Praise for My Books

"Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is a gifted writer of great promise. I have a gut feeling we have a new star rising in Punjab's literary horizon. She has an excellent command of English and a sly sense of humour."
- Khushwant Singh on The Long Walk Home

"An enjoyable tale of a sassy girl's headlong race up the corporate ladder."
- India Today on Earning the Laundry Stripes

Friday, 7 March 2014

Of Batalvi, churi, Punjab and poetry ...

When, as a writer, you start the day with Shiv Kumar Batalvi, it can go either of two ways: inspired, hence egregiously productive; or a day spent in contemplation, tinged with sorrow ... Both are good. One will give you pages of writing, the other will fill your heart. 

Batalvi was, and remains, the quintessential modern Punjabi poet, his poetry mirroring his life and our Punjab. Poetry is one art that is truest in its own skin - even the finest translation will not unpack the myriad nuances/images/associations that the native language conjures with a single word. Take the word ‘churi’ - wholewheat bread mashed with jaggery and clarified butter, would be a prosaic English translation. And yet, ask any Punjabi and he/she would be able to fill a page with its evocations. Mother. Love. Mother’s hands. Sulking. The smell of roti. Crisp winter air. Kneading knuckles. A child’s tears. The sheen of ghee. Smiles. The sweet smell of molasses. Sitting in a warm lap ...

One word can evoke a universe. A poet can capture a culture. Back to Batalvi: maye ni maye, main ik shikra yaar banaya ... O, mother of mine, I have fallen for a bird of prey ...

And here's Jagjit Singh's soulful rendition:

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