Monday, August 3, 2015

LIFE OF A POET ~ PURBA CHAKRABORTY

My friends, this week we are featuring the talented young Bengali poet, Purba Chakraborty, who writes at Love, Laugh and Reflect, (who is not related to our friend Abin Chakraborty). Doing these interviews, there are times when I uncover a story at the heart of a person's life, and this is one of those times.

Pour yourself some iced chai tea, if you are in a hot climate, hot chai if you are shivering through winter, and draw your chairs up close. This talented girl has an amazing story to share with us, about living through a heartbreaking loss, then going on to follow her dreams. I suspect Purba is an Old Soul. One can see it in her eyes.








Sherry: Purba, I am so happy to be interviewing you. Set the scene for us, will you, please? Where you live, with whom you share your life, your work…what do you love about where you live?

Purba: Thank you so much Sherry for featuring me here. I am equally happy and excited to give this interview.

I live in Kolkata, a metropolitan city of India. I live with my Dad and Granny. I am extremely close to them. Apart from being an author and a poet, I work as a freelance content developer and a freelance writer. I generally work from my small and comfortable home office. It is the place where I get the maximum happiness as I absolutely love my work.

Kolkata is very famous for its cultural heritage. My city is always in festive spirits and that is the reason it is known as the City of Joy. So, the best thing about my city is the festivals, especially Durga Puja, which takes place in the month of October, and it is almost a week long celebration.


The most favorite place of my city - the Victoria Memorial

Sherry: How wonderful to be able to work from home! Several of our members live in and around Kolkata, which sounds like such a culturally rich area. Let’s go all the way back. Where did you grow up, Purba? Tell us a bit about your childhood?

Purba:  I was born in Kolkata but a large part of my childhood was spent in Bandel, a small town which is about 70 kms far from Kolkata.

I had a wonderful childhood. Being the only child of my parents, my mom and dad pampered me a lot. I was a chatterbox and a very enthusiastic kid who was equally interested in academics and extracurricular activities. But, unfortunately after my Mom’s demise when I was in class seven, I became unbelievably quiet. We shifted to Kolkata, and the tragic incident psychologically affected me. It made me quiet and socially awkward. It took me near about 4-5 years to get back to my original form.

Sherry: I am so sorry for your loss, Purba, especially at such a tender age. Would you like to tell us a little about your mom?

Purba:  I lost my mother when I was twelve. She died of multiple organ failure, and that was the first time I saw my Dad crying and telling me sorry that he couldn’t save her. This painful incident affected me badly and I became a very different person for about 5 years.


Dad and me

My mother was a very cheerful, positive, kind and  beautiful person. She could make friends with anyone within two minutes, and she always had a smile on her face. She was a musician and a singer. She loved reading books. She used to teach me, play with me and chat with me. She was the first best friend of my life.


My Mom

Sherry: She sounds wonderful, Purba. And you look just like her! It must bring your father joy, but also ping at his heart, in memory, that you look so much like her.

Purba: My favorite compliment is when someone tells me that I look like my mother. 

Sherry: You are a strong girl, to have come through such a devastating loss, and go on to become everything she hoped and dreamed for you. I know, in the spirit world, she must be very proud of you, Purba.  Is there a poem you have written, either to her or about her, that you might like to share with us?

Purba: Here is a poem I wrote for her some time back. I would be very happy if you include it :)


Sometimes, I desire to write a book about you
But, then I change my plans 
Pages would fall short
The ink will exhaust
You just cannot pour the ocean in a glass.

You are the lullaby that makes me sleep
The melody that beautifies my life
The book that guides me
The goodness that surrounds me
O Mother! You’re my life sustaining force.

Wish you were with me today physically
Though I know deep in my heart,
We are connected spiritually
I can feel your divine hand on my head

Your blessings sheathing me wherever I go.


Sherry: This poem touches me so deeply, Purba. It is true, you two are connected spiritually. I love your closing lines so much, you feeling her hand on your head. So much love. 

