Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Author Sutapa Basu sharing her journey of Dangle with Being Bookworms....


Sutapa Basu's shares her journey with Dangle before the book cover release in Kolkata: A tete-e-tete with Sufia Khatoon

Dear Bookworms,
Kolkata is a city where the creative penchant is loved and supported by everyone. Stories has travelled through generations of reading culture and survived in our crumbling world because of its power of imagination and creativity. This power to create change in our society by changing our thoughts and ideas leading us towards a tolerant world is in the hands of writers. Kolkata has seen this imaginative creativity evolving by the support of book lovers who have kept the passion of reading and passing the joy of reading a good story alive.
One such author, Sutapa Basu, winner of TOI Write India contest is coming down to our city of book lovers to take the initial step of her beautiful novel” Dangle” cover being revealed on 15th Jan  in Chalkboard Kitchen and Café 5pm amidst the warmth of imagination and curiosity. We believe we deserve to be a part of her journey and know what is “Dangle” all about?
Surrounded by well wishers and book lovers, Sutapa will be revealing the joy of writing this story, the idea of “Urban women being emancipated or not” followed by dance and poetry performances.
We wish your participation in our journey to take it further when we will be able to read her book after its release soon.

An author, poet and publishing consultant, Sutapa Basu also dabbles in art and trains trainers and is a compulsive bookworm. She is an irrepressible story teller. Her poetry is an evocation of Nature resonating with mystical introspection. A thirty-year old professional career as teacher, editor, and publisher has seen her traipsing across the vast Indian subcontinent with short detours into nearby Nepal and Bhutan and not-so-nearby Dubai and the United States while working with Oxford University Press, India and Encyclopædia Britannica, South Asia until she decided to strike out on her own. Sutapa is an Honours scholar from Tagore’s Visva-Bharti University, Santiniketan and holds a teaching as well as a masters degree in English Literature. As a publisher, Sutapa has developed and published around 400 books. Recently, her short story was awarded the First Prize in the Times of India’s nation-wide Write India Contest. She has co-authored Crossed & Knotted, India’s First Composite Novel and Defiant Dreams, Tales of Everyday Divas. Kaafiyana, a poetry anthology and Muse India carries her poetry. Her poetry and short stories have been published online by Readomania, India and Café Dissensus, USA. She has edited Crossed & Knotted, India’s First Composite Novel, Chronicles of Urban Nomads, and Rudraksha published by Readomania. Her work is showcased on her website storyfuntastika.com and Readomania.com

We are excited to share our interview with her and let you get inspired to read her book when it is released soon.

A tete-e-tete with Sutapa Basu by Sufia Khatoon...

Sufia: How excited are you about the cover revealing in Kolkata?

Sutapa: I am very excited. This book is my dream coming to life.

Sufia: Your protagonist in your novel shares a bengali culture and now the cover reveal is in kolkata...what is the relation and how you feel about it?

Sutapa: My protagonist is pravasi Bengali and demystifies many concepts that the typical Kolkata Bong has about them. Its time the two met, I think.

Sufia: Tell us something about your experience of Write india contest...how did it feel to meet Amish and receive the honour?

Sutapa: Oh WriteIndia was totally unexpected! I certainly did not expect my story to win when the entire nation was writing.

Amish is charming. He wears his mantle of fame so lightly. He specially requested me to meet him over coffee a day before the award ceremony because he wanted to meet the author of the story that made him cry (His words). It was a wonderful meeting and we spoke a lot about his journey as a writer and my expectations from writing as well. It was such a easy, comfortable chat. I am completely bowled over by Amish.

Sufia: When do we get to read the book?

Sutapa: Dangle will be released on 20th January 2016. It happens to be my birthday and this is the best birthday gift I have receieved in all my 59 years.

Sufia: Is women emancipation the subject of the book? Your own take on women emancipation and What you think about Urban women at large?

Sutapa: Well yes but not in the traditional way. I think the emancipated urban woman is troubled by a lot of pressures which could become extremely traumatic. I believe that a truely emancipated woman will have the strength within her to overcome those traumas.

Sufia: Is this book about her search?

Sutapa: Yes it is indeed.

Sufia: When did your journey with writing start? What do you enjoy about it?

