CHICAGO: The Uttar Pradesh Association of Greater Chicago (UPA), one of the oldest organizations of Indian Americans in Chicagoland, lived up to its reputation of promoting Indian culture and language thru organizing literary events like Kavi Sammelan (gathering of poets) that it held recently at Rathi Auditorium at Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago in Lemont.
Three front ranking poets from India – Gajendra Solanki, Sanjay Jhala and Dr Sarita Sharma – were invited to participate in this annual event, a feature of the Association for over two decades. Deemed Hasya Ras poets of repute, all three were up to the mark entertaining the 200 plus members and guests, many non-Hindi speaking, for over three hours.
The start was a bit insipid with one person comedian style jokes from Solanki but things began to liven up when Dr Sarita started with a devotional prayer to Goddess Saraswati and followed it up with a series of sensitive rendering of four line (Muktaks) and poems, her own creations. Gajendra Solanki did not lag behind and also came out with his original poems
Sanjiv Jhala was equally inspiring and interesting with light jokes and recital of poems. The near three hours of rendering took one back to India and age old Indian customs and thinking about mother, father, friends, family ties, basic values and places where one was brought up. It was a grand affair despite the fact that all the three were a bit tired after their across the country tour, presenting stage performances in other cities.
Earlier, founder president of the association Prof. Ghanshyam Pandey welcomed the guests and former president and member of the Board of Trustees Dr Subhash Pandey introduced poets in his own inimitable style. Both the Pandeys spoke in Hindi and that was an admirable effort with Dr Subhash concluding his speech with a Muktak of his own.
Introducing the three eminent poets from India, he said that Gajendra Solanki has three poetic collections to his credit and has been on the Advisory Committee of Indian Film Censor Board. Dr Sarita Sharma has performed internationally and is acclaimed across the country contributing her original creations to many a literary publication. Hailing from Ghaziabad in UP, one of her masterpieces was Teri Mira Ban Jaoo. Sanjay Jhala is an official at the Civil Supplies Division of the Rajasthan government and has bagged many laurels for his contribution as a poet to Hindi literature, including one from President Pratibha Patil.
The outgoing President Sujata Sharma was emotional, thanking all those who helped her in the discharge of her duties as president for the past two years. She too extended welcome to all those present and the Kavi guests from India. The consensus was that she did a great job as president for two years.
The incoming president Ravi Aurora and his new team of committee members were introduced by Dr Pandey. Besides the youthful Ravi Aurora as president, others are Rani Trivedi Vice President, Meera Varma Treasurer, Taruna Gupta Secretary, Deepak Shukla, Umesh Tiwari, Gauri Shankar Srivastav, Seema Varma and Vibha Sharma – Members at Large. All the poets were honored with recognition plaques and shawl. Ms Usha Kiran Attri, wife of former Indian Consul General Attri in Chicago, was a welcome presence at the event and she honored poetess Dr Sujata Sharma.
India Post News Service