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Jagjit Singh’s 10th death anniversary: Remembering the music legend, King of ghazals

After the success of 'The Unforgettables', there was no looking back for the Jagjit-Chitra duo. From here the pair gave many hit songs and ghazals in films one after the other.

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Jagjit Singh's 10th death anniversary: Remembering the music legend, King of ghazals

Jagjit Singh’s 10th death anniversary:  10 October marks the ninth death anniversary of ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh. The singer passed away in 2011 after having suffered brain haemorrhage.

It was February 8, 1941 when Jagjit Singh, the star of Indian Ghazal, was born to Sardar Amar Singh Dhamani and Bachchan Kaur in the Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. Like most Indian fathers, Jagjit’s father also wanted the son to study and write and go to the administrative service, but Jagjit’s destination was something else.

He got his early education in music from Pandit Chhagan Lal Sharma in Ganganagar. Then he also learned the tricks of music from Ustad Jamal Khan. It is said that in those days Jagjit used to go out to watch movies after stealing money, because good music was heard in films.

Once the father caught him in the cinema hall and took him home after beating him, but Jagjit’s insistence and passion for music did not diminish. The first love also happened during this period of education, but could not reach the end.

In interviews, he himself has told that in the year 1965, he was spending time in Kurukshetra University in the name of studying masters, but when the time of examinations came, then he thought that if studies have not done anything, then what is the use of appearing in the examination?

After that he did not stop there and went straight to Mumbai to try his luck, where his struggle to make his mark in the field of music really started. He started singing in small parties with a hundred rupees each. There was some sort of jugaad to live with the help of friends. The struggle started.

Jagjit’s first record came out only in 1965 and two years later another record came, but it did not give him much recognition. In 1967, Chitra Singh came into the life of Jagjit Singh, who was later taught Ghazal Gayaki by Jagjit and then in 1969 both of them also tied the knot. But till now Jagjit Singh’s name had not been able to make his mark in the world of Ghazal.

Jagjit Singh’s real identity came from his first long play album ‘The Unforgettables’ in 1976, which included the voice of his wife Chitra. In this record, Jagjit-Chitra’s voice gave a different beauty to more than one ghazals of big ghazals like Firaq Gorakhpuri, Jigar Moradabadi, Amir Minai, Tariq Badayuni, Sudarshan Fakir. It is said that after the success of this album, Jagjit Singh bought his first house in Mumbai.

After the success of ‘The Unforgettables’, there was no looking back for the Jagjit-Chitra duo. From here the pair gave many hit songs and ghazals in films one after the other.

In the 1981 film ‘Prem Geet’, Jagjit Singh not only gave music to the songs written by famous lyricist Indeevar but also gave voice to a song. That song was – Touch your lips, make my song immortal. This song became truly immortal by getting the natural voice of Jagjit Singh.

The magic of Jagjit Singh’s voice was also seen in the 1982 film ‘Saath-Saath’. The ghazal from Javed Akhtar’s pen- Tumko Dekha Toh Yeh Khayal Aaya – in the voice of Jagjit became very popular and still is today.

He used to be very serious about the selection of Ghazals too.

Then came Mahesh Bhatt’s film ‘Arth’ in 1983. It also had both music and voice by Jangjit Singh. The film had a total of five songs, of which three were ghazals by famous ghazalkar Kaifi Azmi. You are smiling so much, bowing your eyes, how can anyone tell this – these three ghazals achieved a different position of popularity after getting Jagjit’s voice.

If you look at it, when Jagjit came into the world of Ghazal singing, it was dominated by puritanical thinking. His singing of ghazals in difficult Urdu language and his singing with length and aalap in an equally difficult manner was not easy and acceptable to the Indian common man. Jagjit understood these difficulties and developed a new and independent style of Ghazalgayan, showing experimentalism.

Not that he neglected classical in his singing, but he insisted on freeing the ghazal from its unnecessary burden and making it comfortable and attractive to the common people. Use modern instruments of music like harmonium, violin. The practice of chorus was also introduced in Ghazal. Overall, Jagjit transformed the Indian Ghazal in a way.

He also used to be very serious about the selection of Ghazals. When asked about this in an interview, he said, “Whenever a Ghazal, Kalam comes to me, the first thing I see is its tongue. The language should be simple.

Light ghazals could not be sung to them. Even if some shers in a ghazal were better and some were lighter, they would keep only the better shers for their singing rather than the whole ghazal.

Apart from the influence that Begum Akhtar, Kundanlal Sehgal, Talat Mehmood, Mehdi Hassan had in the world of Ghazal, Jagjit Singh’s new style was not liked by the purists, but the common man liked it very much and Jagjit was the voice of the people. Climbed over.

Jagjit Singh also did not change his approach despite all the criticism of playing with the purity of Ghazal, nor did his fans ever let his popularity diminish. Apart from ghazals, he also sang bhajans. ‘Hey Ram’ is his very popular collection of hymns. Along with this, he also gave voice to Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poem ‘Kya Khoya, Kya Paya’.

This was the date of 10 October, when he died of brain hemorrhage in 2011, and with this the void that has spread in the world of Indian Ghazal has not yet been filled.

October 10 marks the death anniversary of ‘King of Ghazal’ Jagjit Singh and here are five of his best songs that will soothe your soul:

  1. Hoshwalon Ko Khabar Kya
  2. Tum Ko Dekha Toh Ye Khayal
  3. Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho
  4. Hothon Se Chhulo Tum
  5. Woh Kaghaz Ki Kashti


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