Rekha Rajvanshi has become a familiar name in Sydney. Not only is she a writer and teacher, but she is also a popular poet of Sydney. The Indian community loves and supportsher work: from fundraising for breast cancer, to teaching Hindi at the University of Sydney, Rekha is passionate about doing it all.
The latest feather in Rekha’s cap is her sixth, bilingual poetry book, ‘Mutthi Bhar Chandni,’ a book of 51 ghazals. ‘Ghazal’ is the poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation, and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. On Sunday 23 July, The Consul General of Sydney, Mr Vanlalvawna, and Hon MP Strathfield Jodi McKay officially launched the book at Epping Leisure and Learning Centre.
The Consul General praised Rekha’s efforts in promoting Hindi Education and Hindi Literature in Australia, reflecting on her poetry as a true representation of the migrant experience in a new country, and how they feel about their homeland. MP Jodi McKay congratulated Rekha for her book release, and spoke about how Australia’s multicultural history is enriched by this kind of work. She announced that a copy of this book would be entered into the State Library of NSW.
The event was supported by seven organizations; Sydney BhartiyaVidyaBhavan, IABBV Hindi School,Indian Seniors Hornsby, AHIA, FIAN, ILASA Inc and ASAF. The MC for the evening was well-knownShayar& poet Abbas Raza Alvi, who welcomed everyone. Kakoli Mukherjee sang a prayer song written by Rekha, followed by speeches given by Dave Passi, Mala Mehta, Dr Yadu Singh and AashishGholkar, whowere invited to say a few words about Rekha’s work in the community.
Rekha was also invited on stage to recite her poetry, and recited a ghazal: ‘chand rota rahana jane kyon, dardhotarahana jane kyon, rotiyonkegaribkabachcha, khvabbotarahana jane kyon.’ Some of her ghazals were also sung by the local singers: AparnaNagsyayana, a Hindi classical music guru and singer sang “zindagiitnibhiaasannahi, kaunhai jo kipareshan”;LalitMehra sang a romantic ghazal “Teri meriyadonkekhatniklehainalmari se,” and Suhas Mahajan sang “Chandni Rat zaroori to nahi, ye mulaqatzaroori to nahi.”When Vinod Rajput sang the heartfelt lyrics, “Kabhibehadsatatahai, tumhariyaadkabadal,” some women in the audience were brought to tears.More than a 100 artists, singers and poetry lovers of Sydney attended the program.
Rekha is passionate about Hindi, art & literature. On Hindi divas last year, she organized a Hindi Conference at the University of Sydney, and a Hindi poetry competition for youth at the Parliament House, with the support ofthe Consulate General of India, BhartiyaVidyaBhawan and other organizations. She represented Australia in IORA countries’ three-day poetry festival organized by Sahitya Academy Delhi. She also translated Aboriginal Dreamtime stories from English into Hindi and won National AUSIT Excellence Award in translation.
“I am really honoured that theghazalsI wrote and posted on Facebook from time to time,” said Rekha. “Sydney’s talented singers have liked them and composed music on them, and for that I’m very grateful.”Rekha is now working on a Hindi fiction book.