20 years gone by. It must be month of October in B Top in Hall 2 at IIT Kanpur in 1991. Harmless looking Amit Jain landed in my room. I know you won’t recognize that name. Nobody called him by that name. Even he might have forgotten it during college days. But then to protect my facade of decency, let me still call him Amit Jain. For people who know him, know his other name for sure and for people who don’t know let him be Amit Jain. I don’t think his neighbors from C Top were too fond of him and may be that was the reason why he landed up in my room. Anyway he did add value to my room as he brought a red color music system, a prizedÂ possessionÂ for us as students in those days. There Â were haves and then there were havenots and former were always welcome by the latter. Along with the red music system there were lot of cassetes and most of them I did not understand as they were some form of english music which was unadulterated noise to my hindi medium type ( aka HMT ) music sense. Anyway there were two cassetes which made much more sense to me and they were songs from the serial Mirza Ghalib in Jagjeet Singh’s voice. It was tough for me to understand that poetry as my urdu knowledge was limited. But Jagjeet Singh’s voice kept me tuned in to the cassetes and listening to them became a favorite past time.
Few years passed by and we were organizing the cultural festival in IIT Kanpur. Jagjit Singh was the artist of choice. All of us worked tirelessly to make his eventÂ successfulÂ but I missed watching him live as I was busy with handling other responsibilities in the festival. Time flew and landed up in Bangalore to start my career with Infosys. Few month’s salary and some borrowed money and I was proud owner of a music system and Ghalib cassetes in Jagjit Singh voice were my prizedÂ possessionsÂ again. Spent countless days and nights listening to the velvety voice immersed in deep Ghalib poetry on the lovely terrace house we had in JP Nagar.
And the Ghalib CDs still occupy the maximum air time in my car today. That is the beauty of great artists. They never die. They live in our hearts, in our cars and in our rooms. So all I can tell you Jaggu Dada, thanks a lot for being a part of my life. You have enriched it and same holds true for music lovers. As you immerse yourself in deep sleep, all I would like to tell you is that you will be missed, loved and most importantly listened to again and again and again…..
This is the first song I loved in his voice.