Ghazal 234, Verse 14


adaa-e ;xaa.s se ;Gaalib hu))aa hai nuktah-saraa
.salaa-e ((aam hai yaaraan-e nuktah-daa;N ke liye

1) with a special style/manner/coquetry, Ghalib has become 'point'-singing
2) there is a general/public invitation/call/challenge for friends who are knowers/understanders of 'points'


adaa : 'Grace, beauty; elegance; graceful manner on carriage; charm, fascination; blandishment; amorous signs and gestures, coquetry'. (Platts p.31)


nuktah : ''A point'; --a point (of wit); a quaint saying; a pithy sentence; --a subtle or quaint conceit; a nice or metaphysical distinction; a mythical signification'. (Platts p.1147)


saraa : 'Singing, trilling (used in comp.)'. (Platts p.650)


.salaa : 'Calling or inviting (beggars, &c.), to receive or partake of food; invitation; annunciation; proclamation; voice, call, cry (of an auctioneer, or salesman, &c.); shout, challenge (of a foe)'. (Platts p.745)


He challenges/invites everybody, that they too should adopt this special style of ghazal and praise [mad;h]. (267)

== Nazm page 267

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says In writing praise in a ghazal, Ghalib has a special style. Friends too ought to adopt this style. (326)

Bekhud Mohani:

Ghalib has composed praise in a unique new style. And he is giving a general invitation to 'point'-knowing friends that they too should adopt this very style. (507)



What exactly is it to become 'point'-singing? Is Ghalib reminding us once again that the burst of praise in which he's just indulged, is of a particular nature, and unlike his usual ghazal style? Is he boasting about the 'special style', and inviting his friends to share his pleasure in it, or else challenging them to compete with him in it? After the elaborate segregation of the set of {234,9} to {234,12}-- a set of praise-verses which are introduced by {234,8}, wrapped up by {234,13}-- it's plausible to think he was somehow alluding particularly to them. Perhaps part of the 'point' that Ghalib expects his friends to get is how badly he needs to obtain suitable rewards from a patron? (Along these lines, see his letters quoted in {234,9}.)

The way the mutually echoing saraa and .salaa are juxtaposed seems to call attention to the public, performative nature of the 'singing' or 'reciting' referred to in the verse. And perhaps this kind of performance is something rather new? The 'has become' can certainly be read as suggesting a change of state.

It's especially Ghalibian to issue a 'call' (invitation, or challenge, or proclamation) to the world in general [.salaa-e ((aam] and then suggest that it's really meant only for (a certain group of) his own friends-- those of his friends who are 'point'-knowers.

Well, we're now at the end of the ghazal part of the divan. Traditionally no special ending was necessary, and it seems that Ghalib hasn't entirely given us one. Unless we're expected to take the present verse as an overview of the whole divan, and a boast about its excellence? Certainly the range of meaning of nuktah gives us that possibility as well.