Poet Vaijayantee Bhattacharya

 

Bahrain-based Vaijayantee is an author, poet, editor and entrepreneur. Her first anthology of poems titled Mosaic Vision was published in 2017, and depicts her perceptions, experiences and emotions like a tapestry of colourful threads, intertwined, and yet at times stark and contradictory.

 

 

I was born and raised in the city of Kolkata, also popularly known as the City of Joy, India. After my schooling, college and university, I moved to New Delhi, the capital of India, where I worked for seven years as an editor and then as an editorial manager in the publishing industry; first at Macmillan India Ltd and then at SAGE Publications. It was my marriage to my husband that brought me to the beautiful island of Bahrain.

 

Poetry has been for me a lifelong companion; I started writing poetry from the age of 8: my first poem was an ode to my newborn niece, and I had set it to a tune as well! This was followed by a series of poems that every once in a while I would try to set to tune to turn them into songs.

 

To begin with, I was immensely delighted to set my poems in rhyming couplets. As my knowledge of poetry and its different forms increased with age, I started to experiment with other forms like quatrains, sonnets and blank verses. Creative writing had always interested me, and the form of creative writing that I was most spontaneous in was perhaps poetry. Life, in all its variations, is what inspires and motivates me most. Writing to me, whether in verse or prose is a cathartic process through which I can give vent to any emotion that I am overwhelmed with, stirred by my observation or experience of life around me. This can be the beauty of nature or the mundaneness of a routine existence; it can be the simple joys of motherhood or the angst and pain of the unfeeling happenings of life. So in a nutshell, Life in all its colours and variations is my muse, and my source of inspiration and motivation.

 

Earthquake
By Vaijayantee Bhattacharya
In remembrance of the lives we lost in the recent earthquakes... In prayers for those who are buried somewhere waiting to be rescued...

 

They were born on your bosom
You smiled and loved
Gave them your all
Food that they sowed and reaped
On your soul
Water and shelter
Green grass and tenderness
To nurture dreams and hopes in
You have borne their feet most affectionately
As they took their first steps
And many more
To dreams and back from despair
They wounded you with their aspirations
Built dreams in concrete shapes
You endured it all
You made them believe in you
Before you cruelly took all of it away
One sudden and fateful moment
You decided to throw it all off
To dance in a fury that you ve been hiding
From time immemorial
And raze dreams to the dungeons of despair
Where they breathed their last with a question
'Why mother why?'
Why them then Mother
Why only them
Do you caress the tender heart that still feebly breathes
In the folds of your lap
Unnoticed, unfound yet?
Are you rocking him to sleep
Soothing his pain
And promising a life again
As the green sapling shoots out of the debris
In hope cemented with despair?

 

My process of writing is to let a thought, an emotion, an idea or observation grow in me for a while. Only if it lingers long enough to stir me enough emotionally, do I feel the urge to pen it down and thereby immortalise it. While at times it all happens very fast, within a very short span of time, as the emotion that wells up in me is very strong or powerful, sometimes I let it linger for days as if in a gestation period, until that special moment when I simply know that this is the right time to dress it in words, pen it down, and give it birth. I wait for the right words to flow into my mind naturally, almost invoking them through the days when I let the thought grow in me.

 

Estrangement
By Vaijayantee Bhattacharya

 

Between him and her is their child
And a pillow
And thousand insurmountable miles
In every crease there's a complaint
An unnoticed tear soaked in the dense fabric of the sheet
The child covers a thousand miles
In his sleep
Between two pillars that hold up his world
Between them is a dream still alive
Their child
Pulsating and growing defying the thousand miles
Between them is their child, a pillow and thousand miles
And a future of uncertainties
Growth...
Of miles in between
Or their child, their dream maybe?

