Bawa Balwant (1915-72) was an important representative of progressive movement in Punjabi poetry. He started composing poetry in Urdu but later switched over to Punjabi. Greatly influenced by Iqbal, he adopted his concept of Mard-e-Kamal (The Perfect Man) in his work Maha Nach (Grand Dance). Socialism was the guiding principle of Bawa's poetry. Above all he was a messenger of peace and amity. He is at his lyrical best in his love poems. His five collections are Maha Nach (Grand Dance), Amar Geet (Immortal Songs), Jwala Mukhi (Volcano), Bandargah (Port) and Sugandh Samir (Fragrance and Aroma).
In the poem Usha taken from his collection Bandargah, he uses the rising dawn as a symbol of revolution.
O the diffusion of the universal light,
the darling of the day and the night!
Countless colours dissolve in the glow of the moon and the
It flows like Ganga from the big eyes of the Shiva-like sky.
0 Usha ! O the charioteer of the suns, Dispel my darkness!
The Himalayas have been dyed in countless hues,
without any brush.
In the souls of the petals
resounds the music of Jal tarang
The eyes of the saplings turn bright
when they bring thy light.
The lassitude takes leave of
the wings of the birds.
The waves of the sea dance in ecstasy,
1 pray for the safety of the seas for man.
O Usha, O revolution-maker, the mother of changes, Let me be good again !
Sleep takes wings on hearing your soothing aurum melody
The cobwebs of darkness disappear from the coral gardens
of the sea.
You are sprinkling blood on this earth selflessly,
You are bountiful to both the free and the slave.
Bestow on the earth-born
the boon of selfless devotion to work.
Cure the maladies of the long-suffering people
with the panacea of your pure rays.
O Usha ! O divine light!
Unbound the sources of togetherness.
Thy light falls on the gusts of wind
Thy inebriation shows in the new-fangled love.
Thy glow adds beauty with indescribable charm
Thou art the pang of love that makes life grand
Thou are the glitter of the ruby of thought, eternal morn
Dispel now darkness from the heart of man
Bestow great and grand ideals on man
Give voice to the distress and pain of birds and animals
Bless the sleeping earth with insight
Immerse the souls of men in the radiance of harmony.
O Usha ! thou art the mother of every progressive thought
Thou are the hope of spring
Dye time in the deep hues of unity and equality,
Banish the curse of the delusions of war.
Usha, O new enlightenment, O ever-new spring
The cries of the heart need your attention.
Paint the insides ofthejhuggies red,
Take care of at least the pits packed with bones.
Far and near
The rich and the poor
Chase away with your brush all bad luck.
Transform yourself into Kajal and paint daily the eyes of
Accentuate the beauty and the form of the new ages.
Grant a new dawn to my peri, O Usha !
Scatter my thoughts on every particle.
O, the diffusion of universal light!
Dispel my darkness.
0 Ushal ! thou art the mother of change-laden clouds
1 wish I were a god again. Usha (1958)