Agra was not only the site of the beautiful Taj Mahal but was also the birthplace of this prolific poet, Mir Taqi Mir. Born in 1722, Mir’s father and uncle were Dervishes- members of the Sufi community who have taken the path of austerity and spirituality.
Their unique path gave an insight about suffering and spirituality to young Mir. However, by the age of ten, his father and uncle had set out to meet their maker, and young Mir was left all alone.
He and his remaining family moved to Delhi, a once-proud city, now in decay due to the onslaughts by Afghans, Rohillas and the Marathas.
Nevertheless, the city became the first love of Mir Taqi Mir. In his elegy, Shehr-e-Ashob, Mir Taqi Mir has commiserated the Urdu couplets heralding his mourning for the lost grandeur of the city. “At every step,” he writes, “there was once a home here”.
Having lived much of his life in Delhi, getting by with the help of his patrons, the comfort zone of Mir Taqi Mir was snatched away by the mid-18th century when Ahmad Shah Abdali began an annual routine of plundering Delhi.
By 1782, at the behest of the Nawab, Asaf-ud-Daulah, Mir Taqi Mir shifted his base to Lucknow. Though he was treated well by the Nawab, his style of poetry was considered as old-fashioned by his peers. Nevertheless, his contemporaries, Mirza Ghalib and Mirza Rafi Sauda respected his prowess in the language.
During the lifetime of Mir Taqi Mir, Urdu language and poetry was at a nascent stage- akin to that of a toddler taking new steps. Borrowing some words and expressions from the Persian language, a new language which was elegant and simple, was created by him, known as Rekhta or Hindui.
On the personal front though, Mir suffered one disaster after another. His family members’ deaths due to various reasons- especially that of his children, affected him deeply. His morbid feelings about death, loss and love are reflected in his poetry as well.
As time went by, his personal, as well as professional life, went into decline. The relation between Mir Taqi Mir and his patrons grew strained, pushing him into a life of addiction and poverty. On 21st September 1801; Mir Taqi Mir died due to a drug overdose.
Underneath a railway track tucked in a corner of Lucknow, the unmarked grave of Mir Taqi Mir lies as a silent witness to the fragilities and changes in human life. Below are some Urdu couplets by the poet on love, loss and humanity-
1. Baad marne ke meri qabr pe aaya wo 'Mir'
Yaad aai mere Isa ko dawa mere baad
This couplet of Mir Taqi Mir shayari explores the futility of finding the meaning of life after a life spent on mistakes and regrets.
2. Patta patta buuta buuta haal hamara jaane hai
Jaane na jaane gul hi na jaane baagh to saara jaane hai
Although this couplet seems to be addressed to a woman, who is unaware of the love bequeathed upon her by Mir Taqi Mir despite it being a common fact known by everyone; it may also be interpreted as the love Mir has for the God, who has composed this couplet over his frustration over attaining God or the almighty in a life filled with mistakes and regrets.
3. Ishq ek mir bhari patthar hai
Kab ye tujh na tavan sa uthta hai
Everyone at some point of life would have dealt with a complicated relationship or would have overcome a rough phase in their relationships, which are usually romantic in nature. This is another couplet by Mir Taqi Mir to bemoan the burden of romantic relationships and its fragilities.
4. Mere saliqe se meri nibhi mohabbat mein
Tamam umar main nakamiyon se kaam liya
This Mir Taqi Mir shayari is all about the patience one has while in love. He tells us that he dealth with failures all his life and his love was also a failure.
5. Mir ke din-o-mazhab ko ab puchhte kya ho un ne to
Qashqa khincha dair men baitha kab ka tark islam kiya
6. Bekhudi le gai kahaan humko
Der se intezaar hai apna
7. Subah hoti hai shaam hoti hai
Umar yoonhi tamaam hoti hai
8. Ashk aankh mein kab nahi aata
Lahu aata hai jab nahi aata
9. Ulti ho gayi sab tadbeeren kuch na dawaa ne kaam kiya
Dekha is beemari-e-dil ne akhir kaam tamaam kiya
10. Ibtidaa-e-ishq hai rotaa hai kyaa
Aage aage dekhiye hotaa hai kyaa
11. Gor kis diljale ki hai ye falak?
Shola ek subah yahaan se uthta hai
12. Deedani hai shikastagi dil ki
Kya imaarat ghamon ne dhaai hai
13. Likhte ruqaa, likhe gaye daftar
Shauq ne baat kyaa barhaai hai
14. Arzuen hazar rakhte hain
To bhi ham dil ko maar rakhte hain
15. Chote dil ke hain butan mashur
Bas yahi etibar rakhte hain
It is a well-known fact, that the hearts of our beloved ones are not big. This Mir Taqi Mir Shayari tells us to keep on living with this faith and stop expecting a lot from them.
16. Chashm ho to aaina khana hai dahar
Muh nazar aata deewaron ke beech
This Mir Taqi Mir Shayari tells us that the world is a house of mirrors for those blessed with sight, for they can see only their face reflected all around. You'll never feel lonely in the world.
17. Woh tujh ko bhule hain toh tujh pe bhi lazim hai Mir
Khaak daal, aag laga, naam na le, yaad na kar
This Mir Taqi Mir Shayari tells you to forget the people who have forgotten you. Let their memories be swept away like dust and be burnt like fire. We should avoid taking their name and remembering them.
18. Rote firte hain saari saari raat
Ab yehi rozgaar hai apna
19. Bas yeh girya aankhen teri kya nahin
Kahan tak jahan ko dubote rahe ga
20. Bas ae meer mmizhgan se ponch aasuon ko
Tu kab tak ye moti pirota rahe ga
21. Zulmat-e-Shab ko sitaaron se sanwaara hum ne
Kitni raaton ko tujhe uth ke pukaara hum ne
22. Hum zamane se bhi takraa gaye teri khatir
Jo na karna tha kiya woh bhi gawara hum ne
23. Dikhaai diye yun ke bekhud kiya
Hamen aap se bhi juda kar chale
24. Hasti apni habab ki si hai
Yeh numaish ik saraab ki si hai
25. Dikhaai diye yun ki bekhud kiya
Hamein aap se bhi juda kar chale
This brings us to the end of Mir Taqi Mir Shayari list. It is to be noted that, whenever Mir Taqi Mir has seemingly addressed a woman or a beloved one in most of his couplets; they are actually addressed to the Almighty. His poetry is going to quench your thirst for Urdu for sure.
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