Monday, October 20, 2014

LIFE OF A POET - Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

Today, my friends, we are flying once again to India. I cant get enough of the beauty, color and culture of that beautiful ancient country. We are being hosted today by Maniparna Sengupta Majumder, who writes at Scattered Thoughts. Maniparna is also an artist and photographer, so we will enjoy seeing some of the beautiful sights of her area, through her eyes.





Sherry: Maniparna, I’m so happy to be interviewing you. Let’s start all the way back. Where did you grow up? Did you fall in love with words as a child?




                                   


Maniparna: Hi Sherry, first of all thanks a lot, as it is a great honor for me to get featured in the “Life of a Poet” section of Poets United.

Born and brought up in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, and being somewhat introvert as a child, I always used to find myself comfortable amidst nature. Roaming around lazily in a garden and watching various insects and flowers were my favorite pastime. My maternal grandfather’s house had a large patch of greenery attached to it and that was my very own heaven.


Drenched flower


I wrote my first poem when I was in 3rd standard. It was a small poem, a few childish lines describing a sunflower.



                                           
Me, age 8

Sherry: That's adorable. And so were you, when you were eight! So cute! Paint us a picture of your life today, Maniparna.

Maniparna: Kolkata is my hometown and in spite of all the shortcomings, I love my city. It’s no different from a typical Indian metropolis, over-populated and congested. The pollution level sometimes becomes asphyxiating.

Still, Kolkata oozes a warmth which is tangible…..a city very much alive and vibrant. Once you can feel it, you’re sure to fall for the vibe. 




                                    
Me, with my parents and sister

Being the elder of two sisters, I was very much pampered by my parents. My younger sister, Sreeparna, now lives in Mumbai and is my best friend.



                                       
Me, as a bride

I met my husband when I was only 15! It was a love at first sight for both of us and after 6 years of what can be called a charming courtship, we got married. I continued with my studies after my marriage. My family is now complete with me, my husband and our son, Akaash.







I started my career as a teacher. But later my interest got diverted and I changed my profession. Now I’ve a small business in the Indian Stock Market. I’ve genuine interests in various fields which has helped me a lot to develop my business.

Sherry: You have a beautiful family! And you were a lovely bride! Tell us about your writing journey. What do you love about poetry?

Maniparna: I’m very irregular about my writing. (I’m a laid back sort of person who performs best when under pressure.) Sometimes, even a sudden change in the weather, like the first downpour announcing the arrival of the monsoon, inspires my muse to scribble down a few lines. It actually depends on my mood which keeps on changing.

But Mother Nature is always a great source of inspiration for me. I find my peace and solace in Nature.

A village road through the forest

I do write fiction as well. I love the twists and turns of the plots and like to let my imagination fly high while constructing a story. But poetry is my first love.
Poetry is my passion. Several words weaved along to exude a beautiful feeling…that’s poetry to me. I can raise my voice against all odds through poetry. Poetry, as a literary form, is omnipotent.

Words, enmesh themselves
With my unseen dreams
I wait, to see them born
Out of ashes, like a Phoenix
And…poetry is formed.



My sketch of Rabindranath Tagore

It is actually impossible to single out any poetry or poet as my most favorite. The list is endless. Just want to mention one, “Where the Mind is Without Fear” by Rabindranath Tagore, who, I think needs no introduction.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee

Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.




The Taj Mahal,
one of the 7 wonders of the world

Sherry: Tagore is marvelous. And your sketch is beautiful. You are very talented. Is there one person you would say has had a significant impact on who you are today, and/or on your writing?

Maniparna: My parents, especially my father, has always encouraged me a lot. My sister and my husband are harsh critics and thus have helped me to improve. Their inspirations matter a lot to me, they patiently bear my tantrums and are great friends.

Without the love and support of my family, life would have been much more difficult. And I consider myself fortunate enough for having some great friends.
Me at Puri Sea Beach, Odisha

Sherry: Do you have two poems written by you that you’d like to include here? Can you tell us a bit about how each poem came to you?

Maniparna: I wrote this poem, “Togetherness’’ on our 12th marriage anniversary for my husband.

The passion in your eyes, the ambrosial touch
Of your lips, acute and intense,
Being loved is such a bliss.
A million roses in my heart, I savor the smell of love
Breathless I become as I feel
Symphony in your touch.


