Ghazal 158, Verse 8


fardaa-o-dii kaa tafriqah yak baar mi;T gayaa
kal tum gaye kih ham pah qiyaamat guzar ga))ii

1) the difference/separation between tomorrow and yesterday all at once became erased

2a) yesterday you went-- for/since/while Doomsday passed over me
2b) yesterday did you go, or did Doomsday pass over me?


fardaa : 'Tomorrow; (met.) the day of resurrection.... -- fardaa-e qiyaamat , The resurrection morn.' (Platts p.778)


dii : 'Yesterday (see diiroz and diishab ). (Steingass, p. 550)


tafriqah : 'Difference, distinction, separation, division; variance, discord, disunion'. (Platts p.329)


He says that the moment you left, by reason of self-unawareness and self-forgetfulness such a state came about that between today and tomorrow/yesterday there remained no distinction at all. And just such a thing is said about Doomsday too: that there, the past and the future will both turn into the present time. Thus it wasn’t that you went, it was as if Doomsday passed over me. For Doomsday to pass over has two meanings: for a time of extreme harshness to pass over, and for Doomsday itself to pass over.
==Urdu text: pp. 156-57 in Hali, Yadgar-e Ghalib


Although yesterday was yesterday, the 'tomorrow of Doomsday' confronted me, and tomorrow and yesterday came together in one single day. No difference/separation of past and future remained. (170)

== Nazm page 170

Bekhud Mohani:

Yesterday, the moment you left, such a self-lessness overtook us that we lost the power to distinguish between today and yesterday. The suffering of Doomsday passed over us.... That is, the moment you left, we departed from the world. (304-05)


QIYAMAT: {10,11}

Here is Ghalib being Ghalib, and what a treat it is. The confusion is radical-- what happened yesterday when you left? Was yesterday thus the metaphorical 'Tomorrow' (see definition above) of Doomsday? And if so, was it literally so (could Doomsday actually have happened, and I confused it with your leaving?), or simply metaphorically so (since your leaving was a Doomsday)? Or was I merely rendered so distraught by your leaving, that I can no longer tell night from day, or yesterday from tomorrow, in the most general sense? (I'm like someone waking after a terrible concussion and asking 'where am I? what day is it? what happened?'.)

There are, in short, so many possible combinations of literal and metaphorical readings that the whole thing becomes hopelessly convoluted. We readers are as confused and bewildered as the lover-- which is, no doubt, part of the point. The various senses of kih exemplified in (2a) can each be readily invoked, and each creates its own cleverly appropriate relationship with the first line.

Then there's the 'difference' or 'variance' of tafriqah nicely bumped up against the 'all at once' or 'completely' quality of yak baar .

This one reminds me of the even simpler and more eloquent {35,2}.

Note for grammar fans: Ghalib often takes advantage of the multivalences of kih , but as best I can judge, almost never does he unquestionably use it in the modern colloquial sense of 'or' ( yih hai , kih vuh hai ? ). In the case of this verse, it seems to me that he does, because the second line reads so well that way (2b). But I can't prove it, because there's also the excellent and quite sufficient reading of (2a), which is along the lines of his normal usage. Another such possible but by no means guaranteed example: {53,5}.