Sunday, April 22, 2012


Youngsters won't remember but a few years ago, when blogging was the thing to do, we played many jolly games, one of which was to tag each other. My cousin Gayathri had a lovely 'master-list of lists' tag for me that I thoroughly enjoyed doing - though I can't remember if I finished it. The first item was "Nine songs I would pick if those were the only pieces I could listen to for the rest of my life".

In my response, at #9, I picked two ghazals: तुम नहीं, ग़म नहीं (Tum nahin, gham nahin), and कौन आएगा यहाँ (Kaun aayega yahaan). This was seven years ago (!) and the list would read differently now but I am intrigued to see that I am still very fond of these songs by Jagjit Singh.

I've always loved his voice - it's gorgeous - but have been less happy with his lack of versatility, even vivacity. Like many singers, Jagjit Singh wasn't a great composer and I thought he'd have better albums if he outsourced that particular skill instead of doing it himself. I don't remember now who set these two songs to music but the arrangements are lovely.

Tum nahin from youtube, where some enthusiastic, kindly soul has strung a series of images to assist the imagination.

वो करम उँगलियों पे गिनते हैं
ज़ुल्म का जिनके कुछ हिसाब नहीं

woh karam ungliyon pe ginte hain
zulm ka jinke kuch hisaab nahin

And Kaun aayega yahaan, from my own repository.

गुल से लिपटी हुई तितली को गिराकर देखो
आँधियों तुमने दरखतों को गिराया होगा

gul se lipti hui titli ko giraakar dekho
aandhiyon tumne darakhton ko giraya hoga

Play the song