Ghazal 234, Verse 13


varaq tamaam hu))aa aur mad;h baaqii hai
safiinah chaahiye is ba;hr-e be-karaa;N ke liye

1) the page has become complete, and praise remains
2) a boat/notebook is necessary for this boundless ocean/meter


safiinah : 'A ship, vessel, boat; --an oblong book, a blank book, commonplace book, note-book'. (Platts p.662)


ba;hr : 'Sea, gulf, bay; —s.f. Metre, verse; flow, rhythm;—fleet (of ships or boats)'. (Platts p.137)


The word 'boat/notebook' has an affinity with 'ocean/meter/ [ba;hr].

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, the page has become finished and praise still remains. A chapter is required for this ocean of encomium. (326)

Bekhud Mohani:

The page has become finished, and the praise hasn't become finished. For this boundless ocean (praise) a notebook is necessary. What use is a single page? In the meaning of safiinah is an iihaam , because its meaning is 'boat', which has an affinity with 'ocean'. (507)


WRITING: {7,3}

This verse appears to be a kind of concluding verse, wrapping up the four-verse quasi-verse-set that has just preceded it. That four-verse praise-set (praise-poem?) has a strikingly parallel introductory verse as well, in {234,8}. The two frame the four actual praise verses like bookends.

We can feel that the praise-drug is wearing off now, because this verse actually has something going on in it! It has some enjoyable bits of literary wordplay. Of course, by Ghalibian standards it's not all that much-- but compared to the previous four verses, it's a tour de force of sophistication.

On the translation of tamaam hu))aa as 'has become complete', see {38,1}.