror, that it becomes a spectacle. From where do I bring, that they say it just like you. The poet says why would I not offer a mirror to the beloved. I putting it in front of her and she looking into it with those haughty glances would cause an uproar all around. The gallery would run amok at the sight of this. From where would I bring another such elegant face, that they say she looks 'like her'. Consider an alternate setting. The beloved is in veil and the only way to see her face is indirectly in a  mirror. The lover says why would I not offer her a mirror. That is the only way to appreciate the beauty of the beloved. But once everyone see her in the mirror, there is tumult in the gathering on account of her glances. The audience now wants to see the beloved, except they can't. Where would I get another such beautiful face that looks like her so that the gathering calms down.

hasrat ne la rakha teri bazm-e-khayal mein
guldasta-e-nigaah suvedaa kahein jise

Line 3/4 - Longing has taken and placed in your gathering of thoughts, That bouquet of glances that they call as a black scar. The poet says that in the gathering of your thoughts (that is my heart), longing has placed a bouquet of glances and made a black scar on it. Those bouquet of longing filled glances have made a black scar on the my heart. I am so wounded in my heart by those sighing glances!

phoonka hai kisne gosh-e-muhabbat mein aye khuda
afsoon-e-intezaar tamanna kahein jise


Line 5/6 - Who has blown into the ear of love, Oh Lord!. The spell of waiting, that they say as longing. The poet says, O Lord - who is that someone who has breathed into the ear of love, such a charm of waiting which they now call as longing. That is some magic that someone has discreetly recited into the ear of love and tricked it, that spell of waiting. For as soon as love appears, longing also appears instantly at the same moment as if by magic!

sar par hujoom-e-dard-e-gareebi se daliye
woh ek musht-e-khaak ke sahra kahein jise

Line 7/8 - On the head due to mob of sorrow of poverty, throw. That one handful of dust, which they call a desert. There is not one or two but a whole multitude of sorrows of my miserable existence has made me throw handful of dust on my head, which people on looking would call it a desert. Pritchett refers to gareebi as countrylessness. This sorrowful state of homelessness and wandering around and my act of flinging dust on myself, which to onlookers would look so bleak and wasted that they would say its a desert.


hai chashm-e-tar mein hasrat-e-deeaar se nihaan
shauq-e-inaan gusekhtaa dariya kahein jise

Line 9/10 - In the teary eyes, from the longing of the sight, its hidden. That reined fondness and passion, that broke through, they would call it a mighty river. The poet says, the wetness of my eyes, the longing for the glance of the beloved hid such tumult, that bridled fervour and passion that if it broke through, it would be called a big river. Behind my tears, there is so much turmoil of the longing of the her sight that it will swell up in what we can say a turbulent river.

darkaar hai shaguftan-e-gul-haa-e-aish ko
subh-e-bahar pumba-e-meena kahen jise

Line 11/12 - It is necessary that for the blooming of the flowers of pleasure, the dawn of the spring which they would call the cotton of the goblet. Not a very straightforward sher I think. The poet says it is required for the blooming of the senses of pleasure and enjoyment, a dawn of spring which unfurls the fragrance of a million flowers that fills the gardens and hearts alike and similar to the cotton stopper on the wine goblet that when taken out unfurls its scent and allows the wine to be enjoyed around. Alternatively, it could also mean that a spring morning is what we call a heavenly whiteness (like of cotton, soft and pure) due to the white flowers blooming all around.

“ghalib” bura na maan jo waaiz bura kahe
aisa bhi koi hai ke sab achchha kahen jise 


Line 13/14 - Ghalib, do not mind it if the preacher speaks ill of you. Is there anyone there? that everyone say good about. The second line can have an alternate interpretation. It can also mean, there is someone out there, about whom everyone speaks good of. Again with lot of Ghalib's work, the second line can be a fact or question. The poet says do not take it too hard on yourself if the preacher says bad about you. In a questioning tone he says, is there anyone in the world about whom every speaks highly of. There would always be people who would go against what others says. In the factual style, the poet says - yes there someone like that about whom everyone speaks highly of.

Meaning of difficult words -
gose - ear
afsoon - charm, spell
suvedaa - black scar, brackish
hujoom - mob
musht-e-khaak - handful of dust
sahra - desert
chasm-e-tar - teary eyes
nihaan - hidden
inaan - bridle, rein
gusekhtaa - broken off
darkaar - necessary
shaguftan-e-gul-haa-e-aish - blooming of flowers of pleasure
pumba - cotton
meena - goblet, heaven
waaiz - preacher