By Subhash K Jha
Remember the television serial on Mirza Ghalib that Gulzar made in 1988? 20 years later, Ghalib’s memory remains as strongly imprinted on Gulzar’s mind as ever. Proof of it lies in the fact that on Sunday December 27 on the occasion of Ghalib’s 200th birthday Gulzar flew down to Delhi to participate in the annual candlelight march in honor of the peerless poet.
Says Gulzar, “It’s an annual ritual started by Pavan Kumar Varma who has researched intensely on Ghalib. Every year on Ghalib’s birthday we Ghalib followers march with candles from the Townhall in Delhi to Ghalib Miyan’s home at the Gali Qasim Jaan in Chandni Chowk.”
Vishal Bhardwaj who was also in Delhi was expected to join the March.
Says Gulzar emotionally, “Remembering Mirza Ghalib on his birth anniversary is the least we can do. Do you know his house had been converted into a coal depot until Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji stepped in to rescue the monument from doom. Now Ghalib’s home is a museum and a shrine which we visit every day on his birth anniversary. If it wasn’t for Ghalib, I wouldn’t be a poet.”