Tribute to the Immortal Jagjit ji

Man Ki Boonden

Kuch boonden aisee hoti hein
Jo man mein barsa karti hein
Man ki aankhon se barasti hai jo
Khamosh si barsa karti hein
Kabhi subeh subeh ki shabnam si
Yaadon ke phool pe girti hein….
Aur man ki gehri peer pe yun
Maraham ban jaaya karti hein
Jalte- bujhte jugnu ki tarah
Yaadein dohraati rehti hein
Yun man bharmaya karti hein

Woh makhmali ehsaas liye
Aawaaz tumhari ke saaye
Rimjhim phuhaar se wo naghme
Wo geet jo tumne kabhi gaaye
Yaadon mein baste rehte hein….
Ik dard bhara sa geet tha who
“ Koi mausam aisa aaye
Usko apne saath jo laaye ”….
Kaash kahin aisa ho paaye…
Sab kehte hein kaaynaat se door kahin
Tum aasmaan ke taare ho
Par bhool rahein hein shaayad wo
Ye jo mere man ki boonden hein
Ye tum ko choo kar aati hein
Ye khusbhu tumhari laati hein
Ye taare zamin par laati hein…..
Ye taare zamin par laati hein……

By. DR. Aparna Chattopadhyay


5 thoughts on “Tribute to the Immortal Jagjit ji

  1. Such a beautiful, beautiful poem written by Aparna. Brings out all the nuances of that fleeting, deep, unaddressed relationship between the artist and his ardent fan.

  2. Down Memory Lane
    Music Messiah/ Beyond Time
    ___ Dr. Aparna Chattopadhyay recounts an interview with Jagjit Singh ji…

    “Shaam se aankh mein nami si hai
    Aaj phir aap ki kami si hai….”

    The velvety touches of Jagjit Singh’s deep, dignified and mellifluous voice emerge from my iPod and touches my ears…my entire being feels overwhelmed by its serenity. Then follows the next awe-inspiring number, “Chitthi na koi sandesh, jaane woh kaun sa desh, jahaan tum chale gaye…” The soulful number makes my eyes misty and triggers several nostalgic memories of the quintessential ghazal icon, who breathed his last on October 10, 2011 one year ago, following an unprecedented attack of brain haemorrhage. The news shocked millions of his ardent fans; it was too hard to believe. The golden voice that had touched millions across the globe with its magical appeal, had suddenly fell silent.

    Looking back, I reminisce the legend who brought an elite genre like the ghazal to the common man, and popularised it beyond belief. The last time I saw him was during a live concert at Talkatora Stadium in Delhi along with Ghulam Ali, one of the last few of his performances before he had a stroke. Looking poised and peaceful, he closed his eyes and sang in his unparalleled style. The spellbound audience was enthralled and mesmerised as he sang each ghazal in his soulful voice. He seemed to have transcended all barriers of caste and creed, leaving the masses ecstatic. His scintillating musical creations were true-to-life reflections of human life. One felt as though, an old wound of one’s psyche was being healed with a balmy touch.

    I was reminded of what he said to me in an interview once, with utter humility and lightness that was typical of him, “The fact that I can sing is the biggest miracle of my life… When I truly become one with the music, I sense miracles happening. There are no words to describe the feeling I get when people in the audience begin responding to me. The melody, the stirring emotions, the very humaneness of the moment, it all seems likes a miracle.”

    “What is the sercret of the persistent popularity of your ghazals over a period of nearly four decades?” I had asked him. His reply was subtle and simple, like his persona, “Ghazal is the mehbooba (beloved) of Urdu poetry. It is the most popular vehicle of poetic thought for its lilt, music and emotional empathy. It is even therapeutic and releases the ‘dil-ki-baat’ (innermost longings), in a few couplets. It has, thus, to be simple, relevant and melodious for the listeners to empathise with it.” “You have transformed and simplified the ghazal for the lay music lovers, to a great extent, giving it a complete new dimension. How did you do that?”
    “The ghazal could not be popular with the masses earlier and was the prerogative of only a select few — those proficient in the Urdu language only. When I select poetry for singing, I make sure that I myself understand it first. Second, the thought-content must be meaningfully related to life — its emotions of joy and sorrow. It must have the human touch in order to be accessible to the common man. It has to touch life so he can empathise with it. My ghazals’ content includes even the social satire and political issues, apart from its romantic images.” One is reminded of his true-to-life albums such as Face to Face and Cry for CRY which dealt with sensitive issues and were in aid of non-profit organisations such as Blind Relief Fund and CRY. “Also, one has to keep up with the changing times. I like to experiment with new sounds and modern musical instruments, and new recording facilities. I have included them in my musical albums.” No wonder then, that his exquisite album Beyond Time was the first digitally recorded music album of the nation. “I am told you have a sound knowledge of musical instruments and can play most of them proficiently — and that you can compose the tune and music of any ghazal within minutes.” He smiled and pointing heavenwards, answered, “its His grace!”

