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 FEATURE # 72
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Jagjit Singh: Singer of the masses
(11/10/2011)

His mesmerising rendition of Ghazals gave you company when you may have passed through most troubled moments of life, but on Monday morning when Jagjit Singh passed away, this soulful voice of a living legend fell silent forever.

Mumbai, Oct 10 (IBNS): His mesmerising rendition of Ghazals gave you company when you may have passed through most troubled moments of life, but on Monday morning when Jagjit Singh passed away, this soulful voice of a living legend fell silent forever.

Born on Feb 8, 1941 in a Punjabi family of Rajasthan to Amar Singh Dhiman and Bachan Kaur, Jagjit Singh was popularly called 'Jeet' in his family that included four sisters and two brothers.

It was in a Gujrati film titled "Dharati Na Chhoru" produced by Suresh Amin where Singh got his first oppurtunity to sing a song.

In 1965, the Ghazal maestro came to Mumbai with the hope of becoming a singer and a musician.

In those days, Ghazals were considered to be a musical genre of the elitist and it can be arguably said that it was not so popular among the common masses.

Legends like Noor Jehan, Malika Pukhraj, Begum Akhtar, Talat Mahmood and Mehdi Hassan were known for their ghazals during that period. But Jagjit Singh slowly carved out his own position in the galaxy of Ghazals with his heart touching voice and mannerisms.

He literally broke the intellectual barrier and made Ghazal popular among the masses.

It was actually his mesmerizing style that made people stop their cars or halt their daily chores for at least few moments and listen to his voice whenever his songs were played on radio.

In 1976, India first tasted the depth of Jagjit Singh's charishma as his album titled 'The Unforgetables' was released.

It was completely a new way of singing ghazals that deviated a bit from the traditional style of singing it. Within months the album set new sales records and Jagjit Singh made a mark of his own.

His music became popular through films like 'Prem Geet' (1981), 'Arth' and 'Saath Saath' (1982), and TV serials 'Mirza Ghalib' (1988) and 'Kahkashan' (1991).

Jagjit Singh's personal life was also like a beautiful script which witnessed him meeting with another Ghazal legend Chitra Sen who turned to Chitra Singh after marriage.

"The Ghazal King" would be remembered by every Indian for his rendition with Chitra Singh.They were Indian music's first husband-wife duo who attained success and acclaim of music lovers.

The duo rendered their voices in several enchanting compositions that are still a part of every ghazal-lovers life.

However, tragedy struck the life of the couple in 1990 when their only son, Vivek (21), met
an untimely death in a road accident leaving the family completely shattered.

'Someone Somewhere' was the last album where both sung together and then a grief-
stricken Chitra Singh left singing.

His albums like 'Marasim', 'Face To Face',' Aaeena', 'Cry For Cry are still popular and interestingly the new age generation also find Jagjit Singh's song equally soothing as their previous generations used to find it.

'Samavedna' and Nayi Disha were two musical albums that witnessed the partnership of two legends- Jagjit Singh and former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Jagjit had sung the poetry composed by Vajpayee.

In his lifetime, Jagjit Singh had rendered his voice in innumerable soul-touching numbers like: 'Der lagi aane mein tumko', 'Apne hothon par sajaana chaahta hoon', 'Haath chhooten bhi to', 'Honthon se chhoo lo tum', 'Hoshwalo ko khabar', 'Kiska Chehera', 'Kal chodvi ki raat thi', 'Tumko dekha to yeh khayal', 'Woh kaaghaz ki kashti'.

Besides ghazals, Jagjit Singh had also sung Bhajans and Gurbani (Hindu and Sikh devotional hymns respectively) and they were equally popular like his ghazals.

With the death of Singh the world of India music lost one of the greatest names and legends whose magical voice, handsome looks and charismatic personality will be remembered for ages.

Though the man may not be there but his voice and compositions will make us remember that there was a legend named Jagjit Singh who had once sung the song 'Chitthi na koi sandesh jaane yo kaun sa desh tum chale gaye'.
Supriyo Hazra
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