One of my favourite albums of all time is Gulzar-Pancham. I bought the cassettes first and then the CDs. The 2-CD pack is compilation of songs written by Gulzar and composed by R D Burman. But what makes the album special is the introduction to every song by Gulzar. We all know that he can weave magic with words. But the way he narrates it, the way he pours out every bit of nostalgia in his narration, it creates an intoxicating mood. Years later he did another similar album – Amrita Pritam recited by Gulzar. The magic was still the same. And now, there’s a new album – Tera Bayaan Ghalib. Here’s Rohit‘s recco post on the same.
Anything, be it a new song or a poem recitation or a book release or a film by Gulzar sahab guarantees that it will have an aroma of freshness and nostalgia in it. This music album quietly made it’s way into the mind space and thanks to Pavan and Sa Re Ga Ma’s online store I could get a hold of the original tracks.
First up, please know that this is not a ‘tribute to Jagjit Singh’ sort of an album by Gulzar sahab. It goes a step further. Gulzar sahab has convinced Jagjit Singh to sit and recite/sing some lines for all of us and what tribute do we want anyway? Jagjit Singh is still there. Very much there. Gulzar sahab has read/recited Ghalib’s letters enacting as Ghalib and it is NOT a commentary on him. It’s a fact that we can’t get enough of Gulzar sahab‘s voice and when you hear him modulating his voice and enacting Ghalib, you will feel the words with him.
Since the album is aimed at giving a peek to all us in the life and times of ‘Ghalib’, Gulzar sahab has plucked many a gems from his TV Serial on Ghalib in the voice of Ghazaljit Singh.
The album starts with a track that was featured in the TV serial (but wasn’t available in music cassettes or CDs). After this, Gulzar sahab recites some couplets from Mirza Ghalib. The mithaas in his voice will remind you of the times when you were dipping your senses into your favorite food and talking about your favorite person. The album then turns to GhazalJit Singh’s rendition of ‘Har ek baat pey’. The difference (nitpickers like me will notice) is a faint note on the keyboard in the background which is unlike the versions already available with us all. This version ends where GhazalJit Singh ends the recitation in the original.
It won’t be fair to give out the flow of what Gulzar sahab discusses in the album because it will spoil the mood of anyone who listens it. So I won’t go into much detail. All I will say that there is a difference between telling and narrating. Gulzar sahab narrates. Beautifully. Many a times you won’t be able to realize that the ghazal has started and the narration has stopped. It’s all in the same fabric. Like for example, there is a part where Gulzar sahab is talking about the ‘patang baazi’ of Ghalib and the melodious flute makes an entry and GhazalJit Singh recites a line of ‘woh firaq aur wo visaal kahan’. Listen how dearly and affectionately Gulzar sahab goes about telling us why Ghalib chose Ghalib and not ‘Asad’ as his pen name. GhazalJit Singh comes again to recite the beautiful couplet ‘Dost gham’ (which wasn’t available earlier in Music cassettes or CDs of the serial).
Using Ghalib’s lines to create the atmosphere of the old times is a great idea and GhazalJit Singh’s voice comes as a compliment. You can’t help but feel that it’s completely unnatural to live in a world where GhazalJit Singh is no more. The album is full of those unreleased nazms/couplets in the voice of GhazalJeet Singh.
The narrative spans across life and times of Ghalib including the 1857 and how Ghalib shut himself out during that period. And how Delhi was never the same, more or less like Ghalib. There is a lot of pain, especially when Gulzar sahab touches the ‘7 deaths’ in Ghalib family…of all his kids.
Towards the end of the album when Gulzar sahab speaks about old age, the depth of his narration will move you, and on top of it Jagjit Singh’s (unreleased) nazm might move you to tears. You will get goosebumps when you will come across the famous Ghalib composition ‘sab kahan kuch’ because Gulzar sahab accompanies Jagjit (Ghazaljit Singh) in the same. This is Gold. Probably purest form of Gold.
This is not a music album. It’s a melodious session with Gulzar sahab and GhazalJit Singh full of conversations, nazms and ghazals. Anyone with a mild inclination towards Gulzar sahab/Ghalib or GhazalJit Singh will find this album a treasure. A treasure which you will hold on to forever.
You are likely to come across a lot of familiar ghazals in this album but the difference is – this time you live the ghazal rather than just listening to it.
Album : Tera Bayaan Ghalib
Label : Saregama (2-CD pack)
Price : Rs 300 ( Available at Flipkart for Rs 255)
(Rohit blogs at http://almostareview.wordpress.com/)