By Ashok Kumar
Sydney is replete with Bollywood movies, more at present time than five years ago, but poetry comes stronger and more popular in this city. If there is one name to be associated with poetry that is Rekha Rajvanshi who has made poetry more popular not only in Sydney but also all over Australia when she launched Indian Literary and Arts Society of Australia in 2009 with a small evening with poets. She has encouraged, through this platform, a host of budding talents all over Australia.
Latest among these poetry sessions was “Shayari ki ek sham with Khushbir Singh Shaad and Rekha Dvivedi” at the Epping Leisure Centre, Epping on 24 April, 2016 with Rekha herself and another poet Ajay Bajaj co-hosting the evening. The evening started with a Shayari by Sydney’s budding talent Kunwar Manish Rana ‘Rasik’ followed by GarimaTrivedi who narrated a beautiful poem, Pravin Kumar Gupta, Rajeev Kumar from the Indian Consulate with having keen interest in poetry, Ashraf Shaad and Arif Sadiq, Abbas Raza Alvi who added to his presentation his much famous poem Colourful Kites, Shweta Kulshreshtha who took a flight into her childhood and Sydney’s stalwart Dr. Shailja Chaturvedi.
Dr. Rekha Dwivedi is an academic and a writer who has over 20 books in Hindi and English to her credit. She took the audience to the present times with a vivid comparison of things in Sydney and in India to a greater applause by the audience. “Sydney kuchh khas baat hai tumhri fizaon mein, yahan phool to kya pattiyan bhi mahakti hain hawaon mein.” And, kaue kale hi nahin, chitkabre bhi hain….
She is mother of Sydney-based movie maker and ABC producer/Director and owner of Indivisual films Ana Tiwary. Before the close, Dr. Rekha told this correspondent that besides poetry, she has also won awards for short fiction and her works are published in several newspapers and magazines and also has been associated with radio programmes. Focus of her poems is women. She has now retired as Director of National Foundation of Communal Harmony. Her poetry is contemporary and her poem on Mother drew a big applause at the Shayari evening.
Rekha Rajvanshi and Ajay Bajaj chipped in with their latest poems to enthrall the Sunday audience. With next also being a holiday, the audience was prepared to stay on irrespective of the time. There was a surprise for the audience—a song each by Sydney’s popular singer Riaz Shah and Ajoy Ghosh but not before Khushbir narrated his Ghazals.
Khushbir, born in Sitapur and studied in Lucknow, on the advice of his Ustaad Wali Asi learnt the soul of Ghazals – Urdu language and script. He penned seven books in Devanagari and Urdu scripts notable among them being :
- Jaane Kab Yeh Mausam Badle (1992)
- Geeli Mitti (1998)
- Chalo Kuch Rang Hi Bikhrey (2000)
- Zara Yeh Dhoop Dhal Jaye (2005)
- Bekhawabiyan (2007)
- Jahan Tak Zindagi Hai (2009)
- Bikharne Se Zara Pehle (2011).
Khushbir applauded Rekha Rajvanshi and Ilasa for organising and inviting me for the evening and said “Aapne to Hindi Sahitya ke zariye pura Hindustan Australia mein basa diya hai and I am very happy to be part of this event. His Shayari so much impressed fil maker Mahesh Bhatt that he asked him to pen a song for his next film “ Dhokha.” Besdides he has been participating in several mushairas (poetic sessions), such as Indo-pak mushaira.
Among the Khushbir noted ghazals he recited, included “ Kyon apni tarah jeene ka andaaz chhordien, kya hai hamare paas iss andaaz ke siva.”
It was precisely more than a Bollywood movie and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the three-hour respite from the daily grind of the weekdays.