Chitra Singh Jagjit Singh Sudarshan "Faakir"

An affirmation of existence…..

I knew one form of this ghazal, having heard it for four decades. Although I had heard both of the husband and wife duo for the same period, I am not alone in my adulation for the one of the two. As a result, the other’s singing, which admittedly was distinct from my choice’s, got confined to the background. I discovered one of the two songs I am presenting today recently. It is amazing I found it just a few days ago, despite the rendition being half a century ago. This is an outstanding example of the same verse being tweaked to convey differing flavours. Here is one of the two, sung by my favourite Indian exponent of the craft, Jagjit Singh. He publicly admitted to being in awe of the Shehenshah-e-Ghazal, Mehdi Hassan, (who wouldn’t be, honestly) but showed the sagacity of not ever trying to ape him and evolved a style that is so very distinctive and that truly made him not just a Colossus in his own right, HE became the act to follow for those that followed in his footsteps. Jagjit Singh’s choice of verse was exquisite and he frequently opted to bring otherwise obscure poets who wrote non-Urdu verse into the spotlight by composing some eternal melodies around them. His use of modern/Western instruments and musical grammar to construct melodies with an Indian Ethos was truly unique and his blending of the two into a harmonious one makes him stand out in a crowd of me-toos.

Look at the one I discovered. It was sung exactly 50 years ago in a private mehfil in Kenya. Amazingly, I didn’t know of its existence till a few days ago.

The choice of verse by what would turn out to be one of Jagjit Singh’s frequent collaborators is sublime. Sudarshan “Faakir” writes from the heart, the poignant plea and reminder of an unrecognized existence bringing tears to one’s eyes.

फिर कोई दर्द जगा दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी
मुझ को एहसास दिला दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी

रुक गया मैं तो मेरी साँस भी रुक जाएँगी
फ़ासले और बढ़ा दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी

ज़हर पीने का तो आदी था ज़माने वालों
अब कोई और दवा दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी

ये मेरी चुप है इसे मौत न समझो यारों
साज़ मातम के हटा दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी

मेरी तारीफ़ ही तारीफ़ के क्या मानी हैं
किसी रंजिश को हवा दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी

चलती राहों में यूँही नींद लगी है ‘फ़ाकिर’
भीड़ लोगों की हटा दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी

सुदर्शन ‘फ़ाकिर

A very touching bit of anguish, poetically conveyed. Isn’t that a mistake many make, and often repeated, of not being celebrated during one’s lifetime and being toasted and eulogized only after one’s death? Much has been written on that subject and very effectively, too.

The version of the ghazal everyone undoubtedly knows better, having been issued in multiple albums and rendered in numerous concerts has been rendered by Chitra Singh ji, who has such a different tonal quality compared to Jagjit Singh’s singing.

The original ghazal was pruned and had a few misre changed for Chitra Singh ‘s rendition.

किसी रंजिश को हवा दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी
मुझको अहसास दिला दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी

मेरे रुकने से मेरी साँसें भी रुक जाएँगी
फ़ासले और बढ़ा दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी

ज़हर पीने की तो आदत थी ज़मानेवालों
अब कोई और दवा दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी

चलती राहों में यूँ ही आँख लगी है ‘फ़ाकिर’
भीड़ लोगों की हटा दो के मैं ज़िंदा हूँ अभी

-सुदर्शन ‘फ़ाकिर’

The net is a medium where people quote erroneously with increasing confidence and repeatedly, to a Goebbelsian effect. I have even found the qalaam credited to Gulzar!!!!

Have a wonderful Friday, folks, as I finally woke up to a wet morning and hopefully the day would see an even greater precipitation that terra firma needs. Stay blessed, happy and healthy. I am mentally already into the weekend

By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

4 replies on “An affirmation of existence…..”

Sir, if YOU have discovered this beauty recently, it’s no surprise that I discovered it today. Never heard both these hidden gems before. And jagjit singh fans are biased towards him. So at times it is unfair towards Chitra who’s an equally accomplished singer

Liked by 1 person

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