If somebody asks me what my state of mind is, pat will be the reply, “EXCITED, NO, SUPER EXCITED”.  Reason? I have just (a few days back) finished my first short story in ‘my very own’ mother tongue i.e. Bangla (“Bal Gopal” nothing to do with religious, mind it) and uploaded on ‘My Bangla Blog’ (www.vanderloost.blogspot.com). Here, the usage  ‘my very own’ is to convey/underscore the compelling drive/the immediacy of the urge.

Confession time…I always wanted to write in Bangla but did not know how to go about it …inadequacy of knowhow (software etc.), inability to type in Bangla, poor, that’s mild, actually illegible handwriting, distance from my roots and the inevitable lack of readership as a consequence, (or so I presumed), and so on and so forth. I am glad to say that I have finally got over all these mental/technical barriers following the simplest of fundas i.e.  to just write on, and I think that’s the grandest ground rule for any so called writer like me – amateur and inconsequential.

Writing is an experience by itself. Somebody said it’s a lonely occupation (for me vocation) but never mind that. What is more important is how one grows while writing – the revelations, the realizations, the epiphanic moments notwithstanding how personalized and individualized these are.

For instance, it’s strange that when I write in English I think in Bangla and vice versa. And that creates problem because my brain does not always assist my pen at the same speed. It almost sounds autistic. But it’s not.  What I am trying to say is that switching over from one language to the other is not always instant, at least, not for me. While writing, thoughts run ahead of fingers. Thinking in a particular language and writing in another, are not therefore, always in sync with each other. As is equally difficult finding the appropriate/corresponding words/expressions in the particular language-mode that I am in i.e. writing in one and thinking simultaneously in the other, at a given point of time. Suppose an English word which easily crops up in mind, while penning thoughts, does not necessarily find it’s synonym (or antonym at times) in Bangla that easily – even after vigorously rummaging the cerebral crevices at length – and the same happens while the train of thought follows the Sonar Bangla route while the pen is determined to cling to the colonial legacy – the Queen’s English – our adopted lingua franca.

The easiest solution is to find a dictionary. The embarrassing confession is that I don’t have one. The one dog-eared, torn and tattered volume (Oxford) that I inherited from my patriarch is so outmoded as to be worthy of shelving in the museum or auctioning as an antique. So, the next viable option – Flipkart!  But there are certain purchases which Flipkart cannot substitute. I was highly disappointed to find their collection very limited in so far as Bengali-English/English-Bengali dictionary is concerned. Had it been more elaborate, a trip to the book store could have been saved.  However, a visit to a well-stocked bookshop though imperative is yet pending.

In the meanwhile, I the Egoist decided to rely on my own vocabulary which I thought was as vast as the latest Webster/Oxford/Collins/Encyclopaedia (latest editions) all bound in one unmanageably huge tome. Sadly, it wasn’t. Dabbling in Bangla, I found that I have lost touch with the language considerably, thanks to my more than twenty years of cosmopolitan living, though, believe me, I am still a Bong in my heart and soul.

At this point, my being-a-Bong pride overtook all other shortcomings and I charged on. In doing so, I may have made innumerable mistakes – grammar, spelling, vocabulary et al. In the process, I may have also created/added/imported a few new words ‘enriching’ the vernacular, for which invaluable literary contribution, I am sure, I shall be acknowledged/awarded posthumously like all historically great writers have been in some point of time or the other.

In the final analysis, I wish the story will find readers and the readers, in turn, will find the enthue to adorn the post with their valuable comments as (or if at all) they try/finish reading.

Till then I keep my fingers crossed…

The next worst thing that has happened is that my flat is in shambles (read under massive repair). I am sitting on a heap of rubbles and blogging…which in itself is unique, and I am hopeful, the inconceivable inconvenience of the moment may prove to be adequately inspirational for my future writings, forthcoming blogs, story, poem, who knows what?

Till such time …again

Cheerio!

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About gc1963

A working woman with interests in reading, writing, music, poetry and fine arts.

10 responses »

  1. jmathur says:

    It’s heartening to know it Geeta Ji. Leave aside the temporary inconvenience which will vanish within a short span of time, and feel the bliss of creating something in your mother tongue. I have got intimation of your Bangla blog through e-mail (automatic e-mail coming to me for all of your and others’ posts) but due to not being aware of the Bangla script, could not comment there.

    Anyway, I can feel your pleasure as you know I also love to and enjoy writing in Hindi only.

    Please do share this blog on MS too.

    And hearty congrats again.

    Regards.

    Jitendra Mathur

    Like

    • gc1963 says:

      Thanks Mathur Sahab,

      Its really most encouraging to find you here on my post and your comments mean a lot to me always. I’ll try to translate it in Hindi or English so that you can read the story but that will be somewhere in future.

      Thanks once again for the encouragement.

      Grateful always

      Like

  2. Sneha says:

    Hey Geetashree,

    You can check the store at NBT (National Book Trust) in Delhi, where you stay. A call to them and they’ll let you know all the titles they have of Bangla (dictionary, poetry, literature and so on)… And then, you can go on with writing in your “own language”…Your write up makes me remember the active debates we had in our literature classes about ‘Nativism’. Some argued that one can write/express best only in their mother tongue ( I know the word is elusive) ; whereas some believed that its not the language but the effect of the writing that matters most, that is, expression.
    Nevertheless, its a long and never ending debate.
    My inquisitiveness probes me to ask, did you start reading Whispering Paths yet 🙂 ?
    Just want to tell you that its from souls like you that I have belief in this tradition (not occupation) of writing ! Thank you for coming up with such intellectually taut write ups.

    Warmly,
    Sneha

    Like

    • gc1963 says:

      Thanks Sneha for your detailed comment on “writing”. It is comments like yours that inspire and influence me to write on. Yes, I have started reading, in fact, almost through your book.

      I believe reviews require a sort of emotional detachment for evaluating the read. In case of ‘Whispering Path’ the biggest hurdle that I face is a growing sense of emotional involvement that draws me towards some of your poems.

      I will get back in detail a week or two later.

      Warm Regards

      Geeta

      Like

      • Sneha says:

        Dear Geeta, Sure. I understand, it happens with me as well when I’d have to review a book of someone who I know and or whose work I’ve been following closely. Do take your time. And yes, keep writing in between all the chaos ! Sneha

        Like

  3. gc1963 says:

    Dear Sneha, Sure I’ll try.

    Like

  4. সবুজ মোহাইমিনুল says:

    Geeta it’s been a long time since your last post….ঠিক আছেন তো ? নাকি অনেক ব্যাস্ত?
    hope u will keep posting regularly

    Like

  5. gc1963 says:

    Thanks Shobuj! I was very ill as well as busy. Now I am back and soon will be posting something new. I hope you are doing well. I had left a message on one of your blogs. Hope you have received it. Regards

    Like

  6. vimalaramuv says:

    Dear Geeta,
    Congrats on your writing your first blog in Bangla and typing it too. Your travails remind me of the translation job i did for a religious booklet. I can very well understand how it feels to tread both languages simultaneously like one foot each in two boats on water !!!

    Like

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