HE MAY be a qualified trauma specialist, but Dr Amitabh Mitra is also a dab hand with a paint brush, and poetry is second nature to him.
When he’s not indulging his passion for the arts, Mitra can be found at Mdantsane ’s Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, practising science as the chief medical officer.
“My life revolves around arts … and my job at the hospital. These two describe me,” said Mitra at the Ann Bryant Art Gallery last week, where he was launching the second edition of an arts journal he edits, called Inyathi.
Mitra’s love for painting and poetry began more than 30 years ago when he started writing love poems accompanied by painted illustrations. Since then, he has held a number of art exhibitions and published poetry collections.
He has recently launched a CD, A Slow Train to Gwailor, on which he recites 10 love poems.
The 50-year-old said art helped him to see, create, think and imagine, and was something he did for pleasure and relaxation.
He said many people might think medical science and art did not mix, but for him they blended very well.
Mitra said he strove to provide a platform for up-and-coming young South African artists to get their work exhibited and published.
Although the Eastern Cape had many talented artists, he said, it was hard for them to get exposure, so he hoped that Inyathi would help in this regard.
“That is where I fit in: to expose and promote arts and poetry,” Mitra said.
Mitra said that, fortunately for him, his wife Sonia and their two children gave him excellent support.
“Out of my busy schedule … I make sure I make time for them,” he said.
Mitra is preparing to go to the International Poetry Festival in Norway this month, where it is expected that his book, A World Anthology of Love Poetry, will be unveiled.
After Norway, he is heading to Dubai in December for the Dubai International Film Festival, where his debut 45-minute documentary Tonight will premiere.