Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Faiz's- 'tum naa aae'e the'

What does Ghalib's 'khoon-e-jigar' mean in the context of Faiz's poem? My guess is that Ghalib is referencing a peculiarity in Bedil's theory of color which, because of its Sufi foundation, has a chilastic meaning. Ghalib, self-effacingly, mentions his use of astrology and philosophy to tart up his ghazals. Perhaps, the fact that the Marxist Revolution lives upon the memory of its doomed 1848 tryst,  and the further eschatalogical fact that all trysts fail prior to the final conflagration, and that this interregnum is one peculiarly favorable to a hypertrophy of doomed trysts, for Faiz unites him to Ghalib and Bedil by reason of a common elision of the method of Zattali- which, after all, is what the genius of the language calls for.

'Fore flamed our tryst all was as has come to pass
Horizon's mist, Road's twist, Wine red in the glass
But now that wine cup, road and azure Sky
Are the color of my heart where blood goes to die
Like the cataract in an old shepherd's eye
Or the egg stain on a Joint Secretary's tie
 Or some such recherche list rushing out of style
 Till, to curdle our tryst, you tarry awhile
Ah! my ragged song were, in Russian, Choral
Tho' in Urdu, now, just sloppy Oral

tum jo naa aa'e the to har chiiz vahii thii kih jo hai
aasmaaN hadd-e-nazar, raahguzar raahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai,

aur ab shiishaah-e-mai, raahguzar, rang-e-falak
rang hai dil kaa mere, "khoon-e-jigar hone tak"
champaa'i rang kabhii, raahat-e-diidaar kaa rang
sur'ma'ii rang kabhii, saa'at-e-bezaar kaa rang

zard pattoN kaa xas-o-xaar kaa rang
surkh phuuloN kaa, dahakte hu'e gulzaar kaa rang
zahar kaa rang, lahuu rang. shab-e-taar kaa rang

aasmaaN, rahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai
koii bhiigaa hu'aa daaman, ko'ii dukhtii hu'ii rag
ko'ii har lahzaah badaltaa hu'aa aa'iinaah hai

ab jo aa'e ho to Thahro kih koii rang, koii rut ko'ii shai
ek jagah par Thahre
phir se ik baar har ik chiiz vahii ho ke jo hai
aasmaaN hadd-e-nazar, rahguzar rahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai,

English Translation by Naomi Lazard

Before you came things were just what they were:
the road precisely a road, the horizon fixed,
the limit of what could be seen,
a glass of wine was no more than a glass of wine.

With you the world took on the spectrum
radiating from my heart: your eyes gold
as they open to me, slate the color
that falls each time I lost all hope.

With your advent roses burst into flame:
you were the artist of dried-up leaves, sorceress
who flicked her wrist to change dust into soot.
You lacquered the night black.

As for the sky, the road, the cup of wine:
one was my tear-drenched shirt,
the other an aching nerve,
the third a mirror that never reflected the same thing.

Now you are here again—stay with me.
This time things will fall into place;
the road can be the road,
the sky nothing but sky;
the glass of wine, as it should be, the glass of wine.


Anonymous said...

'My guess is that Ghalib is referencing a peculiarity in Bedil's theory of color which, because of its Sufi foundation, has a chilastic meaning.'
I'd be interested to hear why you think so. Sufis distinguish colour and odour with the former standing for the spatial aspect of external appearances and the latter denoting a spiritual essence which survives or transcends that external appearance of materiality. Thus the attar of the rose survives as an odour long after the blossoms of the rose garden have lost all colour and form.
I'm not aware of any 'chiliastic' element in Bedil. Are you linking him in some way to the Mujaddidi ideology that developed later?

windwheel said...

Hi, briefly, I think Bedil was sort off upping the ante, adding a layer of complexity- as it were- to the notions of 'rang' and 'boo' and how they relate to 'jalal' 'jamal' etc. I've got an essay on this- which needs updating and editing- which I'd love to get your criticism of?
My email is polypubsATgmaildotcom.
I'm not holding out for a Mujaddidi type link but there's some distinctly chiliastic background on the Bihari side, Bedil's youth, which I haven't seen mentioned in mainstream stuff- not that I'm a scholar- so, that might interest you.