Whenever I travel for work, I cannot NOT listen to GhazalJit Singh. While listening to one of the albums today, I wondered why some of the best albums of Jagjit Singh aren’t present in most of the playlists (which normally start with ‘Tumko dekha to ya khayal aaya’ and stop at ‘Hoshwalon ko khabar kya’ or at max ‘Koi fariyaad’).

Allow me to write a bit about the album that was released when I was in class 12 (1997) and was a companion in tackling many issues (including solving those tough mock CBSE Accounting papers)

  • Apne hothon par sajana chahta hu, aa tujhe main gungunana chahta hu – Penned by Qateel Shifai, the simplicity of singing and easy composition ensured that a noob of class 12th understood everything without having to consult any intellectual on the meaning of a Ghazal. Santoor was prominent throughout this entire album and this ghazal was no different. Towards the end you can hear Jagjit Singh humming and that was back then (and till now) so soothing. A quiet Ghazal about love and nothing else. If only such gems were released in the days of Youtube, twitter…
  • Dosti Jab kisise ki jaaye, Dushmano ki bhi raai li jaaye – Penned by Rahat Indoree, this ghazal speaks without mincing words about life that continues to bleed. The slow tabla throughout the ghazal with layers of Santoor, violins and other instruments brings in a stillness about things when one wants to sit and take stock of life. I remember going all ‘Waaaaaaaah’ when I heard this antraa for the first time that went ‘बोतलें खोल के तो पी बरसों, आज दिल खोल कर भी पी जाए’. I have lost count on the number of occassions I have used this line and gained appreciation at the expense of Jagjit Singh and Rahat Indoree..
  • Kahin Aisa na ho daaman jala lo, hamarey aansuon par khaak daalo – Penned by Liyaqat ali Azm – A ghazal with such a beautiful style of request and persuasion that will make you wonder if such arguments (To win back the beloved) exist today?  मनाना ही ज़रूरी है तो फिर तुम, हमें सबसे खफा हो कर मना लो….(उस अंदाज़ पे गौर करियेगा जिसमें जगजीत सिंह ‘हमारे’ कहते हैं…4:59 mins के समय)
  • Ya to mit jaaiy Ya mita dijiye, kijiye jab bhi sauda, khara kijiye – Penned by Wajida Tabassum, this is a ghazal for the hopeless romantic (No wonder Sitar makes the first appearance in this album via this ghazal). Good amount of keyboards were used by Jagjit singh to compliment the feel of the ghazal that remains top class throughout the ghazal. अब जफा कीजिए या वफ़ा कीजिए, आखिरी वक्त है, बस दुआ कीजिए…)
  • Kaise Kaise haadsey sehtey rahey, fir bhi hum jeetey rahey hanstey rahey – If she made us fall in love with ‘Ya to mit jaiye’, Wajida Tabassum makes our heart ache with this soulful ghazal. Pain was jagjit singh’s middle name so he is quite easily at his best, composition wise, arrangement wise and singing wise. The deliberate high pitch in the mukhda of the ghazal constructs a feel of pain just so beautifully…वक्त तो गुज़रा मगर कुछ इस तरह, हम चरागों की तरह जलते रहे…
  • Khaamoshi khud apni sada ho aisa bhi ho sakta hai, sannata hee goonj raha ho aisa bhi ho sakta hai – Penned by Zaqa Siddiqui, this ghazal makes up for the ‘sadness’ in the album. Composed in low notes especially in the Mukhda of the ghazal, this is not an easy ghazal to sing. A ghazal filled with insight and self reflection.
  • Bebasi Jurm hai hauslaa jurm hai, zindagi teri ek-ek adaa Jurm hai –  Ayaz Jhansvi pens this ghazal with good amount of ‘शिकायत’ quotient and Jagjit Singh sang it with consummate ease. Poetry at it’s fluid best, composition at it’s melodious best, there is hardly a thing that is wrong with this ghazal. याद रखना तुझे मेरा इक जुर्म था, भूल जाना तुझे दूसरा जुर्म है…
  • Jab kisi se koi gila rakhnaa, saamne apne aaina rakhnaNida fazli gives the voice of Jagjit singh the right amount of pathos with an insightful ghazal. Asking us to look at our reality before finding faults with others, the ghazal is slow, melancholic and thought provoking without getting preachy or loud. मिलना जुलना जहाँ ज़रूरी हो, मिलने जुलने का हौसला रखना….

Jagjit singh is rightly credited with taking ghazals to the masses. Prior to his arrival on the scene, this genre was reserved mostly for some singers who took pride in using tough words and putting their Epiglottis out for display. This album is as simple as it can get. Listen to it once and I will leave you to make your opinion on the same. What most of the people forgot when they talked about Jagjit Singh was his ability and willingness to find new poets and showcase their work. Have a look at the lyricists of this album and you will know what is the point I am trying to make.

Don’t miss this album if you are a ghazal listener.

If you feel there is something wrong with the album it is purely because of the overexcited writing in this post and the fault is mine.

Meanwhile, ये रहा मेरा कसेट

GhazalJit Singh