BAAKYO (III) : THE IMPATIENT WAIT

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The wind echoes a moment’s whisper,

Happy days are not so far,

The rust of impatience grows deep,

Baakyo , I wait for thee !!

 

 

Impatience runs chaos in my mind,

Wish the time would fly a little fast,

I repeat , ‘ this longing hour won’t last ‘,

Baakyo, I wait for thee !!

 

 

Dreams, too soft to be spoken of,

A dawn with healing ray,

I imagine the jumbled words, to me you will say,

Baakyo, I wait for thee!!

 

 

 

Plans I have, for you and us,

As I scribble letters, on the green grass,

The lady of the lake waits for you,

With impatience, without caffeine,

Baakyo, please come to me !!

 

 

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BOOK REVIEW : WHERE EVEN PRESENT IS ANCIENT BY MAITREYEE B CHOWDHURY

NAME OF THE BOOK : WHERE EVEN THE PRESENT IS ANCIENT

NAME OF THE AUTHOR : MAITREYEE B CHOWDHURY maitreyee's blog tour banner 2

THE BLURB :

Where Even the Present is Ancient: Benaras is a book that seeks to tell the little stories that make us who we are. The author believes that Benaras resides in all of us Indians, in some beautiful often-unknown way. The author is the Sutradhar, in that she attempts to connect an India that many do not realize exists, in that it is everybody’s story. Radha, Krishna, Ganga, Benaras and Me are all characters in this deluge of poems.

 

This attempt at telling the story of the ancient, of love and of faith is to instil the confidence that poetry exists in all of us, everywhere, all that is needed is to smell its fragrance.

 

To those outside India, the book does not seek to be a representation of what India is or was, but a whiff of what it also can be. It is an attempt to ask people to see the little stories that govern all of our lives, stories that we often don’t see, but those that are important.

 

The audience for this book might be strewn across the globe, for faith is not religion-centric, it is people- centric and often without dimensions.

 

In poetry there is no beginning, no middle, nor no end. Like faith it is everywhere, it is omnipresent. The book affords no answers, nor no questions, but if you listen and read carefully you will see new things, a new beauty perhaps, one that has been silent so long.

 

 

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MY RATING : 3

MY REVIEW :

‘Poem ‘ is perhaps the most difficult genre to review. A poem is very innate to its creator; it travels from heart to heart and settles where it belongs to.  It carries the voice of the poet, deriving words from her experiences, her inner feelings and her wish fulfillments and desires, unknown to all. It is neither the reader’s fault, nor the poet’s fault if the poem fails to make an impression on the reader. Drawing from these thoughts, I would like to say, WHERE EVEN THE PRESENT IS ANCIENT : BENARAS  by Maitreyee B Chowdhury has been a pleasant journey for me.

The poet connects the city of Benaras with our soul, giving it a different dimension, as she says ,

‘Sometimes Benaras seems like a poem,

A long lost one, at that .”

The depiction of Shiva drawing imageries from various sources, and inclusion of Vaishnav ideals enriches the poetry with a universal aura. I found it pretty interesting as the poet wrote ,

“I returned, with Hare Rama in my ears,

And filth in my eyes”.

The poet endows a different way of worshipping the God, sometimes she is his beloved and sometimes she is the bard. She mentions ‘ Kirtan ‘ , a typical Vaishnav ritual in her poems, blurring the lines of multiple ‘godhood’.

Maitreyee B Chowdhury has done justice to the theme she has chosen, by mentioning the terms in footnotes. It would have helped a reader, alien to our Indian culture , more, if she had described what is a ‘linga ‘ like other points. The other thing I didn’t like was the depiction of the poor. Including some ‘happy moments ‘ could have been better. But it is the poet’s individual choice and I am just expressing my ‘ personal opinion’. I enjoyed the universalism, the theme of love, devotion which binds everyone of us , as we share similar emotions and feelings towards one god, be it Shiva, or Allah or Christ.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR :

Maitreyee B Chowdhury is a web columnist and creative writer. She is author of Reflections on My India, a book of Indian traditions and spirituality in parts. Maitreyee is also author of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen- Bengali Cinema’s First Couple and Ichhe Holo Tai, a bilingual muti media presentation of poetry. Maitreyee is featured amongst other Indian writers such as Gulzar, Shashi Tharoor and Deepti Naval in an anthology of Indian writers Celebrating India.

