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Poet-painter Chitrakar is no more

Well-known Punjabi poet painter Ajaib Chitrakar passed away on Monday evening. As titled by legendary poet Dr Surjit Patar the ‘Adeeban dee jori’ will now meet once again in the home of God

Written by Amrita Chaudhry | Ludhiana | Published: July 3, 2012 3:13:25 am

Well-known Punjabi poet painter Ajaib Chitrakar passed away on Monday evening. As titled by legendary poet Dr Surjit Patar the ‘Adeeban dee jori’ will now meet once again in the home of God. The ‘Adeeban dee jori’ is a popular reference to good friends,well-known Urdu poets Krishan Adeeb and Ajaib Chitrakar. It has been nearly a decade since Adeeb passed away. He is survived by four sons.

His works include Dumel (1946),Bhulekhe (1949) Sajri Per (1955) and Surajmukhi,a long poem Munukh beeti (1960),the Guru Tegh Bahadur-based epic Sacha Da Surah (1974),Awazaan de rang (1976),Negme da libaas (1982),Supneya Da tapu (1998),Rang Sweran Shama de (2008). He even designed seals for Punjabi University Patiala,Punjab Agricultural University and Sahit Akademy Ludhiana.

Chitrakar had not been well for a long time now. He leaves behind a huge legacy of paintings and ghazals. Chitrakar served Punjab Agricultural University as an artist where his famous mural depicting rural Punjab is painted on the wall of the museum. The original mural was painted by well-known painter Dev. However termites ate into this mural and it was repainted by Chitrakar who was given three years extension by the then Vice Chancellor of PAU Dr Surkhdev Singh to complete the work.

Dr Patar says,“Apart from being a great painter and poet,Ajaib Chitrakar was a very good human being too. He was passionate about his work and one of his couplets,which is very close to my heart,says that it is easy to grow flowers by watering them but for art to grow and bloom one needs to give it the blood of one’s heart.”

“Chitrakar was also one the leading names in Punjabi modern ghazals. For me,he and Krishan Adeep were Adeeban dee jori and in one of my articles I had written that these two friends would step out of their homes and offices every day on bicycles only to return late into the night riding high on horses. They were creative people who dreamt big and created beautiful ghazals,” adds Dr Patar.

Gurbhajan Singh Gill,president of the Sahit Akademy Ludhiana recalls,“I remember one verse of Chitrakar,which is very close to my heart,it goes – Bais askeen saki tera mehkhana to hai apna ghar to fir apna ghar hain apne ghar hee hain ghar to jaan he hai (no doubt your bar is too good but one’s home is one’s home and one has to go go back home). Chitrakar was known for his friendships which he maintained all his life with great poets like Sahir Ludianvee,Hamid Akhtar,and Pakistan based writer Santokh Singh Dhir. He was known for his friendships,which is a rare thing in Punjabi literature. He was a father figure to all of us.”

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