Sydney and its Indian Hustle and Bustle


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By Rekha Rajvanshi

Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan Birth Anniversary Celebration

The Indian Literary and Art Society of Australia (ILASA) Inc. along with Indian Seniors Hornsby celebrated Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s 107th birth anniversary on November 17, 2013 at Epping Leisure and Learning Centre. India’s popular poet, lyricist and Big B’s father Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan became known for his highly metaphorical work ”˜Madhushala’. was a noted Indian  poet  of  Chhayavaad  literary movement (romantic upsurge) of early 20th century  Hindi literature. He used to introduce himself with these poetic thoughts:

”˜Mitti ka tan, masti ka man, kshan-bhar jivan”“ mera parichay’ – A body of clay, a mind full of play, a second of life – that’s me.

Harivanshi Rai Bachchan is also remembered for his Hindi translations of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Othello and also the Bhagvad Gita.  He  was nominated to the Indian Rajya Sabha in 1966 and the Indian governmenthonoured him with the Sahitya Akademi award three years later. In 1976 he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan for his immense contribution to Hindi literature. He was also honoured with the Saraswati Samman, the Sovietland Nehru Award and the Lotus Award of the Afro-Asian writers’ conference, for his unique contribution to the world of letters.

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ILASA Inc’s founder & Sydney based poet Rekha Rajvanshi organized this evening, with local poets Ritu Bhamra, Rajpal Sandhu, Sonu Sarda, Sukhpreet Dhamun, Anil Verma, Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Anu Shivaram, Garima Trivedi reciting Dr Bachchan’s poetry. Dave Passi, ISGH President, Ex Hornsby Shire Councillor Dilip Chopra, Ex Consul General Vijay Kumar also shared Dr Bachchan’s fond memories with the audience. Vinod Rajput sang Dr Bachchan’s lyrics ”˜Rang Barse’ beautifully. Meena Mohanty sang ”˜Neela Asman so Gaya’ sung by Amitabh Bachchan in ”˜Silsila’. Neeraj Verma, a local film producer, filmed this celebration as part of his feature film. About 80 poetry lovers were immersed in poetry.

For ILASA’s activities visit:


Sham-e- Ghazal  

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Enthusiastic music lovers and couple Padmaja and Rabin Sarkar organized Sham-e-Ghazal on November 16, 2013 at Uniting Church Hall, Strathfield.

Young Ghazal singer and keyboard player Amit Diwarkar created magic with his beautiful voice. He sang classical numbers such as Thumri and Tarana as well as old and new Ghazals. He was ably accompanied on Tabla by Abhijit Dan.

Over 165 music lovers attended the concert in spite of rain and bad weather.   Proceeds were donated towards Twisha Makwana’s treatment. Twisha was born with isolated pure Long Gap OA, left with Spit Fistula and G-feeds, she needs funds to go to US for further treatment. For more information visit-


Vision 2020 Diwali Dinner

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Vision 2020 annual Diwali Dinner was organized on  November 2, 2013 at North Rocks Community Centre.

The entertainment and sumptuous dinner were the highlights of the show. Funds $8500 were collected to support a worthy project called MITU (Multiple Initiative Towards Upliftment) in Bangalore, India. MITU provides affordable, eco-friendly aid for personal hygiene to schoolgirls in poor rural areas of India. The Diwali dinner was attended by about 300 people with a kind intention to support our homeland, India.

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