Tuesday, February 1, 2022

NilavroNIll Shoovro


Time To Confess

Our Poetry Archive will complete seven years with the upcoming March 2022 issue. With this February number, we have published 83 monthly issues of OPA. Along with seven annual anthologies on different themes. During this journey of seven years, we gathered a lot of experience. We have published thousands of poems. We have introduced hundreds of poets. So, OPA has become widely popular among poets and readers.  In this era of online presence, we can only say that the poet fraternity has welcomed our endeavor. Yet we cannot be over complacent. I think this is high time we should cross-examine our success. If we consider success depends on quantity, we can celebrate our success. Yes, we have achieved it. If we recognize success is an achievement, that depends on attaining quality, I have every doubt to believe in our success.

One can wonder why I’m saying this. Being an editor of a web journal, I know our weaknesses and strengths. And to produce quality work, one has to depend on others. In our case, we have to depend on the quality of the poetry written by contemporary poets especially, those with an online presence. We know not all poets around the world have an online presence. We know most of the renowned poets of our time never depend on online publications, especially online web journals. So, we don’t have any access to their creative excellence. Readers have to venture through the print editions of their books. In case any reader wants to read their poetry. So being a web journal publisher we don’t have access to their poetry as well. We can only depend on the poets with an online presence. And on those who want to publish their creativity through online web journals such as OPA. I do hope, readers will understand our limitations. With limited capacity, one cannot attain any success that depends on qualitative excellence.

We have to acknowledge the fact that anyone with an online presence and a dream to be a poet, can venture through this medium of the internet and social media. The Internet has enabled all to publish anything online. A person with a hobby of writing poems is not outside of this new era of self-publishing. Yes, this dream has made most of us poets and writers for not long. Of course, this new era has achieved quantity. But quality assurance has been compromised. Obviously, for any web journal, it is very difficult to attain and maintain qualitative literary excellence with these conditions. And OPA is no exception. Yes, this inherent weakness of online publishing remains with us from the very beginning of our journey. Although consciously we keep on trying to manage and sail through our limited capacity if not overcome our weakness. 

Every month we have to reject, a lot of submissions to maintain the quality of the journal. Yet, as an editor I cannot claim, we are not publishing a single poem without any literary brilliance. I know, we publish too many poems which nobody will read for a second time. I confess we are compromising with quality to maintain the quantity of the journal. It is the true story of our seven-year-long journey of online publishing. Again, this true story has a big twist. OPA publishes a lot of translated poems. Most of the poets of Europe submit their poems along with the translated versions into English. Few submit only the translated versions without the original versions. Nobody can claim that these translated versions of the original poems bear the same literary quality. Even the poets themselves do not know about the quality of the English translations as they do not know the language. I don’t know how many poets get the translations done by the online translator applications. The quality of these translator applications is too poor to bring back any literary brilliance of the original poetry. So, both the poets and editors have to compromise with the quality of the translations. Only the readers who can go through the original versions of the poems can get the real essence of the poetry written in different European languages. This is an area of weakness of OPA that we have to bear on. Otherwise, we cannot develop this platform of cultural exchange of various literary traditions and heritages. We can only ask our poets, to get the translations done by the experts of this field.

Yes, we would like to take this resolution that we would keep on asking our poets, those who write in languages other than English, to get the translations of their poems done only by the professional experts of the field. We are also asking those poets, who write primarily in English to submit qualitative poems of literary brilliance. With the advent of the eighth year of the online journey of OPA, we’ll look forward to uplifting the literary quality of our web journal. To go in that direction, we’ll have to decline a lot of poems of those poets also, who are the frequent participators of OPA. During the last seven years. We hope, all the poets associated with OPA will welcome these resolutions. We hope lot more poets will take OPA seriously as a literary journal of excellence. We hope our readers will also welcome these resolutions. And yes, to maintain the quality of the poems we may have to compromise with the quantity of the poems.

