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-hood 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 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?

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 evokes (though it's not clear exactly how) 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?