Ghazal 149, Verse 5


khultaa kisii pah kyuu;N mire dil kaa mu((aamalah
shi((ro;N ke inti;xaab ne rusvaa kiyaa mujhe

1) why would the affair of my heart have become open/apparent to anybody?!
2) the anthology/selection of verses disgraced/revealed me


mu((aamalah : 'Dealing, transaction, negotiation, business, commerce, traffic; bargain, contract; correspondence; --sexual intercourse; --proceding, procedure; behavior; --affair, matter, concern'. (Platts p.1046)


inti;xaab : 'Extract; selection; election, choice'. (Platts p.86)


rusvaa : 'Dishonoured, disgraced, infamous, ignominious; humiliated; open, notorious; accused; one held up to public view, as an example to deter'. (Steingass p.576)


Obviously the meaning is that people have realized that he is someone who is of a romantic temperament [((aashiq-mizaaj]. (161)

== Nazm page 161

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, why would my affair-- that is, the secret of my passion-- be open/apparent to anyone? But the selection of verses made me notorious-- that is, I always used to choose and recite/read verses that contained themes of affairs of passion and love. (216)

Bekhud Mohani:

Alas, from the selection of verses the world learned that I am of a romantic temperament [((aashiq-mizaaj] or a lover of complexity/difficulty [diqqat-pasand]. It's clear that lovers of complexity are notorious among the common people. (289-90)



The verse is crammed about as full of literary wordplay as it could possibly be. The words affair, selection, verses all have their own glossary entries. An additional pleasure is the presence in the first line of the verb 'to be open/apparent to someone' [kisii par khulnaa], which directly evokes the 'opening' and reading of a book-- say, an anthology or 'selection' of poetry. As for the 'affair' [mu((aamalah], it not only has excellently multifarious meanings (from the commercial to the directly sexual; see the definition above), but also strongly invokes the kind of ghazal called 'description of an affair'. Almost the same sense of 'opening' or 'public revelation' is in fact the literal meaning of rusvaa))ii ; for discussion, see {20,9}.

The first line is contrafactual, and suggests that the secret of the speaker's 'affair(s)' could have been kept if it were not for the anthology or 'selection' that gave the secret away. But why was this the case?

=Was this because his 'affair(s)' took place not in the real world but only in his heart, so that they could be revealed only by his words?

=Was this because every verse he wrote-- and thus every verse in the anthology-- was one of obsessive passion, or some secret of that kind?

=Was this because when someone (not necessarily the poet himself) selected some of his verses for an anthology, the ones about obsessive passion at once stood out through their superior merit, and demanded to be chosen?

=Or, as Bekhud Dihlavi suggests, was this because he himself always chose and recited verses about obsessive passion at mushairahs?

What it really is, obviously, is an enjoyable display of wordplay about words, of poetry about poetry, even of a perverse pride in one's (in)famous celebrity.