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Author interview: Pratima Dhar on her book of Bengali poems Na Bola Kotha

NITN | @notintownlive | 17 Aug 2019

Author interview: Pratima Dhar on her book of Bengali poems Na Bola Kotha

Congratulations on the release of 'Na Bola Kotha', What is the feedback from your friends and readers who have already read your book.

My immediate family, including my sisters, brother, husband and my son have been my support throughout my journey. They have given very positive feedback. I have an extended readers base among my friends, neighbors and various publications where I have been publishing my short stories till date and they have showered praises on my first effort to publish a poetry book. I am thankful to the editorial board of various publications like "Jodhan" who have given me constructive feedback.

What kind of books inspire you as a writer? Who are your favorite authors?

I have been a fan of short stories while growing up. Ashapurna Devi, Tagore, Sharatchandra, Oscar Wilde, Roald Dahl have all been my favorite authors whom I admired and devoured their work whenever I could lay my hands on any of their books. Rabindrantha, Sharatchandra's and Bankimchandra's novels have been my favorite too. I loved reading works of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, mainly read translated version of their work for lack of access to original versions.

Why did you want to become a writer? Who inspired you to become a writer? What triggered you to come into writing?

Literature has been my life forever. I probably love music equally or slightly less but literature is one area where I was never satisfied just reading but always wanted to leave my own creation for the next generation to read and enjoy.

My mother was the one who always inspired me to become a writer. Her fabulous tales were the ones that triggered my imaginations since I was a child. Since I got married, my husband has been equally supportive of my passion. He has had a transferable government job which made us travel all over the country for 30+ years. People, events, places - all left an indelible mark on my mind which came out as stories and poetries that I wrote.

What are you doing to let readers know about your book?

Well, I have been sending my poetries to various publications who reach out to me for publishing my work during various festivals like Durga Puja. I have been interviewed by a few publications like Jodhan and they have been marketing and selling all my books whenever those got published.

Tell us something about your book. Some highlights.

I was not sure of writing poetry. Well, the very first poem (The Invisible Woman) talks about my initial dilemma and the subsequent passion for pursuing the same.  I dearly loved my birthplace Jamshedpur, and I captured the same in the poem "Birthplace". I have always missed the physical distance between where I live (Jamshedpur) and where my son went to pursue his career (USA) and the same came out through the poems "Old Man on the Cup" and "Distance". Finally, "Story of the Forest", "Binu and Tupi" and "Identity" deal with topics very close to my heart, hope the readers will like those and the other poems in this book

Tell me something about yourself and your background.

I come from a very humble background. My father was in a very good position in TISCO but his untimely death had tested our entire family but we all came out stronger to face life. I always loved to read, travel and listen to music. Other than devoting my life towards the upbringing of my only son, I kept at those three passions throughout. I enjoyed every place I traveled, from small picnics in the forests of Ranchi/Hazaribaag to my trips in Lucknow, Delhi, Hrishikesh, Dehradun, Mussourie and many picturesque places, experiences of which I would never forget. I read every book as if it was the last one am going to. My favorite singers have been Manna De and Sandhya Mukherjee and their songs have always given me solace. Vigor and love for life is my source of sustenance and thats how I would like to live and finally go!

Do you plan to take it up as a full time profession if response is good?

With my husband retired and my son well settled in his life in USA, this is already my full time passion and engagement. I don't know if I could call this my profession but this is the reason of my existence now and will be so till the time my mind and body would cooperate. 

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