Tuesday, February 1, 2022







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.

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