Sutapa: My journey started when I was about 8 years old but I have seriously started writing only in the last 2 years. Before that my writing was sporadic.

I enjoy weaving a story and while I put down what I hear inside me, I am totally obsessed with it.

Sufia: Your message for writers and an appeal for friends?

Sutapa: My message for writers is: if you have a story, write it. Dont worry about who will read it.

And my appeal to friends: Read, read, read and encourage your children to read. Open for them the world of books, hold and let them travel in them.

Hope you have been inspired...
Keep reading that love called books
Being Bookworms 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Being Bookworms at the Cover Revealing of Antara Banerjee’s "To Be A Woman"

Antara Banerjee's "To Be A Woman"....Cover Reveal in Kolkata......

A cover report by Dr. Amit Shankar Saha

Dear Bookworms,

The cover revealing of Antara Banerjee’s second book titled "To Be A Woman" took place in the banquet
hall of One Way Cafe on a rather chilly afternoon of 20th December, 2015. Antara Banerjee’s first
book was The Goddess in Flesh published in 2014 for which she was promptly labelled as a
feminist writer. The writer embraced the label and the title of her second book elicit the same. But that
may be a tame look at the issue for Antara has gone into the serious and complicated subject of

transgender and transvestite in this book. The cover revealed by an esteemed array of guests, which
included Retd. IPS and former ADG of West Bengal Police, Sri Raj Johri, eminent economist and
professor Dr. Suman Kumar Mukherjee and Vice President of Academy of Fine Arts, Dr. Anjali
Sengupta, in itself showed what the writer has explored in her book. The cover photograph was shot by
Antara Banerjee herself, being a qualified photographer too. The programme was moderated by the very
talented Sufia Khatoon, who started the programme with her  poem,

"To be a woman,
My wish, my desire, my pride...."

which stated in a few lines the essence of the story.

The Chief Guest Sri Raj Johri commended Antara for the wonderful job done in shooting the image for

the cover over a thousand frames. He reiterated the fact that transgenders have been studied more
medically but rarely emotionally. He went on to delineate the existence of transgenders and transvestites
in history and mythology citing the examples of the Greek Achilles, examples from the Mahabharata,
talking about how men played the roles of women characters during Shakespeare’s time and how

Devika Rani became the first woman to successfully essay a female part in Indian movies and even
revealed how during his school days he had to play the part of Bharat Mata. His own experience taught
him how it feels to transcend the boundaries of gender and he hoped that the book will cut new

A major part of the afternoon was devoted to the interaction between Dr. Suman Mukherjee and Antara Banerjee.

Dr. Mukherjee started by saying that when there is perfect conception then a girl is born and

only when there is an imperfect conception then a boy is born and yet often religions and society sees
paradoxically the woman as an aberration. In this regard he questioned the author on which aspect of
woman she was looking at. Antara replied that to be a human being will be ideal but men and women
do not have same social standing and added that she is not negating men but rather trying to put into
perspective that men and women complement each other.

This led to the question of transgenders, which is often used as a blanket term to indicate the rainbow that gender is generally defined now-a-days. On being asked about their status in the West, Antara replied that even though Western laws provide them legal rights they still do not find social acceptability to a greater extent and that is why the LGBT movement is gaining momentum worldwide.

Dr. Mukherjee directed the conversation towards the political aspect and Antara quickly recalled how
recently the bill introduced by Shashi Tharoor in the parliament was ridiculed due to lack of awareness
about the issue in some of the parliamentarians themselves. Antara pointed out that often we find
ourselves out of place among transgenders which made Dr. Mukherjee wonder whether the men are
afraid of their female form being exposed or their maleness slighted. Antara said that there exists some
chauvinism when this aberration is encountered.

Sri Johri objected to the the usage of the word “aberration” because experiencing sexuality differently is just nature’s and society’s creativity at work and those who have aversion for it fear to come to terms with their imagination. Soon the audience too warmed up to the conversation and started participating. The talk veered from Tagore’s Chitrangada and Rituparno Ghosh to the economic factor which determines social acceptability of transgenders.

