Ghazal 199, Verse 6x


nah puuchh kuchh sar-o-saamaan-e kaarobaar-e asad
junuu;N-mu((aamalah bedil faqiir-e miskii;N hai

1) don't ask anything about the equipment of the business/dealings of Asad!
2) he is madness-trading, heart-less, a humble/poor faqir


sar-o-saamaan : 'Apparatus, necessaries, requisites, effects, goods and chattels, bed and bedding, &c.'. (Platts p.649)


kaar-o-baar : 'Work, labour, business; affairs; dealings, transactions'. (Platts p.800)


mu((aamalah : 'Transacting business (with), dealing (with), trading, or bargaining (with); — dealing, transaction, negotiation, business, commerce, traffic; bargain; contract; correspondence


faqiir : 'Poor, needy, indigent, destitute; — a poor man; a beggar; a religious mendicant; a derwish; an ascetic, a devotee'. (Platts p.783)


miskiin : 'Lowly, humble, submissive; meek, mild; — poor, needy, indigent, wretched, miserable'. (Platts p.1035)


MADNESS: {14,3}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of his choices; I thought it was interesting and have added it myself. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Here is an unusual case, unique in the divan. Ghalib composed two closing-verses for this ghazal, both using the pen-name 'Asad'. Usually if he composed two closing-verses, it was because an earlier one used 'Asad' and he wanted to replace it with one that used 'Ghalib'. In this case, we can only speculate about his reasons. One possibility is that he didn't care so much for this one, so he later replaced it with {199,4}. Another possibility is that in be-dil , 'heart-less' (in the sense of having giving the heart away), the verse contained-- or might be thought to contain-- a tribute to Bedil. And Ghalib edited out most of his extravagant early tributes to Bedil from the published divan; on this see {8,5x}.

The chief charm of the verse is its use of businesslike imagery to describe Asad's utterly mad and indescribably ('don't even ask!') un-businesslike condition. Here the word saudaa surely hovers intriguingly over the verse, since it has the double meaning of both 'merchandise' (from the Persian) and 'madness' (from the Arabic); see {58,5}.