There is something ‘soulful’ about a good ghazal… soft, deep, sentimental, soothing. Masterpieces like ‘ Tum itna jo muskara rahi ho ’… Or ‘ Woh kagaz ki kashti, woh baarish ka paani ‘… Or ‘ Jhuki jhuki si nazar ‘ make us quiet and contemplative. Allowing us to patiently reflect at the pleasures and pains of life.
Old world adherents swear by the strict rules of matla (first stanza), maqta (last stanza with the poet’s takalluf), beher (consistent meter or length), kaafiya (rhyming words in last line of each sher) and radif (same last word in last line of each sher) for a poem to qualify as Ghazal.
However, I like Hayaat’s definition: ghazal helps us give finer expression to the real us – our pain, our frustration, our longing, our desire. And in doing so, it makes life, and this imperfect world, that much more beautiful.
Ghazal rudaad hai naakaamiyon ki,
Ghazal mehrumiyon ki daastaan hai
Ghazal riste hue zakhmon ka marham,
Ghazal ek chaaraa-e-dard-e-nihan hai
Ghazal kahusn hi hai, husn-e-aalam,
Ghazal ka noor hi noor-e-jahan hai