A Multilingual Recitation by Dr. Karan Singh

Dr. Karan Singh

Poetry is to be Heard 

A review by Mandira Ghosh

READINGS: Sounds of Poetry: 

CHAIR: Muzaffar Ali 

COLLABORATION: The Poetry Society, India 

12 December 2023

The recitations in five languages by Dr. Karan Singh brought alive the linguistic diversity of India. He shared some of his favourite poems in English, Urdu, Hindi, Sanskrit and Dogri, and said that prose is to be read and poetry is to be heard; life without music and poetry is dull. Muzaffar Ali, who chaired this unique session, urged the celebration of poetry and said that all his works, especially his unreleased film Zooni, were driven by poetry. 

Karan Singh began reciting his favoured poems in a mellifluous voice and sonorous tone. He started with   Wordsworth’s famous poem titled ‘Daffodils’, and went on to read more outstanding poems by poets like W. B. Yeats and Robert Frost. While reading Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’, he mentioned that he himself took the road less travelled and that made all the difference in his life. He explained Frost’s famous words: ‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep’ from the poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’. He also read Frost’s ‘Fire and Ice’ and said that the world will either end in fire or ice. In this context, he also quoted, ‘Nothing beside remains’ from P.B. Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’

. He also read the creations of Urdu and Hindi poets like Ghalib, Shakeel Badayuni and Kabir. He chose to recite Kabir’s ‘Ghoonghat Ke Pat Khol’ and excerpts from Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas. Going back to his Kashmiri roots, he sang a song in Dogri quite beautifully and concluded the evening with the recitation of ‘Shanti Mantra’ in Sanskrit, uttering Om! 


First Published in IIC Diary (December 2023–January 2024)

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5 Responses

  1. Neera Neera says:

    Such a beautiful write up… with choice of poetic words.. mellifluous. No doubt…Dr Karan Singh is an incredible speaker. His mastery in so many languages and quality of speech is a league apart. It’s a pleasure and honour to listen to someone so erudite

    • Avatar Mandira Ghosh says:

      Indeed Dr. Karan Singh is an incredible speaker with an amazing memory and voice.
      Thanks for your appreciation of the write up. I am very delighted to read your comment.

      Mandira Ghosh

    • Manohar Khushalani Admin says:

      Thanks Neera for your kind words

  2. Thank you very very much Dear Mandira Ghosh ji, for introducing Dr.Karzn Singh and his poetry. Your write up about him is expansive and illuminating. I feel tempted to read his poetry after reading about him by your pen. Thank you so very much for your review as it provides a detailed analysis of his works.

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