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‘‘With Meer, Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz, to name only four, the firmament of Urdu poetry is truly star-studded, with numerous starlets strewn around. Ghalib has not only a pride of place among them; his stature is growing with every passing decade he got less than his due in his own time. He was ahead of his age, and his contemporaries failed to comprehend him fully. But it was really when India (and Pakistan) celebrated his first death centenary in 1969 that he was rehabilitated as a great poet he is. There has been no looking back after that. As with other great poets like Shakespeare, one discovers a new wealth of meaning every time one reads him, and different people find different meaning, suiting their need and situation. In other words, great poets are inexhaustible in their appeal and meaning and do not get dated even when they mirror their times most effectively. Ghalib’s writings are not only an authentic account of his own age, his poetry transcends his times and situation. It is universal in its appeal.’’
Ghalib is the greatest Urdu poet and one of the greatest in any Indian language. He would rank perhaps among the great poets of the world.
In fact, it is well-nigh impossible to do full justice to his poetry, particularly the ghazals in translation. The best that could be done was to translate the verse into independent rhymed couplets. Also, I have tried to be faithful to the original. This is a selection of the best and most popular ghazals from Diwan-e-Ghalib.
For the convenience of readers original Ghazals have been given in Hindi as well as in Roman script. Meanings of difficult Urdu words have also been given.