A Poetic Evening by WFK Regales on Republic Day...

Sunday, February 4, 2018

It was in the words of Carl Sandburg, who had very aptly said: “Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air”-- that Rajesh Verlekar, the General Secretary of Writers’ Forum, Kuwait (WFK) welcomed the audience which had gathered in the auditorium of the Indian Community School (ICSK), Salmiya to celebrate India’s Republic Day on Friday, January 26, 2018.

It was grand evening that regaled with poetry. On no other platform - whether in India or elsewhere, facilitation of the recitation of poetry in ten and more Indian languages, can be heard and seen.

The Multi-Lingual Kavi-sammelan / Mushaira organised by WFK has become a much-awaited bi-annual event in Kuwait. It is a celebration of poetry; a celebration of the grandeur of our heritage; a celebration of the sheer number and inherent sweetness of the languages spoken in our country. And, WFK offers that unique platform on which all the languages of India can be recited and heard. While celebrating twenty three years of growth and blossom in Kuwait, the Writers’ Forum continues to encourage fresh talent in the realm of literature and its membership keeps expanding. Several new entrants to the Forum could be seen enthralling the audience with their creative works this year, as well.

The evening was inaugurated with the customary lighting of the lamp, lit by the Chief Guest for the evening-- Mr Amanullah Popere—a personality renowned in Kuwait for several pioneering social endeavours, the President of the Forum --Maimuna Ali Chougle, the General Secretary --Rajesh Verlekar, the Joint Secretary --Sunil Sonsi and the Treasurer- Nazneen Ali. Following the welcome address by Rajesh Verlekar, the President of the Writers’ Forum-- Maimuna Ali Chougle felicitated the Chief Guest, and addressed the audience. She welcomed those present at the evening, and highlighted the significance of the Republic Day and the spirit behind organizing such a program. She dwelt on the unique identity of the Forum and also, spoke earnestly on the need to preserve the wealth that the diverse languages in India have bestowed us with. She urged the parents and teachers to encourage the children to speak and write in their regional languages. Her address was followed by the Chief Guest—Amanullah Popere’s address wherein he expressed his wonder at the years of WFK’s unflinching commitment to creative prose and poetry in the diverse languages of India, and expressed his admiration at such a unique program being held by the Forum. Accompanying on the stage with the Chief guest were senior members viz. Umesh Sharma and Chhaya Athavale.

While the sponsors of the evening were thanked for their generous contributions, a senior member of the WFK—S. Mohan Singh was also felicitated for his support to the event, by senior members-- Sunil Sonsi and Syed Qamar Minto.

The rest of the evening was very well anchored by renowned Urdu poet—Sayeed Nazar Kadapavi and Madhulika Mohta, who writes poetry in Hindi. At the outset of the evening, the anchors invited Dr Arvind Raina—a very respectable stalwart in his profession as well as in his creative pursuits to grace the evening and preside over it. The anchors then invited the poets to recite, while adding a dash of poetry in Hindi and Urdu, even as they introduced them in style. The poems in the regional languages (other than in Hindi, Urdu, and English) were translated in Hindi for the convenience of the listeners. The translations were read out by Aamir Diwan.

The poets read their poetic renditions in the following order:

Aamir Diwan (Hindi), Biswa Ranjan (Odiya), Chaaya Athavale (Marathi), Chhaya Thakkar (Gujarati), Madhulika Mohta (Hindi), Maimuna Ali CHougle (Urdu), Sanskaar Mishra (Hindi), Mohan Singh (Punjabi), Dr Navniit Gandhi (Hindi), Nazneen Ali (Hindi), Preeti Rajgolikar (Sanskrit), Dr Radhika Bhardwaaj (Hindi), Rajesh Verlekar (English), Rajiv Athavale (Gujarati), Ravin Singh (Hindi), Dr Sabiha Bilgrami (English), Sathya Narayan (Tamil), Sayeed Nazar Kadapavi (Urdu), Sunil Sonsi (Hindi), Syed Qamar Minto (Urdu), Tushar Misra (Odiya), Umesh Sharma (Hindi), and Vibheesh Tikkodi (Malayalam).

The evening concluded with a poem in Dogri and the Presidential remarks by Dr. Arvind Raina who appreciated the ethos and spirit on which stood the one-of-its-kind Writers’ Forum for more than two decades. Finally, a formal vote of thanks was extended by Sunil Sonsi--the Joint Secretary of the Forum. The three-hour plus marathon session of poetry in the vivid languages of our country, brought to the fore several emotions. Besides the fact that every language is rich and the expressions therein stir the soul, the thoughts of the writers were so beautifully woven in words that the audience left with much to reflect and savour for a long time to come.

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