Most fascinating has been Jagjit’s universal appeal which touched millions of lives around the world and helped them connect. One is amazed by the spontaneous outpouring of grief across the border in Pakistan.
Hours after his death, Pakistani television networks paid fulsome tributes to the singer, vying with those across the border It’s not often that you see Pakistani media shower such unqualified and unreserved praise on an artist from the other side. Which incidentally holds true for Indian media as well.
As India and Pakistan mourn the singer, we are once again struck by all that the separated at birth twins have in common despite the unpleasantness of the past few decades and wars they have fought on and off the field.
Despite the best efforts of our perpetually scheming politicians, to divide us and poison our relations, what unites and bonds us, Indians and Pakistanis, is still greater than what divides us. From music to culture to literature and from food to sports to arts, the things that ordinary people of India and Pakistan share is truly mind-boggling.
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A GREATER NEED TO SPEAK OUT FOR LOVE, PEACE AND REASON – AND NOT JUST IN SOUTH ASIA
by Aijaz Zaka Syed
Note for WoP readers: In the following post, Aijaz Zaka Syed recounts the life and times and the art – of that great performing soul, called Jagjit Singh. Stirring millions of hearts with his melodious numbers Jhuki jhuki si nazar and Kaagaz ki kashti, Jagit Singh infused a new life in the dying genre of music in the eighties and carved a niche for himself in the Bollywood.
Jagjit Singh was indeed a marvel in the art of ghazal singing ad as rightly said by Zaka he made ghazal a popular genre when in the subcontinent modern disco jingles were ruling the roost.
The pain and melancholy in his voice gave vent to the feelings of many a lonely heart.
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I remember in the 1980’s when his CD’s came into the Pakistani market, I bought one of his ghazals CD which carried his most impressive ghazal [my most favourite one too] sarakti jayay hae rukh se naqab aahista ahista. Interestingly Zaka missed this wonderful rendition, but to me it has always been like his signature tune.
Another aspect which endeared him to us in the Punjab was his very frequent telling of some joke which he narrated with such finesse that you enjoyed his jokes as much as you did his ghazal singing.
In the later period, when he lost his young son Vivek [Vivek used to accompany him in singing] more pain, melancholy and sadness crept into Jagjit’s soul and he stopped jokes which he used to do before starting his ghazals.
Jagjit was one of the most successful and loved artistes of his time, who has left behind a huge body of work in a career spanning five decades, including 80 albums. [Nayyar]
This is one of those times when words fail us pen pushers. Men like Jagjit Singh defy and transcend platitudes and unoriginal sobriquets such as “end of an era” and “Ghazal King.” The gifted singer, who passed away this week in New Delhi, strutted the world of South Asian music and ghazal singing like a colossus, earning himself popularity that at times seemed to surpass that of Mehdi Hassan, the original emperor of the genre who has inspired generations of artists, including Jagjit Singh himself.