It is highly likely that many of those who have been to Chandni Chowk in New Delhi did not pay a visit to the haveli where Mirza Ghalib spent the last nine years of his life.
The haveli was gifted to the famed Urdu poet by a fan who was a rich physician sometime before 1860. The poet started staying in the haveli from 1860 and lived there till his death in 1869.
Some of his finest pieces of ghazals were composed during this period. Throughout the British period, hardly was anyone concerned about his haveli. Later on, the government would take possession of it, then sell it off to someone, and then, in 1999, gain possession of a part of the haveli.
Though maintained by the ASI – and maintained well – the beautiful haveli does not get too many visitors.
After all, who cares about a poet long dead and gone? Unless of course someone is worthy enough to know the gem that was Ghalib.
And this is why the students of Berklee College of Music and singer Vijay prakash should be called ‘worthy’.
They transformed this poetry of Ghalib into a modern-day, almost Indi-pop like song:
“Arz-e-niyāz-e-ishq ke qābil nahīñ rahāAdvertisement
jis dil pe naaz thā mujhe vo dil nahīñ rahā.”
(The heart with which I could claim to offer the submission of love does not remain. The passionate heart I used to pride myself on- that did not remain.)
Listen to it and you will feel as if you are listening to heart-touching lyrics powered by some soulful voices.