Life’s yoked to sorrow, hand in hand go they
So why hope then grief afore death will stay?
Qaid e hayat o band e gham asal me dono aik hain,
Mout se pehle admi gham se nijat pae kion.
(prison-of-life and bondage-of-grief really both are same
death before-it man sorrow exempt why should be)
Ghalib sees no distinction betwixt life and suffering. His life was punctuated with tragedies; he lost all seven of his children in their infancy, saw his patron (Bahadur Shah Zafar) sent to die in exile by the British, was a witness to the massacres that followed the 1857 revolt, and struggled with poverty throughout his life. As a result, his poetry is tinged with a melancholic air.
That sorrow is weaved into existence and can only be alleviated by death is a recurring idea in his work.
*an alternative translation:
Life’s yoked to suffering, together they are bound
Why hope then respite ere death can be found?