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Dr. Som Thakur And Abhinav Shukla: Geet-Haasya-Gazal Kavi Sammelam

Alok Misra

After the immense success of last year’s Neeraj tour, the International Hindi Association (IHA) has invited another legendary Hindi poet Dr. Som Thakur along with satirist Abhinav Shukla and the Hindi Gazal maestro Uday Pratap Singh in a Kavi Sammelan (poetry recital) tour on its Silver Jubilee celebrations. Som Thakur and Uday Pratap Singh will be felicitated for their life long contribution to the Hindi poetry in a Kavi Sammelan Shrankhla. More than a dozen city tour, consisting of New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Raleigh, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Dayton, Cleveland, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Houston will run from September 24 to October 23, 2005.

In the same league as Neeraj, Dr. Som Thakur of Agra, UP, is one of the foremost Geetakaar in India today, who has been enthralling the audience all over the world for 40+ years. Eminent Hindi lyricist, film songwriter, writer of over dozen books and recipient of many prestigious national awards, Som Thakur is known for his melodious voice and songs of love, sacrifice and humanity. His book ‘Ek Richa Patal Ko’ was awarded the coveted Nirala Samman in 1997. Some of his poems are considered to be milestone in Hindi Poetry and are included in the textbooks of schools/colleges. Som Thakur has also written some memorable songs for Hindi films. He was recently appointed the Chairperson of UP Hindi Sansthan. This is his second trip to the US by popular demand.

Uday Pratap Singh of Shikohabad, UP, is a maestro of Hindi Gazals who has participated in numerous kavi sammelans in India and abroad for the last forty-five years. He is a scholar of both English and Hindi literature, which helps him enrich his poetic expression. Mr. Singh is actively engaged in the field of promoting Indian languages and bringing about harmony among them. Educationist by profession, he is active in politics. Currently, a sitting Member of the Parliament, Mr. Singh has been elected to both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha three times since 1989.

Accompanying Som Thakur and Uday Pratap Singh is Abhinav Shukla of Bangalore, a new generation satirist who has entertained millions of people with his humorous writings and satiric arrows. Abhinav is a young and extremely talented poet who has achieved in the last few years what others dream of achieving in decades. Two books to his credit and a recipient of numerous awards, he has participated in hundreds of kavi sammelans and mushairas since the tender age. Abhinav is a rising star in India who has made a name for himself as an intelligent and melodious Hasya Kavi. He will be the master of ceremony, and will conduct the stage in all of the programs. This is his third trip to the US. The Hindi lovers are eagerly waiting to host and listen to these two generations of poets.

To mark this historic event of the Silver Jubilee Shrankhla, IHA is publishing a souvenir commemorating the dozen city kavi sammelan tour. The souvenir contains a 20 page up-close biographical sketch of the three poets. Also, a special collection of poetry recitals in a video and an audio CD is being released.

The IHA, a non-profit organization established in 1980, is a premier institution of Indian culture & studies in the United States. It is managed by a constitutionally elected Board of Directors working through its local chapters spread throughout the United States and Canada. Besides publishing the quarterly magazine ‘Vishwa’, IHA organizes annual Kavi Sammelans, Seminars and Conferences. It also facilitates Hindi teaching at various levels from Sunday Schools to High Schools and Universities around the United States. The Kavi Sammelans organized by IHA have been increasingly popular and successful with famous poets like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Hullad Muradabadi, Kunwar Bechain, Surendra Sharma and late Kaka Hathrasi, to name a few, in the past.

There is only one program scheduled for the New England area, and that is on Friday 30th September in Shrewsbury at India Center in collaboration with the India Society of Worcester. Further information can be obtained by calling 603-898-4881, or by visiting www.hindi.org or www.iswonline.org

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