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    Jagjit Singh, that Shakespeare among ghazal-singers

    Jagjit Singh is unique among ghazal singers, indeed a Shakespeare among them. I have written this sentence in the present tense for such a man never dies. He understood the value of words in all their dimensions; their musical use, their connotative sense, and finer nuances. He knew to what extent a word could be stretched or bent without allowing it jar or get distorted.             He could feel the poetry of the lines someone else wrote and transform it into soul-wrenching music that seemed to trickle out of his own suffering. The ghazal is an art form that puts the melancholic, the lost, and the defeated above most other…