Grief defined – Jagmohan Singh Dhiman

I have been wanting to write on this topic. I don’t write quite often. One of the reasons of it is that I write only when I have strong feelings on the topics. These feelings are so strong that on any day that thought remains intact. And such incidents happen infrequently, hence the laziness.

One fine day, I was enjoying my Saturday evening with my family. I was cracking some lame joke, the usual stuff. Now cracking jokes is a tricky business. Sometimes it is funny, sometimes not, sometimes it offends the listener and on very few occasions it brings a bad realization of insensitivity to the speaker. Apparently, the more such occasions of realization occur the more smarter you become.

You might have come across a song by Jagjit Singh Chithi na koi sandesh. The song briefly translates to an expression inquiring a dear person who hasn’t been in contact for a while. Usually I don’t remember the lyrics of many songs. However, most of the songs I like are driven by the meaning of the lyrics. For me, this song was a sad ghazal. So by distorting the lyrics to fit my joke, I would sing the caption to anyone not responding to me. And it happened on the Saturday evening when I jokingly sang this song to my mother, when my father interjected with a trivia.

He said that this song was sung by Jagjit Singh post the death of his son, Vivek in a car crash. This was a shocking news to me. One, a celebrity of Jagjit Singh’s stature losing his son must have been a big news of its time. Two, this legend was so dedicated to his work that when reality transformed him to grief, he transformed it further into a reality through this song. My father goes on to say that Jagjit was in depression coping up with the loss. That’s the beauty of the possession of knowledge, it never is dispersed in the rut but only when required.

To me this was an eye opener. Now I listened to the song with all my attention. The lyrics of the song are so deep and justify what he was feeling. To part with someone you have lived forever is devastating. To lose a dear and young one forever is traumatizing. The thought of using the same hands, which nurture a child, to lay them in their grave can melt mountains. And somewhere it did inside me too. To add to it, since it was a car crash there was nothing he could do about it. With the lyrics

Ek Aah Bharee Hogi
Humne Na Sunee Hogi
Jaate Jaate Tumne
Aawaz To Di Hogi
Har Waqt Yehi Hai Gham
Us Waqt Kahan The Hum
Kahan Tum Chale Gaye
Chithi Na Koi Sandesh

These lines replicate the pain in such simple ways that is disturbing to the brain.

There is a thin line between being insensitive and being demeaning to someone. When it involves dignitaries of the highest form the line is even thinner. To understand this and implement in life is another challenge because the brain is not programmed for such trivial stuff. Besides making fun out of situations like these expedites the entry to the category of imbeciles. Learning this, from the incident was invigorating.

Since this became an intriguing topic for me, to find what happened before and after the incident, I followed few documentaries of Jagjit Singh. The person was gifted with such a melodious voice. One of his lesser known songs, Baat niklegi to door talak jayegi is another masterpiece which gives you a heartfelt piece of his mind. But the real transformation happened post the unfortunate incident. The songs became much profound with the voice spinning the magic.

The legend continued his journey providing his voice to poems of Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee to entertaining the audiences with Bollywood songs. This day – 10th October, six years back (2011) the maestro left for his heavenly abode. To remember him and his legacy is the least I could to pay my gratitute. Hope people keep following him for many more years to come.