The poet and painter in Mamata Banerjee's looks beyond Bengal
With Mamata Banerjee's lyrical verses being translated into English for the first time and her paintings getting published into a book form, the artist in the politician is now trying to reach out to people outside her home state of West Bengal.
Revealing her little known poetic side, "Earthsong" has Banerjee, known for her fiery oratory, seeking her share out of nature's bounty.
The collection of 56 poems translated into English from Bengali by Nandini Sengupta are intertwined with a selection of her latest paintings in sync with the mood set out in the verses.
Published by Delhi-based Roli Books, it is for the first time that her poems have been translated. A regular writer and painter, Mamata has of late been looking at a wider audience for her artworks.All her four painting exhibitions were so far held in
Kolkata but last October, the maverick chief minister's work went abroad for the first time. "Flower Power" was auctioned for charity in New York for USD 3000.
The diverse bouquet of poems and paintings in the new anthology shows how her heart beats not only for the people of the country but also for the wide expanse of nature around her the degradation of air, water, trees and fauna move her just
as deeply. Banerjee discovers the oneness of human beings with nature as she writes, "Not all tunes can be set to song, Not all flowers bloom fragrant, Not all trees bend over with leaves, Not every heart has a humane beat".
Sharing her unbridled love for nature, Mamata Bannerjee writes on the beauty of a full moon night, seasons, rivers, oceans and flowers as readers come face to face with the emotions bubbling behind her stoic political persona.
The rabble rouser's yearning for peace amidst strife is reflected in the following stanza, "Give me back my peace of mind, Give me a chance at life, Give back the green shoots of hope, That were mind before the strife". Each line invokes 'Didi's' desire to rise above the pain and lead her countrymen towards a new dawn of humanity, liberty, and equality.