Hoton Se Chhulo Tum, Mera Geet Amar Kar Do... And he has truly become immortal in our memories. Ghazal artist Jagjit Singh, who suffered from a brain hemorrhage, passed away yesterday. Right from Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho to Hoshwalon Ko Khabar Kya, the maestro, right from the mid-70s, has given us some beautiful renditions that have been a part of our everyday life. As we mourn his demise, a few musicians get nostalgic about the legend:
Jagjit Singhji has given me loads of love. In fact, he used to pamper me a lot. I looked upto him as a father figure and he treated me like a kid. We have performed together on many occasions, and his brilliance never ceased to amaze me. I will always cherish his presence at the launch of my devotional album. We have done concerts together, and he was also a visitor to my house. I am deeply saddened by his death.
My favourite: Yeh Daulat Bhi Le Lo and Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho
Early in my career, I met Jagjit Singhji while anchoring a reality show. We had lunch together later on. However, my most special memory is of the impromptu mehfil we had at my studio in October 2009. He had come to the studio to record a song for one of my compositions. Jagjitji, Talat Aziz and I were together with two others. Later on, we had a couple of drinks, and we requested him to sing a few ghazals. He obliged and it turned out to be a magical evening. He was an obstinate (ziddi) man with strong opinions. I never thought he would die like this... I really hate him for this.
My favourite: Tum Ko Dekha
I will always remain indebted to Jagjit Singhji as he made me sing the Shabad from Gurubani in its original form for a special album commemorating 300 years of the Guru Granth Saheb. He was a very spiritual and philosophical person. As a singer, he not only entertained the audience, but also healed them through his soulful singing. One of his biggest achievements was making ghazals popular with the common man. Even college-goers started loving ghazals after listening to him.
My favourite: Ab Main Roshan Kataron Mein Nazar Aata Hoon
I have met him five-six times. He was a brilliant man and a gem of a human being. He always showed interest in our music and encouraged us (Sajid and I) to do better. Once, I wanted to record a song with him, but on hearing the tune he suggested that Talat Aziz's voice was better suited for it. Jagjit Singhji was very simple at heart, and not one to run after money. No matter how much we praise him, our words will always fall short. He was a star, right from his early days till his death.
My favourite: Chitti Na Koi Sandesh and Koi Fariyaad Mere Dil Mein