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Feeling lonely? Chill! You are not alone! by Ishita Ganguly

Loneliness is often associated with a fear of being left alone. That's why most of us do not want to be lonely. We are scared of being left out and so desperately seek company even from toxic people. On the other hand, staying lonely is not bad. Unless you label it as a dead depressing thing to deal with!

When you are alone you can see the world in a different light. Instead of being paralyzed by fear, understand that when you are left to your own devices you can go anywhere you want, and do things as you desire. It's up to you to decide whether you want to be miserable being alone or you want to enjoy your life to the fullest!

Also, you can reflect on your life and make some serious decisions when alone. You will also get some brilliant ideas in your solitude. If you work on those ideas you will definitely reach greater heights. Artists and writers prefer some seclusion to create good art.

Loneliness should not be feared. Accept it. At some point, you have to be alone. If you are someone who constantly seeks company you should learn to stay alone at least for a while. No one can continuously provide companionship to you. Also, some moments can't be shared with others even your loved ones.

But if you are burdened with loneliness definitely seek professional help. Go out, reach out to people! If loneliness is costing your mental health you should be proactive and ask friends and family for meet-ups.

My point is that loneliness is not a scary Devil! And at some point in life, you will have to deal with it, but if you are wary of staying alone go out with friends and have fun! Life has every shade to choose from and you can always choose your favourite colour!

- Ishita Ganguly


Introducing Ishita Ganguly

I am a published author, poet, freelance writer, and editor from Kolkata, India. I write in both English and Bangla. Writing is my passion, obsession and now a full-time profession. I am the author of the book, "Stories from the City called Kolkata". My articles have been published in prestigious Indian newspapers like The Times of India and The Hindu. Over 100 articles and poems written by me have been published in several renowned international magazines and websites. My writing courses are available on Udemy, the world’s number 1 learning platform. I have been interviewed by youth magazines and featured in podcasts. I am also a co-author of five international anthologies and the editor of the international poetry anthology, “Expressions from the Heart.”

Retro Kolkata : When did you start writing? Do you remember the first time you wrote something?

Ishita : My parents always said I started writing as soon as I could wield a pencil. That was when I was a toddler. I used to snatch pens or pencils from my father or sister and scribbled on any paper I could get my hands on!

When I was about 5 or 6-year-old I had a diary where I would write down poems. That's the first memory of me pouring my thoughts on paper and cherishing the whole process of writing!

Retro Kolkata : Could you talk about how your work has developed or changed since you first started writing?

Ishita : As a child I was an impulsive writer. I would write when I was hit by a sudden urge or an inspiration. After that when I was working in the corporate sector in the Edutech industry for about 5 years, I got the responsibility of creating academic content for the schools. I had deadlines to hit and at the time I realized writing is something that doesn't need to wait for inspiration. You can write when you want to write.

And later, when I became a freelance writer I was sure of this fact! Because I was then creating specific content for clients and brands and meeting strict deadlines all the way. Over the years, I have discerned the technicalities in different forms of writing. And this has helped me polish my work. I understood the most important thing about writing - you don't need to wait for inspiration to hit you! A writer can write if they want to write.

Retro Kolkata : What was the source of your inspiration earlier? Did it change with time?

Ishita : Different life situations have inspired me. People have inspired me, art, photography, music, poetry, stories, artists, writers, so many things have been my source of inspiration. Most importantly, life was and is the biggest source of inspiration for me.

Yes, inspiration keeps changing. Inspiration comes and goes. You can forget what inspired you to write something in the first place! The main thing is to be a good observer of life and inspiration will come to you. But like I said, I don't wait for inspiration. I find out if I have to. I keep writing as I am a writer.

Retro Kolkata : You have penned multiple books so far. Your articles and poems e have been published in several renowned international magazines. You are also the co-author of five international anthologies and the editor of the international poetry anthology, “Expressions from the Heart. Tell us about your journey so far as a writer.

Ishita : My journey as a writer is also the journey of me as a person. Over the years, my life has changed so much and so has my craft. I have evolved as a person. As a child I got intense story ideas but I was not sure how to put it on the paper. Even now, I am often not sure how to tackle complex concepts but I just give it a try. I keep experimenting with different forms of writing. I try pouring my ideas on paper even when I feel it's an extremely difficult job. From writing poems to micro fiction, from articles to short stories, from content writing to script writing I try to evolve as much.

Retro Kolkata : Let’s talk about your book ‘Stories from the City called Kolkata'. What is the book all about and who would you recommend it to?

Ishita : "Stories from the City called Kolkata" is a collection of 10 short stories written in the backdrop of the metro city, Kolkata. The stories are based on urban middle-class life. These are simple tales portraying love, joy, hope, heartache, and loneliness of city people - their struggles, frustrations, ambitions, and 'never say die' attitude. Each story has a unique plot twist. The emotions expressed are relatable and the characters although fictional, are fleshed out of the real world. Each of the stories has a message to give and a connection to make with the readers. This book is dedicated to the spirit of the Indian middle class people and their zeal to survive and continue their life journey.

This book is for anyone who enjoys reading stories based on reality.

Retro Kolkata : Which amongst your books is your favourite and why ?

Ishita : I have been a ghostwriter for long. And then I have been a co-author of multiple books. My first published book in my name is "Stories from the City called Kolkata". Naturally, it has and always will have a special place in my heart.

Retro Kolkata : What does poetry mean to you? Why do you write?

Ishita : Poetry is the most direct form of creative expression. Poetry builds a soul to soul connection. I like to put it this way - Life is larger than poetry but poetry lives longer than life.

I write poetry because it comes to me. I don't know what better way is there to express my feelings than penning down poetry. Though I keep most of my poems to myself.

Retro Kolkata : Which poets have inspired you? Do you feel yourself ever influenced by the writing style of a poet?

Ishita : Oh, there are so many poets who have inspired me to name a few! Still, I would mention Emily Dickinson and Mary Oliver.

I don't know. Maybe I am influenced by many poets. Consciously I never want to be influenced by any particular style but subconsciously I am sure I get influenced by the poets I read the most.

Retro Kolkata : Could you talk about your typical process for writing -- from idea to final draft?

Ishita : I just write in a flow. I am certainly not a plotter and so I don't plan or plot. I love writing as it comes and finish the first draft. I keep it away for a few days and then start rewriting and editing my work. I edit several times to get the final draft.

Retro Kolkata : How do you beat writer’s block?

Ishita : I don't believe in writer's block. I believe I am a writer and I can write if I want to. At times, I might not enjoy reading what I have written but I can either edit to make it a pleasurable read or move on to write something new.

Retro Kolkata : Please let the readers know about your projects for the future? Are you working on any project? Please share any stanza you have written and you repeat it most of the time.

Ishita : Currently, I am working on multiple projects. My upcoming works are coming in books, magazines, comics, newspapers and also on major OTT platforms.

Sharing with the Retro Kolkata readers my poem, "The Sleeping River" from the book, "Expressions from the Heart".

The Sleeping River

The sleeping river emerges

from the depth of my heart,

passing the crevices and safely reaching out to the world.

People long lost resurface

in my dreams

and flow with the river

that dried up ages ago

in a forgotten summer.

Faces reappear,

so do the memories.

I drown in the river

in my dream.

I ask for help

seeing the known faces

standing absently on the shore

looking at me

like I am a stranger to them.

I beg for forgiveness,

they don’t look at me

their stony faces don’t reflect any mercy.

‘But I have forgiven you all, won’t you forgive me?’ I ask.

They don’t blink or look at me

while I keep drowning in the river.

Some nights I die in the dream,

some nights I float on the surface of the sleeping river.


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