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Updated: March 7, 2013 17:53 IST

Sound of music

PRABALIKA M. BORA
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Jaswinder Singh
Jaswinder Singh

Sakht rahon mein bhi asan safar lagti hai

Yeh meri maa ki duwaon ka asar lagti hai…

“In this ghazal of mine, people mostly cry, but ghazal is not always about crying and weeping. It is simply a conversation between two loved ones. If this message is delivered clearly to the younger generation, ghazal will surely have a lot more followers,” says ghazal singer Jaswinder Singh who likes to be known more as a leader of young generation ghazal singers.

Son of legendary composer Kuldip Singh, Jaswinder was awarded with The Young Ghazal Maestro by Indian Music Academy. Jaswinder’s father Kuldip’s composition in Tumko Dekha Toh Yeh Khayal Aya and Itni Sakti Hame De Na Daata are still widely sang and heard.

Trained under classical singers Sushila Pohankar and Pt Ajay Pohankar, Jaswinder took to singing in his childhood and as he grew up his father asked him to further get the nuances of singing right. “Dad said, ‘if you want to be a singer you have to perfect it’”.

Jaswinder then became ghazal singer Jagjit Singh’s disciple. Even now he still follows his advice. What does he have to say about his temperamental guru? “All artistes have their own temperaments. We must understand that they are constantly engaged in travelling, singing and suffer from lack of sleep. Jagjit saab might have been temperamental, above all he was a great person. He would advise us to not skip our morning riyaaz no matter how late we slept. He would not just preach, but he also practised it. No matter when he slept by the time we reached his place in the morning, i.e., 10 am for our classes, Jagjit saab would have already finished his riyaaz and we could hear the closing strains of the tanpura. As s student I loved the strictness and the sincerity with which he taught us the nuances of singing and performing. His suggestions — one of the many which I follow is ‘treat a song sung by any singer in your own way. Give the song your touch.”

About ghazals, Jaswinder says that the common notion of kebab, shabab, mehfil and ghazal should be discarded. “Ghazal isn’t about losing a loved one or about being cheated in love. Love and pain are among the many conversations which the lover (ghazal singer) has with his beloved (audience). In two misras (lines) a ghazal singer depicts his mind which otherwise would take a long winding conversation,” says Jaswinder.

Besides planning to come up with his 3rd music album early next year, Jaswinder is also planning on incorporating ghazals in movies. “When a situation for an item song can be created, a similar situation can be created for a ghazal. Ghazal needn’t always have the harmonium, it can be altered to the electric sound as well,” says Jaswinder.

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