Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’
“Duaa karna migi Parmatma an-thakk kanni de.
Te Meri Ongle gi – fagadne di kanni, de takat.
Te Meri baani gi an-chakk te Sadiq Bayaani de,
Te Meri Sochen gi de tu bareek-beeni di Barkat.”
These are a few beautiful, thought provoking lines from a sonnet written by eminent Dogri writer Lt. Kunwar Viyogi who has been the first ever writer to write sonnets in Dogri language. He has written more than six hundred sonnets, out of which about two hundreds have been published. He has written a book on sonnets being entitled “Pehli Banga”.
We have read sonnets of Shakespeare and William Wordsworth but sonnets in Dogri are really a commendable effort and our own regional language has been proudly enriched with this contribution. These sonnets speak a lot about the potential of Sahitya Academy award winner poet.
Generally, we presume that poetry has its own rhythm that helps the music directors immensely to compose music. But when free verse poetry is composed, it’s in fact a miracle from music point of view. Interestingly it has happened in our own temple city under ‘Chamatkaar ‘ series wherein free verse poetry of eminent Dogri poets was composed and served much to the surprise and charm of music lovers. But this time, the man behind ‘ Chamatkaar ‘ series has come with another surprise in the form of a Sonnet Sandhya.
He is an eminent music Director from soil _ Brij Mohan, who has earned name and fame with colossal musical presentations in the past too. He believes in experimentation and challenges amuse him.
It is pertinent to add here that it has happened for the very first time in the history of Indian music that a Sonnet Sandhya has been organized which has been a pride moment not only for the persons involved in the event but for the entire region. At the same time it also got communicated to masses that even classy sonnets have been written in Dogri language otherwise it was limited to literary circles only.
Recently on February 10’ 2018, this amazing historical musical event was presented by Dogri Sanstha in collaboration with PG department of Dogri at Auditorium of Department of Computer Science, University of Jammu.
The musical program carried six sonnets, five of which were written by Lt. Kunwar Viyogi and a sonnet was a tribute to celebrated writer by well known Sahitya Academy award winner writer Chhatrapal. In addition to these sonnets the music lovers were also captivated with a free verse poem written by prominent Dogri writer Padma Sachdeva.
It’s a fact that if composing music for sonnets is a tough job then those ones singing these sonnets must have worked really hard. The singers came up to the expectations of their level and enthralled the audience with melodious voices and scintillating performances. Those ones who cast a spell on the audience with their singing capabilities are not new to music field but are well established singers of the likes of Naveen Sharma, Sonali Dogra and Indu Bala. Even Varsha Jamwal , Sparsh Talwar and Karuna Majotra succeeded in proving that they have a bright future ahead in this field.
This particular program was a unique one as the music lovers were provided with an opportunity to initially listen to the sonnets being recited and then followed by compositions. These sonnets were recited by eminent media personalities like Kusum Tickoo, Gurmeet Battra Jamwal, Abhishek Bharti, Pawan Verma, Amar Chouhan, Saras Bharti and Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’.
The singers were accompanied by Rakesh Anand on flute, Sanjay Pashi on guitar, Darbari Lal on tabla thus mesmerizing the audience with everlasting experience. Kusum Tickoo conducted the program.
Prof. R.D. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, Jammu University who was the chief guest on the occasion was full of praise for the memorable event and hoped that such experimental events should become a regular Feature. Poonam Singh Jamwal, founder of Kunwar Viyogi Memorial Trust and daughter of the late poet was also full of appreciation for initiative taken by Dogri Sanstha to organize such a vibrant musical Sandhya on the sonnets written by her father. She also admired the music director and other performers and hoped that such efforts will become a regular feature so as to boost Dogri language that will help to reach it to masses even beyond dogri speaking belt. The program was witnessed by a galaxy of personalities from literary field, music lovers and others from all walks of life.
While in conversation, the music director Brij Mohan extended his thanks to his team that helped him to realize the dream of composing music for sonnets that has never happened in any language in India. Credit goes to Dogri language. The plus point with him is that he is always ready to experiment that gives him an edge on others.
One vital point that I wish to share through this column is that the artists working in any field have to realize that one who believes in experimentation always excels in respective field as only those who are exceptional get immortalized because they create their own zone otherwise there is no dearth of artists following a routine.
This successful effort must have inspired others in the field to come up with such programs which explore all the possibilities to prove their potential. One should hope that such initiatives will become a regular feature not only from Dogri Sanstha but other organizations working for language with a noble cause will also come ahead and music lovers will be provided with such events quite regularly.
Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’