So, friends, with the upcoming April issue of OPA we would like to extend our promise to add more quality to our publications. It may bring down the quantity. But with enhanced quality, we hope OPA will become more popular than before. Again, this depends not only on us alone. It depends primarily on the poets, the translators, and the readers as well. If we all can give our best, we can attain a minimum benchmark of qualitative excellence. Let’s take it as the new year resolution of 2022. Let’s hope to rewrite the history of online literary ventures with qualitative measures.

NilavroNill Shoovro

From The Editorial Desk














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NILAVRONILL: Why do literature and poetry in particular interest you so much? Please give us some idea about your own perception of literature or poetry in general.

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: I am from a hardcore Science background with a Ph.D. in Genetic Toxicology but in my leisure, I always loved reading poetry. Poetry then was a happy distraction. After I transformed into a Poet myself, I fell passionately in love with poetry and literature as they help express myself, emotions are no longer bottled up as my pen helps me put them on paper. To me Poetry is beauty, Poetry is love. When we describe anything be it music or nature, we say, “As beautiful as poetry”. Yes, anything beautiful is poetry. So, poetry is the ultimate of beauty, the ultimate of creativity. Wordsworth has said,” Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful passion”. This spontaneous overflow of our emotions is the wonder of poetry. Poetry expresses the inner thoughts of a poet; it expresses reflections of a poet’s mind. Like love is the utmost of all emotions, so is poetry the utmost of literature. The other aspect of poetry which attracts me is its reach across time and land. Through words we can cross oceans, through words we can cross different eras. As I promote poetry a lot, I find poetry becomes sweeter when fused with other performing arts. While promoting indigenous poetry I feel peripheral languages get promoted. Multilingual poetry and global poetry bring the world together. I generally like poems with rhythm and rhyme and feel that lyrical poetry with rhyme is easily grasped and remembered. Again, poems are for the audience or readers to understand so I write poems which can be understood easily and the language is crisp and concise.


NILAVRONILL: How do you relate your own self existence with your literary life in one hand, and the time around you, in the other.

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: Literature helps me express myself and so gives me joy and meaning in my self-existence.  In these uncertain times I try to spread hope and happiness through my poems. I feel my readers become encouraged by my positivity and in turn I feel fulfilled.


NILAVRONILL: Do you believe creative souls flourish more in turmoil than in peace?

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: No I feel art and creativity flourishes more in peace than in turmoil. A creative soul needs peace to observe and express. He or she needs to feel emotions, soak in the beauty of nature or understand a negative situation and all this is possible only if there is peace. Nurturing of a child is better in a peaceful family than a dysfunctional, quarrelsome family. Aren’t our creative works like our children? Could Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling during war? Could Wordsworth or Tennyson write such beautiful poetry if their country was ravaged by war then? There is hardly any example of great paintings or literary work during the world wars. Of course! Maybe some stories of the horrible turmoil did get well known but they were documentations of the horrible turmoil times.

NILAVRONILL: Do you think in this age of information and technology the dimensions of literature have been largely extended beyond our preconceived ideas about literature in general?

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: The development of information and technology has been a great boon to literature. Such development has largely extended the dimensions of literature. Literary works can be supported by information from the internet now so these are becoming more accurate and powerful. We get to know different aspects of a situation so the writings are multidimensional backed up by thorough research. My latest book, “ Grrrs to Hisses and their Homes” is a collection of poems for children making them aware about climate change and conservation. Such books are only possible due to advancement of information and technology.


NILAVRONILL: Now, in this changing scenario we would like to know from your own life experiences as a poet, writer and a creative soul: How do you respond to this present time?

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: Being a creative soul helped me immensely in these uncertain times. Poetry writing gives me a lot of joy and through my poetry I try to spread positivity and hope. So, I feel my poetry helps others to have confidence and to go forward with HOPE. I am a great optimist and I call myself a Banyan root who finds out nourishment from the hardest of rocks. This belief has kept me going during this present time. During all gloomy situations I try to find out the silver lining. I remember my parents who have always taught me that obstacles or uncertainties challenge us to overcome them and go forward.  Also, poetry has helped me to interact with the whole world. Poetry has given be friends from all corners of the world.