My senses are all conjured up by your amorous words
Words, appear as rainbows in my sky
Warmth of desire making me shy.
The 'too often profaned' word has ultimate power
To stir one's soul, to make one feel
Heaven's just here on my windowsill.


Sherry: How beautiful! So wonderful to feel that way after twelve years.





                                   
Sunrise in the sea - 
beach of Alibaugh, Maharashtra

Another one, this was written on the occasion of Women’s Day, I sincerely believe that man and woman, are the Yin and Yang. They perfectly complement each other and the existence of one is impossible without the other.

But the hapless condition of women and the discrimination they face every day hurt me to the core. I dreamt of a day when they would be loved and honored by all and most importantly would be given equal rights as their male counterparts.

The anger fumed inside me,I kept silent
The rage made me feverish
I coiled my emotion
I've been taught , like a tree,
I should spread myself
Giving shade to everyone
Shouldn't forget my roots
Never utter a word
When somebody plucks flowers
Or leaves just for fun.
My boughs should bear fruits.
~~~~~
I dreamt of a day
When my silence
Will speak for me,
“Victory,thy name is woman”


I love to write Haiku, the Japanese poetry form of which Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, Issa and Shiki are unparalleled masters.

I would like to include this haiku of mine.

bare branch, the last leaf
falling in love with the ground
autumn crow soars up

 



Gulmohor flower


Sherry: I love your haiku! So perfect. And I applaud the message in your poem about women. It is long past time. You have posted some stunning photography on your site, on your photography page. Is your love of photography linked to your love of travel?

Maniparna: Yes, I like to travel, to explore places unknown. I love to click photos to hold the good memories. I cherish those moments of happiness and pure bliss.

Sherry: Tell us about some of the places you have seen. What is the most favorite place you have traveled?




                     
Zuluk

Maniparna: Last year, we went to Zuluk, a small hamlet that resides amongst the serene, beautiful landscape of the Eastern Himalayas. The scenic beauty of Zuluk is mesmerizing. With a height of about 9800 ft. it’s still very virgin and the population is sparse. It is an abode of peace. I can say that this trip was one of the most memorable ones.



Zuluk

I like to go to small, unknown places where there is no jostling of tourists and where I can rejuvenate myself from the hustle and bustle of city life. 




                                       
Where we stayed in Zuluk


I’ve travelled almost the whole of Southern India, some of the Northern and Central states.

Sherry: Zuluk looks very beautiful. I, too, prefer small, undeveloped places. What place have you not yet seen that you long to travel to?

Maniparna: Egypt. I long to go to Egypt. The land of pharaohs, pyramids and the Nile.

Sherry: I hope you get there. What other things do you enjoy when you’re not writing, working or taking photos?

Maniparna: I like to draw pictures or listen to music, classical, rock, folk, Bollywood filmy songs ….just anything that is pleasing to my ears.

Besides, I’m an avid reader. Reading gives me immense pleasure, and here also there is no particular preference. Just a good book from any genre with a cup of coffee. Life becomes beautiful within a minute.



Gateway of India, Mumbai, at night

Sherry: I so agree! Is there anything you’d like to say to Poets United?

Maniparna: Yes! Poets United is a wonderful online community of poets. I remember the day when I posted here for the first time. So many poets read my poetry and commented….I was really overwhelmed. I got to know a number of talented poets from here and their writings have inspired me.

Finally, Sherry, thanks a lot to you for creating such a beautiful community and for bestowing this honor on me.

Sherry: I cant take the credit, Maniparna. Poets United was created by Robert Lloyd back in 2010. I joined that spring and, like you, was amazed when people came and read and commented on my poems. I credit the members of Poets United for bringing my writing back to life. 


When Robb moved on to other things, Mary stepped in to keep the site going, and it has been my pleasure to be part of this wonderful community.

Thank you, Maniparna, for this wonderful visit to you and your beautiful country. I have enjoyed every minute, and am sure our members have as well.


There we have it, my friends, another wonderful visit to a beautiful poet on her journey. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you! 



37 comments:

  1. Hi Maniparna, so nice to see you with Sherry today...enjoyed your chat, poems, sketch and amazing photos....another wonderful interview Sherry.. :)

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    1. Thank you so much! Happy to know that you liked it..:-)

      Thanks to Sherry too... :-)

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  2. Another excellent interview, Sherry! Maniparna, it is certainly nice to know more about you. What a multi-talented person you are -- a poet, photographer, and artist. How neat to read that you wrote your first poem when you were in third grade. I really enjoyed the poem you wrote to your husband on your 12th anniversary. There can be no greater, gift I think. Nice photo of your family & photos of Zuluk as well. And I do hope you eventually get to Egypt! Smiles.

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    1. Thanks a lot Mary for your wishes.... :-) it means a lot to me...

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  3. Thank you, Maniparna, for sharing a bit of yourself. I enjoyed your photos as well. I totally agree with what you say about the condition of women and think you wrote a great poem. Sadly we see every day how far we are from equality. The road is still a long and tortuous one.

