Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan
Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan Takhallus Ghalib and Former Takhallus Asad (born 27 December 1797 — died 15 February 1869), was a classical Urdu and Persian Poet from India during British colonial rule. During his lifetime the Mughals were eclipsed and displaced by the British and finally deposed following the defeat of the Indian Rebillion of 1857, events that he wrote of. Most notably, he wrote several Ghazals during his life, which have since been interpreted and sung in many different ways by different people. He is considered, in South Asia, to be the one of the most popular and influential poets of the Urdu language. Ghalib today remains popular amongst Urdu speakers not only in India and Pakistan but also amongst diaspora communities around the world.
He never worked for a livelihood, lived on either state patronage, credit or the generosity of his friends. His fame came to him posthumously. He had himself remarked during his lifetime that although his age had ignored his greatness, it would be recognized by later generations.
Although Ghalib wrote in Persian as well, he is more famous for his Ghazals written in Urdu. It is believed he wrote most of his popular ghazals by age nineteen.His ghazals, unlike those of Meer Taqi Meer, contain highly Persianised Urdu. Numerous elucidations of Ghalib’s collection of ghazals have been written by Urdu scholars. The first such elucidation or Sharh was written by Ali Haidar of Hyderabad. Before Ghalib, the ghazal was primarily an expression of anguished love; but Ghalib expressed philosophy, the travails and mysteries of life and wrote ghazals on many other subjects, vastly expanding the scope of the Ghazal. This, together with his many masterpieces, will forever remain his paramount contribution to Urdu Poetry and Literature.
In keeping with the conventions of the classical ghazal, in most of Ghalib’s verses, the identity and the gender of the beloved is indeterminate. As the renowned critic/poet/writer Shamsur Rahman Faruqui explains,since the convention of having the “idea” of a lover or beloved instead of an actual lover/beloved, freed the poet-protagonist-lover from the demands of “realism”, love poetry in Urdu from the last quarter of the seventeenth century onwards, consists mostly of “poems about love” and not “love poems” in the Western sense of the term.
The first complete English translation of Ghalib’s love poems (ghazals) was written by Sarfaraz K. Niazi and published by Rupa & Co in India and Ferozsons in Pakistan. The title of this book is Love Sonnets of Ghalib and it contains complete roman transliteration, explication and an extensive lexicon.
Mirza was born in KalaMahal in Agra. His birth place was later, in 19th centuries, converted in a girls school known as Indrabhan Girls Inter College. The birth room of Mirza galib is present till this time in the school. Around 1810, he was married into a family of Umrao Begum, daughter of Nawab Ilahi Bakhsh Khan of Loharu’ (younger brother of the first Nawab of Loharu, Nawab Mirza Ahmad Baksh Khan , at the age of thirteen. He had seven children, none of whom survived (this pain has found its echo in some of Ghalib’s ghazals). There are conflicting reports regarding his relationship with his wife. She was considered to be pious, conservative and God-fearing in right meaning.
In fact, Ghalib was proud of his reputation as a rake. He was once imprisoned for gambling and subsequently relished the affair which was deeply embarrassing at the time with pride. In one incident, when someone praised the poetry of the pious Sheikh Sahbai in his presence, Ghalib immediately retorted, “How can Sahbai be a poet? He has never tasted wine, nor has he ever gambled; he has not been beaten with slippers by lovers, nor has he ever seen the inside of a jail.” In the Mughal court circles, he even acquired a reputation as a “ladies man”.
He died in Dehli on February 15, 1869. The house where he lived in Gali Qasim Jaan, Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk, in old Dehli, has now been turned into ‘Ghalib Memorial’ and houses a permanent exhibition on him.
Ghalib at Kavita Kosh
Fully coloured Deewan-e-Ghalib
DIVAN – E – GHALIB The Urdu Ghazals of Mirza Asadullah Khan “GHALIB”.
Poetry of Ghalib – Complete Collection of Mirza Ghalib, A large Number of his Ghazals
The Love Sonnets of Ghalib – Biography, selected works, and all things Ghalib
Biography and selected works
The Joy of the Drop – 37 poems by Ghalib in English translation.
Har Ek Baat Pe Kehte Ho Ki Tu Kya Hai,
Tumhi Kaho Ki Yeh Andaze Guftgu Kya Hai,
ragoon mein dau Date phirane ke ham nahiin qaayal
jab aaNkh hii se na Tapakaa to phir lahuu kyaa hao
chipak rahaa hai badan par lahuu se pairaahan
hamaarii jeb ko an haajat-e-rafuu kyaa hai
jalaa hia jism jahaa.N dil bhii jal gayaa hogaa
kuredate ho jo ab raakh justajuu kyaa hai
rahii na taaqat-e-guftaar aur agar ho bhii
to kis ummiid pe kahiye ke aarazuu kyaa hai