Heartfelt gratitude to Rewari for my book launch!
Dear family and friends,
Namaste! It has taken me a few months to pen my thoughts about the two book launches that I had in India. My sister Mitra (Dr. Mitra Saxena) has already written about the Delhi Book Launch in her inimitable style. I thank Sarthak Das Gupta-ji (chief guest) and Dr. Bina Biswas (of Rubric Publishing) and many friends and family (especially Mahima didi (Smt. Mahima Casewa)) who contributed to the extraordinary success of the Delhi Book Launch.
My India trip was very short and only for two weeks amidst fear and trials of Covid19. I had gone to attend my nephew dear Akshay’s (Dr. Akshay Saxena) wedding. It seemed quite impossible to have another big function in Rewari (my hometown) amidst so many family events and a shortage of time.
Ruchi (left) and I (right) in Rewari, India 2021.
Of course, I underestimated my family and friends. My brother Lalit (Dr. Lalit Mohan Saxena) and my sister-in-law Ruchi (Dr. Ruchi Saxena) took it upon themselves to organize the whole book release function complete with inviting guests on very short notice, hall & stage decorations, and to top it all treating everyone to a sumptuous dinner. There were more than 200 attendees! We had only 2-3 days for practicing the songs that would showcase the phenomenal contributions of the esteemed lyricists. In that limited time, I was able to choose the appropriate songs, and guide the enthusiastic participants regarding the songs and the lyrics. We had very good accompanying artists who gave full support to our performing singers. I was very impressed with all the talented friends of Rewari and my immediate family (Alka didi (Smt. Alka Bhatnagar, Mahima didi, Mitra, Adesh (Dr. Adesh Saxena), Lalit and others)). They practiced relentlessly and I was able to present my program outlining the poetry of nearly seventeen Hindi film lyricists (Sahir, Kaifi Azmi, Janisar Akhtar, Neeraj, Shailendra, Manoj Muntashir and many others) along with their songs.
I grew up in Rewari which used to be a very small town in southern Haryana. Now it has developed impressively and is a district. Yet Rewari continues to exhibit its small-town goodness and the people exude warmth and love beyond measure. It was such an honour to receive blessings and accolades from learned people and our elders from my hometown. They have known me since I was a little girl. The evening was full of enthusiasm and radiated a lot of positive energy. I’m grateful to both Mitra and Ruchi for anchoring the program in a very professional manner.
The official book release was done by luminaries of Rewari (Shri Vipin Suneja-ji (a writer, singer and an acclaimed artist), Akram ji (my Ustad Shakoor master sahab’s grandson), Rajnikant-ji (lawyer, poet and son of Master Shri Ram ji, our family friend and guide) and Shri Anand Swaroop Data uncle-ji (our family friend of more than 60 years)). Satbir Nahadiya-ji, a writer and journalist shared his thoughts about my book. His write-up is enclosed here. I am extremely humbled to receive so much love and ovation from my parents, family and friends. My mother, Dr. Tara Saxena has been my inspiration and she has been guiding me on this book. I was thrilled that she was able to speak a few words to bless me despite having had a stroke recently.
The journey of writing this book was spent mainly in solitude however with God’s grace I’m so happy to be able to share my homage to the talented lyricists with so many.
I’m grateful to my talented team (Nitya and Siddharth) who with their incredible youthful energy and passion remind me that my work is important and is making a difference. The biggest tribute to the Rewari book launch function came from our family friend Aruna-ji (Dr. Aruna Mathur) who lives in London Ontario Canada. She said to me “Chitra, I could feel the positive vibrations of your Rewari book release function even while watching it on YouTube and so far from India!”
Dear friends--I truly believe that our words have healing power. Our Hindi film lyricists have shared their thoughts and emotions through beautiful words. Our world needs to pay close attention to the “words” we use. As I have said in my book “we can heal the world one word at a time”. I wish and pray that meaningful poetry and music take the center stage in our lives once again.
Sharing Hasrat Jaipuri ji’s immortal song from the film “Andaz” with you all.
“ज़िन्दगी एक सफ़र है सुहाना
यहाँ कल क्या हो किसने जाना
हँसते गाते जहाँ से गुज़र
दुनिया की तू परवाह ना कर
मुस्कुराते हुए दिन बिताना
यहाँ कल क्या हो किसने जाना”
Essence: “This journey of life is one of beauty and happiness. Let us smile and live today as we do not know what is going to be in store for us tomorrow. Let us count our blessings and rejoice on this journey without worrying about anything”
With love and best wishes on this life’s voyage for every one of you.
"Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble."