Mirza Ghalib Biography

Mirza Ghalib Biography
Mirza Ghalib Biography

Mirza Ghalib is viewed as the last incredible artist of the Mughal Era, he is one of the most well known, prominent and compelling writers of Urdu and Persian language. 

He remains well known in India and Pakistan as well as among the Hindustani diaspora around the globe. 

Mirza Ghalib was born on 27 December 1797 in Kala Mahal, Agra into a family descended from Aibak Turks who moved to Samarkand (in current Uzbekistan) after the vanquishing of the Seljuk rulers.

His real name was Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan. His pen-name was Asad but he transformed it to Ghalib, which signifies ‘conqueror’.

His father and uncle died when he was young later he moved to Delhi after this terrible event. At the point when he was thirteen years of age, he wedded into a refined family.

During his lifetime the Mughals were surpassed and dislodged by the British eventually disposed of after the thrashing of the Indian rebellion of 1857, events that he portrayed.

Beating all odds that obscured his own life, including losing his father at a very young age, confronting financial constraints for all of his life, getting alcoholic, violating norms, and even getting imprisoned, he stood apart with his captivating verse, composition pieces, epistles, and diaries.

His rich collection of artistic work has stayed a motivation for different artists, writers, and poets for ages and keeps on touching the souls of the Hindustani masses, past the ambits of India and Pakistan.

Childhood, Family and Educational Life

Mirza Ghalib was born to Mirza Abdullah Baig Khan and Izzat-ut-Nisa Begum. His birthplace now remains as the ‘Indrabhan Girls’ Inter College.’ The room where he was born has been conserved.

Ghalib was a descendant of an Aibak Turk family, who, following the ruin of the Seljuk lords, had migrated to Samarkand, probably the most established city of Central Asia that is a part of modern Uzbekistan. His mother was an ethnic Kashmiri.

His grandfather, Mirza Qoqan Baig, was a Seljuq Turk who had moved to India from Samarkand during the rule of Ahmad Shah (1748-54). 

He worked at Lahore, Delhi, and Jaipur,  and was granted the subdistrict of Pahasu (Bulandshahr, UP) lastly settled in Agra, UP, India. He had four sons and three girls. 

Mirza Abdullah Baig and Mirza Nasrullah Baig were two of his children.

Ghalib’s father at first served the “Nawab” of Lucknow and from that point, the “Nizam” of Hyderabad. 

He lost his father in the battle of Alwar in 1803 when he was only five. Following the catastrophe, Ghalib’s uncle, Mirza Nasrullah Baig Khan, took him under his care. 

Ghalib learned Urdu as his first language while Turkish and Persian were likewise used at his home. he begins learning Persian and Arabic languages at a young age. 

A traveler from Iran had come to Agra and had lived in his home for two or three years. Ghalib was then in his initial teenagers. 

Ghalib before long become friends with the tourist, Abdus Samad (originally called Hormuzd), who had quite recently changed over to Islam. Under Samad, he learned Persian, Arabic, logic, and philosophy.

Ghalib is so renowned for his ghazals written in Urdu. However, he likewise used to compose poems in the Persian language. 

His talent of composing poetry blossomed at an early age; he wrote the vast majority of his poems by the age of nineteen. 

At first, his ghazals passed on the pain of love however he extended the horizon. He drove the Urdu language to express life’s myriad agonies and philosophies. This made Ghalib’s verse a masterpiece.

The most noteworthy compositions of Ghalib were in the types of  “ghazal” (verse), the “qaṣīdah” (panegyric) and the “mas̄navī” (moralistic or mystical stories). 

Battling through penury and different adversities, he, at last, gathered acknowledgment in the wake of being drafted as the poet laureate in the court of the last Mughal ruler of India, Bahādur Shāh II.

Most eminently, Ghalib composed several ghazals throughout his life, which have since been translated and sung from various perspectives by various individuals.

Personal Life 

At thirteen, Ghalib was wedded to Umrao Begum, the daughter of Nawab Ilahi Bakhsh (sibling of the Nawab of Ferozepur Jhirka). 

He before long moved to Delhi, with his younger brother, Mirza Yousuf, who suffered schizophrenia at a youthful age and later died in Delhi during the chaos of 1857.

His wife was a religious and customary orthodox woman. In spite of the fact that there are differentiating reports with respect to the relationship of the couple, Ghalib has depicted his marital life so far another imprisonment, life being the first, in one of his epistles. 

The thought that life is a progressing battle, which can just end with the demise of the person, is a common topic in his poems.

