Tum maah e shab e charduhum they,mere ghar ke;phir kyun na raha ghar ka woh naqsha koi din aur.

The year was 1999,I had just finished my class 12 exams,had nothing much to do,our group of friends decided to go on a trecking trip,it was during that trip that i was introduced to Jagjit Singh’s ghazals,through a friend who was a big fan,he used to quote the verses often,and i would find them really apt,seeing my interest,the friend gave me an audio cassette “Visions” and told me the story behind the cover,and when i listened to it,Man!!! I was bowled over!!!!!!!! Couldn’t get enough,i played it back to back,initially, it was the awesome voice,and the music,and then gradually started understanding the lyrics.

I couldn’t have enough,i raided my brother’s and my sister’s(both huge music fans)  audio cassette collection,and listened to whatever i could,i discovered “Kagaz ki Kashti” “Tum ko Dekha” “Jhuki Jhuki si Nazar”and many other gems. I bought all his albums that i could find,and would listen to them back to back.

Though I had Urdu as a language in my class 10 boards,i was never really interested ,infact i had a tough time scraping through; poets and their birth dates used to bore me,till i heard them through Jagjit Singh that is,I discovered a whole new world,of music with perfect harmony with words,bringing to life a thousand emotions.

Time went on,I discovered him more and more,and through him Urdu poetry,and the intricacies of this language.And then I heard Mirza Ghalib through him,and the affair got a huge boost,I LOVE Ghalib,can’t imagine my life without the solace that Ghalib’s poetry brings to me,and all because of Jagjit Singh;not a day goes by when I do not listen to a few of Ghalib’s ghazals,and most of them sung by this great maestro.

It was only because of Jagjit Singh that I got listening to other Ghazal and Sufi singers as well,were it not for him,I would never have listened to such greats as Mehdi Hassan,Abida Parveen,and in turn missed out on so much.

And yes “Marasim” one of my favourite albums,most of the songs there are very close to my heart,and it was only after I listened to this,that I realized the greatness that Gulzar Saab is.

I really wanted to see him live someday,and one day I heard there was going to be a concert in Srinagar,was so excited! booked the tickets and all,but,it was not to be,the concert was cancelled at the last minute,Huge disappointment it was.After moving to Delhi,the oppurtunity to see him live was presented to me,my boss at work,knowing that I was a great fan,gave me and a friend two passes for the recent concert on 17/09/20011; I didn’t go,had already promised someone my time,and taking things for granted,and thinking there would be a next time,i let the opportunity go by,and only a few days later heard of his stroke,and I had to learn again,the hard way,that things must not be taken for granted,this regret will always remain that I can’t hear him live,ever

Jagjit Singh brought so much more to my life,poetry,music,solace during lifes toughest times. I cant imagine what my life would have been like,were it not for this one person,who gave me a whole new world.

Homecomings are always great,but for me they are extra special,because in my room at Srinagar,I have my old cassette player,and a cassette of Jagjit Singh’s Mirza Ghalib,ready to play,it is always inserted there,no one dares disturb it.

Thank You Jagjit Singh Ji,for everything,I have been listening to you all day,you are not gone anywhere,it’s just that I can’t get to hear you live anymore,lets leave it at that.

                                                              Hai dil meinreh gayi baat,jaldi se chuda kar haath;kahan tum chale gaye.

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