Jagjit Singh who would have been 76 on February 8 was very close to Om Puri who passed away on 6 January.
I remember Jagjit Singh was supposed to be in Patiala in 2013 with his buddy Om Puri to honour the memory of their guru mentor and guide the well-known playwright and acting coach Harpal Tiwanawho passed away in 2002 leaving behind a looming legacy.
Om and Jagjit Singh, we could safely say, were Tiwana’s favourite students. The two buddies had gone to great lengths to ensure Tiwana’s memory was honoured. Funds for a theatre named afterTiwana for staging plays had beem specially sanctioned by the chief minister of Punjab, thanks to the efforts of Jagjit and Om.
But Jagjit Singh fell critically ill.
Om had lamented, “We’re both supposed to be in Patiala to honour the man we love to death.Jagjit was supposed to sing in HarpalTiwana’s memory and I am to speak about the man who is responsible for my acting career. It is Harpalji who pulled me out of my wage-earner’s status at a very young age when I had to look after my family,and coaxed me to join his theatre group. He said, ‘How much money do you make per month? Rs 125? I will give you Rs 150,if you join my group.In this way I found my vocation and and sustained my family. I owe my life and career to him.”
Obviously the opening of the theatre in Harpal Tiwana’s name means the world to Om. But now with Jagjit hovering on the lifeline the shine has evaporated from the moment.
Om preferred to cancel the trip to Patiala.
Om had said, “It just doesn’t feel the same. The trip to Patiala is something we had both planned together down to the last detail. Jagjitis a very dear friend. I’ve recited in some of his albums.We’ve even done an ad together. The plans for honouring Harpal Tiwana were made by the two of us, months in advance. But I supposed Man proposes and God disposes.”
Om was hoping for a miracle cure for his pal Jagjit Singh. But theGhazal singer passed away leaving Om heartbroken.
Now they are both gone.