har ek baat pe kahte ho tum ki tū kyā hai
tumhīñ kaho ki ye andāz-e-guftugū kyā hai
at every turn you question me, asking “what are you?’
tell me pray what manner of speech do you pursue?
na sho.ale meñ ye karishma na barq meñ ye adā
koī batāo ki vo shoḳh-e-tund-ḳhū kyā hai
neither flames this magic nor lightning this charm do have
who’s this stormy quicksilver beauty I wish I knew
ye rashk hai ki vo hotā hai ham-suḳhan tum se
vagarna ḳhauf-e-bad-āmozi-e-adū kyā hai
I am not afraid my foe will corrupt your mind somehow
I am merely jealous that he gets to talk to you
chipak rahā hai badan par lahū se pairāhan
hamāre jaib ko ab hājat-e-rafū kyā hai
my clothes are caused, by oozing blood, to cling unto my frame
what need is there now for my vest to be darned anew?
jalā hai jism jahāñ dil bhī jal gayā hogā
kuredte ho jo ab raakh justujū kyā hai
with my body consigned to flames, my heart too would have burnt
why do you rake the ashes now, what is it you pursue?
ragoñ meñ dauḌte phirne ke ham nahīñ qaa.il
jab aañkh hī se na Tapkā to phir lahū kyā hai
merely because it courses through the veins, I’m not convinced
if it drips not from one’s eyes blood cannot be held true
vo chiiz jis ke liye ham ko ho bahisht aziiz
sivā.e bāda-e-gulfām-e-mushk-bū kyā hai
save for fragrant flavoured wine, what else can it be
that for which we paradise persistently pursue
piyūñ sharāb agar ḳhum bhī dekh luuñ do-chār
ye shīsha o qadah o kuuza o subū kyā hai
glasses goblets jugs and pitchers all are of no use
even if in barrels found, I’d gladly drink the brew
rahī na tāqat-e-guftār aur agar ho bhī
to kis umiid pe kahiye ki aarzū kyā hai
no longer have I strength to speak but even if I did
what hope can I rely on to narrate my wish to you?
huā hai shah kā musāhib phire hai itrātā
vagarna shahr meñ ‘ġhālib’ kī aabrū kyā hai
becoming the the crony of the king, he preens and struts around
or else what honour in this town to Ghalib would accrue?