Ghazal 13, Verse 2


rang-e shikastah .sub;h-e bahaar-e na:zaarah hai
yih vaqt hai shiguftan-e gulhaa-e naaz kaa

1) a pallid/'carried-away' color is the dawn of the springtime of sight
2) this is a time for/of the blooming of the roses of coquetry


shikastah : 'Broken; defeated, routed; carried away (by inundation, as river-banks, &c.); reduced to straits; bankrupt; sick; wounded; weak; infirm'. (Platts p.730)


bahaar : 'Spring, prime, bloom, flourishing state; beauty, glory, splendour, elegance; beautiful scene or prospect, fine landscape; charm, delight, enjoyment, the pleasures of sense, taste, or culture'. (Platts p.178)


That is, the sight of her is the spring season, and my color fleeing at the sight of her is the dawn of the morning of spring. And daybreak is the time of the blooming of flowers. In short ... the fleeing of my color is that morning in which the roses of coquetry will bloom. (13)

== Nazm page 13


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {13}


The morning after the night of union, the beloved's 'pallid color is the morning of the springtime of sight'. That is, her charm is worth seeing, because the roses of coquetry have begun to bloom-- that is, this is the particular time for her to be enthusiastic in her coquetry. (13)


[Both interpretations like Nazm's and interpretations like Hasrat's have problems of sequence: surely the lover sees the beloved and her coquetry before his color flees and love begins, rather than after. And why is the morning after union, rather than the night of union itself, the time for coquetry?]

If we take the 'carried-away color' as referring to the fleeing of color from the beloved's face, then all problems are solved. The beloved's color is pallid because she herself has fallen in love with someone. Becoming herself enmeshed in the sufferings of passion means that now she will come outside to meet her lover, or will give up her pardah . In this way for her lover it will be the dawn of the springtime of sight; that is, he will be able to see her. And since now her heart itself is sympathetic, she will cause roses of coquetry to bloom for her lovers, that is, she will show them her airs and graces very well. The beloved's herself becoming a lover, and having a 'carried-away color' like this, Ghalib has used elsewhere as well: see {153,8}-- and that ghazal too was composed in the same period as the verse under discussion.

== (1989: 36-37) [2006:46-47]

[See the discussion in M{277,2}.]



SPRINGTIME verses: {8,5x}; {8,6x}; {13,2}; {23,3x}; {27,3} (and fall); {33,7}; {33,8x}, trouble to the gaze; {42,10x}; {47,1}; {47,3x}* (GC says it is rainy season); {48,7} (letters on the trials of the rainy season); {49,4}*** (versus the rainy season); {73,3x}; {75,6}; {80,5}; {80,6}; {80,10x}; {82,4x}; {84,3x}; {87,7}; [{94,1}], rainy season; {121,6}; {129,1} (and fall); {131,7}; [{139,10}], rainy season; {145,2} (and fall); {152,2}; {152,5}; {156,1}; {170,5}; {181,1}; {187,2}; {188,4x}; {189,4}, rose-days; [{195,2}]; {200,3}; {202,8}; {206,5x}; {209,10}; {211,3x}; {218,3}; {223,4x}; {228,5}; {228,8}; {229,6}; {231,5}; {233,14} // {275x,4}; {311x,6}; {314x,5}; {347x,7}; {360x,3}; {378x,5}; {400x,5}; {411x,2}; {424x,3}; {424x,5}; {428x,2}; {435x,3}; {441x,2}, as destructive.

THE BELOVED FALLS IN LOVE: This is one of the handful of verses in which the tables are turned and the beloved is imagined as herself becoming a lover, with all the painful consequences. Here's the list: {13,2}; {23,4x}, with herself (hypothetical); {40,1}, with herself; {105,1}; {131,2}; {153,8}; {203,5} (possibly).

How well the many meanings of shikastah (see the definition above) suit the condition of the previously arrogant beloved who has now herself become a lover! The 'defeated' [shikastah] color is pale/white, like that of the dawn light. But the dawn is that of a new day of coquetry, fuller of roses than the day before. There's also the sound-echo of na:zaarah and naaz . Faruqi is right to point out {153,8} as an excellent verse for comparison.

The verse carefully doesn't tell us whose face it is that goes pale; thus Nazm thinks it's the lover's, and Bekhud Mohani thinks it's the beloved. Since it also carefully doesn't give us any information about the nature of the 'blooming of the roses of coquetry', the field for our interpretive guesswork remains wide open. (If the phrase refers to the redness of blushing cheeks, then whose cheeks?). Faruqi's interpretation seems the most plausible, but others too would certainly be possible.

For another verse that connects the rang-e shikastah to the light of dawn, see {203,6x}.

Still, this isn't one of those, like {10,12}, that are memorable forever. Behind the clever, suitably multivalent wordplay there's no real depth of mystery or meaning.