Entrancing eve of geet and ghazals
Shayri and ghazals have been popular all around the world amongst Hindi and Urdu speaking people and poetry lovers. Like twin sisters, Hindi and Urdu have been marching forward, hand in hand. Poetry lovers in Sydney had an opportunity to immerse themselves in an evening of ghazals and shayri to honour popular poet of India, Dr Kunwar Bechain currently on a visit to Australia. The event organised by the Indian Literary and Art Society of Australia Inc (ILASA), was the brainchild of eminent Sydney poet and writer Rekha Rajvanshi, founder of this not-for-profit organisation for language/literature lovers and artists of Indian origin in Australia.
The event began with an introduction by Rekha, also the MC, accompanied by young poet Gaurav Kapoor. The auspicious lamp was lit by Dr Kunwarji; Raj Datta, Strathfield Councillor; Dr Shailja Chaturvedi, Hindi Samaj; Dave Passi, ISGH; Pradeep Upadhyay, Hindi Samaj; and Mala Mehta, IABBV Hindi School.
Following this, Richa Srivastava of RJ Radio Darpan, deliverd a beautiful rendition of one of Dr Bechain’s famous folk songs ‘Badri babul ke des jaiyo, Jaiyo barasiyo kahiyo, ye hain babul teri bitiya ki ankhiyan’. The song was popular in 1980s, and was composed and filmed in music videos and CDs.
Including Dr Bechain, guest shayars Arif Sadiq Sahib, Farhat Iqbal, and local poets Bhawna Kunwar, Rekha Rajvanshi, Rajeev Kapoor and Gaurav Kapoor, recited their ghazals. As guest poet, Dr Bechain then entertained poetry lovers with his romantic and philosophical poems for an hour, with his message that stressed ‘focus on positivity in life’. It was a rare treat for all present to witness his art.
However, the evening was not only about poetry, but also about singing of ghazals with renowned Sydney artistes performing, including Aparna Nagashayana, whose music featured in ‘Devdas’ and ‘Nautch Girls’ musicals; Murali Venkatraman, a scientist with ISRO, but a singer at heart; Sumathi Krishnan, classical ghazal singer and a director for Parramasala; and Arun Nanda with many concerts on his credit. All the performers sang beautiful renditions through this special evening that was solely dedicated to ghazals and geet.
‘Shayri ki ek Sham’ was a real treat for poetry lovers, and Raj Datta was fulsome in his praise of ILASA’s dedication to keep the Hindi and Urdu languages and literature alive. Pradeep Upadhyay delivered the vote of thanks, making a special mention of The Indian Telegraph, for supporting this program.
Dr Kunwar Bechain is a well-known poet from India and author of more than 32 books, who has been invited to 4500 Kavi Sammelans in 21 countries to recite his poems. His poems were also composed for the film, ‘Bhavishya – The Future’. It was indeed an honour to have him attend the evening as guest poet. “Every year ILASA aims to bring together poets, writers and artists of Sydney to promote art, languages, literature and culture,” stated Rekha. “A lot of languages are dying as UNESCO estimated that, if nothing changes, half of the 6000 languages spoken on the planet today will be gone by the end of this century and with them, embedded history,” she added. Events like ‘Shayri ki ek Sham’ help keep the beauty of languages alive for people of all generations to enjoy.
The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia
‘Shayri ki ek sham’ showcases the best of Hindi and Urdu poetry