ab kii hazaar rang gulistaa;N me;N aa))e gul
par us ba;Gair apne to jii ko nah bhaa))e gul

1) this time, they came into the garden with a thousand colors/styles, roses
2) but without her, they didn't please my inner-self, roses



hazaar : 'Thousand; —a thousand; —a bird called 'the thousand voices,' the nightingale'. (Platts p.1228)


gul : 'A rose; a flower; a red patch (on anything); —snuff (of a lamp or a candle); ... —a mark made (on the skin) by burning, a brand; a round spot of lime applied to the temple (as a remedy for inflammation of the eye)'. (Platts p.911)


gul : 'A rose; a flower; embers; a red colour; snuff of a lamp or a candle; ... a mark made by burning; ... good fortune'. (Steingass p.1092)

S. R. Faruqi:

The opening-verse is by way of introduction, but in it too are one or two verbal excellences. The word hazaar meaning 'nightingale' has a relationship of zila with gulistaa;N and gul . In the second line, gul can also have the sense of 'wound, scar'; that is, without the beloved, the wounds that he sustained didn't at all please him.

Professor Nisar Ahmad Faruqi has written, 'The gul that means 'wound' occurs in union, it has no connection with separation.' But he has not proved this point either through a dictionary or from the usage of poets. In the nuur ul-lu;Gaat , the entry for gul is: 'the wound/scar from being burned', and as a warrant [sanad] the following verse by Imdad Ali Bahr has been given:

marte dam tak mai;N karaahaa kiyaa tuu ne nah sunaa
mere gul par nah kabhii kaan kaa pattah baa;Ndhaa

[until my dying breath I kept on groaning; you didn't hear
on my wound/'rose' you never tied the bandage of the ear]

Since the verse is very interesting, for further assurance I looked in the divan of Bahr, and in riyaa.z ul-ba;hr , printed in Delhi, 1868, on p. 48, I found this very verse entered.

The actual case is that [in this context] gul means only 'wound, scar'; in particular, the one that is caused by burning is called gul . [Further discussion of why Nisar Ahmad Faruqi is unable to prove his claim.]



The ab kii (short for ab kii baar ) suggests that another spring has rolled around, and it's easier to imagine its bringing lots of fresh, multicolored roses than lots of fresh, multicolored wounds; similarly the idea that in her absence the roses didn't please the speaker/lover is just what he would say (they would please an ordinary person, but he is not so easily seduced), while the idea that 'wounds' didn't please him is conceivable, but not obvious and decidedly on the grotesque side.

It's not that the 'wound' reading couldn't be put across if the poet had so framed the verse; but this verse gives us not the smallest hint that we need to move in that direction. I don't see why SRF introduces the 'wound' possibility at all for this verse, unless it's because of his desire to argue with Nisar Ahmad Faruqi. The verse's merit isn't enhanced at all by the idea of construing gul as 'wound'. Even if we consider both 'rose' and 'wound' to be in play, the verse still doesn't make any very exciting use of them.