Antara said that for her the ideal feminine form is Durga, the mother goddess, and Dr. Mukherjee said
that “only when the celestial light refracts we get a rainbow.” He wanted to know how the transgenders
think, emote and analyse. Antara spoke about the cravings of a woman when someone with a man’s
body has a woman’s psyche. Sri Johri interjected and highlighted that there is also the men part of
transgenders, which also needs to be studied. He floated the term “trans-empowerment” as that can be a
way forward in order to make gender difference acceptable and not seen as some inadequacy by
society. The discussion ended with Dr. Mukherjee congratulating the author and looking forward to the
launch of the book.

The high tea that followed provided opportunity for interaction amongst the author, the panelists and the audience. It was an afternoon well spent amidst some invigorating conversation, a dazzling cover reveal and some cud to chew on when the mind tends to ruminate.I wish Antara Banerjee all success in her endeavours.

Bio: Dr. Amit Shankar Saha is a scholar, critic, poet and writer. He has a PhD in English from Calcutta
University. His research articles have appeared in anthologies and journals both in India and abroad,
prominently in the journals of Purdue University (USA), Drew University (USA), Bordeaux University
(France), BHU (India), etc. He was a guest lecturer in the distance education center of Madras

University and is currently pursuing postdoctoral research. He is also the co-founder and coordinator of
Rhythm Divine Poets group. He has won a number of creative writing competitions too.

We wish you keep supporting and loving the world of books and authors.
Being Bookworms

Monday, 28 December 2015

Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas Book Launch in Kolkata

Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas Book Launch in Kolkata

Dear Bookworms,
We appreciate when book lovers share their experiences with us. Sharing their inspirations about a book and the people behind a creative piece of work gives us the hope that books are still thriving in our world. We hope you will enjoy this personal experience as much as we did.

Of “No Vanilla Women” and a Lot of Incredibleness by Dr. Amit Shankar Saha

“Incredible” in an incredible word for it takes the subject it is applied to from the realm of believable and ordinary to the realm of unbelievable and extraordinary. Take for example the quotidian category of women in Indian society. The very fact of being a woman as an objective gendered construct in a patriarchal society is in itself incredible. And then there are stories of their defiance, dreams, inner strength, resolve, and the overcoming of impediments planted in their paths on a day to day basis. These count for a lot of incredibleness, the basic ingredient that goes into the concoction called Incredible Women of India (IWI), an ezine run by Rhiti Bose and Lopa Banerjee. IWI was founded by Rhiti Bose in 2013 after which it has been able to touch hearts across borders and It is this incredibleness that has spilled over in fictional form into the book Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas, a collection of short stories curated by Rhiti and Lopa, in association with the publishing house Readomania, through an online competition called “Stree.” The launch of this book was organised by Mona Sengupta and Sushroota Sarkar of Ahava Communications at Weaver’s Studio, Kolkata, on 18th December 2015. This event was prefaced by the the cover revealing of the book a few days ago in the talented poet and painter Sufia Khatoon’s Art Fair Season V, at Chemould Art Gallery.

Women have long been objectified by the male gaze and let me do the same here but with a difference. I shall use the gaze as a deconstructionist’s critical tool and try to make it the agency of the subaltern called women much like how women’s body has been used as an ecriture for their subjectivity. So I excuse those who do not have a literary bent of mind to from further reading to avoid affront to their sensibility or lack of it. There was a nip in the air and so the berets were out. A black one caressed the auburn head of the young poet Joie Bose, who exuded warmth that the grey cardigan hugging her pink dress desperately tried to contain. She was one of the panelists for discussion on the book launched. Beside her, looking no less stunning in a green sari but with a nervous mixture of coyness and confidence, was Rhiti Bose, the Founder and Chief Editor of IWI. On the other end, to the right of the audience, sat the Creative Editor of IWI, Lopa Banerjee, looking like a sweet brew of coffee in a brown sari. 

