Ghazal 175, Verse 2


;xaar-;xaar-e alam-e ;hasrat-e diidaar to hai
shauq gul-chiin-e gulistaan-e tasallii nah sahii

1) at least there's anxiety/'thorn-thorn' of the pain/grief of the longing of/for sight/appearance
2) if ardor is not the Flower-picker of the garden of peace/satisfaction, then so be it


;xaar-;xaar : 'Disquietude'. (Platts p.483).


alam : 'Pain, anguish, torment; grief, affliction'. (Platts p.77)


diidaar : 'Sight, vision (= diid ); look, appearance; face, countenance, cheek; interview'. (Platts p.556)


If not the roses of peace/satisfaction, then are the thorns of longing a small thing [kyaa kam hai]? (196)

== Nazm page 196

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'If ardor would not be able to become the flower-picker of the garden of peace/satisfaction, then so be it. In this regard the longing for sight/beauty is enough.' The meaning is that if ardor did not obtain peace/satisfaction, then at least the longing for sight/beauty did not desert him. For peace/satisfaction, is the longing for sight/beauty a small thing? (254)

Bekhud Mohani:

If ardor, in the garden of peace/satisfaction, did not pick flowers, then so be it. There are still the thorns of the longing for sight/beauty. That is, in love, is it a small thing that we have the longing for sight/beauty? If we had been successful in obtaining sight/beauty, then it would have been indescribable. (344)


[See his discussion of the idiomatic uses of ;xaar-;xaar , in his commentary on Mir's M{318,7}.]



For discussion of nah sahii , see {175,1}.

At the end of the first line, to hai is also idiomatic: although literally it means 'then is', its colloquial sense is 'at least there's X' or 'after all, there's X'.

The 'Flower-picker' may or may not be the same gardener who cares for the garden, but in any case he's picking flowers probably to sell them, and certainly to use them for some special purpose. So he'll be systematic rather than casual: he won't just gather a few for pleasure, but will take care to choose a large number of the best ones.

Thus it's piquant (which literally means 'pricking') and amusing that the lover treats his access to, or even possession of, 'every thorn' [;xaar ;xaar], as a comfort. To the lover-- or literally, to a semi-personified 'ardor' that presumably belongs to him-- this collection of the thorns of longing seems to be a great consolation, even in the absence of the flowers of satisfaction.

For an even more elegant and haunting conflation of thorns and flowers, see how they're used in the striking {214,6}.