The government took possession of Mirza Ghalib's residence, the haveli, in 1964 but soon auctioned it to one Mohammed Ali Farooqi whose bid was the highest at 22,400.
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December 27, 2017 9:48 AM EST

Google’s latest Doodle celebrates the legacy of an enduring poet of the late Mughal empire, Mirza Ghalib.

Born Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan in 1797, Ghalib — his pen-name that translates to “conquerer” — came to define Urdu literature during the fall of the empire centered on the Indian subcontinent.

Ghalib showed an early prowess for words and was educated in the Persian, Urdu and Arabic languages, according to Google. His prose reflected a sadness born out of a number of tragic circumstances in his life, such as growing up as an orphan, losing all seven of his children in their infancy, and financial struggles due to his lack of a full-time job throughout his lifetime.

Image via Google

His poetry at times also reflected the political upheaval of the Mughal empire, which collapsed and gave way to the British East India Company during his lifetime.

“But despite these hardships,” Google states, “Ghalib navigated his circumstances with wit, intellect, and an all-encompassing love for life. His contributions to Urdu poetry and prose were not fully appreciated in his lifetime, but his legacy has come to be widely celebrated, most particularly for his mastery of the Urdu ghazal,” a type of amatory poem popular in India during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Ghalib would have celebrated his 220th birthday on Dec. 27, 2017. He died in what is now Delhi, India in 1869 at the age of 71.

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