Music has this fantastic ability to change one’s mood. It could motivate us, make us happy, bring peace to us, make us very angry and sometimes very sad….. Sometimes it may the cadence of lyrics and sometimes it may simply be the tune. Whichever way, it definitely impacts us. We had read about cows giving more milk after listening to music and basketball players scoring high after music therapy sessions. No wonder Howard Gardner the great Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard called it as one of the best forms of intelligence that man possesses.
The wonderful part of music is that one can enjoy music even without understanding the meaning of the words. It could be gaiety of the voice or the tune of the symphony. I had seen many people completely immersed in the music/songs without understanding a word of it. Such is mostly the case of ghazals for the south Indian, particularly the Malayali. In that, one person with his melodious but deep voice stands apart and he was Jagjit Singh. There is this innate ability in his voice to move people and make them very much at ease. And that is why along with Mehdi Hassan of Pakistan, he had become the toast of the subcontinent.
That voice is no more…. We will never hear it live; its owner had left us to be in eternal peace, leaving us all in deep sorrow of a loss that will be impossible to bridge.
I reproduce below the first stanza of the ghazal “Woh Kaagaz ki kashti who baarish ka paani” with its English translation:
“Ye daulat bhi le lo, ye shoharat bhi le lo
Bhale cheen lo mujhse meri javaani
Magar mujhko lautaa do bachpan ka saavan
Woh kaagaz kii kashti, woh baarish ka paani”
“Take away my wealth, take away my wellbeing
Need be, snatch my youth away from me
But return to me the spring of my childhood
And that paper boats that sail in rain water”
How can one forget the paper boat sailing in that rain water… All of us had done it…Love to go back to the life of kaagaz ka kashti and baarish ka paani?
Immortal lines from Gulzar, sung with utmost feeling by Jagjit Singh. It will ever reverberate in the memory of any music lover. Goodbye, Singer, may your soul always rest in peace ……………