Ghazal 133, Verse 2


hai daur-e qada;h vaj'h-e pareshaanii-e .sahbaa
yak-baar lagaa do ;xum-e mai mere labo;N se

1) the {going-round / time-cycle} of the flagon is a cause of perturbation to/of the wine
2) {one time / all at once}, place the wine-cask to my lips!


daur : 'Going round, moving in a circle, revolving; revolution (of a body, or of time); circular motion; the going round, or circulating (of wine); the cup handed round; the coming round in turn (of days or times); vicissitude; ... —a period of years, time, age, cycle; a turn, tour, round, course, progress'. (Platts p.532-33)


pareshaanii : 'Dispersion, scattering, confusion, disorder, derangement, perplexity, bewilderment, perturbation, distraction; distress, embarassment, trouble, misery'. (Platts p.259)


yak-baar : 'One time or turn; — once; — at once, all at once, immediately, suddenly'. (Platts p.1251)


;xum : 'A large vessel or jar; an alembic, a still'. (Platts p.493)


The perturbation of the wine in circulation is obvious: whoever takes part in the circulation will drink, and the wine will be divided, and for divided things to be pareshaa;N is inevitable. And when one single individual drinks all the wine, then the wine will be saved from pareshaanii . The way it was in one place in the cask, so it will now remain in one place in my head. To create hyperbole about the amount of wine-drinking has been a longstanding habit of poets. The author too has imitated this; otherwise, this theme has no pleasure. (143)

== Nazm page 143

Bekhud Dihlavi:

Wine is a cause of affection; to make it perturbed is not becoming, and the circulation of the flagon is a cause of perturbation.... To express one's meaning with such excellence, and to present it with a 'proof' [daliil], is not devoid of pleasure. (199-200)

Bekhud Mohani:

In the circulation of the cups, the wine will be apportioned to everybody. It's obvious that those who drink a great deal will not be satisfied. It will also be necessary to wait. Don't make me part of the circulation-- one time, tilt the cask! (265)


WINE: {49,1}

What a witty and amusing little verse! And as a play on the multiple possibilities of pareshaanii , it's superb-- rivaled only perhaps by {111,8}.

Thanks to the flexibility of pareshaanii (with its literal and metaphorical meanings-- see the definition above-- all fully available), and to the ambiguities of the i.zaafat construction, the first line can be read in two different ways. It might be the cautionary complaint of an oenophile, a gourmet wine-lover: 'Careful! Don't you know the wine has to 'rest'? All this pouring and sloshing isn't good for it! It needs to settle.' Or it might be the empathic murmur of a compassionate kindred spirit: 'All this going around in circles-- how could the wine not feel dizzy, perturbed, shaken up? When the wine is so kind to us, how can we torment it so?' Until we're allowed, under mushairah performance conditions, to hear the second line, we have no idea which way to read the first one.

And of course, when we hear the second line, we can't help but laugh: not only does it work perfectly as a solution to the problem posed in either reading of the first line, but it adds considerable energy, charm, and humor of its own. If the wine cask (or perhaps, even more extravagantly, the still in which the wine is made) is placed directly to the speaker's lips, all problems will be over. The wine will no longer be 'perturbed' by circulating, since he himself will drink it all. Isn't that the perfect solution? Isn't he thoughtful, inventive, and humane? Shouldn't the addressee (presumably the Cupbearer) be grateful for his self-sacrifice and helpfulness?

Best of all, the Cupbearer is enjoined to do this only 'one time', or 'all at once' (see the definition of yak-baar ). Is this uniqueness or abrupness because once will suffice, for the lover and/or the wine-- apparently forever? (The lover does, after all, claim to have the most extraordinary wine-drinking capacities; remember {12,2}.) Or is it because the speaker knows his request is transgressive-- he's seeking an exception ('just for once!') to the normal rules? Or is it because the speaker knows the normal rules are defective ('For once, do it right!')? In any case, the 'going-round' [daur] in the first line can also refer to the vast cycles of the revolving years, the wheel of time, etc., so the juxtaposition with that emphatically single 'one time' in the second line is another source of pleasure.

This is the first verse in which Ghalib contrasts what I am calling (largely for intelligibility) a 'cask' with lesser, commonplace wine vessels. Other enjoyable examples include: {131,8} (which provides a mystical take on the situation); {175,3}; {178,8}. For a full discussion of Ghalibian wine containers, see {28,1}.