NEKI, JASWANT SINGH (1927 – )
Neki, Jaswant Singh, one of the prominent Punjabi poets, was born in 1927. As a psychiatrist, he presents modem psychological insights through his experimental poems. He penetrates to the fundamentals of existence and through a lucid style recaptures vividly its subtle patterns and concepts. He is predominantly a poet of mystery in life. The poet in his poetry seems to be endeavouring to reveal and unveil what is mysterious in man\’s life.
The book was published in 1978 and it was given Sahitya Akademi Award for 1979. Karuna di chho ton magron is a long poem consisting of 1000 lines divided into five parts. It tells the woeful tale of the poet\’s encounter with \’Death\’. It is an artistic expression of a spiritual experience of the poet. It is the poetic outcome of a sublime motivation that has access to the higher reaches of man\’s personality. It depicts a rare type of dramatic dialogue with the inner-self of man in which the unique spiritual experiences find poetic expression.
It is a voyage through the strange, the sublime, the mysterious, the beautiful and the grand. It is the poet\’s endless quest for truth, reality, absolute and eternity. An under-current of the metaphysical runs through the lines and the poet\’s search beyond the human horizon peeps through them. There is an idealistic ambition for story-telling spread throughout, which the poet finds advantageous to make use of. Here and there he tries to arouse the curiousity of the reader.
Neki\’s poetry is a notable return to the native verse and his intelligent use of the folk-forms of poetry blended with the most modem sensibility make him stand apart. His poetry admirably illustrates the latest trends in Punjabi poetry. The poetic significance of Karuna di chho ton magron becomes obviously apparent in the poet\’s singular power of stamping his keen insight and intellect blended and balanced with lyricism. The admixture of ease and effort, lucidity of thought and abstraction of the expression, the naive and the sublime lend the work an air of the unique. Neki\’s clever and skilful use of the rich tradition of \’Gurmat and \’Sufi\’ poetry, his fine wedding of musicality with intellect makes him stand at a high padestal among his contemporaries.
1. Kohli, S.S., Punjabi Sahit da Itihas, Ludhiana, 1955.
2. Mohan Singh, A History of Punjabi Literature, Amritsar, 1956.
3. Sekhon, S.S. and K.S. Duggal, A History of Punjabi Literature, Delhi, 1992.