Sunday, July 06, 2008

THE HEALING VOICE

Ten years ago, I went through a phase in my life when I could relate to no one. Anyone who cared for me (including myself) seemed powerless to help me. Loud nights of silent crying and silent nights of loud crying were all that I could drown my sorrows in.

Then I began to listen to Jagjit Singh's ghazals. He changed the way I felt about my situation in life. Many a night, his voice soothed my frayed nerves, kissed my senses, and comforted me like a mother - when my own mother cried herself to sleep, unable to help my condition.

I always believed that the "music has no language" concept works only to a certain extent (to enjoy, appreciate, and shake an occasional leg maybe) but doesn't touch the soul. I barely understood the Hindi/Urdu lyrics in the ghazals, but the music and the voice - how were they able to reach in to touch my carefully hidden fears and alleviate them? It was a miracle when I desperately needed one.

I came to know much later that this man whose voice carried me through innumerable weary days was struck by personal tragedy a few years ago - the loss of his 21-year-old son in a car accident. His singer-wife Chitra, who performed with Jagjitji in his concerts, stopped singing after that shock.

Last night, Jagjit Singh performed at Palace Grounds, Bangalore (pic below). Amongst the thousand voices singing Main Nashe Mein Hoon along with him in exhilaration, mine was humbly one! For many years, Jagjitji has ended many a painful night in peace for me. Last night was a night I begged he would never end.



I am overjoyed that I watched Jagjit Singh live in concert - a lifetime wish fulfilled! What can my tears of gratitude ever give him in return for what he has given me?

32 comments:

Shruti said...

lucky u.. I'm still waiting for my chance to get to attend a live concert of Jagjitji :( Even I'm a huge fan of that soothing voice. I love the words of his ghazals too though

Prats said...

Music can really break through barriers...and i'm so glad you found a voice so lilting and soothing like Jagjitji...
The concert was a great one I read....sadly I couldn't make it...

Are you still here in Bangalore?

ArKev said...

Indeed, Jagjitji is one of my favorite singers too. When I came to know of his personal tragedy (death of his son), I felt really sorry. In fact the word death itself makes me philosophical...
You might have had a great experience in that live concert! I'll try to attend one if I get a chance...
regards,
ArKev
http://adayinmysuperlife.blogspot.com/

Keshi said...

wow lucky u!

I dun u'stand Hindi but Im such a big fan of this singer. His songs, the melodies, the voice, the music take me to another world!

Keshi.

Suma said...

I got to heat Jagjit singh only after marriage and i was hooked...It must have been a moving exoerience to actually hear him live...

Narayanan Venkitu said...

Vinesh - Everyone goes thru these phases in life...I just pacified my 15 year old daughter, who said she was depressed today for no reason! ....and read your post.! Times goes by.!!

Music, Ghazals..melodies..stay forever. Even today, I cry when I listen to some songs!..Even today, I feel music heals. Yesterday, while driving I cried and got laughed at..for the song ' Vedham' song in Salangai Oli. Don't know why..but I cry everytime I listen to it ! Life is such..!!


Jagjit Singh has an awesome voice, I've heard a lot of americans comment on his songs..!! Sad to h ear about his son.

Good Luck to you my friend...!!

Rathi said...

Vine...after reading your post do i realise that Jagjit singh ji's songs have played important role during your tough days. Songs like these are real medicines to broken heart. Even i really enjoyed the his concert, thanks to you.

Paavai said...

Pankaj Udas's concerts had a similar impact on me. Something changed over the years and the only thing I seem to enjoy these days is complete silence....

Jo said...

Vinesh, that is a wonderful, moving post about how music touches our lives. As for Jagjit singh, I know what you mean when you say 'music has no language'. Very true indeed. :-)

Red Phoenix said...

U should link the song in youtube.... Silent night with loud crying and Loud nights with silent crying.... Fortunate that we are guys to cry only in our beds and still stand strong on the outside... ;)

Vinesh said...

@shruti: create a google alert for "jagjit singh concert". hopefully he has many more performing years in him.

@prats: yes, i'm in bangalore, prats! the concert was amazing!

@arkev: yes, it's just sad that the man who brings reassurance to millions was beset by such a tragedy in his life. it makes his contribution to this world even more rare and special!

Vinesh said...

@keshi: glad to hear you're a fan. i always got the impression you're not into indian music..dunno why :-)

@suma: totally, watching a legend like him perform was a blessing!

@narayanan venkitu: thank you mr. venkitu. those were dark days of my past, and jagjit-ji's voice was my friend then. i am in better times now, but will always be grateful to Jagjit Singh.

and yes, i totally understand the "crying for songs" part. i think some of us are designed to be more sensitive and receptive to emotionally touching music.

Vinesh said...

@rathi: thanks to you, wife, for buying the tickets :-)

@paavai: hmm. "the only thing I seem to enjoy these days is complete silence...." you must've gone through a lot of tough stuff? :-(

Vinesh said...

