Alas! Jagjit Singh – The King of Ghazals is no more”¦

Pupinder Mintu with Jagjit SinghMintu says he appeared on stage with Jagjit Singh a few times and when he was a budding singer he came all the way from Perth to listen to Jagjit Singh in Sydney live


Surjit Singh with Jagjit

By Neena Badhwar

Jagjit Singh was a favourite artist of Sydney who came here often and met people like an old uncle from back home. He was quite an emotional artist whose voice made us all sing and hum ghazals for days as he left a great impression on us all. Many who went to his concerts got inspired by Jagjit Singh and he was their role model, their hero who taught them so much like a true ghazal maestro. Says Pupinder Mintu, Sydney’s own ghazal singer, how Jagjit Singh mentored him, “He showed me the art of how to hold ghazal, involve the audience and how to emote while rendering ghazals. Really Jagjit Singh made the art of ghazal singing so easy for people to understand.”

“I felt with Jagjit Singh gone I have lost something that can never be replaced. I had a heavy heart when I heard of him passing away. When I sang at Neni Tiwari’s birthday bash – a Jagjit Singh’s favourite ghazal ”˜Hothon se chho lo tum, mera geet amar kar do’   only then I felt lighter that I had shared some of Jagjit’s favorite numbers with guests at the party,” said Mintu adding, “Likes of Jagjit Singh are quite rare indeed.”

Surjit Singh Gujral, a Sydney restraurateur,   brought Jagjit Singh 3 or 4 times being an organizer of Jagjit Singh’s concert for the first time in Sydney in 1987. Says Surjit, “I was devastated to hear this great loss to music as well as personally. I was very close to him and Jagjit Singh was   the best human being I have ever met in my life. We clicked from day one and we went through his tough times together. He was completely down to earth man with no frills, no chip on his shoulder and he adored children especially after his son’s death Jagjit Singh sang and collected funds for children charities and foundations. He was a man who loved life and it is really a great loss to us all music lovers.”

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The Indian Down Under newspaper also listened and observed the great man from close range. Jagjit Singh had this great ability to connect to people straight away. When a king dies they say: ”˜The King is dead, long live the King!’ ”“ but we can say in Jagjit Singh’s case: ”˜The King is dead but there is no King to replace him’ ”“ truly Jagjit was the ”˜King of Ghazals who can never be replaced. Jagjit Singh faced too many adversities in his life, too many tragedies yet he kept on plodding on and what he gave to the world was amazing ”“ the ghazals, the hymns he sang, the bhajans, the shabads they struck at the the core   of one’s heart. Whenever we felt sad Jagjit Singh’s soothing voice would calm anyone. He was supreme being who had the unusual gift of voice and he has left the vibrations of his ghazals, music, hymns in all our hearts.

Yogesh Sharma of Cinestar Events last year organised a successful show of Jagjit Singh who said loosing Jagjit is like loosing a member of the family. Yogesh said, “Jagjit Singh praised me on stage and I felt humbled by his comments. I cannot forget the love Jagjit showered on me. He was a great artist and a great man,” Yogesh remembered.

Vijay Jogia organised Jagjit Singh’s 70th Birthday Tour earlier this year. Jagjit Singh was in great mood as he sang and even danced with people doing bhangra on stage. Sydney loved him and shared some very good memories with him, listened to him and experienced him from close how  great a human being he was.

We will keep you close to us for ever Jagjit ji.   And we will remember you always!

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