Next to her was the eminent author of many books, the latest being Ballad of Bapu, and one of the contributors of the anthology under discussion, Santosh Bakaya, who looked fetching in green with a prim bob cut. She was followed in the seating order by the noted filmmaker and social activist Anindita Sarbadhicari, whose black bindi complimented her black dress perfectly. And in the middle in pastel patches of red and black sat the moderator Rakhi Chakrabarty, the Assistant Editor of The Times of India. Apart form the panelists there were other contributors of the volume present too. There were Paulami DuttaGupta, in black and red dress from Nagaland paired with red and gold beaded necklace from Meghalaya, Debosmita Nandy, sparkling in a pink sari with a golden border, Radhika Maira Tabrez, in a vanilla diffused blue dress, and Anirban Nanda, one of the three male contributors to find a place in the volume, in a pale white shirt. They either read extracts from the book or narrated their experiences about the “no vanilla women” they wrote about.

What transpired amongst the panelists in the next hour or so could have been found in the first page of a newspaper delineating the struggles of a nineteen year old girl in Kashmir while overcoming drug addiction and starting an orphanage; or the inside page of a newspaper portraying a girl in the North-East trying to come to terms with the mental trauma caused by the army’s AFSPA and the ULFA’s insurgency; or could be heard from a housemaid of how she escaped her traffickers, made herself economically independent and now wants to go back to her village; or could be experienced first hand in the dusty paths of Basirhat, where regularly parents are duped with promises of work or marriage to virtually sell off their teenage daughters; or could be an anecdote about an acid attack victim and her convicted perpetrator attaining realization and turning over a new leaf; or it could just happen among one’s family and friends, where a widow from a foreign shore brings her husband’s ashes to her in-laws, whom she has never met; or it could be found in the cancer ward of a hospital where a woman defies the deadly disease to live again; it could very well be surreptitiously seen behind closed doors of so-called respectable people of society where gender identity becomes pronounced. I could write about how Rakhi Chakrabarty and other panelists spoke about the vulnerability of women and their fortitude. I could also write about how Readomania founder Dipankar Mukherjee and resident editor Indrani Ganguly brought Rhiti and Lopa’s vision into a reality. But those things I have already written about during the cover reveal event of the book.

Rather I will love to write, perhaps still with a male gaze, about the bonhomie shared by friends meeting for the first time after a long acquaintance in the virtual world. I will love to write about the literary bond I share with Lopa. I will love to write about the warmth with which Rhiti welcomes me. I will love to write about how Lopa, despite being settled in Dallas, Texas, still calls Kolkata her home, even though each time she comes here she has a bout of Laryngitis.  I will love to write about how Rhiti stalked some of my friends in the virtual world to bring out the extra-ordinariness of their apparently ordinary lives for IWI.

 I will love to write about the sparkle in Santosh Bakaya’s eyes as she penned her autograph in my copy of the book. I will love to write about how Mona and Sushroota pursued me with their cordial invitations for the event. I will love to write how and why Sufia made me write about this event. I will love to write how Joie gave me a lift in her car amidst goodbyes at the end of the programme. But all these are personal musings and I will restrain myself here. Maybe someday there will be one more nip in the air and I will revisit this event, probably without being a voyeur and without a deconstructionist’s agenda, and the incredibleness of it all will engulf me once more and make me write again. Till then my best wishes are with Defiant Dreams.

Bio: Dr. Amit Shankar Saha is a scholar, critic, poet and writer. He has a PHD in English from Calcutta University. His research articles have appeared in anthologies and journals both in India and abroad, prominently in the journals of Purdue University (USA), Drew University (USA), Bordeaux University (France), BHU (India), etc. He was a guest lecturer in the distance education center of Madras University and is currently pursuing postdoctoral research. He is also the co-founder and coordinator of Rhythm Divine Poets group. He has won a number of creative writing competitions too. 

 Do read this wonderful book and if we like you review we will publish it in Being Bookworms..
Keep reading that love called books

His website is http://sites.google.com/site/amitshankarsaha and he blogs at http://amitss6.blogspot.com 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Rhythm Divine Poets’ Poetry Meet on Colours at Art Fair

Rhythm Divine Poets’ Poetry Meet on Colours at Art Fair Season 5

Dear Bookworms,
Welcome to another season of poetic evening,
We had a wonderful time in Art Fair supporting the endevours and creative zeal. Its always exciting to see creativity thrive and bind us in warmth. 
Rhythm Divine's poetic meet was also one such event. Love art, love creativity.

