Monday, September 19, 2016

BLOG OF THE WEEK ~ AN UPDATE WITH PURBA CHAKRABORTY

Today, my friends, we have the pleasure of featuring the delightful Purba Chakraborty, who blogs at Love, Laugh and Reflect. We last spoke to Purba in 2012. This young woman already has three books published and in bookstores. I am looking forward to catching up with her to see what she has been up to. Pour a nice cup of afternoon tea, pull your chairs close, and let's settle in for what I know will be a very enjoyable visit.









Sherry: Purba, it is lovely to be chatting with you again! For our newer members, who may not have seen our interview in 2015, would you like to give us a glimpse of your life today?  And tell us, are your father and granny doing well? 

Purba: Hi Sherry! Poets United is like family to me. Thanks a ton for inviting me again for a lovely chat.

I live in Kolkata with my father and granny, after my mother passed away when I was twelve. I am a freelance writer and website content developer. I work from my home office. I have authored three books : two novels and one poetry book. My poems and short stories have been published in 8 anthologies and a couple of magazines. Yes, my father and granny are doing well. They are really happy to know about this interview.





Me and my father



Sherry: It is heartbreaking you lost your mother so young, Purba. I'm so sorry. I'm glad you are close to your father and granny.

You are fortunate to be able to work from home. And at the rate you are going with your published books, I imagine you will soon be self-supporting as an author! Is there anything new since we spoke last?

Purba : Yes, on February, 2016, I published my 1st poetry book “The Heart Listens To No One” which is a collection of 35 love poems. The response and reviews have been very encouraging, which has motivated me to start working on another poetry book. I have also completed my degree in creative writing and got published in a couple of magazines and anthologies.





Sherry: I love your titles! Especially the third one. You are a very accomplished writer, already well established at such a young age. That is truly remarkable.  I read you are working on a new manuscript. Another novel?

Purba: Thanks for the kind words, Sherry. 

Yes. It is a novel, a psychological thriller. I am currently doing the last round of edits. I am hopeful that I can publish it this year (Fingers Crossed!) After I finish working on the novel, I will start working on a poetry book. I also wish to start working on a fantasy series soon.

Sherry: It all sounds wonderful, and very exciting. You are a busy girl!

Are there three of your poems you would like to share with us, and tell us a little about each one?

Purba: I would love to.

 Sunshine in December

The chilly winds of December
Winter blues all around
Gloomy
Ashen
Pallid.
She digs out the box of memories
Wears the cloak of thoughts
Enamoring
Warm
Crimson.
Now, she can see sunshine in December
A thousand sun rays illuminated her snowy heart
Of his love
Of her love
Of their love.


I wrote this poem last December and linked it to the last poetry pantry of 2015. The memories and thoughts of our beloved can warm our heart, even in the coldest days. I have also included this poem under the section “Fond Reminisces” in my poetry book “The Heart Listens to No One”.


 Extraordinary Picnic

We all are little gypsies
Searching our long, lost home
On this vast, capacious planet;
The beautiful, ambrosial home
That we have left behind
In the last life
In the form of a place or a person.

Moments of perfection
Occur startlingly in life,
When we find our lost home
And our vibe attracts our tribe
Amid the green paddy fields
Or perhaps under the misty rainbows.
Then, a thousand bells tingle in our soul.

It is some extraordinary picnic,
Where the sounds of laughter
Erupt from the kernel of our existence,
Where the soul smiles and shines,
Pancakes taste like chocolate muffins;
Abundance of hilarity and jauntiness
Enlighten us to live.


I wrote this poem for the Midweek Motif “Picnic” in this year. I really enjoyed writing this poem because it is such a beautiful feeling when you meet someone in life who seems so familiar or when you visit a place and find some uncanny connection to it. The midweek motif gave me the chance to express my feelings on this topic.


 The thread and the needle

Lured by the needle,
In a moment of tedium
         The thread lost its freedom.
A promise of adventure,
A call for companionship
Impelled it to an affair of dependence.
Embracing the needle,
Did the thread become its lover or follower?
Dancing to the former’s whims and fancies.
Initially everything felt rosy,
The thread was in perfect sync with the needle
Till it started feeling like bondage.
The thread had its color,
But its patterns were governed by the needle
Everyone said they needed each other.
The thread was at crossroads, thinking
Is it a symbiotic relationship?
Or am I artfully caged?




I wrote this poem last year and it got selected for an anthology titled “Kaafiyana”.  I was contemplating about some relationships that seem so rosy in the beginning and then suddenly one of the partners start feeling caged. I used the metaphor thread and needle to express my thoughts on contemporary relationships.

Sherry: You did that very cleverly, Purba. I especially resonate with your Picnic poem, and how it feels when we happen upon members of our tribe. Thank you for sharing these wonderful poems with us!

You have so many  interests. Tell us what you love to do, won’t you?

Purba: Yes, I have many interests. Singing is my favourite hobby. When I am not writing, I am either exploring music of various genres or singing. I want to learn playing the guitar. I know just the basics. So if I get some time, I will definitely take guitar lessons. Sometimes I also upload my covers on my Soundcloud Channel and Instagram.

Sherry: We would love to see one, and hear you sing, Purba, if possible!

Purba: I recorded one of my favorite Tagore songs for you on the theme of love: Tumi Kon Kanoner (You are a Flower of Which Garden). I hope Sumana Ma'am enjoys it.








Sherry: Purba, you are so sweet and you sing so beautifully. Thank you for this. It lifts our hearts. You have the eyes of an Old Soul, especially in this video.

Purba: Apart from singing, I love sketching, dancing and reading. I also love to travel and read about beautiful places.




Traveling to Darjeeling in a toy train


Sherry: Tell us about your artistic journey, Purba.

Purba: It all started in the year 2011, after I completed my graduation. I was constantly feeling that there was something missing in my life. I realized that working as a microbiologist in a laboratory or working in the corporate sector is not my cup of tea, but I couldn’t understand what exactly was missing in my life. I was unable to understand my inner calling. I decided to write a novel, as it was one of the things listed in my bucket list.

That was when I started realizing the magic that writing was doing to my soul. By the time I finished writing my 1st novel, I understood that I cannot survive without writing. Then gradually, over the years, I managed to publish 3 books and also get my poems and stories published in anthologies and magazines.





My first book, Walking in the Streets 
of Love and Destiny, in a book fair



The Hidden Letters,
placed in the right hand corner
in a bookstore



Me in front of the shelf where my second book,
The Hidden Letters, is placed


I am still learning, improving and growing. My art gives me immense satisfaction and when readers tell me how much they enjoyed reading my work, I feel blessed. I wish to write till my last breath. Writing is like worship. When I am at my desk writing something, I feel I am closest to God. I have a Reader’s Journal. Whenever the words of any reader touch my heart, I write it down on the journal. When I am having a bad day and feeling low, I read the journal, which motivates me to get back to work.





Travelling in a toy train to Darjeeling


Sherry: You are a true writer. I predict a very bright future for you. I know you love to travel. And I am intrigued by toy trains. Tell us what kind of train this is, won't you?

Purba: Well, a toy train is a small steam engine pulling mini coaches up the steep mountains through breathtaking landscapes. The train moves at a slow pace through the hilly terrain. It is a unique and fun ride. For nature lovers, it is a perfect opportunity to grasp the beauty of the hills.

Sherry: It sounds wonderful! I would so love to take just such a trip. But in Canada train travel is exorbitantly expensive. What is at the top of your Bucket List, Purba?

Purba: I love adventures. Last year, I did paragliding and it was amazing. At the top of my bucket list is snorkeling at Andaman or Goa, river rafting in Rishikesh, trekking amid the mountains, parasailing, a pleasant hot air balloon ride, more toy train journeys etc. I also want to go on a long trip to Europe. It is my dream. To be honest, I think of travelling all the time.

Sherry: You have an adventurous heart, for sure. Yes,  go see the world, young pilgrim. There are so many extraordinary places to explore.

I saw on your About page that you love to read and have a secret dream. Would you share it with us? 

Purba: Yes, I wish to go on a reading sabbatical for 2 months. Last year, I went to a remote hill station in West Bengal called Kalimpong. The scenic beauty, peaceful ambiance and friendly locals of the place touched my heart. So the idea of a reading sabbatical occurred to me when I was in Kalimpong. I wish to go totally gadget free during that time. No cell phone, laptop or even Kindle. I plan to take 20 books in my reading sabbatical, so that I can read about 2 books every week. The mere thought of reading a classic book in the lap of mountains with a cup of coffee in my hand is enough to cheer me up.

Sherry: What a fabulous idea! I think we all now want to do the very same thing! What are your plans for future writing? You seem to produce a novel every two years – do you hope to continue doing this? Have you considered writing a book about your mother? 

Purba: I will try my best to produce at least a book every year (novel or poetry book). Yes, I have considered writing a book about my mother. It will be nonfiction, most probably, maybe a collection of memoirs. I have also thought of writing a novel, inspired from the hardships and sacrifices that my father had to make to raise me up as a single parent.

Sherry: It sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to read it! Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? anything you’d like to say to Poets United?

Purba: Poets United is one of the best things that have happened to me in my artistic journey. I am so glad to be a member of Poets United. You inspire me, encourage me and help me grow.

Sherry: We feel very lucky to have you among us, Purba. Thank you for this very lovely visit. We will watch with interest as your books follow, one upon another.

Isn't she lovely, my friends? And wouldn't a book sabbatical be wonderful? Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


30 comments:

  1. Oh yes, she is lovely, and so are her poems i have read at her blog. I really like in today's interview The Needle and The thread, I had not read that one before

    Good luck with your new book Purba.

