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Passion & poetry

chandigarh Updated: Nov 21, 2013 09:56 IST
SD Sharma

An author, poet, columnist, academician, Reiki guru, social activist and above all a fine human being — Harbir K Singh is all of this and more. Her articles appear in vernacular papers, besides a few in Khaleej Times, Dubai, and Fleetwood Weekly, UK. Writing poetry at leisure, however, is her foremost passion, which is made evident by her anthologies of English poems such as Pain (1988), Hold the Dreams (1991), You and Me (1995), Quest (1998) and yet-to-be released, Your Bounties: Lamhe. Like any other poet, she too is blessed with a vision and impulse for literary creations.

The 73-year-old poet was born at Sakkhar, now in Pakistan, and did her post-graduation from Ludhiana.

Students in Chandigarh, however, would recognise her as the hostel warden of Chandigarh College for Girls. An interaction with the soft-spoken Harbir leads to sharing of many fortunate and unfortunate incidents, including the demise of her husband when she was just 29 years old. Harbir drew strength and experience from her tryst with life, which finds reflection in her otherwise ornate poetry.

Her poems, mostly in blank verse, are replete with emotions with regard to relationships — social prejudices, gender disparity in society and crime against women, including rapes, dowry deaths, honour killings, religious bigotry and fanaticism, unfulfilled dreams and the bounties of nature. “As a poet, I am gifted with a rare sensibility, which helps me conduct past-life regression and I firmly believe in the power of subconscious mind,” says Harbir.