2016 began with some good news. A few online publications, visits to the Delhi Literature Festival and the Crime Writers Festival plus two wonderful reviews of my poetry book ‘Collection of Chaos’. I won a few twitter contests about crime writers and the prizes are awaited. More books to read. 🙂
I also went chasing the scents of those who lived and dreamed in the city of Delhi. explored the tombs of Safdarjang, Mohammad Shah and Sikander Lodhi etc. I have a few more walks lined up for next few months. Some photo opportunities and food trails to look forward to.
The winter has finally crossed the threshold of Delhi like a shy new bride and this is the best time to enjoy the unbeatable delicacies of Old Delhi and bask under the winter sun in one of those fabulous gardens the city has.
You may just come across a group of young poets sharing their verses, sharing their views about their city and its history. There is something about ruins and poetry that’s inseparable, winter just adds a veil of mystery to it.
Delhi becomes a flower girl in winter. The beautiful Gazania, Phlox, Cineraria, Salvia, Pansy, Candy tuft, Alysasum, Petunia, Gerbera, cosmos and many more are painting the city in myriad hues. The magnificent Dahlias are in full bloom too. Some trees that are adorning the city streets with their lovely blossoms are, Red Silk cotton, kachnar, and the intoxicating Saptparni. The winter flower show is coming up next month and I am so looking forward to it.
Talking of flowers and poetry, while I wait for some submission results. two authors recently reviewed my two year old poetry book.
Vibhuti Bhandarkar is the author of ‘Not Totally Unbelievable‘ a collection of fantastic short stories about the mystical, magical and paranormal. She is also a blogger and an artist and has her own fashion label called YOLO By VIbz
This is what she has to say about the book,
” Tikuli’s collection of poems are a deluge of emotions, each separate piece a heavier thought than before. Her words definitely come from a lifetime of myriad experiences and jarring observations, from changing times. From the little understanding that I have of poetic meters and such, Tikuli has ventured to utilise very different forms of poetry, and yet maintained her voice in it. She has given expression to a whirlwind of emotions and yet Tikuli manages to maintain order in the usage of correctly chosen words.“
The second review comes from the incredible Rhiti Bose. writer, blogger and the Editor-in-chief of Incredible Women Of India . Her short stories have been published in an anthology named ‘An Atlas of Love’ by Rupa publications among other places.
“She plays with the words like a master craftsman, creating one masterpiece after another. The poems are mostly in free verse and Tikuli makes use of it suitably. Each poem has its own story to tell, there are not just mere verses depicting the abstract, each line has a meaning, every word has a tale hidden underneath.”
Do read the full review at – Collection of Chaos by Tikuli – A Review
I am also guest editing the upcoming March issue of Cafe Dissensus so do please SUBMIT your entries. The last date for submission is 28th Feb. Theme – ‘The Book That Made an Impact on You in 2015’ .
The book is available with all online book vendors. Do get your copy and hey, let me know your views too.
enjoy this little poem from the set published earlier in Cafe Dissensus,
rain pours like old jazz,
scribbles itself on roads that
shimmer like piano keys,
liquid notes cling to the
silhouettes of trees, the last train
leaves the station, taking with it
a sea of salt laced bodies, night
swallows the evening
This year started on a good note as far as my creative writing goes. August has passed and yet the summer continues to rustle under the clear blue sky. I read somewhere that September is a month of huge energetic shifts in our consciousness. I don’t know of the global spiritual awakenings but I am able to see the changes in me.
Sometimes one needs to detach oneself to grow. One can either choose to dwell in the hurt or look beyond that and remember the good things. I have chosen to do the latter. We often give a lot of love to others and forget to do the same for ourselves. So, I have decided to change that. A little selfishness in loving oneself doesn’t harm.
September began with a makeover. A no fuss hair cut and an exercise regimen to begin with. I want to travel too. Solo, if possible. I am becoming weary of company.
