from an interview with Kiran:
This ghazal is one of the classics -- lyrics written in the1860’s. The melody, however, is a contemporary composition of my teacher, Vithal Rao. This ghazal was written by the last Emperor of Delhi, Bahadhur Shah Zafar, 1775-1862. In 1857 there was a national uprising known as the Great Indian Mutiny. Zafar was convicted by the ruling British as leading this mutiny. He witnessed the execution of all his sons and was himself deported to Rangoon. But the loss of Zafar the King was the gain of Zafar the poet. Zafar died in Rangoon in 1862.