One Year of Wayfaring And Other Things

Pre-orders began for Wayfaring this day last year. How time flies and within 12 months another poetry book Duets, coauthored with James, is out for pre-order. So much is happening at personal front. The move to a new apartment just a floor above where I stayed earlier. ( No, not my own home. My search for home is still on ) The usual stresses and rants, tiring few days of sorting, packing, discarding and lugging up the stuff then sorting, discarding, giving away what’s not needed and then labeling again and rearranging. It seemed like a never ending task.

It is said, “What you keep rots; what you give flourishes.”

How much do we store and cling to in a lifetime… I’ve suddenly lost any attachments. Gorgeous sarees, books and much more. I have memories attached to whatever little I have now but it’s time to let go.. the future doesn’t have much space for ghosts of past.

I don’t know what to do with the ghosts of present who day in and day out haunt and torment. There is a ridiculous amount of material things here and same number approximately in my marital house which is no longer or never was mine. They are an overwhelming reminder of wasted time and lives and loves that could have been lived better. There are others I wish had something of, but don’t. A memory that sometimes comes floating by sometimes.

Everyone MUST learn the art of throwing away. 99% of us are compulsive hoarders and live through a life of clutter, sometime so organised that it doesn’t look like clutter. I found things as old as 100 yrs. Of course not mine, they are my mom’s. I just organized the clutter in newly painted shelves, racks etc. Some labelled, others just wrapped and stuffed far behind in the dark depths to be discovered later sometime. Then there are books… there are still 2-3 cartons full after filling up the bookshelves. I am still reeling under the fatigue. The good thing is that art comes handy in times of stress and mental block. I took up the #Inktober challenge on instagram and am now sharpening my skills of ink/pen drawing. You can see my work here. A fresh start is a good thing: A new perspective of what I truly want my life to be and what I stand for.

Today FB memories brought up this video from Leaky Boot Press You Tube channel.

I have received positive feedback on Wayfaring till now and it makes me very happy that readers are connecting with me and writing about their experiences. I am expecting a few more reviews in this month. Have you bought your copy? I would love to hear from you. People who have bought it please give your feedback on Amazon / Goodreads etc.

Meanwhile, here is what poet/painter Uma Gowrishankar had to say about the book,

“If the heart can weigh heavier with every turn of phrase, then elegiac is the mood of Wayfaring, Tikuli’s second collection of poems. Tikuli takes us through a landscape scarred by memories. The theme of abandonment recurs in the poems, bludgeons through intense and searing images that are disturbingly sensorial.

The poems in Wayfaring swing between the violence of loss and the silence of deep mourning, that comes from estrangement, tearing away from roots. Exhausted with the tension, Through poem after poem and in a language that stirs with honesty, she takes us on a path filled with compassion and faith despite everything.”

You can read the full review on my Instagram page.

In another news two of my LGBT support poems got published in ‘EquiVerseSpace – A Sound Home In Words‘ and the news came on a perfect day when the Supreme Court scrapped section 377. Thanks Smeetha Bhoumik, Taseer and others for this space. Happy to be part of this write tribe.

I Congratulate the LGBT community, the activists, petitioners and each one if us who believed and supported the right to love and live. It is our victory and only by embracing it we can end the phobia associated with it even though the law has changed. This has been a long journey for numerous brave activists, lawyers and members of the LGBT community. The verdict says that consensual sex between adults of the same gender is not a violation of Sec377.

Even with Section377 gone the real fight is with those bigots and homophobes who make everyday living difficult. There’s a lot that needs to be done for a complete equality. Will it ensure LGBTQ Empowerment? No discrimination at workplace and other places? There are a whole lot of other things that need to be dealt with. Though elated by the judgement I’m a little thoughtful too. Hoping for a mindset change at root level.The branding and discrimination despite the legal win needs to go for a complete victory. I hope the closet LGBTQI community is able to break the shackles of the regressive mindset.

I have been putting off a much needed discussion here. A discussion about the kind of life we live as women, the choices we make and can not make. The double standards of men in the family who support and voice their strong views on feminism and women’s rights but inside the four walls treat the women in the family in just the opposite manner.  I had stopped writing for change and my personal struggles for a good reason that it did not help me at practical level though it helped many others in their struggles but time has come to lay down some facts and seek appropriate help. I am just organizing my thoughts so that I don’t turn the post into a rant. I have to move out from where I am staying and for that I need information and support. Will update on it soon.

The doctor feels my anxiety and sleeplessness can’t be treated holistically. Need to take anti-anxiety pill. I’m not ready. I want to calm my nerves so the heart beats to the rhythm of love. My gut feeling is i can do it with lifestyle changes. I know the root cause and I am working towards resolving it. It is all in the mind as they say. Resetting my priorities and making those necessary changes in my lifestyle. Some factors remain the same but then I plan to change my perspective towards them. We can’t change people but we can change the way we respond to them. Right?

