Ghazal 153, Verse 8


ho ke ((aashiq vuh parii-ru;x aur naazuk ban gayaa
rang khultaa jaa))e hai jitnaa kih u;Rtaa jaa))e hai

1) having become a lover, that Pari-faced one became more delicate/sensitive
2) [her] color goes on showing/'opening out', as much as it goes on fading/'flying away'


naazuk : 'Thin, slender, slim, delicate, tender, fragile; fine; light; brittle; nice; neat; elegant; genteel; subtle; —facetious; gracious; keen; sensitive, touchy, testy'. (Platts p.1114)


khulnaa : 'To be uncovered, be unfolded, be exposed, be laid bare;... -- to be expanded, be widened or enlarged; to be developed;... to be made known, be disclosed, be divulged, be revealed;... to be let loose, be set free;... to be dissipated or lost;... -- to acquire fullness, clearness, brightness, or depth (a colour); to stand out well or conspicuously, to appear to advantage'. (Platts p.879)


khilnaa : 'To open, expand (as a flower), to blow, bloom, flower; to open, crack, burst, swell'. (Platts p.879)


jaa))e hai is an archaic form of jaataa hai (GRAMMAR)


*Platts Dictionary Online*


In passion, the color's becoming white he has constructed as the color's 'opening'. (165)

== Nazm page 165

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, that Pari-faced one, having fallen in love with the Other, became even more delicate. From the shock of love, to the extent that her color fades, to that very extent it keeps becoming clearer. That is, it becomes more pleasing. (221)

Bekhud Mohani:

He says, from falling in love the beloved's delicacy has increased somewhat more. As her color kept fading, she kept becoming more of a Pari. That is, now two things increased: the first is that she became more delicate than formerly; and the second is that her color keeps becoming clearer.

[Or:] It's possible that he might say this to tease the beloved, or that he might be taunting the Rival's passion. (297)


[Compare {13,2}. (37)]



Faruqi rightly mentions {13,2} as an excellent verse for comparison, and I'd add {7,2} as another (and lesser, though enjoyable) example of Ghalib's face-color wordplay.

Above all, this verse is powered by the cleverly exploited multivalence of khulnaa -- or else it can be khilnaa , if we prefer (see the partially overlapping definitions above). Here are some of the possible readings that the second line can generate:

=By some effect of her delicacy, her color actually becomes more visible and evident as the roses slowly fade from her cheeks. Perhaps because her skin is becoming more pale and delicate, since she's not eating or sleeping properly? Or perhaps because it now has a more inward and mystical glow?

=Her color becomes even more radiant and attractive as it fades, since she's so beautiful that her beauty can't be dimmed by passion; her new ethereal glow appears to advantage, making her even lovelier than before. A Pari is, after all, a creature of special radiance, made from fire rather than (like us mortals) from mere earth.

=Her 'color' or 'mood, state, condition' (since rang is so multivalent) is revealed to the world all the more clearly, the more her cheeks become pale; the secret of her new status as a lover is exposed for all to see, so that everybody can gossip about it.

This latter reading is the most piquant, since it requires the meaning of rang to change horses in midstream-- to begin the line as metaphorical, and end it as literal, without the usual luxury of a repetition. But why not? Obviously it can do this, because it does do it-- in our minds, as we read the line. The sudden 'flip' is unsettling, but also enjoyable. (From a flip-- a fillip?)

Note for script fans: it's true that khulnaa can also be read as khilnaa , 'to bloom'. In order to squelch this possibility, Arshi carefully provides a pesh . It's also clear that khilnaa offers a much less interesting reading, since there's no other 'flower' imagery in the verse. For more on this pair, see {94,1}.

For more on the rare event of the beloved's falling in love, see {13,2}.