Today marks the 209th death anniversary of poet, Mir Taqi Mir. His original name was Muhammad Taqi and takhallus (pen name) was Mir.
He was a leading Urdu poet of the eighteenth century. He is respected as one of the pioneers who shaped the Urdu language.
He was one of the principal poets of the Delhi School of Urdu ghazal, and arguably remains the foremost name in Urdu poetry.
Mir Taqi Mir was born in Agra, India which was ruled by the Mughals at the time. He left for Delhi at the age of 11 following his father’s death.
His philosophy of life was formed primarily from his father, whose emphasis on the importance of love and value of compassion remained with him through his life and imbued in his poetry.
Mir Taqi Mir completed his education in Delhi and joined a group of nobility as a courtier-poet. He lived much of his life in Mughal Delhi.
Kuchha Chelan, located in the famous grain market Khari Baoli in Old Delhi was his address at that time.
However, after Ahmad Shah Abdali’s sack of Delhi starting 1748, Mir Taqi Mir eventually moved to the court of Asaf-ud-Daulah in Lucknow, at the king’s invitation.
Distressed to witness the plundering of his beloved Delhi, he vented his feelings through some of his couplets.
Basing his language on his native Hindustani, he leavened it with a sprinkle of Persian diction and phraseology, and created a poetic language at once simple, natural and elegant, which was to guide generations of future poets.
His complete works, Kulliaat, consist of six dewans, containing 13,585 couplets comprising all kinds of poetic forms: ghazal, masnavi, qasida, rubai, mustezaad, satire, etc.
He remained in Lucknow for the remainder of his life, and died there of a purgative overdose on September 20, 1810.