Ghazal 109, Verse 6x

{109,6x}*

mu((aaf-e behudah-go))ii hai;N naa.si;haan-e ((aziiz
dil-e bah dast-e nigaare nadaadah rakhte hai;N

1) they are {excused / dispensed with} for babbling nonsense/obscenity, the esteemed/respected Advisors
2) they keep/maintain a heart that has not been given into the hand of a beautiful one

Notes:

mu((aaf : 'Forgiven, pardoned, absolved, excused, condoned, remitted; spared; dispensed with'. (Platts p.1046)

 

behudah is a short form of behuudah

 

behuudah-go))ii : 'Idle talk, talking nonsense, absurdity, frivolity; obscene talk, scurrility'. (Platts p.213)

 

nigaare is nigaar with a Persian indefinite article attached to it

 

daadah : 'Given, bestowed, imparted'. (Platts p.500)

Gyan Chand:

The esteemed Advisors babble nonsense. They are worthy of being excused, because they have a kind of heart that hasn't been given to any beautiful one. The one who wouldn't be acquainted with passion-- he can't even understand us at all. (274)

FWP:

SETS == MUSHAIRAH
SPEAKING: {14,4}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices.

The worthy, 'esteemed' Advisors do talk the most dreadful nonsense-- perhaps even with overtones of vulgarity or scurrilousness. But they have to be excused-- after all, they have no way of knowing what they're talking about. They have hearts that have never been given away, never been surrendered into the custody of a beautiful one.

In particular, they don't just 'have' such hearts-- they actively 'keep' them. For in this verse alone, the refrain of the ghazal has been most fully energized. Not even in the rhyme-word, as is usual in mushairah verses, but only in the refrain itself, comes the real 'punch'-word. Only then do we feel the full contrast: the Advisors don't just happen by coincidence to have not-given-away hearts-- they actively hold on to them, they refuse to give them away, they retain or 'keep' them. How enjoyably this verb emphasizes their folly, their selfishness, their worldliness and greed! No wonder their vulgar, foolish babble is guaranteed to be of no use whatsoever.

Note for grammar fans: Ghalib here attaches a Persian indefinite article to an Urdu noun, turning nigaar into nigaare . He very rarely does this; offhand I can't recall another instance. Perhaps it could be said to contribute to the verse by emphasizing the Advisors' reluctance to give their hearts ever, under any circumstances, to 'any' beautiful one at all.