Ghazal 167, Verse 10


chho;Rii asad nah ham ne gadaa))ii me;N dil-lagii
saa))il hu))e to ((aashiq-e ahl-e karam hu))e

1) Asad, in beggary we didn't abandon heart-attachment
2) when we became an asker, then we became a lover of the people of generosity


saa))il : 'Asking; —asker, interrogator, querist, questioner; applicant, suitor, petitioner; beggar'. (Platts p.631)


karam : 'Generosity, liberality; nobleness, excellence; goodness, kindness, benignity; beneficence; bounty; grace, favour, clemency, courtesy, graciousness'. (Platts p.826)


The to proves that the clause before it [is a relative one];.... in Urdu it ought to be considered acceptable in speech [to omit the relative pronoun 'if' or 'when'], for it is attractive to omit this pronoun from a conditional clause. (187)

== Nazm page 187

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'Oh Asad, even in beggary we didn't give up our lover's temperament. In the state of begging, whoever gave us a coin, we became the lover of that very person.' (243)

Bekhud Mohani:

Oh Asad, we have such an inclination for lover-ship that even upon becoming a Faqir, we kept that pursuit in practice. Formerly we used to love beautiful ones. Now we've become a lover of the people of generosity. And we've begun to take pleasure in their airs and graces. (328)



A nice wry tone for a closing-verse-- but at whom is the speaker's ironic, or amused, or sarcastic, or rueful reflection directed?

=At himself, for his absurd insistence on maintaining the role of a lover under even the most inappropriate circumstances?

=At himself, for so readily transferring his lover-ship on what seems to be a strictly financial basis?

=At his former beloveds, since they were obviously not 'people of generosity'? (If they had been, he wouldn't have ended up as a beggar.)

=At his new beloveds, the 'people of generosity' (and/or patrons), since they seem to be buying his loyalty? (Or perhaps they offer him as little as his old beloved did?)

Needless to say, these possibilities aren't mutually exclusive. Quite the contrary, in fact. For a far more bitter-sounding reflection on the relation of beggar to giver-- or poet to patron-- see {110,8}.

This verse also (somewhat invertedly) recalls Ghalib's many poetic exhortations against taking anything from others; on this see {9,1}. Is a beggar who's also a lover more honorable than an ordinary beggar, or more cynical?