One of his couplets puts it in a nutshell:

قید حیات و بند غم ، اصل میں دونوں ایک ہیں موت سے پہلے آدمی غم سے نجات پائے کیوں؟ 

Interpretation in English- 

The prison of life and the bondage of grief are one and the sameBefore the onset of death, why should men expect to be free of grief?

Ghalib become the father of seven kids when he had arrived in his thirties. tragically, none of them survived and died as infants.  

The torment and distress of this misfortune became a subject in a large number of his “ghazals.”

Ghalib’s perspective on the world as he sees the world resembles a playground where everybody is occupied in some commonplace activity and fun as opposed to something of more prominent incentive as he composed:

بازیچہ اطفال ہے دنیا میرے آگےہوتا ہے شب و روز تماشا میرے آگے

Translation in English-

Just like a child’s play this world appears to meEvery single night and day, this spectacle I see

There are clashing reports in regards to his association with his wife. She was viewed as a devout, moderate, and God-fearing woman. 

His habits, including taking loans, borrowing books, drinking consistently, breaking rules, and betting, regularly made him notorious. Ghalib earned the notoriety of being a “ladies’ man” in the Mughal court circle and was likewise imprisoned for gambling. 

The virtuoso, in any case, stayed nonchalant and proceeded with his demeanor.

On one event, when somebody acknowledged Sheik Sahbai’s poetry, Ghalib rushed to remark that Sheik Sahbai couldn’t have been a writer, as he had never drunk wine, never bet, had never been thrashed with sandals by lovers, and had not visited the prison.

Royal Titles 

In 1850, Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II revived upon Mirza Ghalib the title of “Dabeer-ul-Mulk”. 

The Emperor likewise added to it the extra title of Najm-ud-daulah. The conferment of these titles was emblematic of Mirza Ghalib’s joining into the honorability of Delhi. 

He likewise got the title of ‘Mirza Nosha’ by the ruler, hence including Mirza as his first name. 

He was additionally a significant retainer of the regal court of the Emperor. As the Emperor was himself a writer, Mirza Ghalib was selected as his poet mentor in 1854. 

He was likewise delegated as a tutor of Prince Fakhr-ud Din Mirza, the oldest child of Bahadur Shah II,(d. 10 July 1856). He was additionally named by the Emperor as the royal historian of Mughal Court.

Being a member of declining Mughal honorability and old landed nobility, he never worked for a livelihood, lived on either imperial support of Mughal Emperors, credit or the liberality of his friends. 

He became famous after death. He had himself commented during his lifetime that in spite of the fact that his age had disregarded his enormity, it would be recognized by later ages. 

After the decay of the Mughal Empire and the ascent of British Raj, despite his numerous endeavors, Ghalib could never get the full pension reestablished.

Career and Works 

Born into an aristocratic family, Mirza Ghālib passed his childhood in luxury. Recognition at long last came in 1850 when he was selected writer laureate to the last Mughal sovereign, Bahādur Shāh II. 

However, after the downfall of the Mughal empire, he was allowed a little pension by the British government however needed to battle against penury and hardships.

Ghalib wrote in Perso-Arabic script which is utilized to compose present day Urdu, however frequently called his language “Hindi”; one of his works was titled Ode-e-Hindi (“Perfume of Hindi”).

Ghalib used to hold his Persian poems in high respect. Be that as it may, his Urdu “ghazals” have earned him more acknowledgment among the young generations. 

The domain of “ghazals,” which till such time had been overwhelmingly confined to the outflow of disaster in love, was extended by Ghalib. 

He incorporated various subjects for his “ghazals, for example, the mysterious parts of life and philosophies among others. 

Yet, in the greater part of his poetry, he kept up the custom of keeping the gender of the adored undefined.

The critic/poet/writer Shamsur Rahman Faruqui clarifies that the convention of having the “thought” of a lover or dearest rather than a real lover/cherished liberated the poet-protagonist-lover from the demands of authenticity.

Numerous Urdu researchers explained Ghalib’s compositions of “ghazal”. The main such work was by writer, interpreter, and researcher of languages Ali Haider Nazm Tabatabai from Hyderabad. 

It is the first complete English interpretation of Ghalib’s ghazals was ‘Love poems of Ghalib’, composed by Sarfaraz K. Niazi and distributed by Rupa and Co in India and Ferozsons in Pakistan.

His Letters 

Mirza Ghalib was a talented letter writer as well. Urdu verse as well as obligated to Mirza Ghalib. His letters offered establishment to simple and prevalent Urdu. 

Before Ghalib, letter writing in Urdu was exceptionally elaborate. He made his letters “talk” by utilizing words and sentences as though he were speaking with the reader. 

