By G K Raj
Beyond Time is more than just a biography; one might say it is part autobiography as well. The principal voice is that of Jgajit Singh- adding depth and a rich dimension to the portrait of himself are all the other voices we hear, those of his wife and former singing partner, Chitra Singh, his family, his friends, musicians, poets, film directors, colleagues in the music industry. All these voices recount rare insights, anecdotes, observations that present both the public and private worlds of a musical phenomenon.
The total authenticity of Beyond Time is derived from two strengths. One, the first person recollections of the individual voices which allow the reader to share the vivid emotions evoked by their words. And two, the candid memories revealed for the first time. The defining moments of his life and musical career, his personal triumphs and heartbreaks, are recounted with the intimacy of an insider. Both Jagjit and Chitra Singh recall the tragic loss of their son with deeply-felt pain and sorrow which the reader cannot help but share. Prickly areas are tackled with remarkable frankness: why , for example, did he not make it in the world of films? What is his response to the criticism that he has made a pop song of the ghazal? To this, he gives a robust response which every ghazal lover should read.
Such an intensely subjective presentation makes for easy reading, even with 150 plus pages, and the text is complemented with pictures from Jagjit Singh’s own collection as well as his studio and other sources.
A ‘must read’ not only for Jagjit Singh’s many fans, but all those who love music and musicians.