Monday, May 1, 2023






MAY 2023

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.

GITA MOHANTY: Literature is a vast ocean, which keeps nourishing the human civilization since ages. It sustains, enriches and empowers the human values, ethics, emotions and their expressions. It’s a reflector index of any civilization. The grace and aesthetics of art and literature shape the human minds and justify the gifted ability of imagination and its expression. It refines the intellects in the most elegant way to explore beyond the realm of human minds and understandings, even beyond the matrix of space and time. There comes the evolution of philosophers, thinkers, reformers, leaders, artists, writers and poets who justify the latest evolutionary trend of “intellectual evolution” in multiple dimensions and still striving towards the imagination of those dimensionless dimensions even. As breathing is a spontaneous process of any living being, I simply breathe literature even being an ignorant entity simply by existing in the cosmic atmosphere of literature.

To me poetry is the beautiful pendant in the neckless of literature.  Initially when I started writing poem, I thought it’s love, passion, slowly I have realized it’s way deeper than those emotions, it’s rather an internal conversation with my own soul. A continuous inner voice within. It’s like breathing, that obvious thing to me. An integral part of me. Literally, I live that awakening nostalgia as an integral component of liveliness of life, a precious gift of my persona, which I am thankful for.

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

GITA MOHANTY: Like a spring flow in the nature, I feel a continuous flow of poetry within, sometimes with it’s beautiful reverberation of vibrations, and sometimes even more elegantly with silence tone, both I hear. If that sphere of time and life allows me, I write them down, if not they get assimilated in me again to emerge in another time, maybe in another form. By profession, I am a full-time assistant professor biology in a university, which takes, my time for teaching, research and several academic responsibilities. Apart from that, I am engaged with a motivated group in serving visually impaired and economically challenged student’s college education and self-sustenance support. Interactions with those students and working for them takes quite a lot of time, which is an integral part of my life. I too have a young family with two children. I love gardening and occasional painting too. Even though I am occupied with several activities, somehow love for poetry gets accommodated easily. Every day I write. It is a natural habit rather poetry is an addiction. It is a persistent hangover in me. 

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

GITA MOHANTY: To some extent yes, I believe so. I would say creative souls are more emotional, sensitive and sensible too. Personally, I feel creative souls are more delicate in nature and affected more by turmoil. Happy or sad they experience it in many folds extra than the other people. However, flourishing more in turmoil or in peace is dependent on the personal perspective, e.g., types of thoughts, understanding, analysing abilities, knowledge, faith, believe, and the experience and the environment the mind of a creative soul grown with.

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?

GITA MOHANTY: Yes, and I would take that positively. I’m never against the information and technology, I belong to a science and research fraternity. Every research is a quantum of intellectual philosophy, a different kind of poetry, bit different rhythm and flow. Poetry should not be restricted to any single area or it should not be confined with preconceived ideas. Literature needs to be accommodative for a broader spectrum of ideas and experiences. The spontaneous flow of literature need not have any boundary. Let it be versatile and universal accepting and embracing different thoughts and ideas form different realm.   

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?

GITA MOHANTY: It is a wonderful experience and feeling to be able to express my thoughts and emotions. I feel blessed for that gifted ability, that extra sensitivity. A creative heart makes us more observant, more attentive, focused, more caring and loving in nature. Creativity makes us compassionate and forgiving. A creative mind knows to live in subtleness and enjoys the fine aspects of life. A creative soul aspires for unique and exceptional experiences and in their extraordinary way of expressions.  

Several poetry web sites helped me by providing their beautiful poetry platforms and loving supports from their founders and supportive admins. Huge number of loving readers in all those poetry sites have showered their love, affection, appreciations and blessings. They have enriched my thoughts and emotions with their amazing interpretations, insightful analysis and sometimes with healthy criticisms also.  Some eminent poets I admire their excellent literary skills, themes and fine ways of presentations, where I would like to mention your name dear esteemed poet NilavroNill. I admire your impressive writing. I always love to learn from your rich literary experience and it’s a pleasure to hear the valuable guidance from you.

I never write to achieve an award or for an appreciation, even when I used to participate in various kinds of poetry contests in different international poetry platforms. I used to write in the contests (now it’s rare unless and until on the theme I feel like writing), because I used to love to participate and write on different themes. Moreover, yes in the process if I get appreciated, I feel humbled and honored, and definitely it gives me a feel of responsibility of my role as a poet to contribute responsibly and lovingly. My loving readers’ genuine and thoughtful appreciations, encouragements, suggestions, blessings are definitely inspiring for me; it gives a good feel when you know you are able to touch hearts. It is like a blessing I take. If I’m not get awarded, I never felt bad about it, as the intention behind was not for getting an appreciation, it was for a love for participation, love for writing. At times, I face challenges both internally and externally. My internal challenges are to maintain the values, ethics and to be truthful to myself against tempting and provoking emotions, to satisfy my craving of unique creativity. My external challenges are expectations of my readers, time management and execution of freedom of expression.   

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?

GITA MOHANTY: I do not think so. Though the nationality and background can influence a writer up to certain extent but does not control the mind and expressions of a truly creative being. Mind is never restricted by any geographical boundary; even it is beyond an international boundary too. A true creative mind’s creativity is universal, embracing the entire universe and its habitants. However, the love for mother and mother land and certain cultural habits and nature are obvious, and its influence on writing would definitely be there and it should be but it does not limit to be international or universal, rather that love teaches to integrate beautifully.   

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?

