Ghazal as Bridge: Overcoming the Personal via the Universal

Am sharing an article of mine that appeared recently, in the context of my recovery from Bipolar, in an online journal, called Cafe Dissensus. This is the first time that I have written so extensively about the role ghazal as a genre played in my recovery. A more analytical piece of writing is coming later in 2015, titled ‘Musical Progressions (in a special issue of the World Cultural Psychiatry Research Review). IN that article too I have written about the ghazal and how it completed the expression that bhajan could not articulate.

Café Dissensus

By Prateeksha Sharma

The mood swings that psychosis predisposes one to are severe afflictions that may keep a person rattled, fragile, and deeply anxious for long periods. Having lived in those states for years at a time, experiencing loneliness compounded by social withdrawal for decades together, health-giving possibilities emerged for me from unexpected quarters. One of those pathways was offered by music, though perhaps equal if not more, was contributed by the presence of my dogs. But dogs came into my life  a good 15 years after my ‘breakdown’, until then, the only rope to cling on to was music.

The contribution of ghazal as the poetic genre to that healing was immense, unforeseen, and of an order that was unimaginable for me. Ghazal was a significant star, in a bigger constellation of ideas and engagements, that lead to my ultimate recovery from a debilitating, chronic case of Bipolar disorder. …

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