Poems about Paash
PASH TA(N) SOORAJ SI (editor: Surinder Dhanjal and Sohan Singh Sandhu). Pash memorial International Trust, September 2007 An anthology of 148 poems ( 141 Punjabi poems, 1 Telugu poem, and 6 Hindi poems) written by 95 poets in 6 countries (India, Pakistan, UK, Italy, USA and Canada) in the memory of revolutionary Punjabi poet Paash assasinated by Khalistanis on 23rd March 1988. All poems are in Gurmukhi script.Published by Pash Memorial International Trust, PO Box 3245, Kamloops, BC, Canada, VC2 6B8.
These 95 poets are PIARA SINGH SAHRAI, SANTOKH SINGH DHIR, HARBHAJAN SINGH HUNDAL,SURJIT PATTAR, MOHANJIT, NIRUPAMA DUTT, RAJBIR, SAWRAJBIR, IQBALDEEP, PREM SAHIL, SUKHCHAIN, SWARANJIT SAVI,BALBIR PARWANA, RATNIV, GURDIAL PUNJABI, AMARJIT KAUNKE, HARBHAHAN SOHI, JASPAL JASSI, JUGRAJDHAULA, NARBHINDER, JASWANT KHATKAR, SURJIT BRAR, BAKHSHINDER, LAKSHMI NARAYAN BHIKHI, AMRIT, KULBIR KALIA,TARSEM RANA, MANJIT QADAR, PARAMJIT SOHAL, DR SUKHMINDER SEKHON, BHUPINDER SANDHU, MOHAN MATIALAVI, BHUPINDER, DEVNEET, GURSHARAN RANDHAWA,JAGIR JOSAN, PARAMJIT DEHAL, DIDAR SINGH SHETRA, DEEP KALER, JATINDER PATTAR, AMARDIP GILL, RANJIT GAURAV, HARBANS HAMAITI, SURINDERJIT KAUR,DAVI DEVINDER KAUR, AMOLAK SINGH, B RAMA NAIDU, BALESHWAR VIKRAM, FAKHAR ZAMAN, RAWAL RAATH, TOUQIR CHUGTAI, DR C S CHAN SANDHU COVENTRY, NIRANJAN SINGH NOOR, AMARJIT CHANDAN, DARSHAN BULANDAVI, HARJIT ATWAL, MAZHAR TIRMAZI, VEENA VERMA, JASBIR BAATH, VISHAL, DR VED VATUK, PROF HARBHAJAN SINGH, SUKHWINDER KAMBOJ, RAVINDER SAHRA, SHASHI SAMUNDRA, JASVIR, MOHINDER SINGH GHAG, NAVDIP KAUR, JANG SINGH GIANI, GURCHARAN RAMPURI, KARNAIL SINGH PARAS RAMUWALIA, AJMER RODE, IQBAL RAMUWALIA, SADHU BINNING, DARSHAN GILL, SUKHINDER, AMARJIT CHAHAL, IQBAL KHAN, HARJIT DAUDHRIA, MOHINDER SUMAL, MAJOR MANGAT, HARKANWALJIT SAHIL CALGARY, KULWINDER KHEHRA, HARI PAL, JASPAL SOOS, RAJ CALGARY, JASBIR CHIMA MEHATPURI, ONKAR PREET, SURINDER DHANJAL, DR HARBHAJAN SINGH, CHAMAN LAL, SUBHASH SHARMA, REENA DAS, VINOD SAGAR, SUNDAR CHAND.
- Atamjit’s review of the book Paash Taa(N) Sooraj See :
Poetry and persona of Paash has already established an iconic value, and the image is neither restricted to boundaries of geographical Punjab nor to the Punjabi speaking folks. Timing of his sacrifice for the cause of humanistic and secular convictions, together with his blazing poetry made him what he is today. His resolute resistance to the forces of despotism both within the state and separatists, created for him the image of post independence Bhagat Singh.
Paash Taa(n) Sooraj See (Paash Was the Sun) is a rich collection of about 150 poems written on or about Paash by a little less than 100 poets from all over the world. Paash has become a part of Punjabis’ psyche, to the extent that more than three-dozen poets from Europe and North Americas have written poems on him. The book also includes Pakistani writers like Fakhar Zamaan, Tauqeer Chugtai and Raawal Thaath. Apart from some Hindi poems, Punjabi version of a Telgu composition is also included. There might be more creations, justifiably, which could not reach the two editors: US based Sohan Singh Sandhu (Paash’s father) and Canada based poet Surinder Dhanjal. Dhanjal and Swarajbir have already published independent poetry books on Paash and they are represented in the present work with few of their poems.
