Momin Khan Momin was born in respectable Delhi family in 1801. He studied Arabic and Persian. He had a multifaceted personality. Not only was he a renowned physician, he was also well-versed in music, astronomy and astrology. He was also reported to be an oustanding chess player.
Momin’s poetry is free of allusions to mystical love and philosophical thoughts. It is steeped in praise of love and beauty. He used Persian words without making his work cumbersome and difficult to understand. He passed away in 1852.
A rather well-known anecdote related to Momin is that Ghalib supposedly said he would exchange his entire ‘deewan’ for one of Momin’s sher. The sher in question:
tum mere paas hote ho goyaa
ko_ii duusaraa nahii.n hotaa
Knowing Ghalib’s estimate of his self-worth, I take this with a pinch of salt. 🙂
The above sher has been used in a film “Love in Tokyo” for the song:
o mere shaah-e-Khubaa.N, o merii jaan-e-jaanaanaa.N
tum mere paas hote ho, ko_ii duusaraa nahii.n hotaa
Considering that the beauty of the sher lies in ‘goyaa’, the lyricist really massacred the sher.