Shiv Kumar Batalvi is an Sahitya Academy Award (1967) winning poet of Punjabi language. He is known for his romantic poetry for its passion, pathos and the pain of separation. Batala (District Amritsar, Punjab) became his home town in India after the partition, and that also gave him his takhaluss, “Batalvi”. It is said that he had a failed love affair that came out in the form of intense passion and pathos in his writings. He never confirmed these rumors. He tactfully avoided the subject during his interviews.
His poems are very popular among the Punjabi singer on both sides of the border. Jagjit & Chitra Singh, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Surinder Kaur, Assa Singh Mastana, Mahendra Kapoor, Hans Raj Hans, are some of the singers who have brought the birha from Shiv’s songs to the vast audience.
Here, I am presenting some of the rare recordings of Shiv Kumar Batalvi reciting his poems. This is how he meant these to be read, sung, and recited. Click on the links below to play the songs in the browser.
The recordings are noisy, as these were converted from ancient All India Radio (AIR) archives. They will sound best with low treble. I am working to clean them up, and will update these.
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