Meet Mirza Ghalib
Thousands of desires, each worth dying for...
Many of them I have realized...yet I yearn for more...
I have the habit of traveling the Silk Roads from the past to the present. A friend from India recently introduced me to the ghazals of Mirza Ghalib. What is a ghazal? Who is Mirza Ghalib? That at least was my starting place for this wonderful journey back in time.
This friend has the soul of a Mughal, and he appreciates the rich history and culture of his native South Asia. I was quick to download Mirza Ghalib by Gulzar on my new Kindle. A chapter or two a day of this fascinating book takes me back to a turbulent time in South Asian history, the last days of the Mughals and the colonization of India by the British. Ghalib reflects on it all, through his beautiful ghazals. The ghazal is actually a form of poetry that originated in Arabia, and predates the Islamic Holy Book the Koran. I’ve studied Arabic, Persian and Turkish poetry a bit, and I was delighted to find that Ghalib blends that rich literary culture into his 19th Century poetry and prose, and throws in the beautiful elements of Sufi mysticism as well.
Get to know Mirza Ghalib. He’s considered one of, if not the most influential poet of the classical Urdu language. I wish that I could read the ghazals in Urdu, Persian, or Hindi. They are beautiful in English though, and you can extend the sensory experience by listening to Ghalib’s ghazal’s sung in traditional languages thanks to youtube.com. Even better, listen, read and gaze at Mughal miniature art all at the same time. You too will be transported to another time and place.
Photo Credit......my friend in India who recently visited the Mirza Ghalib museum in Delhi, India.