'He last sang for me'

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By Hindustan Times

NEW DELHI, Oct. 15 -- Around three weeks before he suffered a brain haemorrhage and was admitted to Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital on September 23, Jagjit Singh recorded his last song for Aditya Om's film Bandook. 'Mrigtrishna marusthal ki, chalti ret roop dhaar jal ki...' is written by Shivsagar and composed by Nikhil Kamath.

"Bandook's about crime and politics in UP. While I was working on the background score, I came across a situation that required a song reflecting the hero's mental trauma," reminisces Kamath.

When 'Mrigtrishna...' was ready, he sang it on the phone to Jagjit Singh who had earlier rendered 'Koi fariyaad tere dil mein...' under his baton for Tum Bin. "Jagjitji loved the lyrics that were in chaste Hindi and immediately agreed to sing," he says.

When Kamath told Singh that he wouldn't be able to pay him his market price, he assured the young composer, who as a boy used to play cricket in Singh's compound, that he could pay whatever he wanted. After a day's rehearsal Singh turned up at singer Kailash Kher's studio around 4 pm and after telling Kamath to put the track on loop, sang non-stop for five hours. "When we wrapped up at 9 pm, Jagjitji had given me 20 different mukhdas," says Kamath, recalling how the singer cracked jokes, and ordered dinner for everyone at the recording.

Later, Kamath played the final track to Singh on the phone. "Five days before he fell ill, Jagjitji called and when we informed him that we'd picturised the song, he had asked for it to be screened for him," says Nikhil. "But before we could oblige, he left us."

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