Zil-Hijjah / Muharram 1423 H
Volume 16-03 No : 195
Camps \ Workshops
Mumbai-based Mir Jaffar Imam's book Mirza Ghalib & the Mirs of Gujarat, to be released soon, focuses on Ghalib's lesser known relationship with Gujarat.
By A Staff Writer
Eminent poet Mirza Ghalib's letters contributed immensely to the evolution of modern Urdu prose. He is credited with inventing a new style of letter writing in Urdu, which was simple, direct and conversational. Mirza Ghalib's letters mirror the poet's personal angst, his taste for the good life and the "travesty" of the times he lived in. Addressed to his countless friends and pupils in far-flung areas, his letters contributed immensely to the evolution of modern Urdu prose.
Mumbai-based Mir Jaffar Imam's book Mirza Ghalib & the Mirs of Gujarat, is yet another testimony to this. Based on his letters, the book focuses on Ghalib's "lesser known relationship" with Gujarat and will be released shortly.
Comprising 61 letters, many of them to Imam's ancestors (the Nawabs of Kamadhia) and dated between 1859 and 1869, the book shows how Ghalib loved Gujarat and its people. Spending his entire life in North India (Delhi, Agra, Calcutta), Ghalib never visited Gujarat. And yet the poet comments on various aspects of life in the state.
"Most people think Ghalib is the poet of north India since he remained confined to Delhi. When I stumbled upon his letters to his admirers in Gujarat, I immediately thought of bringing out a book," says Imam, adding: "Ghalib's letters make for delightful reading. As you read them, you feel you're in dialogue with him." When Imam's great grandfather, Nawab Mir Jafur Alee Khan of Surat, invited Ghalib to visit his city, an ailing Ghalib, with characteristic humour, replied: "Kisi surat main Surat nahin aa sakta (By no means can I come to Surat)."
He died in 1869 and was not taken too seriously by many of his contemporaries. But today, perhaps no Urdu poet has evoked as much interest among scholars as Ghalib has. Why does this fascination continue even now? Scholar-poet Shamim Tariq whose book on Ghalib's era and India's first war of independence (1857) had generated much debate last year, calls Ghalib a "supremely fortunate poet. In his lifetime, he was considered secondary to his two contemporaries - Zauq and Momin. After his death, biographies were written by authors like Altaf Husain Haali and Abdur Rehman Bijnori. They re-discovered him, putting the poet on a pedestal that no other poet could reach."
Bijnori heaped laurels on Ghalib when he said that there are only two divine books in India - the Vedas and Diwan-e-Ghalib (Ghalib's collection of poems). Renowned essayist Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui writes that Ghalib is among the few personalities about whom, "I feel that I should have been born in his time and befriended him. There are two enduring legacies of the Mughals - the Taj Mahal and Ghalib."
Be it his ghazals or his letters, Ghalib continues to enrapture his faithful readers.
Unity Health Complex, Mangalore has come out with the new edition of “Unity Islamic Diary 2003.” According to Dr. C.P. Habeeb Rahman, Chairman and Medical Director of Unity Health Complex, the new simplified edition has certain added features. It is a practical guide to success with a brief outline on 11 Principles for Successful Islamic Living. “ A specially designed monogram will divide 24 hours into five segments with The obligatory appointments with Allah according to the Salat timings which will be a new paradigm of a clock in your memory,” says Dr Rahman.
For copy of the diary. Contact
By Yoginder Sikand
Yoginder Sikand, a post-doctoral research fellow at the International Institute for the Study of Islam in Modern World at Leiden, Netherlands, is not only sufficiently aware of the dynamics of various Islamic movements, but has also travelled widely in India, Bangladesh and Britain meeting and interviewing Tablighi Jamaat activists. His book, The Origins and Development of the Tablighi Jamaat (1929-2000) is based on the extensive research that he undertook while working on his PhD at the University of London.
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