Purba, I saw on your About Page that you write both poetry and prose, sing, want to learn the guitar, and that you also sketch and paint. Have you always been such a creative person? Did you write, paint and sing as a child?

Purba:  Well, yes. I started writing poetries when I was about eight years old. My Mom was a singer and a musician. So, I used to learn singing from her since I was five. 

And simultaneously, I also used to take classes from a drawing teacher. So, I was exposed to all these creative fields right from my childhood and, with every passing year, I just realized how much contentment and happiness I derive when I write, sing or sketch. Without creativity, I would have gone into serious depression. Literature, music and arts keep me sane and help me to enjoy, value and understand life.


My granny and me in our garden

Sherry: It is wonderful to be able to express oneself in so many ways. And I have to say, Purba, you look absolutely adorable!! So sweet! I likely know the answer to this question, but is there one person you feel had a significant influence on your becoming a writer and artist?

Purba:  First of all, my Mom had built the foundation on which I stand today. The 12 years that I got to spend with her, she has always motivated me to be an all rounder. She wanted me to be a writer or a singer, and I am happy that I could fulfill her dreams, to at least some extent. It is because of her that I got interested in music. She is the one who introduced me to the world of books. She is the one who used to read my poetries with joy and pride.


Reading on vacation

    Secondly, when I told my Dad that I want to take writing as my profession, he was very supportive and understanding. He always encourages and motivates me whenever my works get published. Without his support, I wouldn’t have been able to embark on this journey.

    Thirdly, after completing my graduation, I came across a person who became my best friend very soon. He was really instrumental in making me realize my true calling. He supported my dreams and believed in me at that stage when perhaps I was unsure about where I am heading.

So, I believe that all these 3 people had a significant influence on my becoming a writer and artist.

Sherry:  You have wonderful support! It is interesting how people who are creative in one area, are so often creative in other areas, too. Let's listen to your song for a minute, shall we?






Your voice is delightful! Your grandma and dad must love listening to you sing. And I love the photo on your soundbyte so much! Now we had better get back to poetry. Tell us, Purba, what do you love about it?

Purba:  Poetry is the essence of my life. In pain, in happiness, in anxiety, in despair, in disappointment, in euphoria, in peace, in love, in melancholy and in restlessness, poetry comes to me so naturally. My thoughts just translate into poetry whenever I feel something very deeply. I cannot write a story when I am not at peace or I am sad, but poetry is always there with me like a loyal friend. I can express myself the most easily through poetry and that is the thing I love about poetry the most.

Sherry: Would you like to choose three poems of yours to include here and tell us a bit about each one?

Purba:  Sure, I would love to.
The first poem “Heart of a true woman” is from my 2nd novel, The Hidden Letters. It talks about the resilience and the never-give-up spirit of a woman. The poem is included in the epilogue of the book.

Heart of a true woman…
Sublime, arcane and enormous
Veiled with uncountable blood tinted scars
Masked by a layer of impeachable strength
Filled with buckets of vigor to love unconditionally
Lined by neat laces of resilience
Weaved with strings of challenges and secrets
Complicated as a newly created spider web
Tangled like a bundle of ropes heaped on
Translucent, not transparent
Trouble-shooter of people relying on it
Soft, not fragile
Determined to cross the limitless ocean of tears
Without giving up singing the song of love
Holding on to memories
Yet strong enough to let go of her loved ones
Not scared of thorns, as she adores her roses
Longing for abundance of love and respect
The heart of a true woman!

Sherry: Oh, you have captured the complicated, intricate heart of a woman so well - the strength, the love, the resilience. I love "Not scared of thorns, for she adores her roses."

Purba: “The Wait” is a romantic poem. This poem got published in a magazine called Writer’s Ezine last year.

The moment has finally arrived;
I wheezed breaking the smile
And looked around in a jiffy.

The wait is making me impetuous;
My lashes now, know not how to blink
How did I wait for thee a thousand days?

Twin flames we are, unwavering is that
Our souls met clandestinely every full moon night,
Whispering vows of ethereal togetherness.

