Ghazal 107, Verse 2


ko))ii kahe kih shab-e mah me;N kyaa buraa))ii hai
balaa se aaj agar din ko abr-o-baad nahii;N

1) let someone say what's wrong with a moonlit night!
2) so what if, today, the day doesn't have clouds and wind?!



That is, if because there are no clouds and breeze in the daytime the gathering for wine-drinking is suspended, then why shouldn't this gathering take place at night, in the moonlight? That is, just as much as the clouds' not coming made the day unenjoyable, so much the moon will shine clearly in the night. (111)

== Nazm page 111

Bekhud Mohani:

That is, if today no clouds showed in the sky, and the breezes didn't blow, and a wine-drinking party wasn't able to take place, then tonight the moon will shine, and then the wine-cup will make its rounds. Mirza has dressed in new attire the theme he has already used in {97,13}. (213)


The relish and ardor of the first line, its implication-based style (such that directly, it hasn't said a single word about wine-drinking, but has made it clear that wine is being referred to)-- this is the extreme of eloquence [balaa;Gat]. And instead of an informative [;xabariyah], an inshaa))iyah style-- all this is very fine. But no commentator has made it clear why the nonexistence of cloud and wind proves that the night too will be moonlit....

The situation in reality is that there's no likelihood of the night's being moonlit, no clear probability. The speaker, to comfort his spirit, is giving himself childish reassurance.... In this childish reassurance is a kind of melancholy, or rather desperate, innocence, which only habitual wine-drinkers can understand.

== (1989: 158) [2006: 180-81]


NIGHT/DAY: {1,2}

In proper mushairah style, the first line of the verse, heard in isolation, is baffling. The speaker indignantly challenges, 'Let somebody say what's wrong with a moonlit night!' What could possibly occasion such a challenge? It's hard to imagine, since moonlit nights are valued, and who would have cause to disparage them?

After an appropriate (and appropriately suspenseful) interval, we are allowed, under mushairah performance conditions, to hear the second line. Even then, we have to put the whole thing together carefully, since, as Faruqi notes, the verse is a sort of ultimate peak of implication. Although it's about wine-drinking parties, there's not the slightest reference in it to wine, or drinking, or parties. And the connection of wine-drinking parties with clouds, wind, and moonlit nights is simply something we have to know beforehand, as a feature of the ghazal universe. (But doesn't it make intuitive sense, even on first exposure? Who wants to have a wine-drinking party in the middle of a bright, windless, sunny day?)

For another verse about clouds and moonlight and wine, see {97,13}, as Bekhud Mohani rightly suggests. The similarities of imagery, and the similar uses of indirection, are striking.

For more on the expression balaa se , see {58,1}.

Since the first line has buraa))ii almost at its end, and the second line has balaa right at its beginning, it's tempting to hear, despite the spelling change, a hint of 'bad/good' [buraa - bhalaa] wordplay.