jii ko nahii;N laag laa-makaa;N se
ham ko ko))ii dil makaa;N bahut hai

1) the inner-self has no affection/enmity toward the houseless
2) to us, some heart [as a] house is enough/plenty



laag : 'Harmonious relation; affinity; correlation; bearing; appositeness, adaptedness (of time, or place, or of means with an end, or of appearances with a fact or truth, &c.); relevancy; consistency, concurrence, correspondence, reciprocal suitableness or agreeableness; (in Math.) ratio; —attachment, affection, love; —an application, or a direction (of the mind), aiming; aim; attention; exertion, endeavour, attempt; —touching, reaching, attaining (to), approach; cost, expenditure ;—hitting, striking; fixing; —an attack of ill-fortune, a calamitous occurrence, a blow, stroke; enmity, animosity, hostility, rancour, spite, grudge; rivalry, competition; —narcotic quality (of a substance); —intrigue, plot; a secret; —trick, legerdemain, sleight of hand, jugglery; a charm, spell, fascination; —catch, hold, support, basis, ground; a prop'. (Platts p.946)


laa-makaan : 'Inexistent, with no abode, without a dwelling-place; —s.m. The Deity'. (Platts p.944)


makaan : 'A place; station; situation; a habitation, dwelling, abode, house, home, room'. (Platts p.1057)

S. R. Faruqi:

The double-meaningfulness of laag , Mir has already made use of earlier; for example, in




But in the present verse, jii ko laag also creates the appearance of meaning 'for the heart to be attached, for there to be interest'. There are also two meanings of living in laa-makaa;N . One is to become free from the bondage of a house and live that way-- that is, to become borderless and unbounded. The second meaning is to become nonexistent, to experience oblivion. Is this itself anything less than superb-- that the speaker has no attraction toward the laa-makaa;N , but he also has no quarrel with it? For even beyond it there is a laa-makaa;N that is a kind of 'space'; he is using it like the world/age-- that is, he is speaking about living in the laa-makaa;N .

Compared with the enjoyably multiple meanings of the first line, the second line seems somewhat commonplace; but if we reflect a bit, it's not so ordinary. The pleasure of living in the laa-makaa;N is very well in its way, but the idea of living in a heart is something else entirely. If we call it the beloved's heart then the idea is a bit light, since the beloved's heart is in any case beyond the laa-makaa;N (or ought to be so).

The masterful thing is that the speaker has said that as a house 'some heart' is enough for him. It may be the heart of anyone at all-- to the extent that it could even be an enemy's heart (or rather, we might say that if it would be an enemy's heart, that would be even finer). In any case, it is better than the laa-makaa;N . If someone's heart would be available to live in, then the speaker has, so to speak, achieved the desire/purpose of his life.

Now let's also reflect that dil me;N rahnaa is an idiom (=metaphor), and to live in the laa-makaa;N has, by contrast, a comparatively verbal interpretation. Here Mir has used dil me;N rahnaa in its dictionary meaning and thus created a 'reversed metaphor' [isti((aarah-e ma((kuus].



The usual meaning of laa-makaa;N as a noun is 'the Houseless One', or God. Perhaps He really doesn't come into the picture, since the radical doubleness of laag would then risk having the speaker deny that he had any 'enmity, spite, rivalry' toward God. This doesn't sound like something that Mir's speaker would say, for even to deny harboring such negative feelings toward God would raise the possibility that they might in fact exist.

In any case, the verse seems to focus on the state of being laa-makaa;N , so maybe we should read laa-makaa;N as 'houseless condition'. The speaker claims neither to love nor to hate this houseless condition-- but still, he wants a house, so apparently his feelings about houselessness do incline toward the negative.

As for what it means to live in 'some' or 'any' heart, the verse tells us nothing at all. We know only that the speaker considers a heart to be an ample home. (SRF says that an enemy's heart would be a finer house than the heart of a friend or beloved, but this idea doesn't seem to have any basis in the verse.) Is a heart perhaps a desirable dwelling because it's organic rather than merely physical? Or perhaps because it's small (and is thus less trouble to maintain)? Or perhaps because it's large (since the heart is uniquely expansive and spacious)?

Or perhaps because it's full of human emotions, whether friendly or hostile-- which brings us back to the indefinitely complex possibilities of the gloriously multivalent laag (see the definition above). As so often, Mir has left it up to us to make our own choices.