Ghazal 194, Verse 3


;xvushaa iqbaal-e ranjuurii ((iyaadat ko tum aa))e ho
furo;G-e sham((-e baalii;N :taala((-e bedaar-e bistar hai

1) bravo to the prosperity/felicity of affliction! you've come to visit the sick--

2a) the light/glory of the candle of the pillow is the wakeful fortune of the bedding
2b) the wakeful fortune of the bedding is the light/glory of the candle of the pillow


iqbaal : 'Prosperity, good fortune, auspices, felicity; prestige'. (Platts p.63)


ranjuurii : 'Affliction, anguish; sickness'. (Platts p.600)


((iyaadat : 'Visiting (of the sick)'. (Platts p.767)


furo;G : 'Illumination, light, brightness, splendour; flame; --glory, fame, honour'. (Platts p.780)


bedaar : 'Awake, wakeful, sleepless; watching, watchful, vigilant, alert: -- bedaar-ba;xt , adj. Fortunate'. (Platts p.207)


The custom of lighting a candle at the head of the bed of a sick person is famous among poets; and among the qualities of a candle is wakefulness as well. He says, what a good thing this sickness is, that you came to see me! Now I consider the candle at the head of the bed to be my wakeful fortune, that when it fell on the bedding of sickness, the fortune glowed. (217)

== Nazm page 217

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The meaning is that my sickness is a means of good fortune, in that you have come to inquire about me. (277)

Bekhud Mohani:

How can the good fortune of sickness be expressed, in that you have come to inquire about me! Now the light of the candle burning at the head of my bed is is the glow of the fortune of the bedding. That is, now it's not a candle that has been lit, but rather my fortune is shining.

[Or:] The wakeful fortune of the bedding is for me a candle at the head of the bed. (383)


CANDLE: {39,1}

The first line offers us the paradox of the 'prosperity/felicity' of 'affliction/anguish'. But instead of leaving us in perplexity, the line then at once proceeds to explain: the beloved comes to visit the sick lover, and naturally he considers any amount of illness a small price to pay for such bliss.

Perhaps the lover is even a bit delirious, because he imagines that the flame of the candle beside his bed is really the bright, radiant 'wakeful' fortune of the bedding. A 'wakeful' fortune is a metaphor for a lively, active one that is on the job and alert to bring you advantage; thus the common name 'Bedar Bakht'. So the bedding, designed for and associated with sleep, has an enjoyably paradoxical 'wakeful' fortune. It has this fortune either in its own right, since even physical objects rejoice in the presence of the beloved, or else as an emblem and means of the lover's own wakeful fortune.

Or, since symmetry exists in 'A is B' contexts like that of the second line, it might also be-- as Bekhud Mohani observes-- that the radiant fortune of the bedding (and, by extension, of the sick lover who lies in it) is so dazzlingly bright that it seems to mimic, or augment, or act as, the candle placed at the head of a sick person's bed.

The second line is thus a baroque elaboration of, and meditation on, the paradoxical good fortune described in the first line. Not a terrible verse, but not exactly unforgettable either. For a far more satisfying use of the 'A,B' structure, see the next verse, {194,4}.

This is one of the set of verses in which the beloved visits the lover; for others, see {106,2}.