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SAPNE Poets sing “Voice of the People” – 

Report of the Fall 2019 meeting

Geetha Patil                    Video                                    Images 

In a busy Fall afternoon of November 10, twenty members of the community met at Lexington Public Library to celebrate their annual event entitled “Voice of the People”.  The program was dedicated to the recitation of iconic poems in literature that have influenced generations of poets and creative artists in the cultural life of the world.  Literature is a reflection of social thoughts and in its turn helps mold the society and its thinking.  Fourteen SAPNE poets participated by reciting poems and adding their own poem highlighting the spirit of nationalism and freedom of India.

Mr. Maneesh Srivastava the moderator of the program welcomed and thanked all the participants for attending the program with utmost enthusiasm.  He requested all the participants for their brief introduction after providing his own brief outlines.  He recited a poem of legendary Hindi poet Haribans Rai Bacchhan  नीड का निर्माण फिर फिर  “continual reconstruction of the nest” where the poet talks about the height of resurgence. “Stand and build yourself back up, after you are crushed down in life.”  Mr. Srivastava followed up with his own poem सराई मुंग्रा का बुढा बरगड   - the story of a banyan tree in an imaginary town Mungra.  The tree, standing for years watching time changed during several years and watching that humanity is going downhill year by year as a silent observer and mourns over it.

Dr. R. Balachandra recited two romantic poems. The first one was on the thoughts of a young woman about her lover and future husband - Kuntre Nintre avande gnana. (Sitting or standing he is always on my mind).  “He is like the moon in beauty. He met me at the village fair, and decorated my hair with jasmine flowers.” The second poem highlighted the thoughts expressed by the river about the ocean, written by the National Poet Shivarudrappa. The river wonders whether she can join the ocean. Her mind creates images. Even though thousands of rivers join it in full, the level of the sea remains even.

Chanchala Srivastava read a poem by Late Poet Ramadhari Singh Deinkar.  Dinkarji had written this poem in 1946 in pre independence India when young Jaiprakash Narayan (JP) was a freedom fighter.  Poet addresses Jaiprakash Narayan as ‘Loknayak’, the leader of people, an informal title given to JP due to his extraordinary vision and fearless movement during one of the worst internal political crisis of post independent India.  
Neena Wahi recited a poem तुम पुकार लो “you call over” by Mr. Harivansh Roy Bachhan. Her poem, आई है दिवाली described that how we celebrate Diwali and Eid and enjoy with good food, new clothes but we should remember to serve the needy. We need to take care of the environment, we need to take care of girl's safety, and Festivals are the time to give back to the society.

Mir Fazlul Karim recited a poem in Bengali.  The poem portrayed the intellectual feat of human being that ultimately damaged the world environment by creating divisions society, piercing the ozone layer and causing possibilities of floods by sea level-rise, loss of unity in the communities and misplacing all humanitarian qualities.

Geetha Patil narrated Pablo Neruda’s sad love poem, “Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines.” The poem describes the emptiness caused by lost love in an immense universe. His soul, however, is not satisfied to think that "it has lost her," his eyes and heart search for her. Geetha also sang a Kannada patriotic song that narrated four hundred years of British rule in India and the struggles and sacrifices made by the freedom fighters until India achieved independence. 

Bijoy Misra read a poem written in Sanskrit by late poet Radanath Ray of Odisha, titled, “Sarvesham no Janani Dharani Kalpalateyam”  “O Mother of all, the Eternal India” written in 1903.   He recited the English translation done by him.  The mother land is the worldly abode for human beings and the poet pledges to uphold her honor and glory in the whole world and offers his humble salutation to her.

Preetpal Singh’s poem was about some funny situations in life. He says that if you are waiting outside sadly for someone with candle in your hand, you can be bitten by mosquitoes or dogs can bark at you. Some people older but think they are young don’t like when people call them “uncle” or “auntie”.

Ayaan Srivastava (age 9) recited a Poem from Geetanjali a Nobel winning work by famous Indian Poet Rabindranath Tagore, translated by Irish poet W.B Yeats. He also recited his own poem "War is no Good" which depicted the plight of the war machines such as Tanks and Fighter helicopters how they witness the wrath.

Rahul Ray recited original Bengali version and its English translation of India's national anthem by Rabindranath Tagore.  Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, Dispenser of India's destiny, Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat and Maratha, Of the Dravida, utkala and BangaIt echoes in the hills of Vindhya and the Himalayas, Mingles in the music of Ganga and Yamuna and is chanted by The waves of the Indian sea, They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise, The saving of all people waits in thy hand, Thou dispenser of India's destiny, Victory, victory, victory to thee.

Swapna Ray recited a poem entitled 'Uno-bingsho shotabdir Nari' (Women of 21st century).

As women –

Our existence will not be for.

Solely giving birth to children,

And suffer in bondage,

Our patient sacrifice,

Will not be for solely keeping the household under control.

 Our wounded soul will never be sold by dowry

We no longer will follow men,

or Dance only to their tune.

Amit Khare read a Hindi poem entitled “”, about standing tall against problems in life. Bhujang is a symbol of problem. The poet challenges problems and says that it is not possible for anything to stop him before death.

Vasant Machwe read his poem titled “राष्ट्र धर्म” which has a message for those NRIs who hardly remember their birth land and whose offspring don’t like to visit India. The poet through his poem tried to evoke in them their duty towards India which is on the rise and going up the hill of achievements. He says, in the past, our rich heritage that was stolen and destroyed by the intruders can be restored by their contribution and support. They must wake up and extend their helping hands for the sake of building their Motherland.

The program ended with a brief social time and tea. 


The next event of SAPNE “The Voice of the Mothers and the Youth” is scheduled Sunday, February 16, 2 PM at Lexington Public Library, Lexington, MA  All are invited to join.  Please register by sending mail to

SAPNE is a sister organization associated with India Discovery Center

More information on SAPNE at

More information on India Discovery Center at

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