By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
It was Urdu Academy’s monthly session of July 19 when I came to know about the forthcoming multilingual Mushaera of Vishav Punjabi Sahit Academy (VIPSA) or International Punjabi Literature Academy. Punjabi Academy’s General Secretary Jagjit Naushehrvi invited the literary event participants to attend the multi-lingual Mushaira known as Bahu-Bhashi Kavi-darbar on July 26, 2009 at the Mehran Restaurant, Newark CA.
The multi-lingual Musharea was a great event with three sessions. The first session was dedicated to Urdu poetry. The Urdu poets presenting their poetry included: Javed Syed, Farooq Taraz, Gurcharan Singh Falak, Azad Jallandhari and Feroze Qazi. Annie Akhtar was MC of the session.
The second session was dedicated to Hindi poetry and the participating Hindi poets were: Ved Vatuk, Archana Panda, Brahmanand Pandey, Nirmal Shukla, Nilu Gupta and Bakhshish Kaur Sandhu. Ved Vatuk was MC for the session.
The third session was dedicated to Punjabi poetry. It was the longest session in which the following poets, many of whom traveled from Sacramento, participated: Dr Jaswant Singh Neki (visiting from India), Kulwinder, Dr. Sukhpaul Sangerha, Dr. Gurumel, Surinder Seerat, Resham Sidhu, Farooq Taraz, Harjinder Kang, Azad Jalandhari, Ishar Singh Momin, Jagjit Naushehrvi, Major Bhupinder Daler, Sukhi Dhaliwal, Kulwant Sekhon, Harbhajan Dhillon, Jas Fiza, Kamal Banga and Dharamvir Thaandi. Resham Sidhu conducted this session.
The event was originally planned as a tri-lingual event but it became a four-language Mushaera as Navneet Kaur Sandhu and Amarajit Kaur Pannu read poems in English.
Before the Mushaera session, renowned artist Sukhdev Sahil thrilled the audience with his melodious singing of the popular poetry of Baba Farid, Bulleh Shah. He was accompanied by Surjit Bawa on the tabla.
The program began with a welcome address by the Academy Chairman, Resham Sidhu, who stressed the need to bring people together rising above the narrow divisions and develop common bonds by sharing our life experiences for which literary work is the best medium.
The event was co-presided by Farooq Taraz, Azad Jallandhari, Dr. Ved Vatuk, Javed Syed, and Resham Sidhu. Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki was the chief guest.
Dr Jaswant Singh Neki is a prominent Punjabi poet from India who is currently visiting California. He was born in Quetta, Balochistan, in 1924. A medical doctor, a psychiatrist in specialist, by profession, Dr Jaswant Singh Neki has about 20 books of poetry, prose and criticism to his credit. He was awarded the prestigious literary award by Bhartiya Sahitya Akadami award for his contribution to literature and language in India.
Multi-lingual Mushaira is an annual event organized by the Punjabi Academy in the Bay Area to celebrate and promote poetry by bringing together literary enthusiasts of South Asian community with diverse linguistic backgrounds.
Among others in the audience we had Ijaz Syed, Jaswant Singh Khehra Khawaza Ashraf, Kuldip Dhaliwal, Seema Saeed, Sohan Singh Sandhu, and many other prominent members of the community.
Last year, in August, Vishav Punjabi Sahit Academy of California held its annual Multi Lingual Kavi-Darbar (Mushaaira/Poetry Recital) at Milpitas Community Library. Like this year’s event it also attracted a large crowd of literary enthusiasts of Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. Urdu Academy of Northern California, Zaheer Tashie also attended the event.
In November 2006, Vishav Punjabi Sahit Academy (VIPSA) organized North American Punjabi Literary conference in Milpitas, CA that was also attracted a large crowd. The Academy honored the celebrated Punjabi poet Surjit Patar with a beautiful plaque and cash prize appreciating his impressive contribution to the Punjabi language and literature. The conference marked the inauguration of the literary magazine, “Vishav Punjabi Sahit-2”, a collection of selected writings of about 75 Punjabi writers residing around the globe. The magazine was edited by Surinder Seerat and other Academy writers.
This year’s program was organized with special cooperation of Shahab Siddiqui of Mehran Restaurant. VIPSA General Secretary Jagjit Naushehrvi was overall coordinator of the event.
Vishav Punjabi Sahit Academy (VIPSA) or the Punjabi Academy was established in Oct 2002 in the Bay Area and its current Chairman is Resham Sidhu and General Secretary Jagjit Naushehrvi.
Pictures by Jagjit Naushehrvi who also contributed to this report.
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