Originally posted on 17 Oct 2011 


Once upon a time, there was a lover who was so besotted that he did not know what to do with the letters which he had received from his beloved. The obvious disposal for unwanted pieces of paper is to burn it, and then crush the ash so that no evidence is left of their existence. But for reasons which are not easy to comprehend, he was not able to do that.

There are several meanings of the word ‘besotted’ but here I refer to one which is called ‘diwaanaa’ in our parlance. The hero of our story was also a gifted poet. He narrated his dilemma in the form of an urdu poem which was rendered by the undisputed king of Ghazals, the late Jagjit Singh. And in the process of recording this ‘unforgettable’ nazm’ , he also told us the difference between a ‘ghazal’ and a ‘nazm’.

Jagjit passed away last week. For most lovers of Urdu poetry, this is an irreparable loss. My grief at his demise is overtaken by envy. I think he died the way he lived. He was Blessed, and he went like all men whom the Gods love. He was over seventy (just a few months older than me) and was past his prime. He had done much of what he wanted to ; and therefore, it was in the fitness of the Celestial design that he went from the venue of his performance with Ghulam Ali to the hospital. the rest is history.

Now, we come back to the unfortunate lover. He struggled on and on with the load of letters which had burdened him for long. And when he could take it no more, he did something astonishingly crazy. It resulted in a disaster of sorts.

The link below will cause a ‘nazm’ to play. This form of urdu poetry is like a story which unfolds itself.  You can not afford to miss a ‘shair’ because if you do that, you will miss the thread.

And now let me not stand between you and my favourite ‘nazam’

Permit me to seek a favour. I have now understood the difference between a ‘ghazal’ and a ‘nazm’ very well. Can some one tell me the exact definition of a ‘nagma’ ‘taraana’ and a ‘geet’ ?

May the soul of our venerable Jagjit Singh rest in peace. For me and many like me, He will live forever through his songs. Now please click on the link below to listen to an immortal ‘Nazm’



  1. Anil Heble says:

    What a wonderful gift to receive first thing in the day from you.

  2. kamal khanna says:

    Thanks a lot. Fitting tribute.

  3. S S Malik says:

    with regards and love

    too much for me too

  4. Rajendra Singh says:

    That was beautiful Sir. Thank you.

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