Ghazal 200, Verse 3


((aari.z-e gul dekh ruu-e yaar yaad aayaa asad
joshish-e bahaarii ishtiyaaq-angez hai

1) having seen the cheek/'ariz' of the rose, the face/aspect of the beloved came to mind, Asad
2) the ebullition/heat/turbulence of the season of spring is {desire/longing/ardor}-producing


((aari.z : 'Appearing, showing or presenting itself, happening, befalling, occurring; intervening, preventing, barring; --an occurrence, accident, casualty; an obstacle, impediment, bar; --the side of the face, the cheek; --reviewer of an army or of a body of soldiers, a muster-master; general of an army'. (Platts p.756)


ruu : 'Face, countenance; appearance, aspect; surface (of the earth, &c.); sake; cause, reason; colour, pretence'. (Platts p.602)


ishtiyaaq : 'Desire, strong inclination, longing, craving, yearning; love, fondness'. (Platts p.56)


To see dekh on an occasion for dekh kar is proper in poetry, but the poet's weakness can be perceived. (224)

== Nazm page 224

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, having seen the blooming flowers, oh Asad, we recall our friend's rose-colored cheek. The spring season is a producer of the turmoil of ebullition. (282)

Bekhud Mohani:

Having seen the cheek of the rose, the beloved's colorful face came to mind. The turmoil of the spring season is ardor-producing.

If by the cheek of the rose we take the presence of springtime in the world to be intended, then the meaning will be that the colorful glory/manifestation of creation inclines us toward the glory/manifestation of the True Beloved.

[In reply to Nazm:] To use dekh on an occasion for dekh kar is now not proper, it is rejected [matruuk]. In Mirza's time dekh and dekh kar were considered equally correct. The poetry of his contemporaries testifies to that. There are so many examples of it that it seems to be the normal custom. Thus to call it 'the poet's weakness' is a proof of unawareness. (393)



The commentators basically give the most obvious (and, to my mind, least interesting) meaning: when I see the face/cheek of the rose I think of the beloved's face, and the springtime makes me restless. But I think it's clear that there's more going on in the verse than just that.

This is what I call a verse of word-exploration, one that pivots around the multiple meanings of a single crucial word. Here the word is of course the unusual and striking ((aari.z (see the definition above), embedded for even more flexibility in the i.zaafat construction ((aari.z-e gul . The whole verse has been set up to bounce off or spin off endlessly from this one key word; and how well its multiple possibilities work! Here are some of them:

=when I saw the 'cheek/face' of the rose, the radiant face of the beloved came to mind
=when I saw the rose 'appear' and show itself, then the beloved's appearance/aspect came to mind
=when I saw the rose as a 'barrier' or 'impediment' (to mystical knowledge? to transcendance of the merely physical?), then the beloved's aspect came to mind-- the beloved who is herself also such a barrier; or the Beloved who is Himself the reality behind the barrier
=when I saw the rose as a 'general' reviewing the troops of spring, then the imperious and imperial aspect of the beloved came to mind

Needless to say in this kind of verse, the second line with its multi-purpose (physical and metaphorical) words joshish and ishtiyaaq , and its noncommittal grammar (which doesn't connect itself in any one specific way to lover, beloved, or rose), is broad and versatile enough to allow for all these readings, with room to spare.

Compare {27,8}, another subtle verse about a situation in which the beloved comes to mind.