MIRZA GHALIB (1797-1869)

Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib is the most famous poet of Urdu, fit to rank with the greatest poets of the world. 

He is a poet of love and a specialist of the ghazal. A master of the condensed style, Ghalib is the most quotable poet of Urdu, some of whose couplets may rightly be called the capsules of concentrated wisdom. 

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He lived in the turbulent days of the Revolt of 1857 and was witness to the scenes of murder and mayhem which had paralyzed the life of Delhi.

Apart from being a lyricist of unmatched quality, Ghalib also occupies an outstanding place as a writer of letters. 

There are as many as 873 of his published letters, which he wrote to his friends and admirers, patrons, pupils, and to some of the Nawabs of the day. 

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These letters establish Ghalib’s claim as an innovator of the modern prose style, spontaneous and conversational. 

These letters, moreover, present an authentic record of the poet’s life and times.

The qita chosen for this selection contains evidence of the poet’s patriotic sense, and high regard for humanistic values which, he asserts, have their source in the ancient Indian soil.

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Mirza Ghalib

India (Hindustan)

Wondrous is the Indian soil, fruitful and fertile,
Faith, kindliness and love, bloom on every side.

As the East is the source of the sun and light,
India is the ancient home of sincerity undefiled.

It was here the seed was sown, here it fructified,
And from here the fruit spread to distant shores and isles.

Hindustaan ki bhi ajab sar zameen hai,
Jis mein wafa-o-mehr-o-mahabbat ka hai wafoor,

Jaise ke aaftaab nikalta hai sharq se,
Ikhlaas ka hua hai isi mulk se zahboor.

Hai asl-e-tukhm Hind se, aur is zameen se,
Phaila hai sab jahan mein yeh mewa door door.

India was the crown of grace on floral pillars raised,
Ah, the bliss of union sweet with beauties flower-faced!

Hindustan saya-e-gul pa-e-takht tha,
Janh-o-jalal-e-ahd-e-wisaal-e-butaan na poochh!


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