us ;Gairat-e qamar kii ;xajlat se taab-e ru;x kii
aa))iinah to saraasar hotaa hai paanii paanii

1) from shame at the brightness/radiance of face, of that envy-of-the-moon
2) the mirror is [habitually] entirely {perspiring with shame / 'water water'}



;xajlat : 'Shame, &c.'. (Platts p.487)


paanii paanii honaa : 'To perspire with shame; to be overwhelmed with shame'. (Platts p.221)

S. R. Faruqi:

Before the beloved's beauty, the flower and the mirror both perspire with shame-- this theme is a common one. Thus, see


Then, there's this one in the third divan [{1267,1}]:

sab sharm-e jabiin-e yaar se paanii hai
har chand kih gul-e shiguftah-peshaanii hai

[everything perspires with shame before the forehead of the beloved
even if it is a rose {in full bloom / 'with a smiling forehead'}]

In the present verse there's nothing special, except that the wordplay of the juxtaposition of 'moon' and 'water' is fine; and the affinity between ;Gairat and paanii paanii honaa too is good. Since taab also means 'heat', in this regard too there's an affinity, since perspiration occurs in the heat.

With regard to the shine/glitter of a mirror, if we consider it to be water ( paanii ), then in this regard the mirror can also be considered to be a fountain or a river. Ghalib (in an unpublished verse):


With regard to these affinities, to say that the mirror is paanii paanii is interesting.

Because of the connection between the moon and water, to call the beloved 'envy of the moon' and to mention the glitter of her face, and because of that glitter to speak of the mirror as paanii paanii -- all this is very fine. In short, the verse is commonplace, but the wordplays and affinities have made it enjoyable.



I have nothing special to add.