Ghazal 114, Verse 6


hu))aa huu;N ((ishq kii ;Gaarat-garii se sharmindah
sivaa-e ;hasrat-e ta((miir ghar me;N ;xaak nahii;N

1) I've become ashamed toward/from the devastation-wreaking of passion
2) except for the longing for construction, in the house there’s {nothing at all / not 'dust'}


;Gaarat-garii : 'The act of plundering, or of laying waste, &c.; pillage; destruction'. (Platts p.768)


;hasrat : 'Grief, regret, intense grief or sorrow; —longing, desire'. (Platts p.477)


ta((miir : 'Building, constructing; construction, structure; rebuilding; repairing'. (Platts p.327)


The cause for shame is that when there's nothing, on what will passion wreak destruction? (123)

== Nazm page 123

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, passion is a disaster of the age. Any house in which it sets foot, it's as if it destroys and devastates it. I'm ashamed before the destruction-wreakingness of passion, because in my house, except for the longing for construction, there's nothing at all more. (174)

Bekhud Mohani:

Passion has come to loot. But in the house (heart) dust is flying around. Here, it will find nothing. Indeed, in my heart there is certainly the longing, 'If only the heart were full of clamors and longings, then today I wouldn't be shamed before passion!'. (232)


Compare {135,1}. (227)


HOME: {14,9}

This is one of those verses in which the lover's concern is devoted to a seemingly peculiar, minor aspect of what is indirectly revealed to be a sweepingly awful situation. A similar case occurs in {111,12}, in which the lover worries only about having a sufficient supply of blessings for use in reply to the beloved's abuses. And in {26,5}, we see an even more direct example of what might be called 'entertainment anxiety': as a host, the lover is worried not because his house is an empty ruin, but only because he won't be able to offer the beloved a mat to sit on if she happens to visit.

Here, as a host, the lover is worried not because his house is an empty ruin, but because Passion is expected (and is no doubt a regular visitor), and by now he's run out of Passion's favorite source of social entertainment: the chance to wreck some new part of his house (and heart, and life). What a source of social embarrassment and shame for a host, to be unable properly to entertain a guest! (For any host, but for a traditional aristocratic Indo-Muslim host very particularly, since hospitality or 'care of the guest', mihmaan-navaazii , is such a cherished cultural value.)

When the host dismissively mentions that all he has in the house is the 'longing for construction' [;hasrat-e ta((miir], he makes it sound like some small stale commonplace item unworthy of being offered to a guest. This may indeed be so, but there could be another reason that he considers it unsuitable as an offering: it may be beyond Passion's power to destroy it. This toughness or resilience is suggested more clearly in {135,1}, another verse about the 'longing for construction'; Arshi rightly suggests it for comparison, since it's particularly apt.

If all one has in a destroyed house is a (no doubt vain) longing to rebuild it, does that count as having 'something' (because it is, after all, a genuine and persistent 'longing'), or does that merely redouble the sense of having 'nothing' (because the longing is clearly seen to be utterly vain, and inhabits only the ruined house that is its own contradiction)? Either way, it's not much to offer to a vigorous and demanding guest like Passion.

This is the more piquant reading, but it's been pointed out to me that se can also be instrumental: that the speaker is embarrassed 'through, from, because of' the ravages of passion: now, in a general social way, he's ashamed to have nothing at all in his house. (Although if no guest is arriving, the shame seems somewhat unmotivated.)

For more on the idiomatic force of ;xaak nahii;N see {114,1}; in both literal and idiomatic senses it works excellently with the idea of a ruined, empty house.