Ghazal 80, Verse 6


sharmindah rakhte hai;N mujhe baad-e bahaar se
miinaa-e be-sharaab-o-dil-e be-havaa-e gul

1) [they] keep me ashamed before the spring breeze--
2) a glass without wine, and a heart without desire/breeze of the rose


sharmindah : 'Ashamed, abashed, shame-faced, bashful, modest, blushing'. (Platts p.726)


This verse is the answer to an implied question. That is, people disapprove of my drinking wine and strolling in the gardens. But if I don't do that, then I feel ashamed before the spring breeze. (81)

== Nazm page 81

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, if my glass is empty of wine, and there's never any ardent desire for a stroll in the garden, then these two things make me ashamed before the spring breeze. The meaning is that in the season of spring it's necessary for wine to be in the glass, and in the heart there must be ardor for a stroll in the garden. (129)

Bekhud Mohani:

Looking at his previous life and present sorrow/coolness, he says, 'Yes, yes-- when the intoxicated breezes of spring are blowing, then for the glass to remain empty of wine, and in the heart no ardor for a stroll in the garden to grow, I'm ashamed of this'. (168)


WINE: {49,1}

What kind of shame is it exactly that the lover feels, and why? In a nice mushairah touch, the first line refuses to tell us, forcing us to wait for the second. There are several possibilities, not mutually exclusive of course:

(1) He's not responding to the season in general as he should. Responsiveness to seasons is a valued sign of a properly 'open' heart and eye. In particular, springtime is intoxicating and is linked with intoxication; for the best illustration of this, see {49}, with its seasonal 'wave of wine'. Wine-drinking too is linked to times and seasons, as in the lovely {97,13}.

(2) He's not responding to the spring breeze itself, and is thus seeming to cast doubt on its powers of intoxication. The spring breeze is a powerful source of intoxication in its own right, as in {49,2}. So his 'glass without wine' is an image of his unintoxicated heart. Why wouldn't the spring breeze be offended or hurt, if its blandishments prove so vain?

(3) He's not responding even to the rose, the archetypal image of the beloved. This, in a lover, is of course the cardinal sin. There's a fine wordplay here, because havaa-e gul can be both 'desire of/for the rose' and 'breeze/air of the rose' (on this see {8,3}). The latter meaning elegantly evokes both the spring breeze itself, and also the perfume of the rose that the spring breeze wafts to the lover-- but it's a perfume that doesn't, alas, penetrate to his heart.

Why is the lover so unresponsive, so derelect in his duty? It's not because he's brazen and shameless, not because he has joined the ranks of the 'worldly' people who are immune to the powers of love. His sense of shame is proof that he knows his duty, and would do it if he could. But probably he's a 'burnt-out case' by now, with no heart left to respond. Of all the verses that describe the lover's wrecked, lost, ruined heart, perhaps the simplest is {41,1}. That stark, plain second line says it all.