mausam hai nikle shaa;xo;N se patte hare hare
paudhe chaman me;N phuulo;N se dekhe bhare bhare

1) it is the season-- from branches are emerged leaves, green upon green
2) the plants in the garden are seen, all laden/filled with flowers



mausim , vulg. mausam : 'Time, or season (for anything)'. (Platts p.1090)


mausim : 'Time, season; place of meeting; the season when the pilgrims assemble at Mecca; the place marked out for their meeting; the people who assemble there; the fairs then and there held'. (Steingass p.1344)

S. R. Faruqi:

This opening-verse is of lesser rank than


but not of a rank as low as it might appear. The first point is that in it there's a great deal of the 'dynamism' of spring. It seems that in every direction flowers have sprung up and bloomed, and new leaf upon new leaf are glistening on the branches. The repetition of the rhyme has here worked very well. Then, haraa bharaa / hare bhare is an idiomatic expression, and if the rhyme words of both lines are combined then hare bhare emerges twice.

In the second line the verb dekhe can be the masculine plural perfect ( ham ne dekhe ) but can also apply to the green leaves-- 'When the green upon green leaves emerged from the branches (that is, when they raised their heads and became first shoots, then whole leaves), then what do we see but that all the plants in the garden have become laden with flowers. For the images of movement, see also


In this verse the word mausam has been used with great excellence. The first point is that mausam hai is a phrase with several meanings: (1) This is the season when.... (2) What a fine season it is! (3) Now the season has come. (The real season is now, and so on). But mausam doesn't mean only 'season' or 'weather'. In the [dictionary] muviid ul-fuzalaa its meaning is given as 'a place where people gather'. Additional entries include 'the season of Eid or Nauroz', because at those times too people gather. In the muviid ul-fuzalaa it is also written that Nauroz is called mausam-e bahaar .

In the light of this meaning this verse of Mir's from the second divan becomes more interesting:


In the present verse too, the word mausam establishes the meaning that people are gathering for strolls and amusements, they are going to fairs, or are gathered here and there in small groups, laughing and joking, playing games, or enjoying friendly conversation. Then, there's also the implication that if the flowers and leaves have emerged densely, in the form of thick foliage, then that too is because it's the time for them too to gather in one place to take their pleasures. Then, mausam of course means 'time, age', as has been mentioned above. That is, if it's the time when green upon green leaves emerge and flowers bloom abundantly, then it's clear that it's the time called 'spring'.

The words paudhaa and paudaa have the same meaning; nowadays the former is not used. There are a number of such words, that in modern Urdu have lost their aspiration. For example, ho;N;Th / ho;N;T , jhuu;Th / jhuu;T , ta;Raph / Ta;Rap , and so on.

The original Arabic pronunciation of mausam was mausim , with a zer . But now in Urdu it is used only as mausam , with a zabar . As for what Mir's pronunciation was, it's impossible to say.



This ghazal has no refrain, and has a very unusual sort of double rhyme: hare hare , bhare bhare , and so on. There are only a few other such examples in Mir's kulliyat.

When it comes to multivalent meanings, how do we know where to stop? This verse provides a good example for discussion. The question is about mausam : we all know that it means 'time, season', but should it also be taken here to mean 'a place where people gather', or 'Eid', or 'Nauroz', or festive 'fairs' or the like? The difference between Steingass (who includes the 'gathering place' meaning) and Platts (who does not) is instructive. Platts had access to Steingass of course, and often, quite properly, adopted and adapted definitions from this predecessor; but in this case he conspicuously did not. Plainly the 'gathering place' meanings exist in Persian; in Platts's view, they do not exist in Urdu. For what it's worth, I emphatically agree with Platts; in all my years of hearing and (mostly) reading Urdu, I've never encountered such a usage of mausam . Changes have also taken place in pronunciation: from the Perso-Arabic mausim to the Urdu mausam (which was 'vulgar' in Platts's day but is now absolutely standard, as SRF notes).

But as we all know, the Urdu of Mir's day was much more Persianized, and he himself was of course a poet (and prose-writer) in Persian too. So it's quite possible that Mir (and much of his original audience) may have known the Persian 'gathering place' meanings. SRF considers the documenting of the Persian 'gathering places' meaning to be sufficient in itself for bringing that meaning into the present verse: spring is a time when people gather, and so on; furthermore, the lush foliage consists of plants that have, as he says, 'gathered to take their pleasures'.

That's conceivable no doubt, but the verse doesn't seem to invite it. The attention of the verse is entirely focused on the garden in spring, bursting with leaves and flowers. Where are the people, where is their 'gathering place' or 'gathering'? The dekhe could certainly be taken as implying a viewer of some kind, but the verse conspicuously gives us no clue about who any such person might be, so we're a long way from groups or gatherings or festivals. Although SRF proposes that the buds and flowers themselves have 'gathered' in the garden for such purposes, that's really quite a stretch.

I invoke Occam's Razor. To me it seems that the verse doesn't activate, or potentiate, or call upon (however we want to describe the process) the Persian 'gathering place' meanings. So they really shouldn't be brought in, just because in Persian they exist. For further discussion of problems of this kind, see


Note for grammar fans: I've translated nikle and dekhe as perfect participles: '[in a state of having] emerged' and ']in a state of having been] seen'. They could also be taken as perfect forms: 'emerged' (intransitive) and 'saw' (transitive). But then the latter form would require a viewer who did the seeing, and the verse gives us none. It would always be possible to dub in 'we saw' or 'I saw' (since the colloquially-omitted ne would break the agreement), but whatever such choice we made would be arbitrary, in a verse that seems concerned with the spectacle, not the spectator.