Mirza Ghalib: a friend indeed.
“Manzil milegi, bhatak kar hi sahi. Gumraah toh wo hai jo ghar se nikle hi nahi.” - Ghalib
“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.
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.