Thursday, 2 April 2020

Chitrangada (Mythological Monologues #3)

I had heard about the magic of love
Umpteen times since childhood,
Yet I never envisioned that
Love will make me forget myself one day.
I - Chitrangada, the warrior princess of Manipur
Who knew nothing more than warfare and caring about her kingdom,
Has abandoned her people today, 
Borrowed beauty for a year
From the God of Love
To win the heart of Arjun. 

Yes, I won my beloved's heart 
But lost my purpose and individuality.
In the fear of being rejected by my beloved,
I gave up my identity of the warrior princess
Who did not have mesmerizing eyes
And a fair complexion
To win the heart of mighty Arjun. 

The year of borrowed beauty
Was coming to a close,
People in Manipur were praying
For their warrior princess to return
And save them from enemies. 
I was in a dreadful quandary
Fighting against myself
When my beloved expressed the urge
To meet the famous warrior princess of Manipur. 
"But she doesn't have beautiful eyes,
Neither charm nor moon-like complexion", I said 
"She is brave, skilled, talented, 
And loved by so many people.
If she were here today,
I would have fought by her side", Arjun replied.

All my dilemma dissolved into thin air.
I gave up my borrowed beauty,
And returned back to the woman that I am.
I restored peace and order in my kingdom,
Freed Manipur from enemies.
My people were rejoicing in my victory,
When Arjun entered the palace. 
I smiled at him confidently,
No longer ashamed of my ordinary looks.
I knew my beloved found me extraordinary
As he asked for my hand in marriage.
A mighty warrior like Arjun
Valued bravery, loyalty, and integrity
Much more than seasonal outer beauty.

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: In the Hindu epic,Mahabharat, Chitrangada is the warrior princess of Manipur, the daughter of King Chitravahana and one of Arjuna's consorts. She had a son named Babhruvahana with Arjuna. 

Bhishma (Mythological Monologues #2)

I became Bhishma
From Devavrat
Because of my mammoth vow
Of lifelong Brahmacharya
And of loyal service to 
The ruler of Hastinapur.
I took the fierce vow
To ensure my father, Shantanu's happiness
With the woman he loved - Satyavati.

People look at me with admiration
For my vow;
And yet I know
The future generations will never forgive me
For my dreadful silence 
In the courtroom today.
Despite being the son of river Goddess, Ganga
I tolerated a woman's tremendous insult
In the courtroom of Hastinapur
I did not stop Dushyasana
From disrobing Draupadi's saree
Or Duryodhana from making
Lewd comments at Draupadi.
I did not protect Draupadi
When she cried for my help repeatedly;
All because of my vow -
Of serving the King of Hastinapur
Till my last breath.
My mammoth vow made me blind to the Adharma
That I was commiting through my silence. 

When Vasudev Krishna saved Draupadi
And Draupadi cursed the entire Kuru clan,
I realized what my vow has done!
If only I had broken my vow
For the sake of Dharma,
I could have prevented the Kuru clan
From perishing in the most brutal way.
If only I had broken my vow
For the sake of Dharma,
The Kurukshetra war would perhaps never happen. 
I would prefer dying as Devavrat
Than Bhishma - the one who
Took the mammoth vow 
And kept it all his life;
Because I know the future generations
Will never forgive me
For my dreadful silence today!

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: In the Mahabharata, Bhishma was well known for his pledge of celibacy. Previously known as 'Devavrat', he was the eighth son of the Kuru King Shantanu and the river goddess Ganga.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Ahalya (Mythological Monologues #1)

I looked at him
For seconds that felt like eons passing by,
He had just cursed me
To transform into a stone;
Me- his loyal, devoted, beloved wife, Ahalya
He mouthed the curse
The way one rebukes a stray animal;
No - not even an animal perhaps,
A non-living object devoid of feelings
He had cursed me to transform into a stone. 
I was not heartbroken 
By the destiny that awaited me,
But by the trampling 
Of my faith, trust, dignity and love.

The Great Sage Gautam
Was no ordinary human being;
Couldn't he gauge my innocence
From my eyes that had always venerated him?
Couldn't he see how I was lured by the devious King Indra
Who masqueraded as my husband
At the holy hours of dawn. 
But alas! My husband felt ashamed
To look at my eyes
As I have become impure and tainted. 
Why was I not given one chance to speak?
One chance to express my heart?
Wasn't it I who was wronged beyond measure?
Yet I was given the cruelest punishment
To transform into a stone
Till Lord Rama's holy feet liberates me. 

