To think of love and life is to think of Ghalib the lover, and Ghalib the beloved. He was not angelic in form and moving, nor a god in his apprehension but he surely was a piece of work, not very noble in reason but infinite in faculty. He was indeed Shakespeare’s ‘quintessence of dust’ who saw his love going to dust with emotional attachment and philosophical detachment.
When love got a human incarnation, the incarnation became Afzal Panipati, both literally and metaphorically. The word ‘afzal’ suggests excellence and the lover-poet Afzal exceeded excellence in the way he loved, languished, and found his ultimate resolution.
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