Monday, October 10, 2011

Shiv Kumar 'Batalvi' (ਸ਼ਿਵ ਕੁਮਾਰ ਬਟਾਲਵੀ)


Shiv Kumar was a noted Punjabi language poet, who was most known for his romantic poetry, noted for its heightened passion, pathos, separation and lover's agony.


Shiv Kumar was born in a Saraswat Brahmin family on 23 July 1936 in village Bara Pind Lohtian, Shakargarh Tehsil, Sialkot District (now in Punjab province, Pakistan),to Pandit Krishan Gopal, village tehsildar in the revenue department, and Shanti Devi, a housewife.In 1947, when he was just 11, his family moved to Batala Gurdaspur district after partition of India.


He completed his matriculation in 1953, from Punjab University,and enrolled in the F.Sc. program at Baring Union Christian College, Batala, though before completing his degree he moved to S.N. College, Qadian, where he joined the Arts program more suited to his persona, though he left that too in the second year. Thereafter he joined a school at Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh to do a diploma in Civil Engineering, here again he left it in the middle.Next he studied for sometime at Govt. Ripudaman College, Nabha.

Personal life

On 5 February 1967 he married, Aruna a Brahmin girl, from Kirri Mangyal, Gurdaspur district, and later the couple had two children, Meharban (1968) and Puja (1969).

Youngest Recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award

Later in life, his father got a job as patwari at Qadian, it was during this period, that he produced some of his best work. His first anthology of poems was published in 1960, titled Piran da Paraga (The Scarf of Sorrows), which became an instant success. In 1965, he became the youngest recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1967, for his magnum opus, a verse play Loona (1965).His poetry recitations, and singing his own verse, made him and his work even more popular amongst the masses.

Soon after his marriage, in 1968, he shifted to Chandigarh, where he joined the State Bank of India, as a PRO. In the following years, bad health plagued him, though he continued to write prolifically

In Media

Many of his poems were sung by Deedar Singh Pardesi. Jagjit Singh-Chitra Singh, and Surinder Kaur, have also sung many of his poems. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's rendition of one of his poem "Maye ni Maye" is known for its soulfulness and imagery. In a recent album, Rabbi by Rabbi Shergill features, his poem, "Ishtihar". Punjabi folk singer, Hans Raj Hans also did a popular album, ‘Gham’, on the poetry of Shiv Kumar. In 2005, a compilation album was released, titled, Ek Kudi Jida Naa Mohabbat... 'Shiv Kumar Batalvi, with numbers sung by Mahendra Kapoor, Jagjit Singh and Asa Singh Mastana.

In 2004, Punjabi play titled Dardaan Da Darya based on the life of Shiv Kumar was performed at 'Punjab Kala Bhavan', Chandigarh

Struggles With Conventional Life-Span

His writings have always been open about his pronounced.He was a man of acumen. And on 7 May 1973, he died at his father-in-law's residence, at Kirri Mangyal Pathankot, due to liver cirrhosis, a result of chronic alcoholism, at a young age of 35 years.

Write comments
  1. i really liked your article. keep up the good work.

  2. varinder sharmaMay 4, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    MEra sabb to favorite shayar ..rooh da hani..darda da mehram shiv.
    husna da upasak,te hijra da vanzara shiv, gumma da gumkhar,,,yara da yaar shiv
    kalam da chalak...samaye to agge da anthak musafir shiv