Note: My poetic tribute, dedicated to the soulful ghazals sung by the celebrated musical couple Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh jee
I don’t know how the kohl-smeared nights would dissolve
Into the fresh dawns, squinting into the day, when your voices
In the unison of duets, would waft in the lingering, dark silence
Of a bedroom with crinkled bedsheets and the recycled language
Of the two-in-one stereo, my unrequited wants, cocooned in
The sweet, fleshy cracking of your ghazals.
I knew not, at the end of those nameless siestas, when my senses,
Handcuffed, trudged through those uncertain mazes, how I would
Unwrap myself, lapping up your waves, losing myself in your shores.
“Tumko dekha toh iye khayal aayaa, zindagee dhoop tum ghanaa saayaa”…
I only knew that in my first love’s eyes, I was a washed out night raaga
From the flesh of your moonlight’s swirling melody, a raaga that
Would come back to you again, with my cheap tears of a love,
A tight embrace gone awry. I only knew that in my eyes clamped shut
In that clumsy bedroom, all by myself, I would hum, together with you,
“Iye tera ghar iye mera ghar/kiseeko dekhna ho gar/to pehle aake maang le
Meri nazar teri nazar…”, feeling my rib cage, my bones and the throb
Of my man’s Adam’s Apple, brush against the twilight music of a love nest,
A nest where our smudged syllables would one day, give in to stark, dead silence.
You both knew the trail, didn’t you, the trail of quivering, lovelorn hearts
Who hummed along, biting deep into the flesh of those lyrics in symphony?
Did you know the smog, seeping through your incandescent tunes,
As you sang, every strain filling through your own cracks, your own pores
While you couldn’t rain together anymore?
Did we all know, us, the sagging vines, hanging around
Your bestselling albums, that even melodies could gag,
In life’s unmarked road where you clasped tight
your tragedy, your only route to break free?
I come back to those nights in nameless, grey spirals, your ghazals
The cinnamon wants traipsing around them still, rolling slowly
In my senses, like a dream, forbidden, interrupted,
Which might make a lover out of me, yet again.
Also, visit this link to listen to the soulful melodies by this classic duo: