Ghazal 43, Verse 7


taa kare nah ;Gammaazii kar liyaa hai dushman ko
dost kii shikaayat me;N ham ne ham-zabaa;N apnaa

1) so that he wouldn't do backbiting/talebearing, we have made the enemy
2) in complaining about the friend, our supporter/'fellow-speaker'


;Gammaazii : 'Informing (against), talebearing, backbiting, traducing'. (Platts p.773)


ham : 'Together, with; both; one another, other, mutual, mutually; ... —(in comp.) fellow, co- '. (Platts p.1234)


ham-zabaa;N : 'Of the same language or tongue; conversing together; expressing the same opinion; unanimous'. (Platts p.1234)


That is, so that he wouldn't go to the beloved and tell what complaints I make. (41)

== Nazm page 41

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, we swallow complaints about the friend from the mouth of the enemy, and then ourselves too keep agreeing with him. And this is so that he won't go and make snide remarks about us to the beloved-- as if we would make that fool a sharer in complaint about the beloved! (81)

Bekhud Mohani:

In front of the Rival I complained about the beloved in such a style that he too began to support me. In this my purpose was that when he himself joins me in such speech, he won't go and mention our complaints to the beloved. (100)



Like {43,6}, this is a good mushairah verse. Thus it packs its chief punch at the end.

If you were a sophisticated listener-- an educated patron or fellow-poet-- at a mushairah, what in this verse might you at once enjoy? No doubt there's the wordplay of 'friend' and 'enemy'. You'd also notice the conspicuous, unusual word ;Gammaazii . For as Talib Amuli, Shah Jahan's poet laureate, famously said, 'a fresh word is equal to a theme'.

But what would really strike your ear would be the end of the second line: ham ne ham-zabaa;N apnaa . The rhythm of the verse makes the repetition feel strongly marked, so that to your ear the same word, ham , is being powerfully repeated. But to your mind, of course, those are two different words: the former is the Indic first person plural 'we'; the latter is the Persian prefix meaning something like 'mutual; together; with one another', so that literally the enemy was made a 'fellow-speaker.' This is elegant wordplay indeed.

Thus the verse invites us to think about the various kinds of 'we' and of 'mutuality' in relation to the 'friend' and the 'enemy'. For example, what kind of a 'friend' is it whose treatment of you drives you to make a fake 'friend' of an 'enemy'? What kind of an 'enemy' is it whose situation is so much like yours that you two can in fact easily become (fake? real?) confidants, and thus 'friends' of a sort?

Moreover, if you treat your beloved with such deep distrust (you fear that she will listen to, and believe, tale-bearing against you), and your rival with such anticipatory suspicion (you secretly manipulate him), do you really have a 'friend' or 'supporter' among them at all? And perhaps you yourself are not a 'friend' to either one, for aren't you engaging in a form of the very backbiting and tale-bearing that you deplore? And so on.

The confusingness of ham ne ham is thus appropriate to the larger moral picture as well-- who is the 'we' here, and where is the 'mutuality'? And the other obvious examples of wordplay-- 'enemy' versus 'friend'-- lead into the deeper thought patterns of the verse, via the unusual, attention-grabbing ;Gammaazii . Not every seemingly simple mushairah verse has so much to offer.

Since the grammatical subject is 'we', this is the second and last verse in the present ghazal to use apnaa in the standard grammatical way, with no ambiguity. The only other verse to do so is the previous one, {43,6}.