jo hai so apne fikr-e ;xar-o-baar me;N hai yaa;N
saaraa jahaan raah me;N ik kaaravaa;N saa hai

1) whoever is, is in his own thought/concern/anxiety about his donkey-and-load, here
2) the whole world, on the road, is like a single/particular/unique/excellent caravan



fikr : 'Thought, consideration, reflection; deliberation, opinion, notion, idea, imagination, conceit; counsel, advice; care, concern, solicitude, anxiety, grief, sorrow'. (Platts p.783)


;xar-baar : 'An ass-load'. (Platts p.487)


kaar-o-baar : 'Work, labour, business; affairs; dealings, transactions'. (Platts p.799)

S. R. Faruqi:

This verse has been included in order to make up the aspect of a ghazal, but it's also not entirely devoid of pleasure. To call worldly wealth and property a ;xar-o-baar (= donkey; that is, a load-bearing animal, and the equipment that is loaded onto him) is a good example of sarcastic scorn. Then, there's metaphor upon metaphor-- for the wealth and property itself is a metaphor for all the affairs/doings of the world, including all actions and words. With regard to ;xar-o-baar , 'caravan' too is extremely fine.

A final point is that the logic is very fresh; people usually call the world a sarai on the road to oblivion, and call people travelers, on the basis that in the world no one has any stability. But here Mir has on the same basis called the world (the people of the world) a caravan such that people are intoxicated with loading and carrying their own wealth and property.



What a funny, sharp, pungent verse! People 'here' in this world are like donkey-drivers, obsessively concerned with their own particular 'donkey'-- or of course, so to speak, 'ass'-- and their own donkey-load of property. Thus the whole world is 'on the road' like a caravan-- and of course, it's left up to us to decide whether it's a 'single', or 'particular', or 'unique', or 'excellent' caravan, and whether the tone is sarcastic or straightforward. Do the intensely individually-focused donkey-drivers know where the caravan is going? Do they care? Do they collaborate to organize the caravan, or do they simple follow each other in a long heedless chain?

In the second line raah me;N can be a 'midpoints' phrase-- either 'the whole world' is on the road like a caravan, or else the whole world is like a caravan on the road. But in this verse, it hardly seems to matter much.

The implicit contrast between the usual worldly kaar-o-baar (see the definition above) and the sarcastic ;xar-o-baar ('an ass and load') is really punchy and amusing. Since the normal usage is apparently ;xar-baar , it's quite possible that Mir deliberately inserted the conjunctive v , to echo the official phrase and thus add to the effect of mockery.