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Hindi-Urdu Sanjhe Bol: Unique Poetry Recital

Aarti Nayar
January 2014
Hindi-Urdu Sanjhe Bol: Unique Poetry Recital

A Hindi-Urdu poetry night was held at the Atlanta Event Hall on December 8. Now in its sixth year, Hindi-Urdu Sanjhe Bol is an annual event that seeks to provide a platform for both established and amateur poets to share their original compositions while providing a venue for connoisseurs of this art form to revel in the magic of the spoken word.

 About 20 Hindi and Urdu poets enthralled the audience with their poetic take on life. Otherwise professors, students, doctors, physicists, engineers and chemists these poets stood bound by their love of poetry. Dr. Om Arora recited a couple of poems on marriage. While one of the poems dwelled on the lighter side of marriage, the other was a fun take on relationship complexities. Preeti Gupta’s poem was a metaphorical look at the challenges faced by the old maple tree in her backyard every season. It was obvious that she has a longstanding fondness and respect for nature. Pooja Sharma spoke of maturity and its influence on the changing nature of her understanding and expectation of love and relationships. Madhur Gupta spoke of dreams and how they help her sort through tough situations around her.

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Other poets who lit up the evening with their verses were Tahir Syal, Kamlesh Chug, Aarti Nayar, Vijay Nikor, Arati Bidla, Dr. Jagdish Agrawal, Ashfaq Farooqui, Joohi, Santosh, Sandhya Bhagat and Manju Tiwari. Their verses infused the evening with the richness of thoughts and ideas. Subjects ranged from love, loss, and despair to family, relationships and memories of the homeland. Words were spun into verses and in some cases presented as enchanting melodies. Every so often the quiet, attentive audience broke into spontaneous applause peppered by enthusiastic wah-wahs and mukarrar. Poems recited were rich in philosophy as well as in their delightfully comic look at life.

While all poets recited their own compositions, at the end, a few enthusiastically came forward to read works by other famous poets, a deviation from the norm during poetry recitals.

Many amongst the audience congratulated the organizers and were very appreciative of the event. Vijay Panchal, who was in the audience, summed it up: “In a few short years [this] has culminated into a rare event that’d be the envy of any metro area. [The organizers] deserve the heartiest congratulations from the Indian and Pak communities of Atlanta for keeping the language and art of Hindi and Urdu alive and vibrant.”

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The Hindi-Urdu Sanjhe Bol was conceived and founded by Manju Tiwari and Sandhya Bhagat. Manju Tiwari is Program Director for StarTalk Balvihar VHPA Hindi Camp, and a former lecturer in Hindi at Emory University. Sandhya Bhagat is the founder of Dhoop Chaaon and Natkhat Rangshala, a Hindi theater group, and also an instructor at the StarTalk Balvihar VHPA Hindi Camp. 

The recitations were followed by a dinner hosted by the organizers with the help of several volunteers. While the ghazals and nazms gave the audience food for thought, the delicious ghar ki daal and roti delighted all the pait poojaris in their midst. It was, clearly, an evening soaked in the quintessential sub-continental experience complete with diehard desis mingling over endless cups of garma-garam chai.


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