Published on 31 Dec 2008 | over 8 years ago
The Poet: Muhammad Taqi محمّد تقی , more popularly known as Mir Taqi Mir میر تقی میر (second Mir میر was his takhallus) was born in Agra آگرہ (then Akbarabad اکبر آباد ) in India in 1723. He moved to Delhi when he was about 11 years old. He left for Lukhnow لکھنؤ sometimes after 1748, where he died in 1810. It is said that in the first mushaira مشاعرہ (a gathering where poets sing ghazals to a live audience) he attended in Lukhnow, people were not attentive since they did not know him. Some started passing remarks like, who is this guy?, ... where is he from? In response, he said these verses, most probably extempore:
کیا بود و باش پوچھو ہو پورب کے ساکنو؟
ہم کو غریب جان کے ، ہنس ہنس پکار کے
دلی جو ایک شہر تھا عالم میں انتخاب
رہتے تھے منتخب ہی جہاں روزگار کے
جسکو فلک نے لوٹ کے ویران کر دیا
ہم رہنے والے ہیں اُسی اجڑے دیار کے
There was a pin-drop silence after that.
Mirs legacy: His time is when the Urdu اردو language was evolving from various local dialects and Arabi, Farsi, and Turkish. Farsi was still the language of the Mughal court, but it had people from all the Muslim countries coming to India for work. Urdu itself means a camp in Turkish. One term used for early Urdu is Rekhta ریختہ (meaning, in Farsi: the scatterd, or the broken) . Mirza Ghalib, who was born 73 years after him has said:
ریختہ کے تمہیں استاد نہیں ہو غالب
کہتے ہیں اگلے زمانے میں کوئی میر بھی تھا
(Ghalib, you are not the only master of Rekhta, they say in the olden times there was someone named Mir). Mir used a nice blend of Farsi and Hindic terms. His poetry is known for taghazzul تغزل (difficult term to translate, but roughly, the best characteristics of ghazal). His Kulliyyat consist of more than 13,000 ashaar اشعار , containing different forms of poetry, i.e.,ghazal, masnavi, qasida, rubai, mustezaad, and hejv (satire). Looking at the content, it is full of pathos, melancholy, and Sufi themes. He expresses the human sorrows and pain in a very personal manner. He is from the Delhi school of Urdu ghazal (more personal, full of emotions, expressing sadness), as compared to the Luckhnow school (with lofty language). That is why he is one of the best loved ghazal writers in Urdu poetry. He is indeed one of the pillars of Urdu poetry.
The Singer: Mehdi Hassan مہدی حسن was born in Luna, Rajasthan, India in 1927. After partition of the Indian Sub-continent, he moved to Pakistan in 1947. He first sang on Radio Pakistan in 1952. He is presently (2010) incapacitated by a stroke. He has been awarded 3 of the highest civil awards (Hilal-e Imtiaz ہلالِ امتیاز , Tamgha-e Imtiaz تمغۂ امتیاز , and Pride of Performance Award (تمغۂ حسنِ کارکردگی ) by the Government of Pakistan.
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