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Masnawi

During his travel to Calcutta in order to get his pension restarted, Ghalib had sojourned in Banaras for a couple of months. So deeply was he impressed by this city that he took to his pen and wrote a Masnavi in Persian, titled ‘Charagh-e-Dair’. Encompassing 108 couplets, the Masnavi declares Kashi to be the Kaaba of Hindustan. From Delhi, Ghalib had left for Calcutta in a state of despair and dejection, and reached Banaras in an extremely fatigued and disturbed state after enduring the hardships of the journey. But the splendor, greenery, and, freshness of the city of Banaras, the spiritual atmosphere of the temples, and the open-heartedness of the people here enchanted him so much that he penned this Masnavi out of sheer affection; which also portrayed his inward journey at that time. In Urdu, ‘Charagh-e-Dair’ has seen several translations in verse. Sardar Jafri translated it in prose, titled ‘Ghalib Ka Somnath-e-Khayal’. Prof. Sadiq has also superbly translated this Masnavi into Hindi.