Ghazal 49, Verse 3


jo hu))aa ;Garqah-e mai ba;xt-e rasaa rakhtaa hai
sar se guzre pah bhii hai baal-e humaa mauj-e sharaab

1) the one who would become drowned/immersed in wine, keeps a successful fortune/fate
2) even/also upon passing over/by/beyond the head, [it] is the Huma's wing, the wave of wine


;Garq : 'Drowned, immersed, sunk, overwhelmed; absorbed, engrossed, deep (in)'. (Platts p.770)


rasaa : 'Arriving, attaining; causing to arrive (used as last member of compounds); quick of apprehension, acute, sharp, penetrating, skilful, capable, clever'. (Platts p.591)


guzre is here an archaic version of what nowadays would be guzarne .


It's well known that anyone over whose head the shadow of the Huma passes is fortunate and of lofty destiny. And for the wave of wine to pass over the head means for intoxication to ascend into the mind. And to be as if drowned in wine means to be drowned in intoxication. A second aspect also emerges-- that we would pass out of our heads, that is be rendered totally helpless; even then, the wave of wine is not less than the Huma's wing. (44-45)

== Nazm page 44; Nazm page 45

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The meaning is that even after rendering one unconscious, the intoxication of wine has the authority of the wing of the Huma. It's well known that anyone on whom the Huma's shadow falls becomes a king. (88)

Bekhud Mohani:

Even if wine-drinking passes beyond the limit, it's equal to kingship. In the sense that a king is free and careless; in the same way the one who passes beyond rakishness becomes free of the prison of thought and anxiety. Even if he drinks until he dies, even then it's his good fortune, because to die in an extremity of pleasure is better than to live without enjoyment. (112)


WINE: {49,1}

If the wing of the Huma passes over your head, and its shadow falls on you, you are destined to become a king. This famous motif from Persian story tradition forms an elegant basis for the verse's wordplay. Even when the wave of wine passes over your head, it still has the magic potency of the Huma's wing. (By contrast, if a Pari's shadow falls on you, you will go mad; on this see {56,7x}.)

As Bekhud Mohani points out, the possibility of death by drowning is very clearly evoked. If the wave of wine 'passes over your head', you are (metaphorically) deeply intoxicated, or (literally) drowning, as the word 'drowned, submerged' [;Garqah] in the first line confirms (see the definition above). To drown in wine is better, it seems, then to live in abstemiousness. The drowned drinker will become a king-- but in what sense, and in what realm?

Moreover, he might not quite drown: sar se guzarnaa can mean to pass through or pass beyond the head. The wave might wash over him and then move on-- leaving him, so to speak, high and dry, though never regretful. As so often, the verse allows (and requires) us to decide all these nuances for ourselves.