@jo: glad you enjoyed reading! have you sung/recorded any of jagjit singh's songs, jo?

@red phoenix: you mean the one i recorded from the concert? i don't know if i'll be infringing any copyrights by doing that :-(

im not sure that is the case all the time about the crying... i've known some very strong girls! i agree though that it is tougher for a guy to cry in public.

Aravind G said...

I agree that Jagnit Ji's voice can reach one's heart even if one does not understand the song. I was lucky enough to attend two of his concerts (Once in India,once in DC). He keeps up the energy level very well among the audience and I am sure you would have enjoyed every bit of it.

Sri said...

I liked his voice and his albums very much, but didnt attended the live concert so far...btw his wife is the same tamil singer chitra??!!

Meghna said...

Hi Vinesh,
His music is really soothing and has a connection to the soul like none another.....I wish I cld watch him live too!

Vinesh said...

@aravind g: i sure did. wow - you've been to two of his concerts! :-)

@sri: no, she is not. jagjit-ji's wife is chitra singh, also a ghazal singer.

@meghna: i hope you get lucky soon.. just keep looking..

Kausikram Krishnasayee said...

jagjit has done that to me too..never knew that a tragedy had struck him. and shucks, what a concert to miss, that too at palace grounds.

Destination Infinity said...

The Sarfarosh Song - "Hoshwallon ko khabhar kya..." is one of my favorites. Such a rich and moving song. You now have inspired me to listen to his other songs. There is a song in 1942 a love story - "Yeh Safar, bahut hai katin magar" - was this sung by him? The voice sounds similar and this is one of my all time favorite.

Destination Infinity.

Destination Infinity said...

Forgot to mention - "Unnakkenna ni mele ninrai" song which you sang in college is still fresh in my ears. If at all I have heard a Tamil equivalent to ghazal, this was it. Do you know which album/ film this song -"Ayar paadi maaligayil, thai madiyil kanrinai pol...." song comes? Excellent song that.

Destination Infinity.

rahul said...

I also quite like his renditions, they have a very calming effect, also his voice is so different from the other run of the mill singers.

gud blog!!!

My Musings said...

Music can really break through barriers...and Universality is its blanguage, I dont understand hindi and urdu much, but right from my childhood, listened to lots of Ghazal, because of my dad n mom. There's something magical about music,,,

Well dude, am waiting to get hold of my old nokia, to try it in orange juice!!!

Jeevan said...

It was really pleasant knowing this :)

Vinesh said...

@kausikram krishnasayee: you were in town??!

@destination infinity: jagjitji sang the sarfarosh song in the concert :-)

and no, the "yeh safar" song was not by jagjit singh. if i remember, it was someone called ....chattopadhyay

wow - u remember that song i sang in college.. im touched :-)

aayar paadi maaligayil was not from a film. it was an independent devotional album that was very famous in its time. am sure u will find it if you google for it..

Vinesh said...

@rahul: yes! what wouldn't i do for a voice like jagjit singh's :-)

@my musings: let me know what happens when u experiment that :-)

@jeevan: try listening to some of his songs, jeevan. i'm sure you will enjoy them :-)

Nidhi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nidhi said...

Music indeed has the power to heal the soul... Atleast it works wonders for me... :) I have attended 2 concerts of Jagjit Singh till now and I can't wait for the next time I get a chance to attend one more concert... His calm and soothing voice relaxes my nerves and words of his ghazals touch my soul too... Jagjit Saahab's song have been with me in the worst phase of my life and have helped me live my life again... May he live long and helps every soul forever...

Hey Vinesh ! Would it be fine with you if I add your blog to my blogroll ?

Vinesh said...

@nidhi: happy to hear jagjit-ji has touched your life in a way similar to mine.

of course you can add me to your blogroll...i'll be honoured. :-)

thanks for dropping by, nidhi!

Rohit Tripathi said...

Hi vinesh...... u r really lucky man.. I am a big fan of jagjit sing he really very close to my heart.. :-)

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Zanychild said...

I agree
U can totally lose urself
who u are, wat u have to do in MUSIC
it is such a beautiful thing to exist in this world!
music soothes the battered soul and i am happy that u found a way through it!
many a time wen i am depressed or just plain frustrated with life, i wud end up in my room cuddled in my cot with my ipod on!
no one can reach me at that time!
i just dont care abt the past or future!
wat matters is the present!
when i had my first failure in my life, which was a shock to the whole family i listened to one of the songs called 'Found myself today' of Hillary duff!
it made me face everything that i am put through
even now and then when i am down i hum those lines 'I wont give up, I wont break down, sooner than it seems life turns around'
it was a real balm to my vulnerable state at tht time!
Yeah Music has no boundaries!

ceedy said...

Great - I have heard him three times here in NY and twice within 15 days in two venues...and also had a chance of meeting Gulzar pesonally - if surely is a great experience - that i will cherish

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