Diwan-e-Ghalib (A Selection) Ghazals (With Original Text, Roman Transliteration and English Translation)

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Item Code: NAC035
Author: Kuldip Salil
Publisher: Rajpal and Sons
Language: With Original Text, Roman Transliteration and English Translation
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 9788170286929
Pages: 139
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.8 inch X 5.8 inch
Weight 330 gm
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Book Description
From the Jacket

Ghalib is the greatest Urdu poet and one of the greatest in any Indian language. He would rank perhaps among the great poets of the world.

With Meer, Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz, to name only four, the firmament of Urdu poetry is truly star-studded, with numerous starlets strewn around. Ghalib has not only a pride of place among them; his stature is growing with every passing decade.

In fact, it is well-nigh impossible to do full justice to his poetry, particularly the ghazal in translation. The best that could be done was to translate the verses into independent rhymed couplets. Also, I have tried to be faithful to the original. This is a selection of the best and most popular Ghazals from Diwan-e-Ghalib.

For the convenience of readers original Ghazlas have been given in Hindi as well as in Roman script. Meanings of difficult Urdu words have also been given in footnotes.

About the Author

Kuldip Saul was born on 30th December, 1938 in Sialkot (Pakistan). He took postgraduate degree in English and Economics from Delhi University He has published four collections of poetry; ‘Bees Sal Ka Safar’ (1979), ‘Havas Ke Shahr Mein’ (1987), ‘Jo Keh Na Sake’ (2000) and ‘Awaz Ka Rishta’ (2004), the last three being ghazal collections. He has also published ‘Angrezi Ke Shreshth Kavi Aur Unki Shreshth Kavitayen’, an anthology of best-known English poems in Hindi verse translation.

His latest books are ‘Diwan-e-Ghalib—A Selection’, selected ghazals of Mirza Ghalib translated into English and ‘A Treasury of Urdu Poetry’, translation into English verse of more than one hundred nazms and ghazals, selected from the works of thirty four Urdu poets, alongwith their life sketches and brief critical introductions. He has also published a large number of poems (mostly in Khushwant Singh’s column) in various newspapers and journals.

Kuldip Salil retired as Reader in English from Hans Raj College, Delhi University He won the Delhi Hindi Academy Award for poetry in 1987.

Back of the Book

“With Meer, Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz, to name only four, the firmament of Urdu poetry is truly star-studded, with numerous starlets strewn around. Ghalib has not only a pride of place among them; his stature is growing with every passing decade. He got less than his due in his own time. He was ahead of his age, and his contemporaries failed to comprehend him fully. But it was really when India (and Pakistan) celebrated his first death centenary in 1969 that he was rehabilitated as a great poet that he is. There has been no looking back after that. As with other great poets like Shakespeare, one discovers a new wealth of meaning every time one reads him, and different people find different meaning, suiting their need and situation. In other words, great poets are inexhaustible in their appeal and meaning and do not get dated even when they mirror their times most effectively. Ghalib’s writings are not only an authentic account of his own age, his poetry transcends his times and situation. It is universal in its appeal”


Although Ghalib has been a part of my growing up from early boyhood, the idea of translating him is not more than a year old I must confess that when the suggestion first came from a friend, I had serious trepidation. But once I started the work I experienced little difficulty. In fact, I took more time in writing the ‘introduction’ than in translating the ghazals. This was perhaps because I have been for many years now translating poetry from Hindi and Urdu into English and vice-versa, my first translation work being Shamsher Bahadur Singh’s Sahitya Academy award- winning collection of poems from Hindi into English. A collection of my translation of some of the best-known English poems from Shakespeare to W.H. Auden was published two years back.

