While going through the amazing Jagjit Singh- Gulzar album Marasim, I just heard this wonderful creation, coming back from the hospital. I feel it just might be the most soulful of all the ghazals and nazms of the album. The quietude of the early morning was perfect in resonating the stillness of solitude expressed by my favourite minstrel of modern times.
Starting off with the small narrative by the Bard himself in his distinctive unmistakable baritone, Jagjit ji starts off with what to me, is the perfect description of solitude in today’s mundane, metrosexual existence that passes for a life for so many.
While remaining busy and otherwise occupied in one’s chosen vocation, the feeling of ennui does creep in sometimes and one would look askance for a means of putting one’s mind to more fruitful work and step out of the blue funk.
Gulzar sahab’s forte is his amazing ability to convey so much meaning while using such a small number of words. Such an enviable parsimonious attitude to using words, despite which he conveys so much. His poetry is an inspiration and a revelation at all times to me. Like every piece of well written prose or verse, I invariably discover a nuance I’ve missed out on an earlier iteration.
In this ghazal we have just 5 couplets. But such depth of meaning that touches the innermost sanctum sanctorum of one’s being and shows that such feelings and thoughts do exist in every mind, whether one is aware of them or not, and of course one may not be able to vocalise one’s thoughts so beautifully as Gulzar sahab does.
ज़िन्दगी यूँ हुई बसर तनहा
काफ़िला साथ और सफ़र तनहा
अपने साये से चौंक जाते हैं
उम्र गुज़री है इस कदर तनहा
रात भर बोलते हैं सन्नाटे
रात काटे कोई किधर तनहा
दिन गुज़रता नहीं है लोगों में
रात होती नहीं बसर तनहा
हमने दरवाज़े तक तो देखा था
फिर न जाने गए किधर तनहा
What can I say but sit back and enjoy one more rendition of the fantastic combination of such meaningful verse, a very melodious, expressive composition and soulful singing by my favourite male vocalist who has been such a source of solace since half a century. I did that thrice on the way back home from the CCU just now.
Stay safe, folks, stay away from the Chinese and take the jab (if you’ve not already done it)