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0354,
3
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{354,3}

sunaa jaataa hai shahr-e ((ishq ke gird
mazaare;N hii mazaare;N ho ga))ii hai;N

1) {they say / 'it is heard'} that around the city of passion
2) there have come to be only/emphatically tombs and more tombs

 

Notes:

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

S. R. Faruqi:

This theme too has been much versified, and it's possible that it might have entered into poetry through dastans. In the 'Dastan of Amir Hamzah' there is reference to princesses whose lovers' tombs were around the city, or were in some conspicuous place, or would be a lesson for others. Thus in Ahmad Husain Qamar's 'Tilism-e Haft-paikar', vol. 3 pp. 1039-40, there is noted:

shahr me;N jo daa;xil hu))aa dekhaa ek jaanib baa;G hai , us me;N mazaar-e ((ushshaaq bane hai;N _ jo taaj-daar ((aashiq ho kar aa))e aur haath se us naqaab-daar ke maare ga))e , un kii qabre;N us baa;G me;N banvaa dii;N .... kisii qabar se dhuvaa;N u;Tthaa hai _ kisii qabar se aavaaz-e naalah aatii hai _

[When he entered the city he saw that in one direction is a garden; in it tombs of lovers have been made. Whichever princes had become lovers and come there, and had been slain at the hand of that veiled one, people made their tombs in that garden .... from one tomb smoke arises; from another tomb comes the sound of a lament.]

Mus'hafi has well versified this theme, with regard to the city of Budaun:

qaatil tirii galii bhii badaayuu;N se kam nahii;N
jis ke qadam qadam pah mazaar-e shahiid hai

[oh murderer, your street too is not less than Budaun
in which at every footstep is the tomb of a martyr]

Mir himself has used this theme elsewhere in the first divan [{350,4}]:

kyaa :zulm hai us ;xuunii-e ((aalam kii galii me;N
jab ham ga))e do chaar na))ii dekhii;N mazaare;N

[what oppression there is in the street of that world-slayer!
when we went, we saw three or four new tombs]

Atish narrowed the scope of the theme, but his second line is fine. The first line is indeed only full of padding; but, well, at least it's become 'connected':

patah yih kuuchah-e qaatil kaa sun rakh ay qaa.sid
bajaa-e sang nishaa;N ik mazaar raah me;N hai

[take note of this sign of the murderer's street, oh Messenger
instead of a milestone, there's a single tomb in the road]

In our time, Fani has tried to take it in a different direction, but his two lines are not 'connected'. In the first line the murderer's street is mentioned, while in the second line there are the dust-sitters. At the most, we can say that 'to get up' also means 'to die':

yih kuuchah-e qaatil hai aabaad hii rahtaa hai
ik ;xaak-nishii;N u;Thaa ik ;xaak-nishii;N aayaa

[this is the street of the murderer; it always remains populated
one dust-sitter got up; one dust-sitter came]

In this long sequence of verses, Mir's present verse is nevertheless distinguished and radiant. In the first line there's mention of the 'city of passion', and then all around it tombs have come to exist. The 'city of passion' is in any case wider than the beloved's street, and its meaningfulness too goes beyond that of 'street of the murderer'. Tombs have appeared around it. In this is a suggestion that after dying, people (lovers) don't have it vouchsafed to them to be buried in the city of passion. Their corpses are thrown outside; other people arrange for the shroud and so on.

Another suggestion is that outside a city or near it there are usually gardens, or wilderness. Here they have cut down all the gardens, etc., and only tombs have been created. A third suggestion is that because there are tombs all around, entry into the city of passion is not easy; but the abundance of the tombs proves that numerous people even now go there and wash their hands of their life.

Now let's look at the style of the first line. 'It is said'-- as if some people are chatting with each other. They haven't seen the city of passion, but they are interested in it, and they keep talking and hearing about it. It's possible that these people might themselves have the intention of going there. Or, again, they might be laughing at those people who go to the city of passion; or they might be amazed by them. This shared expression of opinion and exchange of news also proves the fame of the city of passion.

In the second line, the everydayness of mazaare;N hii mazaare;N is also very excellent. Exaggeration like this, that is based on everydayness, is usually very effective and realistic.

The fact that the city of passion is surrounded by tombs creates another possibility as well: that people don't manage to arrive there. While they are trying to reach the gate in the city wall, their breath fails them.

In one place, Mir has moved beyond the 'city of passion' and composed a verse about the iqliim-e ((aashiqii , and versified it with the affinity of the theme of the iqliim . See

{1101,4}.

It's possible that the theme of the present verse might also have been influenced by the famous belief of the Jews that the person who would be buried in the Holy City [of Jerusalem] will be the first one summoned to rise up in the field of Judgment Day. Thus Avishai Margalit says that the bodies of Jews are brought from far-off places for burial in the Holy City, and now the situation is that around the whole city there's come to be a circle of graves and tombs.

FWP:

SETS
MOTIFS
NAMES
TERMS == DASTAN; THEME

It's a haunting verse, resonant and full of 'mood'. Yet what tiny words it's made of, and with such a long refrain, and with so many syllables required by the repetitive (but of course vital) idiomatic expression mazaare;N hii mazaare;N -- it's astonishing how little scope is left for the whole rest of the verse. But there it is, and it doesn't feel at all crowded or rushed. As SRF notes, it really feels like casual conversation among friends.