Ghalib’s Pilgrim

Mirza Ghalib


                      Mirza Ghalib


The Tomb of Poet Mirza Ghalib is in Central Delhi’s Nizamuddin Basti, which is home to the dargah of Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.

Until a few years ago, the tomb was visible from the adjacent street that teems with pilgrims, flower sellers, beggars and goats. It was restored in 2009 by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in partnership with Archaeological Survey of India and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

Before the restoration, the boundary wall was not as high. Cats clambered down from the surrounding butcheries to snooze beside the poet’s tomb…

Otherwise, the place is empty.

Now, a man enters. He walks into the poet’s grave chamber. He joins his palms and murmurs a… prayer perhaps. He sits down on the marble floor and arranges the flowers on Ghalib’s grave. He holds the tombstone in his arms and sings a verse by… Ghalib, perhaps.

A few minutes pass.

Now, he gets up and leaves.

The place is again empty. Except for the cat. She is still asleep. It is a beautiful moment.


*First Published by The delhiwala


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