MIRZA MOHAMMAD HADI "RUSWA"
Born in 1857/58 at Golaganj, Lucknow, he was a poet as well as a writer of fiction and plays, using "Ruswa" as his pen name in poetry, and Mirza Ruswa in fiction.
His father, Mirza Muhammad Taqi was a cavalry officer. After the death of his parents, he was brought up by his uncle Mirza Muhammed Zaki who was a scholar.
He graduated from Punjab University and did Engineering from Roorkee Engineering College and got his first employment in Quetta for a monthly salary of 70 Rupees.
Later, coming back to Lucknow, he worked as a teacher at a local mission school and then as a lecturer of Persian at Lucknow Christian College.
He started his poetry under the tutelage of Mirza Dabir, but after his death, he sought islaah (corrections) from Mirza Jafar "Auj", son of Mirza Dabir.
Mirza was well-versed in Urdu, Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, English, Greek and other languages. Mirza also translated books of philosophy. He was very fond of music and his religious knowledge was very vast too. He had a special interest in science, specifically in chemistry. He also worked on a shorthand manual and is also credited with the invention of shorthand in Urdu along with Urdu typewriter keyboard.
He also wrote several elegies. Other than his world-famous ‘Umrao Jan Ada’, he wrote many other novels. He was truly a multi-faceted personality and remained, for many years on King Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh’s advisory board on language.
The series of his writings, compositions, poetry and literature continued in Lucknow till the end of the year 1920. Either at the end of 1920, or at the beginning of 1921, Mirza moved to Hyderabad, Deccan and got employed in the Dar-ul-Tarjuma.
He died of Typhoid on 21st October, 1931 and is buried in the Turk-Bazar qabristan, Hyderabad.
Ibrahim A. Khan Asif.