Jagjit Singh dies - ghazal king immortalised

Jagjit Singh

Ghazal king Jagjit Singh, the soul-stirring voice behind 'Hazaron khwaishe aisi', 'Ye kaghaz ki kashti and 'Jhuki jhuki si nazar', dies this morning over a fortnight from a brain haemorrhage.

The 70-year-old singer, who along with wife Chitra almost rediscovered the ghazal genre in the 70s and 80s, was admitted to the Lilavati hospital on September 23 and was in coma since then.

"Jagjit Singh passed away at 8.10 am after a terrible hemorrhage," said Dr Sudhir Nandgaonkar, hospital spokesperson, here.

The renowned singer's funeral will take place tomorrow at the Chandanwadi crematorium, Mumbai.

The day he was admitted, he was supposed to perform at a concert at the Shanmukhananda Hall, Matunga, in Mumbai but the programme was cancelled after he was taken ill.

Despite a surgery, his condition did not improve and he remained on life support.

Singh, a Padma Bhushan recipient, was born in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, on February 8, 1941.

After graduation, he shifted base to Mumbai, to explore a career in music. In the next decade and half, he earned nationwide fame as a ghazal singer and music composer. He sang in several languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Nepali.

His personal life, though, was marked by a tragedy. His only son, Vivek, died in a car accident in 1990 when he was just 18.

The music world expressed grief on hearing the news of Jagjit Singh's death. Fellow ghazal singer, Pankaj Udhas, described Jagjit as an "extremely versatile singer". "I am devastated," Udhas said on phone from Pune.

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar said Singh's death was a big loss for the music industry. "I knew him well. I hoped he would come out of the coma. But God willed otherwise."

Stating that Jagjit brought ghazals into the mainstream, Lata said, "He worked very hard... sang from the heart. Listening to him, people got intoxicated."

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