A Tribute to
On 72nd birth anniversary of the Maestro
Jagjit Singh a legendary name in the field of Ghazal Singing was indisputably one of the most talented artist of India. This name has been ringing in the ears of millions of music lovers for many years. He was very versatile artist who can fill your heart with his meaningful and melodious song in any language of the world.
Jagjit Singh, one of the most talented artistes of India, has with his beautiful and equally talented wife Chitra Singh made history in the world of music. Born on 8th February 1941 in Shriganganagar in Rajasthan, he trained under Ustad Jamal Khan of the Senia Gharana. After graduation he came to Mumbai to try his fortunes in the music business.
There was a time, in the decade of seventies to be precise, when people talked about Ghazals they usually meant Noor Jahan, Malika Pukhraj, Begum Akhtar, K.L. Saigal, Talat Mahmood and Mehdi Hassan. But the perceptions changed soon; in 1976 an album by the name ‘The Unforgettables‘ hit the music stores. The first full-fledged Ghazal album by the husband-wife team was “The Unforgettables” in 1976. This album set new sales records and has been followed by numerous ghazals as well as devotional/religious albums, all of which have become classics. Essentially a Ghazal album, it had a new feeling about it, fresh sounds and melodic lyrics being the notable features of this album. Skeptics had their own reservations, purists scorned at it but the audience was, well, lapping up the album and this is what mattered or matters.
He graduated in the Arts stream from DAV College, Jalandhar. He also acquired a Post Graduate Degree in history from Kurukshetra University, Haryana. His association with music goes back to his childhood days when he was twelve years old.
He first learnt under Pandit Chaganlal Sharma for two years in SriGanganagar. After which for another six years he learnt under Ustad Jamaal Khan of Sainia Gharana, under whom he learnt all forms of Indian ClassicalMusic – Khayal, Thumri and Drupad. He always had an open mind and was ready to learn from lesser known but talented musicians throughout his college days. The Vice Chancellor of Punjab and Kurukshetra University, Late Professor Surajbhan envinced keen interest of music in him.
In 1967 he met Chitra while doing jingles and they got married in 1969.
They first tasted success with ‘The Unforgettables‘ released in 1976, this album set new sales records and since then there has been no looking back. They epitomise the first successful husband-wife singing team. The love affair that started with ‘The Unforgettables‘ continued well into ‘Ecstasies‘. It flew high with ‘A Sound Affair‘ and grew passionate with ‘Passions‘. Needless to say, that all of them disappeared from the shelves like magic. And magic it was, of the duo’s voice, of the blissful romance and the utter blithesome quality of their Ghazals.
As the pioneer of non-film music wave Jagjit & Chitra have been greatly instrumental in popularizing Ghazals. They have also created the music and songs for various films and even TV serials. Jagjit & Chitra have their fans spread out not only in India but all over the world. The response to their performances in concerts has been tremendous. Their ability to establish a rapport with their audience makes the evening a memorable experience.
Unfortunately, the duo was struck by grief as their only son met an untimely death. Shocking, as it was to them, it was as much shocking for the innumerable fans across the world. The recordings for a new album by the duo was almost in its completion when the tragedy took place. The album is a tour to the soul, ethereal, conscientious and introspective. Fraught with pain, the album in one word is touching. ‘Someone Somewhere’ has become the last album by the duo together and subsequently Chitra Singh called it quits.
The towering persona of Jagjit Singh braved the tragedy and continued alone treating the listeners with gems like ‘Hope‘, ‘In Search‘, ‘Insight‘, ‘Mirage‘, ‘Visions‘, ‘Kahkashan‘, ‘Love Is Blind‘, ‘Chirag‘ and a few others. ‘Sajda‘ in collaboration with Lata Mangeshkar was another brilliant release and made its mark as a classic Ghazal album. All of these and others further consolidated his position as the numero uno of Ghazal singing.
Of late, there has been a clear shift in the mood of his Ghazals; they have acquired a more soulful and poignant demeanour, as in ‘Marasim‘, ‘Face To Face‘ and the latest ‘Aaeena‘ ‘Cry For Cry‘. But all through this romance never took a backseat! The journey to the soul is punctuated by romantic pauses like ‘Dil Kahin Hosh Kahin‘. A testimony to his popularity is his Ghazals in recent Bollywood flicks like ‘Dushman‘, ‘Sarfarosh‘ and ‘Tarkieb‘.
Jagjit’s ghazals brings out the emotional side of ghazal and poetry lovers. His ghazals do a wonderful job in delivering tranquility (where “mai-khana” is involved), passion, serenity, pain (“sweet pain” in love), deepness, grief, love and a reminder of one’s own personal past. His voice, a true gift of God has the pain that an “ashiq” feels after loosing his beloved, the love that a mother seeks for her child, the tranquility that a “saaqi” delivers, the strange fear in a boy when she walks in the room. His deep voice holds the key to perhaps every emotion locked within oneself.
Looking for new talents and promoting them has been Jagjit Singh’s constant endeavor. Artistes such as Talat Aziz, Ghanshyam Vaswani, Vinod Sehgal, Ashok Khosla and Siza Roy are his contribution to the field of music. Succession awards have been conferred upon him from several state governments and music associations. Their enchanting ghazals use the choicest poetry by renowned lyricists like Mirza Ghalib, Ameer Meenai, Kafeel Aazer, Sudarshan Faakir and Nida Fazli. The lyrics which stirs an emotive appeal are given mood and life by Jagjit and Chitra Singh.Songs like “Sarakti Jaye Hai Rukh se Naqab Aahista Aahista”,”Aah Ko Chahiye”,”Baat Nicklegi To Door Talak Jayegi”and “Woh Kagaz Ki Kashti”are some of his best songs.
He was also active in several philanthropic endeavors such as the Library at St.Mary’s, Bombay Hospital, CRY, and ALMA, an organization whose focus is to adopt students for further education and development.
Can you imagine the popularity of Jagjit Singh..even today
Read this news article by Economic Times on the eve of his 72 birth anniversary, 08 Feb 2013
Jagjit Singh tops the list of most searched ghazal singers online
Globally, the Indian subcontinent searches the highest for Jagjit Singh, followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh and United Arab Emirates.
Jagjit Singh performing Live–
- A Tribute Yash Chopra (shanepedia.wordpress.com)
- Famous Ghazal Singers (famous101.com)
- Every Layman’s Guide to Ghazals (salaamreaders.wordpress.com)
Along with thanks and compliments to the sources for the shared data
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