.sub;h hu))ii gulzaar ke :taa))ir dil ko apne ;Ta;Tole;N hai;N
yaad me;N us ;xvud-rau gul-e tar kii kaise kaise bole;N hai;N

1) dawn came; the birds of the garden probe/grope/examine their hearts
2) remembering that wild/'self-moving' dewy rose, in what-all ways they speak!



;Ta;Tolnaa : 'To pass (the hand or fingers) over, to feel, touch; to feel for, grope for; to examine, test, or try by feeling'. (Platts p.356)


;xvud-rau : 'Growing of itself, wild, spontaneous'. (Platts p.495)

S. R. Faruqi:

;xvud-rau = a flower or plant that would spring up on its own (that is, without a gardener's labor); thus, a desert flower or plant

This theme is entirely new-- that the birds who are in the garden are, so to speak, exiled, or in prison. The adornment of the garden, the rules of its governance, its maintenance (as it were, its artifice)-- these do not please them. The verse has a strange dramatic mystery-- that when dawn comes, then the birds of the garden probe their hearts. That is, they draw up their accounts and their proceedings: where did we come from and where have we come to.

Contrary to popular opinion, the birds of the garden have no love for the rose and the hyacinth. What they love is a dewy rose that comes from some desert, springs up by itself, is intoxicated and free, and owes nothing to any gardener or flower-picker. Having been separated from this 'wild' rose, they have come into the garden, and every morning they remember the rose.

This verse has the style of a parable. By 'garden' is meant the world-- that is, the physical world; and its birds are the people who live in the world. The ;xvud-rau gul-e tar , in the separation from whom/which they sing, is in truth that 'great spirit' [ruu;h-e a((:zam] that is the fountainhead of all spirits. In the physical world there is artifice; thus he has called it a garden. And the world of spirits is the original and natural home of human existence; thus he has called the great spirit of the world of spirits a wild rose.

For discussion of the question of the 'great spirit', see




That the speaking/singing of the birds of the garden is because of the attachment of their hearts-- this theme Mir has composed again in the fourth divan itself. But the present verse's subtlety of meaning is not found in that verse [{1445,2}]:

har :taur me;N ham ;harf-e su;xan laag se dil kii
kyaa kyaa kahe;N hai;N mur;G-e chaman apnii zabaa;N me;N

[in every way we made writing and poetry from the attachment of the heart
what-all do the birds of the garden say with their own tongues!]

In the present verse, the mood of melancholy and loneliness is very valuable in itself. In dil ko ;Ta;Tolnaa there's sorrow, and also an assessment of one's own conditions and actions. In kaise kaise bole;N hai;N , astonishment, and approbation, and sadness, are all three present.



As far as I can tell, it's really only the striking verb ;Ta;Tolnaa that provokes all SRF's allegorical explication. Otherwise, it's so routine for all the creatures in the garden to adore the beloved, that the verse wouldn't have seemed much in need of explication. Why indeed wouldn't the birds just naturally think of her as soon as they awoke, and find her in their hearts, and miss her, and long for her? (And/or, why wouldn't the mad lover readily attribute such feelings to their dawn chorus of songs?)

In fact I find myself resisting the allegorical reading SRF provides, because it's hard to imagine that the birds in the garden would be 'exiled, or in prison'. After all, if they feel trapped in the garden, nothing prevents them from flying off and trying their luck elsewhere. How can we take them to be prisoners? They certainly can fly away much more readily and freely than we humans can 'fly away' from this imprisoning world into death. (And unlike us, they can make exploratory flights in all directions and then return to the garden if they choose.) Why should calling the beloved a 'wild, dewy rose' push us into allegorical territory? She's called a dewy rose all the time, and she's also 'wild' and self-willed and free-- why doesn't Occam's Razor remove the need for us to allegorize all this normal ghazal imagery?

In fact the very next verse in the ghazal, {1450,2}, shows how readily the birds of the garden can be induced to sing:

baa;G me;N jo ham diivaane se jaa nikle;N hai;N naalah-kunaa;N
;Gunche ho ho mur;G chaman ke saath hamaare bole;N hai;N

[when we pass through the garden like a madman, lamenting
forming groups/'buds', the birds of the garden speak along with us]

But then in the present verse, when the birds 'probe' or 'grope' or 'examine' their hearts, what is that about? On my reading, they're just retrieving and re-celebrating their memories of the beloved, whose irresistible beauty, during her visits to the garden, has been their deepest experience of transcendence.They do it at dawn either because it's the moment they wake, or because the rising sun reminds them of the radiance of the beloved. I grant you, this seems a slightly lightweight reading of this powerful verb.

But there are problems with a heavyweight reading too. For on SRF's reading, when the birds do the 'probing' they are 'drawing up their accounts' and asking themselves existential questions that lead them back to pre-birth memories of the 'great spirit' and a whole Sufistic 'world of spirits'. This sounds more like The Conference of the Birds than like the behavior of the normal 'birds of the garden' in the ghazal world. The two other verses by Mir that SRF cites have to do with mystical awareness in the speaker, but nothing at all to do with the birds of the garden. (In the ghazal world, the birds who are credited with mystical awareness are the ones who have been captured and caged.) Anyway, dear reader, you can easily make your own choice of interpretation.

Note for grammar fans: The verb form bole;N hai;N is an archaic form of bolte hai;N , and similarly for the other verbs in the rhyming elements of this ghazal.