Ghazal 73, Verse 3x

{73,3x}

hu))ii hai baskih .sarf-e mashq-e tamkiin-e bahaar aatish
bah andaaz-e ;hinaa hai raunaq-e dast-e chanaar aatish

1) {to such an extent / because / although} it has been turning/changing the practice of dignity of the spring-- fire
2) in the style of henna, it is the radiance/color of the hand of the plane-tree-- fire

Notes:

.sarf : 'Turning; changing, converting; change, conversion; shifting or vicissitude (of fortune); passing, using, employing'. (Platts p.744)

 

mashq : 'Practice, usage, use'. (Platts p.1040)

 

tamkiin : 'Gravity, dignity, majesty, grandeur, greatness, authority, power'. (Platts p.337)

 

raunaq : 'Lustre, water (of a sword, &c.); brightness, splendour, beauty, elegance, grace, ornament; freshness, prime; colour, complexion; flourishing state or condition'. (Platts p.608)

 

chanaar : 'The plane-tree; the poplar; —a circle stained (by women) on the hand or foot with privet or ;hinaa '. (Platts p.443)

Asi:

Since fire is absorbed in the practice of the dignity of the spring, on the hand (by which leaves are meant) of the plane-tree color has remained like henna. Poets call a leaf of the plane-tree a 'hand' [panjah], and it's probable that it is also believed to be red. (135-36)

Zamin:

That is, fire has been absorbed in increasing the dignity and status of spring the way henna is; having become henna, it is absorbed in enhancing the radiance of the hand of the plane-tree. The cause of similitude is the color of the leaf and of henna, and the redness of fire; and the meaning of 'rose' (fire) is also involved. (199-200)

Gyan Chand:

Fire is absorbed in increasing the dignity and grandeur of spring; the leaves of the plane-tree in November become absolutely red, as if fire would have been lit in them. Thus fire is doing the work of henna on the hand of the poplar-tree-- that is, it is increasing its dignity. There are also some stories about fire emerging from within a poplar-tree.

== Gyan Chand, p. 228

FWP:

SETS == BASKIH; MUSHAIRAH; WORDPLAY
HENNA: {18,4}
SPRINGTIME: {13,2}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of his choices; I thought it was interesting and have added it myself. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

In this opening-verse we have a first line so abstract that we can't guess where the verse is going-- and also baskih to make sure that several possibilities open up for connecting the two lines. In proper mushairah-verse style, not until (after a suitable delay) we are allowed to hear the second line-- and even then, not until the very end of the line, with its punch-word chanaar -- can we at all understand the verse.

The second line presents us with metaphors of radiant redness: autumnal plane-tree 'hands' (=leaves), henna, fire. And when we finally hear chanaar , our pleasure is increased by knowing that 'plane-tree' is also a name for 'a circle stained (by women) on the hand or foot with privet or ;hinaa ' (see the definition above).

It seems that fire is autumn, or autumnal, for only thus can it bring radiant redness to the plane-tree leaves by means of 'turning, changing' the rich display of verdure (the 'practice of dignity') of the spring. Does the fire do this 'to such an extent' (such that it becomes henna)? Or is it 'because' the fire does this that it becomes henna? Or perhaps, 'although' the fire causes this (seemingly damaging) change, it nevertheless becomes henna? The excellent flexibility of baskih is put to good use.