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?