As indicated by him 

Sau kos se ba-zaban-e-qalam baatein kiya karo aur hijr mein visaal ke labyrinth liya karo (from hundred of miles talk with the tongue of the pen and enjoy the joy of meeting even when you are separated).

His letters were casual, a few times he would simply compose the name of the person and start the letter. He himself was exceptionally witty and furthermore made his letter fascinating. 

He said…. 

Main koshish karta hoon keh koi aesi baat likhoon jo parhay khoosh ho jaaye (I need to compose the lines that whoever reads those ought to appreciate it). 

Some researcher says that Ghalib would have a similar spot in Urdu writing if only the basis was his letters. They have been converted into English by Ralph Russell, The Oxford Ghalib.

Mirza Ghalib was a writer of turbulent period. Individually, Ghalib saw the bazaars – Khas Bazaar, Urdu Bazaar, Kharam-ka Bazaar, and whole mohallas (Localities) and katras (lenes) disappear. The Havelis of his companions were demolished to the ground. Ghalib wrote that Delhi had become a desert. Water was rare. Delhi was “a military camp”. It was the end of the feudal elite to which Ghalib had belonged.

He wrote:

“An ocean of blood churns around meAlas! Were this all!The future will showWhat more remains for me to see.”

Ghalib’s prose pieces were additionally wonderful, unique and novel, which brought a revolution in Urdu writing. 

His real Takhallus (Pen-Name) was Asad, drawn from his given name, Asadullah Khan. Sooner or later from the get-go in his career, he likewise chose to receive the pen-name of Ghalib (which means all-vanquishing, predominant, generally phenomenal). 

At certain spots in his verse, Ghalib additionally utilized the pen-name of Asad Ullah Khan.

In 1855, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan completed his scholarly, well explored and illustrated an edition of Abul Fazl’s Ai’n-e Akbari. 

Having completed the work agreeable to him, and accepting that Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib was an individual who might value his works, Syed Ahmad moved toward the incomparable Ghalib to compose a taqriz (in the show of the occasions, a commendatory foreword) for it.

Ghalib obliged, however, what he delivered was a short Persian ballad blasting the Ai’n-e Akbari and, by suggestion, the majestic, extravagant, proficient and took in the Mughal culture of which it was an item. 

The least that could be said against it was that the book had little worth even as an old fashioned archive. 

Ghalib for all intents and purposes denounced Syed Ahmad Khan for burning through his gifts and time on dead things. 

More terrible, he exceptionally commended the “sahibs of England” who around then held every one of the keys to all the a’ins in this world.

Religious Views

Ghalib put a more prominent accentuation on seeking God instead of ritualistic religious practices. 

In the same way as other Urdu poets, Ghalib was fit for composing significantly religious poetry, yet was doubtful about some translations of the Islamic sacred texts done by certain religious pioneers. 

He staunchly hated the practices of certain Ulema, who in his poems speak to narrow-mindedness and deception. 

An enormous part of Ghalib’s poetry centers around the applause and reverence of Muhammad, which shows that Ghalib was a devoted and sincere Muslim.

Ghalib composed his Abr-I gauharbar (The Jewel-conveying Cloud) to pay tribute to Muhammad. 

Ghalib likewise composed a qasida of 101 refrains in devotion to Muhammad. 

Ghalib portrayed himself as a heathen who ought to be quiet before Muhammad as he was not deserving of tending to Muhammad, who, as indicated by him, was praised by God. he once wrote in a letter to a friend:

“In paradise, it is true that I shall drink at dawn the pure wine mentioned in the Qu’ran, but where in paradise are the long walks with intoxicated friends in the night, or the drunken crowds shouting merrily? 

Where shall I find there the intoxication of Monsoon clouds? Where there is no autumn, how can spring exist? 

If the beautiful houris are always there, where will be the sadness of separation and the joy of union? 

Where shall we find there a girl who flees away when we would kiss her?”

Ghalib was a liberal spiritualist who believed that the quest for God within freed the seeker from the narrowly Orthodox Islam, urging the devotee to look past the apparent aim of the law to its narrow embodiment. 

His Sufi perspectives and otherworldliness are incredibly reflected in his lyrics and ghazals.

As he once expressed: 

“The object of my worship lies beyond perception’s reach;For men who see, the Ka’aba is a compass, nothing more.”He staunchly abhorred the Orthodox Muslim Sheikhs of the Ulema, who in his poems consistently speak to narrow-mindedness and false reverence: “The Sheikh hovers by the tavern door,but believe me, Ghalib,I am sure I saw him slip inAs I departed.”

In another composition directed towards the Muslim maulavis, he reprimanded them for their ignorance and self-important certitude: “Look deeper, it is you alone who cannot hear the music of his secrets”.  

