While going to the hospital late last night, the DVD player in the car played this song amongst the many by my favourite non filmi singer, the one and only Jagjit Singh.
It is from his album Marasim that has poetry by the great Gulzar sahab. Marasim means connections or relationships and the album has some exquisite poems set to an absolutely unforgettable set of compositions by the genius of our times, Jagjit Singh.
The much celebrated, very popular and commercially hugely successful Ghazal maestro, my favourite Jagjit Singh and prolific poet Gulzar have delivered one of their finest collaborations in this album : Marasim. Melodic and soulful, the nuanced lyrics by Gulzar convey an astonishing emotional range and that too with an amazingly masterful balance of apparent playfulness and depth of sensitivity. Jagjit Singh is very much in his elements in the soulful rendition of “Zindagi Yun Hui Basar Tanha“, while Gulzar’s mesmerising voice is the perfect foil for his rich, meaningful poetry and his vivid imagery is apparent in his recitation titled “Gulzar Speaks”.
I remember meeting Jagjit Singh ji first in the mid 70s when we went to call him to come to Seth G S Medical College. He was gracious enough to spend time himself with us and actually not just waive off all fees, but also spent much more time than he had initially committed to, and sang, explained the evolution of ghazals and also spoke of his personal trials, tribulations and travails starting in the early days, establishing the genre of ghazals to an audience that was split between Bollywood music and Hindustani Classical Music. The two types then were usually quite distinct from one other. Jagjit jee blended both elements that they liked and sought in a musical experience.
To his credit, Jagjit ji also freed ghazals from the ostentatious, and sometimes less understood Urdu lexicon. He retained the essence and even took the time to explain some words as he sang to make the verse relatable for his audience.
It was his unique style that the choice of good verse from sometimes less known but excellent shayars was such an inseparable part of his oeuvre. He was also extremely innovative and creative in his compositions, blending instruments like the guitar so harmoniously into his musical creations.
This ghazal so beautifully captures the beauty of solitude, the pain of longing. An amazing piece of work that is forever etched on my mind in all its aspects.
शाम से आँख में नमी सी है
आज फिर आप की कमी सी है
दफ़्न कर दो हमें के साँस मिले
नब्ज़ कुछ देर से थमी सी है
वक़्त रहता नहीं कहीं टिक कर
इस की आदत भी आदमी सी है
कोई रिश्ता नहीं रहा फिर भी
एक तस्लीम लाज़मी सी है
(तस्लीम = सलाम, प्रणाम, हामी), (लाज़मी = आवश्यक, अनिवार्य, ज़रूरी)
इसी ग़ज़ल के कुछ और अश’आर जो जगजीत जी ने उनके गाये ग़ज़ल में शामिल नहीं किये:
कौन पथरा गया है आँखों में
बर्फ़ पलकों पे क्यों जमी सी है
आइये रास्ते अलग कर लें
ये ज़रूरत भी बाहमी सी है
(बाहमी = पारस्परिक, आपस का, Mutual)
अजनबी सी होने लगी हैं आती जाती साँसें
आँसुओं में ठहरी हुई हैं, रूठी हुई सी यादें
आज क्यों रात यूँ थमी थमी सी हैं
पत्थरों के होठों पे हमने नाम तराशा अपना
जागी जागी आँखों में भर के सोया हुआ था सपना
आँख में नींद भी थमी थमी सी हैं
An amazing convergence of good poetry, a melodious composition and of course, great vocals by the one and only Jagjit Singh
Stay safe, folks, stay happy and healthy. Stay away from the Chinese and take the Jab