 Rhythm Divine Poets group organised a gala poetry meet at the fifth season of Sufia’s Art Fair  on Sunday 6th December, 2015. This was second such association, the first being at last season’s Art Fair. Art Fair 5 was inaugurated on 4th December by noted photographer Kounteya Sinha, fashion designer Lopamudra Mandal Saha, artist and professor of RBU Sohini Dhar, and social activist Urmi Basu of New Light. The fair is on till 8th December. The first day also saw the performance of the noted singer Tapasi and her band. On Saturday the Art Fair hosted the book cover launch of Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas edited by Rhiti Bose and Lopa Banerjee. The event was followed by songs by the talented singer Tiasa Ray.

Art Fair has long been the place where poetic jamming has taken place before any poetry groups came into vogue, other than a few niche ones, and poets have always looked forward to it. This time it was no exception. There was increased participation from poets who love the warmth of the event and the quality of the poems recited. The theme of the day was “Colours” and amidst an atmosphere of art, paintings, photography, craft, lifestyle products and music poets sat and recited in front of an august gathering. 

Among the guests were Prof. Jharna Sanyal, former Head of the Department of English, Calcutta University, and Shri Dinesh Vadera of Mudra Arts. Both Prof. Sanyal and Dineshji are themselves poets. Prof. Sanyal has also been the judge of the Rhythm Divine online poet of the month contest. It was a privilege to have such eminent personalities at the meet.

The evening started with the felicitation of the guests and the awarding of certificates to the online poetry competition winners Niladri Mahajan and Ipsita Ganguly. Among the poets who read their poems  mainly on the theme “Colours” and wore the colour they recited on were Kushal Poddar, Niladri Mahajan, Ipsita Ganguly, Aiman Abdulla, Ranjani Chowdhury, Bob D’Costa, Sana Mohammed, Rahul Mall, Samrat Dey and others including the hosts Sufia Khatoon and Amit Shankar Saha. Prof. Jharna Sanyal as well as Shri Dinesh Vadera too read their compositions. Dineshji’s poem was in Gujarati and so for the first time there were poems in English, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Gujarati recited at a single event of Rhythm Divine Poets group. Prof. Sanyal was impressed by the compositions of the poets. 

Some of her old students like Lopa Banerjee and Anindita Bose too joined later. The evening saw a fitting culmination in an enthralling musical performance by Samrat Dey. Rhythm Divine poets group is thankful to all those who turned up to make this event a grand success.

The Cover Launch of Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas

The Cover Launch of Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas 

Dear Bookworms,

We are always glad to share with you events that brings us closer to the wonderful world of books.Recently Being Bookworms was invited to attend the cover reveal of "Defiant Dreams" in Art Fair Season 5.
A bookworm, Dr Amit Shankar Saha wrote about this memorable event, the experiences that build this book and the wonderful people behind it. We share it with you hoping you will get inspired by the stories and be present in the launch of the book on 18th Dec in Weavers studio, Kolkata

On 5th December, 2015, Art Fair 5  hosted the cover launch of the book Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas. The book is edited by Rhiti Bose and Lopamudra Banerjee and published by Readomania. Art Fair has regularly been the place for the convergence of talents from various creative fields and the cover launch too saw a motley crowd of talented individuals discussing how the book was conceived and brought to fruition. The issue of women and gender emancipation has been a debate in academia that is long won by logic but in everyday lives it is still seen to be found wanting. On the ground level in a patriarchal society the argument has to be won over by strategy and the profusion of gender based literature caters to that. Everyday women too can be divas in their own right is a proposition that this book of twenty four sparkling short stories proves.

The book was conceived when Rhiti Bose, who runs the Incredible Women of India blog, was literally stalking women in the virtual world to find exceptional achievements of apparently ordinary women. She was helped by her blog’s co-editor Sulakshana Chatterjee in such efforts. Soon she came across Lopamudra Banerjee, whose poems and creative writing she began to admire. The friendship grew and in July 2015 the plan was conceived to take what the blog represents a step further. Rhiti, who lives in Bhubaneshwar and Lopamudra, who lives in Dallas, prepared a proposal and sent it to the publishers and one fine day Rhiti was contacted by Dipankar Mukherjee of Readomania who warmed up to the proposal. The project started with a month-long online short story competition where writers from all over the world submitted stories on exceptional achievement of ordinary women either inspired by real-life characters or fully fictional. The response was overwhelming with one hundred and four stories submitted.

It was then that Indrani Ganguly, the resident editor of Readomania, came in as a mentor. She set the guidelines for selecting the stories and going through the grueling process of developmental editing, copy editing and proof editing, even with sprains and time constraints across continents, twenty four outstanding stories were finally chosen. And the twenty-fifth story, which one will not find in the contents page, is the story of these women who came with a vision and worked to produce an incredible volume. The stories which do not find a place in the book will be published in the Readomania website. On being asked by the moderator Sufia Khatoon about their passion that brought them together Rhiti, whose blog in its two and a half years of existence has had more than 37,000 hits, Lopamudra, who also specializes in creative non-fiction, and Sulakshana, who is an instructional designer by profession, spoke of the wonderful journey that they have taken which culminated in the publication of this book, whose official launch is to take place in Kolkata on the 18th of this month.

The event also saw the presence of some city-based contributors of the volume. Among them Paulami Duttagupta spoke of how her story "Bidisha" explores the condition of a woman in the conflict zone of North-East India. Moinak Dutta spoke on how despite being a male he could understand the psyche of a woman. Anirban Nanda spoke on how women are constantly under pressure in daily life. 

Amongst other in the audience was the noted poet Kushal Poddar, who spoke on how woman is the source that conceives everything. Samrat Dey gave the example of his mother who does little things for him which he finds incredible. Saco Stephens spoke of how a twelve-year old girl inspired him to start creative writing workshops. Mona Sengupta voiced her full support for the book and applauded the emergence of new writers. Once the cover was unveiled copies of the cover was signed by all who were present. The programme saw an apt climax with soulful songs by the young singer Tiasa Ray as well as by Samrat Dey. We congratulate Rhiti and Lopamudra and wish the book all success.

Bio: Dr. Amit Shankar Saha is a scholar, critic, poet and writer. He has a PhD in English from Calcutta
University. His research articles have appeared in anthologies and journals both in India and abroad,
prominently in the journals of Purdue University (USA), Drew University (USA), Bordeaux University
(France), BHU (India), etc. He was a guest lecturer in the distance education centre of Madras
University and is currently pursuing postdoctoral research. He is also the co-founder and coordinator of
Rhythm Divine Poets group. He has won a number of creative writing competitions too. His website is

http://sites.google.com/site/amitshankarsaha and he blogs at http://amitss6.blogspot.com
Being Bookworms

Friday, 30 October 2015

A tete-e-tete with Rhythm Divine's Promising Poet of the Month, Payal Gupta

A tete-e-tete with Rhythm Divine's Promising Poet of the Month, Payal Gupta

Dear Bookworms,As you know Rhythm Divine is a poetry group in Kolkata initiating young, talented as well as experienced poets to discover the art of poetry and creative writing. Rhythm Divine Poet of the Month is a year long online poetry contest where every month on a given theme poets write verses and our judge Biswanath Dasgupta, Creative Director and Edit-in-Charge of The Telegraph in Schools(TTIS) declares poet of the month and promising poet of the month. 
                                Being Bookworms is glad to be associated with Rhythm Divine.

Poet Payal Gupta was awardedPromising Poet of the Month ( June) on the 26th September in RD organized thousand Poets for Change initiative in Kolkata, representing poetry and love for art on a global platform.

Payal shares her experiences with us and hope you get inspired to follow your passions.

 Payal Gupta is a DST-INSPIRE Junior Research Fellow working at University of Calcutta towards a doctoral degree in Genetics. Although she was academically pursuing science, she was always passionate about literature and art. She is an avid reader and appreciates works across a myriad of genres. She started composing poems at a young age and is associated with the Rhythm Divine Poetry Group of Kolkata where she recently won the Promising Poet of the Month Award.

 Payal when did you start writing?

I started writing when I was around 13 yrs old. I even contributed to school and college magazines, but these contributions were pretty rare. Being an introvert I mostly wrote for myself and never really shared my work with others around.

Tell us about yourself? How did it feel to win promising poet of the month?

I am simple person with simpler dreams. I don’t believe in magic but I do believe in miracles. I have my vices that I fight and ignore. Poetry for me is my alter ego in black and white and sometimes in rainbow colors.
Given the fact that RD, poets of nature, was actually the first platform where I gave voice to my words meant the world to me. In the debut podium to have won the promising poet award and be so appreciated was like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. I’ll always be grateful for the love and honor.

What do you think about the concept of Rhythm Divine? 
The initiative of writing poetry everyday and sharing and reading them too is what RD does, What you think about it? Your suggestions and your experience with RD?

As I have mentioned, I have always been in my shell. Very few people even knew that I wrote. My joining RD was a stroke of serendipity and I have been ever thankful for that. RD and a special mention of Sufia have encouraged me a lot to share what I write and that I think is what we need to help more people portray their talents.
The concept of writing everyday and sharing it with people who would understand and appreciate the emotions and intricacies of words woven together is magnificent and enriching to say the least. A bright side is also the fact that we are encouraged to write in various languages which gives us a chance to do justice to our feelings.
RD is doing some great work and I wish it many more successes and great poets ahead. I just wish I was more available to attend the various workshops that I miss out on. I would like to suggest that we take a themed poet’s meet every alternate month. We select a renowned and favorite poet and recite their work and the work we composed when inspired by them. It could be a wonderful thing and we pay tribute to those who rightfully deserve it.

 What is poetry exactly to you? Tell us in which style you like to write in?

Every day we wish to rise above our mundane lives and feel things that are surreal. We want the magic carpet and the genie from the bottle to make our ordinary selves special in our eyes. And this is exactly what poetry does for me. The pen in my hand is like my magic carpet taking me on a journey through myself. I discover new emotions in myself and newer ways to express them. I find myself through writing.
I am a classic at heart. Free verses are good to read but I feel that writing in rhymes and giving rhythm to poetry is more challenging and more rewarding. I love to read poems with given rhyming patterns. I also have a special something for Sonnets and Odes.

 Your favorite poets? Any specific genre of poetry you like and why?

This is by far the most challenging question, but some poets that I admire are Robert Frost, E. E. Cummings, Mirza Ghalib, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, William Shakespeare and many others.
I love to read poetry on love and human emotions.

What are your future plans? Anything you like to do with your zeal for poetry?

RD has helped me fan my passion for poetry and since I have received so much encouragement I would like to improve my writing and widen my horizon. I would read more and do more experiments with my poetry. I’ll also try my luck at getting it published.

Sufia, you have been a great friend and a wonderful person to know. Your endeavors have done more good than you imagine or take credit for. Keep up the good work.

Hope you enjoyed every bit of this journey..you can join Rhythm Divine poetry group...ping sufa khatoon on fb with your poem and take that first step towards shaping your passion for writing
Keep writing and keep loving that love called books

Being Bookworms

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Rhythm Divine's Poet of the Month.....a tete-e-tete with Niladri Mahajan

Rhythm Divine's Poet of the Month

Dear Bookworms,
As you know Rhythm Divine is a poetry group in Kolkata initiating young, talented as well as experienced poets to discover the art of poetry and creative writing. Rhythm Divine Poet of the Month is a year long online poetry contest where every month on a given theme poets write verses and our judge Biswanath Dasgupta, Creative Director and Edit-in-Charge of The Telegraph in Schools(TTIS) declares poet of the month and promising poet of the month. 

                                Being Bookworms is glad to be associated with Rhythm Divine and Niladri 
Mahajan, Poet of the Month ( June) shares his experiences with us. 

When did you start writing poetry?

 Actually it happened when I was just in 11th standard and seating beside the road in front of my house, thinking about, watching the intricate filigrees of spider webs in the morning light, glittering,

weaving and creating a world that is far remote than our real one.It is that moment that initiated me to write poems.

What do you think about the concept of Rhythm Divine? The initiative of writing poetry everyday and
sharing and reading them  is what RD does? What you think about it? Your suggestions and your
experience with RD?

RHYTHM DIVINE is a unique concept that blurred the horizon of poetry writing from a very personal realm to universal audience. Here we can have a ready reader every time as one share the his/her creative poems. Not only a Whatsapp group to foster creative writing but also to strengthen the human ties…

Tell us about yourself? How did it feel to win poet of the month /Poet of Nature organized by RD?

