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Google dedicates doodle on 220th birth anniversary of Mirza Ghalib

By Chennabasaveshwar
|

Google celebrated the 220th birth anniversary of Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, a prominent Urdu and Persian-language poet during the last years of the Mughal Empire. Ghalib was born in Uttar Pradesh, during the reign of Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah. He showed a gift for language at an early age and was educated in Persian, Urdu, and Arabic.

Google dedicates doodle on 220th birth anniversary of Mirza Ghalib

Although Ghalib himself was far prouder of his poetic achievements in Persian, he is today more famous for his Urdu ghazals. Numerous elucidations of Ghalib's ghazal compilations have been written by Urdu scholars.

His verse is characterized by a lingering sadness borne of a tumultuous and often tragic life - from being orphaned at an early age, to losing all of his seven children in their infancy, to the political upheaval that surrounded the fall of the Mughal rule in India. He struggled financially, never holding a regular paying job but instead depending on patronage from royalty and more affluent friends.

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,(d. 10 July 1856). He was also appointed by the Emperor as the royal historian of Mughal Court.

Unfortunately, his fame came to him posthumously. He had himself remarked during his lifetime that he would be recognized by later generations. After the decline of the Mughal Empire and the rise of the British Raj, despite his many attempts, Ghalib could never get the full pension restored.

But despite these hardships, Ghalib navigated his circumstances with wit, intellect, and an all-encompassing love for life. His contributions to Urdu poetry and prose were not fully appreciated in his lifetime, but his legacy has come to be widely celebrated, most particularly for his mastery of the Urdu ghazal (amatory poem).

Here are few selected couplets of Ghalib:

aah ko chāhiye ik umr asar hote tak

kaun jiitā hai tirī zulf ke sar hote tak

A prayer needs a lifetime, an answer to obtain

who can live until the time that you decide to deign

bāzīcha-e-atfāl hai duniyā mire aage

hotā hai shab-o-roz tamāshā mire aage

Just like a child's playground this world appears to me

every single night and day, this spectacle I see

bas-ki dushvār hai har kaam kā āsāñ honā

aadmī ko bhī mayassar nahīñ insāñ honā

Tis difficult that every goal be easily complete

For a man, too, to be human, is no easy feat

dard minnat-kash-e-davā na huā

maiñ na achchhā huā burā na huā

My pain did not seek favours from any opiate

I don't mind the fact that I did not recuperate

Shayari with translation courtesy: https://rekhta.org/top-20-mirza-ghalib-sher

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