The speciality of the album and which makes it outstanding is the narration by Vajpayee ji. He narrates the incidents and reasons behind the creation of each poem. The period during the Emergency which was imposed on us in 1975 and later inspired quite a few poems and the former Prime Minister elucidates the reasons well before quoting a few introductory lines. The lines are simple and easy to understand. There is a sensitivity to each song and most of them are are thought provoking. And Jagjit Singh has tuned them melodiously bearing in mind the mood of each poem. Since most of them are stirred by real life incidents there is an element of melancholy and poignancy about them and Jagjit Singh's strains bring this alive. He, as usual, mesmerizes with his voice.
The first poem is "क्या खोया क्या पाया". The song contains a preface for the album by the legend himself Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. The poem has a philosophical angle which highlights what one loses and gains in his life. And at the last when the death arrives, one opens the doors for it to come himself. क्या खोया क्या पाया जग मे, मिलते और बिछडते मग मे, मुझे किसी से नही शिकायत, यद्यपि छला गया पग पग ।
The second poem is "एक बरस बीत गया". This poem was written after an year of Emergency, when all leaders including Atal ji were jailed and all rights and independence of the people was curbed by the Indira Government. The poem describes the hardships and life led by the people at that tough time. झुलसाता जेठ मास, शरद चान्दनी उदास, सिसकी भरते सावन का अन्तर्घट रीत गया, एक बरस बीत गया ।
The next one is "चौराहे पर". This one is my favourite. The prelude is too loaded with meaning. जो कल थे वे आज नही है, जो आज है वो कल नही होगे, होने ना होने का क्रम इसी तरह चलता रहेगा, हम है, हम रहेगे, ये भ्रम भी सदा पलता रहेगा, सत्य क्या है? होना या ना होना, या दोनो ही सत्य है, जो है उसका होना सत्य है, जो नही है उसका ना होना सत्य है, मुझे लगता है कि होना ना होना एक ही सत्य के दो आयाम है, शेष सब समझ का फ़ेर, बुद्धि के व्यायाम है ।
The next poem is "जीवन बीत चला". This poem was written by him on one of his birthday. He confesses that due to lack of time, he didnot write much, but when his birthday comes, he do write on his past experiences. The opening lines of "Jeevan Beet Chala" reflects the years gone by. जीवन की ढलने लगी सान्झ, उम्र घट गयी, डगर कट गयी, जीवन की ढलने लगी सान्झ, बदले है अर्थ, शब्द हुए व्यर्थ, शान्ति बिना खुशिया है बान्झ, जीवन की ढलने लगी सान्झ ।
"दूर कही कोई रोता है" was inspired by the crying sounds of people heard by Vajpayee ji when he was admitted to AIIMS, New Delhi. This happened during Emergency when he fell ill in the Bangalore jail. In the opening lines he narrates that every morning, he woke up by the crying sounds of the relatives of the patients who died at the night. That was the time when thier dead bodies were handed over by the hospital authorities to their beloved ones. This scenario tore his heart apart and he expressed his pain by writing this poem.
After Emergency, all the parties except Congress united together to form Janta Party under the leadership of Jayprakash Narayan to contest the election and vowed to work together at Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, which marks the place of his cremation. But later, Janta Party broke up and the leaders couldnot keep their vows. This last poem "कदम मिला कर चलना होगा" brings out his sorrow at the breaking of the promise. क्षमा करो बापू तुम हमको, वचन भन्ग के हम अपराधी, राज घाट को किया अपावन, मन्ज़िल भूले, यात्रा आधी, जयप्रकाश जी रखो भरोसा, टूटे सपनो को जोडगे, चिता भस्म की चिन्गारी से, अन्धकार के गढ तोडगे ।
The album has to be heard in leisure, for each song to be enjoyed slowly. Every song has a deep meaning and overall it is a masterpiece. In the words of Vaibhav Sir... 5 on 5.