A LITTLE before midnight Jagjit Singh sang hazaron khwahisyen aisi ki har khwahish pe dum nikle. The audience at Hotel Taj could have easily finished the couplet for him: “Bahut nikle mere armaan lekin phir bhi kam nikle!”
Yes, as the ghazal king weaved his magic the audience went into a trance, waking up every now and then to break into a hysterical applause. Amidst cries of encore, Singh kept on building the momentum before bringing the musical extravaganza to a fitting close with some racy Punjabi numbers.
If, huzoor aap ka bhi ehatram karta chaloon, idhar se guzra tha socha salaam karta chaloon, evoked instant applause, the love lore, aag ka kya hai pal do pal main lagti hai, bujhte bujhte ek zamana lagta hai, had the connoisseurs breaking into a spontaneously audible ‘wah wah!’
The master, reading the mood of his audience, reached out to them saying, “Ishq mein kitna jhooth bolna padta hai!” and then adding, “aage jhooth suniye”. The ‘lie’ followed: “Tujhse milkar imli meethi lagti hai, tujhse bichadkar shahad bhi khara lagta hai”! As people broke into a hearty laugh, Singh took them to an entirely different period, childhood. The evergreen hit, yeh daulat bhi le lo, yeh shohrat bhi le lo, bhale cheen lo mujhse meri jawani, magar mujhko lauta do bachpan ka sawan, woh kagaz ki kashti, woh barish ka paani, looked still fresh.
Singh, once again, returned to the ‘love (ly)’ verse, “pyaar ka pehla khat likne mein waqt toh lagta hai, naye parindon ko udney mein waqt toh lagta hai”. Before the applause died down, Jagjit picked up another hit, “jhuki jhuki si nazar beqarar hai ki nahi…” And before they could get their hands together, to create the by now familiar noise, the master was away with, “baat niklegi toh phir door talak jayegi”. There was no denying this. About 15 kilometres away from the master, Peenaz Masani was creating her magic. Performing at Pikadily Hotel at Bara Birwa, Alambagh Masani’s duma-dum mast kalandar among several other songs made Saturday night, truly a connoisseur’s delight.