Ghazal 108, Verse 5


nashshah-e rang se hai vaa-shud-e gul
mast kab band-e qabaa baa;Ndhte hai;N

1) from the intoxication of color/mood is the opening of the rose

2a) when do intoxicated ones bind/tie the sash/tie of the robe?!
2b) when do intoxicated ones versify/'bind' a sash/tie on the robe?


rang : 'Colour, colouring matter, pigment, paint, dye; colour, tint, hue, complexion; beauty, bloom; expression, countenance, appearance, aspect; fashion, style; character, nature; mood, mode, manner, method; kind, sort; state, condition'. (Platts p.601)


vaa-shud : 'Opening; expansion; dispersion, or vanishing (of sorrow, &c.); clearance (of clouds, &c.); --deliverance. (Platts p.1175)


qabaa : 'A long gown with the skirt and breast open (and sometimes slits in the armpits); a (quilted) garment; a tunic'. (Platts p.787)


That is, it is intoxicated with color/mood; for this reason the rose's closed robe becomes open. (113)

== Nazm page 113

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, because of the intoxication of color/mood, the flowers bloom [khilnaa]. And when they bloom, then the intoxication of color/moor becomes even more intense. And drunkards never tie the sash of their robes. For this reason, the roses' ties too are opened [khulnaa].

Bekhud Mohani:

The roses opened their tied robes because they are intoxicated with the color/mood of spring. The color of the rose and the color of wine are of exactly the same kind. (215)



In proper mushairah-verse style, the first line is broad and vague, making it clear that the punch will not come until the second line-- which of course we will have to wait for.

Then the second line takes the form of a rhetorical question, with the key word 'tie, bind' [baa;Ndhnaa] left until the last possible moment, to maximize its effect. Only at the end of the line do we realize that 'opening' in the first line was not just a general term, but was meant to invoke the opening of a robe. The rose loosens its robe because it is intoxicated, and of course there are implied sexual overtones as well.

If we adopt reading (2a), the second line lets us know that drunkards (like the rose) never do tie the sash of their robe. But why? The verse gives us no information. Because they're too drunk to notice, or to tie a proper knot? Because they want to breathe freely (which is why madmen rip open their collars)? Because they like the informality and casualness? Because they want to convey their openness and generosity of mood? Because they want to advertise their charms and availability?

And of course, the rhetorical question can also be asked literally. When, in fact, do the rose and other drunkards tie the sash of their robe? In the rose's case, the answer is 'never'-- and not for reasons of intoxication, either. The 'tight' or 'closed' [band] bud opens up to reveal the rich red sensuous petals of the blooming flower, which spread out like a loosened robe. But the opening is irreversible: the petals will never again be tied or bound up. Soon they will fade, die, and fall to the ground; the withered rose-stem will be left naked in the autumn air. (Although of course, mystically speaking, this immediacy of oblivion [fanaa] might be the supreme joy for the rose, and even the source of its intoxication.)

If we take reading (2b), we have the amused (and rueful?) observation that drunken poets never in fact versify/'bind' into their lines of poetry a tie or sash on the robe. (For more on this use of baa;Ndhnaa , see {108,1}; for a picture of a qabaa , see {84,2x}.) They much prefer a robe that opens out invitingly, free of any binding or restraint. Their intoxication causes them to write into their poems only an open, blooming, accessible rose.

The wordplay is lovely too, centering on vaa-shud [opening], band [sash, tie], and-- the final clincher that unifies all the verse's imagery, and as such is withheld until the last possible moment-- baa;Ndhnaa [to bind, tie].

There also seems to hover over this verse an echo of the wordplay/scriptplay between 'to bloom' [khilnaa] and 'to open' [khulnaa]. Although neither word is used, surely the pair hover somewhere in the background. Apparently Bekhud Dihlavi sees them too, since in his commentary he uses both words. But of course they're not invoked within the verse itself, as they are in {94,1}.