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Hindi Sonnets of Love for the Matrubhoomi (Motherland)

Sangeeta Pasrija, emcee for the event

Sangeeta Pasrija, emcee for the event

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: For those who have been brought up in the culture and shared in the traditions and festivals that shaped them, there is nothing short of love for the country that nurtured them. This is especially true of a culture that values its language and is known for the warmth of its legendary hospitality.

Dr. K.D. Upadhya, President IHA

Dr. K.D. Upadhya, President IHA

The International Hindi Association’s Houston Chapter has promoted those values in four events held throughout the year since it was founded eight years ago, but the event “Veer Ras” held on Friday, February 2, was the first time it was ever held in the US, according to IHA (Houston) President Dr. K. D. Upadhyaya. Full of patriotic fervor in its poetry, the event “raised the passion for the Motherland in those who came,” he said.

Fateh Ali Chatur

Fateh Ali Chatur

The “Mein aur meri matrubhoomi” (Me and my Motherland) poetry recital was held at the Keshav Smriti on the city’s Westside and about 125 people came to admire the talent of the local Hindi poets and share in the warm snacks and tea later. The event was jointly produced by the IHA and it’s partner organization, the India Culture Center.

Nausha Asrar

Nausha Asrar

The almost four-hour long program was started off by the singing of Vande Matram by the children from the IHA Hindi class held at the VPSS off West Bellfort and the Southwest Freeway.

The four poets who performed have been receiving quite a bit of popularity in Hindi circles: Dr. Upadhyaya, Dr. Nausha Asrar, Dr. Harendra Chahar and Fateh Ali Chatur. The emcee for the evening was a well-regarded poet herself and IHA(H) co-founder Sangeeta Pasrija.

Dr. Harendra Chahar

Dr. Harendra Chahar

Another co-founder, Swapan Dhairyawan opened up the evening, followed by a short invigorating speech by Ramesh Bhutada. Upadhyaya in his booming voice started off the Veer Ras and others followed. “Aao pyar kare” (Come, let’s fall in love) by Dr. Asrar was so popular there was pindrop silence to appreciate it. Among those who attended was Dr. Gaurang Nanavati from the Chinmaya Mission.

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