Utpal Borpujari

October 15, 2008

Concentrate on cricket, ghazal maestro advises Harbhajan

By Utpal Borpujari


Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh, who has just helmed a four-CD album of 32 Shabads, has some advice for cricketers appearing on reality TV shows, particularly spinner Harbhajan Singh – “concentrate on your cricket”.


“What is the need to enter these fields when you should concentrate on playing your game?” Singh, who was in the capital to talk about the album, Guru Manyo Granth, brought out to commemorate the 300 years of the Gurta Gaddi of the revered Sri Hazur Sahib Takht located at Nanded, said on Tuesday.


Harbhajan, who performed well with the bat in the just-concluded Bangaluru-test against Australia, is facing a controversy after he was slapped with a notice by the apex Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) and a court case by VHP after he danced as ‘Ravan’ to Mona Singh’s ‘Sita’ in the reality show Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina on Colors channel.


“A cricketer can earn enough money to live a comfortable life if he plays well for a few years. What is the need to enter these fields?” he said referring to the Harbhajan controversy.


The maestro, whose latest ghazal album is slated to be released shortly, was commissioned to compose the Shabads in the album brought out to mark the anniversary of the Nanded shrine where the last Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh, had breathed his last.


“I have composed the Shabads using exactly those ragas that are mentioned in Guru Granth Sahib against each of them. This is an effort to bring these Shabads to the present generation in an accessible form while retaining their original flavour,” he said.


Singh chose all the singers for the TIPS Music album, and they include, apart from himself, accomplished names like Ustad Rashid Khan, Pandit Ajay Chakraborty, Begum Parveen Sultana, Anup Jalota, Shankar Mahadevan, Hariharan, Suresh Wadkar, Sonu Nigam, Kailash Kher, Shafaqat Amanat Ali and Ashwini Bhide Deshpande.


Interestingly, film star Juhi Chawla too has sung one of the Shabads. “She is a trained classical singer and has an innocent sounding voice. Also, her name helps create some buzz about the album,” Singh said.


(An abridged version was published in Sakaal Times, www.sakaaltimes.com, 15-10-2008) 



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