Ghalib: Why so difficult?

In this world, things never come the way we want. We never get the things bundled the way want them. This somehow decreases the availability of the things and restricts it to only selected masses. When I read Ghalib, I realize that this law holds true for poetry also. Ghalib’s poetry is one of the most beautiful flower that has blossomed in the world. Instead of being so delicate, it is quite difficult to understand and this reduces the number of people who actually float in the juice of poetry. I remember one poem written by another poet about this problem about the poetry of Ghalib

अगर आप का कहा तुम आप ही समझे, तो क्या समझे

मजा कहे का जब है, एक कहे दुसरा समझे

कलाम ए मीर समझे, और जबान ए मिर्झा समझे

मगर इनका कहा, यह आप समझे या खुदा समझे….

Meaning:It is useless if you alone understand the meaning of what you say. Saying is meaningful when one says and the other understands.We could understand what Poet Mir writes and what poet Mirza says. But, what Ghalib says is understood either by Ghalib himself or the Almighty.

I think, this is quite a philosophical question: Is it a rule to have valuable things in a format which is difficult? Or can they be simplified?

Ghalib poems

Ghalib: The unbeatable Beauty

Many poets, I love. I love them for their beauty, for their tenderness.Ghalib is one of those poets. Ghalib was not enlightened. He was not a saint or the one who had seen. But, his vision was very sensitive. He had immensely sensitive. Here, I again a remember a beautiful couplet from Ghalib-

People are saying that, Ghalib will vanish and will remain his torn pieces….

I also went to see it, bur the show did not happen…….

A blame which Ghalib always faced was, he had used stolen ideas from other poets. Now, this idea, is also not very uncommon. Thousands of poets before Ghalib must have written something about this idea. But, the way of Ghalib is unique. I dont think any other poet has this beauty in his language. The above mentioned idea can be put in many different patterns. But, the pattern used by Ghalib, ‘I also went to see’ is unique, is what I love. Duty and beauty of poet is in how he unfolds. As far as this unfolding is concerned, Ghalib is just unbeatable….

art Ghalib poems

Ghalib- Submerged in the sorrow

The most striking topics which Ghalib handled in his poetry were love and spirituality. In general common reader does not come across a Ghalib completely submerged in his pain. But, if we read more, Ghalib was really submerged in his pain. Though his life was full of sorrow, he never had an attitude of a coward or tired one. Ghalib was always welcoming more and more sorrow. Even Ghalib, in one of his couplets says to god-

Send how much sorrows you want to……

My jug of Wine is also unlimited……

Ghalib had his father dead when he was four years old. His loving uncle died when he was 12 years old. Ghalib had a fixed annual pension of Rs.10,000, but this to was cunningly cut down by his wicked cousins to an amount of Rs.500 per annum. Ghalib had many debts to pay. He was once charged in the court for not refunding the money which he had taken.

Family life of Ghalib was also very tiresome. He had seven children, all of them died before completing their two years.  So, the couple adopted a niece and unfortunately, the poor niece also died.

It is said that joy is very superfluous, sorrow gives us the depth. It is said that the sorrow compells us to contemplate. Ghalib has tremendous sorrows in his life, which made him to think about the very basic questions of the human existence. The most striking thing abourt Ghalib is that he drank all of his sorrow with the same love which he had for wine.

It is said that sorrow is the fire which brings shine to the gold within a human. I think, this sorrow has given the birth to the Ghalib, who loved the life so much with its totality.

More articles about Ghalib-

Ghalib- The master of expression