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Ghazals and grey skies. Can it get better? Not for me, I love them both. For the uninitiated, the ghazal is a form of romantic poem or ode expressing pain of loss, and the beauty of love in spite of that pain which traces its origin to seventh-century Arabic poetry. I became a fan rather late in life, but have never looked back ever since.

To some, ghazals and grey skies spell gloom and doom. I remember telling a cousin that I love listening to ghazals. He scoffed, ‘Why so gloomy? Come on! Put on some upbeat music. Cheer yourself up!’

I was like, “Excuse me?!!”

What’s the heck is wrong with people? Why do they assume things? Why do they superimpose their own feelings and views on to mine? Perhaps he finds ghazals gloomy. Does that mean the rest of the world, finds it so?

Ghazals are about pain of separation. Right. But what about the beauty of the poetry itself, the excellent music it has been set to, the soulful voice of the singer rendering it…? Is there no appreciation for any of those? As far as I am concerned, the combined effect of the heady mixture assailing my senses is enough to send me into a tizzy of euphoria. No gloom can be found anywhere in sight.

The same goes for grey skies and rainy days. It brings me alive as no sunny day ever can. The grey skies today were a welcome sight. The cool breeze, a touch of love. Add to them ghazals by various artists playing on the stereo. I looked everywhere. Gloom was nowhere in sight.

© Shail Mohan 2020