My soul have had enough of thee,
Now my senses, suspire for my soul mate
The yearning refuses to alleviate.

Impatience laced with frequent gasp;
My eyes searched thy silhouette
In the jam-packed railway station.

Abruptly the beating of my heart paused;
As a gust of warm breath kissed my nape
Melody of thy voice caressed my ear.

Sherry: I sense a beautiful love story here.

Purba: I wrote the poem called “The Tempest” when Poets United gave the midweek motif ~ Sustainability. It is about how a girl finally sustains through the tempest.

Trapped amidst the tempest
She could see no outlet;
Her limbs were too numb to run
Her throat was too parched to yell.

Trapped amidst the tumultuous waves
She felt like a ship in danger;
Unable to maintain balance
Struggling to stand tall.

To surrender or to sustain?
She asked her soul again and again;
Till a blanket of resilience sheathed her
And her bones got back their lost vigor.

To surrender or to sustain?
She was now ready to battle the tempest;
Till it gets defeated in drowning her
And makes space for the sun to peep in. 

Sherry: I like the making of a space for the sun to peep in. Being  published in magazines and anthologies  is an accomplishment, as there is so much competition out there. Way to go! You have written two books as well, Walking in the Streets of Love and Destiny, and The Hidden Letters.  You have already accomplished so much, at an early age. That is impressive! You mention working on another manuscript. How is it going? And how did it feel, the first time you held a book you had written in your hands?

      


Purba:  Thank you so much Sherry. I am working on a psychological thriller currently, and I am 80 % done with the manuscript. It is going great and I wish to complete writing it soon.

When I held my first book “Walking in the Streets of Love and Destiny” in the year 2012, I can clearly remember that I was speechless for a few minutes and had little tears of happiness in my eyes. It was a truly incredible moment of my life, a dream come true moment.

With my first book, in my house

Sherry: I can just imagine how you felt in that moment. And soon there will be a third book! When did you come to the world of blogging, and how has that impacted your work?

Purba:  I joined this beautiful world of blogging in March, 2012. But back then, I was a very infrequent and occasional blogger. I used to mostly write personal musings and poetries in my blog. In April, 2014, I started blogging seriously and regularly. My blog Love, Laugh and Reflect has helped me in countless ways. I made many good friends through blogging from whom I could learn a lot. The encouragement and support that I got through my readers and fellow bloggers have helped me polish my writing skills to a great extent.


With my second book, sitting on the terrace

Sherry: Blogging is a wonderful means of connecting, isn't it?  Is there anything you would like to say to Poets United?

Purba:  Poets United has become like my family in such a small amount of time. I wait for the Midweek Motif with sheer enthusiasm every week so that I can read some of the best poetries and also take part in the challenge. All the members of Poets United are so full of love and positivity. They have welcomed me with open arms and their comments always motivate me to write better poems. I love you, Poets United. Thanks for being a ray of sunshine in my life.

Sherry: Wow, Purba, that is a wonderful message. Thank you, for being a ray of sunshine in ours! We look forward to enjoying much more of your work, in the months ahead. We are so happy you found Poets United.

Well, my friends? Wasn't this a lovely visit? Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It could be you! But here is a hint. If all goes well in the Land of Blog,  there just might be a Chat happening here next week. Don't miss it!


43 comments:

  1. Purba, really I sang with you "ek pyar ka nagma hai"...you have such a sweet voice...you're a very talented and brave young lady...your path wasn't an easy one having lost your ma at such a tender age...wish you all the very best...be forever happy.. ...& Sherry, what a wonderful interview!!!...

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    1. Thank you so much, Sumana for your lovely wishes. I get to learn so much from your poetries every week. I am so glad that you sang with me. This makes me immensely happy :)

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  2. What a sheer delight meeting you and letting us in to your beautiful world Purba. I agree you are an old soul and a fabulous voice read in words and heard in song....I look forward to reading so much more from your beautiful heart.

