HomeEnglish NewsTop News StoriesWhen This Pakistani 'Spy' Followed the Ghazal Maestro

When This Pakistani ‘Spy’ Followed the Ghazal Maestro

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Last Updated: February 08, 2023, 12:55 IST

His voice has left an indelible impression on the hearts of Ghazal lovers around the world.

Jagjit’s wife Chitra Singh revealed the incident in the book Baat Niklegi Toh Phir: The Life and Music of Jagjit Singh.

February 8 marks the 82nd birth anniversary of the King of Ghazals Jagjit Singh, who was born as Jagmohan Singh. They say there’s not even a person who hasn’t been mesmerised by the late Jagjit Singh and his mellifluous vocals. Having had an illustrious career spanning over five decades, Jagjit came to be known as the King of Ghazals after he started performing with stalwarts like Lata Mangeshkar. His voice has left an indelible impression on the hearts of Ghazal lovers around the world.

An interesting story associated with him also continues to be remembered when a Pakistani spy followed him to his hotel. Interestingly, this spy turned out to be a fan. This incident was revealed by Jagjit ji’s wife Chitra Singh in the book Baat Niklegi Toh Phir: The Life and Music of Jagjit Singh. This book has been authored by Sathya Saran and published by HarperCollins.

This incident happened when Jagjit and Chitra went to Pakistan to perform in a concert. As quoted in the book Chitra described that when they went to Pakistan for performing, the political situation was going through turmoil. According to her, she and Jagjit could sense the tension in the country. Their concerns were exacerbated when they saw a man standing near the aircraft from where they had landed in Pakistan.

What perplexed them was the fact that he just stood there watching them. Chitra told the author of the book that they saw more of him till the time they arrived at the hotel. They were relieved after arriving in their hotel room when suddenly the room bell rang. Jagjit opened the door, and that person was standing outside. Jagjit asked him in Punjabi, “Are you following us?”

The spy answered this question in the affirmative and told him that he was one of his biggest fans. He also gestured to Jagjit and Chitra that their room had been bugged. Chitra further stated that the fan had also brought alcohol for Jagjit since the hotel didn’t serve it. He drew from inside his jacket an alcohol bottle wrapped in newspaper with utmost care and gave it to the Ghazal maestro. According to Chitra, she and her husband were banned by Pakistan from giving any performances. But they had accepted a private invitation from the Press Club, which was also K Shankar Bajpai’s residence at that time. K Shankar Bajpai was the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan then. The celebrity couple left the audience spellbound with their enthralling performance.

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