Google has today dedicated a doodle to the Urdu literature’s most iconic poets, Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, on the occasion of what would have been his 220th birthday. In popular culture, the poet is known by various names, but the most popular of them all is Ghalib, which means conqueror.
Ghalib was born in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, during the reign of Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah. It is known that the poet showed a gift for language at an early age and was educated in Persian, Urdu, and Arabic.
Google in its blog defines his work as, “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 Mughal rule in India.”
Mirza Ghalib struggled financially, never holding a regular paying job, but instead depending on patronage from royalty and more affluent friends. However, despite these hardships, he navigated his circumstances with wit, intellect, and an all-encompassing love for life.
The poet’s contributions to Urdu literature were though not fully appreciated in his lifetime, but his legacy has come to be widely celebrated, most particularly for his mastery of the Urdu ghazal.