“Mother – Our Friend and Our Refuge”
SAPNE poets celebrate “Voice of the Mother and the Youth”
On the sunny afternoon of February 17, 2019, South Asia Poets of New England met at Lexington Public Library to host its winter meeting on “Voice of the Mother and the Youth”. Eighteen poets including three children participated. Different echoes of mother’s voice were expressed through originality, love and affection. The seven-year-old Aradhya Khare declared “my mother is the best!”
Whether we are near or far, we would like to hear mother’s voice because her voice dramatically increases the feeling of comfort and love. It is no surprise that we prefer our mother's voice to those of others. Mothers mend our errors, forgive our misdeeds, accept us as we are. They help shape our personality. Mothers walk with us, support us, stand by us both in the physical and emotional realm. At the same time, they strive to make us more independent and self-reliant.
Mr. Chandu Shah opened the meeting with a brief introduction on SAPNE.
Poet Sunayana Kachroo initiated the reading session by reading two poems. The first one was titled बेटियां “Betiyan”, a sentimental poem on women by Poet Monica Singh. She followed with her own composition सिपाही की माँ “Sipahi ki maa” to pay tribute to the mothers who lose their children in conflicts. The soldiers become heroes, the mothers handle the pain forever!
The Urdu poet Dr. Jawwad Noor followed with a ghazal titled इशारे दिलके “Signals of the Heart”. We are often unaware of how the complexities deep within us interact with various aspects of our lives. The ghazal expresses the thoughts of an individual who is beginning to suspect that the source of his suffering in the world is in the hidden workings of his own internal world.Dr Bijoy Misra lyrically presented his Odia poem “ମା’ ଲୋ, ପାରୁନାହିଁ ମୁହିଁ ଚାଲି ! “Mother I cannot walk any further!”, a dialog between a refugee mother and daughter who are trekking to escape violence. The daughter thought she was becoming a load on her mother, the mother reassured her “to support others is what the mothers do!”
Ms. Neena Wahi recanted her child hood with her mother in कल का सपना “kal ka sapna”. We enjoyed our time with our grandparents reading books, playing games with our siblings and friends, enjoyed the nature. Let the memory be saved and the experience passed on! Mr. Mir Fazlul Karim presented a Bengali poem titled স্মৃতিময় সোপান (Stairs of Memories) recollecting his ancestral house in Bangladesh. The simple things in the house like earthen cooking place, walls, floors, doors, stairs, trees, and water-well retold the sweet memories of the mother’s attachments!
Ms. Rekha Upadhyay read a Gujarati poem titled માંનો ટહૂકો “Ma No Tahuko” ‘Sweet sound of mother’. The poem gave a vivid picture of her mother and how she remembered all the proverbs and taught her tradition and the samskaras. A mother knows it all, she is a living encyclopedia! Punjabi poet Preetpal Singh followed with his award-winning poem ਗੁਆਚੇ “Missing Motherland”. Everything goes the wrong way when we live abroad! The poem was a humorous interlude in the serious tone of the afternoon.
Mr. Amit Khare presented his Hindi poem in two parts as a tribute to the soldiers who protect the nation. The first part of his poem described the pain of a mother whose son sacrificed his life for the motherland. In the second part of his poem he reflected on the spirited message of the son to his mother. Mr. Maneesh Srivastava read two poems. In his first poem नफरत छोड न यार “Nafrat Chhod Na Yaar” he narrated how violence and hate is impacting every part of the world and not limited to any country, community, culture or religion. The second poem जिंदगी के चार दिन “Zindagi ke Char Din” was from his written late grandfather Mr. Lakhan Lal Srivastava. The poet reminds us that the life is short, and it shouldn’t be misused!
The High-School Senior Anay Mehta read a poem in English titled “A Piece of Puzzle”. He remembered the time spent with grandfather and admired the Indian identity. He misses his grandfather! Mr. Chandu Shah followed with his poem બાને કાગળ “Letter to a Mother”, where a young immigrant bride narrates her observations, loneliness, despair and isolation in her new abode.
Mr. Prem Nagar recited a reflective poem आज और कल “Yesterday and today”. We analyze the moments and meditate on them, and then we try to experience the moment fully when it repeats! Another High-School Senior Pranali followed with her first poem titled “I Come From” - it described how her Indian Heritage coupled with American lifestyle made her who she is and second poem was titled “A Mother is What I See” - it described the various lenses through which she sees her mother!
Young Aradhya Khare sweetly read his own poem “My Mother!”. Laden with superlatives of love and innocence, the delivery expressed the sentiment. Ms. Sejal Kothari followed with a poem titled, કયાંક વાંચ્યું છે. “Kyank Vanchyu Chhe”--Somewhere I read. Women strive for equality and empowerment. The “staus quo” is not acceptable!
Poet Sanjeev Tripathi added the voice of motivation and inspiration in his Hindi poem नाया सवेरा “Naya Savera” (New Morning). Let the new morning bring hope to everyone! Ms. Anjali Khare reinforced the spirit in the poem मैं मैं ही हूँ “I am myself” written by her aunt Mrs. Sushama Khare. The poet reflected dreams of living her own life again with all the positive hopes of making them true in her own way.
Ms. Geetha Patil concluded the session with her poem “Preserve Mother Earth”. The poem expressed concern on the exploitation of the nature by human beings and reflected on paths of preservation. We need the Mother Earth! Ms. Afshan Kirmani thanked all with piece of Urdu shayari.
Dr. Bijoy Misra thanked all for a delightful afternoon. All were served tea.
The next meeting of SAPNE is 23rd India Poetry Reading at Harvard University on Sunday, May 19, 2019. The topic for the event is “Compassion”. Please contact Dr. Bijoy Misra at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Chandu Shah at email@example.com for participation.