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    1. Thanks a lot for sharing your views too. Yes,there's a long road ahead....but I hope some day the journey will be completed... :-)

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  4. Hi Maniparna! Thank for sharing with us your talents and photos of your life, family - so beautiful! I love how you describe the words of your poem as being born from the ashes....Nice verses about women too. We all grateful for such a community of poets we have here, at PU. Great interview, Sherry!

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    1. Thank you so much! It's such a great pleasure to know you all too... :-)

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  5. I enjyed this interview and getting to know you, Maniparna. I feel joy here in your choice of home and family and most particularly having the kind of love that is magical and doesn't consume all of you. What you see and share, then--the women's issues and the world's beauty--is unrestrained. Bravo.

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  6. Beautiful photography fro ma beautiful person. Thanks Sherry maa'm and Maniparna for this lovely interview!!

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    1. Thanks Vandana...:-) your words made me smile... :-)

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  7. poetic skill shines through-a charming personality reflecting grace and elegance. Thank you Sherry for this revealing interview. Dear Maniparna, so glad to know you, and your amazing talent best wishes always

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  8. What is so wonderful about these interviews is that it shows that despite our differences in location and growth we have a bond in that urge to write with a voice that breaks down every barrier. Every part of the world has a depth of poetic history that unites us all. We can learn so much from each other. Maniparna, your intense anniversary poem is sheer delight.

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    1. Your words are so true...the poetic voices from all parts of the world share a similar vibe somewhere....:-) Thank you so much...great to know you like the poem...:-)

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  9. I loved the interview! Thank you both!

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  10. Maniparna, I always enjoy your poetry. Thank you for letting us get to know you better. You have a wonderful life - A wellspring where life grows.

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    1. Aww...that's so nice of you....:-) I'm really humbled and thanks a lot...:-)

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  11. Maniparna, it was nice meeting you here in PU. Loved your haiku..good luck to you ..
    Sherry thank you once again for this wonderful interview.

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    1. Thanks Arathi....it's a matter of sheer delight for me to meet and know all of you here in PU...

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  12. Another wonderful interview. Maniparna I'm so impressed with your variety of interests and talents. Your haiku is so good. I enjoyed all the pictures you shared too.
    Sherry thanks for giving exposure to such a talented poet. You ask the best questions!

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    1. Thanks so much...:-)..your comment just made me smile...:-)

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  13. I think Blogger just ate my entire comment. I just got in the door, kids, have been away in Tofino for three glorious days and am JUST home. I loved coming in here to find such happy good wishes flowing. Maniparna, I am happy you enjoyed the process....your loving anniversary poem must be the best gift your husband ever received..........am happy everyone enjoys meeting our poets in greater depth every week. I certainly enjoy it too.

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    1. Sherry, the credit grows to you entirely...it's such a commendable job to bring poets from all parts of the world under one roof and the entire process of knowing each other is so wonderful ! Thanks a gain for bestowing this honour on me and just want to say I'm proud to be associated with PU... :-)

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    2. We're proud to have you! I do love this opportunity to get to know each other better, through sharing our stories.......

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  14. Rabindranath Tagore is one of my favourite poets. Nice to know you Maniparna

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    1. Thanks Suzy...great to know that...:-) it's a pleasure to know that you've enjoyed the interview... :-)

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    1. Great Maniparna, but I must share here that you are wonder full in writing Belles-lettres.

      The sense of humour in every line delights and that is mind blowing !

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  17. It was such a pleasure knowing more about you as a person,Mani..... your writings reflect your beautiful heart :)

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  18. This was a wonderful interview. I am happy to know a bit more about you, Maniparna. Your pictures and poetry are both wonderful. I especially liked your picture as a little girl. Absolutely adorable. Congratulations for being featured on this website! Keep writing and keep smiling!

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  19. Loved this interview Maniparna.. a well deserved feather in your cap.. way to go dear. Congratulations. hugs

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