I often ask myself what am I grieving about? Something that wasn’t mine in the first place? So what if he left without a word, broke me into pieces, ruined me again? What did I lose except the mirage that was ‘Him’.
I want to close all wounds. Seal them with forgiveness.
If a conversation does not go beyond monosyllables , it isn’t worth having. I lost a lot of self-love and self-esteem in begging and pleading for you to stay, to not walk away from me.
I often wanted to ask,
What was I to you,
for that brief time,
that we shared
in an autumn
Breakup usually taints all the good things and then your brain is a mess. Mine was.
This needed serious introspection. Love is not love if it hurts. I needed to clear my head of all the illusions, all the dreams that would never ever get realized. So, I took a journey into my wounds, the deepest secrets, the darkest places in my mind/heart and brought things to a closure within me. I have decided not let the things, that do not belong to me, take control over me.
I am writing more to free myself from the loops of old stories. In this process I am finding parts of me that I once thought to be unlovable. Pain often brings deeper gifts than one can imagine. It makes you more vulnerable and expands access to your creative and personal genius. The closure we seek from others should come from within. No on can close your wounds the way you can and once that happens, new stories begin to sprout.
When Amrita Paul of SheThePeople TV asked me for an interview, I agreed instantly. A new window was opening and I was grateful.
Here is an excerpt :
1. Tell us a little bit about your background. When did you start writing poetry?
I was brought up in a family of liberal educationists. I spent a major part of my life as a homemaker but now my sons are grown up and I am working as a freelance content writer and marketing communication specialist. I must have been in my teens when I started penning down short poems. I actually began to learn the art of writing good poetry some five – six years ago… Writing poetry helped me change the old order. I find it more intimate and tender to express in the form of a poem. When I read a good poem by someone I feel it in my pulse. I see my face in their experience and that is why I write. To feel this connect is very important. Poetry flushes out a feeling, an emotion, a thought, a question that you never knew lay buried inside you. A little arrangement and rearrangement of words opens up a lot of possibilities.Life is a great teacher and I have a student heart. My life is too chaotic and in poetry, you can say a lot in a few lines, you can play around with words and have a finished piece in a short time. That’s what I love about poems and that’s the reason I write them.
You can read the full interview HERE
Another opportunity came when Dr. AmpatKoshi suggested I contact poet-writer Lopa Banerjee of Learning and Creativity – Silhouette Magazine to get a chance to be published there. I sent two poems and Lopa, very graciously accepted my submissions.
Here is the first one – At The Banks Of The River Ganges
The other poem will appear sometime this month.
I also attended the book launch of ‘ The Girl Who Loved A Pirate’ by Kulpreet Yadav, at the Oxford Book Store, Delhi.
The book is one of a kind crime fiction. India’s first spy thriller based on marine piracy and hijacking. It was great to meet old and new friends who were just names on Facebook till now. The interactive session between the panelists, the author and the audience was great fun.
Fast paced and intriguing, the book is set in the Arabian sea, Goa and the Malacca Strait.
As usual, after the launch I and kid1 went for a sumptuous dinner. Simple pleasures of life.
I have blogged with wordpress for almost six years now. It feels good to see readers connecting with what I write. Recently I noticed that my blog has crossed the elusive 2,000 followers mark and the blog hits have gone up to 588,600+ .. I would like to thank everyone who visits and spends some time reading what i have to say. It is because of you I write among other things. All those who connect via comments, thank you for doing so. Your suggestions and appreciation helps me to improve.
My GooglePageRank remains constant at number 2.
Onward we go!
There is a great power in knowing that you are more than this one circumstance. That you can move beyond the pain, real or imagined.
I thank everyone who has knowingly or unknowingly helped me in my healing.
My little book of poems reached East London, in Eastern Cape Province of South Africa a few weeks ago and was graciously received by poet and artist Dr. Amitabh Mitra. He did a heartwarming review of the book on The Poets Printery’s ‘Books Live’ website.