 

Writing to me is a deep and personal affair, a cathartic process. Apart from all the commercial writings that I have to do as a writer, editor and content developer, writing is the way my soul breathes and when Life moves me adequately and emotionally, I write. Mostly in verses. Then there are those days of emptiness, and lack of the creative sap. Those are days of ennui when nothing moves me much, and even if I have a lot of leisure, I just can’t find anything to write about. Interestingly there are other moments of epiphany when between hopping from one meeting to another, or simply while working on any urgent assignment that I am so deeply affected by something that I simply and compulsively have to drop everything that I am doing to write about it; to freeze the emotions and thoughts that crowd my consciousness without any prior planning or notice demanding an expression, a catharsis or a dress of befitting words to be frozen into a poem forever.

 

Loneliness
By Vaijayantee Bhattacharya

 

Let us talk of loneliness
All of us together
How alone we always are
No matter how often we gather.
Let us talk of the only search
That has been on forever
For those two eyes and that sweet touch
Which no cruel time can weather.
Let us talk of the darkness then
That pierces our hearts like a dagger
And gets betrayed by a secret tear
On a rainy day or the other.
Loneliness is mine is yours
But we don't talk about it to each other
Who cares how lonely we cry in our hearts
Who's really got the time to bother?

 

Being a writer, editor and journalist with various newspapers and magazines, both in India and Bahrain, several of my articles, features and interviews have been published already. I have also contributed to various anthologies of prose and poetry, in India, the UK and Bahrain. Besides these, I have an anthology of my own poems titled Mosaic Vision published and launched in 2017. As a writer I identify a lot with William Wordsworth and his love for nature; I admire the profound perceptions of writers like DH Lawrence, Toni Morrison, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda and TS Eliot... I often feel the urge to express my thoughts and emotions with the depth and profundity with which these great writers have appreciated life.

 

Madness
By Vaijayantee Bhattacharya

 

I can’t forget those eyes - eyes that gleamed with the fire of thoughts
Thoughts that ran through her mind in a feverish frenzy
Like busy black ants in a line, speaking to her incessantly.
I can’t forget those eyes - eyes that were eloquent with unspoken words
As she stood silently amidst those who pelted stones at her
Calling her a ‘mad woman’.
Her mud smeared cheeks bled with tears while her eyes burnt with the glimmer of unshared thoughts
A  contemptuous  smile broke on her unfed lips---a smile of disdain ‘twas perhaps.
The madness was hers and hers only, and so were the secret thoughts that peeked through her burning eyes.
The eyes that were rich with her treasure of insanity
Eyes that shut out the mad world and ensconced her into a secret place
From where she did not need to return to anyone
From where no one could steal her back
Where her dreams were safe, her hurt untarnished, her complaints unscorned
Her truth unraped, her wounds unweathered by the ravages of time, her battles undefeated
Her silence promising her an escape from the unforgiving world.
I can’t forget those eyes and that smile
That made me wonder if ‘twas not her but the rest of us
Who were irretrievably lost in this eternal marshland called sanity.

 

Poetry has been for me a lifelong journey and I hope to be able to write as long as I live. My second poetry anthology is in the pipeline. And I am also working on a collection of short stories too. Like most poets, when people read and appreciate my poems, I feel extremely happy and satisfied. While I have been privileged enough to receive extremely positive reviews about my poetry by senior writers and journalists, and my precious readers,  I am yet to approach any institution or award organization for a formal evaluation of my poetry.

 

~

 

MOSAIC VISION

By Vaijayantee Bhattacharya

ISBN: 978 1482887341

Mosaic Vision is Vaijayantee’s first anthology of poetry that depicts her perceptions, experiences and emotions like a tapestry of colourful threads, intertwined at times, and at times stark and contradictory. The poems varied in their subjects, themes and tones, form a beautiful mosaic pattern that helps the reader get a wholesome understanding of a woman in today’s world— delighted and distraught by the travails of the times.

 

Vaijayantee Bhattacharya
Tel: + 973 3699 6869
E-mail: vaijayantee@gmail.com

YouTube: @Vaijayantee Bhattacharya
Facebook: @Mosaic-Vision-A-book-of-poems-by-Vaijayantee-Bhattacharya-1875124079420045/

 

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