Interviewer: Sujata, my first question to you is about your selection of poetries. How exactly you thought of writing this collection “Looking Through The Prism”?
Sujata Chatterjee: I have been writing since my childhood, but never thought I would publish my poetry in form of a book. But last year, as I was going through my diary, I realised that I needed to convey my thoughts to the readers and let them tell me, what they feel about my poems.
I have put a lot of emotions in the poems, with the beauty of nature as a prime subject, because it can be compared to this beautiful life given to us by God. War and peace are contemporary topics, which I have also dealt with in my book. The frustrations of the students are depicted vividly in my piem, EXHAUSTION. I have been greatly influenced by Robert Frost, Lord Tennyson and Wordsworth hence my passion of writing and publishing my poetry book was born.
Interviewer: You have done a job that authors rarely do these days. No ‘detailed romance,’ no spice and nothing sensational. An entirely different kind of theme to and experience. What’s your take on that?
Sujata Chatterjee: Yes, some of the readers told me, they love to read dark and negative poetry. They get a kick out of it. But, in fact, my poetry book is motivational in character. Its an optimistic approach to the struggles of life. When you are in a quiet mood, in the evening, relaxing with a cup of coffee in your hand, reading this book LOOKING THROUGH THE PRISM will take you to the journey to the lap of nature. You will know how birds enjoy their freedom and how a human being wants to be a bird that can fly.
You will feel that war and peace are interconnected, and what you can do to bring peace to our country. You will enjoy a rainbow across the sky and also long to be child who has been blessed by a fairy. You will know what exactly a Lake feels when she meets the traveller. In addition, my poems contain a rhythm and rhyming words which adds to the music that reverberates in the poetry, unlike the free verses of today.
Interviewer: Going through the book, we found many beautiful poetries related to the nature. How you managed to connect it with our lives?
Sujata Chatterjee: As I have already said, the beauty of nature is comparable to the beautiful life that we lead. In the poem THE LAKE, the protagonist lake can be compared to lady, who waits for her lover (the traveller) to come and be refreshed by the its water. The traveller, who does not understand her love and when refreshed, embarks on his journey. But the lake waits for the other travellers to come and refreshes their souls too. Similarly, the poem FREEDOM depicts the yearning for end of bondage of a human being. Man is forever bound by his duties and he wishes, he could be a bird which can fly freely.
The mention of seasons in other poems relates to the changes in every step of our life and how to face these challenges. The COLOURS OF LIFE shows that nothing is permanent. Day, evening and night are the various aspects of our life. Why do we always wait for the morning ? What do sunset and sunrise mean in our lives ? So you see, everything in nature is connected to our lives and we have to have eyes to see, ears to hear and our senses to feel.
Interviewer: If readers ask you, what makes the “Looking Through The Prism” a must read, what will be your reply to that question, Sujata?
Sujata Chatterjee: You must definitely read the book LOOKING THROUGH THE PRISM. Surrounded by so much negativity nowadays, you need a whiff of fresh air to enliven you. Your mind will be at rest and depression will be cured. Yes, this book heals all wounds due to darkness and you will be guided with positivity. This book will definitely inspire you to face your struggles with optimism.
Interviewer: I am really curious to know about your other achievement in the writing career or other profession that we as a reader are not still aware of.
Sujata Chatterjee: I am a Physician by profession. I am an Anaesthesiologist and a Critical Care Specialist. You see, we are totally surrounded by sickness and negativity, but still writing a book like Looking through the Prism helps me to face my challenges dauntlessly.
In addition I have passed Journalism from Delhi School Of Journalism and I was a regular contributor of the column, THE PATIENT I CAN NEVER FORGET in the fortnightly magazine, The WOMEN’ ERA. I have also written another book, FLIGHTS OF FANTASY, a collection of short stories. In addition I have co authored 8 other books out of which SPEAK YOUR MIND, BROKEN BITS OF THE MOON and JUMBOREE JUBILATION, which have been published. I sm also the winner of several awards for my contribution in English Literature like SHONGHOTI SAMMANANA by the HELLO KOLKATA Newspaper.
I am one of the 100 inspiring Authors of India, awarded to me by THE INDIAN AWAZ and one of the TOP 50 AUTHORS OF INDIA, awarded by THE SPIRIT MANIA. I am also the winner of the NATIONAL BOOK HONOUR AWARDS. I have been nominated by SWAMI VIVEKANAND EXCELLENCE AWARDS, for the winner.
Interviewer: Now that you are in the writing industry, I would like to know your view on the contemporary Indian writing. Do you think there is a ‘certain line’ dividing the literature into two clear divides – writing and writing for quick fix to, if I may say, fame and money. And where do you put yourself?
Sujata Chatterjee: Yes, there is a thin line dividing the writers who write for contribution in literature and those who are popular writers writing for fame and money.
Both the classes of writers have judges…the readers for the popular writers and the jury for those interested in literature. For being a writer for fame and money, you have to write certain material which spices up your book as the contemporary readers enjoy the spices. You have to write about the social networking site and how all these builds up the lives of the people and writers.
The number of views and likes determine how popular one is. In contrast, writing for the love of literature, the jury decides who the winner is and how he has contributed to literature and what awards he has won.
Interviewer: I ask you any questions, I would give it to you to tell our readers that what different you have done in your book as there are thousands of books on the Poerty already? It’d make our readers aware of your work.
Sujata Chatterjee: My book is different from other poetry books, because my book has been written with the love of nature as the ink. Every verse has a certain rhythm all the lines are rhyming. This particular rhythm can easily become the lyrics of a song.
For eg. the poem BEAUTY STANDS BEYOND OUR TOUCH, has a particular rhythm, which is very similar to the rhythm of the great musician Anand Shankar’s instrumental music, THE HILL TRAIN. Similarly, the poem FREEDOM.. had a definite rhythm of notes which I play sometimes on the synthesizer.
The poem THE FORGOTTEN COTTAGE has already been selected by a music lover to be sung as a song. I am on lookout for such individuals who compose musical tunes, who can convert my poems into songs. In addition to that, each of my poem has an illustration which shows, how close to nature LOOKING THROUGH THE PRISM is.
Interviewer: I liked your illustrations as well as the ideas behind those beautiful drawings. How could you come with such a beautiful section?
Sujata Chatterjee: I am glad you asked this question. I had always wanted to describe my poems with pictures, but did not want to copy drawings from the net.
My friend, Mr. Bhaskar Das, came to my rescue. He is a dress designer by profession and is very good at art and craft. I explained to him that each poem has to be depicted by a picture adjacent to the poem. And he has done wonders to the book.
At the end, many thanks for your time and answering the questions, Sujata. I wish you all the best for your book and also the coming ones!
Thank you very much. I enjoyed answering the questions.