Ghazals are an evergreen genre of musical world, especially, Hindi films. They are a mesmeric blend of poetry with intense thoughts about life’s journey, composed with simple melody. The ghazal originated in Arabia in the 7th century. Later they spread all over Asia. A ghazal expresses melancholy, separation from lover, also the beauty of love. The style and content, ghazals dominate class of music lovers who understand poetry and enjoy the meaning of it. The language of ghazals is mostly Urdu and Hindi. In my opinion Urdu is a classy and sophisticated language. Hindi shares its origins with Urdu, due to the comparable grammar base that they share.
Rumi and Hafiz wrote some very tasteful and heart-warming rustic ghazals. They were confirmed Sufis themselves. Hence ghazals have a touch of Sufism. The ghazals were initially composed on purely religious theme. Usually, all the lines of a ghazal have the same metre (a basic rhythmic structure of a verse or lines in verse). The study and the actual use of metres and forms of versification are both known as prosody. Hindi film ghazals usually lean towards romantic themes. It is common to mention the poet’s name in ghazals, which is known as takhallus. The name of the poet usually features in the last verse, which is a convention known as the maqta.
An important point to note about traditional ghazals is that in them the element of love is eternal and platonic; it most often does not have an obvious element of sexual desire in it. The love may be directed to either a man or a woman. Love is usually interpreted for a higher being or for a mortal beloved. Love is always viewed as something that will complete a human being, and if attained will lift him or her into the ranks of the wise, or will bring satisfaction to the soul. The essence of a ghazal usually lies in the lyrics, hence the poet matters.
The singer’s voice adds the class to a ghazal; Ghulam Ali, Mehdi Hassan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Farida Khoum our own Jagjit Singh, Tala Aziz Bhupinder Singh and of course Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mageshkar, Noor Jahan and are some great ghazal singers.
Jagjit Singh has sung some of the most beautiful ghazals. His style of singing was unique; he picked compositions which were simple. He sang for all classes of listeners. Otherwise, there was a notion that ghazals are music for intelligentsia (intellectuals). He swiftly established himself due to his style of simple and fluid yet deep voice. His voice had a mystic strength to weather emotional ups and downs in the compositions. His choice of instrument became his signature style: Santoor, Violin, Guitar etc.
I list here below some of my choice of ghazals, hope you all enjoy them.