-Credit: Archive150
-Credit: Archive150
It has been 145 years since Mirza Ghalib departed from the world but his genius remains unrivalled. Today we commemorate his death anniversary — arguably one of the finest Urdu poets.

Ghalib’s greatness is not merely limited to the beauty of his poetry and the quality of his words; his true genius lies in the fact that he would study human psychology and the realities of life in depth and would embed it in his poetry with great simplicity thus making it accessible for the common man.

The revered poet was born on December 27, 1796 in the city of Agra. His biological name was Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan and Ghalib was his pseudonym.

Ghalib began composing verses at the early age of 10 or 12, and had written many of his best known ghazals by the time he was 19. Read more about the ‘rejected’ verses of the great Urdu poet, Ghalib here.

Although his first language was Urdu, he was also proficient in Turkish and Persian as both languages were spoken at home. He received formal education in Persian and Arabic at a young age.

From the book "Mirza Ghalib Selected Lyrics and Letters" by K.C. Kanda
From the book "Mirza Ghalib Selected Lyrics and Letters" by K.C. Kanda

During his lifetime, he wrote several ghazals and carrying his legacy forward, people have sung it in numerous ways.

Watch Nasseruddin Shah depict the poet in Gulzar’s TV Series called “Mirza Ghalib" as Jagjit Singh sings Ghalib:

Ghalib’s inimitable poetry is not only popular in Pakistan and India but also appreciated in South Asian communities around the world.

Frances Pritchett equips students with tools on how to read and understand Ghalib's poetry:

He breathed his last on February 15, 1869.

Ranked amongst one of the few specialised libraries in the country, Ghalib Library was set up in September 1971 in Karachi.

The institution was established with the purpose of encouraging and promoting literary research. It especially provides a platform to those who want to undertake research on Ghalib and other eminent intellectuals.

Revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) was the founder president whereas Mirza Zafrul Hasan (1916-1984) was the founder secretary.

-Contributions by APP.


More on this:

Diwan-e-Ghalib - Ghazal Index

In the Mirror of Ghalib.

On Mahasin-i-Kalam-i-Ghalib, a landmark in the history of the acknowledgement of Ghalib as a great poet.

On Ghalib's Persian and Sanskrit influences.