Ghazal 188, Verse 4x


saaqii bahaar-e mausam-e gul hai suruur-ba;xsh
paimaa;N se ham guzar ga))e paimaanah chaahiye

1) Cupbearer, the flourishing/'springtime' of the season of the rose is exhilaration-bestowing
2) we have passed beyond/through vowing/'measuring'-- we need a wineglass/'measure'!


bahaar : 'Spring, prime, bloom, flourishing state; beauty, glory, splendour, elegance; beautiful scene or prospect, fine landscape; charm, delight, enjoyment, the pleasures of sense, taste, or culture


suruur : ''Making glad'; pleasure, delight, joy, cheerfulness; exhilaration (caused by wine, &c.)'. (Platts p.657)


paimaan : 'Measuring; — agreement, compact, convention, treaty, stipulation, pledge, promise; security; confirmation; asseveration, oath'. (Platts p.301)


gu;zarnaa (of which guzarnaa is a variant): 'To pass, go, elapse; to come to pass, to happen, to befall; to pass (by or over, - par ); to pass (through, par se , or se ); to pass (before, or under, or in review, - se ), to be put or laid (before, - se ), be presented; to pass (over, - se ), to overlook, to omit; to abstain (from), desist (from); to decline; — to pass (beyond), to surpass; to pass away, to die'. (Platts p.901)


paimaanah : 'A measure (for dry or wet goods); measure (of length, or capacity, &c.); a plane-scale (in land-measurement and mapping); a cup, bowl, goblet'. (Platts p.301)


Oh Cupbearer, the flourishingness of the season of the rose is joy-enhancing. Although we have taken a vow to renounce wine-drinking, now we have no need of a measurement, we want a wineglass!

== Asi, p. 234


By paimaa;N is meant 'repentance'. That is, the rose season has come. Now who would just sit there quietly?

== Zamin, p. 353

Gyan Chand:

Cupbearer, the springtime has created a mood of joy. Although we had made a promise not to drink wine, we want to ignore that promise and we want a glass of wine.

== Gyan Chand, p. 360


VOWS: {20,2}
WINE: {49,1}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of his choices; I thought it was interesting and have added it myself. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

Here's a classic mushairah verse. The first line is broad and bland; it's so conventional as to be almost meaningless. Even when (after of course a suitable delay) we are allowed to hear the second line, not until the last possible moment does the 'punch-word' appear, so that the semantic crystallization, the closural effect of the rhyming elements, and even the special delight of an echo effect that goes beyond mere internal rhyme, all explode at once in our ears and minds. And then, also in classic mushairah-verse style, the verse has burst like a balloon, and we feel no need to revisit it or devote further thought to it.

The main feature of the verse is a special, particularly explicit kind of wordplay: paimaan and paimaanah both have the root meaning of 'measuring' (see the definitions above). Philologically-- and phonetically-- speaking, they are variants of each other; but they're so cleverly framed within the verse that we experience them as semantically quite different.

There's also the remarkably wide range of se guzarnaa (see the definition above). To pass by, pass over, pass through, pass beyond-- as we hear the second line, these various possibilities jostle in our minds and distract us. Thus we're all the more unprepared for the final sudden hit of paimaanah .