The Poets Printery, founded by Dr.Mitra, is a small publishing house in the Eastern Cape which publishes chap books and journals.
Much gratitude Dr.Mitra for appreciating my work.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
These poems are staccato of images, shot repeatedly at close quarters, they penetrate and reemerge in hue of words and distances. I take it to the hospital and pick up a few poems after having repaired gunshot wounds. They talk to me in different times among many differences.I love the book, its untitled poems and imagery distinct of an Indian aroma within a life and a city living within itself…… “
You can read the full review Here
Amitabh Mitra is a poet, artist and a medical doctor based at East London, South Africa. His work is extensively published in the web and print. He also figures in the international roster of physician poets. You can read my review of his poetry book ‘Stranger Than A Sun‘ Here.
Last few months have been really a whirlpool of let-downs and the loss of so many precious things, people, left me disillusioned and dejected but I got a pleasant surprise the other day when @Kalpanapster tweeted a link to the review of my poetry collection. It is always a joy when readers express their views about something you have written. It helps to look at the work from a different perspective and improve upon it. Poetry books aren’t so much in demand and for a student writer like me every feedback is a step forward to more writing and learning. Good to know the book is still in circulation.
Thanks kalpanaa for appreciating my poems. Writers supporting writers is a very good thing in my opinion. While you read the review on Kalpanaa’s blog, do click on other pages and read them too. Didn’t you pledge to read diverse subjects? She is a traveler, writer, healer, reviewer, language teacher and most of all a wonderful person. Go explore her creative world.
Read what Kalpanaa has to say about ‘Collection Of Chaos’ .
“Skilful language with a controlled use of dramatic images makes the heartrending subjects she writes about bearable, as they touch you and caress you but are rarely violently demanding of your attention.I don’t enjoy language that’s too adjective laden, believing always that ‘less is more’ and Tikuli’s poems are sparse, delicate yet full-bodied. Sorry if I sound as though I’m writing about a wine. In my defence, wine and poetry have a lot in common. You think they’re going to make you comfortably numb and they end up seeping into the most emotional and well hidden corners of your being, extracting that which you would rather keep hidden, even from yourself.”
Show some love by reading the book. Buy it from any of the on-line retailers including Amazon, Flipkart, Book depository and more. Tell me what you think. You must.
Want to know what other (potentially) satisfied readers said about the collection? Click here.
Thank you for all the support and encouragement.
(You can watch the other videos so creatively produced by Roxanne Brousseau Felio Here The credits for this shared video go exclusively to her. Thank you Roxanne)
Levure littéraire 10 is released (November 2014) and five of my poems are featured in it along with nine other exceptionally talented and well-known Indian poets including senior poets like Kedarnath singh, Vishwanath Pratap Tiwari etc. Among the 220 international artists/poets there are some with whome I have interacted at some point of time or learned from them, they are Tabish Khair, Robert Lee Brewer, Randy Cauthan, Sonnet Mondal, and Michelle Bitting.
You can read my poems here – TIKULI
It is a feeling of pride and joy to be known as a levuarian. I would like to thank Kalpna Singh-Chitnis (poet, filmmaker and actor) for her support and encouragement as one of the editors. For reading, appreciating and publishing my work in the webmagazine.
Levure Litteraire is a multidisciplinary, multilingual Journal of education and information published from France, which promotes work by various artists and writers. You can know more about the journal by clicking the link. The journal is directed by writer/translator Rodica Draghincescu.
Do visit the website to know more about art, music, poetry and much more.
Do read the other awesome poets here – Summary I am thoroughly enjoying their work.
Once again I thank everyone for making this Thanksgiving so special for me. Onward we go. I also want to thank James Goddard for patiently helping me with the edits and for always urging me to explore new dimentions of writing. You can read his wonderful “short pieces 🙂 and see some magnificent monochrome photographs by clicking on the link or visit and follow Leaky Boot Press for some amazing books of poetry and fiction. My poetry book is part of this collection. It is available with all online bookseller.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers and friends. Have a blessed day.
