mai;N jo bolaa kahaa kih yih aavaaz
usii ;xaanah-;xaraab kii sii hai

1) when I spoke, she said, 'this voice
2) is like only/emphatically that good-for-nothing's'



;xaanah-;xaraab : 'Ruined, destroyed; base, abject; —a vain, empty fellow, a good-for-nothing fellow, a vagabond, a wretch'. (Platts p.486)



On the special status of this ghazal, see {485,1}.

The poor lover! Look at the degrees of his wretchedness. First, the beloved doesn't deign to recognize him as a person at all-- when he's in her presence, she notices only his voice. Second, the beloved is not convinced that the voice she hears is his at all-- it's only 'like' his. Third, the voice may be 'like' that of someone else entirely-- the beloved may have a number of wretched lovers who afflict her with their laments and pleas. And fourth, no matter whose voice the present voice may (seem to) resemble, there's no hope at all-- the voice reminds her only, or emphatically, of the voice of 'that good-for-nothing'.

It's her very vagueness, her indifference tempered only by a remembered distaste, that is so poignantly funny. Or at least, I think the verse is funny; but I realize that a more serious-minded reader might decline to notice the humor. Here's another of those vexed questions of tone. See the next verse, {485,7}, for further discussion.