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Swimming against tides is the spirit of poets: Writer Pratibha Ray

Swimming against tides is the spirit of poets: Writer Pratibha Ray

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Nov 2019, 11:23 am

Jnanpith Award-winning writer Pratibha Ray was the chief guest in the second edition of Chair Poetry Evenings  held in Kolkata between Nov 22 and 24. As Ray inaugurated the poetry festival, IBNS correspondent Souvik Ghosh catches up with her

What impression are you taking back home from the second edition of Chair Poetry Evenings?

I liked the theme of the second edition of the festival. I think the young poets were very interested. I think the wars will begin and end but poetry will never end. Poets will not stop and they will go on writing. Therefore I liked the theme. So despite my hectic schedule, I came here.

Tell us about the relationship between Kolkata and poetry you have experienced over the years?

Calcutta (now, Kolkata) is just like my second home. Bengali is just like my second mother language because I can read and understand Bengali. I can't speak Bengali but I love Bengali literature and language. I have plenty of friends here.

How do you interpret the changes in the city in terms of poetry?

The changes have come because of the social media and these things. I have seen poetry is always there in human beings. Humans breathe and dream poetry. Writers will never say they have no time to write poetry. Despite running my home and doing job, I never felt I had no time to write. I think readers are decreasing but the writers are serious.

The modern writers are pressurised by the corporate houses and the nature of their jobs. Despite the pressures, they write and Bengali people are always serious about writing. Kolkata is the city of Nobel laureates, not only in literature but in diverse fields. Several freedom fighters from Bengal were also poets.

How challenging it is to withstand these pressures?

Yes the pressure is there but there will be no poetry without challenge. Poets actually like to swim against the tide. Swimming against the tide is the spirit of poets. Poets are fighters and rebels so they love challenges.

You have always been in the forefront of upholding humanity. Do you think it is the time for the poets to step up and send a message to the society when instances like a Muslim professor being stopped from teaching Sanskrit (in Benaras Hindu University) , citing his religion, is taking place?

It is always high time for writers to challenge all these things. I have been challenging these things right from the beginning. I think writers should be united and fight despite challenges. Writers should unite through festivals to fight against all odds, terrorism, war and all.

Swimming against tides is the spirit of poets: Writer Pratibha Ray

India Blooms News Service
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