Ghazal 24, Verse 6


vuhii ik baat hai jo yaa;N nafas vaa;N nak'hat-e gul hai
chaman kaa jalvah baa((i;s hai mirii rangii;N-navaa))ii kaa

1) it is that same single/particular/ unique/excellent thing that here is breath, there is the scent of the rose
2) the glory/appearance of the garden is the cause/reason of my colorful-voicedness


ek : 'One, single, sole, alone, only, a, an; the same, identical; only one; a certain one; single of its kind, unique, singular, preƫminent, excellent'. (Platts p.113)


nafas : 'Breath, respiration; --the voice or sound from the breast; --a moment, an instant'. (Platts p.1144)


nak'hat : 'Smell of the breath; odour, perfume'. (Steingass p.1423)


baa((i;s : 'Occasion, cause, reason, motive, incentive; subject, author'. (Platts p.123)


navaa : 'Voice, sound; modulation; song; air; --a certain musical tone or mood'. (Platts p.1157)


The conclusion is that my breath is not less than the scent of the rose, for the cause of both is identical. (25)

== Nazm page 25

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, between my breath and the scent of the rose there's no difference. It's just the same thing-- that is, they both achieve the rank of identity. And The cause of this is the radiance of the garden, the spring season, and the enthusiasm of the rose. In the garden, the scent of the rose is created by the enthusiasm of the rose, and I, seeing the spring/flourishing of the garden, begin composing colorful-voiced ghazals. (50)

Bekhud Mohani:

In the radiance of spring, color and scent in the flowers, and colorful-voicedness in the wine-flagon, are born. The flower gives off scent, and the nightingale (poet) warbles.

[Or:] By the power of the Lord, scent in the flower and poetic imagination in the heart of the poet appear. Professor Iqbal composes just such a one:

yih chaa;Nd aasmaa;N kaa shaa((ir kaa dil hai goyaa
jo chaa;Ndnii vahaa;N hai yaa;N dard kii kasak hai

[this moon of the sky is the poet's heart, so to speak
what there is moonlight, is here the fever of pain]. (61)


Compare {202,8}. (301)


JALVAH: {7,4}

On the subtleties of nafas , see {15,6} (which happens also to use the jalvah-e gul , though in very different circumstances).

This verse provides an excellent illustration of the beauty of 'A,B' construction. The two lines are grammatically and semantically independent-- and as so often, it's left for us to decide how to connect them. Do they both describe the same situation, through two different kinds of imagery? Is the real subject the breath/scent identification in the first line, with the second line only supplying a special case or illustration? Is the real subject the glory of the garden and my colorful-voicedness in the second line, with the first line supplying only an incidental gloss on the nature of their production? Or do the two lines describe two quite separate situations? (And in this case, are we to consider them comparable, or different, or complexly related-- and in what ways?)

Undoubtedly, the verse evokes and plays on all the senses. The perfume of the rose, the radiant appearance of the garden, and the speaker's colorful-voicedness are all somehow connected, or at least analogized. The scent or 'smell of the breath' (see the definition above) of the rose, borne by the metaphorical 'breath' of the breeze, is equated with the poet's breath in line 1. And the sight of the garden's glory leads directly to sound: to the poet's voice and recitation, in line 2. The irresistible glory of spring blurs categories and causes an overflow and outflow of spirit, a diffusing of self into the world.

The result is song-- or (what else?) poetry, as is made clearer in {202,8}, the verse that Arshi points out. In that verse the coming of spring is specifically linked with saudaa-e ;Gazal-;xvaanii , the madness of ghazal-recitation; but is it a joyous madness? The overtones in that verse are much more ambivalent.

This sensual springtime verse that exults in the expressive 'colorful-voicedness' of song follows immediately upon the abstract and paradoxical {24,5}, which was a praise of 'tonguelessness'. There could hardly be a clearer illustration of the autonomy of the individual verse and the ghazal's disdain for Aristotelian 'organic unity'.