Ghazals Of Ghalib

The Almighty Of Rekhta

Mirza Asadullah Khan (Ghalib)-27-12-1797(Agra) To 15-02-1869 (Delhi)

Moods Of Ghalib

Dear Readers,
Here I present few rare found famous moods of Ghalib. I am sure you will enjoy these immensely. So, enjoy these famous anecdotes.

Rabindranath Banerjee(Ranjan).

1. In 1842 the English government decided to reorganize the affairs of Delhi College. Thomson Sahib, who for a number of years had been Lieutenant Governor of the Northwestern Province, was Secretary at that time. He came to Delhi to interview the teachers. And just as there was a teacher of Arabic at one hundred rupees a month, he wished for there to be such a teacher of Persian also. People told him the names of some accomplished ones. Mirza's name too was among these. Mirza Sahib came, as he had been invited to do. Announcement was made to the Sahib. Mirza Sahib came out of his palanquin,and stayed there waiting for the Secretary Sahib to come, according to long custom, and receive him. When neither the one went in, nor the other came out, and quite some time passed, then the Secretary Sahib asked his doorkeeper about it. That man came out again and asked, 'Why don’t you come in?' Mirza Sahib said, 'The Sahib has not come out to receive me. How can I go in?' The doorkeeper again went and reported.

The Sahib came outside and said, 'When you come to the governor’s court in your capacity as a nobleman, then you will receive the customary honor. But at the present time you have come for employment. You are not entitled to this honour.' Mirza Sahib said, 'I consider government service a reason for additional honour, not something in which I would lose my ancestral honour also!' The Sahib said, 'I am bound by regulations.' Mirza Sahib took his leave and came away.

2. The late Hakim Razi ud-Din Khan was an extremely close friend of Mirza's. He didn't care for mangoes. One day he was seated in the verandah of Mirza's house, and Mirza was there as well. A donkey-driver passed through the lane with his donkey. Some mango-skins were lying there; the donkey took a sniff, then left them. The Hakim Sahib said, 'Look-- a mango is such that even a donkey [gadhaa bhii] doesn't eat it!' Mirza said, 'Without a doubt, a donkey doesn't eat it.'

3. When Mirza came out of prison [for gambling, in 1847], then he went and stayed at Miyan Kale's house. One day he was sitting with the Miyan. Somebody came and congratulated him on being freed from prison. Mirza said, 'What wretch [bha;Ruvaa, literally 'pimp'] has gotten out of prison? First I was in the white man's [gore kii] prison, now I'm in the black man's [kaale kii] prison!'

4. After the Rebellion [of 1857], when his pension had been cut off and he hadn't received permission to attend the [British] darbar, Pandit Moti Lal...came to visit. There was some talk of the pension. Mirza Sahib said, 'In my whole life, if there's any day when I haven't drunk wine, then I'm an infidel [ek din sharaab nah pii ho to kaafir]; and if I've done the prayer one time, then I'm a sinner [ek daf((ah namaaz pa;Rhii ho to gunahgaar]. So I don't know how the Government has counted me among the rebel Muslims!'

5. Among the Delhi nobility there was one gentleman who was a very close friend of Mirza's, and who had become very badly off after the Rebellion. One day, wearing a [cheap] chintz quilted cloak [far;Gul], he came to visit Mirza. Mirza had seen him wear only Kashmiri lamb's-wool or embroidered, etc., robes [chu;Gah], never such low-class garments. When he saw the chintz cloak on his [friend's] body, his heart filled [with compassion]. He asked him, 'Where did you get this chintz? Its style pleases me extremely much; please order some chintz, for a cloak to be made for myself as well.' He [=the friend] said, 'This cloak has been made and sent to me only today, and this is the only time I've worn it. If it pleases you, then it's at your service [as a gift].' Mirza said, 'This is exactly what my heart desires-- that I would snatch it away from you and put it on right now! But it's very cold outside, what will you wear to go from here to your house?' Then he looked around here and there. He took down his own new Kashmiri lamb's-wool robe from a peg and put it on him. And so beautifully he presented this robe to him.

