Ghazal 103, Verse 3x


baa))i;s-e ii;zaa hai bar-ham-;xvurdan-e bazm-e suruur
la;xt la;xt-e shiishah-e bashkastah juz nashtar nahii;N

1) the becoming disrupted/overthrown of the gathering of joy/exhilaration is a cause of injury/pain/annoyance
2) every fragment of glassware that is broken is not other than a lancet


ii;zaa : 'Annoyance, molestation, vexation, pain, trouble, distress, harm, hurt, injury'. (Platts p.112)


bar-ham : 'Confused, jumbled together, turned upside down or topsy-turvy, entangled, spoiled; offended, angry, vexed, enraged, sullen'. (Platts p.150)


bar-ham ;xvurdan : 'To clash, collide, dash against each other'. (Steingass p.181)


suruur : ''Making glad'; pleasure, delight, joy, cheerfulness; exhilaration (caused by wine, &c.)'. (Platts p.657)

Gyan Chand:

From the dispersal of the gathering of pleasure, pain results. Take one part of the gathering of joy, the glass of wine. If the wine-glass breaks and its fragments would be scattered, then they will become lancets for hands and feet. On this basis, consider other parts of the gathering of joy to be similar. (299)



For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices.

Here's a classic 'A,B' verse: the two lines are entirely separate and autonomous. Here are some ways of putting them together:

=A is primary, B an illustration of it: When the gathering breaks up, what once produced joy instead produces pain and suffering (just as when a wine-glass breaks and its fragments become like daggers)

=B is primary, A an illustration of it: Being broken up is a bad thing: for example, when wine-glasses are intact, they are a source of joy, but when broken up, they become harmful razor-like shards (just as when a party is broken up, and suffering results)

=A and B describe the same situation: The final stages of a joyous gathering are often accompanied by the breaking (in drunkenness) of a few of the wine-glasses used in the gathering; this breaking up of the party results in both emotional and physical suffering

=A and B describe similar situations: The breaking-up of a joyous gathering, and the breaking of a wine-glass, are similar-- in both cases a thing which when intact produces joy, when broken up produces pain

=A and B describe contrasted situations: The breaking up of a joyous party is no doubt a cause of harm, annoyance, vexation, injury; but by contrast it's also true that the sharp fragments of a (literal or metaphorical) broken-up wine-glass are beneficial: they (metaphorically) turn into lancets, which are used for medical treatments (on this see {166,2}); thus they may perhaps teach one to distrust joyous parties, as in the famous {169,6-12}.

Nice, huh? Once we've teased out the possibilities, we're of course entitled to have our favorites among them (the richest in meaning, the most plausible, the most striking, or whichever.). But who can fail to enjoy the complexities, and the ways in which we ourselves help 'make' the meaning?

Note for meter fans: bashkastah is a compressed form of bah shikastah . This is a very early ghazal, and an unpublished verse from it, so it's not surprising that the level of Persianization is so unusually high.