House of Lords-London, 7 September 2017:
Hosted by Baroness Flather, Vatayan organised a brilliant conversation, 27 Years of Hindi in the UK, between the Hindi enthusiast
and poet, Dr Padmesh Gupta and the multi-award winning journalist, author and editor of
Health & Happiness, Vijay Rana, followed by the release of Dr Gupta’s poetry collection,
Pravasi Putra. Baroness Flather welcomed the guests and spoke highly of Vatayan’s
consistent effort to promote Indian languages and culture in the UK.
The founder of Vatayan and author, Divya
Mathur, introduced the speakers and the
programme began with a Saraswati Vandana by the upcoming singer and Hindi teacher
Poonam Dev. While Baroness Flather
wrapped a customary shawl around Dr Gupt,
Mira Kaushik OBE presented him credentials
on behalf of Vatayan.
Contact: Divya Mathur
Vatayan: Poetry on South Bank
Phone: 07770 7775314
The special guests on this occasion included the renowned scholar and the former Mayor of
Lucknow, Shri Dauji Gupt, Shri Arun Maheshwari, the Managing Director of Vani
Prakashan and Chairman of Vani Foundation, and Shri Tarun Kumar, Attaché (Hindi &
Culture), High Commission of India, London.
This programme was chaired by Kailash Budhwar, author of two volumes of London
Letters, and the former head of BBC World Service (Tamil/Hindi), who was in chair, said
that Padmesh’s contribution to Hindi in the UK will be remembered for ever in the
history. Vijay Rana, who conducted the conversation excellently, asked some poignant
questions to a few selected guests. The founder of Kriti UK and a fashion designer,
Titiksha Shah, who paid a glorious tribute to Padmesh for his long standing love,
commitment and promotion of Hindi in this country, his exemplary behavior in his private as
well as professional career has been exemplary. Prominent author, Dr Nikhil Kaushik
reminisced about Padmesh’s early days in the UK. Dr K K Srivastava said that Padmesh’s
poetry has a universal appeal, full of positive energy. One outstanding feature of his
endless repertoire is his unparalled abilty to conduct on the stage.
Dr Arun Maheshwari of Vani Prakashan-Delhi, said that Padmesh’s poems such as
‘Paudha’, ‘Brexit’ and ‘Dohri Nagrikta’ symbolise progressive writings of Diaspora.
Dr Dauji Gupta, politician and scholar from India, said that his family house in Lucknow
still has old walls engraved by gold powder paintings with writings of ancient poets such
as Kabirdas, Mira and Surdas by which Padnmesh was quite fascinated. The chair of
Vatayan and Director of Akademi, Mira Kaushik OBE, spoke about how Padmesh’s
activities created a great atmosphere of Hindi literature in the UK since 1990.
Reply to Vijay Rana’s varied questions, Dr Padmesh Gupta spoke about his role in
creating the Hindi movement in the UK including starting the Annual Kavi Sammelans,
publication of Purvai, Hindi Gyan Pratiyogita for Hindi students in UK, Europe and
Russia. He was requested to recite some of his famous poems, ‘Chadi Ghadi aur Ainak’
brought tears in the eyes of many. Asked about his future plans, Padmesh announced
an annual Indian Literature & Cultural festival in partnership of the UK universities and
to connect with youth at international level and create a network of Hindi students
internationally. He also believes that rather than raising huge funds, if such events are
organised at voluntary level, with no expectations or monitory gains, will leave an impact
that will create a movement of
Indian literature and culture in
The book signing was unique
in the sense that this was the
first and only time in history,
when a Hindi book, that too of poetry, was sold out and many left empty handed and
Presenting the Vote of thanks, Shikha Varshney, also read some selected messages
received on this occasion, including Anil Joshi from Fiji and Dr Ranjit Sumra from
Manchester. The programme concluded with drinks and delicious dinner hosted by Kriti UK
and Vani Publishers-Delhi at Millbank Indian Spice Restaurant.
The distinguished guests from all over the UK, Europe, India and US, who graced this
programme, included Vijay Anand (Editor, Confluence), Yogesh Patel (Editor, Word
Masala), Edward Crask, Kumar Upadhyaya, Sadek Ali, Gerry Takamura and Steve
Hartley from Oxford, Vayu Naidu, Tejendra Sharma, Cllr Zakia Zubairi, Bhartendu
Vimal, Lalit Mohan Joshi, KBL and Usha Raje Saxena, Janardan Agarwal, KC Mohan,
Vaishali Thakkar, Brij and Usha Goyal, Aruna and Nand Ajitsaria, Prabhakar Kaza,
Shail and Narendra Agrawal, Akhtar Gould, Prabha Mishra, Dr Rishi Agarwal, Surekha
Chophla, Seema Vedi, Shashi Walia,Padam Talwar, Toshi Amrita, and Reena Sharma,
amongst many others.