    Thanks Sherry again for another fabulous inspiring interview.

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    1. Thank you so much Donna for your beautiful, encouraging words and for reading the story of my life. I am so glad to be a part of Poets United :)

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    2. And we are so lucky to have you, Purba!

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  3. Thank you Sherry so much for this interview. I loved the way you have put it. I am so happy that I could talk about my Mom in this interview. This is such a beautiful gift to me from Poets United. I really liked it that you called me an Old soul. Even if I think the same. Lots of love :)

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    1. It was my pleasure, Purba. I loved putting it together and was very moved to learn more about your beautiful mother. It was lovely to include her photo and the poem you wrote for her. I hope your father and grandmother enjoy this little feature, too.

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    2. Yes, Sherry both of them enjoyed it a lot. All thanks to you :)

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  4. Such a very beautiful interview, Sherry!! Purba, thank you for your openness and willingness to let us know you better. So sorry to hear of your loss at such a young age. It seems that you've gained much strength and positivity in overcoming such a loss. A wonderful supportive family can help make all the difference too :) Your writings are beautiful. I look forward to reading more of your work. Best wishes to you, dear!!

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    1. Thank you so much Torie for the lovely words and your kind wishes. Yes, I am indeed lucky to have a very supportive family. They have always encouraged me to be independent and to follow my dreams :)

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  5. This is so touching!! Thank you Sherry for featuring Purba..its a pleasure to meet you Purba :D let me start off by saying... wow!!! You are a powerhouse of talent my dear...I loved your songs.. the medley shared here and that song "sun saathiyaa" on your blog. You are such a kind and sweet soul..my heart goes out to you.

    I can not imagine your pain that you went through after your mother's demise..it must have shattered you..and it makes me so proud of you that you managed to get through and find your footing again...to have accomplished all that you have is incredible and so brave! Wishing you a lot more success and happiness in the years ahead.

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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    1. I love your song on your blog, Purba, even more than the one included here,. I hope everyone visits your blog to hear it. I am sure your mother would be so proud of you, for fulfilling her hopes and dreams for you. All any mother wants is her daughter's happiness, wherever we are.

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    2. Thank you so much Sanaa. You are such a wonderful and encouraging person. I feel so wonderful to meet such lovely people through Poets United. Yes, it was a very bad phase. I remember that from class 8 to class 12, I was a very quiet and lonely girl. But I guess my Mom's blessings have helped me to come out from that shell. Thank you so much for your wishes. Much love :)

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    3. So true, Sherry, My grandma also tells me the same thing that wherever she is, she is at peace seeing me doing something fruitful.

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  6. It is so good to know more about you Purba. You're by far one of the sweetest persons I've known.. I loved your poems..and the one dedicated to your mom literally brought tears to my eyes.. I completely understand how much a mother matters to a child..and you're quite strong for you have dealt with the situation and have emerged as a positive person.. Much Much love <3
    Deeshani :)

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    1. This is so sweet of you dear. Your lovely and supportive words always bring a smile on my face. I am so happy that you read this interview. Thank you so much. And lots of love :)

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  7. Purba, first of all.....you are one of the most talented new poets I have encountered in the last several months! I really think you have a future in writing poetry, and I hope you continue to pursue your dreams. I like your dedication to writing, and I like that you enjoy writing both poetry and prose. (Cool about that psychological novel you are writing.) I enjoyed reading about your family. So sad that you lost your mother so early, but she undoubtedly has influenced you in so many ways. Nice poem you wrote about her! Wonderful that your father supports your writing. I always love to see your writing at Midweek Motif and Poetry Pantry. And, might I say, you seem very mature for your young years. (Smiles.)

    I have a question for you. What is your native everyday language? How did you learn English SO well?

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    1. This is such a big compliment for me, Mary. I am so happy. I wish to polish my writing skills more, with every passing day. And Poets United as a whole works as a mentor for me. I get to learn so much from all you wonderful poets.
      Yes, I feel so lucky that my father supports my writing and always encourage me to chase my dreams.
      My native everyday language is Bengali and Hindi. I studied in an English Medium School where all the subjects were in English and we were fined if we were caught speaking in our native language. So my schooling had a great impact on my knowing English well.

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  8. Wonderful interview Purba! You have achieved so much at such a tender age. It all points to the fact that a love and a passion for creativity should come from the heart. It sustains for a lifetime! Thanks Sherry for making it happen!

    Hank

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    1. You said it so right. Any creative work must be done with love and passion. Thank you so much, Hank for your wonderful words and for reading my interview :)

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  9. A wonderful interview, Sherry and Purba.

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  10. Nice to know about you Purba, best wishes.

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  11. nice knowing you, Purba. you are such a talented person.
    indeed, Poets United is a lovely community.

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    1. Thank you so much. I feel blessed to be a member of a Poets United :)

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  12. Purba it's so nice to know you. I admire your strength and your talents. So glad you found Poets United.
    Thank you Sherry for this lovely interview!

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    1. Thank you so much Myrna for the lovely words :)

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  13. Another lovely interview with another lovely poet! Thank you, Sherry. Purba, I enjoyed reading your story, and listening to your sweet singing voice. The poem to your mother is very moving. I am sure I am not the only one who read it with tears. (But they are good tears.)

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    1. Thank you so much Rosemary for your beautiful words. I am so happy that you liked the poem to my mother and also enjoyed the interview. Credits go to Sherry totally for putting it so well :)

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  14. Thank you sherry for this awesome interview ! :) Purba diiii i must say this again , i m so lucky to have you in my life :) sister like you <3 you truly are sunshine :) so much of talent. Reading about mother brought me tears again, and way you dealt with situation i can understand. So much of strength. I wish you all happiness in world. May your novel reach millions and inspire people.

    Lots of love
    Your brother
    sachin :)

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    1. Thanks a lot. Sachin for being so encouraging always. I am also lucky to have a brother like you. I am so happy that you read this interview. Thanks for the lovely wishes. Stay blessed always :)

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    2. Sachin,. it is so nice to know Purba has someone like you in her corner who believes in her. Thanks for visiting Poets United!

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  15. An interview worth reading…and rereading, Sherry and Purba!!! Thanks to both of you for sharing this interview. I’ve been following Purba's work for sometime now and find her poetry truly diverse and amazing.
    Wonderful to know that we live in the same city, Purba. Let's meet up sometime...:))))) You have a beautiful voice, and...I hope some day to hear you in person. Thanks again for a glimpse into your life..You are a brave girl, my dear!!

    Thanks Sherry, your work amazes me!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Panchali for reading the interview and liking it.
      I have been also reading your poems every week and I must say that I get to learn so much from you.
      Yes, we must catch up some time. It will be my pleasure to meet you in person.Thank you so much for the lovely compliments.
      And truly, Sherry is amazing! :)

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  16. It's a bliss knowing Purba, the personification of awesomeness. The more I know her, the deep my heart feels for her. This wonderful kid has a spark in her eyes which has a power to change the world. God bless you Purba, I'm privileged to be connected with you.

    Great interview Sherry. Loved this to the core. :)
    Best,
    Sangeeta Mishra.

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    1. It was truly my pleasure. Purba is a special young woman, it was a joy to feature her. Many thanks for your visit to Poets United!

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    2. Dear Sangeeta Ma'am, I am so happy to know that you read my interview.
      Ever since we got connected, you have been so supportive and encouraging.I feel so lucky.Thank you so much for your lovely words. I am deeply touched :)

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  17. Great interview, thank you Sherry. Good to learn a little about your life and work, Purba.

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  18. So lovely to come in here and find all the lovely comments of support and appreciation. Thank you, all, for being such a wonderful community! You are all the reason we do what we do every week.

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  19. You are a very strong and beautiful young woman Purba - not to mention talented. your mother would be very proud..

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    1. Thank you so much, Jae for your lovely words and for reading the interview.

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