Ghazal fans in Kashi had to return disappointed when singer Chitra Singh, widow of legendary ghazal maestro Jagjit SIngh, broke down and expressed her inability to perform at the prestigious Sankatmochan Sangeet Samaroh on the premises of Sankatmochan temple on Saturday night.
She had given a nod to attend the programme and was expected to perform after a gap of more than two and a half decades.
In 1990, Chitra and Jagjit suffered a big shock when their 20-year-old son Vivek died in a car accident, after which Chitra stopped singing. In 2011, Jagjit Singh passed away. Her fans had been on their knees asking her to sing again but she didn’t. It was on a call by Sankatmochan chief priest Prof Vishambhar Nath Mishra that she came here and there were hopes that she might agree to perform also. But that didn’t happen as she just couldn’t gather herself enough for a stage show.
As she reached the dais, a pin drop silence prevailed. Heavily choked with emotions, she told the audience she could not touch the microphone for the last 27 years and that this (giving performance) was no more possible for her.
Saturdays’s event at the samaroh opened with a Kuchipudi recital by Dr Padma Reddy. Many renowned artistes, including Gulfam Ahmad Khan of Afghanistan who plays rabab, Ahmad Hussain and Mohammad Hussain and Pt Vishwanath also performed.
Chitra landed in Kashi on Friday evening. On Saturday, she offered prayers at the Sankatmochan temple. She wishes that the government confers the Bharat Ratna on her late husband.She called on Sankatmochan chief priest Prof Vishambhar Nath Mishra and sought his blessings.
The singer also visited Tulasi Ghat and performed Deepdaan in memory of her husband. Chitra walked a few step and then stopped. “Kash, Jagjit aaj saath hote (I wish Jagjit was there with me today),” she said.
After arriving in the city, she asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be attending the festival. She said Modi always admired Jagjit and called her after his death to console her.
“This is my first visit to Kashi. I will keep coming here,” she said. She even said giving a performance in Sankatmochan Sangeet festival was a matter of great luck to those who got a chance to offer prayers to Lord Sankatmochan Hanuman and perform in the festival.