LAHORE - Legendary Urdu poet of sub-continent, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib was remembered on his 218th birth anniversary on Sunday.

Mushahiras and other ceremonies in connection with birth anniversary of Mirza Ghalib, dubbed as greatest poet of Urdu literature were held across the country during which the speakers paid rich tributes for his contribution which gave a new direction to Urdu literature.

Ghalib was born on December 27, 1797 in Agra, which is now part of India, while he died on February 15, 1869 in Delhi. His Delhi house is now called as Ghalib ki Haveli and hosts permanent Ghalib exhibition. He descended from the family of Aibak Turks who originally hailed from central Asian countries and started poetry at a very early age of 11.

The great poet initially used pen name “Asad” meaning lion but later replaced it with Ghalib which means superior. Later on, in his lifetime Ghalib witnessed the downfall of Mughal dynasty in India and arrival of the Britishers. His ghazals and letters also carried a history of events of those times.

Mirza Asadullah was depicted in famous Bollywood movie “Ghalib” while his ghazals have been sung by legendary singers like Mehdi Hassan, Fareeda Khanum, Abida Perveen, Tina Sani and many others. Ghalib was laid to rest in Nizamuddin area near mausoleum of renowned saint Nizamuddin Auliya.

7th Mir Punjabi Mela today

In recognition of Ali Arshad Mir's efforts for Punjabi literature, 7th Mir Punjabi Mela is going to be held today. The Mir Punjabi Mela will be held at 5pm at Punjab Institute of Language, Arts and Culture (PILAAC), Qaddafi stadium Lahore.

Professor Ali Arshad Mir Award will be given to renowned poet Raja Sadiq Ullah, Researcher Iqbal Qaisar and popular Punjabi poet Baba Najmi in order to acknowledge their work in Punjabi language.

The Prof Ali Arshad Mir Foundation with other literary coteries has announced an open invitation to the all Punjabi lovers. The other Punjabi literary organisations including Punjab Lok Lahar, Baba Farid book foundation, Ali Ashraf Forum, Asian Tribune and Majlis Baba Nanak will also participate in Punjabi Mela.

Later Prof Ali Arshad Mir was a legendary Punjabi poet and writer. His works have been translated into many languages. In 1970s, his anthem “girti hui dewaroo koo aik dhaka aur do” brought him recognition. His work includes dozens of poems that depict the socio-economic condition of society's oppressed people.