Sunday, 28 August 2016

Letters to the Ocean

The letters to the ocean
Never go unanswered;
The ocean whispers a lullaby
Caressing her scarred heart
Whenever her tears mingle with it. 

-Purba Chakraborty

Today, for some reason, I am feeling uninspired and stuck. The scariest place for a writer is to be in that black zone where she feels lost and uninspired. As I sit on my bed today, feeling the heaviness in my heart, I remember one morning that I have spent with the sea waves. 

It was in 2013. I was extremely hurt and clueless in my life as there were various things that were going wrong in my life. I walked on the beach hopelessly, letting the sea waves caress my feet. I kept looking at the distant horizon as if I was waiting for a miracle to happen. 

Tears escaped my eyes and merged with the sea. I was in that state for quite some time, after which I started feeling better. The sea absorbed my pain, like it was its own. The harmony of waves was balmy and soothing. There was some message in that rise and shine.

If only I could now spend some time sitting by the sea, being absolutely vulnerable. If only I could now write letters to the ocean...

Linking with Poetry Pantry #317

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Your Blessings

The incandescent light within me
That fails to snuff out
My hopes and dreams
Even in the darkest of nights,
Assure me that you are there
In the form of your blessings.

The clues and premonitions
That help me solve the riddles of life,
Take me out of the tricky labyrinth
And enlighten me with a new dawn,
Assure me that you are there
Showing me the way.

The love and kindness in my heart
That prevails even after cruel betrayals
The scent of forgiveness 
Amid vengeance and bitterness
Assure me of your divine touch,
Purifying my heart from negativity.

I can find you in the first morning sun ray
Blessing me for the day
I can feel you in the first drop of rain
After a spell of scorching heat,
Soothing my pain like a night lullaby.
My soul is the abode of your blessings.

-Purba Chakraborty

When I think of blessings, I remember my mother who continues to bless me and show me the path, despite not being with me physically. Tomorrow is Janmashtami which is the birthday of Lord Krishna. I am a devotee of Lord Krishna and I can always feel His blessings and teachings guiding me in life. I read the Bhagawad Gita, the holy book of Hindus whenever I feel lost. So, this poem on blessings is dedicated to my mother and God. 

Indian Bloggers

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Sandcastle Dreams

Do you remember the two kids
Building sandcastle dreams
With love and innocence so sublime?
Reality has left no room for dreams
The love extinguished in monotony.

Do you think it's too late?
Let us rewind and pause at the moment
We started taking each other for granted;
Holding hands gently, let's wipe the dust
That had slowly blurred our love,
Paint it again with unadulterated emotions
Who knows we might then
Rediscover the treasure of our sandcastle dreams!

-Purba Chakraborty

Linking this poem with Poetry Pantry #316

Indian Bloggers

Friday, 19 August 2016

Triumph #7WordStory

This is my 7 word story on Triumph.

August has always been a very special month for me because this is the month when my artistic journey began. This is the month when I became a published author exactly 4 years back in 2012. Now, after 4 years, 3 solo books and 8 anthologies, the month of August still makes me feel excited and emotional.

25th August, 2012...this date still brings a thousand feelings within me. It is the day when my first book Walking in the streets of love and destiny released. I was so excited, nervous, happy, thrilled and emotional. 

I experienced the same feelings again on 7th August, 2014 when my 2nd book The Hidden Letters was released. 

Today, I cannot imagine a life where I am not writing and creating something. Yes, I may exist, but I won't live. I am extremely dependent on my craft for a wholesome life.

I have realized over the years that there is not a single demon that I cannot defeat when I am writing. Some of the demons that I have to battle on a regular basis are the fear of losing my loved ones to misunderstanding and death, fear of betrayal and manipulation. I also have to regularly battle chaotic thoughts that confuse and overwhelm me. 

But the best thing is that when I am writing, I have a grip on all my thoughts. I am a calmer person. I have full control on my mind and as a result, I can perfectly defeat every demon when I write. 

It feels that I am in touch with the divine energy the most when I am writing and creating. This is my triumph and I am forever thankful to God.

What is your story of triumph? Is there any work, activity or a person that helps you to battle your demons? Please share in the comment. 

