Ghazal 16, Verse 10x


.sub;h-e qiyaamat ek dum-e gurg thii asad
jis dasht me;N vuh sho;x-e do-((aalam-shikaar thaa

1) the dawn of Doomsday was a single/particular/unique/excellent wolf's-tail, Asad
2) in the desert in which that 'two-worlds'-hunting mischievous one was


shikaar : 'Hunting, the chase; prey, game; plunder, booty, pillage, spoil'. (Platts p.729)


That mischievous one who made the two worlds into a hunt/prey-- in the jungle/wilderness into which she went, even the dawn of Doomsday became the tail of a wolf. The tail of a wolf has been brought in only for wordplay; otherwise, the real meaning is the 'wolf of dawn' [.sub;h ka ;zab] from which here no fine outcome arises.

== Asi, p. 64


The 'tail of a wolf' is used as a metaphor for the 'crack of dawn', with regard to its length, delicacy, and blackness mixed with white. And do-((aalam-shikaar means one who hunts down both worlds. A wolf is a prey animal, and the beloved too is such a hunter [shikaarii] that the two worlds are her prey. Thus this is a wolf among a thousand wolves, and her desert is called the field of Doomsday. So what will the line of dawn of the field of Doomsday be? The tail of that very wolf! The gist is that her presence is more terrifying than Doomsday.

Apart from versifying the 'tail of a wolf', the composition of this verse appears to have no purpose. If they would be brought together, then many verses will emerge that have been composed in order to bring into Urdu some unidiomatic Persian word. But verses of this kind should not be called 'verses'.

== Zamin, pp. 58-59

Gyan Chand:

'Wolf's tail' is a Persian idiom for the crack of dawn. Whether you put an i.zaafat after sho;x or you don't, it makes no difference. In the dawn of Doomsday, there will be a great turmoil and commotion, a great wailing and lamentation. But the jungle/wilderness in which our beloved, hunter of the two worlds, went to hunt-- there she made prey of so many animals, she created such a Doomsday, that compared to it the dawn of Doomsday was diminished: it was reduced to merely the crack of dawn, in which there's no turmoil and confusion, no mischief and confusion.

== Gyan Chand, p. 95


[See his comments on Mir's M{115,4} and M{1419,5}.]


DESERT: {3,1}
DOOMSDAY: {10,11}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is NOT one of his choices; I thought it was interesting and have added it myself. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

In an enjoyable feat of wordplay, the dawn of Doomsday becomes merely a single 'wolf's tail' (an idiom for the white line of the first dawn along the dark horizon) in the desert where the beloved hunts. For more on this 'crack of dawn', see {67,1}. The dawn of Doomsday is thus reduced merely to an ordinary dawn; and in addition, a 'wolf's tail' is just the kind of minor trophy that the beloved might be expected to bear home from her hunt.

Although of course the multivalence of ek also opens the possibility that this particular wolf's tail may after all be a conspicuous or special one-- so that the beloved might actually deign to take special note of this particular trophy of the hunt.

The extension of her power over the two worlds (this present world and the world to come) works excellently with the idea of her treating the dawn of Doomsday as a mere wolf's tail. (On such Persianized 'two-worlds' constructions, see {18,2}.)