naubat hai apnii jab se yihii kuuch kaa hai shor
bajnaa sunaa nahii;N hai kabhuu yaa;N maqaam kaa

1) ever since it's been our time/place/halt, there's been only/emphatically this noise/clamor of departure,
2) we have never heard the sounding [of the bell], here, for arriving/abiding/residing



naubat : 'Staying, stopping, resting, halting; abiding, residing (in any place); stay; halt; —place of residence, or of encamping or halting; residence, abode, dwelling, mansion; station; place; site; position, situation'. (Platts p.1054)


kuuch : 'Marching; decamping; march; journey; departure'. (Platts p.860)


maqaam : 'Staying, stopping, resting, halting; abiding, residing (in any place); stay; halt; —place of residence, or of encamping or halting; residence, abode, dwelling, mansion; station; place'. (Platts p.1054)

S. R. Faruqi:

maqaam bajnaa = for the bell to ring for the caravan to halt

The force of the word yihii is worthy of praise. Here yihii is doing the work of indication, and also of emphasis, and also of restriction (that is, by means of it the specific character of the noise of departure is manifest). The word vuhii would not have been inappropriate either, but it doesn't have as much meaningfulness as yihii . In yihii there's an indication of nearness, as if the departure bell is ringing right in his ears. It's clear that the effect of its ringing right in his ears is also that he can't compose himself. The thought of departure makes him anxious, and the noise of departure in his ears doesn't allow him to attend to any work.

The word naubat too has two aspects. One meaning of naubat is 'time, era'. Thus ever since our time began, there's been the noise of departure. The bell that announces the passing of time is also called naubat ; thus in this regard the word means only 'time' in general. That is, here there's only the time of departure, our bell sounds only for time passing away, not for beginning anything. For someone's naubat to sound also means for someone to 'dominate, prevail'. Thus there's also the suggestion that we are master of our time, in this time is our dominion, but we can't manage to control the time.

In the second line, the implication is also fine. That is, he hasn't said that no one remains, but rather he's said that here we've never heard the bell for the caravan to settle down. From this there also emerges the idea that it's possible that others might have heard it, and might have settled down. But we haven't heard it. For us there's only departure and journeying, there's no arriving/abiding.

In the whole verse there's a remarkably dramatic mood. Because of the dramaticness, individual experience and collective experience have both come before us with full intensity, and cannot be separated from each other.



Not only has the speaker never known the arrival of the caravan (signalled by a bell) at any halting-place-- he has apparently never known its departure or its journeying either. All he knows is the constant noise and clamor of the preparation for the journey, including the loud, urgent ringing of the bell for departure. SRF does full justice to the immediacy of the yihii . Even as the speaker addresses us, that noise and clamor seem to echo in the background. Obviously the speaker expects us to hear the tumult. It's easy to imagine his accompanying his words with a sweeping gesture all around.