Mirza Ghalib – (At A Performance)

Mirza Asadullah Khan ‘Ghalib’ is a great name in Urdu poets. Urdu poetry lovers will be acquainted with his name with fondness and respect. However, partly, Ghalib had a different opinion about himself. In his own words, he wrote:
Hoga koi aisa bhi jo ‘Ghalib’ ko na jane.
Shayar to who achchha hain,
Par badnam bahut hai.

There is hardly anybody who would not be acquainted with ‘Ghalib’. He is a great poet, but terribly ill-reputed.

Indeed, Mirza Ghalib was a complicated man, one who through his circumstances, kept getting into the future by ample complications. The haze of melancholy never left him and perhaps, this is how he held his poetic pen to deliver soulful arrangements of verse. In 1850, the bard was invited into ‘Darbar’ – Royal Court, by the Mughal Emperor of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar, and was rewarded with several positions and a salary of fifty rupees a month. But, at the time of the Indian Mutiny in 1857, when Zafar was dethroned by the British, Ghalib was declared as anti-government. From this point onwards, his financial position and health deteriorated rapidly and Ghalib died in 1869 in Delhi.


Sab kahan, kuch lala-o-gul
mein numayan ho gaeen,
khak mein kya suraten
hongi ki pinhan ho gaeen.

Ranj se khugar hua insane
to mit jata hai ranj,
mushkilen mujh par padin itani
key asan ho gaeen.

Yuhi gar rota raha ‘Ghalib’,
to ai ehla-e-jahan,
dekhana in bastion ko tum
ki viran ho gaeen.

Full of fine forms who went into entombment,
Not all but some in flowers surface.

Suffering makes one used to suffering.
So many troubles have befallen on me,
Making my suffering easy.

If, for long ‘Ghalib’ will lament,
You will see the world becoming
Lonely and dormant.


Bazicha-e-itfal hai duniya mere aagey
hota hai saba-o-roz tamasha mere aagey

mat puch ki kya haal hai mera tere pichey
tu dekh ki kya rang hai tera mere aagey

go hath ko jumbish nahin, aankhon mein tau dam hai
rehney do abhi saghar-o-mina mere aagey.

The world is just a child’s play before me,
The farce goes on night and day before me.

Don’t ask how badly I fare behind you,
See how well your colour holds before me.

Though my hand cannot move, my eyes still approve,
Therefore, let wine and glass, stay before me.

Geeta Chhabra Comment Form
Form a link. Comment inside the box below. Your views will be published in a coming edition.