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An Evening of Hindi-Urdu Poetry at Emory University

June 2007
An Evening of Hindi-Urdu Poetry at Emory University

Hindi and Urdu are the closest of any two languages of the world. Together these two languages are spoken by the largest number of people in the world. A joint poetry reading function, "Hindi Urdu Sanjhe Bol", was successfully held on April 21st, 2007 at White Hall, Emory University. "Sanjhe" means "shared". Thirty people recited poems, most of which were original compositions of those presenting.

The event was organized jointly by Manju Tiwari, faculty at the Department of South Asian Studies, Emory University and Sandhya Bhagat. Professor Bhudev Sharma presided over the function. The organizers experimented with something rather interesting. Famous poets of the two languages running over a historical period of over six centuries, were caricatured by persons in full dress appearances reciting their representative compositions. Kabir (Naresh Vachaspati), Meera Bai (Suparna Pathak), Mirza Ghalib (Shyam Kadle), Bahadur Shah Zafar (Shyam Tiwari) and Subhadra Kumar Chauhan (Sandhya Bhagat), came to life in their own period amidst the spectators.

The poets came from different sections of the society of Indian and Pakistani origin. These included doctors, engineers, professors, IT professionals, business-people, and housewives. The presentations were well received. An audience of over 150 relived fading memories of their mother tongue. Some poems amused, while others brought tears of joy and sorrow. The success of the event can perhaps be measured by the fact that everyone in the hall remained glued to their seat for three hours of the program, deeply mesmerized.

The poets were Sudarshan Bahri, Manorma Pandit, Manju Tiwari, Sandhya Bhagat, Madhur Gupta, Pramila Dhirendra, Alka Roy, Shilpa Agarwal, Chandravati Sharma, Indu Virmani, Nishi Sharma, Farzana Bharmal. Rehana Anjum, Rukhsana Wasim, and Sadaf Farooki, Kush Kumar, Om Arora, Amitabh Sharma, Mihir Lal, Bhudev Sharma, Naresh Vachaspati, Gautam Goyal, Ashok Goyal, Hansmukh Fifadra, Vijay Nikore, Apurv Shrivastava, Naval Parwal, Jahangir Rathore, and Sayed Shaeed.

This was the first attempt of its kind to bring Hindi-Urdu speaking people of metro Atlanta closer through poetry. Both the organizers got full support from the participants, community and Emory University. Dinner on behalf of Emory University was organized by Dr. Deepika Bahri, Chair of South Asian Studies.

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