Google paid tribute to legendary poet Mirza Ghalib on Wednesday with a doodle on the occasion of his 220th birth anniversary. Mirza Asadullah Baig, who was born on December 27, 1797 in Agra, was a prominent Urdu and Persian language poet during the last years of the Mughal Empire.
Ghalib, who remains one of the most popular and influential poets of the Urdu language till this day, started writing poetry at the age of 11. His first language was Urdu but Persian and Turkish were also spoken at his home. He received education in Persian and Arabic at a young age.
The Google Doodle fittingly shows Ghalib, with his pen and paper, knitting his imagination, with a backdrop of buildings of Mughal architecture.
In its blog post, Google said, “His (Ghalib) verse is characterised by a lingering sadness borne of a tumultuous and often tragic life — from being orphaned at an early age, to losing all of his seven children in their infancy, to the political upheaval that surrounded the fall of Mughal rule in India. He struggled financially, never holding a regular paying job but instead depending on patronage from royalty and more affluent friends.”
“But despite these hardships, Ghalib navigated his circumstances with wit, intellect, and an all-encompassing love for life. His contributions to Urdu poetry and prose were not fully appreciated in his lifetime, but his legacy has come to be widely celebrated, most particularly for his mastery of the Urdu ghazal (amatory poem),” the post added.
In one of his letters, Ghalib describes his marriage as the second imprisonment after the initial confinement that was life itself. The idea that life is one continuous painful struggle which can end only when life itself ends, is a recurring theme in his poetry.
He died in Delhi on February 15, 1869. The house where he lived in Gali Qasim Jaan, Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk, in Old Delhi, known as the Ghalib ki Haveli. has now been turned into ‘Ghalib Memorial’ and houses a permanent Ghalib exhibition.