ghar kaise kaise dii;N ke buzurgo;N ke hai;N ;xaraab
al-qi.s.sah hai ;xaraabah-e kuhnah diyaar-e ((ishq

1) the homes of what-all venerable-elders of the faith are ruined/desolate!
2) [to make a long] story [short], it is an ancient ruin, the region of passion



;xaraabah : 'Ruin, devastation, desolation; a waste, waste land'. (Platts p.488)


;xaraabaat : 'Ruins, desolate places; —s.f. A tavern; —a brothel (such being usually kept in ruins)'. (Platts p.488)

S. R. Faruqi:

Compared to the opening-verse [{1419,1}], this verse is commonplace. But with regard to buzurgo;N (elderly people, old people), ;xaraabah-e kuhnah is fine. Between ;xaraab and ;xaraabah there's a 'tajnis'; and also [the device of] 'doubt about derivation' as well, because ;xaraabah meaning 'a desolate place' doesn't exist in Arabic.

Among ghar , and dii;N (meaning 'road'), and diyaar there's a wordplay [muraa((aat ul-na:ziir].

The implication is also interesting, that the homes of the venerable-elders of the faith are desolate and destroyed. It's obvious that the state of the dwellers in these homes will be even worse. For the venerable-elders of the faith to fall into the whirligig of passion and wreck their world (and perhaps their afterlife too) is also fine.



In a verse with both ;xaraab and ;xaraabah , how can there fail to be a hovering presence of ;xaraabaat , meaning 'wine-house'? (According to Platts's definition above it also means a brothel, but in the ghazal world it means only a wine-house.)

From the first line, we can't tell why the houses of such 'venerable-elders of the faith' should be in ruins. Really not till final, closural word 'passion' does the verse become truly interpretable.

Perhaps the first line tells us that even the venerable elders of the true faith, Islam, have fallen most shockingly into the idolatrous worship of passion, while the second line explains the inevitability of their downfall. Or perhaps, in the broader sense of dii;N as 'road, path' cited by SRF, the first line refers to earlier lovers, who are the naturally venerable elders of the 'region' of passion. In this second case, the two lines describe the same situation.

Note for grammar fans: The positioning of kaise kaise makes it into what I call a 'midpoint'-- it could also be read as applying to the homes ('what-all homes...') instead of the venerable elders as in the translation above. But in this verse, it hardly seems to make a difference.

Note for translation fans: I apologize for 'what-all', but how to put across kaise kaise in English?