vuh nau-baavah-e gulshan-e ;xuubii sab se rakhe hai niraalii :tara;h
shaa;x-e gul saa jaa))e hai lachkaa un ne na))ii yih ;Daalii :tara;h

1) that fresh new fruit of the garden of beauty/excellence maintains, from/beyond them all, a novel/unique style
2) like a rose-branch she goes on bending/swaying; she has presented/produced this new style



lachaknaa : 'To be bent (as the bough of a tree, &c.); to bend, to yield; to spring, to start'. (Platts p.954)


;Daalii : 'A branch, a small branch; a twig'. (Platts p.562)

S. R. Faruqi:

The phrase nau-baavah he has used very finely in one place in the third divan too; see


He has shown the beloved bending/swaying like a rose-branch in two places in the third divan, and in one of them he has again used the phrase nau-baavah with this image. From the third divan [{1184,8}]:

un gul-ru;xo;N kii qaamat lahke hai yuu;N havaa me;N
jis rang se lachaktii phuulo;N kii ;Daaliyaa;N hai;N

[the stature of those rose-faced ones waves in the breeze in such a way
the way the branches of flowers bend/sway]

With the nau-baavah image [{1278,8}]:

jaagah se le ga))e hai;N naazaa;N jab aa ga))e hai;N
nau-baavagaan-e ;xuubii juu;N shaa;x-e gul lachakte

[coquetries have taken them away from the place, when they have come
the new-fresh-fruiting ones of beauty bend/sway like rose-branches]

But the present verse, for several reasons, is the best of them. The first point is that in it a single person alone is mentioned, not the whole community of beloveds; thus in the verse a personal immediacy has been created. Then, the pleasure of nau-baavah-e gulshan-e ;xuubii is greater, because a meaning of nau-baavah is 'fresh' or 'fresh fruit'. The relationship that these meanings have with 'garden of beauty/excellence' is greater than that with 'beauty/excellence' alone.

In addition, by saying jaa))e hai lachkaa he has shown the beloved moving along. In {1184,8} there's no mention of walking or of the style of walking. In {1278,8} there's an allusion to her coming along, showing coquetry; but there's no mention of walking or the gait itself. In the present verse the image is one of movement, and is confined to the rose-branch and the beloved alone.

The final point is that in this verse the indispensability of the wordplay is so eloquent that it attains perfection. The wordplay of shaa;x and ;Daalii is the most interesting, but the wordplay of nau-baavah and na))ii is no less.

[See also {584,1}.]



SRF's final point is really the main one. The wordplay of 'branch' [shaa;x] and ;Daalii is beyond spectacular. Of course officially ;Daalii is the perfect of the verb ;Daalnaa (agreeing with the feminine :tara;h ), here meaning something like 'to produce, to present, to put on'. But it's also a feminine noun meaning 'branch, small branch, twig', and the line is arranged so that ;Daalii comes at the last possible moment.

Thus ;Daalii is positioned at the point of (at least potentially) greatest impact; and the whole grammar of the line works to prevent us from knowing whether the word in fact means 'branch' (which strikes us very readily as a strong possibility) or 'presented', until we've gotten past it and finished the line and mentally figured it out. The verse is thus a classic 'mushairah verse'-- one in which the energy is focused in a 'punch-word' that's withheld till the last possible moment and then presented with eclat.

Then there's na))ii , which is placed so emphatically ahead of its prose position (just before :tara;h ) that it demands, and receives, special attention. The attention we're led to give to this feminine adjective makes us all the more likely to be misdirected into taking na))ii yih ;Daalii as 'this new branch'. Then in the first line, we also have the feminine adjective niraalii which means 'radically new'.

Note for meter fans: The nature of 'Hindi meter' being what it is, it's perfectly possible to scan the rhyming elements as either aa-lii :ta-ra;h (long short short long) or aa-lii :tar-;h (long long long followed by an uncounted 'cheat syllable'). I choose the former because in Urdu generally :ta-ra;h is the pronunciation, and often the scansion too, of that word. But if you wanted to do it in the more Arabicized style, there'd be no reason not to; both scansions of the word are quite established.