registaa;N me;N jaa ke rahe;N yaa sangistaa;N me;N ham jogii
raat hu))ii jis jaagah ham ko ham ne vahii;N bisraam kiyaa

1) whether we would go and remain in a desert/'sand-place', or are a yogi/ascetic in a wilderness/'stone-place' 2) in whatever place night came to us, right there we rested



jaagah = jagah


bisraam : 'Rest, repose, quiet, ease, cessation from labour or fatigue'. (Platts p.155)

S. R. Faruqi:

The affinity of 'desert' and 'stony-wilderness' with 'yogi', and of 'yogi' with bisraam , is very fine. In the imagining of this verse is a loftiness that erases geographical and historical distances. 'Sand-place' gestures toward the sands of Najd, and 'stone-place' gestures toward the Himalaya mountains. In the sands was Majnun, and in the Himalaya mountains live the Hindustani faqirs and world-renouncing yogis. In this way past and present, geography and history, have come together. If 'night' is taken as a metaphor for the end of the journey of life, then bisraam is a metaphor for the sleep of death. That is, wherever we died, there we were buried; we didn't give a thought to any shroud and such. It's a fine verse.

Another aspect of this theme, Qa'im Chandpuri has versified. But between his two lines the connection is a bit lacking. Although the second line is indeed very proper:

dil paa ke us kii zulf me;N aaraam rah gayaa
darvesh jis jagah kii hu))ii shaam rah gayaa

[the heart, having found repose among her curls, remained
wherever evening came upon the darvesh, in that place he remained]

[See also {1853x,3}.]



It truly is a wonderful verse. It's the kind you don't even have to say much about, it just settles with great dignity and calm into your mind. Especially the second line.

And of course in the light of of that second line, the first line becomes far more striking. The only alternatives-- and apparently an exhaustive or at least fully representative set-- are a 'sand-place' and a 'stone-place'. No other possible resting-places seem to come to mind at all. While registaa;N is a common word for a desert, sangistaa;N is unusual, so that it calls attention both to itself and to its kinship with registaa;N . Sand and stone-- one kind of desolateness or another-- and a wandering randomly between them. These possibilities apparently sum up the ascetic's choices in both life and death.

Moreover, bisraam is a conspicuously Hindi-side word, coming from the Sanskrit vishraam . It thus adds force to the Hindu term jogii ; the speaker's choices are thus not just religiously neutral but even pointedly non-Islamic.