Ghazal 152, Verse 2


miinaa-e mai hai sarv nashaa:t-e bahaar se
baal-e tadarv jalvah-e mauj-e sharaab hai

1a) the flask of wine is a cypress, through the exultation of spring
1b) the cypress is a flask of wine, through the exultation of spring

2a) the pheasant's wing is the glory/appearance of a wave of wine
2b) the glory/appearance of the wave of wine is a pheasant's wing


tadarv : 'A cock pheasant, a pheasant (to whose gait that of a mistress is compared)'. (Platts p.314)


nashaa:t : 'Liveliness, sprightliness, cheerfulness, gladness, glee, joy, pleasure, exultation, triumph'. (Platts p.1139)


In the exultation of the spring, on the basis of the green color he is showing the flask of wine to have the style of the cypress, and he shows the wave of the ebullience of the wine to have the sheen of the wing of the pheasant. The result is that in the wine party is the pleasure of the spectacle of the garden. But the habit of poets is to mention along with the cypress the Ring-dove; the author has versified the pheasant, and omitted the Ring-dove. Only Persianness [faarsiyat] has taken the author in this direction, for in Persian terminology they speak of the cloud as a pheasant's wing. (163)

== Nazm page 163

Bekhud Mohani:

That is, the springtime of the intoxicated ones is of an extraordinary kind-- in it the wine-flask shows the glory/appearance of the cypress, and the wave of wine, of the wing of the pheasant. That is, from drinking wine, the rakish ones obtain the pleasure of a stroll in the garden. (293)


They call baal-e tadarv , a white cloud that appears in a black sky and pours down rain [in Persian]....

Now let's consider these verbal elegances: sarv and tadarv share a rhyme; this is a form of verbal device. baal and miinaa offer the pleasure of a .zil((a (in a miinaa a baal --a 'crack'-- appears). A cloud often seems to come rolling along in the form of a 'wave'; in this regard there is an affinity between baal-e tadarv and mauj . In Mughal painting, when they make a cypress their intention is a flask. Thus 'cypress' and 'flask' have several kinds of affinity: color, because the flask is often green; shape, because both have similar forms; and symbolism, because the cypress is a symbol of the flask. The original meaning of jalvah is 'to be manifest' and 'to present oneself before someone'.... In this regard, there is an affinity between jalvah and mauj , because a wave arises and becomes manifest. There is also an affinity between jalvah and mauj-e sharaab , because (according to the author of [the Persian dictionary] bahaar-e ((ajam ) one quality of jalvah is also to be 'intoxicated'.

== (1989: 280-81) [2006: 303-05]


JALVAH: {7,4}
WINE: {49,1}

In some manuscripts and editions, the last word of the first line appears as mai instead of se . As always, I follow Arshi; and in this case it's clear that his reading also makes for a better meaning.

This verse is a classic example of what I call symmetry: it offers 'A is B' statements in such a way that, given the flexibility of Urdu grammar, 'B is A' is another legitimate and equally apparent reading. This verse is amost the ideal example in fact, because each line does this trick, and the two lines do it in reverse order. If we set out to read 'A is B', then in the first line we get 'wineflask is cypress' (1a); and in the second line, we get 'raincloud is glory of wine-wave' (2b). In other words, if we want to create the obvious directional parallelisms between the lines (by moving, initially, from the wine-drinking toward the garden), we must read one line as 'A is B' and the other as 'B is A'. This is what Nazm and Bekhud Mohani (and other commentators) readily do. In other words, if anyone had any doubt that the same construction could be read either way around, the commentators' matter-of-fact demonstration of this flexibility should remove all doubts.

Then, since both lines can go both ways, we also can pair the other readings, (1b) and (2a), and we get the reversal: something about the garden is equated with something about wine-drinking. On this reading, the verse praises not the verdant glories of wine-drinking, but the intoxicating glories of spring. And reversing the expected order of comparison also cleverly evokes the confusing synesthesia of intoxication.

Faruqi helpfully catalogues the verse's complex kinds of wordplay.

This verse can't help but recall {49}, since that whole ghazal has 'wave of wine' as a refrain.