New Poems


September is a bitter-sweet month. It is the birth month of my younger son who completes twenty-one years on this 25th and that makes it very special but on the other hand it has a lot of heartbreak attached to it. Somehow, with each passing year a lot of good things have begun to happen in September.  I will focus on the good especially on the writing front. We lose some we win some. Onward we go.

I have been experimenting with writing poems based on travel memories and readers have encouraged and appreciated my work.

TEKSTO   is  people’s magazine, the elitism of journals is something they are working against. They need work from all you writers out there especially the young upcoming ones. Do check out the magazine’s other content as you read my Two Poems  here. These are memory poems not travel related but close to my heart.

 

Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine and has fabulous content. I have been associated with the magazine since some time and absolutely love sending my work here. Do read some very fine articles, fiction and poetry among other things once you read my travel memory poems which recently got published. Two Memories 

 

Recently I attended book launch organised by AuthorsPress which is the brainchild of Mr. Sudarshan Kecherry. I was delighted to see that they encourage Hindi Literature along with English and the launch had some fine poetry books to offer in both languages. I bought some and got them autographed too. It was a joy to listen to Dr. Ampat koshy, Dr. Santosh Bakaya, Geetika Kohli and others. The poetry reading was enjoyable. I met some old friends, made some new ones.

I also received very positive feedback from two very good authors on my debut poetry book Collection of chaos. I will share it soon.

Here is a pic from the launch. You can check out their FB page and list of publications.

 

I am working on a few new writing projects and hopefully share some news soon. Till them keep the love going and do leave your views about my writing.

Thank you to all my readers for being an important part of my creative journey.

In The Light Of Darkness – Radhika Maira Tabrez


 

After reading a book if something changes inside you for better then it is a good book. I found light from this one. Simple stories told from the heart are the best. Our lives, across the globe, are all connected with fragile threads. Sometimes these threads quiver just a little to make us aware of their existence and of the beauty of life that is unfolding despite everything. Threads that help us ‘cross over’, to move past regrets and sorrows and embrace life to the fullest.  These potent threads lead us to one another when the time is right and makes us whole again.

I went to the book launch of In The Light Of Darkness last Saturday and met Radhika for the first time. Though we had been in touch on Facebook since some time and I had read her blog occasionally I wasn’t too familiar with her writing. The book is published by  Readomania and their events are always heart warming. You must check out their other books and website too.

When I got the invite for the launch from her I had not seen the cover. The name itself was enough to convince me to look forward to the event. When she shared the cover, I was blown over. It just drew me in. A lot of emotions stirred inside and I thought what a beautiful poetry in picture it was. Later, after reading the novel, I realized how apt the cover was. It sums up the entire human saga of patient waiting of a woman, a mother, a son to being to closure all that needed to be closed. It sums up the very essence of the novel, how ‘the light of darkness’ eventually finds a crack, breaks through and brightens everything around it. It tells the importance of befriending,  understanding and embracing those ‘dark’ phases in our lives for these phases are an important gift for our overall growth and well being. I personally called them ‘rooting years’ .

The novel is exceptionally well written. One of the best I have read among emerging Indian writers. What a fantastic debut.

During the conversation Radhika told that it was Mary Oliver’s famous poem ‘Uses Of Sorrow’ from her book ‘Thirst’ that inspired her to write the story . Incidentally it is one of my favorite books and poem.

While reading, one can see how  beautifully she has captured the essence of that poem  and blended it in the narrative with such affecting simplicity. Throughout the book there is an underlying current of hope and faith. In the midst of all the struggles the character continuously find some thread to hold on to and renew their faith in life, in relationships, in themselves.

That brings me to another thing that has receded in the shadows of time. Letter writing. There is something very personal in writing a letter with hand. Words that came alive and pulsated as you run your fingers on them. Letters that evoked so many emotions in you even after years of receiving them. Letters that bridge the distance and sometimes bring things to closure, assuring a new beginning. I remembered such letters as I read Susan’s letter to her son. there is a certain clairvoyance in it. A light in the dark. I have known the power of such light and could see how beautifully it lead Matthew to the path he had known but never had strength to take.

