The world of Urdu Poetry is much more complex than it seems. It goes much beyond than what you and I listen to on the radio. In fact, Ghazal in Arabic literally means speaking with women. However, the word has a different meaning in Persian and Urdu: it is the last melancholic cry of deer cornered by hunters, which more or less relates to the pain and anguish often found in Ghazals. Strictly speaking, it is not a musical form, but a poetic recitation. Today, however, it is commonly conceived of as an Urdu song, with prime importance given to the lyrics.
Although I started writing Ghazals in October 2003, I am still learning the little nuances, which make a Ghazal.
For those familiar with the genre, Takhayyul and Taghazzul are the two core things that add weight to a Ghazal. Takhayyul -meaning the imaginative idea that only a Shayar can conjure and may not come readily to an average person. Taghazzul – meaning presenting simple word-choice in such a manner, which forms the essence of a Ghazal.
Pay attention to how Hakim Nasir presents a simple sher in a beautiful manner:
I would like to thank My Grandfather, Late Mr. Gopinath Kaushik, for if it wasn’t for his genes and blessings, I don’t think I would have ever been attracted to Urdu. It is a language that can be enthralling yet unimaginably complex at times. Being a novice, I can only learn and be fascinated by its eternal aura.
Some of the masters that I deeply respect and learn from are Mirza Ghalib, Ustaad Zauq, Bahadurshah Zafar, Kaifi Azmi, Jaan Nisar Akhtar, Sahir Ludhianvi, and many more. Ustaad Zauq, as the world of Urdu Poetry knows – was an arch-rival of Ghalib in 1800s and some people figure, due to Zauq’s influence, Zafar could never invite Ghalib into his court.
To read some of my Ghazals, please click on Urdu Poetry on the top menu. Once again, thanks to many known and unknown readers who have provided much appreciated comments and suggestions over time.
Gautam Dhar ‘Zafar’
28th December, 2005