Jagjit Singh- The Legend

Inteha aaj ishq ki kar di, aapke naam zindagi kar di… (Inteha, Jagjit Singh)

Jagjit Singh sahib has always been a different class for me altogether. He has been immensely successful in his long career and his new album Inteha has made me mad.

I wondered if his career can also be judged on our famous Porter’s Five Forces Model. Let’s see if we can. Jagjit Singh is an institution in himself. Though I’ll be a bit biased in analysis Jagjit Singh, but I guess it’s ok, especially when I know that most of the readers will also be as good the fans of Jagjit Singh as I am.

Threat of Substitutes: My personal opinion is that nothing can even come close to being a substitute for ghazals. The ragas and sur-taals used in ghazals have long been forgotten by other forms of music. So, the satisfaction and peace of mind which a Jagjit Singh ghazal can give, cannot be compared to any other form of music. Deadly life schedules, assignment deadlines being met at 3 in the morning, ARP completion at 11:59 to submit at 12:00 are some of the situations in our lives that have made the demand of his ghazals rise even further up.

Threat of New Entrants: Hmmm, interesting thing to think about. Frankly speaking, I don’t find many singers coming even close to Jagjit Singh sahib in matching his singing prowess. But yes, the emergence of culturally sensitive singers like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Roop Kumar Rathore might make some fans shift loyalties, but still the aura is so much that Jagjit sahib won’t have a major threat. On the top of it, Jagjit Singh has become a synonym for ghazals in India and this monopolistic situation is difficult to change.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers: Suppliers??! Huh! Who are they? For almost all his ghazals, he himself is the Music Director. As far as the lyrics are concerned, there will be hardly a lyricist coming to Mumbai will not have a dream to write for Jagjit Singh. So, the suppliers are also in excess, you know! No issues of bargaining power of suppliers, then.

Bargaining Power of Customers: Customers? With record-breaking sales of his albums still on charts, the fans wait for the new albums. ‘Kaghaz ki kashti’, ‘shaam se aankh mein nami si hai’ and ‘Tumko dekha to ye khayal aaya’ are still as young in the hearts of listeners as they were 15 years from now. Customers want more songs from him and they don’t bargain for that. Do you?

Rivalry among existing players: There are only a few players left in the market who sing as good ghazals as Jagjit Singh. Mehndi Hassan and Talat Mehmood have long backed out from the industry and Pankaj Udhas has lost his fan-following. Roop Kumar Rathore never was a contender for the top position in Ghazal gayeki. So the only possible rivalry might exist is between Ghulam Ali sahib and Jagjit Singh sahib and here, I don’t think there actually is some rivalry. Both are the epitomes of singing and the fans respect them equally well.

The only real threat that I perceive is that both of them are ageing and we really need someone who can carry forward the tradition of ghazal singing to our next generations.

Aapke dil ne hamein aawaz di, hum aa gaye… (Inteha, Jagjit Singh)


Why is smoking so costly?

I am not a smoker, atleast not a public one. So you can be pretty sure that it’s not a biased view of a smoker who’s desperate to have a cheaper smoke in India. It was just that I was standing in balcony of my room sharing an occasional smoke with a friend that I realized why cigarettes are costlier than the bidees and why the cigarettes with better filters costlier than the cigarettes with bad filters. If you didn’t know, Indian government levies a tax on the cigarettes on the basis of the length of the cigarette. I just hope that it has to do something with the filter length.

But the point here is that if cigarette is harmful, then bidee is atleast as harmful, right? So why don’t we raise the price of a pack of bidees to Rs. 100 to discourage the consumers from using them. This can easily be achieved by levying a 1000% tax on bidees. And the cigarettes with better and longer filters can be subsidized to make them available to the ‘common man’. The revenues to the Manmohan government will go up like anything because it will take a while for people to shift their taste from bidees to cigarettes and vice versa . But, it will discourage them from consuming 2 packets a day. Want to laugh on the proposal? C’mon, if it’s possible with petrol and diesel, why not with bidee and cigarette?

I suggested this to my fat friend with almost yellow teeth and stinking mouth and guess what he said? Have fun, Arun!

And the old Dev Anand song played in the background.

Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya. Har fikr ko dhuyein mein udaata chala gaya…


Love Aaj Kal?

(This is not a movie review.)

Saif and Deepika starrer Love Aaj Kal is running successfully in cinemas world over and has earned a warm welcome from the viewers. It was much awaited movie and I feared that it would also meet the fate of an over-hyped movie, but fortunately it didn’t. After watching the movie, two weird thought crossed my mind – Is it so bad to be lonely? Can long distance relationships never work?

Loneliness is one thing that I love and fear at the same time. I love to be lonely by choice by not by force. And there’s a reason for that. I want to be lonely to recollect my thoughts, to listen to the songs that nobody else likes besides me and I like to read books with a cup of coffee in my hand and silence all around with Jagjit Singh ghazals running in the background. And I love to feel that there are friends beyond this solitude who will always be there for me and will come with me to have a cup of coffee at Café Coffee Day or go for a walk to a nearby mall, whenever I feel like. But at the same time, I fear being left alone to wander. I fear to realize that I don’t have those friends anymore with me in the deserts of Dubai who will come leave me alone when they think I need to be alone, and then come back to me when they know that I need them. In such times I really feel that it’s too bad to be lonely.

The best part of the friendship is when it turns out to be something more than mere friendship. When someone with whom you shared your lunches, with whom you had a dinner on her birthday and with whom you just went around without a reason, starts feeling sad about you going thousands of miles away from you. A fear of loneliness entraps your mind with its full vigor in such times and it’s difficult to tell that girl that she will only be another episode in your life. And when you do so, you assure yourself that one day of all, she will understand that she will be another episode.

But was any of this true? I haven’t still got the answer for me. I’m still wondering whether I love being lonely, or better said, Alone? And I still wonder whether that girl will ever realize that she’s no more the important part of my life as she was over the cups of coffee that we shared and the candle light dinners that we loved. And worst still, I haven’t yet figured out whether I want it to happen or not.

But one thing that the movie has told me is it’s always good to realize that you love someone, no matter where you live and what friends you have. It gives you a strength to fight the odds and beat the world. And it takes away your loneliness when you feel lonely. Just one memory of the first kiss brings a smile on your face when you want it the most.

And from this movie, I’ve figured out one thing for sure – ikko e kahani bas badle zamana…


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