Anik Bisthar by Pritam Singh \’Safir\’ is a collection of forty-eight poems. Safir is a major modem Punjabi poet who has eleven books of poetry to his credit. Safir is a romantic as well as a mystic poet. With romantic wings the lover-poet wants to fly to spiritual and mystic heights. His main source of inspiration is Gurbani and Guru-history. Even the title of this book has been chosen from Sukhmani by Guru Arjan Dev. The influence of Guru Gobind Singh\’s personality on his poetic sensibility is very deep. The artistic admixture of romanticism and mysticism has made him a philosopher poet by bringing depth in his thought and pithiness in his expression.
According to Coleridge a sense of philosophy is a pre-requisite for a good poet and Safir fully lives up to this dictum. Safir is also a patriotic and revolutionary poet. He exhibits national pride for the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives at Chhamb (Punjab) in Indo-Pak war, for defending the freedom and dignity of the country. His international outlook also inspires him to express deep respect for those countries (Palestine and Tashkent, U.S.S.R.) which have been, at times, the victims of injustice and barbarity and have stood firmly like a rock, for their high ideals. Safir has his sincere sympathy for the labourer and the tiller of the soil. He is a poet of revolt and valour.
He has all the praise at his command for those dignified personalities of high spirits, who have aspired to usher in new revolutions in this world, because it is the blood\’s unwithering colour alone, with which the golden history of a nation can be properly written. He dreams of a socialistic pattern of society for conferring equality to all, as the only solution to the vexed and complex problems of the present day world. He selects appropriate and varied symbols to properly convey his thought and fully expresses his attitude to the objects for which these have been chosen. For him the brave soldiers are like hawks who have the guts to fly high over the border of their country.
These martyrs are like musical instruments, from whom the music of sacrifice comforts their countrymen by bringing solace to them. They are flowers whose fragrance of sacrifice soothes the remaining population of their country. The tears have been symbolised as candle-drops and human beings as playing cards with different fortunes embossed on them. His imagery is fresh, natural and befitting. Universe is described as flowing out of the unseen almighty, as water-fall gushes out of the mountain. Anik Bisthar (1980) fully represents his rich poetic sensibility and specialised poetic diction. Even in this book he has been able to maintain consistency in his intensity of emotion, and lyricism. This book got the Sahitya Akademi Award for the year 1983.
1. Sekhon, S.S. and K.S Duggal, A History of Punjabi Literature, Delhi 1992.