Ghazal 6, Verse 6


dil me;N phir girye ne ik shor u;Thaayaa ;Gaalib
aah jo qa:trah nah niklaa thaa so :tuufaa;N niklaa

1a) in the heart weeping again/then raised a single/particular/excellent/unique tumult, Ghalib
1b) in the heart weeping again/then raised a single/particular/excellent/unique tumult, that prevailed

2a) ah, that drop that hadn't emerged-- it turned out to be a typhoon
2b) ah, that drop that hadn't emerged! --thus a typhoon emerged


ek : 'One, single, sole, alone, only, a, an; the same, identical; only one; a certain one; single of its kind, unique, singular, preëminent, excellent'. (Platts p.113)


shor : 'Cry, noise, outcry, exclamation, din, clamour, uproar, tumult, disturbance; renown; ... —salt, brackish ... very bitter; —unlucky'. (Platts p.736)


;Gaalib : 'Overcoming, overpowering, victorious, triumphant, prevailing, predominant, prevalent'. (Platts p.768)


That is, the weeping over which my self-control proved a conqueror [;Gaalib], I took to be even less than a drop. Now it has become a typhoon and become a conqueror [;Gaalib] over me. (7)

== Nazm page 7


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {6}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The word phir alludes to the meaning that in weeping such a great noise and tumult arose-- like the sound of the noise and tumult of water which is created in turbulent rivers or oceans. He says, the first time, when I had controlled that turmoil to such an extent that I didn't permit even a single drop to emerge from the eyes-- it's a pity that now it has emerged as a river and assumed the form of a typhoon. The gist of the verse is that gradually passion gathered the equipment for manifesting itself. (17)

Bekhud Mohani:

Again I am weeping uncontrollably. And my heart is entering into a strange state. The drop that had not emerged, because of my control-- now the turmoil of weeping has made it into a typhoon. Or: what we had considered to be not even a drop, is now showing the tumult and confusion of a typhoon. (12-13)


[See his commentary on M{722,10}.]


DROP/OCEAN: {21,8}

EK verses: {4,8x}***; {6,6}*; {10,1}; {10,4}; {10,6}; {10,9}; {14,5}**; {15,14}; {16,10x}; {18,5}; {24,6}; {25,5}; {25,7}; {26,2}; {29,1}; {36,5}; {40,3x}*; {42,4}; {43,3}; {49,10}; {54,2}; {61,7}; {62,8}*; {68,5}; {72,4}; {78,1}; {78,5}; {78,6}**, vs. yak ; {85,4}; {86,7}; {87,7}; {87,8}; {88,1}; {91,1}; {92,1}; {97,9}; {97,10}; {98,8}; {108,2}; {119,6}; {123,11}; {124,4}; {127,2}; {131,5}; {132,1}; {132,2}; [{132,3}, controlled case]; {135,1}; {138,1}; {150,2x}**; {157,4}; {158,1}; {159,6}; {160,6}; {164,11}; {169,12}; {173,6}; {173,9}; {174,6}*; {175,5}; {176,6}; {185,3}; {185,4x}; {186,2}; {186,4}*; {190,10}; {197,2}; {208,2}*; {208,12}; {221,4x}, yak ; {229,4}; {231,2}; {231,5}; {234,4}, as 'whole' // {248x,4}; {266x,2}; {282x,5}; {307x,1}; {335x,3}; {413x,9}

The word shor as a noun means tumult or clamor; as an adjective, salty or brackish (see the definition above, and also {4,7}), so that the wordplay is enjoyable. With the salt water of a single tear, and the wind of a single sigh [aah], the lover can't help but generate a typhoon. That aah at the beginning of the second line is perfectly positioned-- it not only is the word for a sigh, but also itself is a sigh, and with colloquial perfection introduces an entirely sigh-worthy predicament.

This theme of the (deadly) power of the unexpressed is a very Ghalibian one. It's the one drop that didn't emerge (in the form of tears), not the many more that did emerge, which is destined to become the seed of future tempests. For a related example, see {44,2}, in which the lover warns the beloved of the consequences if he is not permitted to express his laments.

But of course, that drop could be an undescribed one (since ek can be read merely as 'a, an'); or it could be a 'single, sole' one; or it could be a 'certain' one (of some particular kind); or it could be a 'unique, singular' one (like no other); or it could be a 'preeminent, excellent' one. How we read the ek -- of which ik is of course a metrically shortened version-- will play a large part in our interpretation of the whole verse. Similarly, phir could mean either 'again', or merely 'then'. As so often, Ghalib leaves us to decide the question for ourselves.

Also connected to the verse is the theme of the drop and the ocean as microcosm and macrocosm. For examples and discussion, see {21,8}.

Mir, by contrast, makes his own typhoon not from a teardrop, but from a single drop of blood: M{108,10}.