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Shiv Kumar Batalavi - A Rare Live Interview with the master of emotions......... my inspiration - By Bobby Sing

03 Feb, 2009 | Articles on Music, Poetry and Life

Shiv Kumar Batalvi - BTC

For friends familiar with Punjabi Poetry, the name Shiv Kumar Batalavi needs no introduction or on opening note for a write-up. In fact every single person related to Punjabi language residing anywhere in the globe, has either read or heard the eternal poetry by the maestro and most of them must be having them in their collection too for sure.

But for friends, hearing the name for the first time, I would like to introduce him as a person who is known for his emotional depth in Punjabi Poetry. A person, who has earned respect, appreciation and admiration from lovers of Punjabi literature all over the world, in a manner which cannot be compared or associated with any other literary figure of Punjab.

The youngest recipient of the Sahitya Akadami Award, he is said to be the most expressive Punjabi poet till date. And a person who came to live on this planet for just 36 years and even in this extremely short time period taught us the meaning of love through his immortal poetic works to be cherished by the generations to come.

Shiv, as he was fondly called by all friends, was a lover and a rebel too by nature. He loved to say what he felt hiding nothing in his heart and that is evident in his poetry full of heartfelt emotions and pain.

Many legendary and world renowned singers chose his poems to be a part of their albums/LPs and paid their own respectful tribute to the name synonym of love as Shiv Kumar Batalavi. The list includes, Asa Singh Mastana, Surinder Kaur, K. Deep, Mahender Kapoor, Bhupinder-Mitalee, Jagjit Singh, Ghulam Ali, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and many more.

Personally I always wished to see him LIVE through some video footage of his times, but it was nowhere to be found with anyone in my entire musical or university circle. However recently one rare clip of his Live Interview taken by BBC’s television was uploaded at a private Youtube channel and it was an interview taken in 1970, just 3 years before his death in 1973.

Amazingly in just this few minutes long clip you can easily feel the child-like innocence in his persona, the ecstasy he was living in and the love he had experienced in the 36 years of his life. The way he calmly speaks to the interviewer reveals a lot about his humble and pure soul and the poem he chooses to recite in tarannum, truly represents the dilemma of every intellectual and thinking personality existing on this earth.

As conveyed in the interview, Yes, it is very true that living our given days on this planet, many a times we do feel like running away from this insane but beautiful world and then remain unable to do the same lacking the courage, returning back to our routine works and life.
In reality, this is a slow and steady journey towards the very end…….!
A slow and deceiving progression towards the unknown truth!

Hats Off to the blessed and lovable soul full of emotions & poetry, whom I couldn’t meet in my life time but would surely love to meet at the other end beyond the final destination.

You taught me a lot Shiv Kumar Batalavi and just these few minutes of the live interview gives me enough spirit and power to continue……… continue till the time is up.

Sharing a personal, childish truth of my younger days, when I first read his poetry and started singing it in events and concerts of my university, then I secretly used to feel I might by a reincarnation of the poet himself. But later finding his actual year of demise as 1973, realized my laughable mistake as I was already here in the world almost an year in advance.

A million thanks to the actual uploader of this rare video. There are no exact words to explain the feelings of all Shiv Kumar Batalvi fans, who will be watching this rare footage of the master, with love, gratitude and eyes full of tears in the coming decades.

Thanks a lot for this kind gesture once again, making me meet my inspiration


The RARE interview clip can be seen at the following links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4ro9SygyvE (Updated 2016)

Also do read more about the poet at


Experience the magic of Shiv Kumar Batalavi reciting his poems in an event.


Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan singing Shiv’s “Maye Ni Maye”


K. Deep singing Shiv’s “Rukh”



Tags : Batalvi, Punjabi Literature, Punjabi Poetry, Sahitya Academy Award, Shiv, Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Shiv Kumar Batalvi BBC Interview, Shiv Kumar Batalvi Live Himself, Shiv Kumar Batalvi Live Interview, Shiv Kumar Batalvi Rare Interview, Shiv Kumar Batalvi Singing Live Himself
03 Feb 2009 / Comment ( 2 )

Bobby ji,

Pleased to see your note re Shiv Ji - its really fascinating to see how a poet captures the fine emotions in few words. I had written an article essentially quoting different sources re Shiv ji - pleased to see your note

Another fine song by Jagjeet ji: Ik Shikra Yaar and Chithi na koi Sandes



Bobby Sing

Thanks Rajeev for your kind words.

Have a nice stay here reading my articles and do keep logging.


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