Thursday, January 22, 2009

ASAD - 65

Originally posted on in 1997


What is Radeef ? Simple. It's a set of words with which EVERY sher in a GHazal ends. eg. "pe rona aayaa" as we were discussing about the GHazals by Shakeel and Sahir. So Radeef is syntactically very important. Is there anything more ? IMHO, yes. Radeef has a very important role to play in the "semantics" ! I haven't read anything in any book along these lines. But I have some of my ideas here. It's too obvious, probably that's why we miss it. The words in Radeef have a meaning. What's the big deal ? Ok. Consider the following:

kabhi KHud pe, kabhi haalaat pe ronaa aayaa,
baat nikali to, har ik baat pe ronaa aayaa,

kaun rota hai, kisi aur ki KHaatir ai dost,
sab_ko apane hi, kisi baat pe ronaa aayaa
- Sahir

Simple, yet profound ! The 2nd sher can be interpreted in many ways. Now once the poet has chosen on a Radeef "pe rona aayaa", he has to write shers which end in these words. That means, all the shers will talk about "rona". Not a rule, but a good and easy guess.

Now you see what I mean. The choice of Radeef can be a decisive factor when it comes to the emotions expressed !! Radeef has a semantic value ! Of course, this is not true always. If the Radeef is anything like "aati hai", "nahi hai" etc. then it's not so influential. But in many (not most) cases Radeef is semantically influential. Note that Radeef DOES NOT FORCE the poet to choose particular emotions. But it can give a direction to the GHazal. A character of its own. How, when, how much etc. ? That's exactly what we are going to see !

- Abhay.
ASAD _also_ stands for "A Sher A Day" !

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