Manzil na de, chiragh na de, hausla to de, by Monica Kar

Manzil na de, chiragh na de, hausla to de
Tinke ka hi sahi tu, magar, aasra to de…

Maine ye kab kahaa ke mere haq mein ho jawaab
lekin khamosh kyun hai tu…koi faisla to de…

Barson main tere naam pe khaata raha fareb
mere Khuda kahaan hai tu…. apna pataa to de…

Beshaq mere naseeb pe rakh apna ikhitiyaar
lekin mere naseeb mein…kya hai bataa to de…

Lyrics by Rana Sahri Music by Jagjit Singh

Lyrics like this, singing like this needs no analysis…just a listening heart. It’s a cry to the Almighty, not to make the road easier…rather, to offer an arm when the road gets rough.

Just a personal note here. Jagjit Singh stormed the music scene and swept us all in the hurricane that was his voice. When their ‘Unforgettables’ released in 1976, an impressionable 13-year old (me) and a much older, more experienced 44-year old (my dad) fell in love with his singing together. On the heels of this giddy feeling (for me) came the ‘almost’ intense dislike for Chitra Singh.

Why did she have to sing with him?
How ‘thin’ her voice was! How unemotional!
Why did she have to ‘spoil’ everything he sang?

It wasn’t until Chitra Singh stopped singing with Jagjit Singh that I came to my senses and acknowledged that she was the best thing to have happened to him, especially to his singing.

Just like a baker often adds a pinch of salt to his dessert to enhance its sweetness, to bring out the taste of the sugar, exactly like that, Chitra Singh’s voice–“thin”, “unemotional”…and so steady, was the perfect foil for Jagjit Singh’s voice.

Where her career stopped, I thought Jagjit Singh’s voice lost its resonance. Almost as if he was a body, without a shadow, and therefore, unreal.

When two people sing together, it isn’t necessary that their singing styles be the same, or that their voices have the same quality. What is important is to be the ‘poorak’ (as in perfectly complementary) of the other…exactly like in the Song of Life.

Which is why I pay my respects to both these artistes today, for giving us countless hours of listening heaven!

Chitra Singh & Jagjit Singh  _()_


(Originally written on 7th February 2017)

Monica Kar received her BA in English Honours from the University of Delhi. She now lives in St. Charles, Missouri, where she wears several hats, including voluntary work as an educator and homemaker.