gul-barg kaa yih rang hai marjaa;N kaa aisaa ;Dhang hai
dekho nah jhakke hai pa;Raa vuh ho;N;T la((l-e naab saa

1) the rose-leaf has {such a / 'this'} style/mood/'color'; coral has such a manner/behavior
2) 'just look, won't you', it babbles/raves, 'bravo-- that pure-ruby-like lip!'



jhakke hai = jhaktaa hai ; the doubling of the kaaf is for metrical purposes


jhaknaa : 'To babble, chatter, prate, talk nonsense, to rave; to lament; to rail'. (Platts p.405)


pa;Raa : 'Laid aside; lying (unused, unowned, unemployed, or unoccupied); useless, idle; prostrate; uncultivated, fallow (land); —adv. In its place; as it is'. (Platts p.260)


naab : 'Unmixed, unadulterated, pure, genuine; mere; —clear, limpid'. (Platts p.1111)

S. R. Faruqi:

pa;Raa = what a fine thing! (an exclamation of praise)

In the verse the trickiness is that the brilliance is neither in the rose-bud, nor in the red coral. Thus by comparison to the beloved's lips, which are like pure ruby, rose-bud and coral would both definitely be flattened/crushed. The meaning of naab is also 'transparent, clear'. The ruby that could be seen through, must presumably be more brilliant than an ordinary ruby. The word pa;Raa too has come very spontaneously/naturally into the verse.

[See also {552,5}; {874,3}; {1278,6}.]



The first line, in mushairah-verse style, doesn't at all make clear how things might develop. The rose-leaf (not the rose itself) has such a 'color'-- does that mean the green color of the rose-leaf, or the 'style, mood' of the rose-leaf? And coral has such a manner (not, we notice, such a color)-- but what kind of a manner does coral have? The whole effect is perplexing.

In the second line we learn that something has unhinged the reason of the rose-leaf and the coral; but not until the very end do we learn what they are actually babbling about: they're undone by the superiority in color of the beloved's pure ruby lip. Only now do we realize why the first line has invoked (with 'color') but then deliberately frustated our color expectations (with the green leaf instead of the red rose, and with the manner of the coral instead of its red color). As SRF observes, the color is not in them, but only in her lip.

In short, what's being invoked is not their appearance but their behavior. Their behavior consists of an envious, frustrated, helplessly admiring obsession with the beloved's lip. They might be thought of as babbling or raving to each other, but it's also possible that they buttonhole any passer-by with their urgent injunction to look and admire (think of Coleridge's 'Ancient Mariner').

SRF's definition of pa;Raa is new to me (and Platts doesn't give it), but it works excellently in the verse. The regular sense too -- derived from the adjectival perfect participal pa;Raa hu))aa -- would also seem to work in a way, since 'laid aside' or 'in its place' (see the definition above) would work for the leaf and the coral. But neither alternative has the punchy suitability of an exclamation like 'bravo'. This idiomatic sense of pa;Raa should be kept in mind, because without recognizing it one could hardly translate verses like the present one. Another example of this special usage: {874,3}. For a similar, and equally idiomatic, sense of ((ishq hai , see {307,4}.

Note for grammar fans: The singular verb in the second line would apply to both the rose-leaf and the coral ('this one acts in a certain way, that one acts in a similar way'). This usage also follows the tendency for a list of items in Urdu to have not a plural verb, but a verb that agrees in number and gender with the last item on the list.