kyaa la;Rke dillii ke hai;N ((ayyaar aur na;T-kha;T
dil le;N hai;N yuu;N kih hargiz hotii nahii;N hai aaha;T

1) how the boys of Delhi are tricksters and rogues!
2) they take the heart in such a way that there's absolutely not any footstep-sound



((ayyaar : 'Sharp, artful, shrewd, cunning, sly, mischievous... ; —an artful or crafty fellow, a knave'. (Platts p.767)


na;T-kha;T : ' Naughty, wicked, mischievous; —roguish, waggish; shrewd, artful, trickish; —a naughty or mischievous child, an imp; —a rogue; a trickster, cheat'. (Platts p.1124)


aha;T : 'Sound of feet approaching, sound of soft footsteps; sound, noise, clack, tick'. (Platts p.109)

S. R. Faruqi:

In the verse there's a certain amount of lecherousness and a great deal of humor [:zaraafat]. The word-choice too is interesting, and contributes to the wit. With regard to 'Delhi' [dillii], the use of dil le;N is very fine; and so is the mention that there's no aaha;T , but the use of kha;T kha;T -doing words [that resemble knocking] like aaha;T and na;T-kha;T .

As has probably become clear already, there's no incompatibility between humor and the ghazal. From the very beginning our poets have kept the garment-hem of the ghazal spread wide. In the twentieth century the erroneous idea became widespread that there ought not to be humorous elements in the ghazal. In our time Iftikhar Jalib was probably the first to feel the importance of humor in the ghazal; and in his introduction to Zafar Iqbal's widely admired collection gulaaftaab , he particularly emphasized Zafar Iqbal's humor.

Ahmad Nadim Qasmi Sahib has reproached the poets of 1950 for turning toward Mir-- and he's also written that they didn't fully understand him. To declare a turn toward Mir to be undesirable is a very sad thing, but Qasimi Sahib is right in his opinion that the poets of 1950 didn't fully understand Mir. Because if they had, they would certainly have admired the elements of humor in Mir's poetry.

A cheerful temperament, repartee, good humor-- all these are present in the ghazal even before Mir, and they're not qualities only of Sauda or Insha. The poetry of Nasikh and Zauq too is full of humor. Among later poets, Dagh's poetry can be presented as an example; and in the poetry of Ghalib (who is usually said to be a very subtle philosopher), humor is present.

Thus in verses of Mir's like this one, there's the expression not only of love of youths, and lecherousness, but also of humor and mischievousness. There's no need to look at the verse disdainfully. The ghazal poet has dominion over every department of life.



Well, with that last claim, that 'the ghazal poet has dominion over every department of life', SRF is surely pushing the envelope just a bit. I agree that in theory the ghazal poet can write about anything he chooses, and his domain certainly includes humor, satire, and the love of beautiful youths and other unsuitable or unavailable beloveds. Love in the ghazal world is never going to end well. Basically, the ghazal is seeking out the transgressive, and the pain-pleasure paradox of mystical longing and transcendence. Humor can work perfectly well within that framework-- as can abstract thought, flattery of a patron, wordplay, and so much more.

But you can read an awful lot of ghazals before you come upon any wives or children or in-laws or traces of everyday domestic life, or of the real life of any city (cf. this verse, where 'Delhi' is brought in almost entirely for wordplay). And although the 'verse-set' and the 'sequential' [musalsal] ghazal can do narrative up to a point, the problem of rhyme-words means that they can't do it nearly as well as a masnavi can. Then there's re;xtii , which has its own historical trajectory and is careful to set itself aside from the 'normal' ghazal. All this is not to say that there couldn't be such 'domestic life' verses if the poets had so chosen, but in fact, in the classical ghazal proper the poets didn't so choose, and such verses are vanishingly few.

The word ((ayyaar , especially in the context of irresistible stealthy trickery, of course also evokes the dastan world, and especially the Dastan of Amir Hamzah.