There is no denying the fact that Urdu is increasingly becoming one of the most renowned languages of the world. When a foreign learner starts learning Urdu, he or she comes across various ages in which the language developed, especially the contributions of the poets and intellectuals towards the progress of the language.
One of the major names that every Urdu learner comes across when dealing with Urdu literature in general and Urdu poetry in particular is the name of Mir Taqi Mir. For Urdu natives, Mir is one of the greatest poets of Urdu language and the initiation of Urdu Ghazal is associated with him. The lines below discuss a brief life history of Mir Taqi Mir.
The real name of Mir was Muhammad Taqi. The word ‘Mir’ is the takhallus which the poets have in Urdu, it is the same as penname as used by poets of other languages. Mir being renonwned for his penname rather than his real name is evident of the fact that he is one of the greats who was renowned for his work.
Mir was born in Agra in the eighteenth century, and it is where he lived till his death. At the time of Mir there were different schools of Urdu poetry spread across various regions of subcontinent. However, despite of being form Agra and then travelling across subcontinent, Mir was known as a great and a representative of Delhi School of Urdu poetry.
In Agra, when the father of Mir died, he moved to Delhi in order to complete his education and also gain financial patronage. It was his time in Delhi in which he wrote most of his masterpieces and major compilation. Mir lived most of his life in Delhi, however, things changed when Delhi got ransacked by Ahmad Shah Abdali. After the invasion Mir migrated from Delhi to Lucknow on the invitation of the king of Lucknow, and there he became a member of his court and received patronage. However, things grew severe in the latter part of his life, and Mir died out of an overdose of a purgative in Lucknow.
As far as the literary career of Mir is concerned, his complete work is known as Kulliaat, which contains six Diwans, that have over thirteen thousand verses. These verses are in almost all the poetic forms in Urdu such as satire, mustezaad, qasidad, rubai, masnav, ghazal and so on. However, it is the Ghazal of Urdu for which Mir is most known in Urdu literature.
Although Ghalib rose to prominence a century late than Mir, however, he also acknowledge his greatness and considered him one of the greatest poets of Urdu language in general and Urdu ghazal in particular.
There have been numerous researchers and critics who have analyzed the works of Mir and found him a great when it comes to rhythm and lyre in Urdu poetry, especially the touch of sensitivity and personal tone in Urdu ghazal.
In a nutshell, for those who want to learn Urdu and are interested in knowing about the literature in general and Urdu poetry in particular are highly advised to read the poetry of Mir, as he is the pioneer of Urdu poetry and perhaps the greatest of all.