    Sherry thanks for another heartwarming interview

    much love...

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    1. Thank you so much Gillena for your kind words.

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  2. Wonderful catching up with you Purba! I do so enjoy your poetry....what a delightful life full of adventure you are enjoying....you keep inspiring me!

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    1. Thank you Donna. You inspire me too with your beautiful poems and lovely photographs.

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  3. Thank you so much Sherry for this lovely interview and for your encouraging words. I absolutely enjoyed this. You make the interviews so much fun :)

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  4. You are more than welcome, Purba. YOU made it a pleasure!!!!! Thank you, also, for recording your beautiful song, which I know Sumana, especially, will find very moving.

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  5. You have an impressive blog, Purba, and you are very productive with three books. Best wishes.

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  6. Wow! Again impressed. The "extraordinary picnic" poem is one of my favorites. I enjoyed how to make sunshine in dark days as well, but now the needle and thread is becoming a new favorite. Neither is much use without the other, so I hope they can manage equality. It's a bonus and rare pleasure to see your face as you sing. May you always have that deep attachment to the work you present, Purba! I enjoyed that so! Congratulations on your degrees and first books--I know that there will be many more.

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    1. And thank you, Sherry, again, for all you do to make us real to each other.

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    2. Thank you Susan for your encouraging words and your good wishes. You made my day. I totally agree with your thoughts on "The thread and the needle".
      And Sherry made the interview so much fun. She is full of brilliant ideas.

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  7. Oh, this is so inspiring really. Purba, you have accomplished so much at such a young age. Not only poetry, but also novels. And doing paragliding as well. Smiles. Good luck on that reading sabbatical. To go gadget free for two months certainly would be a challenge for anyone. You sound SO very motivated though. I listened to you sing the Tagore song with your beautiful voice. I AM sure that Sumana will love it. Glad you are part of Poets United. And, Sherry, thanks for another terrific interview!

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    1. You are most welcome. It is truly a pleasure.

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    2. Thank you so much Mary. I am glad that you liked my singing. Yes, the reading sabbatical sounds challenging without gadgets, but I am hopeful I can do it.
      Very happy and blessed to be a part of Poets United. I always learn new things from here and get super motivated. Thanks!

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  8. What a wonderful interview Sherry and Purba. How wonderful to find your vocation and be so happy and productive with it. Your singing the Tagore
    love song was so beautiful too.

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    1. Thank you so much. I am glad you liked my singing.

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  9. Oh, how lovely to catch up with you again, Purba. I can't believe it is already so long since your earlier interview, as it is still vivid in my memory. Congratulations on all your achievements, and thank you for the lovely song and the words about Tagore. (I know Sumana has read your interview, and is frantically trying to overcome some computer glitch which won't let her comment at present!)

    Thanks, Sherry, for this treat.

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    1. Thanks a lot for your good wishes, Rosemary. So happy that you liked the video.
      Yes I know. She personally told me that she liked the interview, but her comment was not posted due to some technical problems.

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  10. Hi Purba, so pleased to know you. Congrats on your degree in creative writing, and on your published books. i am sure there will be more to come.
    thanks for sharing the video of you singing. you sing beautifully. though i do not understand the language, i do understand the joy and passion you put into the song. :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words and your good wishes. Glad that you liked the video, despite not understanding the language. Means a lot!

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  11. Hi Purba, you are a talented young lady. I wish you all the best. Sherry, thank you for another lovely interview .

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    1. Thank you Ayala for reading and your best wishes.

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  12. Purba and Sherry this is such a fascinating and inspiring read. Like a breath of freshness. Happiness and depth is ingrained in you, be always like this Purba. And you sing so beautifully. Such a sweet and melodious voice you have! Tumi Kon Kononer Phul is one of my favorites.
    Now I hope this comment posts without any trouble.

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    1. I am so happy that you liked my singing and enjoyed reading the interview. Thank you for your lovely words. Yes, I will always be like this :)

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  13. Wonderful interview! I’m a long time fan of Purba and its always great to get some insight into how she crafts her world of writing, singing and travelling together.:))
    You have a beautiful voice, Purba. Best of luck with your publishing adventures....
    Thank you Sherry for another fascinating interview!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Means a lot to me. Glad that you liked my voice :)

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  14. You have achieved so much in such a short time. Your father must be so proud of you and I know you bring him a lot of joy.
    Keep pursuing your dreams and enjoy every minute of it.Say g'day to your Dad. ( This is an Aussie expression which I cannot really explain)One of the others might be able to....It's nice anyway:)

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    1. That's so kind of you. Thank you so much for your encouraging words.

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  15. You are indeed lovely Purba - I love both the wisdom and magic your words can create and wish you every success in all your writing - ps that toy train makes our trains look like the orient express! Be well and keep writing..we love that you do

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