(Standing) Hasya poet Pradeep Choubey; (Sitting)  Sarvesh Asthana  & Geetkar Alok Srivastava  CHICAGO: Uttar Pradesh Association (UPA) of Greater Chicago hosted its annual grand Hasya-Ras Kavi Sammelan featuring leading poets from India on Sunday, April 2 at the Hinsdale Community Center in Hinsdale, a south west suburb of Chicago.

The poets Pradeep Chaubey, Alok Srivastava and Sarvesh Asthana were in great form. More than 370 lovers of Hindi poetry, eager to hear the stalwarts of verse, were amply rewarded because the three hours was enthralling stuffed with humor satire and lucid poetry

President Rani Trivedi and Dr Subhash Pandey, Chairman of the Board of Trustees welcomed the gathering and visiting poets from India. Dr Pandey then introduced the poets Pradeep Chaubey, Alok Srivastava and Sarvesh Asthana one by one.

Pradeep Choubey is a celebrated maestro of humor in Kavi-Sammelans in India. Alok Shrivastava is a renowned geet and gazalkar besides being a TV journalist working as a senior producer at Aaj Tak news channel in Delhi. Vyangkar Sarvesh Asthana is a senior journalist whose hobby is presenting sarcastic comedies. He has been in this profession for more than 25 years.

Pradeep Chaubey regaled and delighted the audience with personal experiences including marriage related jokes. Shayar Alok Srivastav expressed his thoughts and Shayari in a musical way by rendering his Shayaris related to marriage and love, and to add more fun to the show, Vyangkar Sarvesh Asthana joined in and recited hilarious and intelligent comments.

Dr Ghanshyam Pandey addressed the meet and dwelled on over two decades history of the organization. Dr Subhash Pandey briefed those present about the objectives and activities of UPA. He then recognized the outgoing President Ravi Arora for his two year untiring services and welcomed the incoming President Rani Trivedi. The new Committee was introduced by Dr Saryu Dixit.

The members are: Executive Committee: President- Rani Trivedi; Vice President- Vivek Verma; Secretary- Vibha Sharma; Treasurer: Tarun Gupta; Members: Gauri Srivastava, Dipesh Aggarwal, Neeru Kothari, Uma Aggarwal and Poonam Pandey.

Dr Subhash Pandey then called on various dignitaries, past presidents in recognition of their services and presented a plaque to Dr Ghanshyam Pandey, Founding President and Chairman of Board of Trustees for his unforgettable services to foster activities of UPA and his exemplary leadership. He also thanked the International Hindi Association (IHA) for their collaboration with UPA in promoting the national Hindi language.

The poets elicited huge applause and the hall resonated with laugher and Wah Wah which induced them to take their recitals and renderings many notches higher. The poets took digs at leaders, social taboos, gender biased society with loads of humor and sarcasm blending with poetic punch.

It was a treat for the Hindi lovers of the city attending the Hasya Kavi Sammelan organized by UPA bringing poets from different parts of the country together. The program ran for over three hours nonstop with a short 10 min break. The audience enjoyed every moment of poetry and geet. The program ended at 8:30 pm with a vote of thanks given by Ravi Arora, Immediate Past President UPA.