Although pitch of this poetry is largely high, yet there are reflective ideas that don’t go unnoticed. Despite a long history of physical elimination of men of letters, no literature could actually be killed. If we quote anybody being forgotten in this manner in modern times, chances are that the person was not a genuine writer. But Paash is a poet to stay forever that compels its critics to recast their yardsticks of evaluation; because his poetry is relevant, like the words of our veteran Harbhajan Hundal:
Words can’t be massacred
How many places you shall reach
To tear off printed words?
Just tell me which fire
Shall burn up the images?
You are sadly mistaken.
Bullets can’t silence the words
Words can’t be massacred
Instead, they always move forward.
U.S. based Hindi poet Dr. Ved Prakash Vatuk has something significant to offer. His unambiguous sarcasm and agony about creating slogans and not following the real path that Paash shows, is worth noting. In his words ‘there is nothing more dangerous than worshipping a statue of a living fighter. There is no bigger weapon, than worship, to murder anybody’. In Paash Zinda Hai Watuk could not have been more pertinent:
Paash shall live in his martyrdom
We are killing him
By making his statues
Offering him Aartis
Reciting poems, his deeds and the martyrdom.
A few of migrant Punjabis, with definite progressive postures, don’t escape Watuk’s courage:
During congregation in memory of tigers
Jackals once again delivered lectures
Lambs have performed Aarti
In reverence of sheep
And those who left their homes
(in fear of fire)
To reach stony forests of west
Those fugitives again roared
While Amarjit Chandan writes a funeral song on death of Paash, Onkarpreet writes elegy to lament the death of his ideology, because Marxists are traveling to US for treatment of their ailments, to seek political asylum and to avail capitalist pensions.
Besides these hard-hitting exchanges, there are also a number of insightful poems in this book. These poems, while befittingly memorizing Paash, also elevate their reader to a higher state of mind and perception. California based Shashi Samundra writes:
A bird flying in deep skies
Has suddenly fallen on earth
The body is still warm
Eyes are glowing
It looks that it shall get up
Wobble its wings
And shall again ascend to sky
Vancouver writer Ajmer Rode addresses Paash differently:
In the wee hours of day
Standing on the mound of well
I shall shout for you
To lend me your new poem
Because it’s your birthday today
And then Rode would distribute such a poem to millions of fearful beggars, vulnerable women and helpless tribal old men. Rode has silently underlined that Paash, his poetry, and concerns are still breathing.
Sawrajbir weaves a moving poem in the pattern of Pash’s Sabh To(n) Khatarnaak, in which he enlists the ‘most dangerous’ issues and elements. He says, “it’s not ethnicity or the world war that is most dangerous; the most dangerous is the upheaval, which seems to be around but never happens; which dies before it reaches people’s hearts. The most dangerous is the revolt that passes away mere as an incident and doesn’t create history; which tolerates its demise before its own eyes and is survived by nothing except the sand of autumn.”
Besides being a befitting tribute to the poet, Paash Taa(n) Sooraj See is a significant collection of contemporary poetry, which has strength to generate a genuine deliberation.
- PASH DI YAAD VICH DUS KAVITAVA(N). (Surinder Dhanjal) Pash Memorial International Trust, March 1991
- by Amarjit Chandan-
- by Amitava Kumar
ਸਾਜ਼ਸ਼ (ਪਾਸ਼ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਰਪਿਤ)
“ਪਾਸ਼ ਨੂੰ ਪੜ੍ਹਿਆ?”
ਜਦ ਮੇਰੇ ਦੋਸਤ ਨੇ ਪੁੱਛਿਆ ਸੀ, ਤਾਂ
ਮੇਰੀ ਪੜ੍ਹਾਈ ਦੀ ਕਾਲਜ ਜਾਣ ਤੋਂ
ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਹੀ ਮੌਤ ਹੋ ਜਾਣ ਕਰਕੇ,
ਹੈਰਾਨੀ ਭਰੇ ਹਾਵ ਭਾਵ
ਮੇਰੇ ਚਿਹਰੇ ਉਤੇ ਉਭਰੇ ਵੇਖ,
ਉਹ ਸਮਝ ਗਿਆ ਸੀ ਕਿ ਜਵਾਬ
ਇਸ ਗੱਲ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ
ਫਿਰ ਸਮਝ ਆਈ,
ਨਹੀਂ ਸੀ ਪਤਾ ‘ਤੇਰੇ’ ਵਾਰੇ।
੧੦ + ੨ ਤੱਕ ਕਦੀ
ਕਿਸੇ ਸਲੇਬਸ ਦੀ ਕਿਤਾਬ ‘ਚੋਂ
ਤੇਰੀ ਨਜ਼ਮ ਦਾ ਮੁੱਖ
ਕਿਉਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਸੀ ਤੱਕਿਆ?
