This is the night for me of Punjabi Poetry. I stumbled on an interview with probably one of the greatest Punjabi poet of the modern era – Shiv Kumar Batalvi – who died at the age of 36 AFTER he had gotten the Sahitya Akademi Award from Govt. of India.
Before the interview starts, a TV guy from London gives an introduction with lots of interesting information on the poet. THEN the interview starts.
You HAVE to consider yourself lucky to first, SEE for yourself Shiv Kumar himself speaking, and then listen to his rendering of his own poem! I couldn’t help but hating the interviewer who stopped him short to ask him another question! A truly historical moment cut short by the bane of Indian interviewers – SELF PROMOTION! ALL the Indian media interviewers LOVE to speak more than their guests from this guy to Karan Thappar. Interviewing greats like Larry King are the EXACT opposite!
Anyway, listen to Batalvi’s extremely thoughtful answers and feel an undercurrent of a pathos in them. If Guru Dutt was ever interviewed, I am pretty sure his answers would have matched this guy’s.