Daastaan e Ghazal

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
Lansing MI

Comments So Far..
  • Petro 8 July, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    hi, hi, hi! Beautiful site.

  • Alka Singh 25 November, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Dear Gautam,

    I just went through this site and have fallen in love with it.Had it not been for my brother(a acientist and a professor in Texas)I would never have come to know of this site. You are just my kind.I really love interacing with people who have musical orientation and ofcourse who all are into poetry and try to understand ghazals and poetry rather than just hum them.I always thank my father and my brother for giving me this sense and sensibility to try and understand music and especially ghazals as well as light classical.Though i have not been trained in music, I do try to understand it by myself and also sing a little bit.I always aspired to be a trained singer.I just love your site and once again I thank you for creating this site for people like me.I actually got this site from my brother.

    Please keep doing this beautiful work.I am for sure going to share this site with my husband.

    Good day and keep up the good work.God bless,

    Alka, Hyderabad, India.

  • Alka Singh 25 November, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    All the people who love listening to all genres of music please get to website “music india online”.Its simply overwhelming.

    Take care,


  • […] around with it and returned with a Ghazal. I dedicate this Ghazal to my late Grandfather, Janaab Kaushik Sahab, who has always inspired and critiqued me in […]

  • […] received the first sher of this Ghazal directly through my Late Grandfather Shri. GN Kaushik in a […]

  • Rattan 23 May, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Zafar –
    Overture: I love music; I love old Hindi music; I fell into love from there with the lyrics and the poetry underlying.
    Quest: Meaning
    Require: Translation. Is there anywhere I can get an Urdu-English dictionary? Problem: I can’t read Urdu (except in Hindustani script) so it might need to be Urdu-English (transliteration)-English (translation) or Urdu-Hindi-English.

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