Whisper of Butterfly Wings
Kalpana Vijayavarathan came to The Faroe Islands on May 16, 1991 to join her husband Abraham (Viji) Vijayavarathan who had come to work as a boat builder in Marinplast, Kaldbak in 1983. They have two sons, Markus and Matthew.
According to her, being of Indian origin in Faroese society does offer many challenges. A significant one is for her boys who are second generation immigrants with Faroese identity born of Indian parents. The negation of the ‘Faroeseness’ of immigrants can be frustrating for one who has been here longer than in India, as also the assumption that one came to the Faroes for a better life. Her philosophy has been to be herself and adapt where she can to integrate in a manner that neither compromises her personal identity or ethics, nor involves discarding values gleaned from her Indian origins.
“Whisper of Butterfly Wings” has been influenced by a myriad emotions that have surfaced when experiencing Faroese fine arts, my immigrant experiences, significant moments in my life, my faith and eclectically diverse moments, when my muse has held sway.
The dichotomy of my identity as an Indian-Faroese person colours some of the poems. My immigrant experience, while being personal, is not unique to me. I am certain that other immigrants can hear echoes of their experiences in my poems and identify with them. My journey of faith is also explored in my work, and I have single poems that capture the power of the moment.
I let life sing to me and extract the visceral emotions that become a catalyst for the flow of feelings and thoughts, which then transform into free verse. As a poet, this affords me the sheer freedom to explore nuances of my being, where reason and emotion engage with each other in a dynamic rhythm. My poems were meant for me only, but when I shared them with a select few, I was encouraged to publish them. I hope the Whisper of Butterfly Wings, which symbolises to me the transience of not just life, but human emotion and life experiences, affords the reader some moments of contemplation and enjoyment.