“na tha kuchch to Khuda tha, kuchch na hota to Khuda hota
duboya mujhko honi ne, na hota main to kya hota?”
-These are a couple of many haunting verses created by Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, known to the world by his pen name, Ghalib.
Ghalib remarked that he would gain fame after death, and he was right
Artists, poets, writers, are beautiful and why shouldn’t they be? They spend their entire lifetime creating works that please souls, that touch souls. However, in some cases, it seems as though it costs a creator’s death for the world to take notice and admire his contributions. And Mirza Ghalib, the eminent Urdu and Persian poet, who began composing poems at a tender age of 11, stated himself during his lifetime that he would be recognized for his contributions by the later generations, and he could not be more accurate on this one.
While he did lead a comfortable life as an important courtier and a poetic tutor to the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar II; fame as an immensely talented Urdu and Persian poet came to him only posthumously.
Ghazal maestros have kept his beautiful works alive
It is said that Ghalib was much prouder of his works in Persian, but it is his Urdu poems that garnered him major fame. His beautifully strung shayaris reflect diverse aspects of life and are so poignant that they are even sung by some of the many renowned ghazal maestros like Jagjit Singh, Mehdi Hassan, Abida Parveen, Asha Bhosle, Ghulam Ali, Lata Mangeshkar, and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
While we are convinced that each and every shayari he has ever composed is a work of sheer perfection, however for you readers, we have selected the ones we found to be extremely heart-warming.
How much terrified does one feel in dark (on sunset ),
Go and ask the birds, who do not own a house!
Though many of my desires were fulfilled, majority remained unfulfilled.
If your prayers are potent, Mullah, move this mosque my way,
Else have a drink or two with me, and we’ll see its minarets sway
The prison of life and the bondage of grief are one and the same
Before the onset of death, how can man expect to be free of grief?
Don’t go by the lines on the palm of hand Ghalib,
Luck is bestowed even on those who don’t have hands.
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The happiness of the world is nothing for me,
For my heart is left with no feeling besides blood.
The world is a children’s playground before me
Night and day, this theatre is enacted before me
I wondered if any wilderness would be more desolate than this!
And then I remembered another of the kind – the home I’d left behind
My hands definitely are in-efficacious in attaining what I desire for,
But, my eyes can imagine what ever impossible desire I wish for. So at least let the alcohol be served to me.
Ecstatic for a drop is annihilation into the sea,
Pain untold of, is remedy on its own.
In love, there is no difference between living and dying,
One lives by watching the beloved on whom life is lost
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Mirza Ghalib was definitely one of the best poets in Indian history to have ever lived.