Thursday, 9 May 2013

Mirza Ghalib

Shri Nathji was very fond of Mirza Galib. He frequently quoted the following verse by Galib: 

"Tere vaade par jeeye hum to ye jaan jhoot jaanaa
Ke khushi se mar na jaate agar aitbaar hota!"

I lived on thy promises, knowing them to be false!
For would I not have died with joy had I believed them to be true?

Mahamateshwari used to sing many verses of Ghalib etc which were all very sad. Like

"Dil hee to hai na sango khist dard se bhar na aaye kyon
Royenge ham hazaar baar koyi hamen sataaye kyon."

It is but a heart and not a piece of stone that it be not filled with pain,
Weep I will a thousand times, let no one come to disturb me.

Shri Nathji also foundly watched the T.V. serial on Mirza Galib. Gulzar produced a TV serial, Mirza Ghalib (1988), telecast on DD National that was immensely successful in India. Naseeruddin Shah played the role of Ghalib in the serial, and it featured ghazals sung and composed by Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh. Serial's music has since been recognized as Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh's magnum opus enjoying a cult following in the Indian subcontinent. One can view all the 46 episodes of that serial here-

Once Shri Nathji met the father of Shri Ved Prakash, who was a scholar of Ghalib’s poetry and had written a book on the poet. He was enthralled by the personality of Shri Nathji. It appeared that the finest poetry in the world had come alive in the personality of Shri Nathji. He fell in love with Shri Nathji and quoted Ghalib:

Ishq par zor naheen, hai ye vo aatish Ghalib
Jo lagaaaye na lage, aur bujhaaye na bane!"

There is no restraint on love; it is that Fire, O Ghalib,
That cannot be lit on trying, nor be put out, try as we may.

Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan ( 27 December 1797 – 15 February 1869),  was a classical Urdu and Persian poet from the Mughal Empire during British colonial rule. He used his pen-names of Ghalib (Urdu/Persian:  ġhālib means "dominant") and Asad (Urdu/Persian: Asad means "lion"). His honorific was Dabir-ul-Mulk, Najm-ud-Daula. During his lifetime the Mughals were eclipsed and displaced by the British and finally deposed following the defeat of the Indian rebellion 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. Ghalib, the last great poet of the Mughal Era, is considered to be one of the most popular and influential poets of the Urdu language. Today Ghalib remains popular not only in India and Pakistan but also amongst diaspora communities around the world.
Mirza Ghalib was born in Agra into a family descended from Aibak Turks who moved to Samarkand (now in Uzbekistan) after the downfall of the Seljuk kings. His paternal grandfather, Mirza Qoqan Baig Khan, was a Saljuq Turk who had immigrated to India from Samarkand during the reign of Ahmad Shah (1748–54). At the age of thirteen, Ghalib married Umrao Begum, daughter of Nawab Ilahi Bakhsh. In accordance with upper class Muslim tradition, he had an arranged marriage at the age of 13, but none of his seven children survived beyond infancy. After his marriage he settled in Delhi.
In 1850, Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II bestowed upon Mirza Ghalib the title of "Dabir-ul-Mulk". The Emperor also added to it the additional title of "Najm-ud-daula".  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' from 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. 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 he would be recognized by later generations.
Mirza was born in Kala Mahal in Agra. In the end of 18th century, his birthplace was converted into Indrabhan Girls' Inter College. The birth room of Mirza Ghalib is preserved within the school. He died in Delhi on 15 February 1869. The house where he lived in Gali Qasim Jaan, Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk, in Old Delhi has now been turned into 'Ghalib Memorial' and houses a permanent Ghalib exhibition. The photo on the right shows the tomb of Ghalib.

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