Indian Bloggers

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The "Hamare Bus Ki Baat Hai" Programme

On Saturday, 23rd July, 2016, I attended the “Hamare Bus Ki Baat Hai” programme, an initiative by Tata Motors at G.D Birla Centre for Education in Kolkata. The motto of the programme is to ensure that school children travel safely by bus to school and back to home.

Since it is such a noble initiative, I couldn’t stop myself from attending the programme. The sessions of the programme were very interactive and engaging. At first, a presentation was shown to the bus staff about how they should make sure that the school children are safe and comfortable in their bus. Through the interesting and simple presentation, the bus staff learnt how they should understand the needs of children and talk to them in a win-win approach.

The programme comprised of an interesting movie presentation, simple discussions and fun games, through which the bus staff were taught how to ensure safe travel of school children.

Movie presentation

The 5 things that were mainly highlighted in the “Hamare Bus ki Baat Hai” programme are as follows:

1.  The first thing that was talked about in the session was that the bus staff should be extremely responsible towards the school children.

2 . The second thing that was highlighted in the session was that the bus staff, including the bus driver must know the names of all the school children. This will allow the bus staff to communicate with the school children easily. 

Question/Answer session

3 . The importance of etiquette, manners and grooming was explained to the bus staff.

4. The next thing that was highlighted in the programme was how to handle emergencies and accidents. The bus drivers were told to check the condition of the bus before starting the bus. It was also told to the bus staff to carry a list of emergency phone numbers so that they can call for help, in case an emergency arises.

5. Finally, difficulties faced by the bus staff in handling school children were discussed in details. Solutions were given to each and every problem that the bus staff have to face.

Fun games

Kudos to Tata Motors for this wonderful initiative! They have already conducted close to 800 sessions in schools all over India. Safe travel of school children is extremely important. We get to hear about road accidents so frequently and therefore, I feel that this program of enlightening the bus staff about the safe travel of children is the need of the hour.

Moreover, this program will also help the bus staff to interact with the children and their parents easily. When the parents will see that the bus staff is very friendly and responsible, they can be assured that their kids are taken care of, properly by the bus staff.

The children will also be able to travel to school and back to home safely. They will not have any problem in the bus because the bus staff will communicate with them properly. 

What I really liked about the “Hamare Bus Ki Baat Hai” programme was that, through fun sessions, so many things were explained and taught to the bus staff. I am sure that the programme was successful in enhancing the safety skills and communication skills of the school bus staff that day. I could really connect to the exercise and I feel that such sessions can create a very positive change in metropolitan cities where accidents are so frequent.

I am sure everyone will agree with me that the safe travel of children is very essential. As responsible guardians and citizens, we must support this initiative. Follow their Facebook page to know more about their sessions!

You can also visit the site of Hamare Bus Ki Baat Hai, where you can take the pledge for children’s safe travel. This is the first thing I did after attending the program.  

I've pledged for safe travel of school children. Have you done your bit too? Pledge now:

Indian Bloggers

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Suicide is never a solution: The Story of a Suicide

Life, a wonderful enigma for some
A constant struggle for some others
A labyrinth that can suffocate,
Rob away all your dreams
Only if you let it happen…
Rekindle your heart with hope
Believe in miracles again
You say, it’s too hard
Well, witness a dawn
After a thunderous black night
Miracles happen every day!

Someone very dear to me had committed suicide a year back and I am still trying to cope up with the loss. I know the insufferable anguish, the stinging torture and the acerbic memories that she might have faced before opting for suicide.

After some time, a person who is suffering a lot cannot take it anymore and decides that only death can bring him or her ultimate peace. But no…the soul cannot rest in peace when it is mercilessly separated by the body through suicide. Suicide is never a solution. The only solution is fighting with the problem with courage and fueling the heart with hope.

Recently, I read a book “The Story of a Suicide” written by Sriram Ayer online. The entire book is available on the website . At first, I was skeptical if I can read an entire book online as I have never read a book online. Either I opt for paperbacks or I read in my Kindle device. 

However, I did not have any problem in reading the book online. It was a fast and easy read. The website is designed in such a way that you can easily move from one chapter to another. The chapters of the book are accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Ghana that makes the reading experience amazing. The audio book is also available on the website.

The story

It tells the story of four characters: Hari, Sam, Charu and Mani, whose lives are entangled in a web of love, revenge and deceit. The story begins with a suicide note that really disturbs you. It is not revealed to the readers who wrote the note. You need to read the entire book to find it out.