6. Another anecdote about language involving Mirza Sahib is famous. In Delhi, some people treat rath [cart] as feminine, and some as masculine. Someone asked Mirza Sahib, 'Your Excellency! Is "cart" feminine, or masculine?' He said, 'My friend! When women are seated in the cart, then treat it as feminine, and when men are seated in it, then consider it masculine.'

7.[When the British retook Delhi after the Rebellion of 1857, he was taken before a British officer who asked him if he was a Muslim.] Mirza said, 'Half'. The Colonel said, 'What does that mean?' Mirza said, 'I drink wine; I don't eat pork'. Having heard this, the Colonel began to laugh.

8. A Maulana came to visit,] and when he saw Mirza playing chausar during the month of Ramzan he said, 'In the Hadiths I've read that during the month of Ramzan, Satan is imprisoned, but today I've begun to doubt the truth of that hadith.' Mirza said, 'Your Worship! The hadith is entirely true, but you should realize that the place where Satan is imprisoned is this very chamber.'

9. One day during the mango season the late Bahadur Shah was strolling with some companions [in a garden full of mangoes]. From time to time Mirza looked attentively at a mango. The king asked, 'Mirza, what are you looking at so attentively?' Mirza replied with folded hands, 'My Lord and Guide, some poet has said that every fruit has written on it the name of its destined eater and his ancestors. I'm looking to see whether my and my ancestors' names are written on any of the fruit.' The king smiled, and that same day caused a number of very fine mangoes to be sent to Mirza.

10. In no way was Mirza's temperament ever satiated with mangoes. People in the city sent them as gifts, he himself had them brought from the market, mangoes came from distant places as presents, but Mirza's soul was not satisfied. [One day some friends who were gathered began to discuss mangoes]; each one was giving his opinion about what virtues they ought to have. When they had all expressed their views, then Maulana Fazl-e Haq said to Mirza, 'Give your opinion too.' Mirza said, 'My friend, in my view only two things are necessary in mangoes: they should be sweet, and they should be numerous.'

11. One time, at night, he was lying on a cot, looking at the sky. Seeing the apparent disorder and lack of arrangement of the stars, he said, 'The task done out of self-will is usually done in a disorderly way. Look at the stars-- how badly they're scattered around! No order, no arrangement; neither pattern nor design. But the King has the right over everything; no one can breathe a word.'

12. One day the late Sayyid Sardar Mirza came in the evening. After a little while, when he was preparing to leave, Mirza himself with his own hands brought a candle over by the edge of the carpet, so that he would have light for putting on his shoes. He said, 'Your Worship, why have you taken the trouble? I would have put my shoes on by myself.' Mirza said, 'I brought the candle not to show you your own shoes, but for fear you might put on mine by mistake!'

13. About wine, his witty remarks are very famous. One person in his presence vigorously denounced wine, and said, 'The prayers of wine-drinkers are not granted.' Mirza said, 'My friend, he who has been vouchsafed wine-- what else does he need, that he would pray for?'

14. Learning of a friend who had been widowed twice and wished to marry again, Mirza wrote in a letter,] 'Hearing about Umra'o Singh's situation, I feel compassion on his behalf, and envy on my own. My God-- he is one whose fetters have been cut twice! And here am I, who have had the hangman's noose around my neck for more than fifty years-- and neither does the noose break, nor does the breath quite leave my body!'

15. Once in the winter, a parrot's cage was before him. Because of the cold, the parrot sat with his head tucked under his wing. Seeing this, Mirza said, 'Friend Parrot! You have neither wife nor children-- why should you sit there with your head bowed, in such a careworn state?'

16. One day Mirza's pupil and follower came and said, 'Your Excellency, today I went to the tomb of Amir Khusrau. By the tomb there's a khirni tree. I ate quite a number of its fruits. As soon as I had eaten them, it was as if the door of eloquence and rhetoric opened. Just see how eloquent I've become!' Mirza said, 'Aré my friend, why did you go six miles? Why don't you eat the berries from the pipal tree in my back courtyard? You would have obtained fourteen grades of illumination!'