Ghazal 208, Verse 2

{208,2}

ik khel hai aurang-e sulaimaa;N mire nazdiik
ik baat hai i((jaaz-e masii;haa mire aage

1) a mere/single/particular/excellent/unique pastime/amusement/game is the throne of Solomon, in my view
2) {a mere/single/particular/excellent/unique utterance / 'all one'} is the miracle of the Messiah, before me

Notes:

ek baat : 'One and the same thing, all one; one unvarying price'. (Platts p.113)

 

ek : 'One, single, sole, alone, only, a, an; the same, identical; only one; a certain one; single of its kind, unique, singular, preƫminent, excellent'. (Platts p.113)

Nazm:

That is, the success and achievement of the world of the world and the people of the world are trifling in my eyes. In the second line the word baat has given double pleasure. (234)

== Nazm page 234

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, I am one who sees the perfect power of God Most High. The throne of Solomon, in my view, is a pastime/amusement/game; that is, it's a commonplace thing. And the miracle of the Messiah, a thing of a commonplace level. The word baat , in juxtaposition to the miracle of the Messiah, has created an extraordinary pleasure. This verse is the 'high point of the ghazal'. (292)

Bekhud Mohani:

By the miracle of the Messiah is meant the giving of life to the dead. Hazrat Isa used to say, 'by the Lord's command, become alive', and the dead person used to become alive. (415)

FWP:

SETS == EK; HUMOR; PARALLELISM
GRANDIOSITY: {5,3}
ISLAMIC: {10,2}

This verse is the second of a set of four that feel like an informal kind of a verse-set; for discussion, see {208,1}.

The energizing ik baat hai has two possibilities: one is the idiomatic, which is something like 'all one to me' or 'nothing special', or 'more of the same' (that is, the miracle of the Messiah might be just another triviality like the throne of Solomon). The other reading, as the commentators observe with admiration, is 'one utterance'; it thus evokes the utterance of the Messiah that made the dead come to life.

And as so often, the multivalence of ek is a further charm: it's not only repeated, but also positioned in such an abstract, adjective-free environment that its full range of meanings might well be applicable. In the context of the verses before and after it, however, a dismissive reading works far more coherently and enjoyably.