[Book Review] Ghazals: A Collection of Ghazals in English by Shankar N Kashyap

Image source: Amazon India

Genre: Poetry

Length: 90 pages

Publisher: Indus Publishing

Publication date: 27 August, 2021


Kindle version: https://www.amazon.in/Ghazals-Collection-English-Shankar-Kashyap-ebook/dp/B09DVZ3NBT


The word Ghazal conjures up images of swirling dervishes and incense and deep trans states. Ghazals were spread across the land by the Sufi mystics. This is an attempt to construct Ghazals in a format as close to traditional Persian verses as possible, within the constraints of the English language. The poems essentially love poems with a few in a melancholic tone. The poems are based on the love, pain, and pathos of life. The structure of the Ghazal format has been painstakingly reconstructed as much as possible within the constraints of the English language.

This is a book not only for the connoisseurs of Ghazals but also for anyone who loves to read poetry.

My Review

Reading Mehfil-e-Ghazal is an experience in itself. You feel the full force of the author’s emotions–love, compassion, and friendship–and cannot help but be swept away in the gushing waves. 

For those unfamiliar with the concept of the ghazal, the author has painstakingly provided a fascinating history of the poetic form. He calls it a “brief” history but I feel it is complete in that it enables the reader to appreciate the ghazal collection all the more. I did not know so much thought and effort went into composing a ghazal. 

Did you know ghazals are composed in English as well apart from the traditional languages of Persian, Urdu, and Arabic? Yes, historically ghazals have been composed in English as well although I feel they do not hold a candle to the Urdu creations because of the restraints of the language. 

Illustrated with reproductions of oil paintings and hand-drawn sketches, the collection is a worthy companion for the reader who wants to take a few quiet moments for themselves and reflect within.  

I loved the evocative pieces “It was not meant to be,” “Circle of love,” “Art of Stealing,” “Stony Path of Life,” and “Forgotten Dreams.” Each ghazal speaks directly to your heart and you become one with the author’s narrative.

Mehfil-e-Ghazal is for those who want to nourish their finer feelings and take a dip into a whirlwind of sensory delight. 

About Shankar N Kashyap

Source: Amazon India

Shankar N Kashyap is a consultant Orthopedic Surgeon working in Gateshead, UK. Some of his colleagues jealous of his popularity, success, and talent, decided to cook up spurious charges against him and reported to the regulatory body, the GMC. He faced a three-year ordeal of trial by incompetent individuals who were not only corrupt but completely devoid of any knowledge of the work he did in the hospital. He has written his experiences in his book “A Kangaroo Court” on Createspace. The book is an invaluable guide to all doctors not only in the UK but across the world.

He is extensively read with a wide knowledge of the history of the near east and middle east. He is presently writing a series of books based on the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia around the third millennium BCE. First book Harappa: The Lure of Soma has been released through Palimpsest India and is available on Amazon as well as on the Alibris websites. It was released in Delhi in October 2013 and has excellent reviews by renowned authors such as Graham Hancock and David Frawley. The second book of the series – Harappa: The fall of Shuruppak deals with the links and maritime trade between Harappan and Mesopotamian civilizations. The third book of the series – The Battle of Ten Kings: Dasharajna – was released in 2017 and deals with one of the great battles portrayed in Rigveda. It is considered the third epic of India by many experts.

Since then he has gone to publish a crime thriller based on true events – The Retribution and a collection of love poetry – Lady in Red. The books have received raving reviews across the globe. His next venture, Musings of a Romantic is due for release soon – a mini compendium of Poetry. This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in writing poetry.


One response to “[Book Review] Ghazals: A Collection of Ghazals in English by Shankar N Kashyap”

  1. Wish you quoted a few lines from the book.

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