Mirza Asadullah Khan "GHALIB" (1797-1869)

Growing up in Agra, he had the strong ramparts and aristocratic elegance of the Agra Fort in the neighborhood
Two of Ghalib's early seals, dated 1231 AH (1815/6); he composed a large number of his Urdu ghazals in 1816
Some portraits of Ghalib, including one actual photo
Ghalib's Delhi was Shahjahanabad-- as modified by the presence of the British: here's *a good pre-1857 overview*
This map shows Ballimaran ki Gali, where Ghalib lived his last years, in one of the series of rented havelis he had inhabited for most of his adult life
Shah Zafar*
The last Mughal emperor was a poet too; after Zauq's death, he reluctantly asked Ghalib to be his Ustad, and the impecunious Ghalib reluctantly accepted
But by then it was almost 1857, and throughout the bloody months of the Rebellion Ghalib never left Delhi; the chaos, looting, and violence in the streets appalled him
Ghalib didn't really disapprove of British rule: he loved *Calcutta*, and urban planning; he also loved the cultural and religious complexities of *Banaras*
He also loved newspapers, and his ghazals appeared frequently in the Dihli Urdu Akhbar and other papers of the day
Best of all he loved the British-provided postal service; he constantly exchanged newsy letters with his friends and shagirds (students of poetry) in other cities
Nawab Kalb-e 'Ali Khan of Rampur, Ghalib's last patron in the few years before his death
Ghalib's tomb is in New Delhi, near the shrine of *Hazrat Nizamuddin*

The haveli where Ghalib spent his final years has now been (partly) bought by the Delhi government, and its bare walls have been opened to the public

There's a great deal of modern commemorative material-- some of it, like this stamp, revealing both carelessness about the actual poetry, and a great desire to claim the poet
A few examples (among many) of how modern translators and interpreters tend to "transcreate" Ghalib
Ghazals, including Ghalib's, are nowadays often sung in formal concerts
Ghalib's ghazals remind me of "khat-e ghubar" calligraphy, or fractal geometry-- they're enjoyable at every level of magnification

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