This isn’t  book review or critique of her work. I am writing this to tell you how the book connected with me at many levels.Page after page I paused and lingered at places that took me back in time in my own life. So many things came up to the surface and eventually found closure. A feeling of Déjà vu made me so uncomfortable at times that I did not know whether to continue reading or to pause and then I realized I needed to go on, go on to find something that will provide the catharsis. If a story helps you look within it always heals.

Sometimes a line becomes so significant that it plays in the mind on a loop. This book had many such lines and I was tangled in them. I could have read the book in one go but as I said there are words that pulled at my sleeves like a kitten seeking attention. We all choose our karmic path and are responsible for our decisions especially the toughest ones. Decisions that drastically alter the whole flow of life, shaking the very bonds of love, of comradeship, of trust. We hope that those who are directly or indirectly affected by those decisions will eventually understand. This hope sustains us, gives us a reason to live.

A mother-child relationship is much more than just a natural bond. The author has dealt with the complexities of this bond so effortlessly. The book makes you wonder about the woman who is torn between being a mother and a woman. It makes you reach out to the son who is struggling to find the light of hope in the darkness that was gifted to him by life. For me, it brought back the memories of a similar decision I had to take for my son. As the story unfolded I was filled with the memories of those dark times and how that box of darkness became a gift to me and possibly for my son in a different way perhaps, but none the less a gift. Not many narratives shake your conscience  the way this one does.

When the story is too close to home it often messes with your mind. In those times I wrote to Radhika and poured my heart out and then I found why this book is so special. Radhika has this innate ability to comfort and love which instantly made me feel better. It also made me realize that time is insignificant to connect deeply with someone. Only a person with so much depth can touch lives with her words.  I know I will cherish this one for long.

The book conveys an important message. I don’t know where your reading of the book will lead you and I am not discussing anything about the plot or the characters here. I want you to find your light once you read it.

 

Go pick your copy of In The Light Of Darkness

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Poetry News and An Interview


The rains are here and I have been busy writing poems. Some are about my travels and some others are in collaboration with a very fine writer/poet. This is a project very close to my heart.

Meanwhile, a very good friend Health Writer, Columnist and Weight Management Consultant Kavita Devgan   recommended me to be interviewed by We Are The City – India  and I am stoked to be featured here .

You can read the interview HERE 

Thanks Kavita nad Ashish for this opportunity.

In another news, some very precious poems from the Delhi Series found home in the August issue of prestigious Asian Signature – An international English Literary Journal. . The poems are part of ‘Contemporary Poets‘ section.

Thank you Surabhi Bhattacharjee for providing this platform to me.

Here is an excerpt from one of the poems :

 

Dargah – Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia

Love and faith light up the dense tangle of streets

that lead to the dargah of mehboob –e – ilahi,

and the tomb of his beloved disciple Khusro,

garbed in rose petals, attars, offerings

and a heady whiff of spiced kebabs,

lost words float across the treetops,

arches, patios and tombs, sometimes,

quietly they nestle in an empty nest

or whirl down onto the marbled floor

in an aerial dance—like dervishes……. “

 

Read the rest and the other poems HERE 

 

Two more poems are accepted in a very good magazine. I will post the link soon. Till then, keep reading and don’t forget to share your views with me. Do follow the Blog FB page for other updates. .

 

 

 

New Poem – ENTR’ACTE


The sun drips from our tin roof.

The white wall of our house

absorbs the old apple tree’s shadow,

turning it into a wonder.

 

Your bicycle rests below fiery Chinars.

In the kitchen a stove burns,

on the table an old copper samovar,

the lingering aroma of kahwa,

translucent sugar, local breads, pickles

raisins and walnuts, all wait.

 

Two low wooden stools, a bench

and copperware gleaming in the sun.

Half burnt incense on a silver plate,

In a nearby room, tapestry cushions,

rugs, kangris and hand woven shawls.

 

Photographs of us posing, silverware,

a curio cabinet, on its top a cigarette case.

Neatly arranged on the dressing table,

silver jewellery, a comb, a kohl stick,

and a walnut box waiting to be filled.

 

Jasmine floats in a crystal bowl

next to the bed, a quilt is folded neatly,

a pair of slippers on the floor, musty books

on shelves. On the wall a calendar,

a notepad hanging next to it.

 

On the rose and green shaded porch,

a paddle loom dressed for work.

On the steps I wait, as I do every day—

my belly swollen, a lotus bud in my hair—

for your return to make this house a home.

 

First published in Open Road Review .