Chirdeep Malhotra . Updated: 9/14/2021 11:34:13 AM Books and Authors

Author Interview: Piyali Mitra

Piyali Mitra is a doctoral researcher in Philosophy and Bioethics and an alumnus of Woolf Institute, University of Cambridge, UK. Poetry writing recharges her mind and engages her imagination, and she has been thoroughly inspired by Emily Dickinson and Mary Oliver. Her works have been published in literary journals and magazines. She has recently come out with the poetry book “Of The Heart and Soul: A Mellifluous Whisper”. In a candid chat with Chirdeep Malhotra, she talks about her book, her writing journey, her favourite books and authors, and much more. Read on!

Please tell us more about Piyali Mitra as a person.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I am told to describe myself is that I am an idyllic who always dreamt to pen thoughts in verses and lines for readers across the section of the societies. I am actually a Bioethical researcher by day and a poet by night. As a Bioethicist working on the ethical implications of the usage of Biological and Medical technologies in the human realm (working with the code of ethics for human embryonic cell research, human reproduction and breach of human dignity), writing helps me process my thinking.

Has writing always been a part of your life? Or did you chance upon it later on and then instantly fell in love with it?

Though I have been writing for long, yet of late I have started considering creative writing in the serious sense of the term. I have been writing since my teenage days, sometimes writing for wall magazines and little magazines but it’s for the first time that I thought of compiling a book with my work as such. However, I waited many years to make writing my game changer, but then I think that there is a reason for every happening and now maybe is the time to make a foray into the world of writing and publishing. As a woman in her thirties, I took the chance to communicate my thoughts in verses and words to the world.

Please tell us more about your poetry book “Of The Heart And Soul: A Mellifluous Whisper”.

“Of the Heart and Soul: A Mellifluous Whisper” speaks of love in the course of life. Everything that a human being finds interesting, exciting, and pleasing, can spark love or creativity. People are universally appreciative of both love and creativity. But love can also be aggrandizing, and at the same time soothing. The book or rather the collection of poems makes an attempt to delve into the duality finding existence as the quintessence of the emotion.

What inspired you to pen the poems which are included in this poetry collection?

Things that intrinsically motivate me catch my attention more than the extrinsically motivated variables. I always try to see possibilities beyond existing constraints. This particular book “Of The Heart and Soul: A Mellifluous Whisper” finds inspiration in my childhood days spent among the greeneries and natural beauties, that has left a deep impact inside me. The greeneries and natural beauty of nature is a strong inspiration for my writing. It is very difficult indeed to assimilate the benign aesthetic of nature. Nature for me is not only an open and cultivated space, it goes beyond that. That’s the reason why I find joy in the splashing water of the unruly stream, or in wilderness. One such poem speaks of a life as a mariner finding love even in the deep sea among the mermaids, another speaks highly of a flower ‘amarantha’ generally found in the wild forest.
Apart from the elements of Nature, the idea of love inspired me. As Nicholas Spark remarked love is like the wind that can’t be seen but has to be felt. Certain relationships work magic for us and they help us to get motivated, similarly my relationship with my mother and childhood friend provided me with an internal drive to write this book.

What are the themes that you have discussed in the poems in this book?

Love appears as the cornerstone of happiness which involves various positive physical, psychological and mental engagement and behavioural features. And this forms one of the important theme of the poems, the other being nature. This emotion may have various partners, the poems have Mother, Divine thoughts, Nature as partners of love. Nature, as a concept, was seen as a deep state of harmony between itself and its inhabitants. An endeavour has been made to portray nature as a truthful character in the poems through which human identity is constructed either through the characters’ alignment with the natural world, or with nature functioning as a background of place and time.

What do you think are the prerequisites for writing soulful and heart warming poetry?

A poem is a mode of communication from one soul to another that takes a short journey turning on our imagination or may tickle our sense of humour on the way. So they should be having alliteration, often rhyming, or may not rhyme. To evoke imagination, there must be proper use of metaphors and similes. A wonderful poem should be so written that it may have the capacity for the readers to see it, to taste it, feel it and even belong to it. It should have the arrangement of all enchantment. Engaging in jargons brings about hindrance in the poetic communication from heart to heart. Any nice poem begs to be shared with others.

Can you recommend books from any genre, for our readers to add to their reading lists, that you particularly cherish?

My all-time favourite is “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte as a Classical Romantic read, “Illiad” by Homer as a Classical Poetry read and “A Thousand Mornings” by Mary Oliver as modern poetry on nature and faith in the Supreme Being. I would also recommend the whole series of Agatha Christie’s books under crime and thriller, “The Lost Symbol” of Dan Brown under science fiction, Heather Morris’s “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” as Holocaust novel under the genre of historical novel.

What are your other interests apart from writing?

The other thing that I engage myself in is painting. I love doing painting and bringing out my imagination in colours on the canvas and art papers.

What are you working on next? Any new literary projects that our readers should look out for?

I do plan to come up with another book of mine, I am working on it. This time I am thinking of coming up with a romantic and human tale involving historical characters. This would be my debut novel and a little more complex than the book of poetry. So you would get to find romance, hate, human struggle, existence and lots of drama. I am also writing poems for various anthologies which are soon to be published.

Can you share with our readers a motivational quote that keeps you going?

I have been brought up with the idea that every cloud has a silver lining and this positive adage keeps me going. I keep myself inspired by the thought that good things always come from something bad. Let’s not feel hopeless and flabbergasted when things are not working out for us.

Comment on this Story