Mirza Ghalib’s verses still resonate with every lover of poetry. His ghazals and poems have been a major influence in some literary works that followed him, and have found multiple expressions and interpretations in popular culture. On his 221st birth anniversary, introduce your kids to the great poet with these facts about his life:
1. Mirza Ghalib was born Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, on December 27, 1797, in Kala Mahal, Agra, into a family that descended from Aibak Turks.
2. Ghalib lost his father Mirza Abdullah Baig when he was only a little over five years of age. He was raised by his uncle Mirza Nasrullah Baig Khan.
3. Ghalib settled in Delhi after marriage. The house he lived in Ballimaran, Old Delhi, is known as Ghalib ki Haveli, which has now been turned into the Ghalib Memorial.
4. Mirza Ghalib was extremely fond of eating. He loved mangoes.
5. Ghalib started composing poetry at the age of 11. While his first language was Urdu, he also received education in Persian and Arabic at a young age.
6. Mirza Ghalib was also a gifted letter writer and wrote the pieces in easy and popular Urdu.
7. Ghalib’s original pen name was Asad, taken from his original name Asadullah Khan. Later in his poetic career, he adopted the pen name of Ghalib.
8. In 1859, Mirza Ghalib was appointed as the poet tutor of emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II and as the royal historian of the Mughal court.
9. After his death on February 15, 1869, Ghalib was buried in Hazrat Nizamuddin near the tomb of Nizamuddin Auliya.