rang u;R chalaa chaman me;N gulo;N kaa to kyaa nasiim
ham ko to rozgaar ne be-baal-o-par kiyaa

1) if in the garden the color of the roses flew away, then so what, oh Breeze?
2) the time/world/work made us wing-and-feather-less



rang u;R chalnaa : 'To lose colour, to fade; to change colour, become pale (from emotion, or fear, &c.), to be afraid'. (Platts p.601)


rozgaar : 'Service, employ, situation, business; earning, livelihood; —the world; fortune; age, time, season'. (Platts p.605)

S. R. Faruqi:

This verse has an interesting aspect: that the causer of wing-and-feather-lessness is not the Hunter or the beloved, but rather the time/world/work. The meaningfulness of 'the color flew away' is also worthy of praise. 'For the color to fly' is usually a result of agitation or distractedness or fear. In addition to the idiom, Mir has also used 'for the color to become light/pale' in its dictionary sense-- that the color of the flowers has mingled with the air, as though it is flying away. That is, it's the tumult of spring, and he's also used the meaning that the color of the flowers has begun to fly (that is, that they need comfort or help; if my wings and feathers had been usable, then I would have gone and encouraged them).

Because of the affinity with flying, the address to the breeze is also fine. The comparison between the color of the flowers and the speaker's wings and feathers is also very excellent. Color is the essence of roses, and wings and feathers are the self-representation of a bird. The zamaanah has used both of them up. It has caused the essence of the one, and the self-representation of the other, to 'fly away'.

The ham ko to can also mean that the real purpose of the zamaanah -- that is, to make us wing-and-feather-less-- has been fulfilled. Now if (because of it, or by happenstance) the color of the roses too flew away, then what does the zamaanah care about it? We alone were the real target. For example, someone might say 'So what if the whole neighborhood burned? My enemies were only content when they had burned my house.'

[See also {684,5}.]



Here's a classic A,B verse. In effect, the first line says 'if X turned pale, then so what?', and the second line says 'Y destroyed Z'. There's obviously a good deal of interpretive scope. In the first line, the address to the Breeze calls our attention to the fact that when the roses' color grows faint or 'flies away', the cause might be that the Breeze itself is blowing their fading petals away, as they wither and die. But what exactly is the 'connection' between the lines?

Here are some of the possible ways to put them together; the first two are SRF's readings:

='We feel sympathy for the roses, but what can we do about it, since we cannot go and comfort them?'

='The destruction of the roses was a side-effect (or even a coincidence)-- the real goal of the time/age was to destroy us, not them.'

='We don't care if the roses fade and die, because we no longer have any power to enjoy them anyway.'

='There's nothing special about the fading of the roses-- in the nature of things the time/age destroys everybody, including us.'

='Oh Breeze, don't get arrogant about your power-- you may be able to destroy the roses, but still more powerful is the time/age, that has destroyed even us.'

='If the roses' color was able to 'fly away', then so what-- the only kind of 'flight' that concerns us is the kind we're no longer able to do.'

The 'so what?' thus opens up a kind of 'stress-shifting' process, as we readers try to figure out which part of the second line is to be invoked to justify that dismissive reaction-- to which part of the first line. Is the 'so what?' based on the fact that the time/age destroyed our own power of flight, or that the time/age destroyed our own power of flight, or that the time/age destroyed our own power of flight, or that the time/age destroyed our own power of flight? Each of these readings of course also rebalances the first line by highlighting a different aspect of it. It's another brilliant way to make a two-line verse contain a universe.