Hello December – Flowers, Reviews, Conversations

The winter flowers are in full bloom. We didn’t grow many in the new house. I have just lost interest. My search for a home continues and I fill my empty hours with colors. I had forgotten this post in the draft so sharing now after updating a little. My laptop is still not working properly and that is the reason for this chaos here. Hope you’ll understand.


Yesterday while wandering in the city I spotted the gorgeous Pink Floss or the Mexican Silk Cotton tree with its bright showy flowers. This is the second flush The flowers are orchid like. These trees were introduced to Delhi and planted en mass in the 1950s.

I will be doing some more posts on Delhi, its trees, monuments and other things close to my heart.

Meanwhile Kashmir Lit, an online journal of Kashmiri and Diasporic Writing, published a review of my poetry book Wayfaring.

Here is an excerpt :

Tikuli Dogra emerges as a poet of transcendence. She seizes a moment, (be it in memory or imagination or in real time) describes it in broad word strokes, bringing her inherent painter to fore. This description itself becomes a meditation of sorts and culminates in a Zen-like insight/awareness that leaves the reader in a state of calm stasis.


You can read the review HERE 

A very special conversation took place over emails with Nigerian Poet David Ishaya Osu.  David is a young poet I admire. Extremely talented he is one of the very few interviewers I enjoyed conversing with. He is sharp, witty, sensitive and very intriguing and it was a pleasure to share some thoughts on poetry, life, food, blogging and other things with him. Do read his poems and the interview which got published in Gainsayer Magazine.

Here is an excerpt


Some stray questions in one (laughs): what is it you do not like about poetry? As a poet yourself, does poetry mystify you? And what is that one thing you wish people get about poetry? 

(Laughs) It may seem very odd now when I say it but over the years I have begun to dislike the ‘dreamy creamy’ stuff dished out in the name of poetry. Some years back I was writing something similar and then one day I purposely took down many of my earlier poems from my blog and elsewhere. Once you learn the nuances of the craft you know the good from the bad. I also detest the use of clichés in poems.

I like to be mystified by poetry. I like the unknown, something that holds me, makes me think beyond what is visible, beyond understanding. I think good poetry is all about taking the reader beyond the familiar. You peel a few layers and think you’re close but then there are more layers. Just like art.  Poetry should mystify so far as to draw you into it.

Most of the time we are in pursuit of mastering the art and not leaving an element of mystery in it which I think is a mistake.


Do read the full interview by visiting this link –

Tikuli Dogra – Poetry is life for me 


My short fiction about gender violence and war crimes against women is featured in ‘Muffled Moans Unleashed‘, an international anthology of poetry and fiction focused on child abuse/gender violence. The book has contributions from award-winning writers.

The book is co edited and complied by Lopa Banerjee along with Dr. Santosh Bakaya and is published by AuthorsPress, New Delhi. It’s available on Amazon so do get your copy and give me your opinion on the story. The book was released in Kolkata at the Iran Society, 22nd December, 2018 in the presence of the literati, social activists and short filmmakers of the city.
I have a few very important posts on Delhi Monuments which I will start sharing from tomorrow. I hope to cover all the pending posts before the year ends.


Wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. 


Kitaab Review Of ‘Wayfaring’ & A Blog Feature



Spring came quietly in my city and suddenly it was ablaze with fiery Semal flowers. The stark branches tipped with its large crimson, orange and pale yellow flowers towering above the city structures look like giant brushes painting the city skyline. Semal is the first tree to bloom and pave the way for Coral tree, Jacaranda, Gulmohar, Leburnum etc. I spotted a few tesu trees along with the Lilac Kachnar.

The carefully landscaped roundbaouts are a riot of colors and so are the gardens in Delhi. The newly opened Central Park (Sunder Nursery) is in my list of Must Visit places.  The two Gorgeous pink bougainvillea trees in Lodhi Garden are a sight to behold. I  will try and do a separate post on these. Spring is Delhi is short lived with harsh winter in its backyard and summer on threshold but it brings the fragrance of mango blossoms. Tabebuia Aurea is another beautiful spring blooming tree that one should watch out for. I am trying to locate a Palash tree or Flame of the forest, as it is known in English, in Delhi. Perhaps some more spring pictures soon. 🙂


Meanwhile, a brilliant  review of my book ‘Wayfaring’ appeared  in the fabulous Singapore-based journal Kitaab. This is what a writer longs for. Good readers who explore what we usually don’t see in our own writing, reviewers whose critique is incisive and sensitive, and editors who take this dialog forward. Many thanks to all those who made this possible. Zafar Anjum, Sucharita Dutta-Asane at Kitaab, thank you for the way you always support poets and writers. This is a dream come true. Very honored and humbled.

Bhaswati Ghosh is a writer friend I admire. She has a very fine taste in music too. She writes and translates fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also the Editor -at – large at Cafe Dissensus Magazine where I have some of my work published. One of the magazines I absolutely love for its content.

Bhaswati really gets it when she says, “If solitude is nature’s essential condition, loneliness, its second cousin, is a function of being human. As Wayfaring shows, we don’t always choose loneliness; sometimes it chooses us. When it does, it’s seldom romantic and more like one’s own shadow, impossible to disown.”

Please do read the complete review by clicking on the link above and do buy the book. It is available worldwide with all online book vendors.

In another new, Vishal Bheeroo featured me on his blog. We talked about ‘Wayfaring’ journey as a book and other things. Do read the full feature HERE  

Here’s an excerpt : 

“Wayfaring is the result of a much more positive attitude towards myself and to life in general.  One must never lose the sense of possibilities. That’s the healing that comes from within. I have tried to work that around in the poems in ‘Wayfaring’. Most of the poems in the book are intensely personal and at times I have used nature or another element as a mask to enable me to write about private feelings but mostly the poems are all about ‘laying bare’, befriending oneself and realizing that this difficult phase in life is intrinsic to being alive. This shift in thinking changed my perspective completely and when you read the poems you will see what I mean.” 