I am also working on a few more Hindi poems and will post them soon. Please keep visiting and drop a line or two in the comments so I know your views.

Here’s a ten minute Tulip flower watercolor I made on sleepless night.

The painting is copyrighted so please refrain from sharing or copying.



Mission Impossble : Project Declutter

I call this time of the year as “annual cleaning festival”. with the start of Navratra the backbreaking spring cleaning begins .The maid wants extra money  for extending her help, the  kids need incentives as a compensation for parting with all the muck they have been collecting as treasures all through the year. Hubby says he will help but little time.

Apart from the major projects like white wash, paint job, renovations and heavy duty purchasing, there is a constant flow of very trying and tiring ones like cleaning of cupboard, shelves, kitchen, and the infamous place in the house. The kid’s room.

 Every year I find that we have accumulated zillions of things which we need to discard during diwali.

Clothes, toys, crockery and a whole lot of jing bang. For those lucky ones who have got a man Friday to do it  all ,it is not so exasperating but for those of us who believe in “no one can do it better than me “,it’s a time for  back breaking drudgery .


The house suddenly looks like a garbage dump and all the things seem covered with eternal dirt, there are toys everywhere, school papers everywhere, dirty laundry everywhere. Then there are fans, windows, grills, counters and whole lot of stuff all over the house screaming to be cleaned. The whole place simple sucks, and one wants to postpone the whole bloody thing till next year, but   watching the neighbor’s sparkling vacuumed cleaned house makes you say, “What the f@#* ” ,and you pick up the mop and the duster and the broom and go for it .

This year, as a change, I decided to make it into a military operation .Over dinner, I announced, to the disgust of all three men, that next few days will be spring cleaning days. After some curses and a lot of arguments, the meeting was adjourned .every one had something to do and a time limit.

Day 1

The morning came too early as I kicked them out of the bed and after a great breakfast, told them to get on with their work.

Fuming from inside, they took off and I decided to do the lighter stuff.

The cobwebs which till now seemed like a nature’s work of art seemed like eye sores. The entire nick knacks that I thought will be useful one day went into the dust bin .The cards, letters and crumpled noted made their way into the bon fire.

It’s true what some one said that.”A tidy desk is a sign of cluttered drawers”.

Diwali is a great time to find misplaced things.

 As I emptied out the contents of the shelves and drawers, I came upon many long lost things including kajal stick, eye liner, pens, and some very important documents, which to your knowledge; you kept, “safely”. In my case I also found some neatly folded and secretly tucked away test papers n small love notes which only a thorough spring cleaning could have unearthed .This time I got lucky with some tucked away teners finding their way to my pocket.

Tempers ran high as each one blamed other for the accumulation of unwanted stuff. I decided that it was time for the trump card to be thrown. It was already past noon.

“I am off kitchen duty today n day after “.


“What????” came a reply in chorus.

I merely raised my eyebrow and continued to clean .some more abuses and muttering and then it was quit again .The food got ordered.

At night most of the house dazzling .the two major problem areas remained untouched. Kitchen and the boys room.

I needed a stiff drink.


Day 2

Kitchen is another place which goes under heavy scrubbing n washing during this time .From cabinets to exhaust fan and from kitchen slab to sink every thing is vigorously cleaned .The worst part is the spraying of the cockroach killing spray  and as the men seem to be allergic to it  becomes my duty to execute the killings .The morning after is a sight to behold .hundreds of corpses fill the floor of the kitchen and you may also find some who are gasping for life .As your broom hits them and takes the remaining life out of them ,the Herculean task ahead makes you feel sick .

 I decided to give some extra incentive to my lovely maid and get it cleaned, after a lot of cajoling she agreed and collected all the corpses in a poly bag tied it securely and to my utmost relief, threw it in the bin.

With a hundred rupee note tucked neatly in her blouse, she worked at an amazing speed .we were through by afternoon.


The shout “clean your fu#@^* room pronto “…made the boys, go mad. That was one thing they hated .They considered it a sin to have a “morgue like” room. I really needed to get after them, to even initiate the task .After a whole lot of shouting matches and arguments things started to move at snails pace and after a while it resembled an earth quake hit area. The best thing to do was (which I learned with time and experience) to promise some incentive and stay clear .It mostly works unless you can’t curb the desire to butt in and comment. Then the things go really out of hand and nothing works .leaving you to finish the task yourself.

It didn’t seem to work this time though as the boyz were no longer small babies whom I cud push around, they were young adults and very nasty.


I too didn’t give up, under my strict supervision, and a threat to ground them completely, hanging on their head; the poor chaps turned the room into a human dwelling again.

 I made it clear that if the house did not remain like that till Diwali, the process will start all over again.

Whether they got the point, remains to be seen.