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His master’s voice

Jagjit Singh‘s monumental contribution to establishing Ghazals as a distinct artform in this country is undeniable. The man has sweated blood in order to achieve that position as the country’s foremost exponent of Ghazals by a considerable distance. Although his amazing popularity (he sold more albums than any other artist in India- including all the stalwarts of Bollywood music) did help in no mean measure later, the initial years were just such a spirit sapping and arduous toil, he fully deserved the incredible success that came his way later.

However he achieved this with a great degree of dedication, many years of struggle and an unshakeable faith in his own abilities. He also took inspiration from the maestros before him: Talat Mahmood, Khan sahab aka Mehdi Hassan. His early years saw him unmistakably influenced by the big man. Later (to his enduring credit) he successfully moved out of the big man’s shadows. This ghazal is proof of the influence. https://youtu.be/VsCplZPUmv4

The elaborate rendition and spending plenty of time in expounding various asha’ar, is most enjoyable. Mehdi Hasan did this a lot and was virtually closer to Khayal gayaki than ghazal singing.

ले उड़ा फिर कोई ख़याल हमें
साक़िया साक़िया संभाल हमें

रो रहे हैं के एक आदत है
वरना इतना नहीं मलाल हमें

हम यहाँ भी नहीं है ख़ुश लेकिन
अपनी महफ़िल से मत निकाल हमें

हम तेरे दोस्त हैं ‘फ़राज़’ मगर
अब न उलझनों में डाल हमें

-अहमद फ़राज़

इसी ग़ज़ल के कुछ और अश’आर:

ख़लवती हैं तेरे जमाल के हम
आईने की तरह संभाल हमें

(ख़लवती = एकान्त प्रिय), (जमाल = सौंदर्य, शोभा)

इख़्तिलाफ़-ए-जहाँ का रंज न था
दे गए मात हम-ख़याल हमें

(इख़्तिलाफ़-ए-जहाँ = दुनिया से मतभेद), (रंज = कष्ट, दुःख, आघात, पीड़ा), (हम-ख़याल = एक से विचार वाले)

क्या तवक़्क़ो करें ज़माने से
हो भी ग़र जुर्रत-ए-सवाल हमें

(तवक़्क़ो = आशा, उम्मीद), (जुर्रत-ए-सवाल = प्रश्न पूछने का साहस)

This ghazal has poetry by Ahmed Faraz, one of Mehdiji’s favourite poets

I find lots of similarity in Jagjit Singh’s singing and Mehdi Hassan’s at this point in time.

Stay safe, folks, stay healthy and happy. Stay away from the country of origin of all bioterrorism in the world.

By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

8 replies on “His master’s voice”

Every word written by Doctor Sahib is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Jagjitji was a very quick study. He learned very early in his career that traditional gazals gayiki was a dying art and will soon become a thing of the past so he originated his own style, which would please the ears of the masses as well as the classes. He revolutionized gazal gayiki and took it to new heights. All music lovers should be grateful to him for giving a new life to a dying art and kudos must be showered on Doctor Sahib for bringing musical history to light in his inimitable style of writing. Thank you Doctor Sahib.

Liked by 2 people

इख़्तिलाफ़े-जहां का रंज न था दे गये मात हमख़याल हमें

Poetry par excellence matched by singing at the same level.

Liked by 1 person

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