Shumar-e-sub’h, marghub-e-bu’t-e-mushkil-pasand, aaya Tamasha-e-ba yak kaf bu’rdan-e-sad dil pasand aaya

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This is my 22nd  installment. I have received excellent response from lot of friends; both Urdu and non-Urdu speakers. Please know that this is my own, Asghar Vasanwala’s, work and not a forwarding of . someone else’s work as some you thought. Please forward this to your friends. Also please send me your comments/complements. I will appreciate if you forward me emails of your Urdu/non-Urdu . friends.

Here is today’s verse (she’r) in Urdu, Gujarati, and Roman 

Shumar-e-sub’h,  marghub-e-bu’t-e-mushkil-pasand, aaya

She, my problem seeking goddess (bu’t), likes to  grab/squeeze 100-bead rosary just in one fist.             

Tamasha-e-ba    yak   kaf bu’rdan-e-sad   dil   pasand   aaya    

This way she demonstrates how she squeezes 100 hearts just  in one sweep 

Shumar=count      sub’h=a rosary used by Muslims (worry beads)  marghub= fond of, to like     but=idol, divamushkil pasand=problem seeking (person)  tamasha= a drama, a play    ba=with     yak=one  cuf=palm, cuff       bu’rdan=to carry, to grab     sad dil=100 hearts    pasand aaya= liked, admired 

 This is the 1st verse of Ghalib’s 8th ghazal. Being first verse of a ghazal it is called “Matl’a” and its both lines rhyme.  This ghazal is not popular at street level yet it embodies interesting subjects and amazing meanings.

 Meaning: Many times Urdu poets address their beloved as “Bu’t” (idol, goddess or diva). There are many reasons for this. 1. Idols are beautiful and heart robbing like those in Ajanta caves.  2. Many idols are profusely decorated with beautiful make-up, clothing, and ornaments. 3. A goddess has many devotees. 4. A devotee’s life runs at the will of an idol and the true devotee is ever ready to please her. 4. In Islam idol worshipping is prohibited or “Haram”. By praising, glorifying, and worshipping an idol, a poet declares his rebellion against religious edicts and wants to prove that he is free from all social and religious constrains.    

 In this verse Ghalib has come up with a new imagination! The scene is that Ghalib’s beloved is holding a Sub’h (a rosary) of 100 beads in her one fist. Ghalib says that my sweetheart loves crooked and difficult tasks. For a goddess (a bu’t) to hold a Sub’h (rosary), an Islamic symbol, is an anathema; it is an impossible and unusual task. He also thinks that there is a message behind her this gesture. She wants to impresses upon her lovers that the way she squeezes 100 beads in her fist, she also can squeeze 100 hearts just in one sweep; a yet another difficult task in it self. Ghalib then concludes that my beloved (bu’t) is fond of difficult games! 

 Please appreciate the unique use of Radif (the rhyming end). In first line he uses  mushkil-pasand aaya and in the second line he uses ‘pasand’ as an independent word :pasand aaya

Again, marghub= to like,    mushkil-pasand= difficulty liking, and   pasand = to like.  Ghalib has used word pasand in three different forms, in this first verse (Matl’a). We must say Subhan Allah (Glory to Allah)

This post is also available in: Hindi Urdu Gujarati