Mirza Ghalib's Soulful Poetry comes Alive at this iconic Kolkata Street

By Photos by Shashi Ghosh on April 11, 2018 in Settlements and Transport

Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, popularly known as Mirza Ghalib, may have been born in Agra and was a resident of Delhi, but a part of his heart always belonged to Kolkata. Yes, the famous Urdu and Persian poet, whose evocative shayaris have continued to rule hearts for over 200 years had a great fondness for this eastern city. Now, as India celebrates his 221st birth year, Kolkata's iconic street named after the poet has been turned into a living museum. One walk down the Mirza Ghalib Street, and you will find his sher-o-shayaris itched on the electrical junction (metre) boxes. Click through to see the how the poet's legacy has come alive again. (Source: Express Photo by Shashi Ghosh)

Ghalib visited the then Calcutta in the 1820s and wrote extensively about the city's greenery amid the urban landscape, its people and the mood of the colonial capital. (Source: Express Photo by Shashi Ghosh)

Ghalib had once written, "Kalkatte ka jo zikr kiya tu ne hum nasheen/ Ik teer mere seenay mein mara kay haye haye." His iconic lines have now been adorned in one such box. (Source: Express Photo by Shashi Ghosh)

If you want to know more about the poet's love for the city, you can look back at Doordarshan's famous TV show Mirza Ghalib where Naseeruddin Shah plays the iconic character and is nostalgic about his stay in the city. (Source: Express Photo by Shashi Ghosh)

It is a well known fact among Ghalib lovers that the poet would have stayed in Kolkata if he didn't have the complusion to return to the Mughal capital in Delhi. (Source: Express Photo by Shashi Ghosh)

While the noted poet lived in North Kolkata's Ramdulal Sarkar Street during his stay in the city, the road named after him is in central Kolkata. And it is where his iconic verses have been brought to life by an initiative by the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC). (Source: Express Photo by Shashi Ghosh)

The electric supply company has turned many iconic streets of Kolkata into a living museum with electric boxes in each locality telling stories about a famous person who once stayed in that street. From Satyajit Ray to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, these boxes have now been turned into iconic locators for locals and visitors to understand Kolkata's rich history and legacy. (Source: Express Photo by Shashi Ghosh)

First published by The Indian Express

Story Tags: heritage, urbanization, poetry


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