Thursday, December 19, 2013

THE ONLY AVAILABLE CAMERA PHOTOGRAPH OF URDU POET GHALIB CLICKED IN 1868 AD...


                                                                    
THE ONLY AVAILABLE CAMERA PHOTOGRAPH OF GHALIB CLICKED IN 1868 AD...

SOURCE ...(The photo belonged to Mrs. Santosh Mathur, great-grand daughter of Babu Shiv Narain, who was a friend of Ghalib.  Reportedly ,It is now in a private collection in Allahabad. )

TO THIS PHOTO I AM ADDING MORE ON GHALIB AND HIS HAVELI IN GALI QASIM JAN, DELHI...


 STORY OF GALI QASIM JAN AND GHALIB

Nawab Qasim Jan was  An Iranian   noble . Qasim Jan settled  in Lahore, where he was attached to the court of the Governor, Moin-ul-Mulk, in the 1750. Later  he    moved to Delhi   to join Delhi court  during the rule of  Mughal Emperor Shah Alam ( 1728-1806 AD ).  In Delhi , he was conferred the title of Nawab. He now   built  his new house  and a Mosque in Ballimaran area  . The place came to be known as   Galli Qasim jan while the mosque is known to this day as Qasim Khani Masjid   .  

That was about Gali Qasim Jan . And now Ghalib ..

Married at the young age of 13 to Umrao Begum, Ghalib ( 1797-1869. ) moved on to settle in Delhi.  In one of his letters he describes his marriage as the second imprisonment after the initial confinement that was life itself.  

This  great poet spent  important phase of his life in Gali Qasim Jan Haveli. This is the place where he composed  most of his  verses or Gazals  – Poems  that revolutionized the world of urdu poetry . But during the "Mutiny" of 1857 he lived for some time in Sharif Manzil, where Hakim Ajmal Khan's father used to reside. The reason was that Sharif Manzil was a protected building  because its owner was the personal physician of the Maharaja of Patiala, who had   excellent relations  with the British .       Ghalib also makes mention of    Small Attar  ( Perfume )  Bottles   , Pankhas  (   fans ), Mashaals (Torches), Huqqas (Hubble Bubble ) and Paandaans (betel leaf boxes) of his Haveli. The Nafeeri and Tasha (musical instrument ) shops  in the Street added  a Mughal Aura  to Ballimaran  during Ghalib’s time.

Ghalib spent a good part of his life fighting court cases  . Some money-lenders took him to court for recovery  of their dues.  Once a wine-merchant brought  a claim against Ghalib for recovery of balance due .The case came up before Mufti Sadruddin Aazurdah, an devoted admirer and a close friend of Ghalib. When Ghalib appeared  in the court to defend himself, he recited a couplet :

                    Qarz ki peete thay mai aur samajhte thay ki haan                    
                    Rang laavegi hamaari faaqa-masti ek din….
On this poetic admission, the Judge  decreed the Wine-merchant’s claim and paid the amount to him out of his own pocket.
In 1835, in a civil suit filed by a creditor , a decree for Rs. 5,000 was passed against him. In 1847, he was charged with gambling and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and fine. In appeal, the conviction was confirmed by the Sadar Nizamat Adalat. In 1867, Ghalib filed a criminal defamation case against a writer for using insulting language against him. In a satirical couplet  with regard to  these  controversies he says  :

 Ho ga koyee aisa bhi ki Ghalib ko na jaane   
 Shaayar to Woh  achhaa hai, par badnaam bahut hai

After the  Rebellion of 1857 had subsided ,  British troops  Under the command of Col Burn  started house to house searches in  Delhi.  The troops entered Ghalib’s haveli and took him to Col Burn. The col was puzzled by  Ghalib’s appearance and Turkish  Head dress. I reproduce exact conversation of Ghalib and Col Burn as appearing in a Book ..
“  Who are You , Muslim or Hindu ? ”
 “  Half Muslim . ”
 “  What does that mean ?”
“  I drink wine but  do not eat pork. ”

After  the revolt of 1857 and  troubled by the violence and killings around,  Ghalib  rarely moved out of his room. He finally breathed his on 15th February ,  1869.

Ghalib lived a painful life .  His Liquor  addiction  troubled him so did other needs of life. After the decline of Mughal Empire and rise of British Raj, despite his many attempts, Ghalib could never get his full pension restored and  had to live like a  pauper.
All his children even the  adopted son  named Arif died young. The message about death of Arif was conveyed to him while he was in Calcutta . He wept bitterly and wrote a Gazal. I add some lines


Jaate Huve Kahte Ho, Qayaamat Ko Milenge
Kya Khoob ! Qayaamat Kaa Hai Goya Koyee Din Aur ?
Haan Aey  Falak-E-Peer, Javaan Thaaa Abhi  Aarif
Kyaa  Tera Bigadataa Jo Na Martaa Koyee Din Aur ?’….

( Ghalib )
While departing , you assure me to  meet on doomsday,
What a fine remark ! Is some other doomsday left now ?
O  Primeval  Sky  !   Arif was sill in his teens ,
What would have you lost , had he lived some days more ?


( Autar Mota 19.12.2013 )


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Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

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