Holi and humour at ILASA’s Hasya Kavi Sammelan

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Vijay Kumar Singh,  Neena Sinha, Abbas Raza Alvi, Ritu Bhamra,  Garima Trivedi (standing)

Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Vimla Luthra,  Subhash Sharma (Melbourne), Prabhat Sinha, Rajeev Kapoor and Rekha Rajvanshi (seated)

The festival of Holi brings people together in celebration not only over colours, food and festivities, but also large doses of laughter. 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, 22nd of March at the Parravilla Function Centre.

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

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Mr and Mrs Jagatramka (left) with poet Abbas Raza Alvi and Dr Prabhat Sinha (far right)

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 rendered Saraswati Vandana written by the famous poet Surya Kant Tripathi Nirala in her melodious voice.

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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 audience 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 Mr 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 spread by Parravilla’s Kamal Athwal and a hallmark holi special-”˜thandai’ courtesy Shiv Saini.

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