Saturday, March 31, 2007

A musical evening

Uthke mehfil se mat chale jaana,
tum se roshan ye kona kona hain

Do not ever get up and leave this heart;
it is you who lights every corner of it

Have you even seen anyone weaving something? A carpet, a mat or an intricate fabric. Well, last week I saw someone weaving magic. Upon endless soft layers. On a breezy evening that smelled of little canticles from heaven.

Venue: Ess Eff Audi; Haunt of the capital’s who’s who.
Protagonist: The inimitable Jagjit Singh. Poet. Singer. Musician. Artist. Human being.

I often notice that sometimes the shade of melody, having hovered for days on the edge of hearing, unfolds and blessedly reveals itself. That happens when someone like Jagjit starts crooning. Expect an entire audience -- which was a cocktail of teenagers with sling-bags, graceful old grannies being helped to their seats, giggly girls, top government officials, journalists, dudes -- to be completely transfixed. There is this sudden surreal feeling you get in a lonely corner of your heart: It doesn't get any better than this. You can’t help love the music he makes.

The great Plato, I recall reading sometime, said…Music and rhythm find their way into secret places of the soul. Surely so. The maestro proved the Greek guru right, once more. A live performance along with his six-man orchestra was an acoustical delight. Jagjit Singh sang from the deepest depths of his heart. That is his trademark. A fine ring of melancholy brocaded his verses. The famous humming. As if on a cue, collective excitements touch new crescendos. I like Jagjit for the simple reason that he almost single-handedly helped popularize the beautiful Urdu language -- in India -- by the soulful rendition of his Ghazals.

I listened ardently to the effortlessness with which he sang. The soft cadences of his music fill the emptiness. It fills the infinite. Humbling and elating at the same time. Wasy – mon ami – tapped his feet. It happens when you sit in company of the greats. The effect rubs off.

Aakhri hichki teray zanu pe aayee
Maut be mein shairana chahta hoo

Throes of death visit me/
As I lie next to your face
I so wish a poetic end


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