Influenced by Eastern mysticism and Vedanta philosophy Poetess Turiya Urf Mamta Chander made her debut in the creative world with her poetry book “The Vast Empty”.
My recent conversation with her gave me the scope to know more about this creative soul. Check out the Interview session.
1. Hello Turiya, Welcome to this interview session. Before we go ahead, we will insist you say something about you, your family, and your life in school.
Well, I’m a Bangalore girl- born and raised there and lived there till I moved to Calcutta to study at the Indian Institute of Management. After completing my studies took up a job in Delhi and have been in NCR ever since. Was always an avid reader and used to write short stories and plays in school…. So somehow no one was really surprised with my book, except perhaps me
2. What does Turiya mean and why did you choose this pseudonym?
I have been deeply influenced by Eastern mysticism and Vedanta philosophy and this is reflected in my poems as my readers have told me. The word Turiya refers to the state of ultimate consciousness or the fourth state (the other three being waking, sleeping, and dreaming). The name found me
3. You are serving as a senior management professional… What exactly inspires you to write taking time out from your busy schedule?
I have maintained that time will find you and the poem will write itself. Some of my poems have come to me in the middle of chaos, some while meditating, others through a random word or gesture. Writing anchors me because in order for me to write there has to be a certain stillness I need to experience. That stillness calms me, replenishes me. Out of that stillness sometimes there is a poem, sometimes a solution, sometimes an epiphany.
4. Why Poetry and not short stories or novels?
Good question. I don’t know.
Some of my earlier writing is in free verse, longer and more elaborate. The longer I spend time writing, the shorter my poems become. Poems are inspired, and unplanned, they come to you in the middle of something. You need to respect that moment and immediately pay attention and capture it, or else the idea and the poems slip away like an elusive memory.
Plus, novels are a lot of hard work and planning. Perhaps I’ll get down to that as well. I know there is a novel waiting to be written.
5. The Vast Empty- Your poetry collection. What is the reason behind giving a title with two contradictory words VAST and EMPTY?
The first thing most people told me was that no one reads poetry, and that it doesn’t sell, that it’s a tough genre. Mercifully I didn’t take heed and blissfully carried on writing. I wanted to take people on a journey towards discovering and remembering the forgotten parts of themselves, to remember the questions they used to ask when they gazed at the skies, to capture the essence of who they are, and to travel to a destination within. I wanted people to feel refreshed and meditative after reading my poems. To be able to relate to it. To reinstil the joy of poetry.
And I think I have managed to do some part of that.
7. You started your journey in the creative world with poetry. Is there any chance that in the coming time, we will get to read some different styles of writing from you other than poetry?
Most definitely, a resounding Yes!
Like I said, there is a novel waiting to be written. Needs time and discipline.
8. How long did it take you to pen these 65 poems for your book?
Over 2 years. And there are several more that are unpublished and more that I have written since.
9. There are many budding poets in the industry, what will be your suggestion for them?
Keep writing. It’s your story and there is always someone whose life will be touched by what you write.
10. Who is that person who inspired you to write or whose writing inspired you?
Rainer Maria Rilke!
11. Who is your creative work’s best critique?
My family and friends. I have two to three close friends who are like litmus paper. If it passes the test, then I feel more confident. They are both men and women, 45+, well-read, and highly critical.
12. Who are your favorite authors/poets and why?
I have several favorites among writers and poets but Rainer Maria Rilke is a poet who I absolutely adore. I love the lyrical style and the depth of his writing. There is an aspect that moves me deeply every time I read him.
13. What are your passions in life?
I love experiencing and experimenting. There is an innate curiosity in me that drive me to keep discovering myself and learning. Sometimes I feel that a lifetime is not enough to do everything and at other times I feel that it’s all been done.