Ghazal 138, Verse 6


bai;Thaa hai jo kih saayah-e diivaar-e yaar me;N
farmaa;N-ravaa-e kishvar-e hinduustaan hai

1) the one who is seated in the shadow/shelter of the beloved's wall
2) is the decree-issuer of the realm of Hindustan



The special feature of Hindustan is that in the shadow of a wall there is darkness, and Hindustan too is a black [kaalaa] country. (148)

== Nazm page 148

Bekhud Mohani:

To sit in the shadow of the beloved's wall is equal to being the emperor of Hindustan.... Since they say 'realm of Iran' [kishvar-e iiraan], etc., the pleasure of this is increased. Because the verse has been composed in Hindustan, and will also be recited right here. This reason too can be cited for using Hindustan: that there is an affinity between 'shadow' and 'Hindustan', because the color of the people here is black. (270)


(1) That person who would get the chance to sit in the shadow of the beloved's wall is so fortunate and triumphantly lucky that he is the king of Hindustan.

(2) When they become lovers, the king and the beggar all become alike. That person who is seated in the shadow of the beloved's wall is in truth the King of Hindustan. Passion has taught him humility and submission.

(3) That person who has ever sat in the shadow of the beloved's wall has the rank of the king of Hindustan.....

Durga Parshad 'Nadir' Dihlavi, pupil of Hilm Dihlavi, has said an excellent thing: that there is an affinity between 'shadow of the wall' and 'Hindustan, because both are black ( hinduu meaning 'black' [in Persian]). Look how the affinity-seekers see affinity in so many places. It's true, as Hasrat Mohani has said, that affinity of words is a thing of great accomplishment. (1989: 260-61) [2006: 284-85]



The first line offers a lovely picture of humility, confiding submission, and contented simplicity-- for the lover seated in the shadow of the beloved's wall is receiving both (literal) shade from the sun, and (metaphorical) shelter and protection accorded by the wall-owner. What more could the true lover desire?

So it is both a surprise, and then not a surprise, to find in the second line that the lover is also (in pointedly Persianized royal vocabulary) the 'decree-issuer of the realm of Hindustan'. The second line thus equips the same submissive lover with the highest degree of rank and power obtainable in the realm.

As Faruqi points out, there are three ways that this attribution of grandeur can be read: (1) that one who is seated there is so ecstatically happy that he feels himself to rule the realm ('as happy as a king'); or (2) that one in some sense actually is, by virtue of his (mystical) rank as a lover, the 'real' king of the realm; or (3) most literally, the one so humbly seated there is the actual king of the realm in person, struck by the same irresistible arrows of passion that afflict everyone else.

No matter how we read it, the lovely paradox of submission and exaltation remains. The verse literally consists of nothing but the assertion 'A is B' (with of course its corollary 'B is A'); it's this very simplicity that gives it an open-ended dignity and charm.

An excellent verse for comparison is {129,4x}.