A walk around Chandni Chowk- Ghalib's Haveli | Jama Masjid

3:32 PM

Ug rahā hai dar o-dīwār se sabzah, G̱ẖālib!
Ham bayābāṉ meṉ haiṉ aur ghar meṉ bahār āʾī hai."

"Greenery is growing out of the doors and walls, 'Ghalib'!
I am in wilderness and spring has arrived at my house."

A photo posted by फैशन चाची (@kattitudette) on

On Doordarshan, Mirza Ghalib (Naseerudin Shah) hummed one of his shers. It was in Hindi and a sher, and you clearly need some level of maturity to understand the  meaning. So am not sure what I understood but I did remember the words cause I was 7 and at least quite good at remembering whatever I heard. I scribbled those line I remembered and reached my mom asking her to explain its meaning. She wasn't sure if I'd understand but she tried explaining it anyway. Since then I knew I'm going to like his work cause it was compelling enough to feed more to my curiosity.  Later I had my first introduction to Mirza Ghalib poetry in voice of the great Jagjit Singh. The liking towards his work grew stronger as the years went by as I found myself interested in shayari of all kinds. Although I don't understand Urdu much but I try to decipher the meaning every time I hear or read a sher. And in all those years, I never knew that Mirza Ghalib had a haveli in Delhi in Chandni Chowk until recently. I was re-watching the documentary and serials on him in my leisurely times. Post that I indulged myself into a little research & found out about the Haveli. I made up my mind that in spite of living in Delhi since I was born, I just can't miss visiting it. Incidentally, Mirza Ghalib's birth anniversary was also just a few days ahead, on 27th December. So my weekend was pretty much sorted to take a stroll about Chandni Chowk and not for the book shopping at Nayi Sarak Or the food trail around Paranthe Wali Gali Or to shop for ethnic clothes and accessories by default. This time it was to explore its historical side.

You want to see the real Delhi? Go Chandni Chowk, the Old Delhi, and you'll see how the capital of Delhi, oh-so-modern still has its heart residing at so many places lesser known in tidbits. I'd been there many a times, but never knew that in one of those confusing busy street crossings rests a monument that speaks of history of some of the worldly shers Mirza Ghalib had ever written, sitting on his cot at his humble abode. I couldn't be more excited to see the Haveli that was depicted in his biography and movies.
'Poochte hain woh ki Ghalib kaun hai!
Koi batlao ki hum batlayein kya?'

So finding my way through the narrow lanes of Ballimaran, there it was in Gali Qasim Jan since 300 years. Once all young and gay, now standing all sad looking for somebody to visit it once in a while. May be. And although his name never needed an introduction, his Haveli at Chandni Chowk did, and so on a different note, I thought of one of his sher, 
'Thi khabar garm ki ‘Ghalib’ ke udenge purje dekhne,
Ham bhi gaye the pa tamasha na hua'
I couldn't understand how I felt. I was expecting a big haveli but only a small portion was now left for visitors spanned across 100 sq ft. I believe.
Nevertheless, old and rustic, that place could fill you up with immense emotions. 

A photo posted by फैशन चाची (@kattitudette) on

On the right side, is a small room that has books of Ghalib, his choga (the dress) on display and some pictures with description to give you a quick glimpse of his entire life.

A photo posted by फैशन चाची (@kattitudette) on

Come out and on your left, a passage would walk you to a hall with columns showcasing the mughal architecture and Mirza's lifestyle. The ques of display shelves on the brick walls display the replicas of Ghalib's belongings and his virtuous work written all over the walls. Since it was his birth anniversary, an event was to happen in the evening in his honor which I couldn't attend. So I just stood there for a while just to feel how it would have been 300 years ago reminiscing scenes from Mirza Ghalib's documentary (directed by Gulzar, enacted by Naseerudin Shah). That was pretty much all there, but it felt awesome to stand at a place where he once lived and spent his last years and write such phenomenal diwans.
It's open except Mondays with no entry fee or photography charges. It's open to all public from Sunrise to Sunset. Nearest Metro Station: Chawri Bazar
Since I was in Chandni Chowk and Jama Masjid was just a km away, I thought of checking it out. I preferred walking as it's faster than taking a riskhaw on a Saturday in the narrow busy streets of Chandni Chowk, and reached Jama Masjid around 1pm.

A photo posted by फैशन चाची (@kattitudette) on

A photo posted by फैशन चाची (@kattitudette) on

People, and more people all around. I quickly walked about to see its expansion. Truly, it's one of the largest mosques in India. Adorned with 4 Minars, I went up on one of the Minar from where one could see the sky-view of Delhi. Could have been glorious if it was evening with all the lights. Apparently it's not allowed to go up that late.
Note: Their is an entry fee if you want to go up on the Minar. Minus this, there's no photography/entry charges anywhere.

So, after checking out the huge chandelier inside the premise, the pond, and the highlight- city's sky view from the top of a Minar. I came and indulged myself into what Chandni Chowk's famous for- Food. Rabri-Jalebi & Chole bhature. Since that already made me full I just took a walk by the Paranthe vale gali.

It was a well spent sunny afternoon. While coming back I was just reminiscing this,
Hui muddatt ki marr gaya 'Ghalib', magar yaad aata hai, woh harr ek baat pe kehna yun hota to kya hota. 

 Next time you go to Chandni Chowk, do try and locate the Haveli. As apparently, 
Rahi na takat-e-guftaar, aur agar ho bhi to kis ummeed main (Ghalib) kahiye ki aarajoo kya hai.

So here I end this  post with one of my all-time favourite by Mirza Ghalib.
 Also check out one of my writings inspired by Mirza's Dil hi to hai and let me know how you find it :)

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