Book: Alchemy of Lyrics
Biographical Info: Sonali is a published author of four books and currently, she is pursuing PhD. Prior to research, she had served as an assistant professor in various educational institutes.
Apart from academics, she loves to pin down her emotions and share the same with the world. By heart, she is a nature lover; by mind, a serious thinker, and above all, an ardent reader. She loves to read mythological books written with logical perception, science fiction and of course, romantic novels.
She is a great fan of Amish and had read almost all his books. She loves to explore new places and spend time with some of her favourite characters. Driven by this love for stories, characters and plots, she chose to pursue a PhD in world literature.
She loves to read the world literary pieces, irrespective of the genre, language, background and literary period, especially the short stories of Premchand, Maupassant, Chekov and Conan Doyel. Her life is surrounded by literature from various parts of the world, and it makes her feel proud to be a part of this multicultural and multilingual world.
She started writing from the college days and continued to nurture this habit. With the passing years, the habit transformed into her passion and even amid a busy schedule, she manages to steal time for her first love, i.e., writing. She is also inclined towards music and loves to sing.
Interviewer: First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the release of your Poetry Anthology – ‘Alchemy of Lyrics’! How do you feel about it? Tell us something about your book?
Sonali Ganguly: Thank you for your wishes. Well, seeing my name on a book cover every time makes me feel delighted. But this time, with this book, it seems my happiness is multiplied. This is my first Anthology and it really seems great to be a compiler because I am sharing the feeling of being published or the joy of seeing my name in a book with all my thirteen co-authors.
The book is a blend of imagination, emotion and realistic observations of fourteen poetic minds that portrays various facades of life and earthly experiences. All the contributors are the first-time poets and some of them are too young. I just wished to provide a platform to the aspiring poets and encourage them to keep composing verses and give words to their feelings. The open theme of the book offered a scope to address the vicissitudes of life and the vagaries of human perception.
Interviewer: You have been writing for a long time; tell us about your previously published books.
Sonali Ganguly: I love this question as it allows me to recall those sleepless nights I spent with my loving characters while drafting and re-editing my stories and novel. I have authored a novella titled ‘Loved you Too,’ a novel titled, ‘Does Life Really Move On,’ followed by a collection of Short stories and a collection of poems. In all the books the theme that dominates is Love and its different shades. I believe Life is the best inspiration that provides many scopes to build a captivating plot and love is the dominant potion that keeps life going. ‘Does Life Really Move On’ is very close to my heart. I almost fell in love with Megha’s simplicity, Mayank’s passion, Reyan’s smartness, Sruti’s innocence and Anshuman’s sublimity while writing the novel. I received inspiration from the vicissitudes of Life. Silent observation and deep introspection taught me to perceive Life from different perspectives and step back to wonder how does Life move on? My next two books titled ‘Droplets of Thought’ and ‘The Scream of Silence’ allowed me to explore two different genres, i.e., Poetry and Short Story respectively. ‘Droplets of Thought’ is a multilingual book comprising more than fifty poems and ‘The Scream of Silence’ consisted of five insightful stories depicting the painful realities of life. All my books portray the vicissitudes of Life that relate to each one of us. Next, I am planning to explore the children’s world and come with a collection of short stories for children.
Interviewer: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Sonali Ganguly: Writing a book is a continuous process which keeps teaching new lessons spontaneously. I always realized that writing a book is not that hard. The flow of emotion, a bit of inspiration and slight dedication from the author’s end is enough, but the most challenging task is to find a proper readership. It is not that a book becomes popular all of a sudden. It too sometimes takes time to grab the market and consumer’s attention. An author shouldn’t be disappointed and give up writing. Emily Bronte never knew that her only novel would make her name written in golden letters in the history of English literature. It is not the desire to be read but the desire to express that makes a person an author.
Interviewer: What does poetry mean to you? Why do you write? Be descriptive please so that our visitors know about your writing career a little more.
Sonali Ganguly: Poetry is the free flow of Emotion. If it is set free from the classical rules, it floods the heart and mind of every seeker of poesy. Rhythm is the most essential aspect to be taken care of. I started writing poetry at the age of 15. I wrote my first poem in Odia, dedicating it to Mother Meera Alfaza of Pondicherry. Later, being driven by passion, I composed a good number of poems in English, Hindi, Odia and Bangla. My strong aspiration, to share my perspective towards life with the world, made me get associated with poemhunter.com, where I received accolades from the world poets on my poetry. I further wrote for blogs like contentwriter.in and purplepen. I love creating rhyming verses on my observations and life experiences.
Interviewer: Please share any stanza you have written and you repeat it most of the times.
Sonali Ganguly: It is difficult to choose. I love almost all my poetry. But the first two paragraphs from my poem titled ‘Hope is Life’ touch me always. It is quoted below:
“Each day is alone in this long silent year,
Never let your eyes lose a single tear.
Enlarge it to see deep, beyond and far,
To find the moon alone in the midst of million star.
The path which seems to be frozen today,
May lead you to your desired end.
Be not scared to see anyone around
Let the stars be your guide and moon your dear friend.”
Interviewer: ‘Alchemy of Lyrics’ is an anthology of poems, introducing thirteen amateur poets. What inspired you to compile an anthology?
Sonali Ganguly: The decision to compile this anthology was taken all of a sudden. One fine evening, I wondered that there is a poet in many individuals but how many of them get a proper platform to showcase their talent or they hardly get any encouragement to nurture their hobbies. Many a time, the beautifully encrypted lyrics remain preserved in some scattered pages or some diary and after a period, get lost; become just a memory. After a time, they are just torn pages and forgotten hobbies. Lack of proper space, platform and encouragement kill a budding poet forever who might have been a source of inspiration for hundreds in the crowd. I wanted to provide a platform to the aspiring authors who could pin down their emotions, flap the wings of their imagination and get the recognition of a poet. This anthology is just an initiative to encourage the modern generation to probe deeper into their psychic and give words to their thoughts and perception.
Interviewer: ‘Alchemy of Lyrics’ is a multilingual edition. Please share your experience – the do’s and don’ts.
Sonali Ganguly: As I mentioned earlier, Poetry is a free flow of emotion. This anthology deviated from the prevalent practice of compiling ‘Themed Anthologies.’ I deliberated avoided any specific theme and attempted to set poetry free from the hegemonic grip of any specific language. It expanded the scope for the contributors and allowed them to think and write in a language they are proficient.
I must admit, transcription of the poems into Hindi and Bangla font was time-consuming and sometimes, annoying as the software played with the words. However, I enjoyed the task. I would say the anthologies should always come up with multiple languages to add a different flavour of poetry for the readers. It is an attempt to encourage people to write, not to force them to write only in a foreign language. The essence of poetry matters as it touches every heart.
Interviewer: What is your message to the young poets who are willing to explore the new dimensions of creative writing?
Sonali Ganguly: Creative writing demands sincere dedication, sound observation and self- introspection. The first step matters. I always suggest the aspiring poets to read and write. Reading is needed not for imitation, but to build up a perception; and writing would improvise and polish the skill of presenting your ideas. There is a two-step formula to become an author. First, be a critical reader and second, take the first step to pin down what your heart feels and the mind thinks.
Interviewer: Any message for readers regarding the book?
Sonali Ganguly: It is my pleasure to offer this beautiful literary piece to my readers. Grab the book and who knows, it may ignite the spark within you and may take you on a voyage to the world of poesy.
Interviewer: Thanks for your time! It was a pleasure talking to you about your book. I wish you best of luck for the future!
Sonali Ganguly: Thank you so much to the entire team of Literatureslight for publishing this book and offering a helping hand in this noble venture.