saavan hare nah bhaado;N me;N ham suukhe ahl-e dard
sabzah hamaarii palko;N kaa ser-aab thaa so thaa

1) neither did we become green in Savan, nor did we, the people of pain, dry out in Bhadon
2) if the greenery/verdure of our eyelashes was verdant/'water-filled', then {it was / 'so what?'}



saavan : 'The fourth Hindū month, July-August (beginning when the sun enters Cancer: its full moon is near Shravana or α Aquilæ): —saavan-bhaado;N s.m. Sunshine and rain'. (Platts p.630)


bhaado;N : 'The fifth month of the Hindūs (corresponding to a period in our calendar from about the middle of August to the middle of September), when the moon is full near the wing of Pegasus: — bhaado;N kii bharan , s.f. Heavy August rains, which fill the tanks, &c., and flood the fields:. (Platts p.178)


sabzah : 'Verdure, herbage; bloom'. (Platts p.632)


ser-aab : 'Full of water, saturated; moist, succulent; satisfied with drink; satisfied; —fresh, blooming; fertile, rich'. (Platts p.710)

S. R. Faruqi:

saavan hare nah bhaado;N suukhe = there was never any change in circumstances

Apparently in the two lines he has said two [separate] things; but in reality, despite their contradiction, there's the connection between them of proof [daliil] and claim. That our eyelashes would always remain wet, is proof that we neither dried out in Bhadon, nor became green in Savan.

It's from Mir that one can learn how to take advantage both of the dictionary meaning and the idiomatic meaning, both at once. He is making the claim that 'we neither dried out in Bhadon nor became green in Savan'. The proof is that we always remained green. The dictionary meaning and the expressive meaning of the idiom have come into use at the same time, because the meaning of the idiom itself is that there was no change in the circumstances.



The idiom opens out into a verse about gardening. An ordinary garden would be expected to respond first with with greenness to the rains of Savan, and then with dryness to the hot sun of Bhadon. It would thus participate in the cycle of fertility that creates the life (and death) of the rose.

But the 'greenery' of the lovers' eyelashes was from a different world entirely-- if it was watery or verdant [ser-aab], then-- thaa so thaa . Which could be read with several implications:

='Our eyelashes were internally irrigated, so they didn't respond to external seasonal changes in moisture.'

='Our eyelashes were watered with briny salt-water tears, so that they could never experience any organic growth.'

='Our eyelashes were constantly submerged in tears, so that they could never change at all.'

It's left up to us to decide the exact nature of the contrast between a real garden and the 'greenery' of lovers' eyelashes. Could there even be, lurking in the background, a hint of the 'greenness' of stagnant water?