City anchor: Lane and square named after him stand testimony to Ghalib’s fan following

Hue Mar Ke Ham Jo Rusva, Hue Kyun Na Garq-E-Dariya... Na Kabhi Janaza Uthta, Na Kahin Mazar Hota — Mirza Ghalib

(Disgraced as I have been after my death, why did not I drown in a river? At least there would not have been a funeral or a tomb anywhere)

The historic city of Pune, which otherwise has no known connection with Mirza Ghalib, has a lane and a square named after the legendary Urdu and Persian poet — something all Puneites may not be aware of.

While Ghalib himself desired an oblivious posthumous life as the couplet suggests, the Mirza Ghalib Path near Mahatma Phule Mandai and the Mirza Ghalib Chowk a little further down are a tribute to the poet by his ardent admirers in the city. Friday, February 15 happens to be his 144th death anniversary.

Standing as testimonies to Ghalib's glory and fan following, the lane and the square named after the poet believed to have found place in city's history way back in 1968, coinciding with the centenary year of Ghalib's death.

Late social activist and Urdu writer Mirza Hamid Baig was believed to be instrumental in having the lane and the square named after Ghalib.

Speaking to Newsline, Baig's son Mirza Ahmed Baig said his father had organised a special function to unveil the boards displaying Ghalib's name. The function was presided over by socialist leader Bhai Vaidya.

"The event was attended by noted personalities from all walks of life, since my father was very active in the then social and cultural life of Pune. He was mentor of the special committee that was formed to carry out social activities to mark the centenary of Ghalib's death," said Baig, who still has with him the invitation card for the function held over four decades ago.

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