us aaftaab-e ;husn kii jalve kii kis ko taab
aa;Nkhe;N udhar kiye se bhar aataa hai vuuhii;N aab

1) for the glory/appearance of that sun of beauty, who has the power/'heat'?
2) from turning the eyes that way, at once water fills the eyes



taab : 'Heat, warmth; burning, inflaming; pain, affliction, grief; anger, indignation, wrath, rage; light, radiance, lustre, splendour; strength, power, ability, capability; endurance, brooking'. (Platts p.303)


jalvah : 'Manifestation, publicity, conspicuousness; splendour, lustre, effulgence'. (Platts p.387)


vuhii;N (a variant of vahii;N ): 'That very place; in that same or very place, just there; —that very time, that same or very instant, just then, precisely at that moment; immediately, at once; forthwith; —in that very manner, just so, even so'. (Platts p.1206)


aab : 'Water; water or lustre (in gems); temper (of steel, &c.); edge or sharpness (of a sword, &c.); sparkle, lustre; splendour; elegance'. (Platts p.1)


aa;Nkh bhar [ke] dekhnaa : 'To look (at) till (one's) curiosity is fully satisfied; to stare steadily and long (at); to bestow a full gaze (upon), to cast angry looks (at), look angry or threatening (at); —to cast amorous glances (at), gaze amorously (upon)'. (Platts p.95)

S. R. Faruqi:

The opening-verse is by way of introduction. But from gazing toward the sun of beauty, for the eye to fill with water is fine. There's also the testimony of common experience that from looking toward the sun, the eyes fill with water. Then, this weeping can also be the tears of longing and despair. And there's also the fact that when the eyes would be full of water, nothing can be seen.

The wordplay of aab meaning 'glitter' and taab meaning 'heat, glitter' is interesting.

This same theme he has expressed like this in the third divan [{1109,5}]:

kis :taur se bhar aa;Nkh ko))ii yaar ko dekhe
us aatishii;N-ru;xsaar se hotii hai na:zar aab

[in what way would anyone see the beloved to his {heart's content / 'eye's fullness'}?
because of that fiery face, the gaze is water]

[See also {1296,7}.]



This ghazal begins with two opening-verses. SRF has chosen only the second for SSA. The first can be seen in the main ghazal index.

SRF points out the wordplay of aab and taab -- and please see the definitions above to appreciate how their meanings both diverge and converge. There's also the extra fillip of aaftaab .

And surely we should add the hovering presence of the excellently suitable idiomatic expression aa;Nkh bhar dekhnaa (see the definition above). For the 'looking' part is clearly supposed by the whole verse, and the aa;Nkh and the bhar are right there in the second line. In fact, the whole idiom is invoked in the first line of {1109,5}, cited by SRF. No one can look as much as he wants to at the beloved; 'get an eyeful' would be a great translation, if it didn't have such crude overtones. No one can metaphorically 'fill' his eyes with the sight of the beloved, because his eyes 'fill' with water instead, so that his gaze is blocked.

Note for meter fans: It seems that vuuhii;N (or vohii;N ?) has its lengthened initial vowel for the sake of the meter. Otherwise, it's just vuhii;N , a variant form of vahii;N , which of course is vahaa;N plus hii . See the definition above.