I’m Writing A Letter To You, O Haldhar: Gulzar pays tribute to Padma Shri Sambalpuri Poet

Bhubaneswar: Advertising filmmaker and documentary director Bharatbala has produced a short film on Padma Shri award-winning poet from Odisha, Haldhar Nag under his new project Virtual Bharat. Featuring narration by legendary poet-lyricist Gulzar, the film follows the incredible story of the Sambalpuri poet.

“I am writing a letter to you Haldhar. Son of the soil of Sambalpur, this Adivasi poet. His language is Kosli,” Gulzar says at the beginning of the 7.58 minutes short film.

“When this poet steps on the earth of his village, it feels like he is walking across the globe and when he speaks to himself, it feels as if he were speaking to every individual living on this globe,” the Bollywood lyricist narrates.

“And he says to himself, flowing from the oceans, from the mother’s breasts, a drop of heavenly nectar has descended upon the poet’s pen,” says Gulzar.

The film also follows some phrases of Haldhar’s poems which are written in Kosli language. “Let the nectar always flow from the seven seas, from the moon in the skies, from the mother’s breasts, from noble principles and from the poet’s scribbles,” the short film quotes the Padma Shri awardee as saying.

Haldhar, popularly known as “Lok kabi Ratna” was born in a poor family of Ghens in Bargarh district and despite deep poverty, he rose to great fame with his inspirational poetry which is sometimes compared to that of the great poet Gangadhar Meher.

He is renowned for his work Kavyanjali, an anthology of English translation of his selected poetry. Haldhar was honoured with Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award in 2016.