With words as beautiful as: ‘Kidhre guhri kidhre madham bareek hai, zindagi tan ek vingi tedhi leek hai...’ (Life is like a zig-zag line alternating into thin and bold shapes) begins Iqbal Singh Dhillon’s book of poems in Punjabi, Jagdey Deevey, released in the city on August 17.
An anthology of Punjabi ghazals penned by Dhillon, Jagdey Deevey follows his two other books of Punjabi poems, Sapp Di Kunj and Dhupp Sunheri. Dhillon, a master’s in English who retired as a professor of English after serving in colleges affiliated to Panjab University (PU) from 1968 to 1978, also served as the head of department and director, youth welfare, PU, from 1978 to 2005. A versatile writer, he has to his credit three books in English too: Folk Dances of Punjab (2002), Victory Over Snoring (2007) and Folk Dances of the North (co-author Rajpal Singh).
About his love for Punjabi poetry, Dhillon says, “Ever since I was a child, I was inclined towards reading poetry. It was in the ’70s that I started taking my passion seriously, after which I wrote two books of poems.”
“The book Jagdey Deevey includes 82 ghazal compositions that lay bare the emotional crisis that man has always been involved in, especially in the modern turbulent milieu replete with worries. As a poet, I have also drawn hints for the youth to help them find a way out of the tensions from their lives. They only need to change their attitude a bit and follow the right path, which is usually hard too.”
Dhillon explains the technique used in his poems and says, “My book is based on the Punjabi phonological verse technique that has been discovered and documented by me in my previous books. A brief account of this technique is given in the appendix of the book so that the reader can consult it in order to interpret the symbols used while expressing ‘bahar’ of each ghazal.”
For him, “poetry is a way to express emotions, which are born out of experiences.” “Scenarios, from our past till the present travel with us. In this book, I have talked about today’s complex and stressful scene,” adds the philosopher, signing off with one of his ghazals, “‘Mera hai aakash, mai aakash vich hovanga. Evein mitti, agg, paani, paunan cho na tolna.’” (Out of the five elements of human existence, my abode will be the space after I depart).