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Author interview: Pratima Dhar on why she wanted her book of Bengali poems translated

NITN | @notintownlive | 10 Sep 2019

Author interview: Pratima Dhar on why she wanted her book of Bengali poems translated

Congratulations on the release of 'Words not Spoken'. How has the response been so far?

Thanks to all my current readers, am getting instant feedback on various pieces of this work. I am grateful to them, my publishers and God that my creation could see the light of the day. So far, everyone is talking about The invisible woman, The old man of the cup, Monsoon prayer, Identity and Birth place.

You have published the book in Bengali as well. Any particular reason?

My mother tongue is Bengali, naturally all my creative expressions come in Bengali. But our cultural setting is changing so much that keeping my creation only in Bengali would mean those would not be read by a few who are closest to my heart. My daughter in law Jagruti is not Bengali. My grandson Shivay is growing up in the USA and may not learn enough to appreciate Bengali as much as i would have loved him to. And then there are neighbors and friends who are non-Bengalis and have always complained that they could not appreciate my work. For all of them, i wanted this book translated in English.

Could you explain the implication of the title?

I have always been surprised, sometimes pleasantly and other times not so pleasantly, at some people who are always talking about everything - from their innermost feelings to politics. They seem to have no qualms on what is private, personal and sometimes very touchy and emotional. Words Not Spoken are about people, places and situations where i wanted to say a lot but simply could not. Words would crowd my mind and heart but would not come out. That is what i have attempted to jot down in black and white. Those who have felt likewise probably would appreciate this work

Which writers and their works have inspired you as a reader?

Rabindranath, Sharatchandra, Bankimchandra, Ashapurna Devi have been my live and inspiration all throughout. I have also passionately followed the works of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Alexandre Dumas, Edward Lytton, etc.

What kind of readers are you looking to reach out to?

Our socio-cultural fabric is going through enormous changes. Every unit of our society - from immediate nuclear family to extended family, friends, educational institutions, broader social and humanitarian engagements like helping the needy etc are undergoing evolution. What I get worried about at my age is are we losing out on our inherent value system built on humility, respect, integrity and collaboration that i saw growing up and which I have always upheld throughout my life. I believe change is essential (my son keeps telling that change is the only constant) but not at the cost of forgetting who we are. I hope to reach out to like minded people through my current work and all future creations

Are you planning to write anything next?

Yes. After this work of poetry, i have started writing another novel. Hope to publish that by next year