Ghazal 71, Verse 6


nahii;N dil me;N mire vuh qa:trah-e ;xuu;N
jis se mizhgaa;N hu))ii nah ho gul-baaz

1) in my heart [is] not that drop of blood
2) with which the eyelashes would not have been 'rose-players'


baaz : 'Playing, player; --(in comp.) a suffix denoting an 'agent,' 'doer,' 'one who has to do with,' 'fancier,' &c.'. (Platts p.121)


He says, in my heart there's no such drop of blood, with which the fingers of the eyelashes have not done gul-baazii ; that is, all the blood of the heart has dripped from the eyelashes. (72)

== Nazm page 72

Bekhud Dihlavi:

gul-baazii is a kind of game which is played with the flowers of roses or marigolds. (119)

Bekhud Mohani:

Solution 1: There's no drop of my blood with which the eyelashes of the beloved haven't played gul-baazii .

Solution 2: All the blood of my heart has turned into tears and dripped away through my eyelashes. (154)


gul-baaz : Two individuals stand facing each other, at some distance. One flings a rose, or in Hindustan a marigold, toward the other. The other catches it in his hand, and returns it back toward the first. If both are experienced, then they tie a string to it. Whoever misses, so that the flower falls to the ground, is considered to have lost. (234)



Bekhud Mohani points out the two possibilities: either I've simply dripped out all the blood in my heart through my eyelashes, drop by drop, like round red roses used for gul-baazii ; or the beloved's eyelashes have appropriated all those same blood-drops for a more organized game of gul-baazii .

Thus there's no drop of blood in my heart that hasn't been used for gul-baazii , either by my eyelashes or by the beloved's. But any drop of blood that has been taken away and used for gul-baazii is not, by definition, in my heart any more. So does the verse risk becoming tautological? Does it merely mean, every blood-drop that's been taken out of my heart (for game-playing) is no longer in my heart

If it's literal, it seems also to imply that there are no blood-drops left in my heart. It sets up a clear paradox: there's no drop 'in my heart' that hasn't been taken out of my heart; this itself it an enjoyable state of affairs for the reader to contemplate, and an entirely apt destiny for the lover.

In addition, no doubt we will want to say that the drops can be 'in my heart' metaphorically: surely every drop of blood in my heart feels as if it's been battered like a game-ball-- either flung down by my eyelashes, or tossed around by hers. Or else, it is constantly holding itself available for submission to such battering. Moreover, 'in my heart' has a metaphorical meaning of being valued or cherished. I would indignantly repudiate, eject from my bosom, any drop of blood not suitable for gul-baazii . You won't find any such drop of blood present in my heart-- or in my esteem either!

Here's my long-ago attempt at a translation (1985).