Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's bit more ghalibana now!

You may say, as Shakespeare said, and people often quote “What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet.” But don’t we have any attachment with the names, which give us our identity from birth to death and even after that? Don’t we expect people to use our name correctly and properly? Don’t we keep on pondering over the names of our beloved ones as a token of our love even we know that the names are only dry alphabets and are as different from those beloved ones as crocodile and cucumber? We do know that the names are merely names, and still we love them as we love their owners. Names work as the token of our beloved ones in our hearts. Not only the names of the living things, but also the names of nonliving objects, even the abstract ones, have some meanings in them that can make us happy or sad or anything.

But why I am telling all this to you now? It’s because I have been thinking over the name ‘Ghalibana’ for the last few days. I registered this name on blogger when I had been reading ‘Diwan-e-Ghalib’ and was very much impressed by Ghalib’s poetry. In that state of mind, I chose the name Ghalibana. I didn’t even know the exact meaning of the term, but knew ghalibana is widely used to refer something that is poetic. It is widely used as an adjective. Anything like that of Ghalib is ghalibana. I found the word very much ghalibana (poetic) in itself. I created the blog, but had nothing to write on it, so it remained idle for few months until I had an idea of combined blog of us three. I was not very much convinced about the success of this idea, so rather than starting a new blog, I used ‘Ghalibana’ for this purpose on an experimental basis. And it worked. It has been working more successfully than I had ever thought. And at this point, taking a variety of subjects on this blog in consideration, I had a thought that is the name ‘Ghalibana’ still suitable so that it can be continued forever? The blog is still poetic in its heart, and forever it will remain so, but there is also a vast material that does not seem to be poetic from any angle. So should we go on with the same name or think upon changing it?

I went on searching the exact meaning of ghalibana, but found no word ghalibana in Urdu dictionary. I did find ‘ghalib’, which means ‘probably.’ This meaning is far away from the poetic meaning of ghalibana. I again went on thinking why did Ghalib choose such a word as his takhallus? It certainly would not mean anything poetic in his days. He would certainly have the meaning ‘probably’ in is mind. He would certainly have some hearty attachments with the meaning ‘probably’, so that he gave up his real name ‘Asad’, and changed his pen name to ‘Ghalib’ though he had already started gaining popularity with his original name.

Ghalib loved introspection. He was a great critic of himself. Certainly, he had had respect for other people’s opinion—I think like this. You may have another point of view on this issue and probably yours may be a more appropriate one than that of mine—this philosophy of life would have prompted him to chose ‘Ghalib’ as his takhallus. I find this explanation very much possible one for his choosing such a pen name, which would be very awkward-looking in his days.

And what we do on ‘Ghalibana’? We put our point of views and expect counter-views from each other. In this way, we are going on with our great tradition of arguments and counter-arguments. It may not be ghalibana in a poetic manner, but it certainly is ghalibana in this broad manner. Coming on this conclusion, I assured myself that the name ‘Ghalibana’ is the most appropriate one for our blog. Now in this new light, this name worth more to me than it had been previously.


  1. These problems of Mysticism, these discourses of yours Ghalib..
    What are the Urdu lafz of this translation? Its beautiful:)
    And you have to tell us the close seconds that you were thinking of before narrowing down on this.

  2. @Parul Hey thanks! I had written this post long back in December 2009, a bit surprised to see a comment now. The urdu words of this sher are:
    Yeh masaail-e-tasawwuf ye tera bayaan ghalib / Hum tujhe wali samajhte jo na badakhwar hota!
    I have written about this on my another blog in Marathi ( I will try and write about the moments thak took me to this sher.
    Sorry for late reply! I can give a quick reply if you leave a reply on @ganeshdhamodkar on twitter!
    Happy reading!


Thank you very much for your sincere interest in Ghalibana. Your feedbacks and comments are important. You can tweet me @ganeshdhamodkar for quick reply.