CHICAGO: The near four-hour program celebrating Hindi Divas in Chicago jointly by Hindi Lovers Club and Word Hindi Foundation last week turned out to be a lively affair with Hindi speech competition by children, Kavi Sammeln at the end interspersed with a comedy show, entertaining dances and songs from local artists.
For Hindi Lovers Club this was sixth year in a row and the consensus was that every year it is getting better, thanks to the devotion and commitment of the members to the cause. The highlight of the event was that most speakers starting with Indian Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed and others – office bearers and guests – chose to speak in Hindi. However, two short speeches in Hindi from Americans really won over 200 plus members of the audience. That was indicative of their love for the Indian national language.
The event started with Ganesh Vandana and devotional songs by Master Lakshy. Secretary Sohan Joshi greeted all those present and Consul OP Meena talked about the need to promote Hindi. He spoke in chaste Hindi while awaiting the arrival of Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed.
This was followed by the traditional lamp lighting. It was done by CG Dr Ausaf Sayeed and joined by Consul OP Meena, HLC Founder President Gurbachan Kaur, President Vinita Gulbani, Secretary Sohan Joshi, WHF President Dr Shyam Shukla, Editor Nirmala, Secretary Shukla, Anchala Soberin, HLC executive team and Chicago elites
CG Dr Ausaf did not let down the Hindi lovers by rendering his speech again this year in Hindi. He underlined the need to promote and popularize Hindi more and more as it is a link for people across the country. It has helped the country maintaining unity. He listed the steps taken by the Modi Government to get Hindi its importance established across the country, especially in official circles. Two Americans Dr Lisa and Montana Chamberlain endeared themselves offering their greetings in Hindi.
Dr Shyam Shukla President-WHF, Ranjana Bhargav and Behari spoke in Hindi and emphasized the need for promoting Hindi in this area, especially among second generation Indian Americans. Dr Shukla touched upon a recent unsavory controversy over adding a couple of Hindi dialects as part of the national language groups in the Constitution.
Sunil Shah, the founder president of FIA, in his speech complimented HLC and WHF teams for their all round efforts in creating awareness about the importance of Indian national language Hindi not only among Indians.
Children aged 6 to 13 participated in a speech contest in Hindi with the subject “What I would like to become when grown up”. There were six contestants and all came out nicely in their approach and demeanor. The Hindi Speech Contest winners were: 1st place – Anika Dikshit, 2nd place – Navroop Dillon and 3rd place – Aarush Jalan. The HLC Board also decided to give two consolation prizes with a view to encouraging more participation in future such contests.
The audience got a fair-sized entertainment with a one person comedy show by Ranjoy Ganguly, a Bengali youth who mimicked top notch Bollywood artists like Keshto Mukherji, Shatrughna Sinha, Dharmendra, and politicians like Laloo Prasad Yadav. The audience really enjoyed his skit.
What followed was a greatly entertaining program pieced together by Gurbachan Kaur, Vinita Gulbani and Shanu Sinha. The dance groups presenting performances were Tarana Kathak Dance Academy and Rhythm & Grace dance group. They did a remarkable job but it was the Acrobat girl Sanjana Kumar who stole the hearts with her masterly fusion dance combining Bharatnatyam and Gymnastics through an electronic Indian classical fusion song. She is a State champion and level 6 gymnast with CITY gymnastics, Chicago, besides a classically trained Bharatnatyam artist.
A Hindi book ‘Hindi Learner I’ penned by Vidya Nahar was launched by Consul OP Meena. Air India Manager Nakul Chand had come with his elegant wife Rupalee, an artist in her own right. Chand pitched members of the audience to fly by national airlines Air India since it will help the country gain in exchange revenue. He pointed out that Air India has improved its service with number of flights and state of art airplanes.
The sumptuous dinner served by Ashyana Banquets, headed by Surinder Jain was relished by all and so were Bollywood songs rendered by Raju Bankapur and Pratima Jairath. They were met with repeated applause and on the spot Farmayishes.
The culmination was Kavi Sammelan wherein 10 poets recited their poems. The quality and contents of the recitation were hugely appreciated by those sitting through the program. Some of the names were quite familiar with Hindi lovers like Manish Sharma, Gurbachan Kaur, Neelam, Neeraj Mehta, Shivali Varshney, Kanan Desai and Purina Jha.
Ramesh Soparawala & Arvind Patel
India Post News Service