Ghazal 219, Verse 4


bharam khul jaa))e :zaalim tere qaamat kii daraazii kaa
agar us :turrah-e pur-pech-o-;xam kaa pech-o-;xam nikle

1) the character/confusion/wandering/error of the tallness of your stature would be revealed/opened, cruel one
2) if the twisting and turning of that curl/crest full of twists and turns would {come out / 'emerge'}


bharam : 'Character, reputation, esteem, credit'. (Platts p.186)


bhram (with a variant reading of bharam ): 'Moving round, whirling; roaming, wandering, erring, straying; deviation, aberration; perplexity, bewilderment, confusion; maze, labyrinth; error, misapprehension, blunder, mistake, slip; doubt, suspicion; apprehension, supposition, presumption; ... -- bharam khulnaa : 'To be disclosed (a secret); to be exposed (pretensions).. (Platts p.186)


:turrah : 'Hair, or a fringe of hair, on the forehead; a forelock; a curl, ringlet; an ornament worn in the turban; an ornamental tassel, or border, &c.; a plume of feathers, a crest'. (Platts p.752)


pech : 'Turn, winding; revolution; involution; convolution; —twist, coil; plait, fold; —entanglement, complication, maze, perplexity, intricacy, ambiguity; hitch, difficulty, trouble; trick (in wrestling, &c.); artifice, stratagem; wiliness, craftiness; duplicity, deceit'. (Platts p.297)


;xam : 'A bend, curve, crook; a curl, knot, ringlet; a coil, fold, ply; crookedness, curvature; bending, flexure; —the part of a noose which encircles the neck; a noose'. (Platts p.493)


That is, the stature is less than the curls; the tallness of the stature gives beauty only until the hair is loosened. (249)

== Nazm page 249

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'Oh cruel one, people consider you to have the stature of a cypress only so long as your tresses are curly. If their knots would be loosened, then your height will begin to appear less.' (307)

Bekhud Mohani:

If from your curls, which are very full of twists and turns, the twists and turns would be removed, then the illusion of the tallness of your height would be revealed. (450)


CURLS: {14,6}

Here's a verse full of its own twists and turns. Thus bharam , a word that has its own (positive) meaning of 'character, credit', can also (and more relevantly) be read as a variant form of bhram , with negative meanings like 'confusion, wandering, error' (see the definitions above). So for it to be revealed could mean either that the 'character, credit' of the curl/crest would become known (perhaps even favorably), or that the 'confusion, error, doubt' about it might become publicly known (apparently unfavorably). And of course, the curl/crest [:turrah] itself can be either the curls, or a specially prominent portion of them, or an ornamental crest-jewel or plume (see the definition above); but taking it as 'curls' makes for better wordplay, since there's no particular reason for a crest-jewel or plume to be 'full of twisting and turning'.

The wordplay has even further complexities: 'to be opened' [khul jaanaa] not only means, by extension, 'to be revealed', but is also a common verb for loosening piled-up curls and letting them fall. It can also refer to the exposure of the face, as by removing of a veil-- or, confusingly, to the 'opening out' of a veil so that it falls over the face (see {14,6} for cleverly contrasted examples of both usages).

And what does it mean for the twisting-and-turning of the curl/crest to 'emerge'? It might emerge in the sense of 'to appear, to be produced', or else in the sense of 'to go away, to depart'; for more on these nuances see {219,1}.

So here are some of the main possibilities:

=If your high-piled curls would be loosened and would fall down, people would realize (unfavorably) that it was a trick, and you're not really as tall as you looked.

=If your high-piled curls would be loosened and would fall down, people would realize (admiringly) how beautiful they are, and the curls would have more 'credit'.

=If your intricately tangled curls would be straightened out, people would realize that they are actually even longer than you are tall; thus the curls would be admired more, and the stature would be admired less.

=If your ornately arranged curls would be revealed in all their twisting and turning glory, then people would realize (admiringly) that they are a legitimate part of the elegant tallness of your stature, and your stature would have more 'credit'.

Naturally (well, as 'naturally' as things can be in the ghazal world), the beloved's curls are hypnotically, hyperbolically long, dark, and densely tangled-- well suited to make lifelong bonds for her lover, as in {19,6}; or to induce in him many long, dark, faraway thoughts, as in {71,2}.