Wali Mohammed Wali
|Wali Muhammad Wali|
|Died||1707 (aged 40)
|Pen name||Wali Deccani, Wali Aurangabadi, Wali Gujarati|
|Genre||Ghazal, masnavi, qasida, mukhammas|
He is the first established poet to have composed Ghazals in Urdu language and compiled a divan (a collection of ghazals where the entire alphabet is used at least once as the last letter to define the rhyme pattern).
Before Wali, South Asiaan Ghazal was being composed in Persian – almost being replicated in thought and style from the original Persian masters like Saa'di, Jami and Khaqani. Wali began using not only an Indian language, but Indian themes, idioms and imagery in his ghazals. It is said that his visit to Delhi in 1700, along with his divan of Urdu ghazals created a ripple in the literary circles of the north, inspiring them to produce stalwarts like Zauq, Sauda and Mir.
Born in 1667 at Aurangabad, an important town in the present Maharashtra State. He loved travelling, which he regarded as a means of education. He visited Delhi, Surat, Burhanpur and also undertook pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.
Wali Mohammed Wali's visit to Delhi in 1700 is considered to be of great significance for Urdu Ghazals. His simple, sensuous and melodious poems in Urdu, awakened the Persian loving poets of Delhi to the beauty and capability of "Rekhta" (the old name for Urdu) as a medium of poetic expression. Wali Mohammed Wali's visit thus stimulated the growth and development of Urdu Ghazal in Delhi.
Although Wali tried his hand at a variety of verse forms including the masnavi, qasida, mukhammas, and the rubai., the ghazal is his speciality. He wrote 473 ghazals containing 3,225 couplets (Ashaar). His poems were simple, sensuous & melodious.
It is believed that Wali started to have established the tradition of writing ghazals in Urdu and also influencing the other writers when he visited Delhi. Before that, preferred language for ghazals was Persian.
His favorite theme was love – both mystical and earthy – and his characteristic tone was one of cheerful affirmation and acceptance, rather than of melancholy grumbling. He was the first Urdu poet to have started the practice of expressing love from the man's point of view, as against the prevailing convention of impersonating as a woman.
If, on the one hand, Wali unraveled the beauty and richness of the native language as a poetic medium, on the other, he was alive to the vigor and verve of Persian diction and imagery which he successfully incorporated into the body of his verse. He may thus be called the architect of the modern poetic language, which is a skillful blend of Hindi and Persian vocabulary.
Wali's tomb in Shahibaug locality of Ahmedabad was damaged in 2002 riots and later lost when road roller was run on it and a road constructed. However, after protests from citizens and literary class of city, who demanded to re-build the tomb, there are rumors that memorial may be re built as per orders of Gujarat High Court. However, so far, the Gujarat government has shown no move in this direction.
Further, in 2010 a widely acclaimed short film on Wali's life was made by a film-maker Gopal K. Annam.
- "Wali Gujarati's tomb may be rebuilt following HC directions". The Times Of India (Ahmedabad). Feb 10, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- Kanda, K.C. (1992). Masterpieces of Urdu Ghazal from the 17th to the 20th Century. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. p18. ISBN 9788120711952.
- "Wali Gujarati rediscovered". Times of India. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2013.