Whenever it comes to Ghazal songs in India, we always visualize Jagjit Singh’s picture in our minds. And who have not delved deep into Jagjit Singh’s rich legacy of songs, one would associate him to sad, painful ghazals. Also the incidents that he had to undergo in his life is of tremendous grief, not only to him and his family but also to people who have known his personal life. I remember the day, 10 Oct. 2011, a few days before my marriage, he died of a brain haemorrhage. I couldn’t explain it to my fiancé, why I was so grieved. I don’t remember if I had ever wept on anyone’s death outside my family. I was so deep into his musical creations. His music was like water to me, drinking multiple times a day; quintessential for my life. She knew about my interests and when she got the news about Jagjit Singh’s death, she could understand why I preferred not to speak to her that night over the phone after returning from office.
Another thing pains me a lot, is the fact that we often think of the pain the Jagjit Singh underwent due to the death of his children. We forget about her wife, Chitra Singh, (also known as Chitra Shome and Chitra Dutta before marrying Jagjit Singh). She may still be under the trauma of losing her children and also her husband, the Ghazal maestro, Jagjit Singh. The duo, together, have given so many melodious ghazals and Hindi songs that the world and especially Indians would be indebted to them for ages to come.
Chitra married Jagjit Singh in 1969 after getting divorced from her first husband. Chitra and Jagjit Singh’s son Vivek died on 27 July 1990 in a road accident. This brought the couple profound shock that they gave up music for many years. Chitra’s second setback came when her daughter from her first marriage, Monica Chowdhry committed suicide in 2009. Jagjit Singh recovered from the shock and gradually started singing and going on tours. While his sufferings from the loss of his children may have ended in 2011, Chitra Singh still lives on to suffer from the loss of her son in 1990, her daughter in 2009 and her husband in 2011.
No words or feelings could ever console or comfort her. I wish God was not this unfair to them.
Following are two of the best ghazals from Chitra Singh: