Mosaic Vision : A Review

Nestled within the colourful pages of Mosaic Vision, lies an anthology of poems written by Poet, Editor, Writer and Blogger Vaijayantee Bhattacharya. Her maiden book, Mosaic Vision was launched at the Oxford Bookstore Kolkata on the 23rd July, 2017.

Having spent a significant time of her life in Kolkata and Delhi, she now resides in Bahrain with her husband and son. Her poems are inspired thus of not only philosophical thoughts but also of the culture and traditions of three very different destinations. One would also find reflections of the different shades of human moods through the poems. This only goes on to highlight the versatility of the subjects the poet is capable of penning down.

Talking for myself, all thirty -seven poems were a pleasure to read. Each of them are interspersed with beautiful photographs which not only aids the presentation of the book but also breaks the monotony of mere words. However three poems stood out very distinctly for me as I could relate to them a lot.

The Mahalaya Morning. . . .

Though preparations for the Durga Puja begins months in advance, Mahalaya signifies that the festival is knocking on your doorstep. The sound of Dhakis, the pandals on the verge of completion, the last-minute bargains for new clothes and the smell of incense and shiuli flowers fill the air. Having been deprived of this scene for the past two years, The Mahalaya Morning touched a personal chord in my heart.

Yah Devi Sarvabhuteshu

Filled the morning air

With nostalgia

If You Saw Me in Heaven. . . .

Very beautifully worded, ‘If You Saw Me in Heaven’ poses many questions that might be in the minds of every individual with regard to their time in Heaven. Would Heaven be as calm a place like the way the term is often used; would it be a place where old strife’s be forgotten and one can start anew? Though these questions remain unanswerable at present; the boldness of penning down what reflects the thoughts of many is indeed commendable.

If You saw me in heaven

Amidst nameless souls in a crowd

Would you shy away or look at me

Would you look diffident or proud?

Lost . . . .

‘Outwardly I was everything a well brought up girl should be , Inside I was screaming’ – these lines from the Titanic struck me when I read out the poem ‘Lost’ . Everyday we camouflage our deepest sorrows , our darkest fears and our anxieties with the help of a smile. But behind this mask lies a broken and hurt soul- broken but brave still to hold  on to the miseries of the world without a flicker on the face.

You may never know

But she is lost

In an invisible maze of life

With impenetrable walls around her-

You cannot see but she is trapped-

She knows not how to break through them

And cries invisible tears

Disguised as smiles on her face.

Vaijayantee Bhattacharya with Mosaic Vision
Photo: Abhizit Dutta

Robert Frost had said, ” Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” This holds  true when you read the poems  by Vaijayantee. Each poem stems from a very basic thought. The simplicity used to express  some of the most complex thoughts and situations is bound to leave you mesmerised. If you are a lover of literature, a person with poetic instincts, or an artistic soul ; then Mosaic Vision is bound to leave a profound impact on you.

Mosaic Vision is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition. It would soon be available in all leading bookstores near you.

 

Around the World in 6 Folk Tales

“Pay heed to the tales of old wives. It may well be that they alone keep in memory what it was once needful for the wise to know.”  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

 Folk Tales are a unique blend of the culture and tradition of different parts of the world. Though some are known to the people through translations and graphical representations, there are thousands of them that are still missing from the pages of man’s memory. Kolkata Storytellers, in yet another one of its stellar performances brought to the children six of these lost Folk Tales from around the world. These were enacted by Kavita Gupta and Arpita Nag to a group of around 25 children at the Oxford Bookstore, Kolkata.

“Malaysia is a country unlike any other: Full of promise and fragility. Its history, cultural and religious diversity make it a rich, compelling and surprising land.” -Tariq Ramadan

The first story narrated by Arpita Di, took us on an enchanting journey to the jungles of Malaysia where lived a trickster mouse deer. Being clever and smart it evaded the clutches of a tiger through its intelligence and speed. And the best part of the mouse deer was that it sang- “I am as smart as quick can be, try an try but you can never catch me.”

“I have a better internal and intuitive understanding of folklore and myth than science and technology, so in that way fantasy is easier.”-Sarah Zettel

Moving on, Kavita Di took over with a beautiful folk tale from the North America. She narrated the story of how dream catchers came to exist. Dream catchers are meant to act as filters for years and pass on positive energy and dreams to the people; trapping negative thoughts and dreams in its mesh of webs. A quick discussion about what the children dreamt of each night revealed dreams like ‘a big bowl of chocos’, ‘a swimming pool of chocolate’ and even an ‘Ethiopia without diseases. Often scientists and researchers have studied dream catchers and their exact role; but more than technology and scientific understanding, the folk lores about dream catchers have attracted children since centuries.

Arpita Di narrating a story to the children Source: Kolkata Storytellers

“While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man’s humanity to man.”- Maya Angelou

A story narrated by Arpita Di based on a folk tale from Ghana depicted the story of an eagle who was a big bully and how the other birds taught it a lesson. In fact, according to the tale, if you look at the moon on a full moon night, you might be able to see the trapped eagle waiting to be released, even today! Though a very light- hearted story narrated with beautiful actions, this brought across a very important message- to not become a bully ever and to teach other bullies a good lesson in life. Bullying is a very bad habit which often starts at a young age. Thus, it also needs to be prevented at a young age; and what better than stories to do so rather than moral science lectures!

“Japan, not only a mega-busy city that thrives on electronics and efficiency, but actually has an almost sacred appreciation of nature. One must travel outside of Tokyo to truly experience the ‘old Japan’ and more importantly feel these aspects of Japanese culture.” Apolo Ohno

Greeting everyone with a bow and Konishiwa (Nice to meet you in Japanese) Kavita Di, began her next folk tale from Japan. She involved the children to enact several characters in the tale, as she narrated the story of an old couple who had a naughty pet sparrow. Though she bid Sionara to everyone after completing the story, the lessons of the repercussions of being greedy would be forever etched in the minds of the children through this story.

“India may be a land of over a 100 problems, but it is also a place for a billion solutions.”- Kailash Satyarthi

The penultimate story for the evening was an Indian folk tale narrated by Arpita Di. It told the story of a kind and obedient young boy who wanted a drum. As he was poor, it was difficult for him to buy one. But as the story progresses one gets to learn about how good deeds come back to you and helps you achieve your wishes in the most unexpected ways possible. It taught that kindness, honesty, obedience and humility are important virtues of life that  shapes an individual’s personality.

Kavita Di narrating a story to the children

 “If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.”- Nelson Mandela

The final story for the evening was an African folk tale by Kavita Di. It highlighted the tradition of Ubuntu in the African tribesmen. According to the story an anthropologist once asked the children to stand some distance away from a basket of sweets and run towards it. The one who reaches first would get all the sweets. Surprisingly, all the children held hands and walked towards it together so that everyone of them can enjoy a piece of sweet. When asked the reason for this strange behavior the children replied that it was Ubuntu- I am because we are. It is a very strong lesson that the world needs to learn as it is indeed impossible to survive without inter-dependency on the other.

Thus, ended another vibrant story-telling session by the Kolkata Storytellers. As usual the stories narrated had much color and vigor to them. Apart from graceful enactment and narration, the involvement of the children in the stories made it more enjoyable for them. It made them a part of the story, rather than being just another silent listener. Folk tales are often lost in modern times, but one must remember that they are ultimately the treasure trove of wisdom and knowledge and reviving them through storytelling once in a while, especially for the younger generation is indeed a commendable gesture.

Kolkata Storytellers hold regular story-telling sessions in different venues in Kolkata. You can always get more information about their upcoming performances here and take your little ones for a captivating session.