Laughter filled the air at the Forest Hills High School in New York City, April 22, and again at E Hotel in Edison, N.J. on April 23, as veteran poet Ashok Chakradhar and local artist Abhinav Shukla of California, entertained the crowds with comedy acts and poetry. Well known Bharatanatyam exponent Sneha Chakradhar performed at the events as well.
Indo-American Festivals, in collaboration with & TV, and Zhilmil USA organized a Hasya Kavi Sammellan in New York and New Jersey attended by among others, Nasrin Ahmed of Hempstead, N.Y., Ashok Vyas of ITV NY, Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey, and Dr. Sudhanshu Prasad.
For the past four decades Prof. Chakradhar, recipient of India’s Padma Shri award, has been working for radio and television and is considered to be a pioneer in popularizing poetry on mainstream television.
He touches on topics ranging from politics, to home issues and messages of hope and patriotism.
Shukla, an engineer by profession, a young poet, has followed his passion for poetry even while in the U.S., competing in poetry competitions at the national level. His “Patni Chalisa” which touches on current political issues in U.S. and India is particularly popular.
Sneha Chakradhar, in a never-seen- before performance, blended the poetry of her father and Hindustani classical music with the rhythmic elements of Carnatic music, producing a unique take on the traditional south Indian dance form.