Ghalib edited

The ‘spirit’ of Mirza Ghalib

In praise of Mirza Ghalib 

The words of Ghalib have been recited in many gatherings. His ghazals have been sung by every singer from KL Saighal to Surayia, Lata Mangeshkar and Jagjit Singh. Movies and TV serials have been made on his life and work. But till date, no one has been able to capture his spirit in a single ’computer generated image’ (CGI).

Before proceeding further, let me give you a couplet which was recited by a very senior officer in a party fifty years ago. The meanings of the words which he told us are given beneath. I would indeed be happy if some one can correct me,if I am wrong.

Aaj na kar, kal ke liye, hissat sharaab mein.

Yeh soo-e-zann hai, Saqi-e-Kausar ke baab mein

hissat means stinginess (kanjoosii…)

soo-e-zan means lack of faith or disrespect

Saqi-e-Kausar is our Beloved Prophet( alayhi salato salaam)

To the best of my knowledge, no one has sung this couplet. But Raj Mehta sent me a CGI picture which captures the ‘spirit’ of the above words very aptly. I trust I have his permission to share the picture with you. In the evening, when you sit down with your ‘saagar-o-paimana’ (the bottle and the peg measure) keep the picture in your mind, and let an extra bit pour in. It may reduce your life by a few years, have no regrets. Remember the dictum, ‘live life fullsize, even if the years are fewer!’

ज़िन्दगी बड़ी होनी  चाहिए,  लम्बी  नहीं


Now, for the picture, scroll down….



Just a bit more…


One more click, and there it is!


And this is the very last click

  1. Sumant says:

    Saqi e kausar ka banda aur tishna e lab…haye gazab…haye gazab….

  2. Ashwani says:

    हुई मुद्दत के ग़ालिब मर गया पर याद आता है
    हर एक बात पे कहना के यूँ होता तो क्या होता

    (27 December 1797 —– 15 February 1869)

  3. Dhiraj says:

    What a sangam of Poetry and Sagar-O-Paimana!

    This piece is truly exquisite!!

  4. Surrinder Nakai says:

    For connoisseurs, here is the complete ghazal-

    Kal Ke Lie Na Aaj Kar K’hissat Sharaab Meiñ (Mirza Ghalib)
    kal ke lie na aaaj kar k’hissat sharaab meñ,
    yah suu-e-zan hee saak’i-e-koosar ke baab meñ.

    heeñ aaj kyuuñ zaliil? ki kal tak na thii pasand,
    gushtaak’hi-e-farishtaa hamaarii janaab meñ.

    jaañ kyuuñ nikalane lagatii hee tan se, dam-e-samaa’a,
    gar vo sadaa samaii hee cañg-o-rabaab meñ.

    roo meñ hee rak’hsh-e-umr, kahaañ dekhie thame,
    ne haath baag par hee, na paa hee rakaab meñ.

    itanaa hii mujhako apanii hak’iik’at se bod hee,
    jitanaa ki vahm-e-geer se huuñ pec-o-taab meñ.

    asl-e–shuhuud-o-shaahid-o-mashahuud ek hee,
    heeraañ huuñ, phir mushaahid: hee kis hisaab meñ.

    sharm ik adaa-e-naaz hee, apane hii se sahii,
    heeñ kitane behijaab ki heeñ yuuñ hijaab meñ.

    aaraaish-e-jamaal se faarig’ nahiiñ hanoz,
    pesh-e-nazar hee aain: daaim nik’aab meñ.

    heeñ geeb-e-geeb jisko samajhate heeñ ham shuhuud,
    heeñ k’hvaab meñ hanoz, jo jaage heeñ k’hvaab meñ.

    ‘g’aalib’ nadiim-e-dost se aatii hee buu-e-dost,
    mashag’uul-e-hak’ huuñ, bandagii-e-buuturaab meñ.
    Please mark the beginning of misra-e-awal ie Kal ke liye..

    Your translation of the matla is apt. Lemme however record it in a slightly different way-

    1 For the sake of tomorrow, don’t show stinginess with wine today.
    2 This is evilness/unseemliness of opinion with regard to the Cupbearer (God) of Kausar (canal of wine in heaven).

    As far singing of this Mirza Ghalib ghazal, Malika Pukhraj has done a perfect job. Link is as follows-

    Surrinder Nakai 04 Feb 13

  5. S S Malik says:

    Dear General,

    Your analysis of Ghalib deserves praise,

    all these yrs I have deliberatedly avoided getting pulled in to urdu poetry,

    coz Me is not strong in urdu like you.but now What ever fond interest Ihave would share in future with u. Some philosophy from my bank…

    Kahan jaa rukenge yeh raaste, woh jo morr tha, ussey bhool ja,

    Jo bhi mil gayaa, ussey yaad rakh, jo nahin mila ussey bhool ja.

    Main to gumm tha tere hi dyan mien, teri chah tere gumaan mien,

    Hawaa keh gayee mere kaan mien, mere saath chal, ussey bhool ja.

    Kahan jaake rukenge yeh raaste, woh jo morr tha , ussey bhool ja,

    Jo bhi mil gayaa, ussey yaad rakh, jo nahin mila ussey …..


  6. Dave Sood says:

    Great explanation.

    The taste of urdu gets lost in translation of many difficult words.

    Interesting thought.

  7. Pam Handa says:

    Very nice thought.
    ….. Poetry and drink ka to rishta purana hai!

  8. Jagwant Bath says:

    What is the meaning of the words,

    “baab mein?”

    Jog Bath

    • surjit singh says:

      I am not sure. My Urdu dictionary says, it means ‘under control of’
      But Ghalib had the poetic licence to alter the meaning of words to suit his convenience. I think, taken as a complete sentence, it would mean,

      “You stinginess shows disrespect to the ability of the Master Saqi to give you enough tomorrow!”


  9. Ghansham Singh Ahluwalia says:

    Kya baat hai Mirza Galib ki, aur aap bhi cum nahin ye photo lagane me,Wah -wah
    Arz karata hun:
    ” kya pata kiyun yeh aadat hai un ki yaad aane ki
    in aakhon ko un ki jhalak paane ki
    hamaari to tamana hai unn ko paane ki
    par shaid un ko aadit hai , hamein tarpaane ki ”

    Pee ke gham to bhula sakte hain, lekin un ki yaad nahin,
    jo aur bhi tarpane lagti hai.

  10. Isha says:

    Beautiful piece! And beautiful picture.

  11. Manjit Singh says:

    This’s is a delightful piece. short and sweet.And a lovely photo! Thank you Surjit. You are so creative.

  12. ';colls'' says:

    Chaallak ne dey sharaab
    khyaal, apne mein mutt dubbaa …
    aaj kay baad kaun jane
    phir milley tere haathon sey
    aisse mehaktee sharaab ..

    No match as Urdu is my weakling…
    No, not ling…


  13. H S Deol says:

    Dear sir. Your notes enthral us always.i feel when something touches your heart you share with us. Wish you great innings in future too .

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