Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Love Actually~ A moment frozen in time

Photographs are no doubt a person's most prized treasure as they capture the smile, the twinkle of the eye and the glow of the face perfectly. After the passage of many years, when we come across one such photograph, we can relive that moment once again in the screen of our mind. And it makes us feel that we are alive. 

Material possessions are nothing compared to the moments where we have truly lived...moments where our souls were dancing with joy...moments when we felt an abundance of love. 

The selfie culture has made it easier to capture precious moments without depending on another person to capture the moment. There is a story behind each photograph and today, I am going to share the story behind one of my favorite selfies.

This is the selfie of me and my grandmother whom I fondly called Dimma. It was taken in 2013 at Digha, a sea beach near Kolkata. My grandmother and I shared a very deep soul connection where we could read each other's eyes and understand the unspoken words. We were also great friends who pulled each other's legs and laughed a lot together. There were no secrets between me and her. That's how close we were.

She was very fond of sea beaches and so, every year, we used to go to Digha or Mandarmani, the beaches near Kolkata. She used to close her eyes as the sea breeze caressed her face. She used to look at the waves with a child-like delight and discuss philosophies of life with me. 

During this particular vacation, I bought a white hat and was clicking plenty of pictures. 

"Dimma! Click a nice picture of me with this hat. Isn't it looking pretty on me?" I asked her as I was posing in front of the mirror.

"Yes, you look pretty in everything. You know I always wanted to wear a white hat and a pink sweater. I wanted to see how I look in it. A silly fantasy!" My grandmother chuckled. 

"No, not at all silly. You will look so beautiful. You wear my pink cardigan and this white hat tomorrow when we go to the beach." I said with a lot of enthusiasm.

"Jhum, are you crazy? What will people think? An old woman of 70 roaming around in a pink sweater and a hat. No, my dear, I can wear it now, in front of you. But not in front of everyone." My grandmother said.

"No. You have to do this for me. Else I will be upset. You say you love me the most. Can't you do this for me, Dimma?" I tried to emotionally blackmail her so that she agrees.

Finally, my grandmother nodded her head and smiled at me. 

So, the next day, I wore my violet floral dress and a hairband. Due to my emotional blackmailing, my grandmother wore my pink cardigan over her saree and the white hat. She looked so beautiful that I couldn't stop praising her. A young couple also complimented my grandmother. She was delighted. 

I took out my phone and captured that moment. The selfie was awesome. My grandmother stole all the limelight from me. When I showed it to my grandmother, she was so excited. She couldn't believe that she was looking so good and different. She kissed my cheek and told me that I made her so happy. Whenever we showed this selfie to any relative or friend, everyone complimented only my grandmother and the ways her eyes twinkled, appeased my soul.

She passed away last year, but whenever I look at this selfie, it makes me feel happy and peaceful. This selfie has made the beauty of that moment immortal.

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Thursday, 3 May 2018

Reflecting on the April A to Z challenge 2018

This was the first time I took part in the A to Z challenge, despite blogging regularly since 2014. Blogging regularly for a month apart from the 4 Sundays seemed like a daunting task for me. Therefore, I couldn't manage to gather the courage to take part in this challenge. 

Last year, I really wanted to take part in the challenge, but I lost a family member in the month of April, which left me shattered. My novel "Canvas of a Mind" released in July 2017 but I couldn't indulge in creative writing. My blogging frequency also decreased. I was only writing sponsored posts and working on my content writing assignments. 

My resolution in 2018

My resolution in 2018 was to indulge in more creative writing. Therefore, I decided to take part in the A to Z challenge in April and try something that I have never done. Although I have published a poetry book and my poems are a part of many anthologies, I have never tried various forms of poetry. Therefore, I decided to try 26 poetry forms for the A to Z challenge. 

Why Letters from the Soul?

I wanted to write poems that carry a positive message. Personally, I was going through a very difficult time, coping with the loss of my grandmother and mother. I was feeling very melancholic and broken. It would have been much easier for me to pen down sad poems. 

But I thought if my soul and my guardian angels could tell me something, what would they say? They would surely inspire me and tell me to live life in the most beautiful manner, despite losses and sadness. I could recall the lyrics of one of my favorite retro songs ~ "Zindagi pyar ka geet hai ise har dil ko gaana padega...zindagi gham ka saagar bhi hai hanske us paar jana padega."

Therefore, I tried to capture a positive message in all my poems for the A to Z challenge. And that's when the title "Letters from the Soul" came to my mind. 


I started the series with the haibun Alone ~ All one with the universe and ended it with Zen Meditation, a Trinet poem. There were days when I struggled to think about what I should write. Even if I had something on my mind, it was challenging to present my thoughts under the syllable restrictions and the particular rhyme pattern. 

I explored various forms of poetry, both traditional and invented ones. I read a lot of poems. And finally, when I could succeed in trying a new poetry form effectively every day, it boosted my creativity and confidence.

It was a month of immense learning and growing as a poet. Although there were rough days which made me panic, my subconscious mind helped me in staying creatively active. 


I feel an immense satisfaction in completing the A to Z challenge successfully. Despite hectic work deadlines, ill health, and personal problems, I could complete it. 

