Jagjit Singh -The Master & His Magic

Jagjit Singh – Dekha Jo Aaina [ The Master & His Magic ]

Jagjit Singh -The Master and His Magic. The first of the 9 rare recordings, personally curated by Chitra Singh, are a part of the musical journey of Jagjit Singh and have remained unreleased over the last 2 decades. They have been restored and digitally re-mastered to enhance the listening experience and yet retain the magic of Jagjit Singh’s voice. This album is a personal gift from Chitra Singh to the legion of fans of the late Jagjit Singh and will be remembered as special moment in the history of Indian music.

Song – Dekha Jo Aaina
Singer – Jagjit Singh
Composer – Jagjit Singh
Lyrics – Farag Roohvi
Label – Sony Music

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3 thoughts on “Jagjit Singh -The Master & His Magic

  1. Dr. Aparna Chattopadhyay says:

    October 17, 2012 at 1:30 am

    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…”

    TRIVIA
    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.

  2. Comments on ” The Master and his Magic” by Dr. Aparna Chattopadhyay

    “ Teri or hi dekha maine
    Apni or na dekha,
    Jab jab aage badhna chaha
    Lipti lakshman rekha,
    Mein apne hi saath nahin thi
    Dunia tere saath.
    Tu amber ki aankh ka tara
    Mere chote haath.”…………

    As I listened spellbound to these deeply meaningful lines sung in the soul searching voice of the Master of Masters- our ever cherished, remembered and revered Jagjit ji ( for his new music album- “ The Master and his magic”), I felt mesmerised. For a moment, I felt the same old world charm of his mysterious charisma enveloping me …… all over again……. as though he was there…… near me.. singing in his usual style- his eyes closed and a smile on his lips…..Coming out of my beautiful reverie I listened with a tinge of sadness, to yet another number—“ Jaao ab subeh hone wali hai “. The number, I felt, was too deep and pathetic for words- so very soulfully sung and worded. I felt amazed at the simplicity and depth of that unique creation. The other scintillating ghazal number such as “ Aahon mein hai asar”, “ Dekha jo aaina”, “ Rone se aur ishq mein”, “ Tu jo aa jaaye”, “ Ro lete to achha hota”, “ Dil mein ab dard-e mohabbat ke siva” and “ Woh Firaq” refreshed one’s psyche with their instant appeal and empathetic quality.

    “ Dil gaya tha toh ye aankhen bhi koi le jaata
    Mein faqat ek hi tasveer kahaan tak dekhoon…..”

    The class of such lyrics sets them apart from the rest. The nostalgic memoirs of the master interspersed with his rare snap shots and his handwriting, is a boon and precious treasure for his countless fans across the globe. Written so beautifully by Sanjeev Kohli and compered brilliantly by Chitra ji, the masterpiece is a laudable creation for all times, to be cherished and remembered by all the sensitive music lovers.

    The Master lives on eternally in our memories and hearts…. Compelling one to ponder, once again, over the concluding lines sung by him for the album—
    “ Thi woh ik shaks ke tassavur se,
    ab woh raanaiye khayal kahaan….”
    Let my pensive thoughts add further—
    Ab woh aawaaz ka bepanaah jaadu,
    aur uska woh tilism bemisaal kahaan….
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Dr. Aparna Chattopadhyay

  3. I am very thankful to Sony Music and Chitrajee for releasing Jagjit jee’s album of unreleased songs. One of the ghazals in the album (The Master and his Music) is written by by Dad, Shri. Priyadarshi Thakur, who writes by the pen-name of ‘Khayal’. Dad has been writing Hindi poetry and ghazals for several years and several of his books have been published. One of our greatest desires was that Jagjit jee would someday sing his ghazal. Dad had known Jagjitjee as an acquaintance for many years and presented him a number of his books and individual ghazals. Jagjitjee had promised that he would sing his ghazal one day but last year when Jagjitjee suddenly passed away, our hope and ‘unfulfilled desire’ went with him. However, by including one of his ghazals in this album, we have received from Chitrajee and Sony Music, a most cherished gift of our life! It would have been great to have his name on the album as the lyricist for this ghazal, but nevertheless, it is still a great moment for us! That ghazal is: One of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrk9OBtS_e4

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