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 new blossom of the garden of beauty/excellence maintains, from/beyond them all, a novel/unique style
2) like a rose-branch she keeps bending/swaying; she has 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-blossoming 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-baadah-e gulshan-e ;xuubii is greater, because a meaning of nau-baadah 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-baadah 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 grammar of the line is arranged in such a way that if there were more space left, un ne na))ii yih ;Daalii ... could have been followed by some verb like dikhaa))ii to make, say, 'she showed this new branch', so that indeed the meaning of 'branch' could have been the one actually invoked in the verse.

Thus ;Daalii is positioned at the last possible moment in the line, which is always 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 'produced', until we've gotten past it and finished the line and mentally figured it out. I would almost consider this structure a form of deliberate misdirection, or 'iham'. Certainly the verse is what I would call a '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 positioned 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 receptive to reading na))ii yih ;Daalii as 'this new branch'. (This is part of the 'iham' effect I'm arguing for.) Then in the first line, we also have the feminine adjective niraalii which means 'radically new'; and of course we also have nau-baadah , 'new-wine', with its affinity for the 'swaying, bending' of intoxication as well.

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.