Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan was a classical Urdu and Persian poet from India during British colonial rule. His also known as 'Mirza Asadullah Khan Galib', 'Mirza Galib', 'Dabir-ul-Mulk' and 'Najm-ud-Daula'. His pen-names was Ghaliband Asad or Asad or Galib. He is considered, in South Asia, to be one of the most popular and influential poets of the Urdu language. Ghalib today remains popular not only in India and Pakistan but also amongst diaspora communities around the world.
Early Life and EducationAlthough Ghalib did not receive any formal education but he learnt his lessons in Arabic, Persian, logic and philosophy from Mulla Abdussamad and grew on his own at an intellectual level. After the demise of Sheikh Ibrahim Zauq who had the privilege of counselling the emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar on his poetry, he was appointed as his mentor, as well as a historian of the Mughal court, which brought him some financial security and the honorifics of Najmuddaulah, Dabeerulmulk, and Nizam Jung, as well as the title of Mirza Nausha. Ghalib stands out for his sparkling wit and tough ratiocination, as well his innovations in technique and diction that distinguish his poetry and prose from all others written before or after him.
Royal TilesIn 1850, Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II revived upon Mirza Ghalib the title of "Dabeer-ul-Mulk". The Emperor also added to it the additional title of Najm-ud-daulah.The conferment of these titles was symbolic of Mirza Ghalib’s incorporation into the nobility of Delhi. He also received the title of 'Mirza Nosha' by the emperor, thus adding Mirza as his first name. He was also an important courtier of the royal court of the Emperor. As the Emperor was himself a poet, Mirza Ghalib was appointed as his poet tutor in 1854. He was also appointed as tutor of Prince Fakhr-ud Din Mirza, eldest son of Bahadur Shah II,(d. 10 July 1856). He was also appointed by the Emperor as the royal historian of Mughal Court. Being a member of declining Mughal nobility and old landed aristocracy, he never worked for a livelihood, lived on either royal patronage of Mughal Emperors, 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. After the decline of Mughal Empire and rise of British Raj, despite his many attempts, Ghalib could never get the full pension restored.
Literary CareerGhalib is famous for his ghazals written in Urdu. But he also used to write poems in the Persian language. His talent flowered at an early age; he wrote most of his poems by the age of nineteen. Initially his ghazals conveyed the pain of love but he expanded the horizon. He pushed the Urdu language to express life's myriad pains and philosophies. This made Ghalib's poetry a masterpiece. At the time of Ghalib, Urdu was a very ornamental language; he made it interesting by making it an informal one. He also composed humorous proses. The letters written to his friends are ample proof of that humour. In fact, the modern Urdu language is indebted to Mirza Ghalib. He made the language beautiful and gave it a life.
LettersMirza Ghalib was a gifted letter writer. Not only Urdu poetry but prose is indebted to Mirza Ghalib. His letters gave foundation to easy and popular Urdu. Before Ghalib, letter writing in Urdu was highly ornamental. He made his letters "talk" by using words and sentences as if he were conversing with the reader. According to him Sau kos se ba-zaban-e-qalam baatein kiya karo aur hijr mein visaal ke maze liya karo (from a hundred of miles talk with the tongue of the pen and enjoy the joy of meeting even when you are separated). His letters were very informal; sometimes he would just write the name of the person and start the letter. He was very humorous and wrote very interesting letters. In one letter he wrote, "Main koshish karta hoon ke koi aisi baat likhoon jo padhe khush ho jaaye'" (I want to write lines such that whoever reads them would enjoy them). Some scholars say that Ghalib would have the same place in Urdu literature on the basis of his letters only. They have been translated into English by Ralph Russell in The Oxford Ghalib. Ghalib was a chronicler of a turbulent period. One by one, Ghalib saw the bazaars – Khas Bazaar, Urdu Bazaar, Kharam-ka Bazaar, disappear, and whole mohallas (localities) and katras (lanes) vanish. The havelis (mansions) of his friends were razed to the ground.
Mirza Ghalib Poetry
Jaate Hoye Kehte Ho
- Jaate Hoye Kehte Ho Qayamat Ko Milen Gey
- Kya Khob Qayamt Ka Hai Goya Koi Din Aur
Nigah-e-Dil Se Dekh
- Talash Muj Ko Na Kar Dasht-e Rehbar Main Ghalib
- Nigah-e Dil Se Dekh Teray Kitna Qareeb Hon Main
Na Kabhi Janaza Uth'ta
- Hoye Mar Ke Ham Jo Ruswa Hoye Kun Na Gharq Darya
- Na Kabi Janaza Uthta Na Kahen Mazar Hota
Arz Niaz Ishq Ke Qabil
- Arz Niaz Ishq Ke Qabil Nahi Raha
- Jis Dil Pe Naaz Tha Muje Wo Dil Nahi Raha
Ye Dunya Matlab Ki
- Ye Dunya Matlab Ki Hai Tum Kis Mukhlis Ki Baat Karte Ho Ghalib
- Log Janaza Parhne Aate Hain Wo Bi Apne Sawab Ki Khatir
- Har Sham Ye Sawal, Mohabat Se Kiya Mila
- Har Sham Ye Jawab Ke Har Sham Ro Paray
Wo Rulata Zaror Hai
- Be waja Nahi Roota Ishq Main Koi Ghalib
- Jisay Khud Se Barh Ke Chaha Ho Wo Rulata Zaroor Hai
Tere Vaade Par Jiye
- Tere Vaade Par Jiye Ham Tu Ye Jaan Jhoot Jana
- Keh Khushi Se Mar Na Jate Agar Ietbar Hota
Mirza Ghalib and Sir Syed Ahmad Khan
Play of Mirza Ghalib
Tribute to Mirza Ghalib
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