When Janaki Nagaraj, fellow author, blogger and head of the poetry section of The Book Club, told me they wanted to host a blog tour of my début poetry book ‘Collection of Chaos’ I was delighted. The tour which began on 6th of October continued for a week and included author interviews, spotlights, guest posts and book reviews.
A heartfelt thank you to all the writers / bloggers of The Book Club Reviewing Group who were part of The Blog Tour.
Namrata, Pooja, Sfurti, Janaki, Sharmila, Rubina, Parichita, Sridevi, Ruchira, Sulekha, Inderpreet, Karan, Rohan and Dola Thank You for hosting me on your blogs.
The Book Club Blog Tour Links:
First of all Eid Mubarak to all my readers and thank you for the tremendous love and support you always give me.
Can’t believe I have blogged for almost eight years now. A pretty anniversary message greeted me as I logged in today. Simple little things that make life what it is.
(Pic copyright The Book Club)
This year’s highlight has been my book and you can read all about it Here . Another good thing was the reading of Italian translations of my poems by Rachel Slade at the Cena Poetica di Samuele Editore and another poem translated and displayed as part of the VerdArti festival in Italy. New poems have been submitted to some cool online and print magazines and I am waiting. Meanwhile there is a lot of reading and writing to be done. Both poetry and Fiction. I have not been too well and getting back my health is a priority right now. Reasons for less of blogging these days. Better days will come 🙂
This year also saw a change in my elder son’s life. He began working as a reporter with Hindustan Times (HT City) Aditya Dogra . A complete change from the Animation work he was doing. I am glad that he is following his passion and enjoying the new venture. Same with the younger one too who starts his winter training at the ITC Maurya, Delhi very soon. Nothing makes a mother proud than to see her children living their lives as independent adults. The boys are my strength and best friends. I wish them all the very best in life. We may not be living together but we are never too far away from each other.
It’s been four years now since I left my husband’s home in search of myself as a woman and as an individual. It has been an uphill ride but worth every obstacle, every heartbreak. These were just the tests, the build ups, so that I can go through to the next level of independence and self – control. I have realized that most of the times we are our own support system and the key is to never lose Focus. I still have a long way to go to accomplish what I wish, to have my place, to travel to the places I always longed to visit, to learn and write more, to completely shed all that is not me. I believe the universe provides for us what we ask for. That our thoughts create our future. I am working on shedding the negative and visualizing all the good and abundance now in the present. I feel more centered. I have ‘reoriented’ myself and this has led to a more calmer me than before though I still panic at certain things. I also stopped mulling the old wine. I am not writing stuff full of angst and sorrow. At least I am making a conscious effort not to do it. I think it was acting as a block in my inner progress. Silencing the voices in my head was much-needed to feel the sense of well-being that is required to think right. I have begun to appreciate ‘little things’ that feed and nourish my soul and it has made a lot of difference in my life at many levels. I have achieved a lot in last few years and I feel proud of it. There will come a time for me to talk about it more openly but for now one must just follow the heart and move on in the chosen direction. Keeping all the options open. Because I could not change the situation I was challenged to change myself. It was a life saving technique and it worked.
The universe has it all and I shall get my share. Thank you friends for standing by me in all the good times and bad.
I leave you with the serenity prayer that helped me chart my path,
“Dear universe, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”
A heartwarming review with some excellent translations of my poems in Italian by writer, editor Alessandro Canzian, who is doing great work in the promotion of poetry in Italian and other languages in Pordenone, Italy, a northeastern city where one of the most important national literary events, Pordenonelegge, takes place each year.
