That historic (to me) day had dawned just like any other. There had been no inkling of the perfect gift that Fate had in store for me. I was returning home as usual from my evening walk at Sevoke Road Cantonment area.. Even as I neared my house, I heard this divine music wafting down from the lofty heights of the next-door flat. What a voice!! WHO WAS THAT SINGING?? I just had to know!!!! But duty called me in loud and insistent tones in the form of my little ones waiting for my care and attention. So I reluctantly stepped into my own house curbing the irresistible urge my feet seemed to have developed to gallop into the apartment from whence the heavenly voice was luring me.
My time came the next day, when I encountered my neighbors on their way back from an outing. I asked the question that had been begging for an answer. Who was that divine singer??
”Oh that!” laughed the Major Saahib.
”Haath mein ek peg ho to Jagjit Singhji ka mood aa jaata hai!” (A peg in hand and you are in the mood for Jagjit Singh’s music)
Like a homing bird, my brain had caught on to the all-important name leaving the rest of the sentence to be processed much slower.
I am an aficionado of music and have been from the time I was born. Having been born in the far south of India in God’s Own Kerala, My fascination started off with Malayalam songs, graduating to Hindi film songs and eventually swaying to the beats of English songs much to the horror of a family steeped in the sacred traditions of Carnatic music. In between came Tamil and Telugu songs not to mention a few Kannada ones thrown in from my days as a student in Mangalore. But ghazal as a music form had remained a closed book to me, remaining outside my purview but for a few sung by Pankaj Udhas. That is as far as I had got till that momentous day in Siliguri when Destiny decided it was time to step in with that perfect gift.
By then the brain had processed the full sentence that the Major Sahib had uttered in reply to my question. I was left confused and puzzled. ‘Peg?? What’s the man blabbering about some peg??’ I wondered. I definitely had no peg in my hand and yet I was in the mood to hear Jagjit Singh!! In fact I was all but clamoring and impatient to hear him. What rubbish, I thought and brushed the Major Saahib’s words aside unceremoniously and without much ado moved on to the next important question to which I wanted an answer. You must remember I was a novice. I needed the name of the album too.
Ok, I had the name of the album as well. All I had to do now was wait for that weekly trip to Siliguri for shopping, which fortunately fell on the very next day. I was all excited. At Siliguri market, I made straight for the music store. Grocery and vegetables could wait. The obliging salesman took out the album and obliged me some more by showing more music from the same singer. Someone Somewhere was what I wanted and what I took. None other. That I freaked out on the songs on returning home goes without saying. But what needs mention here is that each subsequent week found me back at the shop, buying up more and more albums of Jagjit Singh one after the other.
I had fallen, hook line and sinker!!
The first time I had fallen in love was with P.G.Wodehouse. But in almost a couple of years of finding him, the octogenarian expired plunging me into the depths of sorrow. I would never meet my first love ever again! I vowed never to go abroad. I had had the desire to do so, only to meet him. Now here I was falling like a ton of bricks for another, Jagjit Singh!! I wanted to meet him and hear him sing live, still do of course. It remains an unfulfilled dream still. Sigh.
My Lord and Master and the kiddos are certainly not fans of ghazals. That undoubtedly is a problem. The gentle soul (no wisecracks here if you please!) that I am, not wanting to impose my likings on them I patiently wait for them to leave on their various missions to office or college as the case maybe, to play the music of my choice. That is one advantage of being a full-time parent and homemaker (Catch me wanting to be anything else!!) Having the house to oneself for a few hours a day is sheer bliss. Add to it some music and its nothing but heaven. Solitude and Jagjit Singh. Can you beat the combination?? My work gets done as if by magic, and those fools need a peg to enjoy Jagjit Singh??!! As if you need anything else at all to enjoy his music, other than an excellent music system that is. The music itself is the intoxicant and you need add to that??!
I am not going into anything about any particular album or songs that I like. There are simply too many that I am baffled when asked to choose favorites among them. There I’d be musing on one and another crops up, then another and then yet a different one. It is too tough a job. Suffice to say I love them ALL. Is it any wonder that he is referred to as Amma’s Jagjit Singh by my kids??
Now I know there is this ONE question that is on all of your minds after reading this to which you would like an answer. Shall I tell you what’s bothering you guys?? I love PGW and now I love Jagjit Singh. WHAT ABOUT MOHAN?? is the silent question screaming in your minds. Yeah, him I fell in love with somewhere in between these two. Now it is time for me to get back to my dreams…. there, that’s me you see at this live concert of Jagjitji. I am lost in his music. Mmmmm…. leave me alone. Let me dream!
Reposted from shail-mohan blogs @ sulekha.com