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WICHITA (II) : THE BANGALI COMMUNITY

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“So you are missing the Durga Pujo this year”, friends have been saying this when they heard that I will be in Wichita during Pujo this year. As I write this blog post now, I have already made up mind to spend next year’s pujo too, in Wichita. It has not been easy for me to adjust to the changing environment after my dada left for USA when I was twelve and then the sudden demise of my jyatha, who was no more than a father to me. Durga pujo had lost its charm and when I took the decision to come back after Pujo, I knew, I was doing right. Yes, I am with my family now and when I came, I was being told that dada- didi didn’t know the Bengali community here as they have moved in recently. It didn’t bother me at all.
A sudden phone call from a certain someone called ‘ Mili aunty’ brought a basket of happiness for us as we got invited for the Durga Pujo meeting of the Bengali community here. The due credits of course goes to Kuljeet didi , a very cheerful woman who has become friends with us and we bonded over food and books. She had informed Mili aunty, one of the main organizers about us and she has been kind enough to invite us. I have heard a lot about Bengali community in USA. Last time when I had come to Atlanta, it wasn’t much of a community. The Bengali gatherings we had was nothing but a collage of dada’s friends with whom he had lived and even shared room, during his graduate days at Gatech. Didi’s years of experience in New Jersey and New Jersey spoke volumes for the sophistication and the rich culture inherited by the Bengali community. I was given enough indications, both direct and indirect, to control my tongue as we drove to the meeting. But soon as I got engaged in a ‘brain- storming session ‘ with Moonmoon di ( wife of dada’s colleague ) and Kallol ( a Bangladeshi grad student of WSU), for second, I didn’t feel alienated or odd-one-out.
Unlike the large Bengali communities of Atlanta, New Jersey and New York, the Bengali community, here in mid-west USA is different, ‘small’ to be precise. I know the “American culture “ of greeting everyone , known or unknown with a ‘hi’ and it was carried out there too, as we entered the meeting hall. A smiling face of a very sweet, short lady accosted us. It was Mili aunty. Her simple silk saree with her anchal wrapped around her waist created the magic of a typical Bangali get together where we have seen our mothers focusing more on work, rather than their sarees. Sophistication comes from simplicity as it got reflected in the behavior of this lady who belongs to the influential class of the people of Wichita. Slowly, people introduced themselves and started conversations. It was the warmth of their hospitality drove me into the kitchen and consciously trying to hide my burn of my right hand, I soon started to help them out serving the food. As dada carried out some serious discussions with his Bengali colleague, Animesh Chakraborty, I discarded my cocoon of the “ coy girl’ and the ‘ chatterbox me ‘ was running around discussing any topic she got. Perhaps it was this which aided me to get the chance of anchoring their cultural function of Durga Pujo.
There has always been a relation between ‘kitchen ‘ and ‘women’; there is always a certain ‘it- thing ‘ and I could see the effects. My interests in culinary skills and my eagerness to help them in whatever way I could apparently earned me the best compliment, that a 23 year old girl, rather a Bengali girl can achieve : the compliment of becoming a prized daughter –in-law. Yes, that is precisely what Mili aunty told ma, “ aapnar meye toh khub mishti.. khub pranojjol.. ajkal meye hoye  ranna banna korte o bhalobashey .. jader ghorey jaabey taara mathaye tule raakhbe “. Mom blushed , but rather I would say, relieved for she always fears I get into trouble and earn negative vibes because, ‘ I talk too much ‘. Animesh Sir ( Yes, I prefer to call him that , he being a distinguished professor of WSU ) was busy with dada and some other people as I chatted with his wife, Moonmoon di. She is a sweet lady and an excellent singer. I soon found myself laughing with her and didi talking a lot about various stuff. When it came to the cultural functions, we bonded over drama and thanks to the Bangladeshi grad- student, Kallol, now we have a team of three in our little community and I know one thing , ‘ whatever happens, our show will go on’  as Mili aunty and Mukul aunty pumped enthusiasm into our nerves to do ‘ something ‘ for the cultural function and of course, a drama is needed. Mukul aunty is another Mili aunty, cheerful , friendly, down to earth. She lives in Salina, 90 miles away from Wichita and comes for these gatherings. I was pretty shocked to know that they don’t have any Asian market there, except a Vietnamese one and the crazy me who have been dying to find palms to make taaler bora whispered to myself , ‘ dudette , you are in a far better position ‘. Patricia, an old American lady and wife of one of the organizers ( a Bengali ) apparently turned out to cook sumptuous Bengali food, which she learnt from her in-laws. I couldn’t help but admiring her over and over again.
It seems like impatience has intoxicated me as I rush to finish my blogpost, desperately jumping from one person to another. Ahh!! Why can’t the time fly away? Baakyo surely loves to play hide and seek with me and no matter how much I tell him to come out, he would not. September is coming and I look forward to the pujo, though I know it will also ring the bell of my departure. Nevertheless, I will come back soon and my Baakyo will be grow up too , next year.
Wichita has conspired to make me fall in love with him. Yes, a family and a friend- circle…. I have all. And Bengali food? Oh yes, they served chhyachra, kumro phuler bora, pulao, chhanar bora, aanarosher chutney, payesha and above all, koraishutir kachuri. And that reminds me , I was so engrossed to write my blogpost, I forgot that my waffles are calling me with the sweet maple syrup and blue berry pie. I don’t know where my hurry is but something tells me, this is just a new beginning and these real characters will come again , in some other way.

