;xaraab a;hvaal kuchh baktaa phire hai dair-o-ka((be me;N
su;xan kyaa mu((tabar hai miir se vaahii tabaahii kaa

1a) he wanders around babbling something about 'wretched/ruined', in temple and Ka'bah
1b) he wanders around wretched/ruined, babbling something, in temple and Ka'bah

2) how is the muttering of nonsense by Mir [to be] esteemed as speech/poetry?!



;xaraab a;hvaal : 'Ruined, desolated; broken down (in circumstances), wretched, distressed'. (Platts p.487)


mu((tabar : 'Held in high estimation or regard, esteemed, honoured, revered; —respectable, creditable, reputable; worthy of confidence, trustworthy, confidential, relied on; credible; true; authentic'. (Platts p.1047)


vaahii tabaahii baknaa : 'To talk nonsense; —to use foul language'. (Platts p.1178)


vaahii tabaahii phirnaa: 'To wander about'. (Platts p.1178)

S. R. Faruqi:

To wander around in the Ka'bah and the temple both, and in babbling nonsense to make no special distinction of place, is fine. Usually vaahii tabaahii is used for speech ( vaahii tabaahii baknaa , vaahii tabaahii bolnaa ). Here Mir has used vaahii tabaahii as a quality of his own; he has established ;xaraab a;hvaal as the mood.

And ;xaraab a;hvaal is both Mir's own quality, and the quality of those words that Mir wanders around babbling. (That is, he wanders around babbling things based on the 'wretched conditions' of himself, or everybody, or the age, or this world and the next.)

Flowing from this reading, one more pleasure as well has been created in the verse: that if Mir declares the conditions of this world and the next to be wretched, then let him alone, don't scold him or give him a piece of your mind. The poor man is mad, how can his words be taken seriously?

In this way there's sarcasm in the verse, and 'poetic trickery' [makr-e shaa((iraanah] too. It's a fine verse. The persona of the speaker is separate from Mir; and Mir himself can also be the speaker-- this is an additional aspect.



The clever structure of the first line means that '[in a] wretched/ruined state' [;xaraab a;hvaal] is a 'midpoint' expression. It could be (1a) a description of what Mir is babbling; since he apparently babbles it everywhere, it could apply to the 'temple' or 'Ka'bah' in which he finds himself, or to himself, or to all lovers, or to the age, or to all humans. Or else it could be (1b) simply the speaker's description of Mir's own wretched or ruined condition, as he wanders around babbling something or other.

Then the second line, which we're strongly invited to read as a rhetorical question, could also be a real question: is it in fact possible for people to admire a poetry that emerges out of madness? Or perhaps the speaker is a jealous, frustrated rival poet, trying to persuade people that they shouldn't value Mir's poetry as much as they do-- so that the second line is an exclamation of indignant denial ('As if his mad mutterings could have any worth!'). Or of course, thanks to the unconstrained powers of kyaa , the second line could even be an exclamation of admiration ('How greatly people esteem the poetry that emerges from such so-called babbling!').

Is it significant that the (mystically?) mad poet seems to haunt Hindu and Muslim religious establishments, or does it simply mean he wanders through a very wide and diverse range of places? This too is left for us to decide.