Poetic Interventions

Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali talks about friend Jagjit Singh and his Bollywood debut

The year was 1976, when poetry played a significant role in our lives. “There was poetry, music and there was Jagjit Singh,” said ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali, as he got nostalgic while revisiting the memory of his friend in a press conference in the city. “Chitra, his wife, too was quite alive on the ghazal circuit, and we would indulge in endless musical interactions. But Jagjit was always number one, and no one can take his place,” added Ali, who performed at a concert held on Thursday at Tagore Theatre. It is a known fact that music, poetry and the soul stirring emotions of their craft, that brought the two together.

“That was the time of Nasir Qadri, Ghalib, Mir Hasan Mir and Mir Taqi Mir, where the word was all powerful and there was a way, a lehzaa, a tone and ring to everything that was sung. We couldn’t sing till we got the pronunciation right,” says Ali, who learnt the nuances of ghazal from Qadri, who then worked with Radio Pakistan and taught him Persian words, diction, andaaz, and how important it is to choose the right poetry to sing.

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