I Knew I Shall Weep


Where walkways were fragrant with you, I shall weep,
It was not till I left your city, I knew I shall weep.

Affinity is at discount in the market of subsistence;
There are thousands in the meandering queue, I shall weep.

My longing is an iceberg entombed under the desert,
Count not on cactus, drops of dew, I shall weep.

Pilgrims who set such store by the haze of their beloved,
Tread on jaded memories of every hue, I shall weep.

Many are the magistrates in the theatre of courtship,
I am guilty as charged, without a proof, I shall weep.

Many were the clouds in the skies of that severance,
Uma you did not waive back an adieu, I shall weep.


  1. Uma this is beautiful!
    My favorite line “Pilgrims who set such store by the haze of their beloved,
    Tread on jaded memories of every hue…” most especially “tread on jaded memories of every hue…” lovingly poignant.

    I can offer to share a tissue with you 🙂

    1. Thanks for the tissue, and the encouragement, my friend. Ghazals are essentially poems of love, loss and despondence —the time was right…

      1. I’m not familiar with the term Ghazals.
        Loss and despondency are painful. Love can be as well. But poems about love, loss and despondency are tender and healing for the soul.

  2. This poem is so beautiful that I felt the emotion of it well up inside and rise. Anyone whom has ever said goodbye before it was time to say goodbye will be touch by One Grain Amongst the Storm.

    1. Ginene, your have your fingers on the pulse of this poem. I am delighted that it touched you back in many ways. Many thanks for those kind words.

        1. Due to cybernetic logics best understood by Gmail, I found your mail pushed in the ‘Promotions’ folder which is rarely opened by me. Thanks!

          1. And due to the cybernetic logic best understood by WordPress, the notifications button was switched to off on my blog page. Just tonight, I learned of 50 or more comments written to myself since last March. Crazy.

  3. “Where walkways were fragrant….” This is a beautiful ghazal, Uma. It reads like a single melody across a silence canvas. Each sher evokes lonely… forlorn… forsaken… forgotten… even a touch of cynicism and perhaps panic. I like it very much.

    On a practical note, this ghazal does one of two things to me with writing: it makes me either want to give up, or want to do better! You ARE the master!

    1. Yes, it is all there: panic, cynicism and pain… But then these are essential rites of living. Now I wouldn’t have penned this but for the promise you extracted from me this month, so don’t even think of giving up. You are like the Springtime Wind, merry and wild. Carry on singing!

      1. I knew that people can curse in many languages. However, I didn’t knew that one can weep in multiple languages too. We lesser mortals weep in cowardly silence, lest be adjudged by the magistrates in the theatre of the absurd that is playing out these days in this country…

        Loved it. Please keep on writing…

        1. Such a soulful comment, Sabyasachi! It brings to my mind the words of Pablo Neruda:
          In what language does rain fall over tormented cities?
          Tell me, is the rose naked or is that her only dress? 
          Why do trees conceal the splendor of their roots?
          Is the sun the same as yesterdays or is this fire different from that fire? 

          Neruda of course said all that in Spanish. As for the country, the farce has transmogrified into a reeking tragedy. Perhaps the seeds lie in our congenital trauma of the ‘Two Nation Theory’. Winston Churchill’s controversially attributed theory of ‘Men of Straw’ has also played out to the full.

  4. A strange court indeed is this theater of courtship.

    After not getting even the customary adieu, perhaps, to ‘tread on jaded memories of every hue’ is the only saving grace, which of course only intensifies the pain.

    Simply a superb ghazal.

    1. There is no controlling this court-cum-theatre of this world. People keep amending the statutes to suit their position on the chessboard. Many thanks for stopping by.

  5. “Many were the clouds in the skies of that severance,
    Uma you did not waive back an adieu, I shall weep”.

    This one took my breath away Uma Shankar. And may you write many more ghazals.

    1. The maqta of this ghazal is a teardrop straight from my heart. I am happy it got the due honour from you. Thanks for the continued support, Shubha.

  6. Beautiful! I’m a silent reader of your blog, but ghazals always evoke a response. This one reminded me of ‘yun toh pehle bhi hue usse kai baar juda..’ by Mehdi Hassan

    1. Silent readers are silent blessings that keep this blog going. Then you have bestowed upon me a rare honour with that reference. Thank you ever so much.

  7. As somebody has said above, Hindi version would bring out the emotions the best. You’ve done the ground work for that perfectly 🙂

    1. Perhaps what is meant here is a conversion to Urdu (written in devnagari script). Do I see that happening in this life? I guess not. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. If tears were also to be found at a discount in the market of painful longingness!

    In my locality, it is said that loved ones find it easier to leave when no one is watching them leave.

    1. Thank you, Inese. Ghazals are a special genre. They either hit you with a force or are dud ab initio. I am glad this one touched you so.

      But for Cynthia, I wouldn’t be writing ghazals. From wherever she is in her heavenly abode, I hope she is smiling at my childish strains.

  9. That was a one of love and loss in the tradition of the Urdu Ghazals. This English form of them is something that you seem to really excel in, making this form accessible to the ones down South like me not so well acquainted with Hindi/Urdu literary works.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: