Ghazal 187, Verse 1


siimaab pusht-garmii-e aa))iinah de hai ham
;hairaa;N kiye hu))e hai;N dil-e be-qaraar ke

1) quicksilver gives support/'back-hotness' to the mirror; we
2) are [in a state of having been] made amazed/stupefied by the restless/agitated heart


de hai is an archaic form of detaa hai (GRAMMAR)


;hairaan : 'In a state of confusion or perplexity; perplexed, bewildered, distracted, confounded, astonished (at, - se ), disturbed; harassed, plagued, worried, distressed'. (Platts pp. 482-83)


be-qaraar : 'Restless, uneasy, discomposed, disturbed in mind, disquieted, anxious, distracted; unsettled, variable, vacillating, inconstant'. (Platts p.203)


He says, quicksilver gives support to the mirror; that is, with the aid of quicksilver the mirror is a mirror. In the same way, the restless heart has made us, like the mirror, into head-to-foot amazement. (209)

== Nazm page 209

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'The way through quicksilver the mirror is illumined and takes on an aspect of amazement, in the same way the restless heart has made us into head-to-foot amazement.' The meaning is that through quicksilver the mirror obtains the ability to show reflections, in the same way through the restless-hearted lover people obtain the power to be exalted by the beloved's glory/appearance. (268)

Bekhud Mohani:

The meaning is that finally restlessness takes on the aspect of amazement. (366)


MIRROR: {8,3}

The commentators are sure that the verse intends to present us with similarities between the mercurial mirror and the restless-hearted lover. But of course, the verse simply presents us with two flat statements, and provides no connection between them. So we have to figure out their relationship for ourselves. This kind of structure also forces us to decide for ourselves which aspects of the mirror and lover are being compared and/or contrasted, and exactly how.

Just to make sure we have to work at this, the second line emphasizes a paradoxical-seeming process by which a 'restless/agitated' (that is, excessively active) heart makes the speaker 'amazed/stupefied' (that is, petrified and unmoving; on the nature of ;hairat see {51,9x}).

Here are some possible relationships of resemblance:

=Quicksilver-- another name for mercury-- is constantly moving and flowing; similarly, so is the restless heart.
=Quicksilver is the essence of the mirror; similarly, heart-restlessness is the lover's essence.
=Quicksilver helps the mirror respond to the beloved's beauty; similarly, the restless heart helps the lover to do so.
=The mirror responds to the beloved's beauty with amazement (see {63,1}); similarly, so does the lover.
=Constantly-moving quicksilver causes the mirror to be unmoving with amazement at the beloved's beauty; similarly, the lover's constantly-moving heart causes him to be unmoving with amazement at the beloved's beauty.

And here are some possible relationships of contrast:

=Quicksilver supports and helps the mirror; by contrast, the restless heart renders the lover helpless with amazement.
=Quicksilver renders the mirror active and properly functional (that is, able to reflect things); by contrast, the restless heart renders the lover passive and dysfunctional (stupefied with amazement).
=A mirror uses a separate backing (a layer of quicksilver) to make it work; the lover uses only his own restless heart to enable him to 'mirror' the beloved's beauty.

For another complex example involving mirrors and amazement, see {116,8}.