ਤੇਰੀ ਤਿੱਖੀ ਸੋਚ ਦੀ ਮਹਿਕ
ਕਿਉਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਸੀ ਆਈ?
ਮੁਰਦੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਜਾਨ ਪਾਉਣ ਵਾਲੇ
ਸ਼ਬਦਾਂ ਦਾ ਤੀਰ
ਮੇਰੀ ਹਿੱਕ ਵਿੱਚ ਕਿਉਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਸੀ ਖੁੱਭਿਆ?
ਹਾਂ, ਹੁੰਦਾ ਵੀ ਕਿਵੇਂ?
ਜਿਸ ‘ਸੋਚ’ ਖਿਲਾਫ ਤੇਰੀ ਲੜਾਈ ਸੀ
ਓਸ ਸੋਚ ਦੇ ਪੈਰਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੀ ਤਾਂ
ਸਕੂਲਾਂ ਦੇ ਸਲੇਬਸ ਦੀਆਂ ਕਿਤਾਬਾਂ
ਰੁਲ਼ਦੀਆਂ ਫਿਰਦੀਆਂ ਹਨ!
ਜਿਹੜੀਆਂ ਜੰਮਦੀਆਂ ਕਲੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ
ਮਹਿਕ ਵਿਹੂਣਾ ਹੀ ਰੱਖਣਾ
ਕੁਰਸੀ ਦੀਆਂ ਲੱਤਾਂ ਵਾਰੇ ਹੀ
ਅੱਜ ਫਿਰ ਓਸ ਗੱਲ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ
ਤੇਰੇ ਜਨਮ ਦਿਨ ਤੇ
ਮੇਰੀਆਂ ਸੋਚਾਂ ਦੇ ਝਰਨੇ ‘ਚੋਂ
ਇਹ ਖਿਆਲ ਕਿਰਿਆ ਕਿ
ਐਨੇ ਸਾਲਾਂ ਬਾਅਦ
ਪੁੰਗਰਦੇ ਪੱਤਿਆਂ ਤੇ
ਤ੍ਰੇਲ ਦੀਆਂ ਬੂੰਦਾਂ ਵਾਂਗ
ਚਮਕਦਾ ਹੋਵੇਗਾ ਕਿ ਨਹੀਂ?
ਜੰਮਦੀਆਂ ਕਿਰਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਮੁੱਖ ਤੇ
ਤੇਰੇ ਮੱਚਦੇ ਸ਼ਬਦਾਂ ਦਾ ਗੀਤ
ਰੁਮਕਦਾ ਹੋਵੇਗਾ ਕਿ ਨਹੀਂ??
by Samartha Vashishtha
And the clueless boy who thought
winter was his alone
looked through the window all night
hoping fervently the moon
would visit someday his room.
For days he fed on silence.
Heard Nehru shout
his Tryst With Destiny
from howling bathroom taps;
and believed a day would come
when either of Bill Gates’
and his piece of sky
when integrated1 from
one horizon to the other
would give the same world.
Like scriptures he read aloud
Paash2 and Neruda.
Recited A Request for Exclusion3
in a contest of patriotic poems.
The judges disqualified him midway:
his classmates called him a fool.
Then cutting through the slumber of time
when spring showed up, of late
‘longwith the trees heavy with flowers
Buddha drooped in the west.
With all his heart, he suspected
instead of fruits this year
serpents would ripen on branches.
Nothing happened though.
From the frail figure, he begged pardon:
dumped the flowers, birds and stars
in the farthest corner of his mind
and wrote that night a poem.
Metre, rhyme, caution, all gone.
Bare ribs holding the sword.
(Calculus) A higher mathematical process in which a big body is presumed to be made up of a number of similar infinitesimally small divisions.
Paash (1950-1988) – leading poet of the Jujharu (rebel) era of Punjabi poetry. His works include the poetry books Loh-Katha, Urde Baazan Magar, Sadde Samiyan Vich and Khilare Hoye Varke (compiled after his death). Paash was murdered in 1988 in his home-village by terrorists.
Paash’s poem written after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, in which he urges he be not included in the India that Rajiv Gandhi had inherited from his mother.
