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‘Ghalib in New Delhi’: A Modern Take on the Iconic 'Shair'

Get an insight into Ghalib’s world from the director, writer, and actor of ‘Ghalib in New Delhi’- Dr M Sayeed Alam.

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Video Producer: Mayank Chawla

Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui

It is but impossible to imagine poetry without thinking of Urdu and Persian poet Mirza Ghalib. Mirza Ghalib, also called the ‘magician of poetry’, is an integral part of Urdu and Persian literature. 

‘Ghalib in New Delhi’ is a play that sheds light on Ghalib’s experience in Delhi, over a century after his death. 

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Baazicha-e-football hai duniya mire aage Hota hai shab-o-roz tamasha mere aage
Ghalib's reinterpretation by Dr M Sayeed Alam

Through this poem, the writer, director, and actor, Dr M Sayeed Alam, has tried to depict how Ghalib’s poetry would have been, had he been alive in today’s world. 

Yeh Na Thi Hamari Qismat Ke Visaal-e-Yaar Hota Agar Aur Jeete Rehte Ye hee Intezar Hota
Ghalib's reinterpretation by Dr M Saeed Alam

Ghalib and his couplets are loved, even though quite often, people don’t understand them.

Ghalib is known for the intricacies and nuance in his poetry.

It is not an easy task to understand the meaning of his couplets. In spite of that, he is loved by readers of poetry. His poetry is accessible even though the language in inaccessible and complicated.

The reason behind this is the sound of the words used in his poetry. His exceptional use of phonetics is what leaves people mesmerised. There is a musicality to his poetry. 

Contrary to the other poets of his era, Ghalib was ahead of his time. He invited modernisation. Instead of rejecting change, he was impressed by it, Dr M Sayeed Alam said.

The three things that set Mirza Ghalib apart from the others are his world, his life, and his couplets. When these three come together, the formation of one entity is unique, even for those who don't understand Ghalib.
Dr M Sayeed Alam

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Topics:  poetry   Mirza Ghalib   Urdu poetry 

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