This is the first edition of some famous anecdote from Ghalib’s life.
- In Delhi, some people treatrath [cart] as feminine, and some as masculine. Someone asked Mirza Sahib, ‘Your Excellency! Is “cart” feminine, or masculine?’ He said, ‘My friend! When women are seated in the cart, then treat it as feminine, and when men are seated in it, then consider it masculine.’
- When the British retook Delhi after the Rebellion of 1857, he was taken before a British officer who asked him if he was a Muslim.] Mirza said, ‘Half’. The Colonel said, ‘What does that mean?’ Mirza said, ‘I drink wine; I don’t eat pork’. Having heard this, the Colonel began to laugh.
- [A scurrilous attack on Ghalib had been published.] Someone said, ‘Your Excellency! You haven’t written any answer to it.’ Mirza said, ‘If a donkey kicks you, then will you kick him back?’
- [A Maulana came to visit,] and when he saw Mirza playing chausar during the month of Ramzan he said, ‘In the Hadiths I’ve read that during the month of Ramzan, Satan is imprisoned, but today I’ve begun to doubt the truth of that hadith.’ Mirza said, ‘Your Worship! The hadith is entirely true, but you should realize that the place where Satan is imprisoned is this very chamber.’
- One day during the mango season the late Bahadur Shah was strolling with some companions [in a garden full of mangoes]. From time to time Mirza looked attentively at a mango. The king asked, ‘Mirza, what are you looking at so attentively?’ Mirza replied with folded hands, ‘My Lord and Guide, some poet has said that every fruit has written on it the name of its destined eater and his ancestors. I’m looking to see whether my and my ancestors’ names are written on any of the fruit.’ The king smiled, and that same day caused a number of very fine mangoes to be sent to Mirza.
- One day the late Sayyid Sardar Mirza came in the evening. After a little while, when he was preparing to leave, Mirza himself with his own hands brought a candle over by the edge of the carpet, so that he would have light for putting on his shoes. He said, ‘Your Worship, why have you taken the trouble? I would have put my shoes on by myself.’ Mirza said, ‘I brought the candle not to show you your own shoes, but for fear you might put on mine by mistake!’
Read on : The Chronicles of Mirza Ghalib-2