kaisii sa((ii-o-kashish-koshish se ka((be ga))e but-;xaane se
us ghar me;N ko))ii bhii nah thaa sharmindah hu))e ham jaane se

1) with how much effort and hardship-struggle we went to the Ka'bah from the idol-house!
2) in that home/house there was no one at all; we became ashamed/embarrassed at going



S. R. Faruqi:

In the opening-verse there's nothing special. Though indeed, there's certainly one small bit of trickiness, that in the Ka'bah there are neither idols nor pictures-- nor in fact can anyone now go inside the chamber of the Ka'bah. Thus to say that there 'there was no one at all' is both accurate, and also in the real/true sense inaccurate. The Noble Ka'bah is the home of God, and the pleasure is that the proof of its being the house of the Lord is also this very thing: that there's nothing at all there.

Then, there's also a slight sarcasm about those people who go from the idol-house to the Ka'bah with the idea that in it too there will be the same abundance of outward splendors as there is in an idol-house.

In both lines the flowingness, the 'dramatic' style, and the darvesh-like, faux-naïf tone-- all these are also worthy of note.



In the first line we learn that the speaker found it extremely difficult to leave the idol-house for the Ka'bah. But of course, he gives us no hint about why he left in the first place (Was there a quarrel? Was he forced to leave? Did he grow restless? Did he want to do some comparison-shopping?).

Nor does he tell us why the journey was so full of hardship (Did he have to tear himself away from the idol-house? Did he have to fight off an urge not to go to the Ka'bah? Was he attracted by other places? Was the Ka'bah hard to get to?).

When he was annoyed at finding no one there at all, was this just a normal frustration ('No one was home!')? Or does it show that he had expected to find a sizable crowd of people, a lively social scene? (Perhaps, as SRF notes, this might have been the chief or only purpose of his visit.)

Then, why was he embarrassed? Was it just a normal awkwardness (he found himself knocking vainly on a closed door)? Or was it a special social humiliation (he had left a good party to hunt for a better one, and now he looked like a fool)? Was he ashamed of his own behavior (he castigated himself for his folly), or was he socially embarrassed (his friends at the idol-house mocked him)?

The petulant, peevish tone of the verse is its real charm. It's fun to think of the speaker stamping his foot in sheer vexation. The verse gives no hint at all of any deep feeling (passion, mystical longing, religious zeal) on the speaker's part; we feel that he might be a shallow person, and perhaps deserves his humiliation.