The Colors of Hasya Ras at India House

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The poets who performed at the Hasya Ras Hungama at India House on Friday, June 17.
From left: Manjit Singh, Ana Dehalvi, and Mahendra Ajnabi.
Photos: Bijay Dixit

By Vanshika Vipin

HOUSTON: Known to bridge the gap by uniting cultures in Houston, India House hosted Hasya Ras Hungama, a comedy show dedicated to promote Hindi language, on the evening of Friday, June 17. Jam-packed audience of more than 300 plus Hindi lovers had a rollicking time listening to the witty anecdotes and limericks of the three well-known Hindi Hasya kavi -Manjit Singh, Mahendra Ajnabi and Ana Dehalvi.

In the times of an up rise in stand-up comic shows from the likes of Jerry Seinfeld and Russell Peters, one would witness a parallel movement in India that has reinvented the humor swag with the likes of Kapil Sharma, East India Comedy and more. When the humor is interspersed with poetry, it creates what one knows as ‘Hasya kavita’.   Although, the poetry is written in all languages of the world, it’s only in Hindi and Urdu that it enthralls the audience more. The Kavi Sammelan is a scintillating exhibition of humor, satire, sensation, love, patriotism and cultural values.

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The evening began at 7 p.m. starting with a delectable dinner from Madras Pavilion. Satiated taste buds set the endorphins at work. Starting with a welcome address by Col. Vipin Kumar, the evening was hosted by Arun Prakash, a veteran Hindi linguist. Three of his protégées, namely Rahul Agarwal, Varun Agarwal and Jasmine Singh, spoke on the occasion while expressing their love for the Hindi language and the Indian Culture while Usha Mehra set the tone of the evening with Saraswati Vandana.

Arun Prakash introduced the renowned Humorist and Hasya Kavi Manjit Singh who in turn introduced Mahendra Ajnabi and Ana Dehalvi in his signature style. The funny bone was awakened from its slumber.

Each humorist engaged the audience with their distinctive style. Manjit Singh started off with the much favored subject of Indians, cracking jokes on wives. Srimati formed the most relatable premise of ice breaking humor followed by satire on the current obsession with Social media. He highlighted the dry humor through references of people posting pictures of broken legs before they went to hospital and of progressing ‘Suhaag raat’ (First night of wedding).

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Could people relate to Manjit Singh? Oh yes, every word he spoke evoked an affirmatory chuckle.

The second entertainer of the evening was Ana Dehalvi, the poetess, who romanced with Urdu and Hindi language. She, despite being a Muslim, sang the Saraswati Vandana and called herself ‘Mein Saraswati ki beti hoon’. (I am the daughter of Saraswati). Her witty limericks were an amalgamation of Urdu and Hindi language and to ascertain this medley, she added “Sagi behno ko miladu, Urdu ko Hindi se miladu”.

The third performer in line was Mahendra Ajnabi. Poets are known to address the issues of the society through their satirical humor. Ajnabi got the audience thinking on some hard hitting issues of the society through his poems like “TV ki aisi rawani… Bacche Bhool chale Dadi aur Nani ki Kanani”.

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The guests enjoyed the cup of masala tea at intermission to keep the momentum on. The second half of the programme began with the vote of thanks by Col. Vipin Kumar followed by a speech by Dr. Virendra Mathur.

Dr. Mathur thanked the Hindi loving audience who came in for the ‘Hasya Ras Hungama’ and Arun Prakash for taking the initiative to organize such a wonderful programme.  He also expressed his gratitude to Col. Vipin Kumar and his enthusiastic team who meticulously organized the evening at the India House. Darshak and Mona Thacker of Krishna Sounds provided the light and Sound, while T.V Houston, T.V Asia and Indo-American News covered the event.

The program ended close to midnight with a vote of thanks to the talented artists and the generous sponsors. The evening’s success was marked with a donation pledge of $100,000 by one of the India House member. Indeed a rollicking night for the Hindi lovers in Houston.

For more details and for upcoming events contact vipin@indiahouseinc.org or call 713-929-1900 or visit www.indiahouseinc.org

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