Ghazal 93, Verse 3x


dair-o-;haram aa))iinah-e takraar-e tamannaa
vaa-maa;Ndagii-e shauq taraashe hai panaahe;N

1) temple/church and Ka'bah-- a mirror of the insistence/repetition of longing
2) the fatigue/lagging of ardor carves out shelters/refuges


dair : 'A convent or monastery (of Christians, or of Sufis, &c.); a temple, a place of worship, a church'. (Platts p.556)


;haram : 'Forbidden; sacred ;—s.m. The sacred territory of Mecca; the temple of Mecca, or the court of the temple; a sanctuary'. (Platts p.476)


takraar : 'Repeating often; repetition; tautology; the chorus or burthen of a song; question, dispute; objection, controversy'. (Platts p.331)


vaa-maa;Ndagii : 'The remaining or lagging behind (esp. from fatigue); --openness; exposure'. (Platts p.1177)


taraashe hai is an archaic form of taraashtii hai (GRAMMAR)


taraashnaa : 'To cut, hew, pare, clip, prune; to cut out, carve, shape, form, fashion'. (Platts p.315)


panaah : 'Protection, defence, shelter, shade, asylum, refuge'. (Platts p.270)


These temples and holy places are both mirrors of the insistence of longing. That is, through them the situation is revealed, that ardor would again be refreshed and again there would be the habit of longing; so to speak, the fatigue of ardor, as if they are carving out shelters for the fatigue of ardor. That is, when ardor becomes tired, then one among them writhes with fatigue, and makes that very thing his shelter. The point of which is that again some longing should begin.

== Asi, p. 169


That is, ardor sometimes takes one to the temple, sometimes to the Ka'bah; but since ardor is not successful, it is fatigued. It wanders around seeking the shelter of houses of religion. Otherwise-- where are temple and Ka'bah, and where is the dwelling of the Houseless One?!

== Zamin, p. 250

Gyan Chand:

The heart is in search of the True Beloved. It goes to a temple, seeking it. It discovers that this is not the desired destination. Then it goes to a mosque, and there too this same situation confronts it. Temple and Ka'bah are signs of the insistence of longing. The ardor of passion sets out in search of the beloved; walking and walking, it grows tired, and seeks some place of shelter. After one place of shelter, another place of shelter. These places of shelter are temple and mosque. The point is that temple [mandir] and mosque are not the goal, they are camps along the road, from which the intensity of ardor can be guessed.

== Gyan Chand, p. 273

Naiyar Masud:

[This verse is part of his discussion of {99,7}.]


MIRROR: {8,3}

For background see S. R. Faruqi's choices. For more on Ghalib's unpublished verses, see the discussion in {4,8x}.

The multivalent meanings of takraar (see the definition above) have been elegantly deployed-- does it refer merely to 'insistence', or to theological disputes as well? The pairing of 'temple/convent and Ka'bah' could mean that the two are to be either taken together as a unit (mirroring 'insistence'); or opposed to each other (mirroring 'dispute' or 'controversy'). And do they 'mirror' the takraar in the sense of imitating it, or in the sense of showing or revealing it? The several i.zaafat constructions also multiply the possible relationships among all these senses.

And vaa-maa;Ndagii (see the definition above) works equally well-- is it the 'fatigue', the 'lagging', the 'openness', or the 'exposure' of ardor that actually carves out those various religious 'shelters'? Each reading works intriguingly with the possibilities in the first line. How could Ghalib not have published this brilliant and haunting verse in his divan? It's deservedly almost as famous as the other best-known unpublished one, {4,8x}.

By shifting the emphasis placed on different words, and different senses of each word, in each of the two lines, the verse can be readily, and radically, and most fascinatingly, transformed.

Compare other unpublished verses about the existential perils of fatigue: {12,6x}, {314x,2}. About the role of religions, compare the pathos-filled {102,2}, the more radical {298x,4}, and especially the Sufistic {440x,1}. There's also Mir's take on traveling beyond the dair-o-;haram , in M{101,1}.

Although dair can mean a wide range of sacred spaces from several different traditions, it's common in South Asia to take it as referring to a Hindu temple. That's what Gyan Chand does, when he equates it with mandir . I can't resist including Therond's engraving of my own favorite temple, the Kandariya Mahadev at Khajuraho (11th c.):