City Hangout – Poetry Reading Benches, Mirza Ghalib’s Tomb
Place for poems.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Those good souls who love reading poems will sit down with a poetry anthology just about anywhere. Even while standing in a jam-packed Metro train.
But where can one find the most idyllic spot in Delhi for reading verses? A library, perhaps? A simple park bench?
Well, sure. Those are the logical spots, quite apart from your very own home.
But without question, the ideal milieu has to be the tomb of poet Mirza Ghalib. Located in congested Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti in central Delhi, the tomb is found at one end of a vast walled-in courtyard. The best thing here is the seating arrangement.
Once here, you ought to settle down on any of the five benches spread across the peaceful courtyard. All these benches directly looks to Ghalib’s grave making you feel in close proximity to the iconic 19th century’s verse writer.
Although you’ll surely detect the soft hum of bazaar activity from across the pretty boundary, the place is marooned in supreme tranquillity. Every little stone, every tree leaf here seems happily immersed in its own existence. And—allowing you to make considerable headway with your book.
There are a few other graves too in the beautiful yard, along with a marble slab calligraphed with a famous Ghalib line. Whenever you need a break from reading, just throw a glance towards your right at the Jehangir-era Chausath Khamba monument—a beautiful work of marble. The other sweet distraction is of occupational peacocks surfacing suddenly in front of you.
Nowadays too few of us can manage Urdu or Persian in which Ghalib wrote. But just the very act of reading so close to his final resting place does allow a kind of unspoken communion with the legend. Come anytime during any typical Delhi day to cherish your beloved Keats or Emily Dickinson by reading their lines aloud on these benches facing the resting place of one of the world’s great poets.
Emily with Ghalib