Ghazal 154, Verse 6x


baskih thii ;xizaan-e chamanistaan-e su;xan
rang-e shuhrat nah diyaa taazah-;xayaalii ne mujhe

1) {although / since / to such an extent} there was the season/harvest/chapter of the autumn of the garden of poetry
2) 'fresh thought' didn't give me the color/mood/style of fame

Notes: : 'A separation, division, partition; one of the four divisions or seasons of the year, a season; season, time; reaping-season, harvest; crop or crops; a division, section (of a chapter, &c.); a chapter'. (Platts p.781)


;xizaan : 'Autumn, the fall of the leaf; —decay, old age'. (Platts p.489)


shuhrat : 'Divulging, publishing; publicity, notableness, notoriety, celebrity, reputation, renown, fame, rumour, report'. (Platts p.738)


;xayaal : 'Thought, opinion, surmise, suspicion, conception, idea, notion, fancy, imagination, conceit; whim, chimera'. (Platts p.497)

Gyan Chand:

Autumn had come over the garden of poetry; that is, among the people the taste for poetry had become less. I created various new thoughts/ideas, but nobody paid attention and I didn't obtain fame.

== Gyan Chand, p.490



For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Here's a cleverly effective use of the doubleness of baskih . If we take it concessively, as 'although' or 'despite the fact that', then the verse reports something contrary to expectation. For it was the time of the autumn harvest of October-November, a regular season in the agricultural year (see the definition of above), and one would expect that all the standing crops would be gathered in before the winter, and that their cultivators would be able to sell them. Nevertheless, in the 'garden of poetry' the crop of 'fresh thought' didn't enable the poet-cultivator to 'reap' (perfect metaphor here) the usual reward, the one that he'd been expecting (or at least hoping for). This was all the more surprising since 'fresh' produce is especially attractive in the autumn. Why were the poet's hopes disappointed? The verse leaves us to our own speculations.

If instead we take baskih as 'since' or 'to such an extent', then the verse reports something that accorded with the speaker's expectation. After all, the garden of poetry was in an 'autumnal' state, with its period of fertility and productivity over and the winter about to set in. This seasonal decline and decay was so pervasive that 'fresh thought' had no appeal, and brought no fame. (This is Gyan Chand's reading.)

At the heart of the verse is the multivalence of , with its meanings of 'season', 'harvest', 'chapter' (see the definition above). Every one of these senses is enjoyably relevant to the verse.

Compare the more optimistic, springtime poetic garden described in terms of the 'fresh' creativity of Bedil, in {8,5x}.