Vinod K. Bhardwaj

(Nashad Raza Jaunpuri)

Vinod was born in Lahore and his family migrated to India after the partition. His father Dr. Gian Chand Bhardwaj was a Railway Doctor who having fled from Walton, Lahore, was posted to the railway hospital in Jaunpur, U.P. The previous railway doctor had been a Muslim and had fled to the newly formed Pakistan. Thus, the family found new roots, in the Urdu and Bhojpuri culture of Jaunpur.

Early education took Vinod to Oak Grove School, Mussoorie, where he spent eight years, before coming back to Jaunpur, and completing his pre-university education at RSKD College. In 1962 he was admitted to Banaras Hindu University in Engineering. He graduated in Civil Engineering in 1967, and in 1969, got his Masters degree in Engineering.

Vinod is the President of The Phoenix Group, Engineers and Planners operating out of Victoria, B.C. Besides working on projects in Canada, Vinod has worked on World Bank and Asian Development Bank funded projects in India, Guyana, Yemen, Mongolia, and Brazil.

But within this persona of Vinod Bhardwaj, exists a poet musician, whose name is Nashad Raza Jaunpuri. An accomplished musician who can play the Bansuri, Sitar, tabla, harmonium, he can also express himself in the medium of Urdu Shayari.

Nashad published his first book of Shayari, Dooriyan in 1994. He was invited to recite at the famous Shankar Shaad Mushaira in 1995, and the Ghalib Yaadgar Mushaira in 1998 and 1999. During one of these mushairas, the late Dr. Raj Nigam approached him and requested a couple of ghazals for inclusion in the now famous Ghazalnama. Nashad gave him a copy of Dooriyan and asked him to select any ghazal from the book. Dr. Nigam ended up choosing fourteen ghazals for the Ghazalnama.

Although Nashad has participated in numerous Mushairas in Canada and U.S.A., he does not enjoy the setting of a Mushaira, as it is devoid of music. he says that Shayari without music is like a woman without Shringar (make-up). (Granted, a pretty woman does not need make-up, ornamentation is always charming). He expresses himself in Ghazal, and sometimes Nazm.

He is also an accomplished Bhajan singer, and prefers the traditional Bhajans from the Bhakti kaal poets. He performed at the World Bank in Washington, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti in 1999, singing all of Bapu's favourite Bhajans.

As a shayar and musician, and also as a person deeply committed to inter-cultural understanding, he has performed at many diverse venues. He was inducted into the Edmonton Arts and Culture Hall of Fame in 2008. Folkways Alive at the University of Alberta have also archived Vinod's work.

He is regularly invited by many cultural associations in Western Canada to perform and entertain, especially the elder generation. Vinod would welcome the opportunity to perform at your temple, Jamaat Khana or private mehfil, when he is in your area. Keep in touch.