Katha Manabi - Mallika Sengupta is no more!!!

2728senguptaI am in the 'blue' zone today... can't take it any more... since the beginning of this year 2011, I have been writing  'obituaries' here quite often, which involved people close to my heart...like Pintu Bhattacharya, Geeta Dey, Ramaprasad Banik, Suchitra Mitra, Utpalendu Chowdhury...the list is quite long... and today once again I am here to write my blog in the memory of one of my favorite poet of Contemporary Bengali poetry Mallika Sengupta, who passed away today, the 28th May 2011, after a long spell of suffering. 

How can one forget her "Katha-Manabi" where she brought her creation up to a new and stupendous height only with the use and application of words that reverberated of an amber colored life which lived in the mountains, breathed under the sea and let out a sigh in the deep expanse of a jungle which rotated with exquisite rhythm as if dancing to the tune if a life's symphony! What a conductor she was...What a work of art she has left behind...juxtaposing words as if re-arranging a piece of a Rubik's Cube...the greens, the reds and the blues teeming up to take single side only to compliment a work which is truly overwhelming!

The afternoons, when I generally roll over with a copy of 'DESH', won't be the same again without a new poem by Mallika-di, the pages will blend with the ethos of the day...merging into a grey shade of day-to-day mundane-ness...the heart will not flutter again with excitement derived from reading a new poem by Mallika -di!

Mallika Sengupta, with her partner poet Subodh Sarkar was like a team which had sepearate identities but yet were not only inseparable but, complimentary to each other...

She was the Head of the Department of Sociology in Maharani Kasiswari College, an undergraduate college affiliated with the University of Calcutta in Kolkata, Sengupta is much better known for her literary activity. The author of more than 20 books including 14 volumes of poetry and two novels, she has been widely translated and is a frequent invitee at international literary festivals.

For twelve years in the 90s she was the poetry editor of Sananda, the largest circulated Bengali fortnightly (edited by Aparna Sen). Along with her husband, the noted poet Subodh Sarkar, she was the founder-editor of Bhashanagar, a culture magazine in Bengali.

English translations of her work have appeared in various Indian and American anthologies. In addition to teaching, editing and writing, she has been actively involved with the cause of gender justice and other social issues.

A breast cancer survivor, she was under treatment since Oct. 2005. and passed away on 28th may, 2011 leaving her partner and a young son behind.

May her soul rest in Peace!