jo kaho tum so hai bajaa .saa;hib
ham bure hii sahii bhalaa .saa;hib

1a) whatever you might/would say, it's proper/right/true, Sahib!
1b) whatever you might/would say, it's so-- indeed/properly/precisely, Sahib!

2) even if we are only/emphatically bad, indeed-- fine/'good', Sahib!



ba-jaa : 'In place; proper, suitable, fit, becoming; right, just, true; —adv. Fitly, properly, rightly, as it should be all right; just so, precisely; (ironically) just so, very true'. (Platts p.133)


sahii : 'emphat. part. Yea, verily, indeed, true enough, forsooth; just so; very well, so be it, let it be'. (Platts p.707)


bhalaa : 'Good, excellent, virtuous, righteous; honest, respectable; benevolent, kind; healthy, well, sound; fortunate, prosperous; strange, wonderful, admirable; comical, droll;—adv. & intj. Well, very good; how fortunate! forsooth, in sooth, of a truth; strange'. (Platts p.190)



This ghazal was not among SRF's chosen ones for SSA. I simply loved {775,5} so much that I couldn't help but decide to include it as a main selection for the website. And then I found there were a few more good punchy verses in the same ghazal, so I just invited them to come along. This is the first time I've decided to add in a whole new ghazal (as opposed to an extra verse here and there) that is not in SSA. It seems like the right thing to do. Perhaps I will add others over time.

This opening-verse makes enjoyably witty use of three different expressions that can sometimes be straightforward, but are so often used ironically that it's hard to keep them confined to one-dimensionality. Think of 'Oh sure, of course I agree!' or 'Oh, absolutely, whatever you say!'-- these can be perfectly genuine statements of agreement, but even when they are read on the page they give off a strong whiff of (probably sarcastic) exaggeration. The person to whom they are spoken would be likely to take a quick sharp look to see if the speaker shows any signs of mockery.

Platts's dictionary works hard to convey these nuances: the definition of ba-jaa includes '(ironically) just so, very true'; sahii is an 'emphatic particle' with a similar range of meaning ('indeed, forsooth, just so'); bhalaa can be an 'adverb and interjection' on very much the same lines ('well, very good, how fortunate, forsooth'). The cumulative effect of extreme sarcasm is impossible to miss. But of course, this is still the madly submissive lover speaking to the madly arrogant beloved-- so who's to say? Perhaps his humility and self-abnegation might actually extend that far?