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1. Because he had a great sense of humour
For the difficult, rigorous and penniless life he is known to have led, Ghalib poetry was rich and his outlook to life was not always bitter. He wrote about the pain of love and about the philosophies of life, making his poetry a masterpiece. His humour is most evident in his letters to his friends; his letters were very informal and the humor was distinct. He said “main koshish karta hoon keh koi aisi baat likhoon jo parhay khoosh ho jaaye” [ I try to write such that whoever reads it, should enjoy it] When the third wife of one of his friends died, he wrote to him in a light-hearted vein… “Allah Allah aik woh log hain jo teen teen dafah iss qaid say chhoot chu-kain hain aur aik hum hain keh aik ag-lay pachas baras say jo phansi ka phanda ga-lay mein parha hai to nah phanda hi tut-ta hai nah dum hi nikalta hai” [Allah Allah, there are some among us who have been freed from this prison three times and I have for the past 50 years this rope around my neck; neither this rope breaks nor it takes my life] His letters have been beautifully translated into English by Ralph Russell, The Oxford Ghalib.

2. Because his poetry epitomized the effects of nasha (intoxication) and the pleasures of wine, which he was very fond of. Here is a sample –
pila de oak se saaqee jo hamse nafrat hai;
pyaala gar naheen deta na de, sharaab to de

Loosely translated as –
Quench my thirst from the palm of your hand, O wine-server
If you don’t want to give me the goblet so be it, but give me the wine atleast.

3. Because he gave us the ghazal “Aah ko chahiye ek umr asar hone tak” (Refer to the ghazal here: https://urduwallahs.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/aah-ko-chahiye/). This is a personal favorite – please feel free to choose your favorite Ghalib ghazal or sher, that has enamoured you and brought you closer to the beautiful Urdu zabaan.


4. Because he made ornamental and difficult Urdu lafz more palatable and enjoyable through his poetry and introduced us to a treasure trove of Urdu words which we would have not known otherwise. While in his lifetime, he seemed to have faced severe criticism for his difficult-to-relate-to poetry, it has definitely helped familiarize us with Urdu words and phrases like bazeecha-e-atfal (a child’s playground) and teer-e-neemkash (a half drawn arrow on the brink of being released) and gardish-e-rang-e-chaman (the changing of the seasons as evident in a garden), the latter also being the title of a book by Qurrat-ul-ain Haider.

5. Because he loved mangoes :)
Ghalib, it is claimed, had tasted more than 4000 varieties of mangoes and his love for mangoes was known to be more than that of wine of poetry in the seasonal months of June and July, when the juicy fruit was available. (Source: http://thinkloud65.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/ghalibs-mangoes/). Ghalib has even written an entire masnavi on mangoes and his fondness for the fruit (Refer post: https://urduwallahs.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/masnawi/)