Ghazal 13, Verse 5


hai;N baskih josh-e baadah se shiishe uchhal rahe
har goshah-e bisaa:t hai sar shiishah-baaz kaa

1a) {whereas / to such an extent} the glasses are leaping from the turbulence of wine
1b) although the glasses are leaping from the turbulence of wine

2) every corner of the carpet is a glass-player's head


baskih : 'although'; [also short for:]

az-bas kih : 'To such an extent that; --inasmuch as, whereas'. (Platts p.154)


uchhalnaa : 'To leap, bound, spring, jump; to spout up, fly out, gush out, spurt out; to fly or bounce up, shoot up; to dance about, cut capers'. (Platts p.28)


A glass-player is a man who, while doing his act, sways his hands and head. And by bisaa:t is meant a carpet with wine-glasses arranged in its corners.

== Nazm page 14


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {13}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

A 'glass-player' is a kind of juggler who, while doing his act, juggles glasses or bottles and puts them on his head and shoulder. As he dances, he moves them onto every part of his body. He [Ghalib] says that from the coming of the spring season, so much turbulence has been generated in the wine that wherever in the corners of the carpet full glasses of wine have been put, they are leaping in their places the way a glass leaps on the head and shoulder of a juggler when he sets it in motion, and then it settles down in the same place. (28)

Bekhud Mohani:

In the gathering of the rakish ones [rind], bottles of wine are arranged, and they are filled with such lively and powerful wine that the glasses are constantly leaping around, and the rakish ones, in the fervor of their intoxication, perceive every corner of the carpet to be dancing like the head of a glass-player. (28)


WINE: {49,1}

The two meanings of baskih -- as itself, and as a shortened form of az bas kih (see the definitions above)-- both work here to create an alternation of possibilities (almost like a juggling act) in the first line. The two meanings, which are basically those of 'whereas, since' and 'although', are opposites: the first one claims that B happens because of A, while the second one claims that B happens despite A. It's also possible to argue that 'whereas, inasmuch as, since' and 'to such an extent' have a nuance of difference, with the first one emphasizing simple causation and the second one emphasizing what might be called quantitative or accumulative causation.) For more on baskih , see {1,5}.

The first reading of 'whereas, inasmuch as, to such an extent, since' (1a) emphasizes the causal effect of the turbulent motion of the glasses, which seem to be waving and swaying as though they themselves are intoxicated. Thus they resemble the juggled glasses displayed by a 'glass-player'.

By contrast, (1b) asserts the power of the glass-player to keep them in control. Although they're moving and swaying back and forth in almost an alarming way, a real professional knows how to allow for such movement. (Bekhud Dihlavi describes the nature of the performance.) We know the glasses aren't going to fall-- it's just part of the skillful act that the 'glass-player' is performing.

If the glasses are metaphorically drunkards, the carpet is metaphorically a 'glass-player'. And of course, this vision of the room as swinging and swaying would come very naturally to someone who was intoxicated.