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SAPNE celebrates Mothers and the Youth –

Report of Poetry meeting of Feb 25

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It’s easy on the eyes and a great go to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It’s easy on the eyes and a great go to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It’s easy on the eyes and a great go to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

Geetha Patil                                                                                                                    IMAGES

On a slightly warm winter afternoon, SAPNE (South Asian Poets of New England) poets met in Lexington Public Library for their annual celebration of Mothers and the youth.  The date was February 25, 2018 and the event was labeled as ‘Voice of the Mothers and the Youth’.  About twenty poets participated including several children and the hall vibrated with emotion, nostalgia and affectionate recollection.  In the spirit of SAPNE events, the sequence was a “garland”, different emotions threaded in as desired by the poets.

The event opened with a recitation by Mrs. Rekha Upadhayay celebrating the uniqueness of Mother in one’s life.  The mother is a friend and a protection.  The mother is warmth and affection.  She was followed by a High School Sophomore Anay Mehta, who reflected critically about the growing separation of rich and poor.  He expressed distress to the arrogant display of wealth against people who could be starving.  He had a call for social justice.  Another young participant Ayan Srivastava recited a beautiful short poem romanticizing the thoughts of a journey to paradise.  His innocence was reflected in his words.


Srilkashmi Srinivasan sang the opening stanzas of Kalidasa’s Kumarasmbhavam which was a tribute to the land of the Himalayas and the origin of mother.  The veteran poet Sunayana Kachroo followed with two poems in Urdu. “Kashmiri in a no man’s land” expressed the desperation in poet regarding a longing for her birthland, which has been engulfed in violence and turmoil.  It was an affectionate call for reunion.  The follow up poem “Saal ka hisaab” was a reflection on stocktaking the year.  Life becomes inertial, hardly any change appears too soon!  


The teacher poet Neena Wahi followed with an inspirational poem in Hindi "नया वर्ष आया फिर से नई उमंगें आओ मिल कर रचना करें नये समाज की" – let the new year  help us create a new society.  She called for equality among all sections of people whether he is a farmer working in the fields or a person born in lower caste. Unprivileged people deserve special help long due for them. Women should have equal rights where daughter in law and son in law both should take equal responsibilities in a married life! 


Mahendra Bakshi, A Gujarati poet, recited two poems written by Saryu Parikh of Austin, Texas.  She writes poems in both Gujarati and English. Her poems are the result of her spiritual studies and inner song inherited from her mother.  The first poem, “Mother-in-Law” described how a daughter-in-Law overcomes her fear of in-laws as enemies and develops respect for the mother-in-law.  The second poem “Tian might say” -  was about a mute and deaf girl student named Tian.  Tian ruminates that "Your lips are moving, that’s what I hear.  I'm a shining star, just partially covered in clouds, help me shine brilliant 'n bright".


Bijoy Misra followed with a poem that narrated the recent tragedy at the High School in Parkland, Florida.  It spoke about a mother’s anxiety to hear from her daughter in school and then eventually discovering her dead body in the hospital.  The mothers in the world run through these agonizing experiences imposed on them through the disorder in the society.  A mother is helpless and resorts to pragmatism and hope to carry on through the difficulties.


The poet of parodies, Preetpal Singh recited his Punjabi poem ‘Gal Ta Changgee Karie’ which means “let’s talk nicely.”  In his characteristic sarcasm, he advocated why it is good to be nice. We should talk nicely and do good deeds, be satisfied with what we have.  We should not be jealous and covetous. We should love kids, respect elders and helpful to your parents. And yes, finally, tell everyone that drinking is injurious to health!


Prem Nagar recited two Hindi poems. - माँ कहती है - This poem was in the memory of the poet’s  mother. She always had wise words to share in any situation. The second poem लल्ली की लोरी -was a depiction of first time mother who gave birth to a child.  The poem reflected on the mental state of a mother pondering on the baby and the future. Geetha Patil followed with her poem, ‘Mother - My Angel’ that described the feeling for her mother’s love and care. She misses her in life and tries to hear her voice in the midst of a busy life.

Parmit Kumar Singh recited poems related to mother. In the first माँ-औलादें-पाल-ही-लेतीं-है, he described mother as one who does everything just for the happiness of her children. It does not matter whether she is poor or rich, she is alone or with servants, she raises her children without complaint. His other poem was about beauty where he was trying to explain how mysterious the beauty is in behaviors and no logic can explain it.  Urdu poet Shekhar Shastri paid tribute to the tradition of music and aesthetics.  Then the populist poet Subhash Sehgal recited poems about language and culture.


Mir Fazlul Karim recited two poems.ফাগুনের জানালা (Window of Fagon) in Bengali and “February Vision” in English. This first one was a remembrance of the Shahids who sacrificed their lives for their Mother Language in Dhaka in 1952 through a bloodshed, popularly known as Language Movement. The second poem focused on the celebration of International Mother Language Day on February 21st. The Kashmiri poet Mujibur Rehman had the concluding recitation.  The poets talked of shadows on the wall, the unreality of perception.  The short poem was reflective of the word expressions in the afternoon.


A fascinating afternoon ended with the release of a bound volume of poems compiled on the 20th Anniversary of the India Poetry Reading hosted at Harvard University.  The book “Environment” was edited by Prof. R. Balachandra and was produced through the efforts of Chandu Shah.


The next SAPNE event is the India Poetry Reading at Harvard University on May 13.  The topic for the afternoon is “Humanity”.  Please contact Bijoy Misra or Chandu Shah for participation.  SAPNE is incorporated in India Discovery Center, Inc.

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