Ek Shaam Dostike Naam – An Evening dedicated to Friendship

All the Poets at Kavi Sammelan
All the Poets at Kavi Sammelan
Kavi Punjabi Poetess Rakind Kaur
Kavi Punjabi Poetess Rakind Kaur

Ranjit Singh

CHICAGO: The 2nd edition of the Ek Shaam Dostike Naam this year also got an overwhelming response from poets of Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi, the three sisterly languages on Saturday, 17 September 2022.

Courtesy, Dr. Vikram Gill, the Mushaira was organized at Gill residence at South Barrington, a  suburb of Chicago

Raj Lally, a prominent Punjabi poet, and an emcee moderated the session. Generally, he is known for his mastery of Punjabi language, but his Hindi and Urdu oratory was found immaculate as well. He said, ‘charhde rehnde apne lok ,dil vich rehn de apne lok’ – there are a few things that cannot be restricted by borders, these are emotions, dreams and hopes.

Dr. Taufiq Ansari Ahmed presided over the Mushaira. The audience appreciated his presentation of ‘GeetKhushee ka jhoom jhoom kar mungaya hai, Kaeedinon kay baad Khushee ka din aaya hai’ and then a simple ghazal, ‘Chalay ho chhod kay hum ko kidhar, Zara thehro, abhee, abhee to milee hai y nazar, zara thehro.’

The evening started with the young Punjabi poetess, Rakind Kaur who especially travelled from Indianapolis to Chicago. She dedicated her poems to mother nature with an urge to celebrate universalism, rising above nationalism.

Besides Raj Lally and Rakind, others who graced the Punjabi poetry, included senior Punjabi poet Sajid Chaudhary, who is also the co-founder of Global Punjabi Milap. Sajid Chaudhary is the author of Apna Khoj, which is written in both Shahmukhi and Roman scripts. His tit-bits made everyone laugh and Sufiana poetry ‘hari knooa khante bithao, matlab bina khaloos jatao, manda vee je bole koee, fir vee has ke hath vadhao’ was very soothing.

Abid Rashid, recited poetry both in Punjabi and Urdu. His nazam on Pardesi (foreigner) brought tears to some eyes – Mae pardesikee hoya, sarepardesi ban gaye, mere desh de soorajchandtaarepardesi ban gaye, mud watnakeejaana, uthe kih dara havan takda.’ His Urdu poetry was equally impressive: ‘Jab se Rab ka shukaradakarnaseekhahai, tab se thodemeinbheekhoobgujara jo jatahai.’

Kavi & Urdu Poet Ansari
Kavi & Urdu Poet Ansari

 Ms. Jasbir Kaur Mann, founder of Sweraorganisation recited poetry about the importance of mother tongue Punjabi. Dr. Suneeta Malhotra sang ‘ishqaap vee avvallaindekamm vee avvalle’ a folk song in a very melodious voice.

Rakesh Malhotra,  the President of the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) and Anurag Misraraj, the Founder of Dramatech of America impressed the audience with their poetry in Hindi. Rakesh said the poetry is not about words, language or skill, it is all about sentiments and also presented a poem on Dosti. Anurag said he is much of a theater practitioner. However, his poem, ‘chahatmeinjiskilutaye the khazanekitne, useenedhundliyenamilnekebahaekitne’ proved that he is wonderful poet and a versatile personality.

Besides Dr. Taufiq Ansari Ahmed, the Urdu poets who graced the occasion included two wonderful lady poets Ghousia Sultana Noori and Seema Abidi, and a few other wonderful poets Mehboob Ali Khan, WalliudinWali, Abid Rasheed. Ghousia Sultana Noori said, ‘ye mehilhamaritezeebkeeshaanhai, Millat-o-mohabbatkeepehchanhai. 

Seema Abidi, the second lady Urdu poet read her poem, ‘Mohabbat ek Ibadathai, na tum samjhena ham samjhe, Ye jeenekee ek alaamathai, na tum samjhena ham samjhe.’ WalliudinWali touched hearts by reading his lines on the theme, ek yehisachtumkogawaranahinhai, vohsabkaKhudahaisirftumaharanahinhai. Dr. Afzal-ur-Rehman Afsar, Scientist in the Department of Public Health, University of Chicago and who conducts Arbab-e-Sukhan for the last 12 years defined the evening as ‘chalo ye shaam ham dostike naam kartehein, ki Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi ke rang is meinbhartehein.’ Mehboob Ali Khan, who is well-known poet in Urdu circle, recited a poem, ‘faslon ko mitaeeye sahib, aayeeye aur bulaeeye sahib, hargharimuskariye sahib.’

Kavi Rakesh Malhotra
Kavi Rakesh Malhotra

Dr. Vikram Gill, who humorously called his poetry as constipated poetry, said ‘patarehta manzil ka to khaaksafar ka mazahota, Kafanodharehtatehzindgee aur har din sazahota.’

Ali Khan, President of Urdu Samaj attended the session and emphasized on the importance of friendship. The annual multi-language poetry session was initiated last year (2021) by Consul Ranjit Singh; it was supported by Dr. Vikram Gill and then executed efficaciously by Raj LallyBatala.

Everyone present endorsed Jigar Dhillon’s suggestion that it would continue in the years to come and in coming years it would be organized at a much bigger level through the newly founded organization, the Five Rivers Entertainment, and efforts would be made to engage diaspora, especially youth, from the Indian sub-continent.