Mirza Galib : Tribute to the soneteer

Taj Mahal is not the only marvel Agra has produced. But the city of pethas has been very unkind to its other Gems, foremost amongst them being Mirza Ghalib. The great soneteer from far old civilisation left an impression on the culture of the times and for years to come. Even today, the world continues to be in awe and admiration of him. He enriched the language by his writings, so much so that the language looks incomplete without him. Here we celebrate the greatness and the tenacity of words of Galib sahab masters.

Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan, known to the world as Ghalib, a non-de-plume he adopted, was born in Agra on Dec 27, 1797. With his marriage at the age of 13, he moved to Delhi. That was a defining moment for him. His initial years were very comfortable and the later was the opposite, largely in penury and on pension. He showed his poetic brilliance while he was very young. Large part of his work in Urdu was done by the time he was 19 years, within 6 years of his arrival to Delhi. He later dabbled in Persian and 30 years later, returned back to writing in Urdu, when he was a courtier. He produced pieces, both prose and poetry, which were as brilliant as his younger years. It was due to him that this language of commoners attained poetic status.

The toughest part for any lover of Urdu poetry is to figure out which are some of best couplets. It’s impossible to pick up a few. I have picked up a few, which I loved. There are many more, which I equally love, but want to restrict for this article. I don’t claim that these are the best nor do I have the competence to say so. Just enjoy them. If you love it, go for more on the net or buy a book.

The maestro had his own ‘signature’ style…andaaz-e-bayan aur..a class apart..

हैं और भी दुनिया में सुख़नवर बहुत अच्छे
कहते हैं ग़ालिब का अंदाज़-ए-बयां और ..

That he challenged the widely held concepts, to the disliking of the fundamentalists, tells me that he didn’t hold an orthodox view of religion.

हमको मालूम है जन्नत की हक़ीक़त लेकिन
दिल को ख़ुश रखने के लिए ग़ालिब ये ख्याल अच्छा है ..

Here is another one which drives the same point I made before. It becomes clear to me that he was a true liberal and disliked practioners of orthodoxy, hypocrisy and narrow-minded approach…the same very preacher was seen coming out of the pub…

कहाँ मैख़ाने का दरवाज़ा ग़ालिब और कहाँ वाइज़ ,
पर इतना जानते हैं के कल, वो जाता था और हम निकले ..

This one is my favourite…

हज़ारों ख्वाईशें ऐसी, के हर ख्वाइश पे दम निकले
बहुत निकले मेरे अरमां , लेकिन फिर भी कम निकले  ..

Have you seen a better romance with pain …isn’t it true in real life…when pain goes beyond tolerance…that very pain turns into the balm …

इशरत-ए-कतरा है दरिया में फ़ना हो जाना ,
दर्द का हद से गुज़रना है दवा हो जाना ..

The final one, I present to you, sums up the philosophy of life…mantra for leading a happy life…

कुछ इस तरह मैंने ज़िंदगी को आसां कर दिया ,
किसी से माफ़ी मांग ली, तो किसी को माफ़ कर दिया  ..

His original Takhallus (pen-name) was Asad, drawn from his given name, Asadullah Khan. At some point early in his poetic career he also decided to adopt the pen-name of Ghalib (meaning all conquering, superior, most excellent). At some places in his poetry Ghalib also used the pen name of Asad Ullah Khan.

Ustad of Urdu was buried in Hazrat Nizamuddin near the tomb of Nizamuddin Auliya. But his verses become eternal and lived forever in the million hearts of the poetic lovers.

Let’s just enjoy some more of Galib’s rhymes and let our emotions unleash.

सिसकियाँ लेता है वजूद मेरा गालिब,
नोंच नोंच कर खा गई तेरी याद मुझे।

इश्क़ पर ज़ोर नहीं है ये वो आतिश ग़ालिब,
कि लगाए न लगे और बुझाए न बने।

ज़िंदगी अपनी जब इस शक्ल से गुज़री,
हम भी क्या याद करेंगे कि ख़ुदा रखते थे।

तेरी वफ़ा से क्या हो तलाफी की दहर में,
तेरे सिवा भी हम पे बहुत से सितम हुए।

कहते तो हो यूँ कहते, यूँ कहते जो यार आता,
सब कहने की बात है कुछ भी नहीं कहा जाता

चांदनी रात के खामोश सितारों की क़सम,
दिल में अब तेरे सिवा कोई भी आबाद नहीं।

Ending this post with the most famous quote of recent times.

पीने दे शराब मस्जिद में बैठ कर,
या वो जगह बता जहाँ ख़ुदा नहीं।