Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The death of ghazal

Jagjit Singh is no more. The ghazal maestro whose poignant voice gave many a reason to dare to love despite its signature haplessness, and in the process even unravel a certain chaste Urdu/Persian word or two. Whose silken voice healed many a wound, even when sometimes there was nothing to heal. Who revived the ghazal for us Indians and yet stuck to its core character - poetic expression and the unmistakable pathos of the lovelorn. I, as a mortal, was fortunate enough to go to one of his live concerts in Hyderabad five years back, the prized memory of which shall live with me forever.

His soulful renditions stir and brew a little storm in me every time I listen to one of his effortless creations, and then just like magic that very voice would lull that raging storm as well. I have been witnessing this spell, ever since I was a bratty, moody 13 years old. And through the treasure trove of lilting melodies that he has left behind, I wish to be continued to be bewitched so. May your soul rest in eternal peace. Although I still cannot believe the tragedy. To borrow a YouTube fan's very befitting tribute - "Ghazal died today, again."

Here is one of his many heart-searing ghazals and an old, old favourite. A lover implores his long lost love to be careful in the ways of this shrewd, interfering world. She must not pay heed to people's trivial gossip about their once beautiful past and must guard her present honour. Written by the Urdu poet Kafeel Azer, the intense lines are a coming together of sarcasm and love at its best.

My heart owes so much to him. Every time it was broken or fractured, his voice would mend it and make it ready to brave the world again.
And it didn't have to be love every time.

(Image courtesy, desiclub.com)


  1. It is a great loss to our Indian Ghazal music. he was the only Ghazal singer from India who has a distinct style of singing other than Pakistani classical music based singers like Ghulam Ali, Mehdi Hassan etc. His calm yet deep rooted voice has the power to heal. My tributes...

  2. I didn't know Jagjit Singh. I can't understand a single word. But music is an universal art. So i've appreciated this song and his voice !

  3. Rajnish, yes we have lost our only star. No matter how much of Farida Khanum or Ghulam Ali I love, I always crave for that comfort which only his voice gives...

    Celine, couldn't agree more. Thank you so much for the lovely comment, I really appreciate your listening to this ghazal despite its obvious foreignness.


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