On 5th February, 2016, a private sneak-preview screening of Kaagaz Ki Kashti, a film directed by Brahmanand Siingh, on the Great Ghazal Maestro, Jagjit Singh, was held for a very select audience on the special occasion of Jagjit Singh’s 75th birth anniversary.
The soon-to-be-completed and much awaited film will be officially released shortly in Jagjit Singh’s platinum birth year.
The film is an evocative account of a down-to-earth small-town boy who made it big by adding that extra something in his music. Even on celluloid, the effect of Jagjit Singh’s unmistakably poignant voice and charming, easy-going personality is apparent. Film-maker, Mahesh Bhatt, said, “He never left you with a feeling of awe. Awe creates distance. He left you with a feeling of a friend touching you … a beloved touching you.”
The audience got a rare peek into the complexity behind his seemingly simple Ghazals. Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain spoke with pride about Jagjit Singh’s unthinkable idea of texturizing Ghazals with western instrumentation , “Ustads have become great only by pushing the boundaries of the parameters set for them… by breaking the norms … The evolution of Indian Classical music has been a collective effort. But for Ghazals, one person did it … and that’s Jagjit Bhai.”
Such kind of perseverance and soulfulness in his music is what has earned him admirers like actress Ameesha Patel who unhesitantly confessed, “I would be someone who would enjoy watching his shows till three and four in the morning whereas my friends used to be at night clubs dancing and jiving away … they actually thought I was a retard.”
Everyone has known the Maestro’s music but the film gave the audience a singular insight into his unique philosophies about life. Referring to his philanthropic side, his wife Chitra Singh said, “He used to say, ‘When nothing is mine then what is the problem in giving?’ ”
The evening, which evoked emotions ranging from tears to laughter, was brought to reality by director Brahmanand S Siingh who described his experience of creating Kaagaz Ki Kashti, “For me, making this film has been a journey like that of an hourglass that drains grain by grain but fills up at the same time on the other side. These moments have given me life and been killing at the same time to create an experience that captures the highs and lows of Jagjit Singh’s life, interestingly, through his own compositions giving us many good reasons to celebrate each given day, with his timeless compositions.”