Bhaswati Khasnabis has done her Master’s from Jadavpur University and has taught English for eleven years under JIS Group. Her first book of poems Murmurings from Hinterland was published last year. Her stories have been published in Induswomanwriting, Your Story Club and Kahaniya. This is her second book. She lives in Kolkata with her husband and son and divides her time between looking after her son and writing poetry.
Akhila Saroha: I would like to begin by congratulating you on the publication of “Splinters and Musk Rose.” How has the response to the book been so far?
Bhaswati Khasnabis: The response to the book has been good so far and is gradually picking up. Many people have liked the book and told me so.
Akhila Saroha: What led to the idea of writing “Splinters and Musk Rose”? Were there any events that inspired the work?
Bhaswati Khasnabis: I think that maybe there are experiences in a person’s life which she might find difficult to articulate. Poetry gives expression to such emotions which lies unspoken.
There had been a number of deaths in my family which had stirred my heart. I cannot forget the death of my father as he remained firm and idealistic till the last days of his life. The trauma of losing loved ones inspired me to put the pain in words.
Akhila Saroha: How easy or difficult was it for you to decide the placement of poetry in “Splinters and Musk Rose” and keep it simple to understand for the readers?
Bhaswati Khasnabis: It was a difficult job as there are a range of incidents and emotions that I have dealt with, and I have tried to maintain an equilibrium between the personal and the political.
Akhila Saroha: What are your views about present-day writing? Do you think it does complete justice in depicting human nature in the light of “Splinters and Musk Rose”?
Bhaswati Khasnabis: I believe the market for poetry has only improved with time and today people are not only reading books penned by elite writers but there are all kinds of books available for the reading public.
Akhila Saroha: “Splinters and Musk Rose” shows the uniqueness of your style of writing. Are there any authors that you enjoy reading or any books which are your favorites?
Bhaswati Khasnabis: I love reading books by Kahlil Gibran, Robert Frost and Walt Whitman. I have been profoundly influenced by Tagore’s Gitanjali so I believe my writings bears a certain level of similitude which people can actually make out.
Akhila Saroha: How would you categorize “Splinters and Musk Rose” as its appeal seems to be to a broad audience?
Bhaswati Khasnabis: It will be difficult for me to categorize this book because the soldier and the little boy and girl who are offering roses comes to your mind when you read the title of the book. This is exactly the state of affairs after the pandemic and I believe it will appeal to people of all ages.
Akhila Saroha: “Splinters and Musk Rose” has given a powerful introduction to your potential as a writer. Can the readers expect more from you in the future? Please share about your future projects.
Bhaswati Khasnabis: I will come up with more books in future and I have not yet decided on my future project that is all I can say.
Akhila Saroha: What is the story behind the title of your work, “Splinters and Musk Rose”?
Bhaswati Khasnabis: I felt more of my poems deal with the horrors of the war and the innocence of the human heart and they are juxtaposed in my book so I came up with this title.
Akhila Saroha: Of all the modes of writing, what made you come up with the idea of writing in poetry form in “Splinters and Musk Rose”?
Bhaswati Khasnabis: Poetry has the maximum reach and people of all ages are tempted to read it, and so my selection of this form.
Akhila Saroha: In the present time, the ideas in “Splinters and Musk Rose” do not find much mention. What, according to you, could be the possible reason for that?
Bhaswati Khasnabis: Life has become mechanical and sometimes we do not have the leisure to smell the musk rose growing in the garden. I believe this is the reason why the ideas behind this book have grown rusty, as we have stopped thinking about anything that is going around us.
Akhila Saroha: If you were to describe your book “Splinters and Musk Rose” in a few words without giving any spoilers, what would those words be?
Bhaswati Khasnabis: I believe the book is dedicated to the individuals who raise a battle in difficult circumstances and with deep passion in their heart adds meaning to their lives.
Akhila Saroha: What advice would you give to budding writers who may be planning to write in the same genre as “Splinters and Musk Rose”?
Bhaswati Khasnabis: I can only welcome them and be happy about the fact that the awareness regarding society and humans living in it trouble them as well.
Akhila Saroha: Thank you very much for sparing your time. I look forward to reading more books from you in the future. All the best.
Bhaswati Khasnabis: Thank you Akhila for your interest in my work.