27 Nov 2012

Goodbye, Ghazal? (Part II)

The ghazal is of the individual and the heart, it reflects the poet in the poem. It is bound to be personal. The music form is very much a musing, a question put to oneself; there is an anonymity in it.It can also be compared to a water body where no ripples form and sea waves keep arriving and receding. 

So many of the love songs are not trumpeted, bang-boom declarations. In many of these songs, the subject of the song in unaware of the poet's affections. Now if that is not tragic enough...in the age of social networking, cell phones and video conferencing, repressed emotions still sprout, communication technology is but a bridge, habit and character can yet have more devastating effects. What harm then, if one of the harmless, calming outlets happens to be a song? 

Since it reflects raw emotions, ghazals have inevitably told tales of woe, regret, sadness and torment. In these times of showcasing a perpetual public face of happiness, the ghazal finds no breathing space. In the Hindi film soundtrack world, rejection has found its catharsis in vengeance and abuse. Seldom does anybody cry it out, note the two songs of Ram Sampath's remarkable work for Delhi Belly (2011) - Bhaag D.K. Bose and Jaa Chudail. To be a crybaby is no longer convention, to give vent to anger is more of a bend nowadays. Scream, shout and forget.

Before the curtains drop on this slew of words, let me take you to a certain scene in the 1957 Guru Dutt film Pyaasa. At a happy occasion, even as fellow poets recite congratulatory verse, the protagonist weaves his own tiredness and disillusion in couplets of despair. Midway through his dark narration, a man in the audience cajoles him to recite something brighter. In response, the poet goes on to say in Sahir Ludhianvi's words: 

Hum ghamzada hai, 
laye kahan se khushi ke geet?...
denghe wahi jo payenge 
es zindagi se hum...  

(I am woe-begone
from where do I bring songs of happiness?... 
I will only give that which 
I receive from life...)

Click here for - Goodbye, Ghazal? (Part I)

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