Thank you so much Alessandro, James, Rachel, Kris and all the others who have encouraged me by becoming a part of my poetic evolution
Here is an excerpt from the review:
“Collection of Chaos by Tikuli (Leaky Boot Press, 2014, foreword by Kris Saknussemm, cover by Rachel Slade), edited by my english friend James Goddard, is a primitive book of flesh and blood, passion and pain. Tikuli had the courage to do what was right for her. It is this courage, as well as her concern for the rights of women, her experience of a bad marriage, her love for her sons and the difficulties of life in India for a woman in her situation, that informs and humanises the poems in Collection of Chaos. Her themes are universal, her language often emotional and full of understanding. These, however, are not poems of self-pity, but of questioning, of trying to understand. In fact, they are a true reflection of Tikuli herself. Collection of Chaos is a book to read and reread, without fear of being overwhelmed by real life.”
View original review from the link below the cover pic.
You can Buy the book from :
A few days back I had written about the Italian Connection.
A few poems from my debut poetry book ‘Collection 0f Chaos’ (published by James Goddard, Leaky Boot Press) were translated into Italian by Rachel Slade and Alessandro Canzian and read by Rachel at Cena Poetica di Samuel Editore in the beautiful town of Pordenone in northern Italy as part of Samuele Editore’s poetry presentation and ‘poetry dinner’ held at ‘Al Campanile’ restaurant, a 15th century building where many talented poets including Nguyen Chi Trung presented their work.
Rachel is a young American artist and photographer whose watercolor titled ‘Sea’ is used as the cover illustration for my book. A great friend and brilliant artist, Rachel brought my poems alive in the most poetic of all languages.
Here is one of the poems she translated and read :
You stripped me of my words
unravelled them quietly
pulled a good seam I guess
Took the braid of thread
and walked away
there wasn’t a single knot
a perfect weave
of silence and words
but how would you know
Hai spogliato me delle mie parole
mi hai dipanata con calma
sfilacciata per bene suppongo
hai afferrato il filo principale
e l’hai tirato
non c’era un solo nodo
l’intreccio era perfetto
di silenzio e di parole
ma come facevi a saperlo?
You can listen to her in the video below.
I quickly Googled the lovely city where the event was being held while chatting with Rachel and James as she informed us of the event’s details and sent pictures of the restaurant building last Thursday. I had closed my eyes and imagined how it would feel to be among a group of such talented poets and listen to her read the words that were so close to my heart. I cannot describe the feeling.
June 27th brought immense happiness to me as a writer. To be featured as part of such an important event was like a dream come true and I waited eagerly for an update from Rachel about the reading and her message, when it came, filled me with so much joy.
She wrote :
“I have to tell you quickly about yesterday’s reading. Shortly I will send you copies of what I read, and Alessandro will be putting up the video as well… but I really wanted you to know now that people really loved your poems my dear. In fact you have made quite the impression without even being here. Your poems spoke for you and I feel, very strongly, that they spoke for each of us in such a way that as I read them aloud I could feel people responding around me, both the men and women… it was deeply moving. Of course I brought the book and people were very interested in the press (James ) as well as your blog – many people speak, or at least understand, English so they will be visiting… Many people wanted to know more about you (O mysterious one…) and hear more about India, New Delhi, your life, the lives of women there… and so many sensed immediately your strength, your presence and the force and fortitude of authentic poetry….”
Later she commented on a photograph shared on FB, “The poems of Tikuli bestow phantasmagoric superpowers upon the reader………”
What surprised me was the appreciation that poured in via messages and tweets. Poets connecting with me, reading my blog, sharing, reblogging my poems, writing to me, sharing their work. Nothing makes a writer happier than this bonding with fellow writers and I am grateful to each one of them for joining me in my journey through poetry. Thank you Bea Ary and Roberta Lepri, it is a pleasure to know you and read your work. It’s a blessing.
Sometimes in life good things come to us without us expecting them, this was one such occasion—and one of the happiest times of my life. Thank you James for making this happen.
You can View these links too