Sunday, February 1, 2009

ASAD - 99

Originally posted on in 1997

The title of this series is "A Sher A Day". I myself haven't exactly followed it. Two things. I don't post every day and I sometimes post more than one sher. Today, third type of exception. An article WITHOUT any sher at all ! (First and probably the last time).

The 'kissa' I am going to present today is worth it. It's humourous, and also very enlightening about the true nature of GHazal. That is, IMHO.

Firaq Gorakhpuri and Josh Malihabadi were good friends. But their views about GHazal were quite different. Firaq loved GHazal, whereas Josh preferred Nazm and Rubaai. In fact Josh didn't like GHazal much. Once, a student came and asked Firaq to guide him in writing a thesis on GHazal. Firaq, true to his nature, immediately redirected him to Josh !

Josh listened to this young man's request, and asked him to come on the next day. When he arrived, Josh chatted with him on all the topics but GHazal and asked him to come again. The student went back nervously and came again on the next day. Same thing happened that day too. Josh, once again talked about many topics, but not GHazal. This happned for almost a week, before the poor fellow finally got agitated.

"GustaKHi mu'aaf, Josh saahab", he said, "First you told me about the second world war and about Churchill and Stalin, the next day you told me about the partition and Jina's policy, then discussed about social problems and what not. During the last week you told me about everything but didn't say a word about GHazal."

Josh laughed aloud and said, "Barkhurdar, all along I have been talking about GHazal only. Unfortunately, you didn't get it. A poem without any consistent theme, na sar na pair, is GHazal ! Chalo bhaago yahaaN se !!"


It's not necessary that every sher on GHazal has to be on a different topic. But that's how generally it turns out to be. The reason is, each sher is semantically independent. So each sher is a complete poem. This IMHO, is the soul of GHazal. This is the main strength of GHazal, and I would like to talk a lot more about this aspect. It also is the main weakness of GHazal, as it kind-of hinders the poet from developing a theme gradually and lead it to it's logical end. Depends on individual view-point. As for me I love GHazal !

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

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