I looked at Sage Gautam
And then at King Indra
The two men who wronged me
One- in untamed anger
Another- in unquenchable lust
Yet I had to pay the final price,
My fault being that I am a woman.
In my third eye, 
I could envision the future of women
Men will molest them, rape them
And yet society will blame and punish the poor women;
I shuddered at the magnitude of the curse
Sage Gautam did not just curse me
He cursed all women in his rage. 
The agony of my daughters, 
Granddaughters and great granddaughters
Made an excruciating lump form in my throat;
I wanted all my thoughts and emotions to stop
Defeated, I embraced the curse 
And turned into a lump of stone. 

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: In the Hindu epic Ramayana, the character of Ahalya is given a lot of importance. She was created by God Brahma and was the most beautiful woman. She was married to Sage Gautam and later cursed by him when Indra seduced her. She was liberated from the curse by Lord Rama, an avatar of God Vishnu. 

Monday, 30 March 2020

Butterflies Reborn In a Beautiful New World

This is our time for Metamorphosis. 
This is our chance to transform into beautiful butterflies reborn in a beautiful new world. 
In this lockdown period, let's dive deep within, reflect, and make a self-promise to become better human beings who respect Nature and fellow humans.
With such a pure and  powerful promise, we shall definitely overcome this pandemic. 

Light and love to all!

Sunday, 22 March 2020

10 Ways to Hygge at Home for Emotional Wellness

Recently, I read a book called "Hygge: The Danish Way of Living Well" by Meik Wiking. Hygge [prononounced Hoo-ga] is a Danish word for finding happiness in simple and little things in life such as candles, flowers, sunrises, sunsets, a cup of tea, old songs, a cozy reading corner, classic books, etc. 

In the current scenario of the Corona Virus outbreak, when we are compelled to stay indoors, it is the best time to find and discover our hygge -our safe haven. And once we discover that sweet place, we can enjoy this chaotic period instead of panicking. Everything that is related to hygge makes us feel happy, calm, and safe. 

Hygge is a situation where there is a lot of relaxed thoughtfulness. Hygge is about being kind and loving to yourself. Danes believe that their homes are the best place to practice hygge. They put a lot of effort into making their homes hyggelig. 

Let's take a look at the 10 ways to Hygge at Home for our Emotional Wellness:

1. Light an aromatic candle

According to Danes, Hygge is incomplete without candles. Every evening, light an aromatic candle and meditate for a few minutes. As you inhale the aroma of the candle, imagine divine light healing your mind, body, and soul. Envision your heart radiating love to everyone in the world going through some suffering. Inhale love. Exhale anxiety. 
My favourite scents are lavender, sandalwood, rose, jasmine, and vanilla. 

2. Make a playlist and share with your friends

Create a hygge playlist of 20-50 songs that make you feel happy, safe, peaceful, motivated, and inspired. Share it with your family and friends. Music is a great way to connect to your own self and with your loved ones. 

3. Enjoy Board Games

Spend the time that you are getting with your family by indulging in board games. Whether it is Ludo, Carrom or Chess, engage in a game for that sweet feeling of nostalgia and uninterrupted bonding. 

4. Cook a special meal together

Make an evening special by cooking a special meal along with your family and friends. Time spend with loved ones creates a warm and relaxed atmosphere. 

5. Bring out those photo albums

One of the best ways to hygge at home is to take out all the photo albums and watch them with your family. Relive the most beautiful moments, laugh together and spend a memorable evening. Alternatively, you can arrange your digital photographs in various folders and start a slide show. 

6. Write Notes of Gratitude

Hygge helps us to stay in a state of gratefulness everyday because it is all about savoring the simple pleasures of life. It is all about making the most of the moment. You can start your day by thinking of the 10 things that you are grateful about. You can write little notes of gratitude for your family, friends, acquaintances. Email it to them or give them when you meet them the next time. 

