Ghulam Ali Rasikh – Urdu Poet from Patna

It is said that his first teacher in poesy was one ‘ Mirza Sharer ‘ Later on he became a pupil of Mir Taqi -Mir of Delhi , who then ruled in India as the enthroned King of Urdu poets. Both Muhammad Husan ‘ Azad’ and Ali Muhammad Shad in their books say that ‘ Rasikh ‘ went to ‘ Mir ‘ to sit at his feet, but when the latter saw his verses he told him that he need not bother himself to be his pupil as he himself; to tell the truth, was a past master of poesy. 
He was well-read in  Sufism . However, on the insistence of the young poet, he simply changed a word or two in one of his verses, and thus impressed upon him his Hall-mark which entitled him to pass as a recognized poet of the Urdu language. ln his various verses ‘Rasikh’ prides upon his being a pupil of ‘Mir’. He was a very skilful singer and had a singular taste for music. He had a very tender heart. It is said that whenever he read his ghazals in moshairas , tears dropped down from his eyes and he became so much overpowered by emotion that he could hardly control himself and read out his ‘ ghazals ‘ to their finish.

He was fully familiar with the writings of Mukhdum Shurf-ud-din Ahmad of Bihar one of the greatest saints of the Muslim world, and during his closing days, as he himself writes to Shah Abul Hassan  Furd Sajjadahnashln of Phulwarisharif,he had given himself up to reading books on ‘Sufism‘ This gives a clue to his being so full of pathos and of love and sympathy for mankind and God’s creatures in general. 

Lack of recognition of the indigenous talents, compelled him to go abroad and knock at 
the doors of men of other provinces for help and support. No doubt he got some rewards for his poems, as he himself hints at it, from some of the grandees of his native place, but they were by fits and starts and too insignificant to be of any substantial help to him.

On 70 years of age,he visited several cities of Upper India, and once in his closing days he went to Calcutta also. He waited upon Ghazi-ud-din Hayder and Asif-ud-Daula of Lucknow and presented a ‘Musnavi ‘ to each of them. While in Calcutta he was so hard-pressed for money and was reduced to such serious straits that he could not even pay for his expenses back to his home.

An article on ‘ Rasikh ‘ published in the defunct Urdu paper ‘Alpunch‘ published in 1903, says that up to 1221 A. H. (1806 A. D.) ‘ Rasikh ‘ passed his life in shifting from one place to another, but in 1222 A .H.,he returned to Patna not to leave it again till his death. He died at Patna in his 76 years of age on the 26th Jamadi IT, 1238 A. H. (February 1823 A. D.) and was buried at Lodi Kutra.

His ‘ ghazals ‘ bear the stamp of maturity as well as youthful freshness.A complete collection of his writings is to be found in the Khudabukhsh Oriental Library, and a small collection of his works was published  by one Mirza Imdad Husain of Patna