I guess I was in Class 8. It was the month of may and we were attending a marriage in Hardoi (a small town near Lucknow, my hometown). It was long back. It was 1993.As one would associate with small towns, the evening was dark evening because there was no electricity and to add to the atmosphere, we were sitting in a circle and black clouds looked ominous because it was the rainy season.Someone demanded one of the relatives to sing and that evening was the first time I heard a ghazal composed by JagJit singh. ‘Charagh aftaab gum…badi haseen raat thee’.After this day, I don’t recollect listening to anything except Jagjit Singh. So much so, that my parents made me consult a doctor because they felt i was too ‘sad and melancholic’ as compared to the other guys of my age. Days were spent waiting for the new album of Jagjit singh (Shiv electronics at Bhootnath, Lucknow will acknowledge this anyday anytime).  Hours were spent in contesting with the so called ‘adults’ who were hell bent in comparing Jagjit Singh with lesser mortals from Pakistan and elsewhere (No one, in my view deserves a mention in the same post which has Jagjit Singh’s name in it)And today, October 10, 2011.

I cannot believe he is no more.

How can someone just go? May be in the years when he was busy adding to our treasure trove and hiding his problems (emotional and physical), we all forgot he is a human being. I can go on and on about my limited by magical meetings with him but I will stop. Eyes are blurred, hands are shaking and the mind just cannot stop repeating the soulful ghazal penned by Sudarshan Fakir

Naa mohabbat, na dosti ke liye
waqt rukta nahi kissi ke liye

Dil ko apne saza na de yoo.n hee
Iss zamaane ki be-rukhi ke liye

Kal jawaani ka hashr kya hoga
sonch le aaj, do ghadi ke liye

Har koi pyaar doondhta hai yahan
Apni tanha si zindagi ke liye

Waqt ke saath saath chalta rahe
yeh hee behtar hai aadmi ke liye

GhazalJeet singh sir, I have grown up listening to you and you have been with me in all the highs and lows of my life.

No, you have NOT gone. Anywhere.