17 April’ 88, CITY: CHANDIGARH DIARY Remembering Virk

Punjabi writer Kulwant Singh Virk, whom we lost to death some months ago, is one of those persons one can never tire of remembering. Virk spent many years in Chandigarh and was never seen making much of his own writing. Yet his contribution to Punjabi short story has been significant. “Preetlari” has brought to us as a Baisakhi gift, a special number on him. On this new year of ours, when we are lost in the harvest of wounds, it is a good gesture to remember those who have sought out the best from their land and given inspiration to many others. 

Poonam Singh, editor of “Preetlari”, says, “Virk chisels the Punjabi person and finds a way to move forward. We all are grateful to him for having found us out and presented us to the world.”

The issue, which has on the cover, a fine portrait of Virk in water colours by Savinder Savi, contains his stories as well an article by Virk on his writings.

Of his creative process, Virk says, “The most difficult question for me to answer is how do I write a story. The body of my stories is the memories of my life and all the incidents in them are from my childhood. The soul of my stories is the thoughts which compel me to weave them with the incidents that I have witnessed.”

Also in the issue are a host of articles on Virk and his stories written by many luminaries of Punjabi letters and contemporary short story writers. Among them are Kartar Singh Duggal, Waryam Sandhu, Prem Prakash and others.

Waryam, who is one of the leading young Punjabi short story writers of the day, says, “He was so great a writer that one could not be jealous of him. One can be jealous only of one’s equals. For the art of Virk one could only have the utmost regard.”

“Preetlari”, has indeed produced a collector’s item on Virk and one hopes to see more special numbers on writers, living and gone.

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