dair-o-;haram se gu;zre ab dil hai ghar hamaaraa
hai ;xatm is aabile par sair-o-safar hamaaraa

1) we've passed by/through/beyond temple and Ka'bah; now the heart is our home
2) on this 'blister' our excursion and journey is completed



gu;zarnaa : 'To pass (through, par-se , or se ); to pass (before, or under, or in review, - se ), to be put or laid (before, - se ), be presented; to pass (over, - se ), to overlook, to omit; to abstain (from), desist (from); to decline; —to pass (beyond), to surpass; to pass away, to die'. (Platts p.901)


sair : ' Moving about, strolling, stroll, ramble, walk, taking the air, airing, perambulation, excursion, tour, travels'. (Platts p.711)

S. R. Faruqi:

The opening-verse is by way of introduction. But for the excursion and journey to be completed on a blister (that is, to travel only/emphatically within a blister) is certainly more or less interesting. Mir must have been very fond of this theme, because he has composed it again in his Persian divan (which is later than the first divan):

'I arrived at the heart, and became indifferent to temple and Ka'bah.
On that blister my excursion and journey became completed.'



Well, this one doesn't feel quite like most of the 'grotesquerie' blister instances, but I wanted to code it as such just to facilitate comparison. It's the most arresting and least repulsive use of blister imagery that I can recall.

SRF praises the idea of traveling 'within' a blister, as if it were a tiny water-filled (let's not think of pus, etc.) world. Moreover, in a more literal sense, if a traveler develops a really bad, incurable blister, that might well put an end to his journeying-- so perhaps the heart has now become so swollen and painful that it prevents the traveler from moving on to explore any more new stages on the road. The speaker went as far as he could, he went through and beyond the conventional religious halting-places-- but finally it was his own heart that stopped him from going any further. Now, where he is, he has no shelter except that very heart itself; he lives on, or in, the blister-heart as if it were a tiny house (a geodesic dome, perhaps?). What does it mean to have no home except the heart? Shelterlessness? Pathos? Integrity? Heart disease? Simplicity? World-renunciation? Mystical awareness? As usual, the choice is up to us.

Rendering the verse more philosophically complex are the many senses of gu;zarnaa (see the definition above). These include: to pass by, to pass through, to pass beyond, to pass under review by, to be put or laid before, to overlook, to decline, to abstain from, to surpass. Really, what a remarkable range, and deployed with such perfect appropriateness. Some senses sound very humble and almost pious (the speaker 'passed through' temple and Ka'bah, he was 'passed under review by' them, he was 'put or laid before them'). Other possibilities are conspicuously arrogant (the speaker 'passed by' temple and Ka'bah, he 'overlooked' them, he 'abstained from' them, he 'surpassed' them, etc.). And then these of course could all be mystical stages on the Sufistic path, which itself is likened to a journey.

In addition, we need to ask what kind of a journey it was, for sair has the clear sense of a pleasure-trip, an excursion (see the definition above). Should the pair sair-o-safar be taken as a single broadly descriptive whole, or do they represent two distinct kinds of purpose that were served during the speaker's trip?

Compare Ghalib's brilliant unpublished verse about travelers and the dair-o-;haram :


Note for meter fans: The beginning of the second line scans as HAI ;XAT-mi-SAA-bi-LE PAR. The two sequential uses of word-grafting cause the is to feel more or less obliterated. It's a perfectly legitimate scansion, but I don't like the effect.