abr-e bahaar ne shab dil ko bahut jalaayaa
thaa barq kaa chamaknaa ;xaashaak-e aashiyaa;N tak

1) the spring [rain-]cloud last night very much burned the heart
2) there was a flashing of lightning as far as the debris of the nest



;xaashaak : 'Sweepings, chips, shavings, leaves, rubbish, trash'. (Platts p.484)

S. R. Faruqi:

This theme he has expressed, with a slightly different aspect, in the sixth divan [{1832,7}]:

dil dha;Rke hai jo bijlii chamke hai suu-e gulshan
pahu;Nche mubaad merii ;xaashaak-e aashiyaa;N tak

[the heart pounds when lightning flashes in the direction of the garden
God forbid that it should arrive as far as the debris of my nest!]

But in the present verse, the theme is more subtle/refined and the structure more eloquent. A 'spring cloud' is wet; through this affinity it very much burnt the heart-- this is extremely fine.

Then, at night the flashing of the lightning and the mood of the storm of rain is something extraordinary; in it one feels a strange, mysterious power and an uncontrolled turmoil and destructive but mindless and savage abundance. In this respect the reference to 'night' doubles the 'mood' of the verse. Then, in the darkness of night the heart's burning not only assumes the guise of light-creation, but also confronts that flashing of the lightning.

In the second line there are three aspects, only one of which (that is, the nest consisting of debris) is common to both {1832,7} and the present verse. By the 'nest consisting of debris' is meant that the nest was nothing, it was only a heap of dry grass and straw-- that is, it wasn't even a regular nest. Because of abject poverty, he had only collected a few straws. But another reading can be that the rain and high winds had overthrown the nest and left merely a heap of debris. Another possible reading is that there was no nest at all, only some debris-- that is, the debris that he calls, and considers, a nest.

Now please look at other aspects of the second line. The lightning kept flashing only as long as the debris of the nest remained; when the lightning burned up the debris, its flashing and thundering too came to an end. That is, the prose form of the line will be like this: barq kaa chamaknaa ;xaashaak-e aashiyaa;N ( ke hone ) tak thaa . Another aspect is that the lightning was flashing again and again, and its light, or its heat, was reaching as far as the dry grass and straw nest.

In the present verse there's also the implication that the speaker is not far from the nest and the garden, but rather is somewhere near, imprisoned in some cage, and from there the scene of the garden and the lightning is visible. In {1823,7} there's an implication of distance, the garden and the nest are not in view, the speaker only knows in which direction the garden is. In that verse the situation is immediate; thus the effect is a bit different and less intense.

In the present verse, the situation of the previous night has been described, and it's been explained what happened to the speaker and his nest-- that is, what the speaker did when the nest burned, or when after the whole night the speaker saw the lightning flickering near the nest, how he felt as morning came. It's only been said that because of the spring cloud, last night the heart burned very much.

Now the interesting situation comes before us that the act of burning the heart was done by the spring cloud, not by lightning. That is, if I were not in a cage, then even if I had been far from the nest, I would freely have enjoyed the spring cloud. Despite the cage or the Hunter, to declare the spring cloud to be the cause of his melancholy has an extraordinary pleasure. It's a fine verse.



I have nothing special to add to SRF's fine discussion.