Debatrayee Banerjee graduated with B.A.LL.B (Honours) from the prestigious University of Calcutta and is a practising Advocate by profession. Likewise, she is acting as the Secretary of Bangla Noboborsho Ujjapan Samity, a well reputed social welfare organisation primarily involved in the promotion and cultivation of the rich culture and heritage of Bengal, handling both the legal and editorial part of the same.
In the year 2010, Debatrayee passed her I.S.C. Examination from the Heritage School, Kolkata, and made the School proud by obtaining the highest in Political Science securing 98% in the same. She has won International Essay Contest for Young People organized by the Goi Peace Foundation and UNESCO in 2014. At the early age of 14 she was Kolkata’s youngest SCJP (Sun Certified Java Programmer).
Simultaneously, she has been actively involved in various social campaigns and is intricately associated with various Non Governmental Organisations. She has two music albums to her credit namely “JYOTSNA RAATE” and “ATITHI”, the entire sale proceed of which went in aid for the education of economically backward children.
What inspired you to start writing?
Well, there are, in fact, a number of entities that inspired me to write. But the most intimate of all I guess, is the world of carefree happiness, wherein I can fly off with the touch of my pen. There was a time when things seemed a lot despondent and I tried to pen down all that I was feeling and with such expression I could feel free, I could be at peace with myself. So yes, it was my inner turmoil, my melancholy that got shaped into words, inspiring me to write.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
Books of Jane Austen. I am a huge fan of her way of writing. I have read ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Emma’, and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ for almost 10 times and I can go on reading them again and again. Thereafter, I loved to read Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. And as I grew up I cherished reading the books of Thomas Hardy and D.H. Lawrence. But yes, I can never get over my Jane Austen craze. I think every girl waits for her Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
It is very subjective and I feel there comes a bunch of obstacles while writing a book. But to my opinion, the lack of patience is the biggest challenge.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
A lot actually. I think writing a book is more like meditation. Just like exercise sharpens one’s health, research sharpens one’s knowledge which eventually paves way to good writing.
What motivated you to write the book “A Whispering Leaf. . .”?
I have a farmhouse at a village named Taki, so each time I am distressed I take my happy refuge in that place. As I have earlier mentioned that during a certain period of time, when my life was seemingly void, I tried to find some solace in the lap of Nature. It was monsoon and I was sipping a cup of coffee in the pond side of my farmhouse, watching the pigeons flying in the open sky, it was then when I realised what and where true happiness lies and I think it’s just a moment when I decided to write this book.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “A Whispering Leaf. . .”?
I believe that every word has a definite meaning. Simultaneously, each word can be defined and interpreted in a variety of ways depending upon individual perception. It is indeed one’s thought process that shapes the meaning and perception of the words and incidents presented before oneself. Likewise, it is the individual experiences coloured with the norms of society that shapes one’s thought process. “A Whispering Leaf. . .” intends to stimulate one’s introspection on the well-known aspects of Human Life. The Book, by throwing rhetorical questions at one’s threshold aims to deal with the actual meaning of certain words and traits, appealing to one’s inner voice and subconscious mind. There are 18 pieces of Conversation poems, each discussing and exploring the true meaning of certain words and aspects that we confront in our regular lives, hardly paying much attention or contemplation upon the same.
If I may put it in my words – A Whispering Leaf. . . is an attempt to silhouette certain abstract thoughts; thoughts which all of us encounter in our everyday life, thoughts that peep out of our mind and heart, thoughts that shine gloriously with the radiant hue of our soul.
Also, the book is a humble tribute to the glorious work of Sir Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the very originator of the rich genre of Conversation Poems, and endeavours to reabsorb and celebrate his finest work on Conversational Poetry by an introductory note upon the same.
How did you come up with the idea of writing anthology genre book?
Well, it was just spontaneous. I don’t think that we contemplate much when we write, it’s just the flow of words or the mere articulation of some passing thought. I think that it just happened when my writings took the silhouette of poems.
Who are your favourite authors?
There are so many, I cannot possibly name all, yet to name a few would be- Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and D.H. Lawrence. Amongst the contemporary writers, I love the work of Orhan Pamuk, Arundhati Roy and Amitav Ghosh.
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
There is no fixed time as such. I write when I feel like. It can be anywhere, anytime. In fact, I know it might sound silly, even when I don’t have a pen and paper, perhaps in the middle of a party or something, when I observe something interesting I take out my phone and start typing in my thoughts. For me, writing is a way of sharing certain things to one’s own self. An incident, an experience, it could be anything.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Well, it takes a lot of courage and conviction to follow one’s dream, but when one does pursue the voice of one’s heart, one’s cherished dream, then the entire process and even the obstacles seems to provide happiness. So all I can say is that listen to your heart and paint your dreams with the colour of your soul. In fact, in my book I have kept the last few pages empty, it’s because I want the reader to write his own thoughts, to pen down his own writing in those pages, to sketch his dreams in those pages.
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