Ghazal 178, Verse 7


vuh chiiz jis ke liye ham ko ho bihisht ((aziiz
sivaa-e baadah-e gul-faam-e mushk-buu kyaa hai

1) that thing for which Paradise would be precious to us
2) besides/beyond rose-colored, musk-scented wine-- what is it?!


sivaa : 'But, besides, other than, over and above, further than... ; -- adj. Additional, more; better'. (Platts p.690)


That is, wine is beyond all the blessings of Paradise. (202)

== Nazm page 202

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'In Paradise the greatest blessing is wine, and only for the sake of wine do we hold Paradise dear'. (260)

Bekhud Mohani:

A rake says, 'We have no interest in anything in Paradise [jannat], it is only dear to us because in it there is rose-colored and musk-scented wine-- and a lot of it'. (355)


WINE: {49,1}

The elegant use of sivaa (see the definition above) makes for several enjoyable readings:

=That thing for which we'd value Paradise-- beyond wine (that is, in addition to wine), what is it?

=That thing for which we'd value Paradise-- other than wine (that is, instead of wine), what is it?

=The thing for which we'd value Paradise more than we value wine-- what is it?

And all these questions, we notice, might or might not be rhetorical. A rakish or rindaanah reading would of course take them as rhetorical, such that the answer to each of them would be a resounding 'No such thing exists!'. But a mystical reading might use such questions to introduce the transcendent and/or immanent presence of God, the power of self-lessness or be-;xvudii , and so on.

The wine is presented with lingering, sensuous enjoyment-- its rosy color, its musky aroma are dwelt upon. Meanwhile, the rest of Paradise passes by almost unnoticed; even the possibility of its being valued is presented in the subjunctive [ho]. (But as a final complication, of course, the wine itself can always be taken as a metaphor for the 'intoxication' of the Divine presence.)

This is one of the group of 'snide remarks about Paradise'; for discussion, see {35,9}.