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PHUL, GURDIAL SINGH (1911 - 1989)

Phul, Gurdial Singh, born at Nangal Shama in Jalandhar district in 1911 and died in Amritsar on 20 October, 1989, was a distinguished Punjabi playwright and short story writer. After adequate schooling he did his graduation in 1931 and obtained master's degree in Punjabi in 1937. Besides, he passed his Giani examination in 1936 and has now earned a Doctorate. He lost his father when he was barely twelve and amid vicissitudes of life had to struggle hard for livelihood. He wau greatly influenced by supernatural powers, devoted a lot of time to mediation and became a baptised Sikh on 11 February, 1925.

He started his carrier in 1931 as a superintendent of a hostel in Khalsa College, Amritsar and after doing his M.A. became a lecturer in Punjabi and rose to the position of a Principal. But his long career as a teacher cannot be separated from his literary pursuits. With over 100 books in Punjabi to his credit, Phul has contributed to almost all genres on literature; but it is as a dramatist that he has made his mark. He has written some twenty full-length plays and 12 collections of one-act plays which include: Pita piyar, Adami di aqal, Joori, Bank, Ajkal, Dharti di awaz, Kambde dhaular. Collegiate, Kalyug rath agan ka, Oorak sachch rahin, Lajiya, Sabh kichh hoot upaiya, Sikhar Dopahare raat, Jhootha bazar, Kala tejindgi, Sach ki jeet (in Hindi), Doldi laat, Kanak da bhol, Nawin jot, Raat kat gai, Kahni karni, Kidhar jawan, Desh di khatir, etc.

Besides Phul wrote one act plays for children of which Mantar, Siyana bal, Sach di jai, Padmini, Tana weh ten lo, phulan di lari are well known. Short story is another genre to which Phul has made substantial contribution. His popular short story collections include: Hun dasoih ki, Leeran, Jeeonda geet, Dachhna. Rajinder masterji is his famous novel. He has written the biography of Bhai Jodh Singh and a travelogue entitled, Kashmir, dharti da swarag.

Besides translating Ibsen's Doll's House as Nari di jaag, he has edited a host of text books for schools. In the beginning of his writing career he tried his hand at poetry too. His eight books on literary criticism exhibit a deep insight into the creative process and his masterly interpretation. Modest and soft spoken, Phul is a multifaceted personality who has made significant contribution to experimental stage production in Punjabi.

He was a good player of Hockey and later imparted coaching to the college team. His achievements both in literary and other fields have brought him honours and position. He has been associated with a number of literary organisations. He was honoured with awards by Punjab in Government for his Raat kat gai (1958), Oorak sachch rahin (1960), Lajya (1961), Kalya rath aagan ka (1964) as well as by Central Government for his Chal Find Challye, Kabhu na Chhadekhet.

References :

1. Amarjit Singh, Punjabi sahit da itihas—Qissa kal, Amritsar, 1981.
2. Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature, 6 Vols., Delhi, 1995.
3. Kohli, S.S., Punjabi Sahit da Itihas, Ludhiana, 1955.
4. Mohan Singh, A History of Punjabi Literature, Amritsar, 1956.
5. Ramdev, Jaginder Singh (ed.), Punjabi Likhari Kosh, Jullundur, 1964.
6. Sekhon, S.S. and K.S. Duggal, A History of Punjabi Literature, Delhi, 1992.

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