“I am sad. I am tired. Helpless. Disillusioned. Paranoid. Unhappy.”
“Perhaps I am destined to be unhappy and unloved.”

These are a few lines of the suicide note. It was heart wrenching to read the note which clearly portrayed the feelings of a person who gave up on life. I was keen to know what the story of this suicide is all about and so I kept reading the book.

The four main characters

The readers are introduced to the four pivotal characters of the book one by one. At first, Hari is introduced whom we see attending a national seminar on the rights of sexual minorities. His father is preparing a special dish for him at home as he will be going to KIT, Madras for his studies. Hari comes across as a docile, confused and shy person. As the story unfolds, we learn that Hari was a victim of child sexual abuse. 

Next, we are introduced to Sam, a self-proclaimed tech geek who is also preparing to leave for KIT, Madras. We see him taking his girlfriend, Priya to a comedy show. Sam is constantly on twitter and Priya seems disinterested in the comedy show. After a while, Priya breaks up with him and leave. Sam is hurt at the sudden breakup, but also angry on Priya. He writes an insulting letter to Priya in his blog. Sam comes across as a self-absorbed, assertive person with a huge ego that can be wounded easily.

When Sam reaches KIT, he gets to know that a guy has tried to commit suicide. A girl is trying desperately to save him. Sam helps the girl and save the unfortunate boy’s life by taking him to the hospital on time. We get to know that the guy who tried committing suicide is Mani and the girl who was trying to save him was Charu, Mani’s best friend.

We learn that Mani committed suicide because he was unable to cope up with English as he has studied all his school in his mother tongue. Mani comes across as a sensible and quiet person who has seen a lot of pain in life. As the story unfolds, we get to learn about the suffering that he had faced all his life because of poverty and an evil father. Later, he befriends Hari, who helps him in English.

Charu on the other hand, is a very confident, cheerful and strong girl. She is so beautiful that Sam gets attracted to her immediately. However, as the story unfolds, she comes across as a very complicated girl with frequent mood swings. We can also see her fighting some inner battles due to a broken childhood. She sees weird dreams that disturb her. She is brave and a hardcore feminist. She is also vulnerable and longs for someone who will love her, without trying to control her. 

What I liked in the story

Without giving away any spoilers, I would say that “The Story of a Suicide” is a book that must be read by every youngster. The story shows the demons and painful memories that we all have to face in our lives. No one’s life is devoid of problems, but how you handle your problems make you a winner.

The book talks about serious subjects such as child sexual abuse, homosexuality, suicide, exam pressure, complicated relationships, cyber crime, etc. In this book, all the four characters are dealing with a problem that seems to overwhelm them at times. We can see Sam walking towards the abyss because his ego is so wounded. He knows not how he is destroying his life, in the garb of revenge.

We can see Charu totally lost and scared when she becomes the victim of cyber bullying. Hari and Mani’s lives turn topsy-turvy when they fall into the trap that was laid for someone else.

The book shows how problems can scare and wound us from time to time, but it is totally up to us whether we want to fight or want to quit. It also highlights the casual and carefree way that youngsters live their lives, which lands them in serious problems. It shows how we should not misuse Facebook to show our anger on someone and how it can bring us trouble.

Depression is lack of expression

Depression leads to suicide, in most cases. A person who commits suicide is often depressed for a long period of time. It is when the depression reaches to a very high state that the person feels suicidal. In the book The Story of a suicide”, we see two suicide cases; the root cause of both of them is depression since a long time.

Depression is nothing but lack of expression. When a person is hurt, lonely or afraid, he needs to express that feeling either by confiding in a close person or through creativity. If a person suppresses feelings of hurt, anger, loneliness, fear and resentment for months and years, it will take the shape of depression which is a serious malady.

We can see how Hari, one of the characters of the book suppresses all his feelings of hurt, loneliness and resentment from childhood. We see the same thing with Mani.

Problems will always be there in life. Heartbreaks and tragedies will occur from time to time. The only way to cope with it is through expressing our feelings, not by suppressing them.

 My advice to all those people who are dealing with a painful phase in life right now is that please express your feelings somehow. Talk to your parent. Cry in front of them. Confide in a sister or a close friend.

If you feel no one will understand your anguish and problems, take refuge in creativity. Write what you feel. Paint and draw. Just try to take those feelings of hurt and resentment out of your system.