GITA MOHANTY: I believe modernism itself is a traditional process of being initially initiated from the traditions only and slowly a little bit deviation in its thoughts and approach as per contemporary norms, standards and advancement in the way of living and thinking. Literature beautifully balances both the aspects of our thoughts in both tradition and modernism. 

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?

GITA MOHANTY: Yes. However, literary criticism need to be genuine and healthy. Criticising being must have the worth and ability to criticize. If the criticism for a true sense to help someone to rectify or improve, must always be welcome. If it is, a sallow intention to criticise that definitely should not be accepted or encouraged.  


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

GITA MOHANTY: Society definitely have role and contribution but does not control my thoughts and creativity.  I have my “own something” which is not influenced or regulated by the external factors. Social rules and responsibilities, fair and unfair treatments, discriminations against gender, sexual orientations, nationality, ethnicity, race, skin colours and many such things provoke my mind to raise a voice against unfairness. Some beautiful human values and activities in the society encourage to praise and appreciate the entities. However, in each writing the sole thought and decision is not driven by the society. That is mine. Purely mine, unbiased and uninfluenced. My personal understanding, intellect and my core value shapes my thoughts and creativity to a greater extent.

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?

GITA MOHANTY: Literature is not a thing to be bothered about. It is a thing to be fallen for. Just kidding. Jokes apart. Yes, I do feel so. Mechanical life, materialistic mind, unwanted wants, lack of realization between need and want of life; temptations to compromise the ethics and values; unlimited list to satisfy the cravings, unhealthy competitions squeezing the space of beautiful human minds and as well as the affinity towards the serious literature. Unfortunate but true.

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

GITA MOHANTY: My revered mother, who was a literature teacher and principal by profession. She made me experience the euphoria of literature since my early days of life. Whether it is a recitation of verse or attention to the lyrics in a beautiful composition, it all started with her inspiration to step in to the beautiful world of literature. Her institute library always used to fill with the various literatures, new novels and many more. During my initial college days, I used to be a voracious reader spending hours in libraries. My loving father, though he was a science scholar, but he too was inclined to literature, he used to write in several local literary magazines, newspapers and he wrote two books too. May be pretty much I have inherited the love for literature from home itself.  Latter on many national and international writers, poets and philosophers enriched my thoughts and emotions largely. Several eminent writers of my Indian regional language influenced my love for literature. Among them, I would like to mention two important names, whom I mostly read during my early college days are Manoj Das, and Pratibha Ray who created a ripple in my mind and influenced my thoughts to a greater extent. In present days several contemporary poets I love to read and admire, few of my favorite names are Zan Johns, Clive Norman, Kenneth Maswabi, Swapna Behera, Corina Junghiatu, Binod Kumar Jain, Annette Tarpley, Melissa Begley, Sai Prakash, Ramakanta Das and of course my dear esteemed NilavroNil. 

Nature and its natural components often played an important role and inspired me a lot. Specially the ocean and the sky; the vast aspects of the cosmos. Moreover, the nanoscale of life in comparison to the cosmic vastness made me think a lot about its minuteness, perfection and sophistication of creation of life. It’s not always about all beautiful things and feelings, many time it’s about a sad symphony, sometimes we come across suppressed oppressed beings, many suffering, any individual or creatures creates a sad symphony, that’s also a poetry to me. Literally every being, the nature, the surrounding, the cosmos and beyond are conceived in my poem. It is the liveliness of life, and also the cold embrace of nothingness, it’s the peace of void and awareness of my conscious. Poetry is a divine enlightenment, evolves, and motivates me to be a better being.

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

GITA MOHANTY: I would say every being is unique some way or other, maybe or may not be I have enough knowledge and understanding to evaluate others. I refrain myself from evaluating others. The younger generation are smart and matured enough to represent their thoughts. I would just say to pour their hearts and souls, poetry flows automatically. Nothing much is needed. We all breathe. Poetry is like breathing. It is that natural. However, only when we sit down and concentrate on our breathing, it becomes meditation, and that attentive attention to emotions, incidents, in physical, metaphysical and beyond becomes poetry. So that fine-tuning of attentiveness is needed for alignment with the vastness and to compose a composition. The last thing I would like to say to my loving younger generation that poetry is not always entertainment; it’s a serious responsibility and much more. 


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?

GITA MOHANTY: Yes. Yes, I’m always hopeful against every odd. Positivity and goodness have to survive at the end. How dense is the darkness of night, it always melts down just with a touch of a morning ray.


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

GITA MOHANTY: A good literature can boost the moral, empower a weak, can motivate an oppressed to raise the voice, and can create an awareness about rights and responsibilities, allows ventilating the suppressed sorrows and agonies and the aesthetics of poetry can make one fall in love with life to its fullest. A good poetry can make a being loving and compassionate.  


GITA MOHANTY is an assistant Biology professor in USA, Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, India, and post-doctorate from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, in Environmental Science and Engineering. She is a passionate poetry writer, with a compassionate heart and beautiful mind. She has written more than one thousand five hundred (1500) poems so far and many are published in various online poetry forums/platforms, literary web magazines, e-journals and several anthologies. Poetry to her is an inner conversation with her own soul, who believes in free flowing and spreading smile across. She also likes painting, photography, reading, philosophy and interacting with nature. She is motivated in serving the unprivileged and presently working for the visually impaired and economically challenged student’s college/university higher education support and their self-sustenance. She believes, unconditional love and compassion are the most elegant characteristics of a true being.


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