Holi celebrations continue with ‘festival of poetry’ in Sydney

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Splash of colors, symbol of oneness and rainbow of unity in diversity has been the essence of Holi, a festival that sprang from the lanes and by lanes of Lord Krishna’s Mathura thousands of years ago and traversed across the continents spreading the message of love—the eternal love that knows no bounds of religion or region.

This is the spirit that has been bringing together the people of divergent faiths in the convergence of one huge truth love is life, love is God and love is immortal.

In many parts of India, satirical and humorous poetry recitation functions also known as ‘Hasya Kavi Sammelans’ are organised around the festival where poets, authors and singers come together to recite and listen to humour craftily wrapped in verses of poetry.

One such occasion was marked by a fantastic turnout at Sydney’s own Hasya Kavi Sammelan, organised by the Indian Literary and Art Society of Australia Inc. (ILASA) on Sunday, March  22 at the Parravilla Function Centre.

ILASA’s coordinator, popular poet Rekha Rajvanshi organized the program, with the support of Hindi Samaj, Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan and Hornsby Indian seniors.

The chief guest at the program was Arun Kumar Jagatramka, who with his wife came all the way from Wollongong to grace the occasion. Kavi sammelan started with lighting of the lamp by Arun Kumar and other dignitaries. Richa Srivastava recited Saraswati Vandana written by the famous poet Surya Kant Tripathi Nirala in her melodious voice.

Kishor Nangrani from Canberra and Subhash Sharma from Melbourne were invited to entertain Sydney audience. Subhash Sharma’s humourous poems Garage sale, Samosa Jalebi and Kishor Nangrani’s satirical poems based on Australian politics and cricket made people burst into laughter. Selected Sydney based poets, who also enthralled Sydney audiences with their witty, humorous and philosophical poems were: Dr Prabhat Sinha, Abbas Raza Alvi, Anil Verma, Dr Shailja Chaturvedi, Rekha Rajvanshi, Vijay Kumar, Vimla Luthra, Rajeev Kapoor, Ritu Bhamra, Garima Trivedi.

The last round was a unique and interesting one, where the audience was involved. The guests had to look under their chairs and recite poems hidden under their seats. Harmohan Walia, Satya Khanna, Neena Sinha and Sanjay were the lucky ones who found beautiful poems to recite.Arun Kumar’s humourous couplets added to the delightful ambience of the Hasya Kavi Sammelan.

Hornsby Shire Deputy Mayor Gurdeep Singh recited famous poet Neeraj’s popular poem ‘Karwan Guzar gaya Gubar Dekhte Rahe’. He congratulated Rekha Rajvanshi for organizing this wonderful event and talked about ILASA’s role in preserving literature and culture in Australia. Strathfield Councilor  Raj Datta said that he has attended ILASA’s programs in the past, which are always well organized and creative.

Speaking about her vision for ILASA,the organiser, Rekha says “ILASA aims to promote our literature, art and culture in Australia and to build a bridge between India and Australia. ILASA supports artists by providing a platform for them to exhibit their works and nurture their talent. ILASA is a not for profit national level organization with a dedicated team of highly qualified coordinators in Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Wollongong. We believe in serving community selflessly”.

Program was supported by Arun Kumar Jagatramka, Dr Prabhat Sinha, Harkirat Singh, Aruna Chandrala, and Rajeev Kapoor. In keeping with the spirit of holi,the program ended with a sumptuous food and Thandai.


ILASA , Hasya Kavi Sammelan

ILASA , Hasya Kavi Sammelan

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