The famous poet Dabir-ul-Mulk, Najm-ud-Daula Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib was born on 27 December 1797 and witnessed the first war of Indian independence and the end of the Mughal Empire.
There are many stories about his life I share one here.
He led a very hard life and
was perpetually in debt and fought for his pension, but his wit remained intact. Writing about his pension, Mirza Ghalib said:
“Miyan be-rizq jeene ka mujhko dhab aa gaya
Iss taraf se khatir jamaa rakhna”
Miyan I have got used to living in a state of penury.
Be rest assured from my side.
“Ramzan ka maheena roze khaa khaa kar kataa. Khuda Razzaq hai, kuch aur khaane ko na mila to gham to hai!”
In the month of Ramzan, I lived by fasting and God is Bounteous and if nothing else, at least there is sorrow.’
He died on 15 February 1869 AD. He was buried near the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya in the graveyard belonging to the Nawabs of Loharu to whom he was related to via his mother and wife’s family. It was a very simple grave ( image1) and only recognizable as the grave of a great poet because of the inscription on it:
Ya Hayyo Yaa Qayyum
Rashk e Urfi wa fakhr e talib murd
Asadullah Khan Ghalib Murd
Kal main gham o andoh mein ba khatir e mahzoon
Tha turbat e Ustad pe baitha huwa ghamnaak
Dekha to mujhe fikr mein tareekh ke, Majruh
Hatif ne kaha ganj e ma’ni hai tah e khaak
O Living, O Sustaining
The envy of Urfi and the pride of Talib is dead
Asadullah Khan Ghalib is dead
Yesterday I was distraught and grieving
I sat by the grave of my master,
As Majruh was pondering over a chronogram,
The guardian angel cried ‘beneath the dust is a treasure of meaning’
However, he survived that illness and eventually died in 1869. The present chronogram was written by his student Mir Majruh
The second photo is after AKTC built a pavilion over it.
Excepted from: “The Forgotten Cities of Delhi: Book Two in the Where Stones Speak trilogy” by Rana Safvi.