Tribute to Poet Padma Ji

Vijay Singh Jamwal
“Kitni apni si ho jati hai
Veh kali si sadak, jis par
chalne vala koi bi muje nahi pahchanta
Kitni apni si ho jati hai
veh kali si raat, jis raat
mera ghar jane ko man nahi chahta”
I read these lines by Padma Sachdev in Hindi magazine ‘Dharamyug’ in 1974-75, when I was looking for a job after completing my studies, since then I became a great admirer of her Hindi as well as Dogri poetry.
Padma Sachdev ji was born in Brahmin family (Baru) in Purmandal village of Samba district in 1939. But most of her childhood was passed in Panjtirthi, Jammu near Mubarak Mandi popularly known as Raje-de-Mandi. She also completed her education from Women College, Parade Jammu. She joined Radio Kashmir Jammu as an announcer at the age of 21 years. Here she came in contact with popular poets of Dogri like Ramnath Shastri, Vedpal ‘Deep’, Kehri Singh ‘Madhukar’, Padam Dev Singh ‘Nirdosh’, Yash Sharma, Parma Nand ‘Almast’ etc etc Padma ji also started writing Dogri poetry and also taking part in Dogri Kavi Goshties in early 60’s.
As it is said that no poet’s poems can become perfect without tragedy. The young Padma’s poetry became complete, perfect and pathetic after her unsuccessful marriage with another Dogri poet Ved Pal ‘Deep’ who happened to be twelve years older to young Padmaji. After the breakup of their mariage, young Padma was shettered both mentally and physically which is very much present in her poetry Dogri as well as Hindi. She later married a Sikh Station Director of Radio Kashmir Jammu S. Surinder Singh Sachdeva, who was a classical singer himself.
It is very difficult to choose the best song of Padma Sachdev because one is better than other. But some of them which have brand of Padma Sachdev ji are:-
* Koi chete de haar paro malne
* Chhotre phangroo te uchi e udaan- sung by Lata Mangeshkar
*Mithri e dogre di boli te khand mithe- sung by Mahinder Kapoor
* Tu malla tu-sung by Lata Mangeshkar
* and ‘Gem of all of her Dogri songs is
Uchiyaan Sangla vanni gayian kiyan jana pachanuye kol jinde..
Log bi dinde ni sanna nehiyan ruh kadi chodi jande khol…
Kiyaan jaana pachanuye kol.. Sung by Bhupinder Singh
In Hindi she wrote very few songs for Hindi movies, one of them which is very touching and evergreen is from ‘Prem Parbhat’ produced by Ved Rahi and was composed by Jai Dev and sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
* Yesh neer kahan se barse
Yeh badri kahan se aayi re
Ao udte panchi kahan ghar tera re?
jo koyal ghar se nikali vo lot ke phir kab gar ayi re…
* Mera chhota sa sansar mere angna mein….
Smt Padma Sachdev ji was awarded Sahitya Academi Award in 1971 for her collection of poems ‘Meri Kavita Mere Geet’. She was also recipient of Padma Shree (1001), Kabir Samman for poetry in 2007-2008 presented by Madhya Pradesh Govt. She was also honoured with Saraswati Award. Smt Padma Sachdev was a great exponent of Dogri language and was instrumental for inclusion of Dogri language in 8th schedule of Indian Constitution. Her conversation in Dogri was treat to hear. Some of her poems were translated into English by Dr Karan Singh, who is a scholar of international repute and thus Padma Sachdev Ji’s poetry got international recognition also. She passed away on Aug 4, at the age of 82. It is not only very difficult but impossible to fill the vacuum created by her death. Though she is not with us physically but her soft and melodious voice will always remain in our memory.
“When soft voice dies, it remains vibrant in memories”- P B Shelley