Mirza Asadullah Baig , pen-name Ghalib was born on 27 December 1796 was an all time great classical Urdu and Persian poet of the Indian subcontinent. Most notably, he wrote several ghazals during his life, which have since been interpreted and sung in many different ways by different people. He is considered to be the most dominating poet of the Urdu language
Mirza Asadullah Beg — known to posterity as Ghalib, a ‘nom de plume’ he adopted in the tradition of all classical Urdu poets, was born in the city of Agra . When he was only five years old, his father, Abdullah Beg Khan died in a battle while working under Rao Raja Bakhtwar Singh of Alwar and his uncle Nasrullah Beg Khan took charge of him. But he lost his uncle also at the tender age of eight.
The death of his father and uncle during his early youth left Ghalib with no male-dominant figures. He then moved to Delhi.
Ghalib’s early education has always been a matter of confusion. There are no known records of his formal education, although it was known that his circle of friends in Delhi were some of the most intelligent minds of the time.
Around 1810, he was married into a family of nobles, at the age of thirteen. He had seven children, none of whom survived .
Ghalib never worked as such for a livelihood but lived on either state patronage, credit or generosity of his friends. His fame came to him posthumously. He had himself remarked during his lifetime that although his age ignored his greatness, it would be recognized by later generations. History has vindicated his claim. He also is arguably the most “written about” among Urdu poets.
He died in Delhi on February 15th, 1869.
The first complete English translation of Ghalib’s love poems (ghazals) was written by Dr. Sarfaraz K. Niazi and published by Rupa & Co in India and Ferozsons in Pakistan. The title of this book is Love Sonnets of Ghalib and it contains complete roman transliteration, explication and an extensive lexicon.