An evening with Shayars Khushbir Singh Shaad and Dr. Rekha Dwivedi



By Manju Mittal

It was a poetic long weekend in April for the Sydney poetry lovers. Sunday April 24, Shayri Ki Ek Sham event was presented by ILASA ( Indian Literary And Art Society of Australia ) at Epping Leisure Centre. The event was attended by Sydney’s literary fans. The program was supported by Dave Passi, Shan Ruprai and Parveen Gupta.

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Rekha Rajvanshi and Ajay Bajaj started the program with warm welcome note and invited guests of the event, famous and award winning poets of India Khushbir Singh Shaad and Dr. Rekha Dwivedi on stage. Local poets of Sydney also got their moments on stage as they recited their poems with audience enthralled by poetry from poets Ajay Bajaj, Garima Trivedi, Rajeev Kapoor, Shailja Chaturvedi, Rajeev Kumar ( Vice Consul ), Kunwar Manish Kumar, Pravin Kumar Gupta, Swechcha Kulshreshtha, Ashraf Shad, Arif Sadiq Saheb and Abbas Raza Alvi and organiser of the event Rekha Rajvanshi.

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Dr Rekha Dwivedi is a writer, poet and academic, who has edited and published over twenty books in Hindi and English. She has teaching and research experience of over 20 years, having taught at schools, colleges and universities. Her PhD thesis was on the topic of women characters in Hindi literature. Rekha has also writen and presented numerous radio programs for All India Radio Shillong. She has won awards for her short fiction and poetry published in popular newspapers and magazines such as Sahitya Amrit, Prathan Pravakta, Sarita, Manorama and Sakshi. Rekha has collaborated with writers such as Gopal Chaturvedi, Vishnu Prabhakar, Raji Seth, Ashok Bajpai and many other celebrated Hindi writers.

Dr Rekha Dwivedi has recently retired from her role as Director at the National Foundation for Communal Harmony ( NFCH ), Home Ministry Government of India. Her published books have been distributed to thousands of schools and universities across India. Her poetic expression is contemporary and unconventional with a touch of satire. Her latest collection of short stories titled ”˜Yeh Khabrein Nahin Chhapti’ will be published by Prabhat Prakashan in July 2016.

Dr Rekha Dwivedi said “I feel honoured to be a part of this event, another fact I love about the Kavi Sammelan is that one gets to meet poets of great calibre and hear even better poetry, which itself is very rare”. The audience thoroughly enjoyed her unique poetry and her way of delivery touched the heart of the audience.

Khushbir Singh Shaad is an Indian Urdu poet with seven books of Urdu Ghazals to his credit published in Devnagri and Urdu language. Film Maker Mahesh Bhatt is a true admirer of Khushbir Singh Shaad. Khushbir has penned verses for the title song of Bollywood film ”˜Dhoka’ made by Mahesh Bhatt. He learned Urdu script around the time his first book ”˜Jaane kab yeh mausam badle’ was released in 1992. Since then he has never looked back and his collections include ”˜Geeli Mitti’, ”˜Chalo kuch rang hi bikhrey’, Zara yeh dhoop dhal jaye’, ”˜Bekhawabiyan’, ”˜Jahan Tak Zindgi Hai’ and ”˜Bikharne se zara pehle’.

Khushbir Singh Shaad has been bestowed with several awards and he is very popular in abroad for the Mushairas. He is one of the true representative of the ”˜Lucknow School of Urdu Poetry’, he is also an ambassador of the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb of Lucknow.

Khushbir Singh Shaad icon of Urdu and Hindi poetry delighted the audience with his deep impressive voice and outstanding poetry thus creating an enchanting atmosphere.

Khushbir Singh Shaad said “I am very happy to be a part of this event and thankful to ILASA and Indian community of Sydney for inviting me”. He also praised the efforts of Rekha Rajvanshi for arranging an event. He added “Aapne toh Hindi Sahitya ke zariye pura Hindustan Australia mein basa diya hai”.

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The attendees enjoyed a three hour long delightful ”˜Shayri ki ek sham’. At the end of the event well known local singers Riaz Shah and Ajoy Ghosh entertained the audience with their soulful songs. The seed of the Kavi Sammelan tradition in Sydney, Australia was planted by the Sydney’s well known poet Rekha Rajvanshi. She invited all poets, singers and volunteers on the stage and thanked for their contribution to the event.

Another highlight of the event was food from Honest Restaurant Haris Park, it served delicious Pav Bhaji, Dhokla and Gulab Jamun with soft drinks and Indian desi tea, guests mingled and shared their poetic experience.

Listening to poets reciting their poems and ghazal at Kavi Sammelan is an amazing experience. Mehfils such as these evoke feelings of nostalgia and love of our roots and culture in a foreign land.

I leave you  here with these following thoughts from two distinguished poets of India that ILASA invited:

“ Kyu apni tarah jeene ka andaz chor de, Kya hai humare paas is andaz ke siva” – Khushbir Singh Shaad

“Sydney kuch baat hai tumhari fizaon mein, Yahan phool to kya pattiyan bhi mahakti hai hawao mein” – Dr Rekha Dwivedi



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