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Meer Taqi Meer
--: Biography of Meer Taqi Meer :--

Meer Taqi Meer is one of the immortals among Urdu poets. He is a perfect artist of the ghazal, which makes its peculiar appeal through compression, suggestion, imagery, and musicality. He builds his poetry on the foundations of his personal experience. His favourite theme is love- love unfulfilled-and his favourite manner is conversational. Mir lived at a time when Urdu poetry was yet at a formative stage-its language was getting reformed and purged of native crudities, and its texture was being enriched with borrowings from Persian imagery and idiom. Aided by his aesthetic instincts, Mix struck a fine balar.ce between the old and the new, the indigenous and the imported elements. Knowing that Urdu is essentially an Indian language, he retained the best in native Hindi speech and leavened it with a sprinkling of Persian diction and phraseology, so as to create a poetic language at once simple, natural and elegant, acceptable alike to the elite and the common folk.

Consequently he developed a style which has been the envy of all succeeding poets. Zauq, the laureate of Bahadur Shah Zafar's court, speaks for every one when he says:
Never, never could I attain the grace of Mix's style,
Though I strained every nerve to cultivate the ghazal.

It is a commonplace of criticism that Mir is a poet of pathos and melancholy moods. His pathos, it should be remembered, is compounded of personal and public causes. His life was a long struggle against unfavourable circumstances. He lost his father, Mohd. Mi Matqi, at the age of 10, and his godfather, Aman Allah, at about the same age.

Thus orphaned, he moved from Agra to Delhi and went from pillar to post in search of financial and emotional support. By a happy chance, he got into the good books of Nawab Samsam-ul-Daula who granted him a stipend of one rupee a day. But the Nawab got killed during the raid of Nadir Shah, and Mix was thrown back on hiS own resources, which were non-existent. Later, for some time, his education and upbringing was taken care of by his uncle Khan Arzu, who, being a poet himself, must also have stimulated Mix's interest in poetry. But due to the machinations of Mix's step-brother, Khan ArZU got estranged from Mix, who was once again left friendless and ,r1orn. Repeated shocks broke his heart and aggravated his temperamental melancholy. At about the age of 17 Mir got infatuated with a ry..facedaPpiti0flWh0W0ild descendfrom themooneverynight and disappear with the dawn. This anecdote is the basis of Mir's poem, øijiwaab-o-khayal." Such an ethereal love - better called "halluciMt°fl could not but end in frustration. Add to these personal soivows, the general sense of loss and chaos which had gnpped the entire age. It was the time of the devastating raids of Nadir Shah and pjuned Shah Durrani. These marauders from the North-West looted the wealth of Delhi, wrecked its property, persecuted its rulers, and fled away with whatever they could lay their hands on, including the famous Peacock Throne made by Shah Jehan. Mix was a helpless witness to these traumatic events, which have left a deep imprint on his mind and art. However, notwithstanding the circumstances of his life and times, Mir always held his head high, and never lost his sense of self-respect and his faith in the greatness of man.

When life became unbearable in Delhi Mir, like many other decent folk, migrated to Lucknow where he lived in comparative peace under the patronage of Nawab Asaf-ul-Daula. His poetry received due appredation from the Nawab and at public mushairas. But so sensitive was he to his personal honour, and so attached to the streets of Delhi, that he felt ill at ease in the new dispensation. He always looked back nostalgically to his days in Delhi which to him was a place of matchless beauty: 
The streets of Delhi were, in fact, the pages of a painter's book,
Every figure that I saw, seemed a work of art.

During the time of his stay in Lucknow, Mir also suffered the shock of three successive deaths in his family, which so depressed his mind that Ie Spent the rest of his life in seclusion. He died in Lucknow in 1808 at the age of 86

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