I Knew I Shall Weep

July 8, 2017



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 clue, I shall weep.

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

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About umashankar

I am just a watcher then. Sometimes I watch life. Sometimes I watch death. Many times I watch in between...

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47 Comments on “I Knew I Shall Weep”

  1. willowwrites Says:

    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 🙂


  2. Ginene Nagel Says:

    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.


  3. Bruce Goodman Says:

    “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!


    • umashankar Says:

      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!


  4. subroto Says:

    Beautifully done. Now I want to read the Hindi version too (hint: a translation project).


    • umashankar Says:

      Thank you ever so much, Subroto. One of these days, I shall weep in Hindi too…


      • Sabyasachi Patra Says:

        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…


        • umashankar Says:

          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.

  5. Durga Prasad Dash Says:

    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.


    • umashankar Says:

      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.


  6. derrickjknight Says:

    So beautifully, tragically, poignant, Uma


  7. Shubha Athavale Says:

    “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.


    • umashankar Says:

      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.


  8. Purba Ray Says:

    Of love and longing and grief. What would life be without them but a barren patch!


  9. Maddie Says:

    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


    • umashankar Says:

      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.


  10. Alok Singhal Says:

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


  11. The Hook Says:

    Simply amazing.


  12. themoonstone Says:

    Poignant. The emotion swept me long before I understood the words.


  13. pranju Says:

    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.


  14. ladyfi Says:

    Beautifully written.


  15. inesephoto Says:

    Reading your poem I felt a stab in my chest – I remembered Cynthia. She would love this poem. Miss her.


    • umashankar Says:

      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.


  16. Pleasant Street Says:

    I am so moved by this one. I can feel it, and I relate to it.


  17. T F Carthick Says:

    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.


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