I am a much diffused person but concentrated to the core, very much neutral but tinged in hues, mingling every now then with the nuances of change… within or without. You may or may not perceive me, but
I am there. I exist whether I able to think or not. That’s the way I am.Get pleasantly surprised when came to know about this. This is my first poetry competition and I have owned it. Rhythm Divine has given me the opportunity for that, it is priceless.

 What is poetry exactly to you? Tell us in which style you like to write in?

 Poetry is a medium I feel at large. Like a sculpture that is made up of feelings, thoughts and words. I can create here, spatial dimension from a mere permutation & combinations of black and white alphabets. It can bring undeniable and indefatigable changes in the chemistry of readers mind or give them a chance to reconsider their own world, they inhabit. I am very comfortable with free verse form or anything that gives me a chance to develop the inner context of a poem to the fullest and it can be anything, any form.

Your favorite poets? Any specific genre of poetry you like and why?

My favourite poets are Robert Frost, Jibanananda Das, Jacques Prevert, Baudelaire, Borges, Neruda, T. S. Eliot, A. E. Housman, W. B. Yeats, Ted Hughes, Jiménez, Octavio Puz and of course our very own Tagore

Free verse I like the most because here is no bounding to any specific form, when you are about to express your inner feelings, apart from the poetic inner current.

You are a published Poet, Tell us how your poem book happened? Give some valuable guidelines for young poets who want to get published?

As for my poetry book A DIFFUSED ROOM, it ultimately came
into being for some wonderful people in my life and my tireless
passion for it. I conceive it long, decades before. Slowly it takes the
shape from a mere nothing to my everything, as the time proceeds.
Actually the last five years I have to work very late at night
For very young poets I would only like to tell that follow your heart
in poetry writing. Study different genres and read as much as you can from different languages across the border. It will enrich you.

We wish the poets and RD all the best, hoping more such initiatives in the future.
Keep reading that love called poetry
Rhythm Divine

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Rhythm Divine Poets Performance Poetry Workshop : Phase II

Rhythm Divine Poets Performance Poetry Workshop
on 6th September, 2015 at Mohor Kunj

Dear Bookworms,

We were delighted when we got to know that Rhythm Divine, a poetry group in Kolkata is conducting a series of workshops on Performance Poetry sessions where poets experienced in this field will be training and grooming the poets to be more expressive with their performances.

We are glad to be  associated with Rhythm Divine Poets and 100th Poets for Change, a global event that is creating history by bringing poets  together in all over the world in a chain of creative expressions.

Phase II of the workshops was held in the midst of nature, Mohor Kunj park, one of the parks which still holds that sublime beauty, which saw Poets coming together to discuss various aspects of performance poetry aimed at preparing the poets of the group who wish to enact their poems at the 26th September Performance Poetry Meet to be held at 8th Day Café as part of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change global event.

The instructor of the day was Samrat Dey, an experienced Performance Poet himself, instructed the enthusiastic poets like Amit, Sufia, Mitika, Nivedita, Niladri and Manikuntala about the various formats of performance poetry. 

The idea about Performance poetry is very simple. It is a form of poetry intended to be performed as a dramatic monologue or exchange and frequently involving extemporization. Poets got to know about  the various formats and how they can enact and present their poems as a visual treat. 

Its not generally reciting but a more packaged performance piece where the poet works with either musical score or props.
In one of the formats poets were given some time to compose poems on the topic “Change” individually while taking a stroll in the beautiful garden under the windy canopy. It was like an era where poets were writing in high passions totally engrossed into the world of imagery rather than mechanical expressions.

Once the poets were ready with their compositions they were asked to enact it out. The other poets as well as Samrat gave their feedback about each performance and ideas were exchanged regarding how the poems can be effectively performed. The basic ideas about the topic and the type of poems to be written for effective performance were learnt by the poets. Phase III will see poets practicing with musical accompaniments. 

Rhythm Divine is thankful to the instructors
 Samrat, Arjun and Sam the music man becoming a part of such an initiative and Purple Patch, designs and creative partner and 8th Day Cafe Venue partner for their support.
We are looking forward to the event hope you all are as well.

Keep reading that love called books
Being Bookworms