Born 1723 – Died September 20, 1810
His original name was Muhammad Taqi and takhallus is “Meer” (also spelt as Mir Taqi Mir), was the leading Urdu poet of the 18th century, and one of the pioneers who gave shape to the Urdu language itself.
Syed Amanullah Meer Taqi was the only son of a Sufi saint, Meer Muttaqi. When Meer was a little child, his father looking at his face used to say which is this fire burning within your heart that is reflecting on your face. Sufis are lovers of God and so he thought that it was the fire of love for Allah. Living in a atmosphere of sufism at a very young age had profound effect on Meer. He did not have much desires for worldly things.
While on his death bed, his father instructed Meer to “Adopt the path of love. A life without love is an ordeal and losing one’s heart in love is the real art. Though this path is riddled with difficulties, love is what drives the world.” This is a philosophy reflected by Meer in most of his works.
After his father’s death, at the age of 11 years, he was abandoned by the people in whose care he had been left. His elder step-brother also treated him badly. Meer left Agra for Delhi in search of livelihood . Samsamudaula gave him a scholarship of one rupee per day, but this did not continue for long because in 1739, Nadir Shah attacked Delhi in which Samsamudaula was killed. At that time Meer was in Agra. After staying in Agra for few days, Meer again went to Delhi. In Delhi, he stayed in the home of Khan Arzoo, who was the maternal uncle of Meer’s step-brother Hafiz Muhammad Hasan. Muhammad Hassan wrote a letter to his uncle criticizing Meer. Soon Meer was homeless and jobless and roaming in the streets aimlessly.
After Nadir Shah’s carnage there was no charm left in Delhi for the poets, many of them moved to Lucknow. Meer came to Lucknow in 1783; Nawab Asafaddaula fixed him Rs. 200 a month stipend.
His early experiences in life and shortness of money though had made a permanent change in his nature and even in the peaceful atmosphere of Lucknow he lived a terrible life. Simple things used to make him upset, many times he walked out of the Nawab’s court. In 1810 he died in Lucknow.
He was one of the principal poets of the Delhi School of the Urdu ghazal and remains arguably the foremost name in Urdu poetry often remembered as Khuda e Sukhan or Shehenshah e Ghazal.
Mirza Ghalib kehte hain..
Meer Ke Shair Ka Ahwaal Kahun Kia Ghalib,
Jis Ka Deewan Kam Az Gulshan e Kashmir Nahi !
Reekhta kay tumhi ustaad nahi ho Ghalib,
Kehtay hain aglay zamanay may koi Meer bhi thaa !
Ghalib apna yeh aqeeda hai baqaul Naasikh,
Aap bey bahrah hai jo muataqid e Meer nahi !!