Ghalib lovers unite at his haveli on his birth anniversary

The quaint streets of Chandni Chowk bathed in electric lights as Ballimaran rose to celebrate on the eve of Mirza Ghalib’s 215th birth anniversary on December 26, 2012. Ghalib’s haveli in Gali Qasim Jaan, Ballimaran, restored to a semblance of its previous glory, was the venue for the celebrations.

‘Andaz-e-bayan’ was organised by the Ghalib Memorial Movement, a venture by Ghalib lovers Uma Sharma, Dr. Abid Hussain, Dr. Vinay Bharat Ram and others. It started with a candle light march from Town Hall, Chandni Chowk to Ghalib’s haveli. The white bust of Ghalib seemed to come alive in the light of the numerous candles placed before it.

Gali Qasim Jaan drowned in recitals of Ghalib’s poetry and heart rending ghazals as Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan of India and Ustad Mazhar Umrao Bundu Khan from Pakistan indulged in their common love for Ghalib.

“Ghalib was the best poet of that era. Ten years ago, when I came to Chandni Chowk and asked for Ghalib’s haveli, nobody had any idea. Today, to actually perform here is the biggest tribute I can give to the legend,” said Ustad Bundu Khan, when asked about his experience in India.

Restored by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) in association with Government of Delhi, Ghalib’s haveli wore a festive look. Exactly a year back, the haveli was opened after restoration and turned into a museum of personal artefacts and works of Ghalib. It was hard to imagine that a decade ago it was no more than a warehouse.

Commending the artistes who brought Ghalib to life with their talent, Haroon Yusuf, Minister for Transport, Food and Civil Supplies Department, Government of Delhi, promised that the haveli would be maintained.

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