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Meer Taqi Meer was a renowned poet and his poetry reflected shades of Sufism. Know more about his life in this brief biography.

Meer Taqi Meer

Syed Amanullah Meer Taqi was the only son of a Sufi saint, Meer Muttaqi. When Meer was a little child, his father looking at his face used to say what this fire is which is burning within your heart that is reflecting on your face. Living in an atmosphere of Sufism at a very young age had profound effect on Meer. He did not have much desire for worldly things. This is a philosophy reflected by Meer in most of his works. A lot about Meer’s life has been figured out by his autobiographical writing called Zikr-e-Mir. To know more about Meer, continue to read this insightful biography on him.

Personal Life
Zikr-e-Mir covers a large part of his life, the time from his childhood to his youth in Lucknow. But the historians and anthropologists still have their doubts on it. It is mainly because the autobiographical account is not in a structured chronological order. It also is written in such a fashion that it masks more than it discloses the intimate details of Meer’s life. Meer’s father had a great influence on his personality since the time he was a little boy. His father believed in the goodness of life and highlighted the importance of feelings, emotions, love and compassion in life. His father was a god fearing man and taught him to be considerate and loving. Meer’s long narrative poems––Mu’amlat-e-ishq and Khwab O khyal-e-Mir, are considered to be inspired by his early love affairs with women but it cannot be said for certain whether every little detail in these poems is directly taken from poet’s own life or not.

After his father's death, at the age of 11 years, the people in whose care he had been left abandoned him. Meer left Agra for Delhi in search of livelihood. Samsamudaula gave him a scholarship of one rupee per day, but this did not continue for long because in 1739, Nadir Shah attacked Delhi in which Samsamudaula was killed. Soon Meer was homeless, jobless, and roaming in the streets aimlessly.

Migration To Lucknow: Meer belonged to the Mughal Delhi for the most of his life. He used to live in Kuchha Chelan in Old Delhi. He could not stand all the plundering that was going on at the time. He wrote a lot about the sad situation of the Delhi he so loved in some of his poems written around that time. After Nadir Shah's carnage there was no charm left in Delhi for the poets, many of them moved to Lucknow. When he migrated to Lucknow he was much disappointed because he was made to feel out-fashioned by his fellow courtiers at the court of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah. He too detested the writing of the new poets by calling their work as only ‘kissing and cuddling’. With this attitude and under such circumstances, Meer destroyed his relationship with the Nawab and fellow courtiers and ended up lonely. Meer came to Lucknow in 1783; Nawab Asafaddaula fixed him Rs. 200 a month stipend. His early experiences in life and shortness of money though had made a permanent change in his nature and even in the peaceful atmosphere of Lucknow he lived a terrible life. Simple things used to make him upset, many times he walked out of the Nawab's court. In 1810 he died in Lucknow.

Example of Meer’s poetry : Faqirana Aye Sada Kar Chale
Faqirana aye sada kar chale
Miyan khush raho hum dua kar chale,
Jo tujh bin na jine ko kahte the hum
So iss ahd ko ab wafa kar chale,
Koi na-ummidana karte nigah
So tum hum se munh bhi chipa kar chale,
Bahot arzu thi gali ki teri
So yan se lahu mein naha kar chale,
Jabin sajda karte hi karte gai
Haq-e-bandagi ham ada kar chale,
Parastish ki yan tain ki ay but tujhe
Nazar mein sabon ki khuda kar chale,
Gai umr dar band-e-fikr-e-gazal
So is fan ko aisas bara kar chale,
Kahen kyo jo puche koi hum se Meer
Jahan main tum aye the, kya kar chale!

English Translation:
As a beggar I came to you calling your name out but I went away.
Be happy my dear because I went away praying for you.
I went away with a pledge in my heart.
That, I will never live without you.
You did not even show me your face.
You went away hiding it so that I do not get any hopes.
I had a great wish to be on the street that you lived.
I went away from there, covered in blood.
You have made me to not relate with my own senses anymore.
This separated me from you and I estranged away.
I kept touching my forehead on the ground in the act of praying.
I completed it for a lifetime.
I have loved you so much.
And now you have become a deity in everyone’s eyes.
I have been composing poetry all my life.
But this is how I was supposed to become a real writer, by enduring the pain of your desire.
What should I tell someone if they ask me,
What have I achieved while going away.