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Noted Gujarati poets Sudhir Patel and Yagnesh Dave enthrall poetry and ghazal lovers in Atlanta

Cover photo: From L to R : Nimish Sevak, Atul Raval of Ekatra Foundation, Sanjay Pandya, Dr. Dhaval Shah, Poet Yagnish Dave, Poet Sudhir Patel, Ravindra Dave, Editor/owner of Atlanta-based publication “Rashtra Darpan” & Mustafabhai Ajmeri.

BY SANJAY PANDYA

Atlanta, GA, August 7, 2023: Poetry and ghazal lovers in the Atlanta community were treated to a feast of Gujarati poems and ghazals at the Double Tree Hotel in Marietta on the evening of Sunday July 23, 2023. The venue for poetry reading was sponsored by an anonymous donor.

The evening’s tone was set by remembering Wordsworth’s lines describing those involved in the French Revolution:

“Bliss was it in the dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!”

To listen to these two poles apart poets of the Gujarati language was a heart-lifting experience for the attendees!

Sudhir Patel, resident of Charlotte, North Carolina writes lyrics and ghazals in Gujarati and Hindi. “Naam avyu hot pur anu ane” was Sudhir Patel’s first collection of poems published in 1989 and his first collection of Hindi poetry “Dekh liya rab” was published in 2022. Patel’s poems are romantic compositions reflecting love, pain, loneliness, and a relationship with the Almighty. His soft voice and recitation style riveted the audience.

Yagnesh Dave, who has earned his doctorate in ecology, is a modern poet who writes in a non-metric style creating rhythm with the sounds of his words. He successfully creates a whole environment for his poems by using a variety of dialects – from highly Sanskritized Gujarati to a common laborer’s language. His voice and delivery resonate with a mixed audience, and are hypnotic for listeners.

Poetry reading.

Yagnesh Dave’s first collection of poems “Jal ni ankhe” was published in 1982. His collection of poems “Gandhmanjusha” was published in 2014 which earned him the Sahitya Academi Award for 2021. He has written several books of poems and also published collection of essays along the way. Yagnesh Dave creates his literature from different dialects – learned peoples’ language to the language of the working class! Listening to him reciting his poems was spellbinding!

At the conclusion of the program, Atlanta community’s well-known and respected Mustafa Ajmeri, who has helped organize many plays, movies, music and dance concerts in Atlanta, presented a gift to Sudhir Patel.

Dr. Dhaval Shah offered a token of appreciation to Yagnesh Dave. Ravindra Dave, Editor/owner of Atlanta-based publication “Rashtra Darpan” and Atul Raval of Ekatra foundation (engaged in digitalization of Gujarati literature) were present to promote and support the event for the benefit and entertainment of the Gujarati diaspora.

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