mu:trib ne pa;Rhii thii ;Gazal ik miir kii shab ko
majlis me;N bahut vajd kii ;haalat rahii sab ko

1) a singer had recited/read a single/particular/unique/excellent ghazal of Mir's, last night
2) in the gathering all remained in a state of great rapture/transport



mu:trib : 'A musician, a minstrel; a singer'. (Platts p.1044)


vajd : 'Ecstasy, rapture, transport; excessive love; religious or poetic frenzy'. (Platts p.1181)

S. R. Faruqi:

These two verses [this verse and {930,2}] are connected to each other. They cannot be called a 'verse-set', because a verse-set doesn't contain an opening-verse. In discussions of lists of poetic genres and their various types, I have never seen it mentioned-- 'If the verse directly after the opening-verse of a ghazal is 'connected' [marbuu:t] to the opening-verse, then what will it be called?' In our time, poets in mushairahs recite it under the name 'four-liner' [chaar-mi.sr((e]. (They say chaar-mi.sr((e pesh kartaa huu;N , and so on.) Some people even call it a 'verse-set', although it's clear that if an opening-verse is included, then it cannot be called a verse-set.

In early times, there are other examples as well of a second verse connected to an opening-verse. Siraj Aurangabadi:

avval se dil miraa jo giriftaar thaa so hai
mere gale me;N ((ishq kaa zunnaar thaa so hai

ay shaah-e ;husn mujh ko tumhaarii janaab me;N
muddat se bandagii kaa jo iqraar thaa so hai

[my heart that was captured from the first, still is so
the sacred-thread of passion that was around my neck, still is so

oh king of beauty, in your presence, to me
the pledge of servitude that has been there for some time, still is so]

Consider an example from Jur'at:

chhup gayaa parde me;N vuh .suurat jo dikhlaa kar hame;N
be-qaraarii ne kiyaa kyaa ;zab;h ta;Rpaa kar hame;N

har kisii ke paa))o;N pa;R kar ab yihii kahte hai;N ham
vaa;N kisii se ab bulaa bhijvaa))o tum jaa kar hame;N

[it has been hidden in a veil, the face that, when she showed it to us,
how restlessness made us writhe, and slaughtered us!

falling at everyone's feet, we now say this:
'now go and have someone there send her to us!']

One reason for calling the verse after the opening-verse the ;husn-e ma:tla(( or the zeb-e ma:tla(( might perhaps also be that the two verses used sometimes to be connected. [[Another example: {944,2}.]]

The theme in Mir's present verses of reading or reciting a verse aloud has been discussed in detail in the introduction to SSA, volume 1 (section nine). With regard to meaning, these verses have several aspects.

First of all, the point is that a 'singer' has recited Mir's verses. In this there are two implications: (1) his poetry is so popular that it is recited in many places; (2) Mir himself is not present. That is, because of distaste (or some other reason, such as madness, wandering, death, etc.) the poet does not go to gatherings.

A second point is that in ;zikr-e miir Mir has written that when Mu'in ul-Mulk Ri'ayat Khan requested Mir to teach some of his verses to a qawwali-singer [qavvaal-bachchaa] , so that he could sing them, Mir found it very displeasing. Under duress, he taught the verses, but he was so disturbed/sullen that he left the service of Mu'in ul-Mulk Ri'ayat Khan. In contradiction to this event, here we see that Mir's verses are on the lips of a singer, but there's no opposition between them.

As I've said before, a ghazal is not the poet's autobiography, but rather should be considered the words of a speaker. It's not necessary (and often in the setting is inappropriate) for the poet to express in his ghazal what has happened to him. And it's entirely unnecessary and contrary to the poetics of the classical ghazal that the ghazal would be read in the manner of an autobiography. Those people are wrong who claim that Mir made his autobiography into the history of the world. The fountainhead of the ghazal is 'theme-creation', not autobiography. Autobiography should be brought into the opening-verse of the ghazal only when without it the verse would be impossible to interpret; or if interpretation would be possible, then when without it there's a fear that some important angle of the verse might be ignored.

A third point is that by writing in the third person, Mir has created in the verse an excellence of expression, because we assume that Mir himself is not present. In this way the verse becomes a part of the story and the legend of Mir (not Muhammad Taqi Mir, but rather the poet who is being mentioned). Then, if he had said in the first person 'My ghazal was recited, and people were transported', etc., then the verse would become only self-aggrandizement. Now, there is the recounting of an event, and also the implication of self-aggrandizement.

For example, let's imagine that the verse had been like this:

(1) mu:trib ne pa;Rhii thii ;Gazal ik merii jo shab ko
majlis me;N bahut vajd kii ;haalat rahii sab ko

(2) mu:trib ne ;Gazal merii pa;Rhii ek thii shab ko
majlis me;N bahut vajd kii ;haalat rahii sab ko

In both those cases the pleasure is lost, that has been obtained from the third-person expression.

A fourth point is that in the construction of Mir's story, and in embodying Mir as a fictional character, the suggestion is also effective that the speaker is an eyewitness to the gathering where Mir's ghazal was recited. But in addition to being an eyewitness there is witnessing/testifying, which is mentioned in the second verse.

[For further discussion of the second verse in particular, see {930,2}].

In the construction of both verses, the slight but glimmering layer of something like sarcasm and jesting is very fine. The tone is as if the speaker would be secretly feeling pleased: 'What excellence Mir's verses showed, and how they brought low [gat banaanaa] the dignified darveshes!'.

In a state of 'rapture', a man rises from his place and begins to leap and dance. In Persian, vajd kardan actually means to arise from one place and move in a transport to another place. The original meaning of majlis is 'a place of sitting'; thus between majlis and vajd there's the pleasure of wordplay. When a Sufi becomes affected by listening [samaa((] and enters a state of rapture, then in Urdu that's called ;haal aanaa . Thus the word ;haalat too has a great affinity. Then, with regard to vajd ('to rise from one's place', 'not to remain in one's place') the going around of the servants too [in the second verse] has a great affinity-- especially since by saying 'accordingly' [chunaa;Nchih] he has already prepared for this. He's composed a fine verse.

In the second divan itself there's another verse with this theme, but without these excellences [{958,15}]:

is ;Gazal par shaam se to .suufiyo;N ko vajd thaa
phir nahii;N maa((luum kuchh majlis me;N kyaa ;haalat hu))ii

[at this ghazal, from evening onwards, the Sufis were in rapture
then, there's no telling what, in the gathering, the situation became]

And again in the second divan, in one ghazal he's composed, to go with the opening-verse, one verse and then another opening-verse. The theme is so much the same that here too there's a mention of the ghazal-recitation by the singer [{961,1-3}]:

mu:trib se ;Gazal miir kii kal mai;N ne pa;Rhaa))ii
all;aah re a;sar sab ke ta))ii;N raftagii aa))ii

us ma:tla((-e jaa;N-soz ne aa us ke labo;N par
kyaa kahye kih kyaa .suufiyo;N kii chhaatii jalaa))ii

;xaa:tir ke ((alaaqe ke sabab jaan khapaa))ii
us dil ke dha;Rakne se ((ajab koft u;Thaa))ii

[yesterday I caused a singer to recite a ghazal of Mir's
oh God, the effect! --over all, a transport came

that life-burning opening-verse having come to his lips
what can I say-- how it burned the breast of the Sufis!

because of its connection to the mind/heart, it destroyed their life
from that throbbing of the heart, they experienced extraordinary sorrow]

Here the verses are commonplace, but with regard to structure, it's very interesting that the opening-verse and the verse right after it are 'connected', and after that there's again an opening-verse. I haven't seen this structure anywhere else.

[See also {1264,5}; {1504,2}; {1781,1}.]



There's also the conspicuous presence of ek (in its metrically shortened form ik ), which works particularly well in the context of the first line. Was what was recited only a 'single' ghazal of Mir's (because that's all it took to enrapture the gathering)? Or was it some 'particular' or 'unique' ghazal (that had such a special, remarkable effect)? Or was it an 'excellent' ghazal (such that its sheer quality overpowered the gathering)?

From this verse alone, we can't tell what kind of a gathering it was-- except of course that it wasn't a musha'irah, since there the poet himself would have recited his verse. The speaker, who was apparently present in some capacity, seems to be reporting about it to an interested friend who wasn't there. No detail is offered, just the broad generalization that everybody was entranced by a ghazal of Mir's. Thus the change in tone, subject-matter, and level of detail in {930,2} can come as an enjoyable surprise, a sudden upward kick in the interest level.