After every storm, there is a sunshine waiting for you. And if you manage to survive the storm, you will be a much better, stronger and wiser person. Don’t give up on life. Everything is temporary. Everything passes away. Suicide is never a solution!

Note: All the illustrations are sourced from the website of The Story of a Suicide

Monday, 8 August 2016

The 5 best beaches of Goa that you cannot miss

If the mellifluous sound of the sea waves and watching gorgeous sunsets appease your soul, you must plan a trip to Goa as soon as possible. Ask any travel enthusiast and you will see that Goa features in almost everyone’s list of must visit places. Goa is a very popular destination in India, which is visited by people from all over the world. The enchanting beaches of Goa can make a person forget about all his stress.

There are many gorgeous beaches of Goa and we understand that it is not possible to visit all of them if you are going there for a few days. So, let’s look at the 5 best 5 beaches of Goa that you cannot afford to miss. 

1. Baga Beach

This beach is very famous because of the beach parties, stunning nightlife and delectable seafood delicacies. If you enjoy drinking, crowd and dancing carefree to peppy music against a mesmerizing backdrop, you would love the Baga beach. This beach is perfect for people who are seeking an ambiance of excitement and enjoyment.

You can also pamper yourself with a salt bath as you can get huge sea waves on this beach.

2. Candolim Beach

Candolim beach is famous for its serene atmosphere and enthralling scenic beauty. This beautiful beach is perfect for relaxation. You can find scrub-covered sand dunes in Candolim beach.

Indulge in the “Dive Goa” activity on this beach for amazing fun.

3. Calangute Beach

This beach is often called the Queen of Beaches in Goa. It is famous for authentic Goan cuisine. The golden shimmering sand of Calangute beach attracts tourists from all over the world.

You can find many restaurants in Calangute beach that serve Goan food. You can also find plenty of shops that sell colorful Goan apparels. If water activities fascinate you, then you can also indulge in water-scooter rides and parasailing.

4. Sinquerim Beach

The scenic backdrop of the grand Fort Aguada and the glistening golden sand make Sinquerim beach one of the most beautiful beaches of Goa. If you are looking for water adventures, this is the place to be.

You can try snorkeling and parasailing in Sinquerim beach. The Aguada lighthouse and the Fort Aguada make it look beautiful.

5. Vagator Beach

The picturesque greenery and the rustic beauty of Vagator beach attract plenty of tourists. If you want to enjoy a breezy stroll on a beach amid the natural beauty, you must visit the Vagator beach.

The calmness and serenity of the beach attract all those people who are seeking some peace. You can find the Chapora Port in the Vagator Beach that is also known as the famous “Dil Chahta Hai” point.

The famous Sunburn festival is organized in Vagator Beach in December every year.
These are the 5 beaches of Goa that you cannot miss when you are in Goa. You can also visit the Anjuna Beach that is famous for its unusual rock formations, Arambol Beach for family vacations and Morjim Beach for a serene ambiance. 

You can find fully equipped luxury villas that provide great hospitality services.
Goa Villa offers a wide range of beautiful villas for rent in Goa that can make your vacation truly unforgettable. The luxury villas in Goa are located in the most famous locations such as Candolim, Calangute, Anjuna, Morjim, etc. 

You will be surprised to know that more than 85% of the Goa villas are booked for New Year 2016. You can go through the property list to find the villa that will suit your needs and will make your Goa vacation memorable. 

Give yourself a wonderful vacation in Goa that is filled with water sports, dance parties, serenity, delicious seafood and the luxury of a villa.

Indian Bloggers

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Divine Song

Linking this poem to Poets United Midweek Motif ~ The Song of a Single Word. It is also written for #AugustFalls poetry challenge -Day 3 where the word prompt was unfiltered. 

Indian Bloggers

Summer Shadows

Sometimes, the thought of the person whom we love the most is enough to free us of all burdens of reality and chains of fear, albeit for a few minutes. 

I am taking part in the #AugustFalls poetry challenge in Instagram where participants have to write a 5 line poetry on the given 31 prompts in the month of August. The first prompt was Summer Shadows. 

You can also take part in the challenge if you love writing poetry. You can follow me on Instagram (@purba_chakraborty) where I will be posting the 5 line poems everyday on the month of August. 

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