Ghazal 73, Verse 2

{73,2}

furo;G-e ;husn se hotii hai ;hall-e mushkil-e ((aashiq
nah nikle sham((a ke paa se nikaale gar nah ;xaar aatish

1) from the radiance/flame of beauty is the dissolving/melting of the lover's difficulty
2) it would not emerge from the foot of the candle, if fire did not remove it-- the thorn

Notes:

furo;G : 'Illumination, light, brightness, splendour; flame'. (Platts p.780)

 

;hall : 'Untying, loosing; dissolving, melting; solving, solution'. (Platts p.480)

Nazm:

They call the wick of the candle the 'thorn' of the candle, and the remover of this thorn is the flame of the candle. He has treated 'dissolving' as feminine; perhaps he was deceived by its being next to 'difficulty' [which is masculine]. Otherwise, the idiom is [to treat it as masculine]. (76)

== Nazm page 76

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, from the radiance/flame of beauty the lover's difficulty is solved, and he gives this illustration: that the thorn would never emerge from the foot of the candle, unless the flame would remove it. They call the wick of the candle the 'thorn of the candle', and he has told us that the remover of this thorn is the candle flame. It's an absolutely new thought, and has been presented with great excellence. (121)

Bekhud Mohani:

[As for Nazm's criticism,] it can't be shown by investigation whether this is an error of the scribe [kaatib], or of the author. The probable [;Gaalib] guess is that it would be of the scribe. (157)

FWP:

SETS == MUSHAIRAH
CANDLE: {39,1}

Here's a splendid mushairah verse. The first line is so broad and vague that we're given no idea of where the second line will jump to. Needless to say, under mushairah performance conditions, we'd be made to wait as long as conveniently possible before being allowed to hear the second line.

And then even when we heard the second line, we'd encounter a verb, and then another verb-- with no subject. Not until the very last possible moment, would we finally get, positioned as the rhyme-word, the punch-word ;xaar , All at once the whole verse would unfold its meaning in a sudden burst of pleasure and recognition. And then, also in mushairah-verse style, we'd know we'd gotten the full 'punch' from it, and we'd be ready to move on to the next verse, with no remaining questions and no further ado.

The basic image behind the verse is clear: the wick is a 'thorn' in the candle's foot, and it can't be removed except by the burning of the candle. The burning begins when a flame is applied, and ends in the 'death' of the candle in a little pool of cooling wax, its 'thorn' entirely consumed.

Similarly, the lover's suffering begins with the radiance/flame-- furo;G in its range of meanings is such a perfect word-- of the beloved. This fire of beauty kindles his inner being the way a flame kindles a wick. This fire, the source of the lover's pain (and delight), is also said to provide the 'solution of his difficulty'. (And of course, the secondary meanings of ;hall include, most enjoyably, 'melting' and 'dissolving'.) Nothing but the power of implication can enable us to conjecture what that difficulty might be-- the problem of how to live as a lover, how to endure the self-destructive suffering, how to cope with life at all.

Moreover, it's only by implication that we know how to connect the two lines, since nothing in the verse gives us any guidance. Yet how smoothly the connection makes itself in our minds. Just as the candle's painful 'thorn' is its heart, its essence, and is only to be removed through its burning-out and death, so the lover's suffering will have the same end. And the lover's end, like the candle's, is predestined from its beginning: the fiery beauty of the beloved lights the inner flame that will consume the lover, melting him right down until he and his 'difficulty' burn away together.

What a simple, elegant, classy, enjoyable verse-- and how much more vivid than the previous one, {73,1}! The candle-wick and thorn analogy in this verse is far better grounded and more satisfying than the unpersuasive use of sabzah-e ;xa:t as a fire extinguisher in the previous verse.