‘Gham Agarche Jaan-gusil Hai’ by Mirza Ghalib (1797-1869)

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There is no escape for the heart
From the perils of stony sorrows
That when it’s not beset by love
It’s vexed by worldly woes
.
.
gham agarche jaan-gusil hai, pe kahaan bachen ki dil hai
(sorrow if life-menacing is, but wherefore saved because heart is)
gham-e-ishq gar na hotaa, gham-e-rozgaar hotaa
(sorrow-of-love if no was, sorrow-of-livelihood would-be)
.
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Ghalib was predisposed to the idea of gham (sorrow/sadness) as an essential element of living. This idea features consistently throughout his oeuvre. I think it is remarkable that his concept is close to the idea of dukha (suffering as fundamental to existence) in the Buddha’s teachings.
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