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Shiv Kumar

Shiv Kumar (born July 23, 1936 in Bara Pind Lohtian (Shakargarh tehsil), Punjab [now Pakistan], died May 7, 1973 in Kir Mangyal (Pathankot), Punjab in India) was a Punjabi poet.

Education

Shiv passed his matriculate exams in 1953, from Punjab University. He went on to enrol in the F.Sc. programme at Baring Union Christian College in Batala. Before completing his degree he moved to S.N. College, Qadian into their Arts program. It is here that he began to sing ghazals and songs for his classmates. Shiv never undertook the final exams he needed to pass to receive his degree.

Personal life

He met a girl named Meena at a fair in Baijnath, near the town of Jammu in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. When he went to look for her in her hometown, he heard the news of her death and wrote his eulogy Meena. This episode was to prefigure numerous other partings that would serve as material to distill into poems. Perhaps the most celebrated episode is his fascination for Gurbaksh Singh's daughter who left for the US and married someone else. When he heard of the birth of her first child, Shiv wrote 'Main ek Shikra Yaar Banaya' (I have befriended a wild fowl), perhaps his most famous love poem. It's said that when she had her second child, someone asked Shiv whether he would write another poem. Shiv replied 'Have I become responsible for her? Am I to write a poem on her every time she gives birth to a child?' Sounds much better in Punjabi (Main ohdaa theka leya hoyaa? Oho bacche banayi jave tey main ohdey tey kavita banayi javan?).

Shiv's wife Aruna was a Brahmin from Kir Mangyal in district Gurdaspur of Punjab. By all accounts they had a happy marriage: they had two children, son Meharbaan (b. Apr. 12, 1968) and daughter Puja (b. Sep. 23, 1969) whom Shiv loved immensely. By 1968 he had moved to Chandigarh, but both Batala and Chandigarh became soul-less in his opinion. Chandigarh brought him fame, but scathing criticism as well. Shiv replied with an article titled 'My Hostile Critics'. Meanwhile his epilepsy worsened and he had a serious attack while at a store in Chandigarh's sector 22.Both children are in Patiala these days living a happy married life.

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