Search engine Google on Wednesday celebrated one of Urdu literature’s most iconic poets, Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, popularly known as Ghalib (meaning conqueror). Mirza Ghalib, who would have turned 220 this year, is shown standing on a balcony of a building of his era, with a pen and paper, and the sun and a mosque in his background.
Born in 1797, the poet, one of the most popular and influential ones in Urdu and Persian language, wrote at a time when the Mughal empire was entering its last quarter and the British were taking over in India. His ghazals have been interpreted and sung in many different ways by different people as his writing which is still extremely popular among the Hindustani diaspora.
Ghalib continues to inspire even the youngster not just in India but across the world. He began composing poetry at the age of 11. His first language was Urdu, but he was equally efficient in Persian and Turkish. A descendent of Aibak Turks, Ghalib was born in Kala Mahal in Agra.
He received education in Persian and Arabic. Keeping with the conventions of the classical ghazal, in most of his verses, the identity and the gender of the beloved remained unknown. Bestowed with the honorific Dabir-ul-Mulk and Najm-ud-Daula, Ghalib lived in Gali Qasim Jaan, Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk, in Old Delhi which is now known as “Ghalib Ki Haveli”.
His residence has been turned into ‘Ghalib Memorial’ and houses a permanent Ghalib exhibition. Mirza Ghalib breathed his last on February 15, 1869. His tomb is located near Chausath Khamba, Nizamuddin area in Delhi.