jis .said-gaah-e ((ishq me;N yaaro;N kaa jii gayaa
marg us shikaar-gah kaa shikaar-e ramiidah thaa

1) that hunting-place of passion in which the friends' lives went/departed--
2) death was, of that hunting-place, a terrified/afflicted/'fled' prey-animal



.said : 'Hunting; the chase; game, chase, prey, an object of the chase; an animal pursued, or fished for, or ensnared, &c. (syn. shikaar ); quarry (of a hawk)'. (Platts p.747)


ramiidah : 'Terrified, alarmed, scared, horror-struck, disturbed, afflicted'. (Platts p.599)


ramiidah : 'Horror-struck, disturbed, afflicted; offended, indignant, having an antipathy; -- ramiidah-o-aaramiidah , Moveables and immoveables; -- ;xaanah-ramiidah , Escaped from the house; fugitive from home'. (Steingass p.587)

S. R. Faruqi:

Ghalib has taken this theme a bit further [in an unpublished verse]:


But despite the beauty of 'wolf's tail' (the crack of dawn) and sho;x-e do-((aalam shikaar , because of a deficiency, the verse remained incomplete [kachchaa]. The deficiency is that nowhere in the verse is it made clear that in that desert in which the mischievous one was a hunter of the two worlds', the existence of the dawn of Doomsday was no more than the crack of dawn. That is, in the first line there ought to have been 'there', or some other word of this kind. In Ghalib's verse the subtleties of meaning are certainly more than in Mir's verse, but Mir's verse is more well-formed, and is also not devoid of pleasures of meaning.

If death was a prey that had fled [shikaar-e ramiidah], then the meaning of this is that death was not in the hunting-place. But the lovers had nevertheless been mortally wounded-- that is, they had been killed without death! Or perhaps even if death wouldn't be there, then death still comes to the lover. In the world people may die or not die-- but in a place where death is not, even there the lover's life leaves him.

A second aspect is that the desert or hunting-place in which the lovers gave up their lives was so terrifying that death, which in the world is the most terrifying thing, had been frightened by it and had fled away. But the lover still is steadfast; finally his life departed. There's a wordplay between gayaa and ramiidah .

[See also {324,6}.]



SRF is invoking ramiidah as 'having fled' [bhaagaa hu))aa], a related sense of the word. If we take ramiidah to mean 'terrified, afflicted' (see the definitions above), then Death might have been present in the hunting-ground, cowering and panic-stricken.

The action, whatever it is, takes place in the .said-gaah-e ((ishq , the 'hunting-ground of passion'. But what exactly is that? Thanks to the versatility of the izafat, 'Passion' might itself be the hunting-ground, or the owner of the hunting-ground, or a prey-animal in the hunting-ground, or the location of the hunting-ground, or connected to it in some other way.

The 'friends'-- the speaker's fellow-lovers-- and Death had one thing in common: they were all prey-animals in the 'hunting-ground of passion'. But presence in that hunting-ground is all that the friends and Death had in common. For they held their ground, and didn't flee from its terrors. While as for Death-- Death, completely panicked and unmanned, either turned and fled (for its 'life'?), or else cowered in helpless panic. A fact with two conspicuous implications: (1) that the beloved, the spear-point of passion, is utterly deadly and terrifying in her beauty, so that even Death couldn't bear to face her), and only true lovers could be her proper prey; and (2) that since Death might have been incapacitated, or might already have fled from the hunting-ground, the hunted-down lovers might have been left in some strange mystically suspended state. In the absence of Death, were they unable to die? Or can we imagine Death as managing to make a special, quick, nervous dash to reclaim them?