Ghazal 145, Verse 11x


hujuum-e rezish-e ;xuu;N ke sabab rang u;R nahii;N saktaa
;hinaa-e panjah-e .saiyaad mur;G-e rishtah bar-paa hai

1) because of the onrush/impetuosity of the scattering of blood, the color could not fade/'fly'
2) the henna of the Hunter's hand/clutch/grasp is a bird with a string on its foot


hujuum : 'Rushing (upon, or at, - par ); attacking; crowding, swarming (round, or about, - par ); —assault, attack; effort; impetuosity; —crowd, throng, concourse, mob; a swarm'. (Platts p.1221)


panjah : 'The hand with the fingers extended; claw, paw (of a tiger, &c.); clutch, grasp, possession, power'. (Platts p.271)

Gyan Chand:

The beautiful Hunter shed the blood of many birds. Because of this, the color of the henna [mih;Ndii] of her hands could not 'fly'/fade. It keeps on remaining red from blood, since the color of henna cannot 'fly'. The meaning of this is that henna itself is like a captured bird. A mur;G-e rishtah bar paa is a bird on whose foot a cord would have been tied, and who would be unable to fly. (368)


BONDAGE: {1,5}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices.

On ordinary women's hands, the brilliant red designs made with henna lighten and eventually fade away. (For more on henna, see {18,4}.) But the beloved is no ordinary woman! She's so constantly and effectively murderous that ever-fresh sprays of blood keep her hands perpetually patterned with henna-red. Thus the color doesn't have a chance to fade.

And since the verb for the fading of color is u;Rnaa , literally 'to fly', the henna becomes a small winged bird-like creature in the 'hand' (or 'claw', or clutch) of a ruthless captor. Because it can't 'fly' away, it must obviously have a string on its leg. Without the wordplay of u;Rnaa , could this verse even exist at all?

For another verse about color and its 'taking flight', see {7,2}.

To turn blood into henna doesn't at all tax the powers of the beloved-- we see in {230,2} that she can easily turn a solid metal mirror into henna.