From singing at small mehfils to Padma Bhushan, the magical journey of the 'Ghazal King'
New Delhi: ‘Chitthi na koi sandes, jane who kaunsa des jahan tum chale gaye’…has been one of the greatest ghazals of the legend Jagjit Singh that moved people to tears. And the sad demise of the ghazal king Jagjit has once again made the world to remember these lines by him.
A singer, composer and music director, was the man who took ghazals to the common genre. The pain and melancholy in his voice gave vent to the feelings of many a lonely heart.
He has sung in several languages including Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and Nepali.
Recipient of Padma Bhushan award, Jagjit infused a new life in the dying genre of music in the seventies and carved a niche for himself in Bollywood.
The man behind churning out the finest ghazals, Jagjit was also known for modern approach and infusion of technology in the traditional art of ghazal singing. He was widely credited for the revival and popularity of Ghazal. Prior to Singh, Indian ghazal singers were considered relatively lesser authentic than their counterparts from Pakistan.
With a career spanning over five decades, his music became popular in mass media through films such as Prem Geet (1981), Arth and Saath Saath (1982), and TV serials Mirza Ghalib (1988) and Kahkashan (1991). His silky voice ruled during recent Bollywood flicks like Dushman, Sarfarosh, Tum Bin and Tarkeeb.
Life in Bombay was hard and Jagjit eked out a living doing small musical gatherings and house concerts. He sang at several film parties hoping to get a break in the movies.
Jagjit Singh broke this myth by coming up with songs such as 'Kaagaz ki kashti', 'Chaak jigar ke', 'Kal chadhanvi ki raat thi', and 'Shaam se aankh me name si hai'. Jagjit Singh was first offered to sing in a Gujarati Film. ‘Dharati Na Chhoru’ produced by Mr. Suresh Amin,
He gained acclaim together with his wife, another renowned Indian Ghazal singer Chitra Singh, in the 1970s and 1980s, as the first ever successful duo act (husband-wife) in the history of recorded Indian music.
Jagjit Singh is the first Indian composer, and together with his wife Chitra Singh the first recording artist in the history of Indian music to use digital multi-track recording for their (India's first digitally recorded) album, Beyond Time (1987). He is regarded as one of India's most influential artistes.
He was awarded India's third highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan, in 2003.
He is the only composer and singer to have composed and recorded songs written by Prime Minister - Atal Behari Vajpayee, also a critically acclaimed poet - in two albums, Nayi Disha (1999) and Samvedna (2002).
On May 10, 2007, in a milestone joint session held in the historic Central Hall of India's Parliament (Sansad Bhawan), Jagjit Singh rendered the last Moghul Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar's famous ghazal "Lagta nahin hai dil mera" to commemorate the 150th anniversary of India's First War of Independence (1857).
Often called the 'Ghazal King' by his fans and peers, Jagjit was born on February 8, 1941 in Sriganganagar, Rajasthan, to Amar Singh Dhiman, a government employee, and Bachan Kaur. He had four sisters and two brothers and was called Jeet by his family.
He was raised as a Sikh by religion. His birth name was Jagmohan but his Sikh father rechristened him as Jagjit following the advice of his guru.
It was his father, who first recognised his son's talent. He sent young Jagjit to learn the nuances of music under a blind teacher, Pandit Chhaganlal Sharma. He later trained under Ustad Jamal Khan of Sainia gharana for six-years and gained knowledge in Khayal, Thumri and Dhrupad forms.
A few of his famous ghazals
There are many successful ghazals composed by Jagjit Singh. Some of them are listed below:-
• Yeh daulat bhi le lo, yeh shohrat bhi le lo
• Hoshwalo ko khabar
• Honthon se chhoo lo tum
• Bahut khoobsurat hai
• Kiska Chehera
• Kal chodvi ki raat thi
• Baat niklegi to
• Tera chehera hai aaeene jaisa
• Chitthi na koi sandesh
• Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho
• Koi fariyaad
• Kahin duur jab din
• Jhuki jhuki si nazar
• Tumko dekha to yeh khayal
• Jab saamne tum
• Tere aane ki jab khabar mehke
• Woh kaaghaz ki kashti
• Badi Najuk he ye manzil mohabbat ka safar he
• Der lagi aane mein tumko
• Patta-patta boota-boota haal hamaara jaane hai
• Tere baare mein jab socha nahin thaa
• Tere aane ki jab khabar mehke
• Tamanna fir machal jaaye agar tum milne aa jaao
• Ab main ration ki kataron mein nazar aata hoon
• Tujhse milne ki saza denge tere shehar ke log
• Din aa gaye shabaab ke aanchal sambhaaliye
(With inputs from Wikipedia, PTI)