Translating Ghalib was, however a different proposition altogether. For one thing, translating a ghazal into English and still retaining its charm and appeal is, indeed, difficult. And in case of Ghalib, this difficulty is even greater. It is relatively & give prose translation of a ghazal. It may serve some purchase but conveys little of the charm and beauty of the original infect, it is well-nigh impossible to do full justice to poetry, particularly the ghazal in translation. The best I thought that be done was to translate the verses into independent rhymed couple. Also, I have tried to be faithful to the original. I have not attempted to translate the entire Diwan-e-Ghalib; I could not have. It is only a selection from the Urdu Dewan.

In my assessment of Ghalib’s poetry in the ‘Introduction’, I have given some of its traits that I have long thought make him a great poet. I have also given illustrations from the next.

In writing about the life and times of the poet, I have drawn on many sources. Among them are the works of Quratulain Hyder, Ijaz Ahmed, Ralph Russel, Pavan Varma and Sardar Jafri. I express my gratitude to these learned authors. I would, in this regard, acknowledge my debt particularly to Ralph Russet. I have greatly benefitted from his scholarly work. Hali’s ‘Yadgar-e-Ghalib’ has of course been a primary source.

I would like to express my thanks to Dr. Khalid Ashraf of the Department of Urdu, Kirori Mal College and to Dr. S.R. Singh, Dr. C.D. Verma, Professor S.N. Sharma, Professor K.G. Verma and Mithuraaj Dhusiya at the department of English of Delhi University and Mr. O.P. Sapra for their valuable help and suggestions, and for reading through the manuscript. Dr. Khalid, in fact, settled for me the meaning of some of the controversial verses. Thanks are also due to my daughters Ritu and Sarika for their help in preparing the manuscript. I express my thanks also to Shri Vishv Nath who suggested the project to me and encouraged me at every step.


Thousands of desires, life-consuming and tough 31
If ever she thinks of being to me a little kind 33
No more that union, that separation no more 35
This world for me is but a children’s playground 37
It is heart after all, not brick and stone 39
What if somebody son of Mary be 41
What shapes and forms must lie buried in dust 43
By the stature and tresses of their beloveds 45
Beauty of the full waxing moon though complete 47
None but I could bear the barbs and tortures 49
Again I remember my moist eye 51
She is so dismissive, O wretched heart 53
After losing the heart to somebody 55
It needs a whole age for a sigh to reach somewhere 57
It is ages now that we were by our friend visited 59
O my fond heart, what is it that ails you 61
We cried in love and opened up further 63
If a little longer this life I find 65
On whichever pathway your footprints be 67
Would that I were lying on your doorstep prone 69
Let us go and live at a place now where nobody goes 71
You were delayed, so there was indeed a reason for 73
Everytime I speak thou sayest, what are you 75
Open out with us at booze one of the these days please 77
If our eyes are gratified we look for no other solace 79
Beauty is spared the trouble of eye-craft 81
If not love, let madness be its name 83
Glory of a drop lies in dissolving itself in the ocean 85
She would refrain from cruelty, can she do so? 87
You ought to have waited for me a few days more 89
I tease her, and she protests not 91
It is hard indeed for anything to be easy 93
In hours of separation, at the wall we stare 95
Lust and desire delight in deed of various kind 97
Let her come in my dream, and me from restlessness 99
Your lovely glance pierces my heart and head 101
How would my friends help if sympathy 103
If she is not satisfied even with my life’s sacrifice 105
No hope, no light 107
Love, in any case, needs no otward trapping 109
It was not a part of my luck to meet my beloved ever111
Like silent fire, so to say 113
My pain won’t take obligation even from the 115
One, that fairy like face, and then my rapt ractical 117
God existed when nothing else did 119
Oh, and I should come from the tavern thirsty 121
I am no longer worthy of serving my love 123
I know not whether for my heart or head 125
Why wasn’t I burnt by the fiery charm 127
Her feality is foul, our enemies say 129
Her gestures have a meaning all her own 131
Call me with a little kindness whenever you like 133
Fidelity in this world is of little avail 135
How long I have been on this sorry planet 137
Now that I’m residing at your door-step 139
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