NILAVRONILL: Do you believe that all writers are by and large the product of their nationality? And is this an incentive for or an obstacle against becoming a truly international writer?

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: What a wonderful question!  Yes, writers are by and large the product of their nationality. This is a great incentive to becoming a truly international writer. Only if we know our culture and rituals well, only then can we respect other cultures and rituals. This respect towards other cultures makes us thrive in our diversity. Like in India we say, “Unity in diversity”…this applies to the whole world. Diluting our cultures cannot make us one, preserving each tradition and custom while respecting other traditions can only make us Global Citizens. This is the pathway to become an international writer.


NILAVRONILL: Now, if we try to understand the tradition and modernism, do you think literature can play a pivotal role in it?  If so, how? Again, how can an individual writer relate himself or herself to the tradition and to modernism?

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: Of course! Literature plays a pivotal role in our understanding of tradition and modernism.  If I may explain with the help of Bengali literature. In Bengali writings, we get an idea about traditions of Bengal through the writings of Rabindranath, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Sarat Chandra Chatterjee and their contemporaries. While modern writers like Sunil Gangopadhay or Shirshendu Mukherjee have described modernism in their stories. I feel a writer is best when his or her writing is an amalgamation of tradition and modernism. I feel stories where traditions are described   but the thought process is broad and modern, are the best. So, a writer can relate himself or herself to tradition as well as modernism by keeping a traditional backdrop with the interpersonal relations and attitudes modern.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think literary criticism has much to do with the development of a poet and the true understanding of his or her poetry?

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: Yes, literary criticism has much to do with the development of a poet and the understanding of his or her poetry. When we analyse poems of different stages of a poet, we see a gradual maturity expressing the development of the poet as a human and as a poet.  Also, critical analysis of his or her poems can only be done if we understand the poems.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think society as a whole is the key factor in shaping you up as a poet, or your poetry altogether?

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: I think not only the society but the nature around us and the interaction of society with nature; also the nature of humans in a society shaped me up as a poet.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think people in general actually bother about literature?  Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: I was an avid story book reader from early childhood; I fell in love through books. Our progeny, our daughter is as book crazy as us. So, I love to believe that people in general bother about literature. Books and literature have been a sacred thing for me always. Serious literature is for the serious mind just like boutique products are for the artistic temperamental people.  So even if this consumerist world turns the average man away from serious literature, Serious literature will always flourish and bloom and have readers.


NILAVRONILL: We would like to know the factors and the peoples who have influenced you immensely in the growing phase of your literary life.

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: My mother, Mrs. Sima Mukherjee a great reciter of Bengali poems had influenced me in loving poetry. My father a scientist and a Professor of the University of Calcutta, Prof D.  P.Mukherjee  had inculcated in me the love of literature. My husband Mr. Sudip Mullick and daughter Sankalpita Mullick, a young novelist have always encouraged me in writing. Prof Sanjukta Dasgupta encouraged me by requesting me in starting the Mumbai Chapter of the Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library. Dev Bhardwaj another great poet had full faith on my writing and had encouraged me.


NILAVRONILL: How would you evaluate your contemporaries and what are your aspirations for or expectation from the younger generation?

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: I am in awe of many Indian poets and poets in other countries. they write about so many aspects, so many different genres. Among all these jewels it is sometimes sad to see people writing horrible poems with grammatical and spelling mistakes.  I would like the younger generation to be particular about the language they are writing in…no abbreviations, no SMS English or any other regional language. Let the poems be sweet to the senses.


NILAVRONILL: Humanity has suffered immensely in the past, and is still suffering around the world. We all know it well. But are you hopeful about our future?

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: Hope is the first drop of rain on parched earth; hope is on an empty stomach, the first roti in mother’s hearth. Without hope life is impossible…only hope can take us forward. So, of course! I am a songstress who sings about a wonderful and beautiful future full of hope.


NILAVRONILL: What role can literature in general play to bring a better day for every human being?

PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK: Like I said in my previous answer, literature can spread hope to all. Literature has a responsibility like a parent to inculcate confidence and optimism in the readers. Once a human being has hope in his heart he will go forward, work hard to achieve and all together will make the world more beautiful.

Dr. PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK is a scientist, a national scholar transformed into an internationally acclaimed, award-winning poet. She has eight books to her credit. Her poems have been widely published in Indian and foreign journals. Some of her poems have been translated into 39 languages.  Paramita has started and is the President of the Mumbai Chapter of the Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library (IPPL). She is also the Cultural Convenor and Literary Coordinator (West India) of the International Society for Intercultural Studies and Research (ISISAR). Paramita promotes fusion of poetry with other performing arts, indigenous poetry, multilingual and global poetry.





The Ink Smudge


The ink of my fountain pen smudged on my fingers.

The ink dropped on my notebook of poems.

In the flight, I could not write.

I wiped the ink off my fingers.

There were ink devils on my notebook.

The ever optimist that I am,

Started observing the ink devils.

They formed such wonderful shapes on my notebook.

The scientist in me started analysing the cause of the ink leak.

Low pressure in the plane has caused the ink to overflow from a crack.

The ink butterfly and the ink blobs.

The different shapes and sizes, the different drops.

The blue ink splattered around.

In these ink smudges, poetry I found.


The Moving Lights


I dozed off in the long flight.

I opened my eyes and saw wondrous light.

The sunlight shining on the opposite wall.

Sometimes the sunbeams shortened and sometimes tall.

The window shaped sunbeams moving around.

The moving lights giving a joy newly found.

The feeling of no-movement in the plane.

The joy of the moving lights cannot in words be explained.

The moving sunbeams shining around.

Dancing around orchestrated with the engine sound.

The moving light seen in the plane cabin.

The dance of the sunbeams and happiness wins.


A Dialogue Between Pain And Conscience


Pain said, “I am very important for an individual”.

Conscience laughed and said, “How so?

Everyone is scared of pain and tries to avoid pain”.

Ouch said Pain. “With pain a human gets to know there is damage to an organ or a limb.

Only pain suggests that an injured part is not healed yet.

A man with a broken leg without pain would run around and the leg would never heal”.


Conscience said, “I am very important for a society”.

“What? But conscience is a personal virtue”, cried Pain.

“Society is made up of individuals.

What would happen if these individuals had no conscience?

Corruption would spread and destroy all”, stammered Conscience.

“So, Society without a conscience, is not a society at all”.


The Jet Liner


The jet liner speeded across the sky.

The lines of smoke behind it.

Two white lines following it.

I looked up and at the beauty sighed.


The curly white smoke in two lines.

Vanishing into nothing at the end.

The jet liner piercing the sky with great speed.

The tiny white jet liner with the smoke signs.


The sky, blemish less, cloudless, pristine blue.

Sunlight washed and sparkling around.

The jet liner goes straight ahead.

Reminding us to look forward both me and you.


The Antique Almirah


The ancient Burma teak almirah.

With a designer mirror in front.

Intricate wooden carvings below and above.

A thread of flowers on both sides.

Ribbons in bows in two corners.

Flowers hanging like bells in a row.

The almirah has been used by so many generations.

So many people have seen their reflection in the mirror.

So many thoughts, so many feelings

Have been treasured by the mirror.


The huge old antique almirah.

A different kind of floral design below the mirror.

The almirah resting on four lion feet.

Curved, delicate and refined work.

Painstakingly made by skilled carpenters.

The mirror shining brightly even after all these years.

The hinges of the almirah door intact.

The locking system working as good as new.

Standing tall and shiny in the huge room.

Witness to so many new lives bloom.



Dr. PARAMITA MUKHERJEE MULLICK is a scientist, a national scholar transformed into an internationally acclaimed, award-winning poet. She has eight books to her credit. Her poems have been widely published in Indian and foreign journals. Some of her poems have been translated into 39 languages.  Paramita has started and is the President of the Mumbai Chapter of the Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library (IPPL). She is also the Cultural Convenor and Literary Coordinator (West India) of the International Society for Intercultural Studies and Research (ISISAR). Paramita promotes fusion of poetry with other performing arts, indigenous poetry, multilingual and global poetry.





