aavaaragii kii sab hai;N yih ;xaanah-;xaraabiyaa;N
log aave;N dekhne ko bahut ham jo ghar rahe;N

1) they are all from/of wandering, these house-wreckings
2) many people would come to look/see, if we would remain at home



S. R. Faruqi:

Perhaps Mir was excessively aware that he was an object of desire [mu;Gtanam]; thus it was appropriate that people would come to meet him and to look at him. Outwardly, his temperament was in fact marked by sociability. Because of certain ghazal verses and certain nazms, people had spread the word that he was very hostile and didn't mix with others. This idea was given even more fame by some stories recorded in aab-e ;hayaat .

But if we look at his whole body of poetry, we feel that he liked to be sought after by people. (It's possible that this might have been by way of arrogance: 'we aren't a dime-a-dozen type'.) In any case, the effect given by his whole body of poetry is that people met him, people visited him; he spent his time among people and had a special feeling for the habitations of that particular society.

We see in


a group around Mir's door, who have gathered for a sight of Mir; but Mir himself, unaware of his own being, is lost in some other destination. In the present verse, there's the opposite scene: the house lies desolate. But this is because the speaker, in the grip of wanderingness, roams and wanders around in deserts and towns.

If he stayed at home, then people would come in troop after troop to see him-- to such an extent that even for his funeral procession a crowd gathers. This theme too he has composed a number of times. From the first divan [{401,11}]:

ziyaadah ;had se thii taabuut-e miir par ka;srat
hu))aa nah vaqt-e musaa((id namaaz karne ko

[there were crowds beyond all limit at Mir's bier
there did not occur a favorable time for doing the namaz]

Both themes are entirely new. The theme of the present verse, changing it a bit each time, Mir has versified a number of times. From the first divan [{531,5}]:

chal ham-nishii;N kih dekhe;N aavaarah miir ko ;Tuk
;xaanah-;xaraab vuh bhii aaj apne ghar rahaa hai

[come, companions, let's take a quick look at that wanderer Mir
even that house-wrecked one has stayed today in his house]

From the second divan [{891,12}]:

chal ham-nishii;N bane to ek aadh bait sunye
kahte hai;N ba((d-e muddat miir apne ghar rahe hai;N

[come, companions, if you can-- listen to a few verses
they say that after a long time, Mir has stayed in his house]

From the third divan [{1188,7}]:

chalo miir ke to tajassus ke ba((d
kih ve va;hshii to apne ghar me;N bhii hai;N

[come-- after Mir's searching/exploring
for that wild one is actually in his house]

From the third divan [{1307,5}]:

aa ham-nishii;N bane to aaj un kane bhii chalye
kahte hai;N miir .saa;hib muddat me;N kal ghar aa))e

[come, companions, if you can-- let's go ahead to his place
they say that Mir Sahib came yesterday, after a long time, to his house]

The excellence of the present verse is in it he has mentioned both ideas-- the 'house-wrecking', and the speaker's being surrounded by crowds.



If 'many people would come to look/see', that might not be a sign of popularity or desirability. It might just show a desire to gawk at a strange spectacle, as is clearly the case in {531,5}. The speaker (not named as 'Mir'), says that his staying home, after so many episodes of vagabondage and 'house-wrecking' (or 'house-wreckedness'), would draw quite a crowd. In {891,12} people do invite each other to go to Mir's house and 'listen to a few verses', but they don't sound like serious lovers of poetry. If they were in fact paying a friendly visit, the verb would surely be not dekhnaa but milnaa .

In the present verse, the second line hardly sounds like a boast; it reads much more as a wry commentary on human nature, and on the notoriety the mad lover is imagined (by the sane Mir) to have incurred through his heedless wanderings. Probably there's not that much to do in the evenings, in that muhallah. It might be the kind of neighborhood where everybody saunters down to the station to watch the trains pass. (Or rather, in Mir's day perhaps people would have strolled over to the sarai to see if any new caravans had arrived.) As an evening's light entertainment, might not a wandering madman, paying a rare visit to his (self-)ruined and desolate house, compare favorably with a camel or two?

In short, the present verse can be spoken by any mad lover, and triangulates elegantly among the possibilities of wandering, house-wreckingness (and/or house-wreckedness), and staying at home. It contains not a word, or even a hint, about poetry or 'Mir' the poet. I don't think it belongs with other verses about 'Mir' and his recitations.