jaa))e rau;Gan diyaa kare hai ((ishq
;xuun-e bulbul chiraa;G me;N gul ke

1) in place of oil, passion always places/'gives'
2) the Nightingale's blood, in the lamp of the rose



diyaa : ' A light, a lamp, lantern'. (Platts p.555).

S. R. Faruqi:

denaa = to put, place

The beloved's beauty, or rather her existence, is dependent on the lover. If there would be no lover, then there would be no beloved either. From this the theme has emerged that by giving his life, the lover augments the dignity and worth of the beloved. If there would be no life-sacrificing lover, then the beloved would find a 'cold market'. In the first divan [{475,10}]:

paa-maal kar ke ham ko pachtaa))oge bahut tum
kam-yaab hai;N jahaa;N me;N sar dene-vaale ham se

[having trampled us underfoot, you will greatly repent
hard to find in the world are head-givers like us]

If such themes are expressed through the metaphor of the rose and the Nightingale, then the theme becomes that the redness of the rose's face is due to the blood of the Nightingale. And if the rose is taken to be a lamp, then it will be said that in the lamp of the rose the blood of the Nightingale burns like oil.

Mir has added to this the accomplishment of establishing that in the lamp of the rose it is the work of passion to cause the Nightingale's blood to burn like oil (or instead of oil). That is, if there would be no passion then the Nightingale's blood would not burn; that is, passion deliberately burns the Nightingale's blood. Now ;xuun jalnaa has an additional, metaphorical meaning ('to be sorrowful, to be very sad') that becomes germane to our purpose.

Another point is that diyaa kare hai ((ishq there's an allusion to continuation-- that is, it is passion's common and established practice to keep the lamp of the rose lighted with the Nightingale's blood. Since passion has been established as the agent of more than one experience, or more than one one reality, a melancholy feeling has been created in the verse-- that passion is a 'disaster of the age'. From the ma;snavii-e miir :

yihii ((ishq ;xalvat me;N va;hdat ke hai
yihii ((ishq parde me;N ka;srat ke hai

[this same passion is in the aloneness of privacy,
this same passion is in the veil of multiplicity]

;Gara.z :turfah hangaamah-aaraa hai ((ishq
tamaashaa))ii ((ishq-o-tamaashaa hai ((ishq

[in short, passion is a commotion-creating marvel
passion is the spectator, and passion is the spectacle]

Thus passion acts in its own way in everything. It uses the Nightingale's blood as oil for the lamp of the rose, and in this way establishes the Nightingale's death as a means for the life of the rose. But since without the Nightingale there is no rose, the Nightingale's death is in a sense the death of the rose as well.

On the theme of oil for the lamp of the rose, Sauda has a fine verse:

((aduu bhii hai sabab-e zindagii jo ;haq chaahe
nasiim-e .sub;h hai rau;Gan chiraa;G me;N gul ke

[even/also the enemy is a cause of life, if one wants the truth
the breeze of dawn is oil in the lamp of the rose]

Having almost entirely reversed Mir's theme, in that same ghazal Sauda has said,

nahii;N hai jaa-e tarannum yih buustaa;N kih nahii;N
sivaa-e ;xuun-e jigar mai ayaa;G me;N gul ke

[it is not a place of song, this garden, for there's not
wine in the wineglass of the rose, except for the blood of the liver]

Nasir Kazmi composed a ghazal 'on' Mir's present ghazal. One verse from it is interesting for us:

kaisii aa))ii bahaar ab ke baras
buu-e ;xuu;N hai ayaa;G me;N gul ke

[how has spring poured down, this time!
there is a scent of blood in the wineglass of the rose]

Nasir Kazmi's ghazal is from the beginning of his poetic practice. Probably this is the reason that he wasn't able to obtain a first line of the same rank as the second line. Mir's two lines are entirely suited in their arrangement.

A mediocre Persian verse is:

'Around my grave there was a crowd of Nightingales tonight,
Perhaps the lamp of my tomb was filled with rose-oil.'

Between this verse and Mir's there's no similarity. The Persian verse is commonplace because the theme itself lacks distinction-- that around the speaker's grave there was a crowd of Nightingales (and that too, at night). Then, he has also given no 'proof' from which the idea would have been established. And if where there would be rose-oil there would certainly be a crowd of Nightingales, then anyone who used rose-oil would be besieged by Nightingales.

Mir too was among the people who displeased Muhammad Husain Azad; thus here and there Azad strikes tricky glancing blows at Mir. In aab-e ;hayaat , while discussing Mir, under the heading 'One More Coincidence' [#212#] he writes: 'Some ustad's Persian verse is', and then notes the above verse. Then he says, 'In a verse of Mir Sahib's verse too is a theme of this very kind, but it is well versified' (which is to damn it with faint praise). After this complimentary sentence, he notes the present verse. This same Muhammad Husain Azad had, some pages previously, declared a verse of Sauda's to be a translation from the Persian, and said in a complimentary tone, 'To translate a verse into a verse is a difficult art'. This is true, but to note such a Persian verse--one that has no relation to Mir's verse-- and then in an insinuating tone to tell us that the Persian verse is being put up against Mir's verse, is neither truth nor justice.

What a pity that our criticism has become full of just such behavior! Muhammad Husain Azad knew very well that to make a theme from a theme, or to create in an old theme something new, is an important and valuable part of our poetics. But somewhat from the influence of English, and somewhat from hostility toward Mir, he disregards this fact and time after time says by means of suggestion and implication that Mir has stolen the themes of others. When Ghani Kashmiri said [in Persian],

'Our friends have taken our verse--
Alas, that they haven't taken our name!'

his point was that it's no fault to use someone's theme, but it ought to be made very apparent that this is a 'reply' to so-and-so's verse. Among the forms of creative benefit-- translation, borrowing [iqtibaas], 'reply'-- there is entire scope for a theme to be made out of a theme used by others. Some themes become so famous that it's not necessary to say anything about whose they are. But if some particular theme was taken from someone's poetry, then usually the poet himself used to announce, 'I have written a 'reply' to So-and-so's words'. And even if he didn't say it, the creative community were so well-informed that they understood that this was a 'reply' or a 'borrowing'.

When Baqa Akbarabadi criticized Mir for taking his (Baqa's) do-aabah theme (see {60,6}), then he complained only that the theme was his, and praise was being given to Mir. But there was also the fact that Baqa Akbarabadi had been quarrelsome all his life. He had also composed a 'satire' on Mir and Sauda and has even expressed pride in this behavior of his:

mirzaa-o-miir baaham dono;N the niim-mullaa
fann-e su;xan me;N ya((nii har ek thaa adhuuraa

[Mirza and Mir were both 'half-Mullas'
in the craft of poetry, that is, every single thing was half-baked]

is vaas:te baqaa ab hajvo;N kii rasmaa;N se
dono;N ko baa;Ndh baaham mai;N ne kiyaa hai puuraa

[for this reason, Baqa, now, with the bindings of satires,
having bound them, I have finished them both]

A final point is that the rose is, because of its redness, called a 'lamp', and blood too is red. Thus a 'proof' has been obtained for the Nightingale's blood being in the rose-lamp. It's a truly superb verse.

[See also {544,6}.]



And let's not overlook a most conspicuous instance of wordplay: diyaa kare hai , 'always gives', has been carefully framed to include diyaa , a common word for a lamp (see the definition above).