Amitava Kumar September 18, 1998
America when will you send your eggs to India?
India I have given you all and now I’m a memory.
I’m a name for a playwright killed and a movement born on January 1, 1989.
I can’t stand my own countrymen’s minds.
India when will we end the daily ?Go f— yourself with your nuclear bomb.
India, I’m not Sanjay Gandhi I don’t give a damn about making Marutis.
I will write poems about tyrants spilling blood in the streets.
India when will you be a playground for your children?
When will you celebrate Holi with red flags?
When will you remind the world of the dead in Bhopal?
When will you be worthy of a single landless peasant in Bihar?
India why are the songs of Bhikhari Thakur about in lean days?
India when will you stop sending your engineers to America?
I’m sick of the world’s insane demands.
When can I appear on Doordarshan and shatter H.K.L. Bhagat’s dark
glasses with my smile?
India after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your ministers are too much for me.
You made me want to be poor.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Gaddar is in a prison even at home it’s sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this a practical joke of the Home Ministry?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
India stop pushing I know what I’m doing.
India the gulmohar is blooming.
I haven’t read the newspaper for months, everyday somebody is accused
of wild corruption.
India I feel sentimental about Telengana.
India I became a communist when I was a kid I’m not sorry.
I sing songs at town squares every chance I get.
I sit in tea-shops for days on end and talk to strangers about
When I go to a basti we raise the cry “Halla Bol…”
My mind is clear that they are going to make trouble.
You should join me in reading Marx and Premchand.
The priests say the old order was perfectly alright.
I will not repeat the old half-truths and outright falsehoods.
I have revolutionary dreams and songs about a new world.
India I still haven’t told you what you did to Manto when he did not
leave for Pakistan in ‘47.
I’m addressing you.
Are you going to let your emotional life be run by television?
I’m obsessed by television.
I watch it every day.
Its eye watches me every evening as I step inside my home.
I watch it with friends in a room in A.K. Gopalan Bhavan.
It’s always telling us about the greatness of this country.
Cricketers are great. Movie stars are great. Everybody’s great but us.
It occurs to me that I am India.
I could not be talking to myself when I say this.
Alisha sings she is “Made in India.”
What happened to Mukesh singing “Mera joota hai Japani, Yeh patloon
Inglistani, Sir pe laal topi Rusi, phir bhi dil hai Hindustani?”
I’d better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of ten glasses of tea our nukkad-natak
the fire in the stomach of my unemployed friends the exhaustion on
the faces of those productively employed who after work put in four
or more hours in rehearsals and street-performances.
I say nothing about the factories closed-down the busted trade unions
the millions who wake under the dying suns of flourescent pavement
I have abolished bonded labor in Delhi, dowry deaths is the next to go.
My ambition is to have Bertolt Brecht elected the head of each
gram-panchayat despite the fact that he does not belong to any caste.
India how can I write an epic poem in your television soap opera?
I will continue like J.R.D. Tata my plays are as patriotic as his
factories more so they’re also for the working class.
India I will perform a street-play Rs. 50 apiece Rs. 400,550 down on
your Apna Utsav festivals.
India put behind bars Bal Thackeray.
India save the Naxalites.
India Avtar Singh Pash must not die again.
India I am Shah Bano.
India when I was young my parents had organized mehfils in a small
garden with communist artists like Bhisham Sahni and Habib Tanvir
they had performed with the Indian Peoples Theater Association and
we started with Machine because in a factory goons fired on striking
workers who had wanted a tea-shop and a cycle-stand Comrade Mohan Lal
was reminded of the martyr Bhagat Singh and Bhishamji said that a new
link had at last been added to the freedom struggle the rhythm of
people’s heartbeats had found expression once again.
India you don’t really want to go to war.
India it’s them bad Pakistanis.
Them Pakistanis them Pakistanis and them Chinese. And them Pakistanis.
The Pakistan wants to make eunuchs of us all. The Pakistan’s
terrorist. She wants to take all our cricketers hostage.
Her wants to destroy our temples. Her needs a Quran-quoting Times of
India. Her wants our HMT watch factories in Karachi. Him military
government running our corner bania-stores.
That not godly. Chi! Him convert our untouchables. Him need the
support of all Indian Muslims.
Ha! Her make us all victims of missile attacks. Help.
India this is quite serious.
India this is the message being repeated by our rulers.
India is this right?
We better get down to the job.
It’s true I don’t want to train in shakhas of right-wing vigilantes
or join mobs intent on demolishing mosques, I’m a Muslim and
India I’m putting my unyielding shoulder to the wheel.