NEWS DESK: Paying homage to Mirza Ghalib on his 220th birth anniversary, Google celebrated the late poet with a doodle.
Ghalib was a prominent Urdu and Persian-language poet during the Mughal era. His real name was Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan and he was born in Agra on December 27, 1797. He began composing poems from the age of 11. Although his first language was Urdu, Turkish and Persian languages were also spoken at his home.
Today, Mirza Ghalib is more famous for his Urdu ghazals among Urdu scholars than he is for his achievements in Persian.
After getting married by the age of 13, in accordance with the upper-class Muslim customs of the time, he settled in Delhi. One of the recurring themes in Mirza Ghalib’s poems is the idea that life is a continuous painful struggle that ends only with life itself.
Often regarded as the last great poet of the Mughal era, his poem and Ghazals have been translated and recited in multiple languages across the globe. In 1850, Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II conferred upon him the title of Dabirul Mulk. During the last years of the Mughal Empire, Mirza Ghalib was not only an important member of the Mughal court, but also the poet tutor to the emperor’s eldest son, Prince Fakhrud Din Mirza. The emperor also appointed him as the royal historian of the Mughal court.
Following the decline of the Mughal Empire, Mirza Ghalib struggled to make a living. Much of his fame came to him posthumously and in his lifetime, despite his best attempts, he couldn’t get the British to restore his full pension.
Mirza Ghalib died in Delhi on February 15, 1869 and the house where he lived, in Old Delhi, has been turned into “Ghalib Memorial”. Known as “Ghalib ki Haveli”, it permanently houses Ghalib’s exhibitions.
Story first published: 27th December 2017