SINGH, GUR BAKSH (1895 – 1977)

SINGH, GUR BAKSH (1895 – 1977)

Singh, Gur Baksh was a pioneer in the field of refined Punjabi prose-writing. He has to his credit two novel and several collections of essays and short stories. His writing has been widely translated into Russian and other European Languages. He was the first prose writer in Punjabi to emphasis a secular vision of love. He was born in a Sikh family in 1895.

He had his early education in his home town, and then took his degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan University (U.S.A). A multifaceted personality, he worked as a clerk, an engineer and a modem farmer. His first short story \’Pritama\’ (The beloved) was published in 1913, later while in the States, he wrote a short story \’A Starved Soul\’, a play \’Love\’s Crown\’ and a biographical story \’My grandmother\’ published in English. He has to his credit some 60 books. In 1933, he started a monthly magazine Pritlari.

This magazine and its founder-editor had such an individual flavour and tinge that even to this day he is more commonly known by this general name. In 1938, he founded \’Frit Nagar\’ near Amritsar, his Utopian concept in modem and co-operative living. But the partition of India caused a havoc to this dream-town. He was a widely travelled man and was a member and President of several Academies engaged in literary and peaceful pursuits. He was honoured as the best literateur by the Punjab Government.

He translated Edwin Arnold\’s Light of Asia in 1937, and Gorky\’s Mother in 1960. Though, he deftly tried his hand at numerous literary forms, he excels as a prose stylist and in a way, he marks the beginning of modem age both in style and thought. His ideas appeared outrageous and revolutionary to the orthodox, but to the new thinking he was the harbinger of spring, a waft of fresh air, a confidant and a sage who could heal and conceal their secret sores. He was an optimist and an idealist who gave the message of love, courage, faith and determination.

His lucid and poetic style is nowhere lacking in interest. His prominent works are: Novels: Unviahi maan (The virgin mother, 1942); Rukhan dijirand) The cluster of trees, 1973); Short stories: Pritan di pahredar (The sentinel of love, 1946); Bhabhi Mainan (Mainan, my sister-in-Law, 1946); Shabnam (The Dew, 1955); Drama: Rajkumari Latika (Princess Latika, 1935); Children\’s literature: Parian da mochi (The fairy cobbler, 1966); Muradan purian Karan wala Khuh (The well of wish-fulfilment, 1966)Autobiography: Meri Jivan Kahani (The story of my life I, II, & III, 1959-64-66); Prose; Parm Manukh (The superman, 1943); Bhakhdi Jivan Changiari (The life -spark 1950); Merian abhul yaden (My unforgettable memoirs 1947) and Translation: Gha dian pattian (The leaves of grass, 1968).

References :

1. Ahuja, R.L., Traimurti Gurubaksh Singh, Jullundhur, 1971.
2. Mohinder Singh Randhawa (ed.), Gurbaksh Singh Abhinandan Granth, Delhi, 1971.
3. Piara Singh Data (ed.), Gurubaksh Singh ”Kala te Shaksiat, Delhi, 1978.
4. Soze, S.S., Sahityakar Gurubaksh Singh, Patiala, 1980.