Shephali Frost sings ‘Mae Ni Mae Main Ik Shikra Yaar Banaya’ penned by Shiv Kumar Batalvi (23 July 1936 – 6 May 1973), one of the best known poets of Punjabi in the 20th century. The song has been composed by Jagmohan Joshi.

Mae ni mae, main ik shikra yaar banaya,
Ohde sir te kalgi te ohdi pairin jhanjhar!
Oh chog chuginda aaya!
Ik ohde roop di dhupp tikheri,
Oh duja mehkan da tirhaya!
Teeja ohda rang gulabi,
Oh kise gori maan da jaya!
Ishqe da ik palang nuari,
Ve asin chananian vich daheya!
Tan di chadar ho gayi maili,
Os pair jad palanghe paya!
Dukh mere naina de koye,
Te vich had hanjhuan da aaya!
Saari raat gayi vich sochan,
Us ne ki julm kamaya!
Subah savere lai li vattna,
Ve asaan mal mal os nuvaya!
Dehi de vichon niklan chingan,
Ve saada hathh gaya kumlaya!
Choori kuttan te oh khanda nahin,
Ve asin dil da maas khuaya!
Ik udaari aisi maari,
Oh mud watni na aya oh mae in!
Main ik shikra yaar banaya….

I fell in love with a hunter Hawk!

He was full of beauty, and he came to me
full of hunger…
Oh Mae! I fell in love with a hunter Hawk!
Our bed of love, I laid out under the moonlight,
Marks of his feet are etched on my body – forever!
I scrub myself in the morning
I rub my body with dew from the night –
My hands get tired but Oh Mae,
But his touch is still all over me!
No, he didn’t want the grain I crushed
so I fed him my flesh – with my own hands
He fed on me, and then he flew away
Never to come back again!

Shephali Frost’s creative projects crisscross, UK and India – the two countries she lives and works in. Trained in Hindustani classical music, she has chosen to sing across the genres of ghazals and Sufi music. Her special area of interest of course, is the Nazm, which she brings to life with her soulful voice and passion for Urdu poetry.

Shephali brings her deep interest in world history to songs of diaspora – singing the poetry of love and revolution across countries and civilisations. An extremely talented and versatile artist, her repertoire extends from the songs of the nineteenth century Sufi saint, Shah Turab Ali Qalandar of Kakori Sahrif in Lucknow, to the poetry of Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Habib Jalib in Pakistan.

The rebellious poetry of Majaz Lakhnavi is of special interest to her, as are the compositions of Mira Bai, Amrita Pritam and the iconoclastic Punjabi poet of the sixteenth century – Shah Hussain.

An award-winning writer and poet, she has yet to be coaxed into singing her own poetry! Shephali Frost’s complete details can be found on her website:

Shiv Kumar Batalvi (23 July 1936 – 6 May 1973) has emerged as ‘Birah da Sultan’ of the Punjabi poetry in recent years. Known for his romantic poetry and loved for its heightened passion, pathos, separation and lover’s agony, Shiv Kumar Batalvi became the youngest recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1967.


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