Ghazal 12, Verse 2


bah qadr-e :zarf hai saaqii ;xumaar-e tishnah-kaamii bhii
jo tuu daryaa-e mai hai to mai;N ;xamyaazah huu;N saa;hil kaa

1) in proportion to capacity, Cupbearer, is even/also the intoxication/hangover of thirst
2) {if / since / in that} you are a sea of wine, then I am the stretch/yawn of the shore


qadr : 'Greatness, dignity, honour, rank, power; importance, consequence; worth, merit; estimation, appreciation, account; value, price; —measure; degree; quantity; magnitude; bulk, size; portion, part; —whatever is fixed or ordained of God, divine providence, fate, destiny'. (Platts p.788)


:zarf : 'Ingenuity, skill, cleverness; beauty, excellence;...capacity, capability'. (Platts p.755)


;xumaar : 'Intoxication; the effects of intoxication, pain and headache, &c. occasioned by drinking; --stretching by way of punishment, putting on the rack; punishment, retribution, reward, fruit'. (Platts p.493)


jo : 'Who, which, that, what'. (Platts p.393)

jo : 'When (= jab ); whenever'. (Platts p.393)

jo : 'If, if that, that; in that, inasmuch, since'. (Platts p.393)


;xamyaazah : 'Stretching; yawning, gaping'. (Platts p.494)


The thirst of the shore is well-known, and its twisting and twisting back create the aspect of stretching. And stretching is a symbol of intoxication. The meaning is that however great your zeal may be in serving wine, my zeal in drinking is equally great. (13)

== Nazm page 13


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {12}

Bekhud Mohani:

The Cupbearer can be God Most High.... Compare {60,11}. (25)


If you are a sea of wine, then I am the shore of that sea of wine, and the characteristic of a shore is that despite the nearness the generosity of the sea, it's never filled. Rather, by its crookedness it stretches, for its intoxication is waning and it needs more wine. (40)


[Discussing {47,2}:] An interesting thing is that Ghalib, at this same period, had composed a verse that was based on entirely an opposite theme from this verse [{47,2}]. But its aspect and metaphors are precisely those of the verse under discussion: {12,2}. [2006: 60-63]


WINE: {49,1}

About jo : On the multivalence of jo , see Platts's three definitions given above. The first one is the usual relative pronoun one, while the others range through 'when, whenever, if, since, in that'. In this latter, non-relative-pronoun use, jo is a substitute for jab , and thus can be temporal ('when'), causal ('since'), or propositional ('if'). This wide range offers the poet further degrees of interpretive flexibility. Examples: {20,9}; {39,2}; {106,1}; {149,10x}; {157,2}; {176,5}; {176,6}; {178,5}; {183,8}; {208,9}; {231,5}; {234,7}. Compare the similar flexibility of jo kih , in {39,4}; and of jab kih , discussed in {53,8}.

Bekhud rightly points to {60,11} for its mystical implications, but both verses also emphasize the importance of :zarf as 'capacity' in a broad sense, as a measure of what a man can hold or bear.

The 'intoxication of thirst' suggests that even without (enough) wine-- and it seems that there can never be enough-- the man of :zarf knows the intoxication of his own thirst, his own passion and desire.

The colloquially complex word ;xamyaazah is wonderfully evocative here-- the speaker has now only drunk up whatever the Cupbearer has poured out, but is now feeling blase, sated, ready for some new thrill. He yawns and stretches, and looks about him restlessly. Will he crave another whole bout of drinking, beyond what even the Cupbearer can provide, or will he turn away in some other direction? See for example how Nazm uses ;xamyaazah lenaa in his commentary on {169,7}.

See {18,1} for another linking of ;xumaar , ;xamyaazah , the saaqii , and a sea of wine. A verse with all those elements except the Cupbearer: {29,9x}. More ;xamyaazah examples: {16,9x}; {42,11x}; {44,4x}; {67,3}.