About the Authors:
Meera Chakravorty is a research faculty in the Department of Cultural Studies, Jain University, Bangalore, India. She has translated into Kannada Bengali novels that won Sahitya Akademi (National Academy of Letters) awards, like Manoj Basu’s Nishikutumba and Amiyabhushan Majumdar’s Rajnagar, as well as a collection of Jibanananda Das’s poetry and Saonli Mitra’s play Nathavati Anathavat. She translated into Bengali a collection of Kannada Vachanas (by medieval poet visionaries challenging stereotypes) and the renowned Kannada author Devnoor Mahadev. Essays in Philosophy and Culture, Consciousness, Time and Praxis, and Colours of Mind, along with edited volumes and poetry collections in both English and Bengali, are some of her other publications. Her domains of interest are philosophy, social justice, women’s studies and cultural studies. Her philosophical research on “Enquiry into Time” was awarded by the John Templeton Foundation, USA. She was a member of the Karnataka State Women’s Commission. Her involvement in women’s struggles over the years has been recorded in many journals.
Elsa Maria Lindqvist was born in 1953. She has for many years been a teacher at an upper secondary school in Norrköping, Sweden, where she teaches World Religions, Swedish language and literature, and English. She has taken many courses in mysticism within the world religions, paints, writes articles and poems, and has been able to travel extensively in later years (for example, India, Bhutan, Indonesia). At the conference “Mysticism without Bounds” in Bangalore, India, in 2011, she met Meera Chakravorty and they found a connection with each other immediately. They met again in 2014 at the following world conference in Christ University, Bangalore, and then decided on a joint poetry project, which grew into this book.
About the Book:
“Human beings boast of their achievements in the area of ‘development’. Since many of them become the monstrous champions of development, they fail to realize how another struggle is going on silently. The struggle by the trees, the birds and other beings for a little space for survival. In the indigenous literature of India, the trees, the birds and other beings than the humans are considered as much ‘people’ as the human beings are. This anthropomorphic concern was, to a great extent, responsible for conservation of environment in India. However, the arrogance of market economy over the years has constantly assailed both this thought and the necessary actions pursued. I find myself overwhelmed with a longing to be in conversation with these ‘people’, unable to really measure their loss and grief, though. Elsa Maria is possibly more lucky to have found less rupture in her country’s landscape but she can, I am sure, feel the grief and joy through those who are less fortunate.”
“How come I, who live in a comfortable, modern, organized, rather equal society, write darker poems than my friend Meera, who comes from a more chaotic but also vibrant part of the world? Does that have to do with different personalities or has it more to do with the difference in our societies? Probably both, I would say. You could perhaps put it this way: I focus on the roots and twisted twigs of a tree while she focuses on the green treetops. Nature is very important to both of us, though. I live in close proximity to forests and lakes, while my friend lives in a big city. In spite of differences, we both, and all other people, live in the same world and need to understand how dependent we all are on this blue planet called Earth for our survival.”
Elsa Maria Lindqvist
You can read a review of the book in Kitaab.
40 poems (20 by each poet)