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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jagjit singh kahan chale gaye..

A couple of days back, I went to Siri Fort Auditorium, to attend a tribute by Ghulam Ali for Jagjit Singh. Almost immediately I regretted it..
The guards kept the mostly elderly audience waiting outside on the street in a long queue for an hour, and then let them all in a rush, through a narrow entrance. As people kept patiently waiting, various "VIPs" and interlopers were let in through another gate.
Finally when people went in, they found another queue, this time to enter the auditorium. Not surprisingly, tempers went up, and the mood of an evening of ghazals was spoiled.
When the "tribute" started, it started not with Ghulam Ali, but with some unknown singer, who proceeded to bore the pants off the audience till he was almost booed off the stage by the audience.
Finally Ghulam Ali made an entrance, some two hours after 6.30 pm, and all the VIPs made a beeline to the stage, to "pay" their floral and aural tributes to jagjit singh. They droned on and on, and one busybody in a black suit actually went up to the stage three times to offer flowers to a portrait of jagjit singh. This busybody (apparently CEO or something of the company which was "sponsoring" the evening) then launched into a lengthy narration about some incident with Jagjit Singh, till finally the audience started slow-clapping to show its annoyance.
Finally Ghulam Ali began, and though he sang beautifully, he sang classical ghazals, not the "filmi" ghazals which i was expecting, in a evening billed as a tribute to Jagjit Singh.
So, regretfully, I withdrew, reflecting that the evening would have been spent more fruitfully listening to Talat Mehmood on the You Tube...I guess that though Classical ghazals may be more Ghulam Ali's ouevre, if he wants a younger audience, as he seemed keen to have, then he would have to sing less obscure ones first...