Ghazal 234, Verse 4


rahaa balaa me;N bhii mai;N mubtalaa-e aafat-e rashk
balaa-e jaa;N hai adaa terii ik jahaa;N ke liye

1) even/also in disaster/affliction, I remained afflicted/immersed in the calamity of jealousy/envy
2) it's a mortal disaster/affliction, your style/grace/coquetry, for a whole/single world


mubtalaa : 'Sorely tried, afflicted, distressed, distracted, fallen (into, - me;N , evil, or calamity, or trouble), involved (in), overtaken (by); entangled; fascinated, enamoured (of)


And even if it was a disaster, it should have been for me alone-- why did it happen to the whole world? (265)

== Nazm page 265

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, if only I alone had been absorbed in a disaster! If your style/coquetry was a disaster, then it should have been so for me only. I would have obtained escape from the disaster of jealousy/envy. The cruelty is that your style/coquetry has been established as a mortal disaster for the whole world. (324)

Bekhud Mohani:

The beloved is so disastrously beautiful that whoever saw her became absorbed in passion. Then he praises her style/coquetry: this is no commonplace disaster-- rather, it's a mortal disaster. (504)


Compare {179,2}. (311}



What an insistent show of wordplay! We have balaa , mubtalaa (which comes from the same root), aafat (which has virtually the same meaning), and another balaa . Then we also have the nice sound/meaning pair of jaa;N and jahaa;N , the single 'life' versus the 'world'.

The first line is vague enough so that we can't really tell where it's going. And the second line is a conventional enough expression of praise. Only when we put the two lines together, through the power of implication, do we get something beyond the ordinary.

For as the commentators observe, the lover resents the ability of a 'whole' world [ik jahaa;N] to share in his exquisite suffering. (For more on idiomatic usages of ek , see {6,6}.) The lover complains not of disasters and calamities caused by the beloved's deadly charm, but only of the miseries of jealousy/envy. If only he could have those disasters and calamities for himself alone, and didn't have to share them so intolerably with all and sundry! For more on the complexities of rashk , see {53,4}. The lover isn't always so madly possessive, however: see {62,4} for a witty and light-hearted look at the same situation.

(More and much larger scans from the Tallis 1851 set: *here*.)