`Will sing till health permits`

Updated: Feb 27, 2011, 21:14 PM IST

New Delhi: Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh, who turned 70 this month, said he will continue singing as long as his health shall permit and not force himself to carry on with the profession.

"I will carry on singing till the time my health remains fine and I consider myself fit for singing ghazals. I will bid the profession goodbye once I start feeling that it is being forced upon me," Singh told reporters.

This year also marks five decades of his singing career. Crediting his fans with his success, Singh, who was at the national capital to perform on Saturday, said, "The reason behind my success is the use of relevant `shayari` in my singing. Also my choice of ghazals has been good and the audience have liked them."

Talking about the new breed of singers, Singh, who was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2003, said, "Every person has to begin his journey somewhere. There was a time when even I was new to this profession. My voice catapulted me to this height and to maintain it I still `riyaz` (practise) everyday."

Singh has delivered some of his major hits as a duet with wife Chitra, who quit singing almost two decades ago.

"I was the one who introduced her to ghazals and she gave me company in this musical journey for quite a few years. But now she has distanced herself from singing due to some personal reasons," said Singh.

Referring to his most successful partner, lyricist Gulzar, Singh said, "We have been working together for more than three decades now. I think he is the one who made me and every other Indian familiar to Ghalib`s persona."

Talking about Sudarshan Fakir, his friend from early days, Singh said, "He was one of the finest and quite an emotional poet. He used to work at the Jalandhar radio station when I was there and I have sung many of his `kalams`."

The veteran singer said that it is much easier to make a headway into the profession these days, thanks to the expanding media.

"The media was not so strong at the time when we started off. We just had Akashvani at the time and they used to test your knowledge and skills before giving you a chance to sing.

"The media is so powerful these days that it can turn anybody into a star overnight. But it should also be kept in mind that an undeserving person should not be put forward," he said.