My Jagjit — The Unforgettables — Part II

This special 1976 album opened with the nazm called “baat nikalegi to phir dur talak jayegi” and followed it up with some notable ghazals. LP featured two duets and four tracks each sung by Jagjit and Chitra both. The


The second track “Raat bhi neend bhi kahani bhi” by Chitra Singh just proves that the album is not just a one man show. The selection of couplets from the original poem by Firaq Gorakhpuri is crisp and refreshing. The original ghazal is here.

रात भी, नींद भी, कहानी भी
हाय, क्या चीज़ है जवानी भी

दिल को शोलों से करती है सेराब
ज़िन्दगी आग भी है, पानी भी

(सेराब = भीगा हुआ, पानी से सींचा हुआ)

ख़ल्क़ क्या क्या मुझे नहीं कहती
कुछ सुनूं मैं तेरी ज़ुबानी भी

(खल्क = दुनिया, सृष्टी, जगत)

पास रहना किसी का रात की रात
मेहमानी भी, मेज़बानी भी

Link to Youtube Ghazal

Another noticeable thing is Jagjit Singh ensured that more often than not in the album the sher or the couplets are easy to connect to. For example, the original poem by Firaq Gorakhpuri had many more interesting shers and yet four most easy to connect and potent ones were selected. This approach made it simple for people who were still not inducted into the Ghazal entourage did not find it intimidating to indulge. This along with western instruments opened up a relatively much easier to understand and appreciate gate to the amazing world of Ghazals. This probably is the biggest legacy of the master.

The mood and tempo set by the first two tracks. The third track “sarakti jaye hai rukh se naqaab” was already an established and known track which was often the jaan of the mehfils. Jagjit singh ji often added jokes, anecdotes and stories to make it even more entertaining for the live audience.

The discussion would not be complete without the mention of my favourite duet from the album. The track “bohat pehle se un qadmo ke aahat jaan lete hai” again penned down by Firaq Gorakpuri is an instant comment and happy track.

बहुत पहले से उन क़दमों की आहट जान लेते हैं
तुझे ए ज़िन्दगी, हम दूर से पहचान लेते हैं।

तबियत अपनी घबराती है जब सुनसान रातों में
हम ऐसे में तेरी यादों के चादर तान लेते हैं

मेरी नजरें भी ऐसे काफ़िरों की जान ओ ईमाँ हैं
निगाहे मिलते ही जो जान और ईमान लेते हैं।

‘फ़िराक’ अक्सर बदल कर भेस मिलता है कोई काफ़िर
कभी हम जान लेते हैं कभी पहचान लेते हैं

PS: This is part of series called My Jagjit and documents my experiences with the work and growing up with the master. These are breadcrumbs for my daughter and newer generation — for they must know that Jagjit Singh was timeless. The first article is here and the previous one is here