Lamenting Verses from Shiv Kumar ‘Batalvi’ (At A Performance)

Born in 1936, in the village Bara Pind Lohtian, (now Pakistan), Shiv Kumar ‘Batalvi’, was a poet whose poetry yearned for tragedy.  His first anthology of poems was published in 1960, titled Piran da Paraga (The Scarf of Pain) and it became an instant success.  In 1967, he became the youngest recipient of the Sahitya Akademi (Award of Letters), for his epic verse-play (Loona) – based on the legend of Puran Bhagat.


After India and Pakistan were partitioned, Shiv Kumar’s family moved to Batala (India), where he received his primary education.  Thereafter, his education remained unsteady as he changed quite a few colleges moving from Science to Arts to Engineering Programmes.


Emotionally, Shiv Kumar ‘Batalvi’ suffered a huge set back when the girl he loved was married off to someone else due to caste differences.  His poetry is full of bereavement reflecting his own life of being unlucky in love, though he married and had two children.  In later years, he kept indifferent health, but he continued to write prolifically.  He passed away in 1973 due to cirrhosis of the liver brought by chronic alcoholism. 



Bhati valea chambey deya dalia,
Piran da paraga,
Aa bhun dey nee bhati valea,
Taino deyan hanjooan da bharra nee,
Piran da paraga bhun dey nee bhati valea.


Ho gaya kuvela maino,
Dhal gaeyan chavan nee,
Belean taun murd aiyaan,
Majeaan tey gavan nee,
Paya chidriyan ney cheikh chiyara nee,
Piran da paraga bhun dey nee bhati valea.


Meri vari pateyaan di,
Pand sili ho gayee,
Mitti de karaie teri,
Kano peeli ho gaye,
Terey saik no kyon vajeya dogara nee,
Piran da paraga bhun dey nee bhati valea.


Cheti cheti kareen main tan jana barre door nee,
Jithe mere haaneyan da,
Tur gaya poor nee,
Aus pind da sunendey rah marra nee,
Piran da paraga bhun dey nee bhati valea.

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