Remebering Shiv Kumar Batalvi: Fan recalls time when poet was the hero

While the 1960s were the time of Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and the Beatles on the international scene, nearer home in Punjab and Chandigarh it was the time of the superstar of poetry: the young Shiv Kumar Batalvi (July 23, 1936-May 6, 1973).
Shiv Kumar Batalvi(HT Photo)
Shiv Kumar Batalvi(HT Photo)
Updated on May 07, 2016 02:15 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | ByNirupama Dutt, Chandigarh

While the 1960s were the time of Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and the Beatles on the international scene, nearer home in Punjab and Chandigarh it was the time of the superstar of poetry: the young Shiv Kumar Batalvi (July 23, 1936-May 6, 1973). It was a time when poets were much in demand and the ideal of the youth would be one or the other versifier and love would be expressed in couplets. Batalvi with his passion, pathos and high romance rose like a meteor to become the ideal of every young man and the dream of every young woman.

Come May and it is time again to remember this phenomenon, the youngest to win the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1967 and enjoy immense popularity during his lifetime. He was good-looking and had a melodious voice. His fame multiplied after his death and he died young living up to the great decadent romantic lure of wine, women and song. His poetry was rooted in the soil and inspired by folk songs and tragic ‘quissas’ it went straight to the hearts of the listeners.

Remembering the poet on his 43rd death anniversary, Bishambar Shambi, a fan-turned-friend says: “He was a true hero of our times and had a cult following. I met him for the first time when I was in the first year at Government College, Sangrur, in 1961. His popularity was growing those days and we were thrilled that we would see him and hear him live. We would read his poems in magazines and I sang one of his poems at the symposium. He came and hugged me saying I had got the nuances just right. This is how a note of friendship was struck.”

Shambi, who worked as an Indian Airlines executive, is well known for singing Shiv’s poetry soulfully in the style patented by the poet. “I loved his voice and style and tried to emulate it. We would be together at many symposia and festivals. At one meet in Bathinda, he was indisposed and asked me to sing his verses. This was to happen many times later,” recalls Shambi. A regret he voices is that Shiv’s enormous popularity earned him foes among senior poets. “It was Amrita Pritam who encouraged his talent and I have accompanied him to her home for many memorable poetic evenings. Poets come and go but Shiv’s fame was unparalleled. He had a job with the State Bank of India on the basis of his talent and all he was expected to do was to sit in a cabin and write or muse.”

Shambi sums up the memories saying, “The time spent with him was very rich and I only wish he had lived longer and written more.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Commuters move on a road amid monsoon rains, in Mumbai.

    Eknath Shinde holds meeting on Maharashtra rain; Mumbai rail, road traffic hit

    Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday held a meeting on the rain in Mumbai. The heavy rains have led to disruptions of Mumbai local train services. Waterlogging has been reported in areas like Chembur, Andheri, Sion with residents forced to wade through waters. NDRF teams are deputed, said the CMO. Massive waterlogging at Sion Circle in Mumbai. Mumbai local train services and road traffic has been hit due to heavy rainfall.

  • Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport (File Photo/Used only for representation)

    Global Livability Index: Bengaluru, ranked 146, scores least among Indian cities

    Bengaluru may have topped the Union government's Ease of Living Index last year, but Karnataka's capital city fared the worst among Indian cities in the Economic Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Global Livability Index 2022, which was released on June 24. Bengaluru's position in Global Livability Index 2022 For the first time, a total of five Indian cities featured on the list; before 2022, only Delhi and Mumbai were featured.

  • Waterlogging in the Sion area of Mumbai in the wake of heavy rain in the city.

    Mumbai waterlogging nightmare returns with heavy rain| Video, and quick lowdown

    Mumbai has been witnessing heavy rain amid monsoon arrival. As downpour lashed the city on Monday, Mumbai witnessed scenes of waterlogging in several areas. Waterlogging was also reported in the city's Sion area, which disrupted normal life. Waterlogging was also seen at Khandeshwar Railway Station in Navi Mumbai as commuters navigated their way through ankle-deep waters. The weather department has issued an orange alert warning of heavy rain in Mumbai for the next few days.

  • Panipat police have arrested a man for making a ransom call to a local commission agent by posing as a member of Kala Jatheri gang. (Image for representational purpose)

    Haryana: Man arrested for attempt to extort 10 lakh in Panipat

    Panipat police have arrested a man for making a ransom call to a local commission agent by posing as a member of Kala Jatheri gang. He had demanded Rs 10 lakh extortion money from the commission agent. The accused has been identified as Ajay of Budha Khera village in Jind. The police said that they have now arrested three persons, including Ajay, Sunil alias Sahil and Akhil, in this case.

  • Karnal police said that they have recovered 2.5 quintal of copper wires, one illegal pistol, and three motorcycles from their possession. (Image for representational purpose)

    Four arrested for stealing copper wires from transformers in Karnal

    Karnal police claimed to have busted a gang involved in theft of copper wires from transformers with the arrest of four of its members. The police said that they have recovered 2.5 quintal of copper wires, one illegal pistol, and three motorcycles from their possession. The accused have been identified as Bilal and Amjad alias Biaggi of Yamunanagar, Vasim Akram of Saharanpur, and Tahir of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, July 05, 2022