• manankathuria

Mirza Ghalib: a friend indeed.

“Manzil milegi, bhatak kar hi sahi. Gumraah toh wo hai jo ghar se nikle hi nahi.” - Ghalib
Mirza Ghalib Haveli in Ballimaaran, Old Delhi explored by Manan Kathuria. Mirza Ghalib: a friend indeed.
Mirza Ghalib Haveli, Old Delhi.

“The goal will be reached even if it means some, wandering and faltering, for in fact, astray are those who didn’t even leave the shores.” - Ghalib


My world’s first meeting with Ghalib was on the Web, when I saw Gulzar Saab’s show on Mirza Ghalib, acted by Naseeruddin Shah. Till then, I had no idea who this poet was.


Firstly, I found him wearing a strange attire, knowing him as someone who’s drowning in debts and is an alcoholic but some episodes passed by and when he sat in a Mushaira, all eyes of the court were on him. His words had the power to attract one’s ears. I started digging deep about who is Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib and I got to know that he lived in a small street – Ballimaaran in Old Delhi.


Without taking much time, as obvious, my fascination to know more about him increased. I packed my bag and started exploring the streets of Old Delhi in search of Mirza’s home. I didn’t do any google search of the location. It was like a puzzle to solve. I added a rule to this puzzle as to not ask anybody about his home. I couldn’t find it and came back disheartened.


A month later, I was strolling around the streets of Chandni Chowk and randomly bumped into his Haveli. I was astonished to see that the poet who had such a big name has been given such a small place in this world.


The place was so quiet, yet so chaotic when people came and went. But I spent 2 hours there, getting to know him. Some inscriptions of his work were in Urdu or Arabic, I used Google Translate to read some of them.

Manan Kathuria - Mirza Ghalib: a friend indeed.
Mirza Ghalib and me.

But then I connected with the place. Reading Ghalib is a tough task, but I could relate to some of the pieces.


After that day, whenever I’m near Old Delhi, I pay a visit to his Haveli and he invites me with a warm welcome.


I sit there, open my notebook and write some words, which turn into poetry as soon as I bid him goodbye and return home. That’s our friendship.

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