Only The Moon Knows


Only the moon knows how much we loved each other

we didn't really want this evil ..

Our love in its reflection was carried away by the white seagull to the waters of the North Sea,

down to the Bosnian mountains ..


We longed for the old days

our flowers and every spring ..

We dreamed of clear rivers

that seventy-some remained in my soul ..


Everything that was beautiful lasted a short time

our dreams and our guardian moon are dead,

the white gull also died, and so did the place

where we met ..


Our country and humanity died with it

springs have died in my heart ..


An empty soul like a desert

sad heart as alms,

life hopes to dawn again some blue dawn ..


A new country will be loved

love will be born,

lilacs will bloom

those fragrant flowers, sometime in the spring ..


He will be embalmed to survive forever, to never stop ... somewhere, sometimes permanently and endlessly ..


New loves will come to life, new people

those most beautiful flowers al’nas will not be ..



My Eternity


You are my flower

and my whole world,

tulips that bloom

sister to no one

neda te.


You're my spring

summer and autumn,

and the winter is cold

you are my world

the most beautiful flowers.


You're my aspirin

when I get restless,

you are my soul

eternal peace.


You're my morning

at dawn,

you are my friend

every day.


You are my heart

and my soul,

life with you

he goes and listens.


You are my light

and my joy,

my home

dear guest.


You are my star

shining night

which lives forever

in my room.

You are mine

and mine to me

all there

to eternity.








Poetic Resolutions


Poetry shall heal our wounds

Poetry shall knit itself in our psyche

And produce

A lyrical shield

Which shall protect us all

From the pricks of negative vibes!


No more shall we grieve

For we shall understand

That during our journey on this temporary Earth

Nothing that happened was meant to stay

Even if such was meant to be!


No more shall we hurt

For the good that inhabits us

Shall overpower any desire to harm

And we shall thus

Laugh and sing

As long as dawns would rise!


Poetry shall be my resolutions

Meant to last a whole lifetime

It shall be my ruling King

And shall have me abiding

To its warmth

As would a loyal submissive servant!



Ah, may it sing to me those songs of love

Those same

Enouncing of how I am to live,

Carefree and beyond my self-imposed limits!



No More


No more shall I write of love

No more shall I make of it

A memory,

Painful and blood shedding!

No more shall I even pronounce

Its syllables


It does be not

The way I want it to be!


No more shall I weave sceneries

In the solitude of my own imagination

A haven allowing me

To be a mighty queen

Ruling over my own world

With a smile pasted on my face!


No more shall I shed tears

For that which did not happen


I shall blow their memories away

As if they were dandelions

Meant to be passing by while

I sit and relax at the wondrous show

That they make



No more

No more shall I yearn

For what is not meant to be mine


No more shall I make of my own life

A misery worthy of being

Depicted in horror movies!


No more,

No more indeed,

For dawns have been rising

Ever since creation first set itself into motion

Even if the nights

Have been dark, cold and lonely!





Once upon a time,

I started to play with a rhyme

It bid me to want to stand on high mountains

And empty the heavy burden

That I carry, always,

On my back!


Since that day,

I realized that I am naught but a bird

Free, light and beautiful

With sparkling feathers

And an intense drive

Pushing me to go to great lengths

To live the way I want to!


But then,

One day, dark clouds blew my way

While I was flying over the fierce oceans

That rage down below the high mountains

And had me crashing into the oceans

With such force that

I could no longer think rationally!


When I opened my eyes,

I found myself someplace

I would never have imagined existed

Surrounded by beings

I had never seen before


The kindness that they showed me

Bid me to accept the magical transformation

That they suggested was what I needed

To be alive!


Since then,

I lived,

As would these beings do

And lost in this new glory

I scarcely found time, available to me,

To peep out of the ocean floors,

To see those mountains

Which once,

Emancipated my free will!