kyaa kam hai haul-naakii .sa;hraa-e ((aashiqii kii
shero;N ko us jagah par hotaa hai qush((ariiraa

1) is it a small thing, the terrifyingness of the desert of 'lover-ship'?
2) in that place, the tigers [habitually] have their hair standing on end



haul-naak : 'Terrible, dreadful, frightful, horrible, horrid, terrifying, dismal, dreary; dangerous, perilous'. (Platts p.1242)


qush((ariirah : 'Horripilation, the hair standing on end from horror'. (Platts p.791)

S. R. Faruqi:

qush((ariirii = for (animals') hair to stand on end, out of ardor or fear; to quiver

About the terrifyingness of the desert of passion Mir has composed a number of verses. See


An uncommon verse like the present one, even Shakespeare could have thought of of only once in many years. As supreme as the image is, it's equally amazing, insightful, and emotionally powerful; and with regard to its similitude, it's also equally true. On the basis of being emotionally powerful and true in its simile, to then produce a devastating word like qash((ariirii -- another such example is provided only by Mir himself [{1051,11}]:

kaa;Nptaa huu;N mai;N to terii abruu))o;N ka ;xam hu))e
qash((ariirah kyaa mujhe talvaar ke kuchh ;Dar se hai

[I tremble when your eyebrows become bent--
do I quiver with any fear of a sword?!]

In {1051,11} the second meaning of qash((ariirah , 'to quiver', is appropriate. but qash((ariirah is used for the kind of quivering that is caused by fever and so on, not the quivering that's due to fear.

In the present verse both meanings are extremely appropriate-- tigers experience quivering, the way humans experience fever. This latter meaning has become appropriate because he has mentioned the terrifyingness of the desert of passion, but he hasn't explained the reason for the tigers' qash((ariirah . If he had said that 'the tigers quiver because of fear', then that wouldn't have done the trick.

And the intensity and meaningfulness of the image of the hair standing on end out of fear-- well, what is there to say! This discussion also proves that merely a word's being new, or a simile or an image's being unique, is not always enough. Correctness of meaning is also necessary.

Mir has also used qash((ariirah in his shikaar-naamah-e duvvum :

nah tiirah ho roz-e gozannaan-o-gor
kih shero;N ko bhii qash((ariirah hai zor

[may the day of death not be black!
for even tigers quiver greatly]

[See also {255,2}; {1800,4}.]



Is the desert of 'lover-ship' [((aashiqii] the same as the desert of 'passion' [((ishq]? Passion would seem to be a feeling, while 'lover-ship' sounds like a vocation.