barse hai ;Gurbat sii ;Gurbat gor ke uupar ((aashiq kii
abr nama:t jo aa))o idhar to dekh ke tum bhii ro jaa))o

1) forlornness and more forlornness rains down upon the lover's grave
2) like a cloud, if you would come this way, then when you see it even/also you would/should weep



barasnaa : 'To rain, be wet; to fall like rain, fall in showers, be poured or showered down'. (Platts p.147)


;Gurbat : 'Being far from (one's) home or native country; the state or condition of a stranger, or foreigner, or exile; wretchedness, misery; humility, lowliness'. (Platts p.770)


nama:t : 'Likeness, similitude; manner, mode, way, custom'. (Platts p.1154)

S. R. Faruqi:

This verse has a devastating 'mood', but there are some aspects of meaning as well, that become evident after a little reflection:

(1) 'Like a cloud' is a form of the beloved's quality, and a form of realistic expression as well. In the first case, the meaning becomes that if you would come here, then you would weep like a cloud. In the second case, the meaning becomes that the way a cloud comes here and goes away weeping, you too will do the same.

One aspect of this is also that the way a cloud doesn't come again and again, in the same way he is telling the beloved that even if you are like a cloud, come sometime or other. Now the meaning comes to be that the beloved is like a cloud. Thus when she comes, coolness will come over the lover's grave.

(2) Between barse and abr there's the connection of a zila.

(3) If the beloved is like a cloud, and from her arrival (or tears) the lover's grave is cooled, then tum bhii ro jaa))o comes to mean that in addition to you, when other people come this way then they weep.

(4) The meaning of ;Gurbat as 'the state of being a foreigner, a traveler, etc.' is clear; it also means 'poverty', and it's obvious that this meaning too is appropriate here, because the lover is devoid of all possessions.



What does it mean for something abstract like 'friendlessness' or 'wretchedness' [;Gurbat] to 'rain down' on the lover's grave? The use of ke uupar makes it clear that this rain comes from above, comes down 'on top of' the grave. Thus the 'forlornness' resembles actual rain. And when we finally (under mushairah performance conditions) hear the second line, this 'rain' of forlornness is joined by evocations of both real rain ('wept' by a cloud) and a 'rain' of tears from the beloved.

We now seem to have three quite distinct kinds of rain: the 'rain' of friendlessness or general wretchedness; the rain from a cloud; and the (possible) 'rain' of the beloved's tears. By no coincidence, the situation is so abstract that we can imagine various kinds of relationships among them.

And just to make things more complex, the ambiguous grammar of the abr nama:t forms what I call a 'midpoint', because it's not clear in what way(s) the beloved would resemble a cloud. Here are just some of the possible ways to put the relationship together:

=If you come this way, then you too would weep, the way a cloud weeps when it comes this way.

=If you come this way, then you too would weep the way a cloud weeps (that is, you would burst into tears and weep your heart out as a cloud does).

=If you would/might come this way, the way a cloud would/might come this way, then even you would weep the way a cloud would/might weep (but perhaps neither you nor a cloud would ever actually come this way).

=If you come this way, then weep-- even/also you, weep! (since ro jaa))o is also the familiar imperative).

And then, even when we've cobbled the grammar together in one way or another, we're still left with a lot of interpretive work to do. Would the beloved weep inevitably, because anyone would weep at such a sad sight, or should she weep out of guilt, since she caused the lover's suffering? Do clouds really visit the lover's grave and weep for him, or is that merely a fantasy (of how the beloved would or should visit him, except that she never will)? And does all this neglect by her and/or the clouds constitute part of the 'rain' of forlornness itself?

But still, the most piquant thing about the verse is the vision of forlornness 'raining down' on the lover's grave, in some kind of strange and undecidable relationship to rain and tears. It reminds me of Ghalib's haunting vision of desert-ness 'dripping' from the doors and walls of the lover's house: