my author of the august month

Purba Chakraborty needs no introduction to the avid readers and fellow bloggers in Indian blogosphere. So, when I decided to feature her as the author of the month, I wanted her to reveal certain aspects that she had not shared with her readers till now.

I am amazed by her versatility at such a young age. She blogs, she sings and till now, she has authored one book of poetry and three novels. In addition her poems and short stories have been part of a number of published anthologies. Her third novel –  Canvas of a Mind – has been out recently.

It is seen from her Amazon and Goodreads pages that her earlier books have made their marks on the readers’ minds. I am sure, ‘Canvass of a Mind‘ too will captivate the minds of the readers.

Here is my e-conversation with the author:

Q. You are involved in quite a number of creative activities – Blogging, Book Review, Singing, Books…. How do you juggle among them? I mean in a planned way or, you just surrender yourself to the mood of the moment. 

heart listens to no one.jpgA: I don’t have to juggle with them. I cannot survive without creativity. Therefore, I do all these activities out of love. I feel blessed to be able to express myself in various ways through creativity. But my priority will always be to write novels, short stories and poems.

Q. Coincidentally, August is the Birth month of Purba, the author. (This fact, I discovered after I had decided to feature you as the author of this month). Are you as enthusiastic a writer aftet your fourth book, as you were when your first book was released in 2012?

A: Yes, August is a very special month for me as my first book was released on 25th August, 2012. Yes, every time my book releases, I am excited, thrilled, nervous and emotional. The feeling never changes because a lot of hard work goes into the book. Unless you are a very famous author, the struggle of getting a publisher who will fund your book remains. So finally, when the book gets published and you see your words in print, it makes you feel surreal.

hidden lettersQ. Tell about a quirky incident in your childhood that you haven’t shared with your readers.

A: When I was ten, I wrote about 20 poems on a few loose sheets of paper and stapled them. On the first page, I did a doodle and wrote with sketch pen “Poetry book by Purba”. I still have that stapled copy. Every time I see it, I know that I am doing something right in my life. The ten year old Purba wanted to write books, though she was not completely aware of it.

Q. Apart from your family, who have been great sources of support in your writing journey?

A:  There have been so many people who have supported me in my writing journey at various phases of my life. I think everyone who has read my book and left a positive review or took the pain of writing an email to me, let me know his/her thoughts about my writing have helped me grow as a writer. My best friend, Priyam is the first reader of my books. She reads the first draft of the books and the way she encourages me makes me feel I am blessed. She is the one who helps me believe in myself and my writing, when I am having bad days.

Q. How do you cope with the obstacles you face? Life in general and writing activities in particular?

love and destinyA:  The year 2017 has been harsh on me. I lost my beloved grandmother in April. She was with me during the making of “Canvas of a Mind” (also when I was writing the acknowledgment). Losing her has left such an irreparable void in my heart that I find it difficult to go through my work and chores on some days.

There are times when I feel I can’t push myself to sit for work. I feel like breaking down. But I didn’t let my work get hampered and ensured that my book releases on time.

I think my personal motto “I rise after every fall” helps me get back on my feet in the morning even if I have cried the entire night. Meditation and yoga help me to calm my mind and take a bird’s eye view of things. The only way I cope with the obstacles I face is by not giving up, come what may. I keep marching forward even if I have wounded feet.

canvas of a mindQ. You have written one poetry book and three novels. Planning for any other genre?

A: I would want to write a memoir or non-fiction, someday. Right now, I am happy writing poetry and novels.

Q. Any other thing that you would like to share with our readers?

A:  My latest novel, “Canvas of a Mind” is a psychological mystery novel set against the back drop of Kalimpong, a remote hill station. It tells the story of two sisters whose lives change when a mysterious stranger starts stalking the younger sister. If you enjoy reading mysteries and thrillers with a touch of psychological drama, “Canvas of a Mind” will surely appeal to you. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Purba Chakraborty is a novelist, poet, web content developer, lifestyle blogger and social influencer from Kolkata. She has authored two novels “Walking in the streets of love and destiny”, “The Hidden Letters” and a poetry book “The Heart Listens to No One”. “Canvas of a Mind” is her third novel. Her short stories and poems have been published in more than ten anthologies and various magazines. She is a restless dreamer and wishes to write till her last breath.

She blogs regularly at Love, Laugh and Reflect (www.purba-chakraborty.com)

She can be reached at:

Facebook: writerpurbachakraborty

Twitter: @Manchali_Purba

Instagram: purba_chakraborty

email: purba.khushi@gmail.com

points of time

point of time

It could have started at midday as well.
But, midnight is a scary point of time
And romantic.
A night as dark as Krisna

Is there a point where time deflects
Or takes a U turn?
But there was no such U turn
When my mother died.

Are there cycles of time
So that nothing is novel, new or unique?
Or, is it a hell lot of forgetting
Before the turning?

one year of one life is not enough – a recap

The first blog post was written exactly on this date last year.

Of course this is not my first blog. Two out of the earlier three blogs were lost to unprofessional hosting services. Unfortunately,  in one case I lost half of the posts as well due to my casual attitude towards regular back ups. Now I ensure that I back up regularly even though the blog is now hosted on the server of a trusted service provider.

Another blog that I used to have on blogger platform has been closed down as it was not practicable to have two blogs on the same theme.

I am thankful to all my fellow bloggers and readers for their encouragements and feedback. Hope, your love will continue to shower.

My special thanks to Ruchi Verma of Wiggling Pen (Formerly For Foodie Family) for considering my blog as the best personal blog of 2016.

Here are a random selection of ten posts that you might have missed:

1.   Bhajiwali’s Husband  : My maiden attempt at fiction (short story). Tried to find out a suitable name for the bhajiwali’s husband. But, could not.

2.  I see you as you are : Wouldn’t  it be a nicer world if we saw individuals as individuals stripping each one from their ethnic, religious or other kinds of stereotyping.

avtar2

3. Colours of a subzi bazaar: We are all familiar with a typical Indian subzi mandi. But have we ever taken a close look or soaked in its colourful ambiance? Interestingly captioned, this collection of photos  captures the moods of the neighborhood vegetable market.

sbh

4. It takes all the running you can do to to keep in the same place: Certain quotes and lines that linger your mind vaguely may make sense much later. Same thing happened with this line from ‘Alice in Wonderland’,.

alice_in_wonderland

5. When the wrapper is considered superior to the gift inside: emphasising the inner over the outer, Sant Kabir, in one of his couplets, says – Jat Na Puchho Sadh Ki Puchh Lijyo Gyan. One should not ask for the caste of a saint but know him from his wisdom. Seen from another context the saying highlights the obsession of the society with the outer.

6. Sunday musings and random notes #5: I have posted a series of lighthearted musings titled ‘Sunday musings and random notes’. This one with a few puns thrown in here and there takes a peak into the Bond movies over the years.

sanskari-bond-2

7. My idea of an evolved human being: The title says it all. It is about my idea of an evolved human being. It is what I personally strive to evolve into, in spite of being taken advantage of at times.

8.  The Revelation: My attempt at composing a sher in angrezi. A micro poem of just four lines. I could have as well written it here. Then, you would have missed the photo and some insightful comments.

9.  Suppose dogs were allowed status update: Another micro read. A funny take on the world of social media update. A short read.

10. Love is in the air: An attempt to explore various flavours of love, including the mundane ones.

love3

 

 

 

 

four micro poems to mark my centum post

To mark my 100th post, I am releasing four micro poems that have been gathering dust in my arsenal quite for some time.

post100.jpg

The sand artist

Neither will our deeds last

Nor shall we

But, look at the sand artist

How excited is he

 

Perfection

The perfect are entombed

Or, adorn the shrines

Those little bits of imperfection

are your sex appeal

 

Immortality

She held back her favours

For life after life

All I asked was a moment

To soak in immortality

 

The oldest profession

Preaching is the oldest profession

Not prostitution

Divine displays hide vulgarity

And vice versa

 

 

Shravanabelagola

shravanabelagola

The majestic statue
high on the hill
invites us
for a rendezvous
of bliss and innocence.

It is fashionable
To come here
To be selfied and uploaded
And arouse  a little jealousy
“Look where we camped last weekend”.

A lone devotee infirm and old
Climbs up panting and chanting
To touch at least some height
Before her death.

Tiny flowers without leaves
Pop up from the hard rock
What  a humble offering
To the huge bare Bahubali
Standing tall on the bare hill,
With relics and  writings as ambiguous
as his silence!

How do they proclaim peace
in words of war -
The scholars fight it out.

The sun follows us inch by inch
As we limp up slowly
To rise above the world
And its maya.

 

(A detailed account of my visit to Shravanabelagola, Belur, Halebid and Shringeri can be read here :  Journey Through Karnataka’s Heritage Sites )

Indian Bloggers

Out of home can be at home

Out of home can be at home. 
A picnicker on the hospital lawn 
talks to someone on phone.
The ambulance has just arrived
to offload a body.

He hears a good news, 
and misses the tears
and the gossip 
and the relief 
as they mourn home 
just another body
in just another van, 
an anonymous group of mourners
in this city of multitudes.
The man was something 
to someone, somewhere.

He was a hoarder
they said.
He built a hundred homes
but never had a home to himself.
He died after a long illness.
Maybe, that is the reason
they had such a sense of relief.

Indian Bloggers

On Her Departure

Full of foliage
the gulmohur is on the verge
to deliver a message of condolence.

The lake of monsoon has begun to swell
to herald the Great Deluge
sparing only me and my melancholy.

Sunny days have gone out of stock
not to be replenished for a millennia.
But life would continue

to exist as a curse forever.
Now that no one knows her whereabouts
there remains this glimmer of hope.

Heaven is a politician’s promise
for a better tomorrow – a myth.
But hell is not.

Dreams and memories
are the only privileges
that remain untouched.

(After writing the poem I was reminded of the famous classic Bollywood number: chalo ek baar phir se ajnabi ban jaye hum dono.)  

indispire

Maja Hi Kuchh Aur Hai

It was due to a ‘comedy of error’ that I got introduced to Pandit Om Vyas. Someone had shared a youtube link on FB about Arbind Kejriwal’s fiasco about some issue. When I clicked the link it took me to one of the kabi sammelan videos of Late Kavi Om Vyas ji. That time I did not know that the satirist to whom I had taken an instant liking was no more. Subsequently, after watching a number of hilarious videos, when I learnt of his tragic untimely death, it reminded me of the song: haste haste rona sikho ….. rote rote hasna…….  just like his sessions.

In a congregation of poets (Kabi Sammelan) hosted in memory of Haribansh Rai Bachchan, in his inimitable style, he recited a poem whose pet phrase (takiya kalam) was ‘Maja hi kuchh aur hai. Well, Panditji, with due respect to you, here is a rejoinder that I have composed, imitating your style. It follows an English translation which may not be exact but, as close as possible to the Hindi version:

Signal se thik pehle lane change karne ka
Chalti gaadi se bahar thuk-ne ka
Bina matlab zor se zor horn bazane ka
Gaadi khadi karke public view mein mut-ne ka
Footpath mein motor cycle chalane ka
No parking board ke thik samne gaadi park karne ka
Beech raste mein gaadi khadi karke dooosre driver se jhagadne ka
Maza hi kuchh aur hai... maza hi kuchh aur hai

Bina padhe whatsapp mein message forward karne ka
Bina samjhe sabhi issues mein apni rai dene ka
Boss ke bhadde se bhadde joke mein pet phadke hasne ka
Junior ke badhia se badhia baton ko nazar andaz karne ka
Bhid ke saath kadam se kadam milaye chalne ka
Karod-on ke lutere ko maaf aur do kaudi ke chor ko saza dene ka 
Maza hi kuchh aur hai... maza hi kuchh aur hai

It is so much fun

To change the lane just before the signal
To spit out from a running vehicle
To honk loudly without any need
To urinate on the roadside in full public view
To ride the motorcycle on the footpath
To park the vehicle just below the No-parking sign
To stop the vehicle on the middle of the road to pick a fight
It is so much fun... it is so much fun

To forward on whatsapp without reading the message
To give expert advice without understanding the issue
To laugh out loud at Boss's mediocre jokes
To ignore a brilliant idea because it comes from a junior
To march with the crowd matching step after step
To forgive the looter of a million and punish the one who stole two pence 
It is so much fun..... It is so much fun

Panditji. I am not at all bothered whether you have gone to heaven or hell.
Because, wherever you go you will make it heaven.
May your soul rest in peace.  And have the last laugh.

Indian Bloggers

Masks

Somewhere a smile

There a tear drop

 

More tear drops

Water, and more water

 

Water and her sisters

Five of them

 

Play in abandon

Is someone looking?

 

Play and display of

Seen and unseen

 

A petty face

A kind heart

 

You hide and lose

yourself

 

In joy and ecstasy

In amnesia and orgasm

 

In snow and  sunshine

In sea and green leaves

 

 

In sirens and engines

In drumbeats and gun shots

 

In wine and dreams

In food and flowers

 

More money, More sex

More play, More masks

 

Lurks around behind those masks

Now you see it

 

Now you don’t –

Death

 

mask2