Mahlaqa Chanda had already compiled her first collection of poetry and attained fame when legendary Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib was just a year old.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit Mahlaqa's tomb which remained neglected for long.
It was heartwarming to see that the tomb is being renovated at a time when Mahlaqa's poetry is once again drawing attention.
ham se kare hai yaar bayaaN apnii chaah kaa
haazir haiN ham bhii gar ho iraada nibaah kaa
Mahlaqa was a devout Shia and her devotion towards Hazrat Ali is visible in innumerable ghazals.
paiGhaam sabaa jaa ke mere yaar se kahnaa
betaab huuN us Ghairat-e-gulzaar se kahnaa
Chanda's divan has numerous such asha'ar. For example:
The truth was that Mahlaqa was an extraordinary artiste. Ironically she was even termed a tawaif in the sense of prostitute, which is a grave injustice to her.
Mahlaqa was a poetess, a celebrity classical singer and renowned danseuse of her era.
Her intellect and literary taste were widely regarded. She was renowned for her mastery on dhrupad apart from khayal tappa.
A prominent personality, she lived in Khasa Mahal with hundreds of khadims at her disposal.
Mahlaqa's estate was spread over Syedpalli, Chanderguda, Chandapeth, Ali Bagh and several other areas.