7. Curl up with a Classic Book in a cozy reading corner

Create a beautiful hyggekrog in your home, which means a 'cozy nook'. It is the place in a room where you would love to curl up with a book and a cup of tea. You can put a blanket, a few cushions, and fairy lights to make it your comfy place. Now read that classic book that you have been longing to read for a while. I recently read all the 7 Harry Potter Books within 20 days by creating a cozy nook in my room. And I enjoyed every minute of it. 

8. Get back to a hobby

True happiness and satisfaction in life depends not on what we have consumed but what we have created. When you are compelled to stay indoors, befriend an old hobby. Start painting or calligraphy. Play a musical instrument. Dance like no one is watching.

9. Start a Hygge Journal

A Hygge journal or Happiness Journal is for preserving the most beautiful and endearing moments of your life. They need not be extravagant moments, but rather sweet, simple, heart touching moments that make you smile again and again. 
Write the most beautiful moments that you have experienced in the past month or year. You can relive them whenever you feel a bit low. Alternatively, you can make a bucket list of happy, hyggelig moments that you would like to experience this year. 

10. Appreciate Nature

Slow down and look at the beauty of Nature comforting us unconditionally. Enjoy the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets that we so often take for granted. Bask in the moonlight. Gaze at the stars. Water the plants in your garden. Appreciate the flowers blooming and the birds chirping without any complains. Get one with Nature. Take plenty of photographs. 

These are some great ideas to hygge at home. Hygge is a way of life, a feeling, and a mood that helps you to remain happy with the things that you already have in life. It is a great way to boost our emotional wellness. Let's go within and find our hygge. 

This post is a part of Blogging with a Purpose series in association with Blogchatter. My theme for this year is Physical, Mental, and Emotional Wellness. 

Monday, 16 March 2020

Mythological Monologues : A Poetry Series (Theme Reveal #BlogchatterA2Z #AtoZChallenge 2020))

April is almost here and I am thrilled to reveal the theme of my A to Z Challenge 2020. 

This is the 2nd time I am taking this blogging challenge. In 2018, I experimented with 26 forms of poetry in my poetry series "Letters from the Soul".

My theme for A to Z 2020 is Mythological Monologues - A poetry series.

This year, I will be doing a poetry series on Indian Mythology. I will be giving voice to various characters in Indian mythology such as Ahalya, Shikhandi, Draupadi, Gandhari, Sita, Urmila, Eklavya, Karna and many others. I will be penning down 26 dramatic monologues of 26 iconic characters from Indian mythology. 

Indian mythology has always fascinated me since childhood. Therefore, I decided to give my voice to some of the most beautiful characters in Indian mythology that has stayed with me over the years.  

Every day, on the month of April (except on Sundays), I will be writing one dramatic monologue. Dramatic Monologue is a poetry form that was popularized by the famous Victorian poet, Robert Browning. Although I have earlier written dramatic monologues, it will be exciting to blend mythology with this poetry form. 

I hope you will join me in this thrilling poetic journey on the month of April. Wishing the very best to all the fellow bloggers who will be participating in A to Z 2020. 

Friday, 6 March 2020

8 Things my Grandmother taught me that made me #TheWomanThatIAm

After my mother passed away when I was twelve, my maternal grandmother became the mother figure in my life. Despite battling with breast cancer and losing her only daughter, she made a vow to live for me, to raise me as a strong, independent woman and only leave the world when she has done her job successfully. It was because of her tremendous will power that she survived several operations and became a breast cancer survivor.

From a grandmother to a mother to a best friend and guide, she played various roles in my life. I would like to mention 8 things that my grandmother taught me which made me the woman that I am.

1.Never give the driver's seat of your life to anyone.

During my late teens and early twenties, I often relied on others for making important decisions. My grandmother taught me to control the steering and drive my own life. She taught me to make my own decisions and never give that power to anyone else, no matter how close they are to me or how difficult it is for me to make the decision. She taught me to take full ownership of my life and responsibility for my actions so that I never play the blame game or behave like a victim. 

2.Faith will take you anywhere you want to go.

Today, I am a huge believer in the law of attraction. It is from my grandmother that I learned faith can make anything possible whereas doubts can ruin everything.

3.Nothing is stronger than your willpower.

