bandagii ek apnii kyaa kam hai
aur kuchh tum se kahye kyaa .saa;hib

1a) is my single/particular/unique/excellent servitude a small thing?
1b) how small a thing is my single/particular/unique/excellent servitude!
1c) as if my single/particular/unique/excellent servitude is a small thing!

2a) what else is there from/with you?-- tell me, Sahib!
2b) anything else from/with you?-- tell me what, Sahib!
2c) anything else from/with you?-- what do you say, Sahib?



ek : 'One, single, sole, alone, only, a, an; the same, identical; only one; a certain one; single of its kind, unique, singular, preƫminent, excellent'. (Platts p.113)



This ghazal is not included in SSA; for discussion, see {775,1}.

Here is a lovely use of the 'kya effect', combined with the multivalence of ek . The only clear thing in the first line is that the speaker is in servitude to the addressee. But this servitude may be 'single' or 'particular' or 'unique' or 'excellent'-- as usual, it's left entirely to us to decide. In addition, the little postposition se can here readily mean either 'from' or 'with', so that further ambiguities are added.

Moreover, the speaker may be uncertain about whether there's anything else to come (1a); or disdainful of the present kind of servitude and asking for something else in addition or instead (1b); or so greatly pleased with the present kind of servitude that he believes there could hardly be anything else available and is just making sure (1c).

In these thirteen words, look at the possibilities that have been opened out for us. And the best part is, almost all the possible readings are actually meaningful and provocative. It doesn't feel like just a word game.

Here's a verse in which Ghalib uses kyaa tang as cleverly as Ghalib uses kyaa kam :