Satbanna: Masterly anthology of Kundlis in Dogri

Lalit Gupta

Name of Book : Satbanna
Writer : Puran Chand Badgotra
Price : Rs 210/-
Publisher : Apurva Prakashan,
New Plot, Jammu.

With his latest and fourth collection of poetry of Kundalis, 78 year old Puran Chand Badgotra has firmly established himself a Dogri’s master poet of the difficult poetic genre.
One who took to writing poetry in Dogri some fifteen years back after retirement in 1995, Badgotra’s prolific contribution in modern Dogri literature so far includes the seven poetic anthologies: Geet and Kundali collection. These are ‘Tapash Loi Di’, ‘Sochein Da Sarlaa’, ‘Kul Devta Diyaan Aartiyan Te Bhajan Sangreh’, ‘Sukka Soun’, ‘Gaas Hoaa Badlokha’, ‘Shabad Shabad Smarth’ and the latest ‘Satbanna’.
In an informed introduction of ‘Satbanna’, Jammu’s veteran scholar Prof Sat Pal Srivtsya opines that the title ‘Satbanna’, is symbolic not of the multicolors but the varied and colorful concerns which figure in his poetic expression and range from lament for fast fading age-old social customs and concerns, forgotten forms and images, virtues of some great personalities, along with satire on contemporary reality of the corruption in politics, general sense of insecurity in society, systemic violence against women et al.
Kundali, for its complexity is called serpent-meter. Its first couplet of the is a doha, while the second and third couplets are in rola metre, whose first foot matches in length the second foot of the doha (thus accommodating the repeat). Badgotra’s unique commitment to this unique meter and his understanding of the technical structure of Chhand is beautifully reflected in his own words in kundli:
“Doha rola Purna, kundali chhand byan,Ik so chutaali matran, kul sarmaya jaan/
Kul sarmaya jaan, dohae, rolae ch bsat, krmsha: teraan-jaraan, jaraan- teraan anupat/
Doha choutha charn, pa roulae pehal pajoaa, ant ch taahre, shabad, jis nai rambda ho da/
Counting the 194 kundalis in his latest poetic anthology, the poet has so far penned down more than 600 kundalis in Dogri: a feat which has certainly enriched Dogri poetry. For the convenience of readers to understand typical Dogri words used in his poetry, Badgotra has also given their easy meanings in footnotes.


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