aafaaq kii manzil se gayaa kaun salaamat
asbaab lu;Taa raah me;N yaa;N har safarii kaa

1) from the destination/'halting-place' of the horizons, who has gone in safety?
2) the baggage of every traveler was looted, here, on the road



aafaaq : 'Horizons; quarters of the heavens; quarters of the world; regions'. (Platts p.61)


manzil : 'A place for alighting, a place for the accommodation of travellers, a caravansary, an inn, a hotel; a house, lodging, dwelling, mansion, habitation, station;... --a day's journey; --a stage (in travelling, or in the divine life); --place of destination, goal; boundary, end, limit'. (Platts p.1076)

S. R. Faruqi:

He has used this theme in a new way in the fifth divan:


Everything in creation is a source of harm and suffering to mankind. Ghalib has, in his sarcastic mode, composed this theme very well [in a Persian verse]:

'Oh Lord, you who have set the sky over us to loot and kill us--
the things that the thief has taken away from our house, are they not already in your treasury?'

Ghalib's verse is complex, and its style mischievous, but in his verse there's not that dramaticness that the rhetorical question in Mir's first line has created. In Mir's second line there's the 'mood' of a voice spreading far into the distance, as if someone would be calling out again and again, 'the baggage of every traveler was looted, here, on the road'. To this mood the repeated sounds of alif have given reinforcement. The word asbaab makes it clear that Mir has a strong grip on reality. A single simple-looking word-- how close it has brought the verse to everyday life!

[See also {20,5}.]



This is really a marvel of a verse. I could add to SRF's account of its excellences the description of the horizons as a manzil , with all the senses given in the definition above. Journeys are often measured out in such units, so that the sense of a transitory encampment or way-station of some kind is very strong. Yet the word can also refer to a final destination (as when Faiz says at the end of 'Dawn of Independence' [.sub;h-e aazaadii], 'Come along, move on, for that destination has not yet come' [chale chalo kih vuh manzil abhii nahii;N aa))ii].

Since none of us travelers knows what lies beyond the horizons, a word so full of possibilities is beautifully appropriate. And it's all too true to point out that by the time we get there, everything we have has been taken from us. But for a very different view of the situation, see Ghalib's