ham saa shikastah-;xaa:tir is bastii me;N nah hogaa
barse hai ((ishq apne diivaar aur dar se

1) in this town there will not be a person of carried-away/'broken' temperament like us
2) passion rains down from our walls and doors



shikastah : 'Broken; defeated, routed; carried away (by inundation, as river-banks, &c.); reduced to straits; bankrupt; sick; wounded; weak, infirm'. (Platts p.730)

S. R. Faruqi:

The level reached by the second line could not be attained by the first line. Mir too probably felt this, because he used the second line again. In the fifth divan [{1729,1}]:

juu;N abr be-kasaanah rote u;The hai;N ghar se
barse hai ((ishq apne diivaar aur dar se

[like a cloud, helplessly weeping, we have arisen from our house
passion rains down from our walls and doors]

It's obvious that here the first line is even weaker; so Mir tried again. In the sixth divan [{1885,2}]:

barse hai ((ishq yaa;N to diivaar aur dar se
rotaa gayaa hai har ik juu;N abr mere ghar se

[passion rains down, here, from walls and doors
every single person went weeping, like a cloud, from my house]

Here too it didn't come out well. We can tell that even a poet like Mir is only human. Ghalib took Mir's image and metaphor:


When Ghalib composed this verse, he was twenty-four years old. In this respect-- since his verse is complete in every way, and Mir's first line isn't as fulfilled as one would wish-- Ghalib has supremacy over Mir. But in Mir's second line the rareness/uniqueness of the theme outweighs Ghalib's verse. For wildness/madness [va;hshat] to rain down from doors and walls is something within the range of experience, but for passion to rain down from doors and walls is such a wonder of an abstract idea that one needs a little mental disorder for it.

A person with an ordinary 'healthy' mind cannot at all think of such a thing. And you and I can imagine neither what a house in which passion rains down from the walls and doors would be like, nor what is the point of passion raining down-- except that the intensity of the speaker's emotion is not limited to his veins and arteries, but rather has come to pervade the bricks and stones of his house.

By saying is bastii me;N nah hogaa the verse has also brought us near to the world of everyday. And if we suppose that a house from which passion drips will itself be in a shikastah condition, then the phrase shikastah-;xaa:tir becomes a zila with the second line.

It's possible that Mir's verse might have been influenced by an extraordinarily superb [Persian] verse of Ghani's. Ghani's theme is a little different, but the images of the shikastagii of doors and walls, and of establishing the shikastah color of the face as the foundation of the house, are interesting-- and they show the road for Mir's verse. Ghani Kashmiri:

'From every door and wall shikastagii rains down. Perhaps the sky
Took from the color/mood of our face, the color/mood of our house.'

For more about rang re;xtan , see




About Ghalib's brilliant verse SRF says, 'For wildness/madness [va;hshat] to rain down from doors and walls is something within the range of experience'; thus he maintains the superior weird imaginativeness of Mir's verse. But on behalf of Ghalib I must protest that in his verse it's no mere va;hshat that drips (not 'rains') down, but rather bayaabaa;N honaa , 'to be a desert'-- something even wilder, weirder, more hauntingly unimaginable than a rain of 'passion'. Ghalib wins this one, hands down.

Note for translation fans: In the second line diivaar aur dar is obviously singular, but it just doesn't work in English. If you were talking about your whole house, you'd never refer to 'my wall and door'; that would sound like a particular part of the house that you were singling out for attention. So I've just had to pluralize them, to create the same 'least marked' effect in English.