‘Ek Kudi Jida Naam Mohabbat Gum Hai, Gum Hai! Hune Tah Mere Kol Khadi si, Hun Tah Mere Kol Nai Hai…’ The depth of these words is best understood when one dwells into the life of Shiv Kumar Batalvi. The poet, author, and playwriter from the 1930s is still known for his works on lost love, death and other tragedies of life. Born on July 23, 1936, in the Sialkot district of present-day Pakistan his birth name was Shiv Kumar.
Shiv’s father Pandit Krishna Gopal was a village tehsildar and his mother Shanti Devi a housewife. With his roots in a modest Hindu family, no one expected his poems will touch so many hearts. In fact, he is the youngest recipient of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award, to date.
At the age of 11, Shiv’s family moved to India’s Batala Gurdaspur district. And as an ode to his new home, he later changed his name to Shiv Kumar Batalvi. A man who felt the real depth of emotions died too soon at the age of 35. However, his poems still keeps on mesmerizing us.
In the 2016 movie, ‘Udta Punjab’ singer Diljit Dosanjh presented a reprised version of Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s poem ‘Ek Kudi’. Many of us enjoy this song, but does anyone know of the inspiration behind it all. Here is the video of the song by Diljit Dosanjh:
As per reports, Shiv Kumar Batalvi fell in love with famous Punjabi writer Gurbaksh Singh Preetlari’s daughter. But Gurbaksh was opposed to marriage because of caste difference between them. He married his daughter to an NRI and she left for the US. This incomplete love story of his led Kumar to write the poem ‘Ek Kudi’.
This was not the first time the poet got his heart broken. Nor was it the first time he wrote a poem of his own love experience. In adolescence, Shiv met and fell in love with a girl named Naina, who died soon due to some disease. She is the inspiration behind Kumar’s poem by the same name- ‘Naina‘.
Here is Shiv’s video interview where he sings one of his poems and talks about poetry and life in general. We are sure it will mesmerize all:
We salute poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s spirit and soulfulness.