Irshad – Poetry and paintings of diaspora artists in Silicon Valley

First Flight by artist Sujata Tibrewala

12 Indian origin poets will recite poems in English, Sanskrit, Hindi and Urdu at an online event on August 28

A group of successful engineers, scientists, professors, teachers from the Silicon Valley will this Sunday turn to prose, soft, lyrical tones and emotional renditions told through the medium of poetry.

The Aug. 28 event will bring together lovers of poetry and poets from around the Silicon Valley in an online setting. The event aims to re-ignite the love for prose and lyrics amongst the diaspora.

Organized by Bay Area based Sundeep Kohli, a software professional and a passionate poet himself, the event titled, “Irshad – Echoes of our Soul” is an extension of weekly meetings that these poets used to have online.

Especially through the pandemic when the physical distancing made it impossible for people to share emotions or show their feelings or love for each other, the online poetry sessions served as a solace to many.

Read: ‘India Shayari Project’ to celebrate Indian Independence Day (August 14, 2021)

The online poetry session will also have a unique aspect. As the poets read their rich renditions, Bay Area based artist Sujata Tibrewala known for her fierce, feminist artworks will be showcasing some of her paintings that serve as a backdrop to the rich prose.

Talking about her association with the diaspora poets, Tibrewala says, “I am very fortunate to be part of this brilliant poetry event organized by Sundeep Kohli.”

“I will also be presenting an original Hindi poem. The recitation will be accompanied by aalap (classical music) by musician Lakshmi Rao.”

“Some of the artists’ paintings that will be showcased during the recitation include a matted print titled First Flight, which focusses on how sometimes even though women may excel men in power, intelligence or strength but are inherently attuned to believe that they are the weaker sex,” she says

“The poetry will find its narrative echo through the messages told through art. I am also glad because it is one of those rare times when many art forms are coming together to form a cohesive message.”

About the poets group, Kohli says, “We are an eclectic group of poets and poetry lovers who will be reading our favorite poems. You will get to hear different types of poems from the diverse and rich poetic traditions of the Indian subcontinent, with an ear for the modern Silicon Valley sensibility.”

“We rarely share our poetry with a public reading, as we would rather be writing when we are not busy with our day jobs as engineers, scientists, professors, teachers, etc. So, we are incredibly excited to share with you now that we have the opportunity!”

The poet line-up includes: Vidur Sahdev, Pragalbha Doshi, Jai Santosh Polepalli and Anuradha Gajaraj Lopez (Original English poem recitation), Moitreyee Chowdhury (English poem recitation poem by Assétou Xango),  Jyoti Bachani (Original Hindi and English poem recitation), Lalit Kumar (Original Hindi Kavita recitation), Navneet Galagali (Sanskrit poem recitation poem by Sundara Pandya), Saswati Das (Original Hindi Kavita recitation), Shashank Dabriwal (Rashmirathi Kavita recitation), Sujata Tibrewala (Original Hindi poem recitation accompanied by Alap by Lakshmi Rao) and Sundeep Kohli (Original Urdu Ghazal recitation ) — with Jyoti Bachani and 11 others.

Kohli adds, “Poetry of Diaspora in Silicon Valley is a group of poets who meet weekly to celebrate our joy of poems. We read, write and translate original and well-loved poems.”

“We co-create a mindscape where we interact to inspire each other in an affirmative art practice space. All poetry lovers are welcome to this weekly open house.”

The online event will be held on Saturday, August 28, 7.30 pm – 9.00 pm

Poetry of Diaspora in Silicon Valley Presents Irshad: Echoes of our Souls

Poetry of Diaspora in Silicon Valley Presents Irshad: Echoes of our Souls

A poetry reading event of poems from the rich and diverse poetic tradition of the Indian Subcontinent

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