    “Which singer has impressed you the most?” I had asked him with curiosity. “In my school days, I loved listening to Talat Mahmood. I was crazy about him and used to wait eagerly for his latest song.” He smiled, and then continued, “Mehdi Hasan ji and Lata Bai have inspired me the most. Madan Mohan the great music director, has also inspired me a lot. His film compositions used to be semi-classical ghazals and my attention was drawn to those types of verses, metres, and compositions. It was like a hidden education for my subconscious being.”

    It seemed to me that this quiet and intuitive enjoyment of the music was what enriched his world and his singing. A life full of music made him enjoy silence too, “I am a nature-lover. I simply love the idea of spending a day in the wilderness. The beauty and serenity of the mountains captivates me.” It was a spiritual love, he was talking about when he told me, “Life is one of God’s greatest miracles. The body I live in is a miracle; my waking up in the morning to another day is a miracle. But life is also the most mysterious creation of God.” Perhaps this was where he found solace when the devastating tragedy of losing his 19-year-old son Vivek to a car accident, struck his life. “I have experienced the therapeutic quality of music in my own life. When my son passed away, I sought solace in music. It literally nurtured me out of my grief and helped me come to terms with reality. I have now overcome my bitterness and have come to believe that there is a purpose in every action of God.”
    A genuine dedication to work and a positive approach to life, along with a rare sense of humour were the hallmarks of his lively persona. As a tribute to him, we should cultivate these qualities to live life fully, like he did. His sweet memory shall live on in his immortal music, his most precious gift to mankind. In these reflective moments, a sensitive couplet from his enchanting album ‘Marasim’ comes to my mind ;

    “Haath chhooten bhi to
    rishtey nahi choda karte
    waqt ki shaakh se
    lamhe nahi toda karte…”

    which pensively reminds me of his prophetic words he sang for his last album “ Inteha” :

    “ Bhool jaana mujhe aasaan nahin hai itna,
    Jab mujhe bhoolna chaahoge to yaad aaunga…”

    Some of the lesser known interesting facts about him :
    • Though born at Sri Ganganagar ( Rajasthan), most of his early childhood was spent in Bikener.
    • He was nostalgic about the rented house where he was born and even after decades, was very keen to buy it.
    • Rajasthani spicy delicacies were his favourite. Bajre Ki Roti and pickle were among them.
    • His original name was Jagmohan, which was changed to Jagjit by their family Guru and saint who prophesized that he would win the world one day with his unique charisma.
    • He enjoyed cooking for others. After his daily morning walks in Mumbai’s park, he used to prepare ginger tea himself for his friends.
    • Apart from music, horses were his passion. He used to find horse- racing most relaxing. “No one discusses music over there, for a change”, he used to remark smilingly.
    • In addition to Hindi and Urdu, he sang in other languages too such as Punjabi, Bengali, Sindhi, Gujarati and Nepali.
    • He was the first one to introduce digital recording and experiment with western musical instruments in his Ghazal album “ Beyond time”. He knew how to play most of those instruments also.
    • Talat Mehmood and Lata Mangeshkar were his favourite singers, and he held Madan Mohan in high esteem.
    • He watched the film “ Sheereen Farhaad” six times mainly for its melodious music.
    • He was a humanitarian to the core, and used to help the needy selflessly. On one such occasion, he had quietly placed RS. 20,000/- in his musician’s bag for the medical treatment of his ailing wife without his knowledge.


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