Sunday, October 18, 2009

the surjeet paatar project

The Surjeet Paatar Project has been a background preoccupation of mine for the last few years. Life has chugged merrily along with its usual baggage of highs and lows, successes and failures, focused sprints and unhurried meanderings : in all of that the one constant has been casual interplay of music and poetry in the background. The project is an attempt to pick a few flowers from Dr. Paatar’s garden and arrange them into a bouquet.

Of all Punjabi poets, old and modern, Surjeet Paatar has a very special place in my heart. The sensitivity that he exemplifies in his poetry is remarkable and his canvas is so large that there is practically no issue of concern that he has not written on – poverty, globalization and immigration, terrorism, love, history, war, environment, spirituality. And in every verse, his humanistic streak is evident :

kisay de vaastey shaayad birkh banaa main vee,

issay ummeed te thal vich khadan dopahar andar

for the sake of somebody else, I too, could become a tree

with this hope, I stand in the desert mid afternoon

It was my good fortune to sing two of his poems to him while he was here in Ottawa in July 2007. I was very apprehensive because a good poem is a very delicate construct – imposing a musical framework on it can often be fraught with danger, destroying its very essence in the process. He was very appreciative and encouraged me to continue with this experimentation of weaving my two passions – poetry and music, one feeding the other.

Dr. Paatar’s poetry is a delight to work with – it is obvious when one looks at some of his poems that these are meant to be sung. The poetic meter is amazingly precise; there is never a need to stretch or compress a word to fit a melody. I have let his poems pick the tunes for this journey together : hopefully, my musical adaptation has been unobtrusive enough to let the beauty of his words to shine through.

From his book Lafzaan Dee Dargah (The Shrine of Words)





From his book Birakh Arz Karey (Thus Speaks A Tree)




Blogger ANAAM. JASWINDER (001-514-447-1562) said...

ਕੁਲਪਰੀਤ ਜੀ ,
ਮਹਾਨ ਕਵੀ ਪਾਤਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਬਾਰੇ ਇਹ ਪਰੋਜੈਕਟ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕਰਨ ਕਈ ਲੱਖ ਲੱਖ ਵਧਾਈਆ

2:08 PM  
Blogger bannysidhu said...

Nice to know about your project... It sounds great.. keep it up. ਰੱਬ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਸਫਲਤਾ ਬਖਸ਼ੇ..

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Rajiv said...

Beautiful poetry and very well delivered kp!Percussion accompanied rendition could be a thought for next blogs.I liked "Dukhaan bhareya...Chadd pare" the most.keep it up
'Andar da shayar ban na jaaye BAAR da baoo,
eh nau to punj de chakkar laana...Chadd pare Chadd pare'

1:27 AM  
Blogger kulpreet said...

Thanks for taking the time to listen - Jaswinder, Banny and Rajiv. And believe me Rajiv, it takes constant vigilance to prevent the 9 to 5 grind from grinding out one's inner poet ...

5:46 AM  
Blogger ANAAM. JASWINDER (001-514-447-1562) said...

ਸੁਰਜੀਤ ਪਾਤਰ ਮੌਂਟਰੀਅਲ ਵਿੱਚ 07-07-07

8:19 PM  

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