GHALIB’S POETRY IN ART

The intense, deep poetry of Mirza Ghalibhave long held audiencescaptive in ghazal evenings and mushaira mehfils.In a world driven by technology and media, Ghalib’s profound poems are aired on latenight radio programmes, and shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.An image search on Google also throws up rather tacky-looking wallpapers with his poetry embossed on them. In order to do justice to his profound poetry, a more artistic imagery is needed. How about blending the art of calligraphic writing with Ghalib’s philosophical gems? Why not give his wise, insightful shayari a touch of elegant calligraphy in order to make Ghalib poetry art frames?Some artists and stores have already started doing that and one can find his words written in calligraphic style if one searches online for Ghalib poetry sale.

The calligraphic style used for writing Urdu is Nast’aliq, which originated in Iran in the 15th century after Muslims conquered the then Persian empire. In Nast’aliq, letters slope from right to left, giving a ‘hanging’ or ‘ta’liq’ look. It was originally designed to write the Arabic script but over time it started being primarily used for writing Persian, Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri and Pashto. Nastaliq font was used for writing court scrolls, and was also used by the Mughal courts in India for official correspondence.

It is the primary font employed for writing Urdu in South Asia. As Urdu is largely derived from Arabic, it can be written in other calligraphic fonts like Diwani, Tughra and Thuluth, which are chiefly used for Islamic calligraphy artbutitcomes out best in Nastaliq.Also, we are conditioned to read Urdu in Nastaliq.

Nastaliqis more suitable for Urdu for practical reasons too – it is less grand than other fonts and thus takes up less space. Therefore, you can write a full eight-line Urdu ghazal on a small sheet of paper and fix it to your walls.

Do Urdu poetry posters come under the field of Islamic calligraphy art? Technically, no. The subject matter of Urdu shayariis mostly secular and non-religious, and therefore, it can be related to by persons belonging to all religions. However, considering the updated definition of Islamic art by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the term ‘Islamic art’ includes all of the arts that were created in lands where Islam was the majority religion or the religion of the rulers. The term includes not only works created by Muslim artists, artisans, and architects or for Muslim patrons. It includes works created by Muslim artists for patrons of any faith, including—Christians, Jews, or Hindus—and the works created by Jews, Christians, and others, living in Islamic lands, for patrons, Muslim and others.

So, by that definition, Ghalib poetry art frames canbe included in Islamic arteven though in terms of content they are not alike at all and perhaps even contradict each other. Certainly, puritans on both ends would disapprove of such inclusion of Ghalib poetry sale in Islamic art.

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