I am a Dreamer and I am a Believer!

I dream big but firmly believe that what is best will eventually turn out for me. Life has taught me to cope with fair and unfair situations. I also believe that every subject and experience, we step into, have something to learn from. With this faith, I have left no stones unturned to navigate opportunities that life has provided. Whatever we do or learn need to be expressed; to express, we need to learn. This thumb rule led me to a never-ending cycle of learning and expressing, and less to my realization, I became a student, a teacher, a writer, a cook, a martial-artist, a swimmer and an artist, in one life.

I am a writer and artist by passion, and a student and researcher of literature. Power-play with words have always been my sword. I am highly argumentative, and I believe in backing up my discussions with logic, being in speech or in writing.

I wrote my first book Possessed, on demonic possession. To be more precise, I attempted to dissect the term in scientific light. There are several mental health challenges which are labelled with demonic possession and spirit possession. Religious practices and cultural directives are often responsible for tagging a person as ‘possessed’ who actually require psychiatric treatment. The mind and soul are very complex substances which are misunderstood and tabooed. The term ‘possessed’ then becomes more of a cultural rhetoric. Lifting religion and cultural studies from my first project, I moved towards the next.

Born and brought up in Kolkata, India, I have always been a great fan of Hindu mythology; truth or fiction, the stories of Goddess Durga,Shiva, Rama and Krishna have fascinated me since childhood, such that I could often imagine myself communicating with the divinities in moments of joy and despair; They have become a part of daily life and family since then. I tried to express my understanding and imaginations through paintings and lately through my writing. However, the mythological stories, especially from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata were particularly interesting; the assembling of plot structures, coherently in spite of the grandeur and magnitude of the subjects, especially urged me to delve into the details of the texts. The more I read, I encountered the multifaceted perspectives to the stories; I added my personal experience and thought to it.

After coming to America, I got some self-time, which was earlier drowned into the household chores and familial duties in my homeland.Here I got the opportunity of my dreams, to associate myself with Harvard University; I got to learn from the scholars and founders of Religious Literacy and cultural literature in Harvard University I was privileged to personally associate myself with great people like Prof. Diane Moore, Prof. Neelima Shukla, Prof. Ali Assani and Sir Bijoy Mishra Ji. The institution honored me with the graduation award in their World Religions concluding ceremony and I got the rare chance to present myself as a speaker.

  1. religions are internally diverse
  2. religions evolve and change
  3. religious influences are embedded in all dimensions of culture as they say in the 3 tenets.

When I applied the theories to the Hindu texts, I found that the mythological stories including the great epic Ramayana and Mahabharata have different narrations and interpretations indifferent parts of the country. Different authors have penned down Valmiki’s text from their own unique perspective, fusing their own empathy with individual characters.

The ocean of knowledge was overpowering my mind with its tumultuous waves; I had to vent it out through porous surface, which could still absorb knowledge while sharing it to the exterior world and hence came the brainchild, “Kanyayug”, where I have attempted to salute the courage and fortitude of the brave women in Ramayana.

Fine Arts is another field with which I can identify myself. Emotions cannot be expressed better than with colors and lines. I joined Balaka Art Center in Kolkata when I was 3 years of age and couldn’t hold a pencil. Since then dedication and determination helped me develop my skills and today I am associated with Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance in United States of America. I have already exhibited my work in 5-6 prestigious international art exhibitions with the organization. 

Another art form which has helped me through thick and thins in life is Dance! I was 5, when I joined Kathak classes. Energy was what I gave, and happiness and peace are elements which I received from the art.

The learning which has become a part of my identity is Food Art. The art of cooking involving different techniques is my primary love. I am big foodie and hence cookery shows of Sanjeev Kapoor and others have been sources of inspiration since childhood. The first dish I cooked was veggie Maggie at the age of 10. Hence even I share a special memory with Maggie like many other Indians. Fresh ingredients and spices have unique tones which can be manipulated with to achieve biggest flavors and the possibilities are infinite. Today, I am a specialized home cook, home-baker and confectioner. I practice food because I love it.

Arts have never taken me away from education. I kept learning on other subjects like mental health and wellness. I wrote what I learnt and Academic Scholars acknowledged them. I became the winner in World Academic Championship, 2017 for my research paper “Usage of Psychoactive Substance is Spreading like Wild Forest Fire across the Globe” and one fine morning, I found myself as the Fellow, Directorate of Addiction Research, IASR.

So there are devious skills which can build you into a multifaceted personality and one day you realize, you love yourself for what you have learnt and shared in your life.

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THOUGHTS

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Books

Kanyayug-book Trailer

After the first look, thrilled to see the trailer of my new book, Kanyayug-The Unsung Tales in Ramayana.
Thank you NotionPress for this wonderful work.

KANYAYUG-THE UNSUNG TALES IN RAMAYANA. Coming SOON!

FIRST LOOK OF MY UPCOMING BOOK- KANYAYUG: THE UNSUNG TALES IN RAMAYANA.

Possessed

Possessed: A Misinterpreted Cultural Concoction for Mental Disorders.


What is ‘Possessed’​ all about?

“Shamanism is a process of communicating or relating to supernatural beings with the help of religious specialists through a medium who is human…. Kamakshya has always been a locus of magic and sorcery in the history of rural Assam. A celebrated occasion comes every year in the month of August for three days, namely, 17th to 19th in the month of August, which is Shravana month as per Sanskrit calendar. It is believed that people participating in this festival can earn special merit which will wash them off their sins.

The ceremony commences with the dance of the deodha, who acts as the intermediary for possession of the deity.”

Who is this “deodha”? How can he or she be an intermediary? Does deity possession really happen or it is a hoax? Such questions have been echoing the walls of time since long. I, myself growing up in a Hindu society have been taught many things, and have participated in rituals blindly since childhood; questions have been submerged in the dust of faith and religiosity. However, today, science attempts to deliver an explanation for various occurrences including Gods and devils. Spirit possession or demonic possession is often discovered to be a misconception for mental health issues like psychotic disorder, split personality problems, severe depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. That doesn’t essentially mean that possession doesn’t happen, but the processes and sequences with which a soul takes over another body, is extremely interesting and completely scientific. How? Of course, the book “Possessed- A misinterpreted cultural concoction for mental disorders”, is my attempt to analyse these intricate physiological process of spiritual possession.

Besides, I have a special love for Hindu mythology, as because it is a huge ocean of beautiful elements; possibly, there is no such topic or issue on earth, which hasn’t been discussed in the Vedas or the Puranas. Great epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana have always been ambitious enough to find a scientific solution to myths and supernatural acts. ‘Possessed’ attempts to discuss and understand all such secretive jewels embedded in the Hindu mythology.

Religious institutions are the most unkind of bodies, to often exploit the faith and belief of humans, leading them to destruction, and the work explains the phenomenon through narration of real facts, events, news pieces and personal experiences, happening all over the world, with special emphasis on South Asian nationalities.

With wonderful stories from Hindu mythology, popular cultural beliefs in South Asian construct, religious facts, oral traditions and stimulated practices from across the world, the book connects readers to their childhood and growing years, at the same time, establishing a scientific reasoning for ‘possessed’ people.

(The book is currently available at https://www.amazon.com/Possessed-misinterpreted-concoction-disorders-Initiative/dp/3330330708/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499273779&sr=8-1&keywords=oyindrila+basu and many more online retails.)

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Contact