taa chand kuuchah-gardii jaise .sabaa zamii;N par
ay aah-e .sub;h-gaahii aashob-e aasmaa;N ho

1) for how long street-wandering, like the morning-breeze, on the ground?
2) oh sigh of the morning-time, become a tumult/devastation of the sky!



.sabaa : 'The east wind, or an easterly wind'; a gentle and pleasant breeze; the morning breeze; the zephyr'. (Platts p.742)


aashob : 'Tumult, clamour; storm, tempest; terror; misfortune'. (Platts p.58)

S. R. Faruqi:

The construction aashob-e aasmaa;N itself would have been enough to make this verse uncommon. But there are other things in the verse as well. Between street-wandering on the earth, and the breeze's blowing here and there, are several kinds of equality. It's obvious that the breeze does not have the quality of a whirlwind; thus its activity and access are only near the surface of the earth. But there's also the fact that the breeze wanders around everywhere, but doesn't do anything. That is, it does spread the scent of the garden, but it neither creates it nor is able to keep it established.

The breeze is, in a way, a beggar in the garden, and wanders here and there begging alms of perfume from the flowers. Its state is the same as that of the sigh that remains confined to streets and lanes. Such a sigh begs for the alms of 'effect', and its activity and access too remain near the surface of the earth.

Now just look: it's being said to the sigh, 'Become a tumult/devastation for the sky'-- that is, become a whirlwind, so that because of you the color/aspect of the sky would be changed; or, become such an earthquake-raiser and loud-music-maker that a trembling would arise in the sky; or again, spread over the sky like smoke, so that the sky's blue would change to black. Thus in this verse there's a kind of invitation to a revolution.

Now please look at the wordplay. That of kuuchah-gardii , zamiin , aasmaan is obvious. The word .sub;h-gaahii at first glance seems unnecessary. But since .sabaa is the name for a breeze that blows in the morning, there's an affinity between .sub;h-gaahii and .sabaa . The accomplishment of a great poet is just this: that even from apparently weak words, he gets the work he wants. As Mir has said in the second line of a verse from the second divan:


In Firaq Sahib's poetry too, there's an abundance of such customary words. But in his case these dead words become all the more lifeless. For example, a famous verse of his is:

;Gam-e firaaq ke kushto;N kaa ;hashr kyaa hogaa
yih shaam-e hijr to ho jaa))egii sa;har phir bhii

[those slain by the grief of separation-- what will their resurrection be?!
this evening of separation will become dawn, nevertheless]

Here between firaaq and hijr there's of course a meaningless repetition, but both those words are in truth ineffective. It would have been enough to say firaaq ke kushto;N and shaam . An ardor for superficial words, and lack of the ability to fill them with meaning, has drowned a good verse.



It remains too unclear how or why or whether the 'sigh' would be able to devastate the sky. SRF's imaginative account of some possibilities doesn't really resolve the problem. After all, if the breeze can't devastate the sky (since it merely traverses the ground), why should the extra air-puff of a sigh be able to do so? In {383,1}, the threat to the sky was a moral one, so it made sense (because the Lord might well punish cruelty). But in the present verse, where is there any such 'proof'? The lover's call to the sigh seems only to be one more sign of his madness.