At first, I have to thank Blogchatter for making #BlogchatterA2Z so much fun. I loved the secret activities and meeting so many new bloggers through their platform. The motivation that they provided for completing the A to Z challenge is incomparable. 

My family and friends for supporting me throughout April. A big thank you to Papa, Priyam, Abhishek, Triyas for being my pillars of strength always. 

Thanks to my blogger friend, Anmol for giving me valuable tips and suggestions to survive A to Z challenge. And also for reading and commenting on all my posts.

Next, I want to thank my fellow A to Z participants who visited my blog regularly and supported me in this journey ~ Yamini, Roma, Neha, Shilpa, Namratha, Priya, Ashwini, Rohan, Kalpana, Shweta, Medha, Sayanti, Deepa, Seema, Sudha, Tina, Amit and many others. (pardon me if I have missed anyone). Each of your comments gave me the much-needed motivation to carry on with the challenge. 

What next?

Next, I will be working on my eBook named "Letters from the soul" where obviously the 26 poems that I have written during the A to Z challenge will be included. Apart from the 26 poems, there will be quotes and musings in the eBook. I am super excited to start working on it. 

Heartfelt thanks to all my readers for being with me and my blog. 
Love, Laugh and Reflect became 4 years old on 29th April 2018 and the eBook "Letters from the soul" will be my birthday gift to my blog. 

Monday, 30 April 2018

Zen Meditation: Trinet (Letters from the Soul #26)

Eyes closed
Agonized heart
Head feels heavy; ache in body
I sit in the lotus position
Pay attention,
Breathe in 
Breathe out.

Breathe in 
Breathe out
The breathing matters and nothing else
I am conscious and full of life;
Completely blessed,
Divine love
Protecting me.

Anxiety slowly
Ebbs down;
Enveloped in a bubble of tranquility,
All my thoughts jump around it
I smile
I am
Fully free.

© Purba Chakraborty 

Note: This is a Trinet poem. It is an invented poetry form which has the following specifications:
Line 1: 2 words
Line 2: 2 words
Line 3: 6 words
Line 4: 6 words
Line 5: 2 words
Line 6: 2 words
Line 7: 2 words
Repeat this pattern 2 more times. When centered correctly, it looks like 3 crosses. 

Read Letters from the Soul #25

This is the last post for the #AtoZ2018 and the #BlogchatterA2Z challenge. 
26 days
26 poems
26 poetry forms.
It was a roller-coaster ride experimenting with various forms of poetry every single day in April for my series~ 
"Letters from the soul". 
I hope you enjoyed the series. I am happy that I could complete the challenge successfully.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Yesterday has finally gone! : Quatern (Letters from the soul #25)

Yesterday has finally gone!
And here's a new, roseate dawn
Acting like morphine to your soul
Showing you a new path and goal.

To the pool of tears, don't get drawn
Yesterday has finally gone!
Collect the pieces and rebuilt
your life one more time, bit by bit.

Your cracked heart will rejoin again
The way sun shines after the rain
Yesterday has finally gone!
Do not cling to the spiky thorn.

You will slip again in this road
Tired of carrying grief as load,
But now run like a sporty fawn
Yesterday has finally gone!

© Purba Chakraborty 

Note: This is a quatern poem. Quatern is a 16 line French poetry form composed of 4 quatrains. It has a refrain that is in a different place in each quatrain. 
A quatern has eight syllables per line and can follow any rhyme pattern. 
The refrain in this poem is: "Yesterday has finally gone!" which you can spot at different places in each quatrain. The rhyme pattern that I followed is aabb ccdd eeff. 

Friday, 27 April 2018

Xeroxed Moments: Rondolet (Letters from the Soul #24)

Xeroxed moments
Are too rare to capture in life;
Xeroxed moments
Makes one static with no movements
Gliding with the tide feels alive,
Cannot offer newness to thrive
~Xeroxed moments. 

© Purba Chakraborty 

Note: This is a Rondolet. This is a French poetry form consisting of a single septet (7 line poem) with 2 rhymes and one refrain: AbAabbA. A is the refrain. A rhymes with a, b with b. The refrain is of 4 syllables and the other lines are of 8 syllables. 

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Water and Love : Sedoka (Letters from the Soul #23)

Mocktails cannot quench
The thirst of a tired tourist;
Only water can do that

Love alone can soothe
Burns and scars of the journey;
It deep cleanses like water.

© Purba Chakraborty 

Note: This is a Sedoka poem. Sedoka is an unrhymed Japanese poetry form with the syllable count: 5-7-7 and 5-7-7. A Sedoka often addresses the same subject from two perspectives. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Violet Sky: Monorhyme (Letters from the Soul #22)

The hour of change is like the violet twilight sky
Explosion of shifting colours that can beautify
your life amid some uncertainty and goodbye;
The ride can seem turbulent and might terrify
But aren't you born to wear your wings and fly
from the cage of monotony that makes you cry?
Dawn and dusk lends you the magic eye
To recognize change as a divine lanternfly
That will illuminate your path as you walk by.

© Purba Chakraborty 

Note: This is a monorhyme poem. It is a very simple poetry form where all the lines have the same end rhyme.