BOOK REVIEW : TROUBLE HAS A NEW NAME BY ADITE BANERJIE

 

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NAME OF THE BOOK : TROUBLE HAS A NEW NAME

NAME OF THE AUTHOR : ADITE BANERJIE

BLURB :“Will you pretend to be my fiancé for the next few days?”

Recently-single model Rayna Dutt does not feel like flying to her friend’s big fat Indian wedding. But she does – and when a mix up with room allocations forces her to share a luxury villa on Emerald Isle with the gorgeous owner of the hotel – Neel Arora – and best man at the wedding, things begin to look up.

Until Rayna’s ex turns up with a new girl on his arm!

Hitting the panic button, Rayna searches for a solution. Surely Neel wouldn’t mind being her fake fiancé…? In an instant the attraction they share is fever pitch, but when scandal comes calling, Rayna soon finds herself in more trouble than she can handle!

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RATING : 3.75 out of 5

REVIEW :

Tired of reading clichéd novels on young adult romance ? Need a break ? Want to read something different , on the same theme? Well, welcome to Nirvana Resort of Andaman Islands which forms the backdrop of Adite Banerjie’s novel, Trouble Has A New Name. For a Gossip Girl series lover like me, the novel was a treat to my thirst. Honestly, to begin with, if you are expecting a novel, blended with philosophical notes, well, you should go for some other one. But if you want to read something to relax your nerves from your daily routine, just pick up the book and start reading it .

Adite Banerjie has chosen a very simple plot , of love and heart breaks and gave them an outlandish environment and the characters, unique in their own ways , but somewhere , we do find our own reflections in them. The novel is all about fashion statements, luxury resorts, grand wedding and above all, simple human emotions which penetrate even into the hearts of people who work in entertainment industry.

