Day 7

In 10th century Persia, a qasida was a panegyric written in praise of a ruling emperor. The opening couplets of a qasida, called the tashbeeb, were typically ran into a hundred monorhymes. The tashbeeb, apparently, is the precursor to the ghazal (pronounced gh-uzzle). The ghazal was (and still remains) primarily an expression of love towards a female lover, often unrequited. As the form evolved, it now also addresses issues of mysticism, spiritual yearning and political protest. 
The best thing about a ghazal are the sh'ers: the couplets which are practically independent poems in themselves. Their independence enables the poet to create shifts or jumps in the poetic narrative, even as the radeef - the metre - of the ghazal enables it to retain its poetic unity. 

Today's harf is jeem, pronounced as it is written. The word I have picked - judaa - is one much loved by Urdu poetry aficionados. Since unrequited love is a much-favoured theme, it naturally follows that judaa'ii or separation should lie at the heart of many a ghazal. "Judaa" means ''separated'', or "separated from" and is specifically used in the romantic sense in Urdu poetry. 

Today's she'r? By that poetic genius Qateel Shifai: 
Sadmaa to hai mujhe bhii ke tujhse judaa huu.N mai.n
lekin ye sochta huu.N ki ab tera kya huu.N mai.n

{This post is fondly dedicated to the mates of my mis-spent youth M.A.R. & M.A. H and to the memory of Suneil, he if the ghastly Urdu pronunciation. RIP, buddy.}

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