Ghazal 77, Verse 3


mujh ko arzaanii rahe tujh ko mubaarak huujiyo
naalah-e bulbul kaa dard aur ;xandah-e gul kaa namak

1a) may abundance/plenty remain to me; may [it] become auspicious for you--
1b) may abundance/plenty remain to me; you're welcome to it!

2) the pain of the Nightingale’s lament, and the salt/piquancy of the rose's smile


arzaanii : 'Cheapness; abundance, plenty; good harvest'. (Platts p.40)


mubaarak : 'Blessed; happy, fortunate, auspicious; august; sacred, holy; -- intj. Welcome! well! hail! all hail! blessings (on you)!; congratulations (to you)!' (Platts p.988)


huujiyo is the third-person future imperative of honaa (GRAMMAR)


namak : 'Salt; —savour, flavour; —bread, subsistence; —(met.) piquancy; spirit, animation; —grace, beauty'. (Platts p.1154)


That is, may the pain of the nightingale's lament be bestowed on me, and may the salt of the rose's smile be auspicious for you. In this verse huujiyo is a very distasteful word and is to be rejected. (78)

== Nazm page 78

Bekhud Mohani:

(1) The pain of the nightingale's lament-- that is, effect-- and the salt of the rose's smile-- that is, pleasure-- are such things as may God give to all, for they seem good to everyone.

(2) May the pain of the nightingale's lament be auspicious to me, and the salt of the rose's smile to you. That is, I am of the 'people of pain', this is suitable for me. You are a lover of the pleasures of the world; may that be auspicious to you.

(3) That is, may the pain of the nightingale's lament be vouchsafed to my laments. I am content with this. (162)


In this verse 'collecting and scattering' has been created. Salty/spicy [namkiin] beauty and salty/spicy laughter are united in eloquent everyday language. He says, 'Oh friend may the pain of the nightingale's lament be bestowed upon me-- that is, may it continue to be vouchsafed to me. And may the salty/spicy laughter of the flowers be auspicious to you.' A complaint of being ignored, in the veil of sarcasm [:tanz], has been made. (162)



As so often, we can't tell anything much from the first line, and under mushairah performance conditions we'd have to endure the wait until the second line gave us, in a sudden rush, the missing puzzle pieces. Even then, we'd have some choices to make, since this verse is one of the many that provide us with a set of puzzle pieces that can fit together in a variety of ways, and we have to assemble them ourselves-- usually with more than one possible solution. In fact the second line consists simply of a list: 'A and B', with no grammar at all; for more such 'list' verses, see {4,4}.

Nazm reads the pieces as distributive-- the first half of the first line corresponds to the first half of the second line, and the second half of the first line corresponds to the second half of the second line. This is indeed the most obvious reading, and is saved from ordinariness by the doubleness of mubaarak honaa , which can be either sincere (as in 2a) or (very readily and colloquially) sarcastic, as in (2b). For a similarly complex use of mubaarak honaa , and further discussion of these uses, see {71,8}.

Alternatively, as Bekhud Mohani's first reading suggests, both halves of the first line can be taken as applying to both halves of the second line.

Then, we also need to ask in what sense the parts of the second line are to be allocated to the parts of the first line. Bekhud Mohani's third reading proposes that to have the pain of the nightingale's lament would be an advantage to the speaker because it would improve the efficacy of his own laments. Or maybe pain just does, and should, naturally gravitate to him, in his capacity as suffering lover. Just as the salt of the rose's smile inevitably belongs to the beloved. (And of course, she in turn provides the 'salt' for the lover's wounds.) The beloved is successful and worldly, and the speaker knows it, and shows that he knows it, not without a touch of bitterness; for another verse in this vein, see {17,6}.

As Josh notes, to be 'salty', namkiin , is also to be lively, risque, daring, saucily attractive. (This is where we get salaunii in Urdu, and 'salacious' in English-- from salt.) Thus he reads the verse as witty and humorous, with the lover mischievously teasing the beloved.

The Nightingale is madly in love with the rose, of course. His song, and his pain, are only for her. She smiles-- with what kind of a smile? (See {33,3} for another example of her smile.) As we all know, her 'smile' is her full bloom, and it heralds her imminent death. Does she smile despite knowing this? Does she smile because she knows this? Is this why her smile rubs salt in the nightingale's wounds? Is he singing not only with passion, but with the pain of imminent loss?

Thus we have a 'tragic' reading to set against Josh's 'comic' reading, and also Bekhud's 'global' reading, and a lot more ambiguities and possibilities constantly hovering around the edges. Another haunting, unresolvable verse.