Tag Archives: poetry

A Dark Diwali

I clicked this pic on 18 October 2017, a day before Diwali. My poem inspired from this pic is now on poemhunter.com.

Link:https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-dark-diwali/

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The Story Of A Poem

In 2006, my life turned completely upside down. Nothing seemed to work. It was during this tough phase that I wrote my poem ‘The Delhi Metro.’ I had no idea why I wrote what I wrote and what I was going to do about it. It was just a spontaneous expression of hope, strength, and courage to carry on and I felt light after writing it. The idea of getting it published some day never occurred to me and I wasn’t even sure whether it had any literary value at all.

When I showed the hand-written poem to my husband, he thought it was ‘nice’ and suggested some minor changes.

I subsequently uploaded the corrected poem on Poemhunter.com because every poem has a life and a destiny of its own. A day or two later, everything became as usual and I forgot all about the poem. Like me, the poem too wandered in the wilderness.

In 2012, however, six years later, Connie Robertson, an editor from OUP (Oxford University Press), UK, picked it up and chose it for inclusion in one of their upcoming textbooks! I still think I was a poetic Cinderella that a Fairy Godmother launched into the publishing world. Why else would a world-famous, prestigious publisher like OUP wish to engage with me, an obscure writer living in a poor country like India, doing a job that had nothing to do with writing, publishing, or poetry.

Connie’s first message to me was through Poemhunter as she didn’t have my email id. She requested me for “non-exclusive rights to OUP to publish my 60-line poem ‘The Delhi Metro.”

My first impulse was to count the number of lines. Yes, it was 60 alright, but I still had my apprehensions.

In my reply, I asked her to explain what she meant by “non-exclusive rights” because the idea of giving any kind of rights whatsoever, as far as I was concerned, felt like giving up a baby forever; a very painful thing, not something I could imagine myself doing.

Connie’s response was, “By non-exclusive rights, we mean that

a. You retain the copyright and you have full freedom to get the poem published elsewhere.

b. By allowing us to publish the poem, you will get the opportunity to show off your baby to the whole world.”

I was really touched after reading this. About 6 months later, OUP sent £200 into my bank account through RTGS and an author’s copy of the book at my residence through courier. I still have the courier packet as a momento…

I recently came across a very cute newly-married married couple in a Delhi Metro train. While they smiled, laughed, kissed and hugged each other in gay abandon right in front of my amused eyes, they reminded me of the newly-married couple in my poem ‘Delhi Metro,’ completly immersed in each other’s company. I could feel the dreamy, magical aura they created around themselves and I gave in to the strong temptation to freeze those ecstatic moments forever by clicking their photograph. They are now the hero and the heroine of this poem on Poemhunter. Here is the link:

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-delhi-metro/?m=0

Only Time will tell how this poem will lead its life in future.

Copyright: Jasbir Chatterjee

The World Beyond

My latest poem on Poemhunter.com today, ‘The World Beyond’ is inspired from my pics given below. Click here and read on.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-world-beyond-3/

An Amaltas Day

My walk to the Metro station on my way to work on 23 May 2017 had something new and exciting in store for me; an Amaltas tree; a tree that Mayank Austen Soofi, my favorite writer and blogger, often writes about. I considered it my great fortune that day to have discovered one right inside my neighborhood!

It looked so gorgeous with its abundant golden yellow flowers in full bloom! A mere sight of it lifted me from the pall of gloom that had been over me for the past so many days. I could not help stopping by for a few moments to feast my eyes on this ravishing sight. Just below the tree, there was a yellow carpet formed by the fallen Amaltas flowers. I had a strong temptation to cross the fence and sit on it…

Just in case you are wondering if I reached office on time that day, well, yes, I did, quite miraculously indeed, in spite of so many obstacles, a stuck metro,  a traffic jam, and aafreshly water logged road right outside the office building.

Here are some pics I clicked during those guilty moments near the Amaltas tree…

One Special Monday

 

Monday, 8 May 2017, turned out to be a super special day for my family! It made me glow happily, like the moon basking in the glory of a shining star.

While the hot, orange-yellow sun blazed outside in a clear, blue sky over the dazzling, golden-yellow Amaltas flowers, my husband Sukhangshu presented a program inside the Jamia Millia University premises on the occasion of Tagore’s 156th birth anniversary celebration. I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the audience too were dressed in yellow!

In his soft, gentle voice, Sukhangshu talked about Tagore’s famous stories ‘The Kabuliwala,’ ‘Tota Kahini,’ and ‘Homecoming’ to a spellbound audience, which included my 21-year-old daughter Suroshri and me.

For Sukhangshu, this event was another feather in his cap, worth cherishing all through his life, because getting invited to speak on Tagore in a reputed University like Jamia Millia is by itself a big sign of recognition for the work he has done till date in theater and theater education in schools.

The program was interactive in nature. The participants wore bright yellow tops, T-shirts, and kurtas in keeping with Tagore’s ideas on beauty of nature. Somewhere in the middle of the program, while Sukhangshu took a break, a group of children performed a dance based on Rabindra Sangeet, a collection of songs and music composed by Tagore. They looked very cute. If Tagore had been present that day, I am sure he would have been very happy too.

In the end, Sukhangshu was gifted a lovely momento made by the children of Aseem- Asha Foundation.

Just before we left, we were shown around the arts gallery by the organizer Aseem Asha Usman himself and the artist kids who created those lovely paintings and photographs. All the works on display  were inspired from Tagore’s works. It was really amazing to find so many talented, young people under the same roof.

Here are some photos I clicked that day.

Program banner: These were placed all over the place. Sukhangshu is in 3rd row, 1st pic.

Here, Sukhangshu is talking about Tagore’s story on education, ‘Tota Kahini.’ The children made the session lively by singing a few lines in chorus from Sukhangshu’s Hindi adaptation of this story.

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Sukhangshu, in the backdrop of paintings and photographs…

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Organizer Aseem Asha Usman

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The Audience

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The children, performing Rabindra Sangeet nritya.

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An excerpt of a page of the program booklets distributed among the audience.

And now the momento ceremony…

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Outside the auditorium, as we walked out…




Changing Wardrobes

 

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My latest poem “Changing Wardrobes” is now on Poemhunter.com. It was inspired from my photos in the collage you see on the top. Click here and read on.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/changing-wardrobes/

I look forward to reading your comments.

Poet of The Day

My poem ‘Stars In my Eyes’ is the poem of the day today (16 March 2017)! So I am a proud and happy poet of the day today. It really feels nice. 

Thank you very much, Poemhunter, for giving me this honor and for placing an ordinary poet like me among great, world famous poets. 

Here are the screenshots.