The Shers in a Ghazal are united by form rather than content. Although they will share the same rhythm and rhyme the content of each does not follow a theme (although some Ghazals do). Each Sher stands independent of the others and should be the complete expression of an idea.
Ghazals deal with the complicated subject of human emotions. They focus especially on ‘affairs of the heart’ but a Ghazal can embrace the whole range of human experience. They have been described as taking the listener / reader on ‘a journey within’.
The appeal of the Ghazal lies in the skill of the poet to convey these complex philosophical thoughts and ideas within the discipline of the two line Sher.
Although traditionally, the prime concern of the Ghazal is love, modern poets, influenced by their surroundings, have begun to expand the subject matter of the Ghazal. Adil Mansuri, for example, has written about life in New York city. Other poets address the experiences of living in communities away from India and Pakistan. Mahek Tankarvi has written many Ghazals about life in the UK as well as writing about the problems he has seen while visiting Gujarati communities around the world.
Not all Ghazals are serious. Some poets choose laughter as a way to make their point. These humorous Ghazals are known as Hazals. Sufi Manubari is a Hazal writer inspired by both his new surroundings in the UK and his reminiscence of his life in India. He uses humour in his work but tends to eschew the traditional Ghazal form, writing longer poems in verses and telling complete stories rather than conveying thoughts, philosophies or ideas.