I casually suggested Surekha Mondkar to hold one session on poetry. We called it ‘Kavi Sammelan’ initially then changed it to ‘Kavya-Vachan’. Surekha readily accepted.
“Don’t read out your Limericks or Vatratika” my DW [Darling Wife] said, “It does not go with your age.” This is what happens to aspiring poets. They are brought down to terra firma with a thud!
“I am not reading my poems, Surekha is making her choice. She will decide.”
Surekha was completely engrossed in this assignment which she had enthusiastically accepted. She planned the program comprehensively.
She asked me to make announcements on WhatsApp and FB page. She discussed the seating arrangements, the way microphones were to be placed. And even when the snacks were to be served. Snacks and Coffee were served before start of the program to ensure that the poets in the audience did not write angry poems on the event. Smart trick!
Surekha is a total poetry person. Her study of Marathi poetry is deep and insightful. She covered who wrote the first poetry in this world. [Do you know? If you don’t, start attending Rotary Meetings, friend!]. She also talked about the first poetry in Marathi.
Then about various poets and their hallmark – Acharya Atre’s parody -‘Zhenduchi Phule’ for instance. That reminds me we also have a parody writer among us. Who’s that? Hemant Mondkar. He wrote it on demand! Way to go, man!
I expected him to write parody on a love song. His parody talked about his ‘Khane – Pine’, Dine and Wine in other words. Sir ji, what you did was interesting. And I understand you; I mean how you could have sung a song on beautiful persons in the presence of your DW who was chairing the show. That’s unthinkable!
Ajit Apte was a Chupa Rustom. He sang a ghazal, and sang it well. We never knew this soft and sensitive aspect of Ajit. Your image in our eyes has soared sky high Ajit. As they say, once a romantic, always a romantic!
What amazed me was the number of persons who wrote poetry. And the variety of expressions. The choice of poetry, when they recited poems written by others also showed a rich appreciation of the finer points of ‘life and letters.’ Thane will soon be declared as the City of Poets.
Mrs Dhuru also read out her poems. She covered every day experience so well, and the metaphor of carom game was so well used.
The star was Ashwini. She read out her poems. Simple, metered, conveying feelings and using imagery so well. Pravinbhai pointed out that Marathi is her ‘mother tongue’ with a tongue-in-cheek comment he is known to make. No dispute there, Sir ji.
Mangala ended the show by reciting humorous one on the typical behaviour of various zodiac signs. Enjoyed!
And how we missed our kind hearted, sensitive Rotarian. Sandeep, I mean. Sandeep and I share a common feeling. Poetry not sung well drives us nuts literally [which goes well with Beer]. Well, more about it some other time.
Vivek S Patwardhan