Mirza Ghalib is a tall Urdu and Persian poet of Mughal era. He is also a gifted letter writer.     With his masterly works, Ghalib left an indelible mark in the hearts of millions of Urdu poetry and ghazal lovers all over the world.


Surprisingly, the trigger to relish Ghalib's poetry came to me one fine morning when I read the interview of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who is an Andhraite stating that he loves Ghalib's poetry. He compares poetry to code - the symbolic arrangement of data or instructions in a computer program or the set of such instructions. He says that you can say something that can be described in many, many sentences and pages of prose, but you can convert it into a couple of lines of poetry and still get the essence, so it's that compression the poetry does. His very idea of comparing poetry to the programming code caught my imagination.

Mine, otherwise with a natural inclination to read more of  non-fiction, for the first time changed my gears to devour the poetry. The result is buying a book on Ghalib's poetry with English translations. In the course of reading that book, one day my attention was grabbed by one small article published in a popular Indian English weekly magazine on Ghalib's Haveli in Old Delhi.


Though I stayed in Delhi for long time, I did not know that Delhi housed this famous poet. Stirred by the inspiration of  Satya Nadella , I made a  visit Ghalib's Haveli located in Qasimjan Street, Balli Maran in Chandini Chowk of Walled City - Delhi. It is an exhilarating experience to visit the Haveli. In the dilapidated structure called Ghalib's Haveli, nothing belonged to the Poet's life were showcased except a long old notebook of his Urdu poetry beautifully calligraphed and kept in a glass case. The walls were decorated with his immoral stanzas which ignite the visitors.


According to the biographic note, the real name of Ghalib is Mirza Asadullah Khan. Ghlaib is his pen name which means 'dominant'. Born on 27th December, 1797 at Agra, little Ghalib left for Delhi at the age of 11 and married Umrao Begum at 13.


Ghalib had 7 children, but none survived. He is witness to the uprising of 1857.   Ghalib's hobbies include kite flying, pachcheesi and chess.


The Ghalib's Mausoleum in Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi is jostled with crowds to take a glimpse of the poets larger than life image !


Here are some of the  immortal stanzas of Ghalib :


I do not hanker after praise, nor seek reward,

If my verses make no sense, I do not care a jot.


I wish to live at a lonesome place,

With none to converse, none to communicate.


The renown of my verse will come after I am gone.

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 ?

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