is ((ar.se se gayaa ho kahii;N ko))ii to kahe;N
chal phir ke log yaa;N ke yahii;N saare rah ga))e

1) if someone might/would somehow have gone from this place, then tell me!
2) having gone to and fro, the people of this place all remained only/emphatically here



((ar.sah : 'Court, open area (of a house, —the 'play-ground' of children), an area; a plain; a chess-board; a space (of place or time), period, time, duration, term; an interval, a while; delay'. (Platts p.760)


chal-pher : 'Motion to and fro; motion'. (Platts p.438)

S. R. Faruqi:

((ar.sah = field, place

In this verse Mir has again versified his own kind of mysteriousness. What place is it from which no one can emerge? Is this a thing like the hamaam-e baad-gird [the 'Bath-house of the Whirlwind', a magical setting in the story of Hatim Ta'i]? And even if it is, is it a metaphor for the world, or for the street of the beloved, or for the affairs of the age? No matter how we look at it, the idea is very enjoyable.

After dying, a person is buried in the ground, or is burned, or again is disposed of in such a way that the kites and crows would eat him. That is, in any case he remains on the earth. In the world he did a great deal of running about, and one aspect of this running about was perhaps that he would become free of this limited life and would attain eternal life or perfect fame. But the result nevertheless remains the same: that a man remains somehow merged into the dust of this world.

Imam Ja'far Sadiq said that even emerging from a mother's womb might be a kind of death. If we put this thought of the Imam's together with Mir's verse, then the result emerges that when after death a person becomes incapable of action and movement, then necessarily he would keep rotating with the earth itself, because he is dead and has no place in which to take refuge.

Now let's consider the first line. It's as if two people would be conversing together. One person is comforting the other: the world (or, your difficulty) is only for a few days, then one will be free of it. The other person replies, 'All right, but if anybody would have gone from this place (field), then we would speak of it. Here, we see that whoever comes, dies and is consumed/absorbed right here.' This interpretation is more appropriate for the street of the beloved, but because of the abstractness and the subtle melancholy of the tone it can be made to apply to the whole human condition.



Did the 'people of this place' keep on moving around a lot, going to and fro, but finding themselves unable to escape the place 'right here'? With regard to this reading, probably no American of my generation could fail to be reminded of 'Hotel California', with its wonderfully ominous closing lines:

'Relax' said the night man,
'We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!'

Or alternatively, if we take the kar construction literally, did the people first move around a lot, going to and fro, and then afterwards decide to stop moving and stay 'right here'? And if so, was this decision made despairingly (think of Beckett), or indifferently, or resignedly, or sociably, or lazily? Or perhaps the decision was made as a free, deliberate choice, as in