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RIP: Jagjit Singh, ghazal singer to the common man

Posted on 10th Oct 2011 @ 1:45 PM

A soft ghazal in the background, a calm voice of Jagjit Singh singing it, and the world became a peaceful place. That was the magic created by the voice of the ghazal maestro. Being a singer, composer, activist and entrepreneur, Jagjit Singh was a versatile personality.

He sung in several languages including Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and Nepali.

For someone who entered the arena at a time when Pakistani singers dominated the ghazal industry, making a mark was not easy. But Jagjit Singh, with his golden voice managed to conquer the industry and became one India's finest ghazal singers.

In spite of singing ghazals in their purest forms, as singer Asha Bhonsle noted, Jagjit Singh did not hesitate in giving ghazals a new form with changing times. Singh was the first Indian music director to use the technique of multi-track recording for his album 'Beyond Time'.

The Padma Bhushan recipient was the man behind making the genre of ghazal, a genre that was not restricted to a specific age-group. He made simple, yet melodious ghazals that are timeless and can be heard by all.

Prior to Singh, ghazal singing was considered as an elite art, which was difficult for the common mass to understand due to high class Urdu and Persian.

His all time great melodies 'Kaagaz ki kashti', 'Chaak jigar ke', 'Kal chadhanvi ki raat thi', and 'Shaam se aankh me name si hai' are ghazals hummed and sung by one and all.

He mixed the words of legends like Ghalib, Qateel Shifai, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Nida Fazli and Sudarshan Faakir with melodious indigenous tunes and achieved a state where nothing came in between him and his listeners.

Jagjit Singh had also given his voice for ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Bajpayee poems in the albums 'Nayi Disha' and 'Samvedna'.

Today, as the voice became silent, one would hum the Jagjit Singh melody - 'Chitthi na koi sandesh, jaane vo kaun sa desh, jahaan tum chale gaye.' As the man rests in music, his voice will continue to give peace to the listeners.