In his letters, Ghalib as often as possible differentiated the narrow legalism of the Ulema with “it’s preoccupation with teaching the baniyas and the brats, and wallowing in the problems of menstruation and menstrual bleeding” and real spirituality for which you had to “study the works of the mystics and take into one’s heart the essential truth of God’s reality and his expression in all things”.

Ghalib accepted that if God laid within and could be reached less by customs and rituals than by love, at that point he was as available to Hindus as to Muslims. 

As a demonstration of this, he would later energetically write in a letter that during a trip to Benares, he was half enticed to settle down there for good and that he wished he had renounced Islam, put a Hindu sectarian mark on his temple, tied a sectarian thread around his waist and situated himself on the banks of the Ganges so he could wash the contamination of his reality away from himself and like a drop be unified with the stream.

Once, when the Indian rebellion of 1857 was going all out, British officers had hauled Ghalib to Colonel Burn for cross interrogation. 

This was on October 5, 1857, in Delhi. Dumbfounded by the Central-Asian Turk-style headdress he was wearing, the colonel asked, “Well? You Muslim?” Ghalib answered “half?” The colonel asked once more, “What does that mean?” Ghalib answered, “I drink wine, however, I don’t eat pork.” 

His interpretation of Hindustan is unmistakable from the poem ‘Chiragh-I-Dair’ (The Lamp of Temple), which he composed on his excursion to Benares, in the spring of 1827.

Kulliyat-e-Ghalib Farsi”, a collection of Persian poetry by Ghalib first released at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) and later released at Tehran by Ambassadors of India and Pakistan together at a function supported by Iranian Ministry of Arts and Culture in Tehran on 20 September 2010. 

This unique assortment contains 11,337 verses of Ghalib, was aggregated by Dr. Syed Taqi Abedi.

Talking at the event, Dr. Abidi said that the study of Ghalib would be deficient without his Persian verse. 

“In spite of the fact that Ghalib had earned his popularity in Urdu writing, the poet of the Mughal period was progressively disposed towards Persian and delivered high-request verse in that language. 

At the scholarly “ru-ba-ru session” (Face to Face Sitting) organized by the Haryana Urdu Academy, where Dr. Taqi offered a systematic and analytical study of works by incredible artist Mirza Ghalib, both in Persian and Urdu. 

He said that Ghalib composed 1,792 couplets in Urdu constantly 1865 as against the 11,340 in Persian. 

He additionally opined that Ghalib was a visionary, a writer of humanism whose works are mainstream significantly following three centuries.

Contemporaries and Disciples

Ghalib’s rival was writer Zauq, mentor of Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the then ruler of the Mughal empire in Delhi. 

There are some diverting anecdotes of the competition among Ghalib and Zauq and the exchange of jibes between them. In any case, there was common regard for one another’s ability. 

Both additionally appreciated and recognized the supremacy quality of Meer Taqi Meer, a transcending figure of eighteenth-century Urdu Poetry. 

Another writer Momin, whose ghazals had an unmistakably melodious flavor, was additionally a renowned contemporary of Ghalib. 

Ghalib was not just a poet, he was additionally a productive prose writer. His letters are an impression of the political and social atmosphere of the time. 

They likewise allude to numerous contemporaries like Mir Mehdi Majrooh, who himself was a decent poet and Ghalib’s life-long colleague.

Death and Legacy

Mirza Ghalib died on February 15, 1869. He was buried in Hazrat Nizamuddin close to the tomb of Nizamuddin Auliya.

” meray jahaan ke apnee nazar meiN KHaak naheeN   siwaa-e-KHoon-e-jigar, so jigar meiN KHaak naheeN”

(The happiness of the world is nothing for me for my heart is left with no feeling besides blood.)

He couldn’t accomplish popularity during his lifetime and became famous after his passing. 

However, the life of this virtuoso has been depicted in movies and theater in both India and Pakistan. 

The Indian film ‘Mirza Ghalib’ (1954) featured incredible actor Bharat Bhushan as Ghalib. 

He was likewise depicted by Pakistani film star Sudhir in the Pakistani film ‘Mirza Ghalib’ (1961). 

Presumed Indian artist, lyricist, and director Gulzar produced a well-known TV serial Mirza Ghalib in  1988 which was broadcast on ‘DD National’ and had Naseeruddin Shah playing the writer. 

Numerous South Asian singers, including Indians, for example, Begum Akhtar, Jagjit Singh, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, and Mohammed Rafi, and Pakistanis, for example, Ghulam Ali, Abida Parveen, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, and Mehdi Hassan, have sung his “ghazals.”

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