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Remembering Jagjit Singh on his 79th birth anniversary…

They say there’s not a beating heart that hasn’t been touched by the late Jagjit Singh and his soulful voice. Having had an illustrious career with–and later without–wife Chitra Singh, Jagjit came to be known as the King of Ghazals after he started performing with big names like Lata Mangeshkar.

Though the legend breathed his last at Lilavati Hospital on October 10, 2011, his voice still continues to resonate with ghazal aficionados around the world.

Though we all know about the difficult life that Jagjit Singh lived, here are a few facts about the maestro’s life that not many know of:

  1. Jagjit Singh–born as Jagmohan Singh–obtained an arts degree from DAV College in Jallandhar.
  2. He began his professional career in 1961 by undertaking singing and composing assignments at All India Radio’s (AIR) Jallandhar station.
  3. Not from a well-off family, as a child Jagjit Singh used to study by the light of lanterns, due to lack of electricity in the house. In an interview, Singh had stated that they even lacked the facility of running water.
  4. His father, Sardar Amar Singh Dhiman, who was a government employee, had hoped that Jagjit would become an engineer.
  5. He married Chitra Dutta in December 1969, and together they went on to release The Unforgettable in 1976.
  6. The couple’s joint projects ceased in 1990, when their 18-year-old son, Vivek was killed in a road accident. Chitra felt unable to sing following these events. Monica, Chitra’s daughter from her first marriage, committed suicide in 2009.
  7. He is the only composer and singer to have composed and recorded songs written by former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee–also a poet–in two albums, Nayi Disha (1999) and Samvedna (2002).
  8. In February 2014, Government of India released a postal stamp Jagjit Singh’s his honour

The voice which captured countless hearts left us some years ago. However, it stays with us and will do so forever. Such people and such voices never fade away.They are part of a divinity which is eternal and infinite.

Childhood Picture of Jagjit Singh with his Father

His was a melodious world. A soft existence where poetry and sweetness ruled. Music was composed effortlessly by him as it was part of his inner being. His smiling eyes and simplicity remain a lovely memory.

Jagjit Singh with wife Chitra & Son Vivek
(Vivek died in 1990 at the age of 20 in a road accident)

All his fans will vouch for this that one can hear the goodness of his soul in his singing.  His is a benevolent voice. And divine. Happy Birthday , Jagjit Singh ji!  Aaj phir aapki kami si hai.

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