milaa hai ;xaak me;N kis kis :tara;h kaa ((aalam yaa;N
nikal ke shahr se ;Tuk sair kar mazaaro;N kaa

1) what-all kinds of a world/situation/state/scene has mingled with the dust here?!
2) come out of the city and just take a bit of a stroll among the graves/tombs



((aalam : 'The world, the universe; men, people, creatures; regions; kingdom (in comp., e.g. 'vegetable-kingdom'); —age, period, time, season; state, condition, case, circumstances; a state of beauty; a beautiful sight or scene'. (Platts p.757)


sair : 'Moving about, strolling, stroll, ramble, walk, taking the air, airing, perambulation, excursion, tour, travels; recreation, amusement; scene, view, spectacle, landscape'. (Platts p.711)


mazaar : 'A place of visitation; —a shrine; a sepulchre, tomb, grave'. (Platts p.1028)

S. R. Faruqi:

He has versified this theme in other places as well. In the first divan [{603,8}]:

zer-e falak bhalaa to rove hai aap ko miir
kis kis :tarah kaa ((aalam yaa;N ;xaak ho gayaa hai

[beneath the heavens-- for goodness sake, you have to weep, Mir!
what-all kind of world has here become dust]

In the fifth divan [{1616,2}]:

kiyaa hai ((ishq-e ((aalam-kash ne kya suthraa))o logo;N ko
nikal chal shahr se baahar na:zar kar ;Tuk mazaaro;N par

[what a cleaning-out has world-attracting passion given to people!
come along out of the city-- take a bit of a look at the graves]

But in the present verse, the double meaning of 'to mingle with the dust' gives full pleasure.

Nasikh has tried to give this theme an unnecessary intellectuality. His verse is inferior to all three verses of Mir's:

kar chuke iqliim va;hshat me;N bahut josh-o-;xarosh
chand muddat ((aalam-e shahr-e ;xamoshaa;N dekhiye

[the world-regions have already created much turmoil in their wildness
for some while, please look at the situation/state of the city of the silent ones]

He hasn't mentioned a convincing reason for seeing the situation of the city of the silent ones, although in order to use this theme Nasikh looked for exactly some such convincing justification for a stroll around the graves. In any case, the word ;xarosh is good because of its affinity with ;xamosh -- that is, if 'city of the silent ones' would be taken in its dictionary meaning. (In Mir's day, sair was usually treated as masculine.)

Another point is that in cities a variety of situations [:tara;h :tara;h kaa ((aalam] exist, but in order to see which sorts of situation have been mingled with the dust, or what is habitually the outcome of those situations, a stroll among the graves is necessary. That is, look at the world in cities, and look at its outcome in graves.

The advice to come out of the city, too, is very fine. because there's usually a hustle and bustle at the graves of cities. Or else because in the atmosphere of the city the mysterious and melancholy atmosphere of the graves isn't fully experienced; for this reason it's necessary to come out of the city. And in old times, graves indeed used to be outside the towns.



It's an entirely insha'iyah verse, and the 'kya effect' means that the first line can be a genuine question, or else an exclamation of mournful sorrow or melancholy pride. But why does the question or exclamation in the first line lead to the advice, or request, in the second line? Here are some possibilities:

=All the colorful life of the city is doomed to die; a little look at the graves will bring home this melancholy truth.

=The graves house the whole history of the city, and form a pleasant garden scene-- come out and let's stroll through them, and enjoy seeing the sights, and maybe have a picnic.

=The human complexities of the life of the city are unknowable; in order to meditate on (or to escape from) their convolutions, come out into a peaceful, simple realm where they no longer exist.

=The only way to see the city whole, and know what it's really like, is to 'look' (metaphorically or even literally) at it from outside, from the vantage point of the graves where its earlier makers and shapers lie.

Such readings depend crucially on the verse's tone (melancholy? detached and neutral? didactic? even perhaps flirtatious?)-- which is, as so often, left for us to decide. And then, we also have to ask ourselves whether 'here' means 'in the city', or 'in the graveyard', or 'in this mortal world'. The general 'intimations of mortality' theme tends toward melancholy-- but then, the casual, pleasure-inclined idea of a 'stroll' pulls the verse strongly toward worldly enjoyment; it might of course be used ironically, but then it equally well might be absolutely straightforward.

The beautifully chosen word ((aalam also does a tremendous amount of work. It can mean 'world', so that the 'world' of the living is juxtaposed to that of the dead. Or it can mean 'age, season', so that the living generation in the city is juxtaposed to their grandparents' generation in the graves. Or it can mean 'situation, condition', so that the 'situation' of those who live in the city is juxtaposed to that of those who rest in the graves outside it. Or it can mean a Sufistic 'state' of mystical attainment and awareness. Or it can mean a 'beautiful scene', just the kind that's proper for an enjoyable little 'stroll'.