A brilliant biography of nineteenth century India’s greatest poet. Mirza Mohammad Asadullah Khan Ghalib began writing poetry in Persian at the age of nine and the pre-eminent poet of the time, Mir, predicted a great future for the precocious genius when he was shown his verse… But success and material rewards did not come to Ghalib easily for the times were against him, and he did not suffer fools gladly even if they occupied positions of importance. Ghalib was at the height of his powers when events took a turn for the worse. First came the decline of the Mughal court, then the rise of the British Empire and, finally, the Revolt of 1857. Though Ghalib lived through the upheavals and purges of the Revolt, in which many of his contemporaries and friends died, and his beloved Delhi was symmetrically and irrevocably changed, he was a broken man and longed for death. When he died, on 15 February 1869, he left behind some of the most vivid accounts of the events of the period ever written. In this path-breaking biography Pavan K. Varma captures evocatively the spirit of the man and the essence of the times he lived in. Pavan Varma’s Ghalib – The Man The Times is an biographical account of Ghalib’s memoirs during his lifetime and also the essence of the time he lived in, the way both Ghalib’s life and his Delhi evolved over the period forms the gist of the book. The book is special not only for the way it has been written but for the person about which it has been written.Ghalib – The Man The Times is meant to be experienced and not just read – Pick up the book, sit back and surrender to its flow which would take you to the times of the legend and the inclusion of the verses and couplets of Ghalib at relevant places adds to its overall charm. Highly recommended for all those who wants to have a slice of history of Ghalib’s life and his times; and for others make an exception and take a dip & you will not regret!!
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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