When the kathak maestro Uma Sharma, writer-diplomat Pavan K. Varma, heritage activist Firoz Bakht Ahmed, poet Gulzar Dehlvi, bureaucrat Abid Hussain and the couplets of Ghalib go together, the churning produces Yadgar-e-Ghalib - a two day commemoration of Mirza Ghalib December 26-27 on the occasion of the inimitable poet’s 212th birth anniversary.
Mirza Ghalib was born Dec 27, 1797.
Coming in the wake of reports of the misuse and vandalisation of Ghalib’s haveli by holding of wedding receptions, the cultural programme will seek to give new life and meaning to his ancestral property in the old city, according to Firoz Bakht Ahmed, heritage activist and secretary, Ghalib Memorial Movement.
Danseuse Uma Sharma will begin the first day of the event on Saturday with a candle light procession from Town Hall, Chandni Chowk, to the Gali Qasimjan haveli of Mirza Ghalib. The procession will conclude at Ghalib’s haveli where Gulzar Dehlvi, Pavan Varma, Uma Sharma and Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan will pay homage on life and times of Ghalib. After this there will be a cultural evening at Kucha Pati Ram Haveli at Kucha Pati Ram, Bazaar Sita Ram in old Delhi.
All through the vintage selling street of Chandni Chowk will be the specially created platforms highlighting the attarwalas, pankhewalas (fan holders), mashals (torches), huqqas (smoking system) and pandaans (betel leaf boxes). The nafeeri and tasha (musical instrument of the Mughal era) artistes will accompany the procession to Ghalib’s house at Gali Qasimjan.
On the second day of the Yadgar-e-Ghalib, the main attraction will include Uma’s unique ballet “Shama bujhti hei...” at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, Lodi Road on Sunday at 6.30 p.m. The function will begin with Pavan Varma reading from his book “Ghalib: The man, The times”.
According to Firoz Bakht Ahmed, the glorious thing about Ghalib is that his poetry never fitted into watertight compartments because his world in the ghazals was too vast and too contradictory. His poetry is unique, not only for the intensity of feelings but also for the exquisite charm and profound thoughts that are part of his beautiful world, said Mr. Ahmed.
He said Kishwar Naheed, the Ghalib expert and poetess from Pakistan who was recently in Delhi to read a paper under the aegis of Aiwan-e-Ghalib in New Delhi, had declared: “India is Ghalib and Ghalib is India!“