The world is celebrating the 221st birthday of Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan today. Born in 1797, he is one of the most read and quoted persons when it comes to Urdu poetry. Ghalib used to write on philosophy, and mysteries of life through his poetry. Early in his poetic career, he got the pen-name of ‘Ghalib’ which means conquering. Gulzar another famous Urdu poet about Ghalib had said, “Ghalib is very important for everyone. You should know about him even if you are not familiar with his language. His poems, his lifestyle, his behaviour everything is a great inspiration. At a time when people used to carry their religion on their shoulders, Ghalib talked about humanity. The man lost seven children and carried a huge sadness inside him but despite that he was known for his sense of humour.”
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In 1850, he was honoured with the title of Dabir-ul-Mulk by Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II. 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 Fakhr-ud Din Mirza.
Ghalib’s house is in Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi also known as the Ghalib ki Haveli. He died in Delhi on February 15, 1869. Here are five famous Ghalib's couplets that cut through the coldest of winters.
1. Daam-e har mauj mein hai halqa-e-sad kaam-e-nahang
Dekhein kya guzre hai qatre pe guhar hone tak.
A hundred crocodiles lie ambushed in the web of every wave,
See what happens to the droplet ere it becomes a pearl.
2. 'Aashiqi sabr-talab aur tamanna betaab
Dil kaa kyaa rang karoon khoon-e jigar hone tak.
Love demands patience but lust is relentless,
What to do with the heart till it bleeds to death!
3. Hum ne maana ke taghaful na karoge lekin
Khaak ho jaayenge ham tumko khabar hone tak.
True, you'd respond without least delay,
But ere you come to know, I'd be no more.
4. Ek nazar besh nahin fursat-e-hasti ghaafil
garmi-e-bazm hai ik raqs-e-sharar hone tak.
Short is our lifespan, as the twinkling of an eye,
The glamour of the court is but the glimmer of the spark.
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5. Gham-e-hasti ka 'Asad' kis se ho juz marg 'ilaaj
Shamma'a har rang mein jalti hai sahar hone tak.
Who but death can cure, Asad, the sorrows of this life,
The candle burns in many colors, right till the dawn.