Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an English poet, literary critic and philosopher once said, "Prose = words in their best order; poetry = the best words in the best order". And when it comes to best words and haute verse, the name of world renowned poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi from Batala stands at the pinnacle.
He may have left this world on May 6, 1973, at the age of 35-years-old, but according to the scholarly literature connoisseurs, his poetry will remain alive forever as it strikes perfect chord with common man from every echelon of the society. His every single verse speaks volumes about his sensitive mind and his detailed emotions on various aspects of life.
This May 6 is his 40th death anniversary, and on this very day, we spoke to individuals from different walks of life who painted portraits of his rich contribution to Punjabi literature and poetry.
A renowned theatre personality, Kewal Dhaliwal from Amritsar who has been conferred with Shiromani Naatkar Award by the President of India for his contribution in theatre holds the view that Shiv Kumar Batalvi was not just a poet but also a playwright but despite his huge contribution to the literary world he is only remembered on his birth and death anniversaries. "It is arduous to express the greatness of his poetry which was highly versatile and unique. I am deeply connected to 'Loona', a famous Punjabi play penned by him. From the last 22 years, I have been staging this play across the country and the experience that my team, the audience and I get from it is above par as it is so rich and full of emotions and throws light on feelings of a woman", shares Dhaliwal.
Dr Narinder Pal Singh, an associate professor of Punjabi from the department of Journalism, Languages and cultures at Punjab Agricultural University shared that one must go through Batalvi's latest book, 'Chup Di Aawaz' (The Power of Silence), which has been released last year by his wife Aruna Batalvi and his son Meharban Batalvi. "This book has some of his rare poems which his wife and son complied from his personal diaries that he wrote. Most of these poems throw light on the Punjabi culture and makes an inspiring reading".
Famous Punjabi anchor Satinder Satti said, "I feel proud to be a citizen of Batala, the same town where Shiv Kumar Batalvi lived. My day is never complete if I do not read his poetry and I must say that when I read his work, it makes my mind more rich and intellectual. Above all, his poetry and words have been a source of inspiration for me".
Parambir Kaur, a Ludhiana-based Punjabi-cum-English writer, who has written a lot on the greatness of nature, says, "Although, Batalvi has expressed about almost everything about life but I feel more touched when I read his verses on nature. Many a times, I also use his verses in my articles which simply add a charm to my articles. He has simply proved that through pen one can do wonders. He may not be on this earth but his poetry will keep him alive forever". She further adds, "The government, the media, the educational institutions and parents should also make efforts to popularise his work among the youth. They are more glued to the world of social networking, phones and day-by-day they are going far away from art and literature".