Vinita Chaturvedi, TNN
In a tete-a-tete with us, Ghulam Ali mourns the loss of Jagjit Singh
Ours was a friendship, which transcended the barriers of geography, hostile governments and hurdles of red-tape. My friend Jagjit Singh has left for heavenly abode, and I am simply inconsolable. I feel he will walk up to me and sing the mukhda of a ghazal for me
We were going to sing together
I just can’t believe that my friend is gone forever! We were going to sing together in Shanmukhananda Hall, but he fell ill just a couple of days before the concert, and I finally did the show along with Hariharan. That day, I was weeping inside, but the show went on. I was hoping that he will be alright, and will sing once again with me. After all, we have done more than 30 concerts all over the world together. Par mera dildaar yaar chala gaya, janaab! I am currently in Delhi to attend a wedding of a family friend, but this visit of mine has now become a tragic one.
Era of ghazals over in India
I met Jagjit for the first time in 1976 in London, where both of us had our respective concerts. And we hit it off from the word ‘go’. Whenever we found time, we would attend each other’s concerts in London. Since then, we were inseparable! With his demise, the era of ghazals has ended in India. If Allah wills, some new singer will later carve a niche in this genre, but Jagjit was number one and had his own unique style, which can only be copied.
Missing the magic moments
We have quite a few “”together”” ghazal albums to our credit. But today, I remember a lot more about him than merely our musical journey. Despite his stern looks, Jagjit was the most fun-loving person, who didn’t allow tragedies of life to get the better of him. Whenever we had meals together, he would regale me with his hilarious jokes, and we would end up giggling like schoolboys. Deep inside, he was still a child, even though his tragic life added extra soz to his voice. I went to see him at Leelavati Hospital twice, and it hurt me to see him in that pathetic condition.
Can’t stop water and air
I and Jagjit were both very disturbed whenever we heard about the bans being proposed on artistes, stopping them from crossing the border, because you can’t stop art from reaching beyond barriers. Like water and air – they create their own path!