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Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Tanvir Ahmad Alvi
Publisher: National Book Trust
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788123741772
Ghalib born Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan on 27 December 1797 – died 15 February 1869), was the preeminent Indian Urdu and Persian-language poet during the last years of the Mughal Empire. He used his pen-names of Ghalib and Asad. His honorific was Dabir-ul-Mulk, Najm-ud-Daula. During his lifetime the Mughals were eclipsed and displaced by the British and finally deposed following the defeat of the Indian rebellion of 1857, events that he wrote of.
Most notably, he wrote several ghazals during his life, which have since been interpreted and sung in many different ways by different people. Ghalib, the last great poet of the Mughal Era, is considered to be one of the most popular and influential poets of the Urdu language. Today Ghalib remains popular not only in India and Pakistan but also amongst diaspora communities around the world.
Mirza Ghalib was a gifted letter writer. Not only Urdu poetry but the prose is also indebted to Mirza Ghalib. His letters gave foundation to easy and popular Urdu. Before Ghalib, letter writing in Urdu was highly ornamental. He made his letters "talk" by using words and sentences as if he were conversing with the reader. According to him Sau kos se ba-zaban-e-qalam baatein kiya karo aur hijr mein visaal ke maze liya karo. His letters were very informal, some times he would just write the name of the person and start the letter.
He was very humorous and wrote very interesting letters. In one letter he wrote "Main koshish karta hoon ke koi aisi baat likhoon jo padhe khush ho jaaye'". Some scholar says that Ghalib would have the same place in Urdu literature if only on the basis of his letters. They have been translated into English by Ralph Russell in The Oxford Ghalib.