Paihlian Baangan


Introduction of Ghazal in Dogri poetry, therefore, was a unique experience. One wonders if Ghazal had found no adaptability in Dogri, it would have perhaps tragically missed the expression of lot of tender feelings. But poets love to explore new pastures and Kunwar Viyogi's "Paihlian Baangan" was one such experiment with sonnets. A collection of 200 Dogri sonnets in the book came as a whiff of fresh air and hope for further expansion of Dogri poetry.

In 1960 his first one Dogri Sonnet was spontaneously inspired by Prof. Ram Nath Shastri's " Rati Da Khiri Bell" and wrote in Charan Singh room.

Introducing sonnet in Dogri, however, was an even more adventurous and remarkable feat than the adaptation of Ghazal. Urdu being a language of the soil, Ghazal had an ethnic kinship with Dogri to facilitate its adoptability. But the arrival of sonnet, a form, unfamiliar and quite removed from psyche and ethos of Dogri language, culture and tradition was something amazing , if not, unbelievable.

Sonnet is a fixed verse form of several centuries old Italian origin which later took the entire gamut of European languages by storm and underwent a pleasant transformation through English language. Shakespeare, Milton and other legendary English poets not only suitably modified and simplified this originally complex and rather tedious genre of poetry but also raised it to great heights and greater popularity.

Sonnet is a small lyrical poem of fourteen lines, rhyming according to prescribed pattern, posing a problem bit by bit in the first 12 lines and providing an answer in the last two. In a way, Urdu couplet rubayi can be considered as its replica in four lines. In a rubayi, dry gunpowder is scattered in first two lines. In the third line it is ignited and in the fourth it explodes. In doha the same process is carried out in two rhymed lines.

As an intelligent and receptive student, Kanwar Viyogi grasped essence of the sonnet with ease. But he must have burnt the midnight oil to enrich his sonnets with authentic information, ideas and quotes. It was a remarkable achievement that he could produce such a bulk and still managed to maintain its high quality. It was all the more so because he was exploring an off-beat course. Going by the standard of the sonnets, one would hope that this genre would stay in Dogri like Ghazal.

In his preface, he expressed hope that this book would motivate the readers to try their talent on sonnets.