The language of the novel is simple and lucid and the novel gives you less time to ponder over what is happening and makes you flip through the pages , to know, what happens next . The way the plot unravels itself is interesting and the scenes in beach will make you crave for a vacation far away from the humdrum of mundane life. The narrator is very reader friendly and the introduction of the concept of ‘ Rayna Book Of Immutable Laws ‘ is pretty interesting. The episodic structure of the novel reminded me of some of my favorite American drama series.

Amidst the simplicity and the fashion statements, comes out the bold voice of Rayna Dutt, one of the top models of the fashion industry. Adite Banerjie carefully curves out a strong feminist side of her protagonist, which attracted my attention. The writer makes sure that her protagonist has a dusky color and emerges as a beauty, who is desired by all. Adite Banerjie breaks out from the contemporary notions of what Rayna calls ‘ fairy is lovely ‘ in India and when Julie compliments Rayna , she replies, ” Chocolate skin tone is so not cool”. This boldness in Rayna is also expressed in her words when she confronts her ex boyfriend Sid, at her best friend, Milee’s wedding. She becomes the epitome of the independent Indian woman who stands for herself and is strong enough to support the decisions she takes of her own.

Overall, the book is an easy and fast read and it will not haunt you again and again. The aroma of the novel will linger along like a sweet fairy tale rom-com. I wish the author all the best with the book and I look forward to read more books from her.

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HERE IS AN INTERVIEW OF THE AUTHOR :- 

  • Why did you choose the Andaman islands as a backdrop of the novel?

 

The Andaman Islands are so beautiful …perfect for a romance, don’t you think so? Besides, there seems to be a trend of weddings taking place in exotic islands,  especially, the big fat wedding variety.  So, instead of Mauritius or Fiji or the Carribbean Islands, I decided Andaman Islands would be the perfect venue for my protagonist Rayna’s best friend, Milee’s wedding.

 

 

  • Do you relate to any character? If so, how?

 

Strangely enough, when I write characters I never put myself in their shoes. I believe that the character should be likeable and should have a flaw that I as a writer can relate to. And, of course, something that readers will also be able to relate to. I try to see the situation from the filter of the characters’ unique traits so that their actions are believable.  Besides, it would be impossible for me to relate to every character  that I write.

 

  • How could you write strong erotic scenes without a single hint of pornography?

 

If they come across as sensuous, I’m glad that I have been able to convey what the characters were feeling for each other.  What Rayna and Neel feel for each other is love—though they haven’t recognised it as that! And when love comes into the picture, it’s all about emotions, not about sex.

 

  • Do you want to stick to this adult- romance genre for your upcoming books? If so, why?

 

Umm…well, when you put it as ‘adult romance’ it makes me think of the Censor Board’s ‘A’ certificate! LOL.  As far as the classification of my books go, I think Trouble… is more of a romantic-caper or romantic-comedy and my next book is a romantic-thriller.  So, yes, the romance and how the couple gets to the happily-ever-after are going to be an important part of the story. 

 

  • What is your advice for aspiring writers? 

 

To read a lot in the genre that they are writing, hone their writing skills, and write as often as they can…if possible, every day.

 

Had a great time answering your questions. Thanks, Aparajita, for hosting me on your site. 

 

Meet the Author

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Adite Banerjie has been writing professionally ever since she graduated from college. After an exciting and fulfilling career as a business journalist, she turned to freelance writing, crunched numbers and wrote reports about consumer behavior and social development issues. Somewhere along the way she got on to the screenwriting bandwagon and wrote scripts for documentaries and spec screenplays for feature films. She was hired by a filmmaker to write a feature script based on a true story. When she penned her first romantic short story she won the 2012 Harlequin Passions Aspiring Authors Contest. Two of her books, The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal and Trouble Has a New Name have been published by Harlequin India. And she is currently under contract to write two more for the same publisher. She lives in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, with her writer husband. She loves to connect with readers and writers.

You can stalk her @

Website : http://aditebanerjie.com/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/aditebanerjie?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

Twitter : https://twitter.com/adite

Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7083664.Adite_Banerjie

 

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