O P Sharma
“Dogri Satsai” a collection of Dogri poems which has bagged the prestigious Sahitya Akademy Award during the year 2013.
Sitaram Sapolia, the author of this book, has in an interview immediately after the announcement of the Award, expressed deep sense of pleasure and satisfaction over having made significant contribution to the Dogri language and is rich literature.
In a wide-ranging interview, Mr. Sapolia spoke about his life and literary works. He narrated his academic career, his sustained efforts to face the life and also dealt on the source of his inspiration to write in Hindi and Dogri and his literary works.
Talking about uniqueness of his expression, he told me that this particular book contains “Dohas” (couplets in Dogri poetry) for the first time in Dogri Satsai. It is a distinct style of poetry in which due attention is paid to the metre while expressing the poetic thoughts in merely two-line poetic composition.
Asked about his distinct style in Dogri poetic, Mr. Sapolia cited the examples of famous Hindi poets like Tulsi Das, Rahim and many others who excelled in couplets in Hindi. He has brought this genre to the Dogri poetry now and got high acclaim in the literary circles and a coveted award from the National Akademi of Letters.
This book containing nearly —– Dogri “Dohas” makes very absorbing reading and gives numerous thought provoking ideas on variety of subjects, flight of poet’s imagination and also real life pragmatic experiences. The couplets are rich in Duggar’s traditions and cultural heritage.
A choice Dogri couplet follows:
“Akhar-Akhar Athroo, Akhar-Akhar Peed,
Kalamkar de Shatiya, Nit Fakondi Cheed”
(Every word brings tears, the writings cause deep pain. Fate of writer is to suffer untold intense hardships.)
Another couplet noted below will speak for its merit:
Wode Gi Keh Reordia, Jalle Gi Keh Raag,
Loole Nay Keh Nachna, Ganje De Key Bhag |
Puttar Gunia Ik Bada, Hoy Chatar Sajjan,
Chan Samane Chamkda, Channan karda Jahan |
(Toothless has no use for hard eatables, Dumb cannot sing, Lame is unable to dance; fate of bald is miserable. While the second couplet means that even a single son who is wise is quite sufficient just as one moon shines on the sky and emits light to the world.)
Sitaram Sapolia was worn to Pt Mansa Ram- Barhma Devi on November 22, 1938 at Diani in Samba district. He got his education in his native village and then completed Matriculation from Government High School, Samba during 1956. Thereafter, he started career as a teacher. It is noteworthy that he first passed Prabhakar and later on did M.A (Hindi) and also qualified B.Ed privately. He said, he was inspired by his colleague teacher Bhanu Pratap Shastri to carry forward his education and he gratefully remembered Mr. Shastri. He became Lecturer in a High Secondary School and retired during 1996.
Life & Work
Mr. Sapolia took to writing first in Hindi and Punjabi, mostly penning patriotic poetry. He told me that it was only during 1962 that he churned out nationalistic poetry in Dogri which got instant popularity. His first poetry book in Dogri titled: “Chete Bani Ge Geet” came out in 1988, the “Manus Moti” was published during 1992, “Mehak Phulle De” came out in 1996 and his short stories book titled: “Channani de Athroo” got published during 2006.
The Sahitya Akademi book entitled: “Doha Satsai” was published in 2010 and its forewords were written by Dr. Om Goswami, Dr. Gian Singh and a noted literary figure Prakash Premi, who highlighted the literary merit of the creative poetic compositions of Sitaram Sapolia.
“Dogri Satsai” is really worth reading for its simple and stylish language as also for depiction of Duggar’s cultural heritage. It is worth reading by all the Dogri knowing public. The author Mr. Sapolia has certainly carved out a niche for himself. This 184-page book is expected to further enrich the Dogri literature.
(Starline Syndicate Service)