Also called the Shakespeare of Punjabi literature, Shiv Kumar Batalvi is undoubtedly the best thing which has ever happened to the Punjabi literature. He is one of those very few poets who sing the sorrows of the others, instead of pouring out sorrows of his heart in front of others.
But unfortunately, he left all of us in just 37th year of his life. Had he been alive, he would have surely done thousands of more wonders with his pens. Nevertheless, the life of every beautiful thing is very petite and so was his.
His England trip of 1972 turned out to be fatal. The deterioration of health, which began during this trip, ultimately tolled his life. His tour of England started in the summer of 1972 when he traveled upon the invitation of Dr. Gupal Puri and Mrs. Kailash Puri. It was Dr. Puri who organized his first-ever show in Coventry.
During the trip of England, his fans often gifted him champagne and scotch bottles, which eventually pushed him into severe alcoholism. During his entire journey, he used to stay awake late till night sipping scotch. After that, his next day would begin again with a few sips of scotch after a sleep of just a couple of hours. This cycle continued for almost four months, and by the time he returned to India, in September 1972, his health was not in its best shape.
But the intense alcohol addiction remained intact even in India. After returning from England, most of the time used to pass away in alcohol hangover. He often used to get distracted whenever he didn’t get to sip this substance. His already deteriorated physical state got even worse.
Liquor addiction kept pushing him in the jaws of death, with each passing moment. Also, criticism of his poems further pushed him into a depressed state of mind, and gradually he confined himself into solitude. This deterioration did come to an end on 6th May 1973 but only after his soul left for heavenly abode.