[Mitali Chakravarty is the founding editor of Borderless Journal.She started her professional career as a journalist in The Times of India. Her by-lines have appeared in The Statesman, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Pioneer, The Daily Star and more journals. Her poetry and prose have been published online and as part of numerous hardcopy anthologies. Some of her writing has been translated to Nepali, Persian and German. Mitali also translates from Bengali and Hindi to English. She has published a humorous book of essays on living in China where she spent eight years which has recently been updated and serialized in an online journal, called Different Truths,on a weekly basis. Presented herewith is a conversation Sangita Swechcha had with Ms Chakravarty for The Gorkha Times.]
Sangita Swechcha (SS): It’s been a year since Borderless Journal started. Tell us your experience.
Mitali Chakravarty (MC): Exhilarating. Euphoric. We picked up so many well-wishers and found fantastic writers and readers backing our venture. We discovered great literature is always above borders drawn by politicians and there are many who publish with us in translation. We have writers from thirty-one countries showcased in our journal. The ages of the contributors range from 4 to 96. Beginners as well as writers with awards like Sahitya Akademi and Pushcart have written for us. We hope to build further on our concept of inclusivity and have writers from even more countriesand cultures. What is wonderful is that we have readers from more than 130 countries of the world!
SS: How did the idea of creating Borderless Journal germinate?
MC:Borders were drawn through history, dividing mankind into more manageable divisions that could be ruled and led. The air we breathe, the clouds or birds continue to disregard these borders. Borders of nation, class, caste or religion are all manmade constructs. And yet the barriers seem to have become insuperable. Borderless grew out of the human need to connect with tolerance, love and acceptance.This is an idea which has been in the air –among books I have read and strengthenedby the interactions I have had with people from diverse countries and cultures. Borderless is an attempt to restore harmony in the world by tapping on human excellence. And this cannot be done by one person alone. We have a group of excellent writers and editors who form our core and act as advisors, help edit and collect the best. Our contributors and readers are equally important to our existence. It is not just my idea — it is a movement in the literary world, of which we are a tiny part. We hope to inspire writers to unite in a world of ideas, rise above petty issues that are boxed by “narrow domestic walls” as Tagore called them, to discover, to help fathom the wonders of the universe and make for a better future. If you want to know more about Borderless, click here to read our mission, vision and goal.
SS: What is your future plan with Borderless Journal?
MC: Borderless hopes to be part of a movement to create a flood of positive values that will deluge the negatives in the world, bringing in an era of development, tolerance, love and peace. We are often told that such ideas are unrealistic. But when have ideas and utopias ever been based on realism? And yet they changed the world over a period of time. We would not have had a wheel if the first cave dweller did not imagine it and try it out or use fire for that matter. Borderless hopes to try an untrodden path too. The journal is also an attempt to respond to the call made by youngsters for a better Earth, to explore and store samples of human excellence for posterity, and an attempt to move forward to a better future for our children and their children. Borderless hopes to nurture world literature of a cadre undefined by borders of nation, race, caste, creed or religion.