Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi today held a tri-lingual Kavi Sammelan at Hotel Parkview. Ten poets, four from outside the city, the others local, regaled a well-packed hall with poems recited in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.
The session began with city poets, all of them senior citizens. Gurbax Singh Saini, Punjabi poet, read a satirical poem on the corruption prevalent in the administration. The poem was was highly appreciated. Chaman Lal Chaman writes in Hindi. He is alawyer by profession and, not surprisingly, his poetry attempted an attack on the legal system, trying to figure out what ails the courts. His poem on daughters, “phoolon ki tarah ghar ko sajati hain betiyan,” won a lot of applause. Ashk Amritsari, another veteran poet who has been writing since the struggle for independence, expresses his ideas in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. He sang some of his poems which were on the nationalistic theme: “mera Hind phir se jawan ho raha hai.” Kidar Nath Kidar, also a trilingual poet, was realistic in his poetic declarations: “Kaun kissi de pichhey dasso ab tak koi marya hai?” he asked. Surinder Gill, sang his Punjabi poems in a sonorous voice.
The highlight of the day was the recitation by Nafas Ambalvi, a young urdu poet with a gentle voice, the author of Sarabon ka Safar, his latest award-winning book. His rendition of Urdu poetry was full of quotable lines:
“Hamari rah se paththar uttha ke phaink mat dena /Lagi hai thokrain tab ja kar seekh paye.”
“Zindagi ki hoop jab dhalney lagegi ek din Tera saya bhi tujh se bada ho jayega.”
“Mera humsaya bhi agar roye apney ghar main / ek nami si meri divaar main aa jati hai.”
The next poet, Paul Kaur, lone woman poet of the evening, is the author of a dozen poetry anthologies. She has recently been in the limelight for translating the poems of Octavio Paz into Punjabi. This evening she read three of her poems. There was nostalgia and longing in “Iti”, political satire in “Raj Tilak, and personal grief and loss in “Bebe jalebi mangdi hai”.
Dinesh Chamola, Hindi poet, has recently been awarded by the Sahitya Akademi for his poetry for young readers. He sang all his poems in a voice that touched the heartstrings. Sudershan Vashishth, Hindi poet, hails from Shimla. He has been writing poetry rooted in the hills of Himachal. He was the last poet to read his poems and gave the evening a fitting conclusion.
The grand finale, however, came with Madhav Kaushik reciting some of his gazals impromptu much to the delight of the audience. Prof Mehndiratta, who was in the audience, gave away souvenirs to the poets.
Altogether, everyone agreed that it was a splendid evening. The Chairperson of Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi,Manju Jaidka, announced that on the 13th and 14th of September CSA is hosting Waseem Barelvi and Sir Mark tully. Details will be given on te CSA Facebook page and Blog.
On 28th of August, CSA is holding an hour of interaction at the Panjab University Book Fair with Charu Singh who writes in English and Parsoon Parsad, Hindi poet.