Urdu Poerty Gems II – Mir Taqi Mir (Notes from ASAD and Urdupoetry)

Mir Muhammad Taqi ‘Mir’ (1724-1810)

The “Shehenshaah” of Urdu Gzazal ? Mir Taqi Mir was called so because Mir was the “chief” architect responsible for giving Ghazal the beauty it has. With him started the Golden Period of GHazal. He gave it the present form, and induced the “dard” and “nazaakat” in Ghazal. His Shayari was simple and elegant. It never fails to touch the strings of my heart.

baad marane ke, meri Kabr par wo aayaa ‘Mir’
yaad aayi hai, mere Isaa ko dawaa, mere baad

Sahir once said “raat bhar ka hai mehamaaN andheraa”. And indeed, the concept of morning is always used to denote a happy begining, or end of unhappiness.

Guess, not everybody feels so:

gor kis diljale ki hai ye falak
shola ik, subah yaaN se uthata hai

Apart from Ghazals Mir has written two Masnavi’s (masnavi is a long narrative poem rhymed in couplet form) These two masnavis, Mu’amlat-e ‘ishq and Khwab o khyal-e Mir are written in the first person. The former describes a passionate love affair, ending in separation, between the narrator and a married woman who is apparently related to him; while the latter describes an attack of madness suffered by the narrator, characterized by his obsession with the face of a beautiful woman which he sees in the moon.

I am looking out for these Masnavi’s, so if anyone gets them, please pass them on to me

dekh to, dil ki jaaN se uTHataa hai
ye dhuaaN sa, kahaaN se uTHataa hai

Surprisingly, there are very very few GHazals by Mir which have been sung except perhaps by Mehdi Hasan singing a GHazal by Mir. Mir is perhaps the greatest of all the Shayars. But his GHazals are amazingly simple to understand and appreciate. Also, *music* is integral part of Mir’s Shayari. His style was conversationalist, using more of Urdu and Hindi than Farasi. And the fluidity, the rhythm is always present.

About his style, the great Zauk (a contemporary of GHalib) said …

na huaa, par na huaa, ‘Mir’ ka andaaz naseeb !
‘Zauk’, yaaroN ne bahut zor, GHazal me maaraa !!

In his compilation of “Deewan-e-Mir”, Ali Sardar Jafferey says a lot about Mir’s greatness in just one paragraph.

“Shayar has been given the status of “KHuda ka shishya”, and has been placed as “Paigambar” too. But Mir Taqi Mir is the only Shayar who is called as “Shayari ka KHuda” !! Mir is not the only one to be called as the greatest ever. But still it’s a fact that Mir tops the list of Urdu Shayars. Today, Ghalib and Iqbal are more popular than Mir. Their books sell more, their Shers are more known. But the greatness of Ghalib and Iqbal has been challenged. But no Shayar in any period has dared to challenge Mir’s greatness.”

Here is one by Ghalib …

‘Ghalib’, apanaa to aqeedaa hai bakaule-‘Naasikh’
aap be-bahara haiN, jo motakid-e-‘Mir’ nahiN

Ghalib says “if you are not a worshiper of Mir, then you are stupid !!”

4 thoughts on “Urdu Poerty Gems II – Mir Taqi Mir (Notes from ASAD and Urdupoetry)”

    1. Happy to know you look forward to it.
      I have started the series for my own reference.
      Its such a pity I dont know how to read urdu script, tried learning it but it demanded too much time which i couldnt devote 🙁

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