The 6 Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, is ensconced on his throne with the nobles occupying their respective positions in the court.

As everyone looks up at him, the Nizam recites a one-line verse and wants his courtiers to provide the other line to complete the verse.

Sharab seeqh pe dali, kabab sheeshe mein (Poured the wine on the barbecue, the meat in the bottle) That was the uncomprehending one-liner. It was a challenge to the poets present. But try as they could, none could crack this puzzle.

As everyone draws a blank, the Nizam's gaze moves to his ‘ustad', Dagh Dehlvi. The latter picks up the gauntlet and completes the seemingly senseless line in such a way that everyone is left speechless.

Here is the completed couplet:

Kisi ke aate hi saaqi ke hosh aiese ude

Sharab seeqh pe dali, kabab sheeshe mein

People oblivious to poet

Saturday marked the 107 death anniversary of this greatest poet of Urdu. A few language aficionados paid tributes to his contributions, but Urdu lovers, largely, did not remember Dagh whose famous couplet they recite unwittingly to praise the language.

Urdu hai jiska naam hamee jante hain Dagh

Hindustan mein dhoom hamari zuban ki hai

Many even do not know that Dagh's final abode is in Hyderabad. Though thousands flock to the Yousufain Dargah in Nampally everyday, few know that the highly acclaimed Urdu poet is buried there.

Thanks to the keen interest of noted historian Ziauddin Ahmed Shakeb, senior advocate Ghulam Yazdani and social activist Laxmi Devi Raj, floral tributes were offered to his tomb. Elsewhere, a programme was organised to remember Dagh's contributions. But by and large Hyderabadis remained oblivious of the poet who lived and died in their city.

Dagh, who belonged to the “Dabistane Dehli” (Dehli school of thought), was guide to scores of poets who sought his advice to improve their works. Among them was poet philosopher Allama Iqbal and the 6 Nizam.

Being the king's poet, Dagh was the toast of the town. There was not a ‘mushaira' where he was not invited and which he did not steal by his mesmeric poetry.

Love for Hyderabad

He had immense love for Hyderabad which comes out in his poems thus:

Hyderabad hai jannat se siva dar-ul-aman

Khake gandum na yahan se kabhi nikle adam

Keywords: Dagh Dehlvi

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