Revisiting the maestro: The Best Of Jagjit Singh
During this period of struggle, when he was singing jingles for a living, Singh met his future wife and singer Chitra. The duo went on to find unprecedented popularity as a husband-wife team, revolutionizing the ghazal scene with their successful collaborations on film and non-film albums. A personal tragedy, the death of their teenage son Vivek in a road accident, put an end to Chitra's musical fervor but proved therapeutic for her significant other. Singh continued, finding solace in his art, even though the new songs reflected his grief-stricken, grim state of mind.
The sentiment made him both real and relatable. Be it in recorded form or live, his stirring yet serene performances never fail to echo a sense of profundity and poignancy. Through his dreamy rendition of ghazals and nazms by famous poets ranging from Mirza Ghalib to Nida Fazli, coupled with his winsome personality, Singh created a wider audience for a genre earlier limited to a refined coterie. His eloquence isn't limited to singing alone.
Singh didn't mince words in voicing his displeasure over piracy and increasing dependency on technology to create sound, the 70-year-old lamented the lack of human touch in contemporary music. Considering his tremendous body of work, the sudden news of his illness -- Singh suffered from brain hemorrhage on September 23 and was hospitalized in Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital -- had greatly distressed his numerous fans and well-wishers. The maestro breathed his last this morning.
Here's lookign back at the legendary singer's best-loved numbers:
Sarakti jaaye hai rukh se, Life Story
Against Urdu poet Amir Meenai's flirtatious verse, Jagjit Singh offers a free-flowing live performance. Notice how he interacts with his audience, often volunteering to explain the finer nuances whilst improvising with impromptu twists on the spot. Interestingly, Laxmikant-Pyarelal adapted Sarakti jaye for the 1982 Muslim social, Deedar-E-Yaar starring Jeetendra, Rishi Kapoor, Tina Munim, in Kishore Kumar's voice.
Yeh daulat bhi le lo, Jazbah
Singh yearns for the carefree days of childhood in this evergreen ghazal. Other concert favourites include Apne hothon par, Baat niklegi to and Main nashe mein hoon.
Hothon se choo lo tum, Prem Geet
Nominated for Best Playback Singer (Male) at Filmfare, the singer lost to Amit Kumar's Teri yaad aa rahi hai (Love Story).
Koi ye kaise bataye, Arth
It's hard to imagine anyone else conveying the extreme pathos of Kaifi Azmi's verse in Koi yeh kaise, Tum itna jo muskura or Jhuki jhuki si nazar.
Tumko dekha, Saath Saath
Hazaron khwaishen aisi, Mirza Ghalib
Hazaron khwaishen aisi tops the list.
Chitthi na koi sandes, Dushman
Koi fariyaad, Tum Bin
And that includes his silky smooth delivery Koi fariyaad from Anubhav Sinha's directorial debut, Tum Bin.
Hoshwalon ko khabar kya, Sarfarosh
His breezy ghazal, Hoshwalon ko khabar in the mostly gritty Sarfarosh is case in point. The track also finds a spot in his non-film album, Marasim, in addition to other hits like Shaam se aankh mein name (penned by Gulzar) and Haath choote bhi to rishte nahi choota karte (Pinjar).
Ghar se nikle the, Aaeena
An assortment take on the various facets of relationships, Aaeena features another stunning melody, Tera chehra hai aaene jaisa. One cannot say the same about the tacky videos.
Pyaar ka pehla khat, Parwaaz
Bolo Ram, Mann Mein Ram Basale