I had my nights.
A high speed fan,making his complaints again the insurmountable heat felt--a gigantic desktop computer,taking three quarter of a rickety table and loaded with songs ranging from howl of Dave Mustain to bliss of George Biswas---two computer speakers, who would refuse to work in synergy if the left one not pressed with the weight of my palm---and Jagjit Singh.
Nights after nights,songs after songs, the clean-shaved Sardar crooned thru tons of mp3s and I sat in my shrine with silence in my heart and a bewitchment in my head.
Those nights are gone. My nights of giving in to Ghazals,to popular Ghazals for ignorant populace are long gone.
But a few thoughts a few questions--apart from a few Urdu words which would forever remain unfathomable for me--still keep on coming back. I think of all those writers whom Jagjit chose. i think of might of their pen and clarity of their heart. I think of how little do we remember them.
Did they write high-art? Art which was less accessible to someone having similar intellect like mine, art whose meaninglessness often praised by a society who often feels pride to be a part of that circle that talks in the toungue of senselessness and burdens us with the artistical merit of such thing, art which thinks painting a can of campbell soup or writing "Shanti, Shanti,Shanti" at the end of a long delerium is something which has no earthly equivalent. Nope. They spoke of very common, very rusty philosophy-- of very earthy love,lust, anger and faith. That too within the classical dictum of binding the message within two lines of Ghazals.My small life, my small ignorant life, which has made me familiar with three languages, often failed to show me an example from Bengali,English or Hindi poetry such genius. Lines, couplets containing witty word play or philosophy evading test of time or very simplistic beauty...how could those bunch of people write them year after year, life after life while being so inevitably less known?
And so as I pound thru my rack of tapes of Jagjit Singh, tapes for which I don't have an instrument to play or an analog ear to listen,I came across names like Kaif Bhopali or Sudarshan Faakir.Nobody remembers them, nobody cares whatever happened to them. Only their words...now commonly known as Singh's Ghazal...get downloaded from one PC to another.
And I sit with those words...Sit with my head bowed...sit with my heart that knows each 'lavz' yet waits to be mesmerized by another turn, by another clever word-play.How I wish that someone would come forward to give these guys their dues and the young touchphone-loving India would look beyond Sampooran Singh 'Gulzar'(Although he deserves to be Elvis in Ghazal's rock-n-roll heaven) and would understand that 'Ghalib' is there not just for being the butt of the joke in one of those obscene,funny Ghazal-jokes coming in forwrded mails.
Till then... a few words that I don't know who were so blessed to be able to write:
Chan Patto Ki Lahoon Hain Faakir
Jise Mehboob Ki Haath Ke Heena Kehte Hain
Samne Jo hain Use Log Budaa KEhte Hain
Jise Dekhaa Hi Nahin Usko Khudaa Kehte Hain
Main Kiskaa Chehraa Paraa Karoon
Ihaan Kaun Itnaa Kareeb Hain
Koi Dost Hain Na Raqeeb Hain
Tera Sahar Kitnaa Azeeb Hain
Jab Ke Maloom Hain Aakhri Anjaam Phir Bhi
Khud Ki Najaron Me har Insaan Sikandar Kyun Hain?
Phursat Kise Thi Ke Meraa Halaat Poonchtaa
Har Saqs Aapne Baare Me Kuch Sochtaa Hua Milaa