There and Back Again: A Poetic Journey Breaking Boundaries

Sufia interviewed Vaijayantee Bhattacharya during the recent launch of her book of poems, Mosaic Vision, exclusively in Different Truths.

Hometown, birthplace, motherland/ fatherland; these words hold special significance in the life of any individual. No matter where one lives in this world, a very special corner of the heart is bound to be drawn towards the homeland. This holds true for writer, editor, journalist, and poet Vaijayantee Bhattacharya who returns to her homeland after fourteen years to launch her maiden book of poems, Mosaic Vision.

The book was launched recently in Kolkata.

Vaijayantee has been born and brought up in Kolkata, spending a significant twenty-four years of her life here, she places Kolkata very close to her heart and thus came back to her childhood city to gift it an amazing collection of poems written by her.

Poetry is sometimes based on images, situations, objects, experiences, places, and people – hence all these are equally important for poets like her to ignite a positive change in society. She read out two lovely poems from her book in the light of the blissful poetic mood for the poetry lovers during the book launch.

Sufia Khatoon, on behalf of Different Truths, had the privilege of an exclusive interview with her. We wish to bring literature and life a little closer to you.

Sufia: What really attracted you towards poetry?


Vaijayantee Bhattacharya: Poetry comes to me naturally. I communicate best in the short pithy terseness of poems and perhaps the brevity of its form attracted me first.

Sufia: Which is your favourite poem and why?


Vaijayantee Bhattacharya: There are many poems that I like but to name one, I would say that it’s Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’. I derive a lot of strength and succor from this poem.

Sufia: Has your idea of ‘what poetry is’ changed since you began writing poems?


Vaijayantee Bhattacharya: Well, as I started writing poems myself, I got even closer to the genre. The experience is akin to enjoy eating a delicacy and later learning how to prepare it.

Sufia: It has been mentioned a few times that it took you almost 14 years to come up with your first publication. Please tell us something about your journey as a poet in these 14 years?

Vaijayantee Bhattacharya: The last 14 years have been the most significant phase of my life in which I learnt to fly away from the security of the known territory of Calcutta into a wider world of work and living life as an adult. I had spent the first seven years of this phase in Delhi, and the last seven in Bahrain. As I was growing, evolving and maturing during these phases through various personal experiences, my need to communicate with myself, and with human beings increased and as poetry is my preferred vehicle of communication, I started to pen down these significant experiences, observations and realisations through poetry.

Sufia:  Please share any memorable experience that you have had during the process of writing this book?

Vaijayantee Bhattacharya: The whole process of selecting my poems, choosing suitable photographs for them, and organising the whole content was quite memorable to me overall; the signing off on the final proofs was almost like reaching the labour room for a second childbirth!

Sufia: What is the one thing that you learned from the process of publishing your first book and how would it help you in future?

Vaijayantee Bhattacharya: I have been an editor from the publishing industry so the bookmaking process was not new to me. In fact, it did help me immensely in planning and putting together the content of the book.

However, the whole process taught me to organise my work better as an author and gave me insights into how photography can be used in enhancing the visual elements of any content. This knowledge will certainly come in handy for my upcoming book.

Sufia: How soon can we see your next publication?


Vaijayantee Bhattacharya: By end of 2018 I suppose.


Sufia: What is that one message that you would try to give to your audience through Mosaic Vision?

Vaijayantee Bhattacharya: If you have an open and inclusive mind to embrace and soak up life in all its colors, and of course if you love poetry, then perhaps you should pick up Mosaic Vision to sip up and savour life through a woman’s eyes, a draught at a time!

©Sufia Khatoon

Photos sourced by the author

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