Ghalib describes the situation in India today

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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Justice Markandey Katju

Rau mein hai rakhsh-e-umr kahan dekhiye thame

naey haath baag par hain na paa hai rakaab mein

– Mirza Ghalib

रौ में है रख़्श-ए-उम्र कहाँ देखिये थमे

नै हाथ बाग पर हैं ना पा है रिक़ाब में

رو میں ہے رخش عمر کہاں دیکھیے تھمے

نے ہاتھ باگ پر ہے نہ پا ہے رکاب میں

– مرزا غالب

This sher of Ghalib describes the age we are living in.

Rau means galloping, rakhsh means horse, umr means age or era, thame means halts.

So the first line means “ The horse of our times is galloping. Let us see where it halts “. In other words, things are happening fast nowadays, developments are taking place rapidly.

In the second line, ‘baagh’ means the rein ( of the horse ), ‘rakaab’ means stirrup. So the literal meaning of the second line is “ neither are the reins in the rider’s hands, nor are his feet in the stirrups “. In other words, things are out of control.

This seems to describe conditions in India today, where developments are taking place fast, but everything seems to be out of control.

How to read literature -“Basic problems of devotional poetry of South India” | Pro. Jagdishwar Chaturvedi

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