As I already mentioned, it was my grandmother’s willpower that helped her survive many operations.  When I was giving my class 12 board exams, I was suffering from a chronic migraine that hardly allowed me to study. I thought I would fail in my exams. It was during that time she told me that nothing is stronger than willpower. And true to her words, I managed my studies by sheer willpower and passed the exams with flying colors. 

4.If you want to know whether a person or place is good for you, observe how you are feeling within when you meet that person or visit that place. Your intuition will never lie.

During my early twenties, I made too many mistakes in recognizing people. As a result, many people took advantage of my goodness and betrayed my trust. That is when my grandmother gave me this beautiful pearl of advice, which has helped me over the years to understand people better.

5.People who love us unconditionally never leave us. They live within us, providing courage and strength during the hours we need it.

Whenever I missed my mother, my grandmother comforted me with these words until I realized how true it is. 

6. Life is an echo. What we give, return to us manifold. Bless everyone and blessings will return to you manifold. Talking negatively about anyone will make that person talk more negatively about you, thereby making the relationship bitter.

Whenever I felt someone wronged me and talked negatively about them, this is what my grandmother told me. And after many years of ignoring it, today I live by this advice and try not to think/talk negatively about anyone. 

7.Tears are not a sign of weakness. The person who can cry without inhibitions can laugh freely.

After I lost my mother, I used to try to maintain a tough exterior. I used to feel ashamed of crying. When I used to see my grandmother in tears, holding my mother’s photograph, I used to feel uncomfortable. That was when my grandmother taught me to embrace tears with the same ease that I embrace laughter. And that has helped me laugh and live life to the fullest.

8.Honesty is the best prayer.

My grandmother was a very spiritual person. I had never seen her telling a lie. When I asked her how she manages to do it, she told me that the best way to be close to God, is to be honest. Satyam Shivam Sundaram! Truth is God. Over the years, as I became more spiritually inclined, these words of my grandmother got ingrained in my mind and helped me become a better person.

My grandmother left the world in 2017, when I was twenty six, but her life continues to inspire me. Just like Mahatma Gandhi said, “My life is my message”, my grandmother’s life was her message to all her loved ones. She was my grandmother, mother, friend, guide, and soulmate combined into one. She lives within me and her love sheaths me from every danger.

Blankets of snow
Fail to smother the warmth
Of my pashmina shawl
That my grandmother
Weaved for me
A decade back.
How adeptly
Her labor of love
Defeats the frosty thorns
From stinging me today.
Love alone triumphs!

“This post is a part of ‘The Woman That I Am’ Blog Hop #TheWomanThatIAm organized by Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul #RRxMM. The Event is sponsored by Kraffitti.”

Friday, 28 February 2020

Trailer Review: Operation Parindey, a ZEE5 Original film

(Image Source: An OTT platform

When facts blend with fiction, under the direction of a good filmmaker, it results in powerful cinema. Recently, I watched the trailer of Operation Parindey on ZEE5 which left me speechless. Operation Parindey is a ZEE5 Original film that is scheduled to premiere on 7th March 2020.  It is a gripping action thriller based on the true events that occurred in India post-surgical strike. The 55-minute film is a fictional account of one of the most controversial jailbreaks that occurred in the history of India.

Star cast and Direction

Operation Parindey has a promising star cast. Monty Singh, the antagonist is played by the talented Rahul Dev whereas Amit Sadh plays the role of superintendent of police. The movie also stars Ameet Gaur, Rucha Inamdar, Aakash Dahiya, and Kunal Kumar in key roles.

The ZEE5 Original is directed by Sanjay Gadhvi of Dhoom fame. Therefore, the action sequences are very well directed.

Location and Background

The shooting of the movie took place in Nabha City in Punjab. The background score suits the mood of the movie and raises the thrill quotient.

Trailer Review

The trailer of the movie begins with Monty Singh (played by Rahul Dev) telling someone on the telephone: “The Day you decide to sacrifice yourself for your loved ones, that day no one can stop you.” This dialogue sets the mood for the captivating trailer.

The movie is about the jailbreak that occurred in 2016.  A reporter informs that 6 convicts have escaped from Nabha Jail in the morning. We can see the Superintendent of Police (played by Amit Sadh) worried about the fact that Monty Singh, after escaping from jail is planning an attack on India. The entire nation is under threat.

