Today 10th October 2016. …5th dEATH Anniversary of Legendary Shehenshaye Ghazal JAGJITSIGH-Ji BUT I simply can not forget the day 24th September 2011…….
I remember 24th September 2011, a morning meeting with Indian Ambassador in Kuwait with renown Ghazal Singer and friend Shri Pankaj Udhas and my local friend Reaven Dsouza of TIMES KUWAIT
It was a courtesy call by an Artist who was performing on the same evening for Kuwait Ghazal Lovers. This was a routine practice set by our “SURTRISHNA” musical group, while I was in Kuwait as a Regional Manager for AIRINDIA in Kuwait.
In our mid discussion Pankaj bhai, gets a call from his wife to say… ” Jagjit bhai is no more..” He took me aside and gave me this news..shocking and painful… he too did not know how to react and what to do…? but again he got a call informing him that he (Jagjit bhai) was in coma but in critical condition.
We decided to give this sad news to ” His Excellancy” and our intention to cancel the evening show but Hon. Ambassador advised us not to and to go ahead with the event as a Tribute to this Great Maestro and Pankaj bhai performed with a heavy heart that evening.
Today I go back to my association with this kind hearted, humble, Gentleman…yes, truly a gentleman with melodious voice and simplicity. When i met him the first time, he did not show any attitude but spoke to me very kindly as if I was his old pal. There after we met number of time and off course at the airport, while he was travelling. He somehow came to know my interest in music and asked me and was very happy to know my favourite Singer was Great Talat Mehmood Sahab. He was wondering how one can be so much in love with this genre, as he too had started singing Talat sahab nostalgic Ghazals and film songs. He asked me to give him my Talat Sahab ‘s remix song album released by then “Music India”.
I was then posted to Germany and later back to Mumbai as a manager Bombay Airport.
One morning, I got a call from him… saying Madam Chitraji was stranded at Heathrow airport for want of seat on our flight out of London to Mumbai. He simply requested “Tu Kuch kar sakta hai..? She is not well having back pain and had to come to Mumbai for treatment….Tu kuch kar “yaar”.
I assured him to do the needful, Spoke to London Manager immediately and requested him to assist her and to ensure that she travelled comfortably. Capt. Behari, my senior Colleague and closed friend did not disappoint me.. next 20mnts I again got a call from Jagjit bhai to say…”Arre tune kya kiya & she is on board and that too in Executive class..” he was very happy and thanked me again and again for my prompt action and help. He invited me for his weekend show at NCPA Worli but I could not make it as i had some emergency at the airport.
I thereafter, could not meet him for years. I was then posted to Kuwait as Regional manager Kuwait and Cyprus. My interest in music brought me very closed to the community and the Indian Ambassador.
We formed a listeners club called SURTRISHNA, many leading artist and renown Classical Musicians performed. I wanted to invite Jagjit Bhai but that did not materialised. I was not happy with his response and therefore we hardly communicated thereafter, until I met him on my Guruji Ustad Sultankhan and his Sons Sabirkhans Cd released function at “Aajivasan”. I was with Khansahab and Ustad Zakir hussain sahab in a small room. Jagjibhai entered and joined us, he saw me and hug me and said ” Muze pata hai tu naraz hai muzase…Khansab Dekho aapka shagird naraz hai…” Khansab smiled and said .. “mera Shagird naraz hai to aapne kuch kiya hoga…” Zakir bhai too laughed and we sat together. I told him that I was still his great fan and love him, respect him and that there was no issues at all. I got up and tried to take photo of a rare union of those “Three Giants” it was truly rare ..but Jagjit bhai asked me..” arre tu kya kar raha hai? Tu bhi aaja and called the photographer and asked him to take our group foto. I politely told him “No Sir, aapke iis” “me mai fit nahi ho sakta” my Ustad Smile…. Zakir bhai laughed..and I click that moment in my mobile…! unfortunately that was my last meeting
After two weeks, I got a call from my Kuwait friend Reaven Dsouza asking to organised “Jagjit singh ” for show on 18thSept 2011 . I did not speak to him but made Khansahab’s nephew, Imran to speak and find out if he was available but Imran came back to say.. Jagjit bhai knew that he went there on my request and had told him to ask me to call him and to directly talk to him.
I called… he simply fired me… :Tu kya abhibhi naraz hai…? Tu kyon nahi bolta directly ?” But he very kindly agrereecd for the show. Unfortunately, later I got a call to say the date was postponed to 24th september .Now Jagjit bhai had to postpone the date as he was to perform with Gulam Ali sahab in Shanmukhanand hall. He said to me … “Arre, sometime in November will be fine… aur tu bhi aa mere sath, aur gaa…! Dono milke karenge”… I was happy and hoping that will happen…but that was not to….
I then organised the same date and invited and offer that date to Pankaj bhai for that show. That’s how we were together when that sad news came … in Kuwait on 24th September 2011
Dear Jagji bhai….. Not a single day passed without remembering you… remembering your nostalgic songs… your haunted melodies… your mesmerising voice ..your smiling face… and singing your songs every day…….you are truly missed.