Monday, August 08, 2005

Do you want to retrieve this post?

I've been internet- and computer-deprived for a few days. Still, I hopefully wrote a post (in Safe mode - I was that desperate) and saved it. I logged on to put it up today but there's this thing about not being able to step twice into the same river. Three days later, it sounds ranty and strident, which I absolutely hate except of course when I'm feeling like that.

Anyway, it was about singer Jagjit Singh and how he's disappointingly plateaued out. I've hacked out the bits that offend me today and here are the parts that stayed:

Singh has a great voice, is a good singer (capable of great ‘rooh’ on occasion) but is a very ordinary composer. It is this insistence that he sing his own tunes that has brought down the quality of his output. He has been doing this for a while now – through Ghalib, Sajda and Marasim. And yet some of his most memorable earlier work was for other composers. Under their batons, he was versatile: poignant, funny even vivacious. His own music limits him severely.

I also put up a ghazal and I still want to do that:

Now it's such a rotten thing to gripe against someone who's given you pleasure, I'll make amends by mentioning this ghazal. It's from Saher, by a poet called Nawaz Deobandi.
Ghazals are mostly love songs and as we know so well, love descends rather easily to the mawkish in mediocre hands. I can't tell you what it is about this one that redeems it, but it's special. Singh interprets this one gloriously, so perhaps you need to listen to it for full impact but the words do okay by themselves.

To me, it calls up a person who glows. You know what I mean… one of those radiant people who light up rooms when they walk in, one of those people everyone wants to talk to, people who leave you thinking about them for days together… the beautiful, fragrant people.

Tere aane ki jab khabar mehke
Tere kushboo se saara ghar mehke

Shaam mehke tere tassavur se
Shaam ke baad phir saher mehke

Raat bhar sochta raha tujhko
Zehn-o-dil mere raat bhar mehke

Yaad aaye to dil munnavar ho
Deed ho jaaye to nazar mehke

Woh ghadi do ghadi jahaan baithe
Woh zameen mehke woh shajar mehke

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