Within 24 hours, the police have to capture Monty Singh. The rest of the trailer shows glimpses of the cat and mouse chase between the police and the convicts. #The24Hourchase is peppered by some mind-blowing action sequences which we can see in the trailer.

The last scene of the trailer leaves the audience thrilled where Monty Singh and the police pass by each other without the police identifying the convict.

As the run time of Operation Parindey is only 55 minutes, the audience can be assured that it will be a fast-paced movie. The audience can expect top-notch performances from the acclaimed actors.

Final Words

If you enjoy watching fast-paced action thrillers based on true events, you will wait for the movie eagerly after watching the trailer. The trailer reveals the premise of the film without giving away any spoilers. Various questions linger after watching the trailer:

How did they plan and execute the prison break?

What was the plan of the convicts after escaping the prison?

Can police catch Monty Singh within 24 hours?

What was the outcome of #The24HourChase?

Watch the trailer of Operation Parindey on ZEE5 right away! The trailer is promising and intriguing. Movie lovers can expect an edge of the seat thriller with unexpected twists and turns. Don’t forget to subscribe to ZEE5 so that you don’t miss the premiere of the movie. 

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Epiphanies on Life (I)

Sing the anthem of Life....Follow your bliss

Come what may...Never give up on your dreams! 

For more such micropoetry, you can follow me on Instagram - @Purba_Chakraborty

Saturday, 8 February 2020

10 Powerful Affirmations to Begin the Day With

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”- Claude M. Bristol

Our mental state depends on the things that we constantly tell ourselves. Negative self-talk can push us towards stress, anxiety, and depression. Positive self-talk can uplift us to a state of peace, love, harmony, and confidence. Affirmations are powerful and empowering words that we choose consciously to tell ourselves.

When we wake up in the morning, we must create positive and empowering thoughts that will keep us energetic throughout the day. If we start our day with thoughts like “I am late”, “I don’t know what will happen in today’s meeting”, “The traffic is so bad.”, “The weather is so bad”, etc, we will lower our vibrations instantly.

Instead of feeling recharged and energetic, we will feel anxious and stressed about the day ahead. Our negative thoughts occur mostly because we are not aware. Practicing affirmations is training our mind to start the day with positive, loving, and empowering thoughts.

My morning routine comprises saying my affirmations for the day ahead, a session of yoga and practicing a gratitude exercise .

10 positive affirmations to begin the day with

Affirmations have a lot of power. When we affirm something, it becomes our reality over time. You can practice the following affirmations within one hour of waking up in the morning. 

“I am healthy, happy, and complete.”

“I love and approve of myself exactly as I am.”

“I attract loving people in my world.”

“I am at peace with myself and everyone around me.”

“All my relationships are harmonious.”

“I add value to the world through my work.”

“I am a magnet for Divine prosperity.”

“I am worthy of the very best in life.”

“I trust the process of life to bring me my highest good.”

“Life loves me. All is well in my world. Today is going to be a great day.”

How to practice affirmations?

You can write down these 10 affirmations on a notebook or on your Smartphone. While having your morning tea or coffee, open the page where you have written them.

Begin with the first affirmation. Say the words slowly and feel them deeply in your heart. Continue the same way for the other nine affirmations. You will experience a happy and peaceful feeling while saying them. 

Repeat the 10 affirmations again, this time a little faster with a smile on your face. Feel the Universe blessing you as you say each affirmation. This simple exercise will take a maximum of 5 minutes, which we all can spare.

Wrapping it Up

Choosing healthy thoughts with awareness is the kindest thing that we can do for ourselves. Positive affirmations in the morning are a great tool to be in a state of awareness and boost our positivity.  If you start practicing affirmations daily, it will soon become a habit and then a lifestyle. 

We are the Creators of our own reality. We create our reality through our thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds. Therefore, it is extremely important to train the mind to begin the day with positive thoughts.

Start your mornings with these 10 powerful affirmations and you will notice a significant change in your mindset within 2 weeks. If you want to read a beautiful book on affirmations, you can check our Louise Hay’s “You can Heal your Life.”

This post is a part of Blogging with a Purpose series in association with Blogchatter. My theme for this year is Physical, Mental, and Emotional Wellness.