14 October, 2016

This time we had a full turnout and two special guests – Chinmoy’s father and Rupa 😀

After commandeering the spare television set, setting it up and connecting his temperamental laptop Chinmoy was set to begin. The ambience was ..ahem..cosy… with all of us crowded, somewhat uncomfortably I suspect, around Chinmoy and his screen and the lights suitably dimmed (thank you Meeta!) for the mehfil setting.

Chinmoy led us through and hour of understanding ghazals.

What is a ghazal? What is a good ghazal? Where does the word come from? Is language a constraint in ghazals? What is the role of the audience in a mehfil? ..were some of the questions he addressed. Examples, tricky quiz questions and much animated discussion later we had a much better appreciation of this form of poetry and music than we started with.

So much so that Navin even modified a Hinglish ghazal he had penned and shared it with us.

Customers, deadlines, emails se door jaane ki tamanna hai
Aaj kuchh Sukhan az zanana guftan ki tamanna hai

Quantico ke teraah episodes dekh liya ek saath
sangeen mahaul hai, kahiN urs ka mela dekhne ki tamanna hairead more

Meeta shared the hauntingly beautiful ghazal, Pura Dukh Aur Aadha Chand by the talented Pakistani poet Parveen Shakir

पूरा दुख और आधा चाँद
हिज्र की शब और ऐसा चाँद

दिन में वहशत बहल गई
रात हुई और निकला चाँद … read more

Here, she observed, who or what the chand is, is ambiguous. It could be one’s beloved, or the moon itself, or oneself or… .

That, I think, is a beautiful aspect of a ghazal. The ambiguity of who is the subject/object makes the sentiments expressed interpreted and hence, experienced, differently by different listeners. This makes listening to a ghazal that much more of an intimate experience.

Devika,  reminding us that she was very much with us with appropriate interjection of wah wah‘s and irshaad during the session (and even recognising Monet’s Water Lilies through the grainy video!!) shared the famous ghazal dil-e-nādāñ tujhe huā kyā hai by Mirza Ghalib

dil-e-nādāñ tujhe huā kyā hai
āḳhir is dard kī davā kyā hai

ham haiñ mushtāq aur vo be-zār
yā ilāhī ye mājrā kyā hai   .. read more

So, we will have another session for ghazals. Once is just not enough. Especially if I have to improve my ghazal composing skills which at the moment don’t go beyond summing up the meet with

Aap kal mehfil mein ek khushboo sa aaye
Ab bas lazzat-e-ghazal hawa mein therti reh gayi

Yes, yes …I know…. a loooong way to go :p