rahte to the makaa;N pah vale aap me;N nah the
us bin hame;N hameshah va:tan me;N safar rahaa

1) we did remain at home, but we were not in {our right mind / 'ourself'}
2) without her, for us, there always remained a 'journey within the homeland'



S. R. Faruqi:

The phrase safar dar va:tan is a term of the Sufis. Maikash Akbarabadi has written that this is among those sayings of the Naqshbandis on which their order is founded. He says that making progress from human qualities toward angelic qualities they call safar dar va:tan . In the present verse, instead of using it as a term Mir has used it as a metaphor, and has thus created a new pleasure. In almost the same sense Mir has used this metaphor repeatedly: In the third divan [{1188,2}]:

rahe phirte daryaa me;N gird-aab se
va:tan me;N bhii hai;N ham safar me;N bhii hai;N

[we remained wandering like a whirlpool in the ocean,
we are in the homeland, we are also on a journey]

In the fifth divan:


In contrast to Mir, Atish referred to it in a terminological sense, and brought out a fine verse:

din raat roz-o-shab hai va:tan me;N safar jinhe;N
vuh pu;xtah-ma;Gz samjhe hai;N saudaa-e ;xaam kuuch

[those who have to journey night and day, morning and evening, in the homeland--
those with well-cooked brains have considered the journey to be somewhat half-baked madness]

If only Atish hadn't put in both din raat and roz-o-shab , and thus made a vain repetition! In Mir's verse the Sufistic aspect isn't present. But his verse is unsurpassably trim; and with regard to tone, it's assured and dignified.



in which there's mention of not keeping a house: that because there's no house, the beloved or a friend can't come to see the speaker, and he wanders from door to door. Another aspect of this thought is in the present verse: that he maintains a house, but he doesn't remain in himself, because the beloved is not near. The opposition of 'to remain in a house' and 'not to remain in oneself' is very fine.

Momin has versified this theme (that is, the theme of remaining on a journey while remaining in a house) in his own style, neither along Sufistic lines nor with the intensity of romantic experience:

ek dam gardish-e ayyaam se aaraam nahii;N
ghar me;N hai;N to bhii hai;N din raat safar me;N phirte

[there's not a single breath/moment of rest from the revolving of the days,
even though we are in the house, still night and day we wander on a journey]

The theme has become light, but Momin's 'delicacy of thought' is effective. He has excellently construed the revolving of the days as a night-and-day journey. An additional pleasure is that the earth rotates, so that every person is in truth on a journey.

Naziri too has [in Persian] versified the theme of the journey in the homeland in a new aspect:

'Like your beauty, I too am unique in the world--
I am a stranger in the homeland, what need of a journey?'

But because he hasn't provided any proof of his being unique/peerless [laa-;saanii], the theme has remained without its full force.

Another aspect of the theme of the present verse, Mir has composed very excellently in the first divan itself [{336,3}]:

kabhuu aate hai;N aap me;N tujh bin
ghar me;N ham mehmaan hote hai;N

[sometimes we come to ourself, without you,
in the house, we are [habitually] a guest]

[See also {724,2}.]



SRF has done a lovely job of explication, I have nothing special to add.