Actually, his ancestors hailed from Transoxiana, a part of Central Asia and migrated to India in the middle of the 18th Century some fifty years before his birth. Ghalib lived in Delhi during the twilight of the Mughal rule in the Sub-Continent and as a Poet and writer was a true and most authentic representative of the central tradition of the literary and cultural history of the period.
As the greatest Poet of the 19th century, Ghalib has not only been a constant subject of literary criticism in the 20th century but has also attracted wide-spread attention of the common reader of Urdu who loves, admires and quotes him whenever he can even without having read or understood him thoroughly.
No other Urdu Poet dominates the literary scene in the same way and lives in the hearts and minds of people as Ghalib. His charisma as a Poet in the literary world of the Sub-Continent is unprecedented and unmatched.
Ghalib had a strong personality and he was conscious of it. This consciousness was responsible for Ghalib\'s urge to express himself in his own individual manner. So he deviated from the tradition of Urdu Poets and gave expression to the thoughts and feelings of his individual personality rather than to the thoughts and feelings of the community in general.
Ghalib did not defy tradition but the carved out anew and different path for himself. As a result he discovered new realms of thoughts and feelings and endowed new dimensions to the ones already discovered. He added new shades of meaning to words so much so that a study of his poetry becomes a veritable exercise in appreciating meanings of meanings. What he says is of course significant but equally significant is what he leaves unsaid. He creates a sense of the infinite while dealing with the finite.
In the last phase of his life Ghalib the poet became Ghalib the letter writer. The sad music of Ghalib’s soul expressing itself in the other harmony of prose epitomizes not only his personal mood or temper but in fact the mood and temper of a whole generation in the period after the great upheaval of 1857 which brought an end to the Mughal rule in the Sub-Continent.
In short Ghalib\'s world is a world inhabited by intensely human experiences of a lively and rich personality with a new and refreshing mode of thoughts and feelings. Ghalib was conscious of his personality but he was not a prisoner of it. He had the breadth of vision and a catholicity of outlook which enabled him to see beyond himself. He had a truly sensitive, free and open mind ready to perceive and imbibe. That is why white Ghalib always remained Ghalib, he could also be you and me and many others. Like Shake-spear he was not wedded to a particular view of life nor did he make an attempt to systematize his thinking. He was large as life and had a real zest for it and a rare insight into it affairs. He was neither an optimist, nor a pessimist. He was a thorough-bread realist in his personal life as well as in his poetry and prose.
To commemorate the renowned poet Pakistan Post Office is issuing a Commemorative postage stamp of Rs. 2/- denomination on February 15, 1998.