Thanks Vishal for giving me this platform.

If you have bought my books please do write a few lines about them and let me know via twitter/FB/Instagram or just leave a comment here.



WAYFARING copies are here ! ; ORR Interview And Poetry At LBP

A lot is happening at the same time. Delhi is shrouded in toxic smog but our shopping  has started in full swing for the upcoming wedding of my son. I hate shopping. ;( It drains me out physically and mentally but this time I am excited so enjoying the researching and hanging out with my boys for some time even though it is walking miles and miles in the midst of shopaholics.

This is the sight that brings relief to tired burning eyes.

Did I share the photograph of the couple? They make a lovely pair. Perhaps you can say a little prayers for them and send your blessings as they embark on a new journey. Can’t wait for these two to get married. 


Perfect 10 / SnigdhAditya


To add to the good tidings my new poetry book Wayfaring is here. Not very many copies. I have earmarked a few for friends and guides. Rest of you can buy it from amazon or any online book seller worldwide. Do let me know if you pick up a copy. Write a short review, post a reader’s selfie. Show your love any way you wish. I am looking forward eagerly.

Here is what joy looks like

I shared a teaser video earlier and here is another fantastic video of my poetic journey with Leaky Boot Press. The video is created by my Publisher friend James Goddard.


It can get hard sometime but when you are approached for an interview by Kulpreet Yadav, India’s best selling thriller writer, friend and editor of a fabulous lit mag Open Road Review, life gets a new high Check out his Andy Karan series and new Vicks Menon thriller Murder In Paharganj on all major book sites. ORR earlier gave space for my poetry. It is a magazine I am proud to be associated with as a contributor.

Except from the interview:

“Kulpreet – As a poet do you have a long-term goal? Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

Me – “For a writer, it is very important to develop their sense of their literary journey. To evolve and grow as a human being and as a writer is the only goal I have. I don’t think about future. Let’s see what the universe unfolds as we go along. As a writer, I just want to enjoy the process.” “

Here’s the link to the full  interview 

When there is so much goodness around one needs to celebrate with some sinful chocolate mud cake from my favorite Cafe Delhi Heights. Give it a try if you’re in Delhi.

Keep watching this space for more updates on the book or check out the book page at the top menu of the blog.


Book Release, Interview And Other Milestones

So much has been happening lately that I have lost count of things I needed to share with my readers though most of those who follow me on other social channels must be getting the micro updates.
I gave in to the temptation and joined Instagram. It is overwhelming and though a great platform I need to nip that desire to make it a focal point of living. Those of you who are there can follow me  @tikulli 

Can’t believe I have already shared more than 120 posts there. 😀

Now to the Good news that has kept me busy and happy.

My elder son Aditya is getting married to his lovely girl friend Snigdha. I don’t know how to explain the feeling of happiness. It is a new chapter in their lives and ours. As the big day gets closer I am becoming very nostalgic and emotional. (Not that I am not that most of the time lol)

I wish them friendship, love and joy. And Peace. I know I tried to do my best as a parent and I hope he starts now on a new note leaving behind the grief, sorrow and grudges of the past. Cherish the bond we share.

Sharing a box of rich dark ganache, dark chocolate from Fabelle chocolate boutique, ITC Maurya Sheraton. This delicious chocolate is made with exquisite Ghana Cocoa. I went there recently and got blown over by the range. Post coming up soon.

Now to writing and other things.

In July poet-editor-academe Seb Doubinsky featured me on TABAGO, his wonderful international page for writers. A great honor for me to share a platform with some of the finest writers.

“I think both fiction and poetry are socially relevant projects just like any other art, a form of protest.”

Let stories be told, poems be written and songs be sung without fear. Let there be tolerance, compassion and love for all. We are living in difficult times and there is a dire need for change for the good of future generations. 70 years of Independence mean nothing if we still live in fear, if human lives do not matter. Violence, apathy, intolerance, bigotry needs to go.

Here is the link to the interview.  TIKULI DOGRA  

Another fantastic new is selection of my short story in ‘Silence is White’ an exceptional anthology dedicated to my dear friend, author, editor, academe, Seb Doubinsky. Kudos to  Chris Kelso and James Goddard for making this happen and Manu Rich for the brilliant cover.  I am the only Indian writer in the anthology and very proud to be included. Thank you James for putting the soul in my story. Releasing Date – October, 19th. You can pre order the book here. Soon it will be available here too.



I have a very important announcement coming up in a few days. Stay tuned. 🙂 

Meanwhile, my blog has been nominated in five categories for Indian Blogger Awards. Even non bloggers can leave a comment through Facebook. If you enjoy my writing, photographs etc do leave a testimonial by clicking on the given link.  #IBA2017 

Show some love by leaving a comment here.  You can even click on the right side bar widget to reach the page. Indiblogger completed a decade this year and I have nine years of wonderful association with them as a blogger. A great platform to be part of.

In nine years of blogging with WordPress I have now 2,700+ followers and 704,608 blog hits.

The blog was listed in Top Blogs of India for the sixth consecutive year. This year was the seventh edition of the Directory of best Indian blogs. A great milestone for me. Thank you for being part of my journey.

We blog, therefore we are.  

Keep reading and do leave your comments on the posts so that I know your views.

Thank you for all the love and support. Blogging with WordPress has been a very satisfying journey. The stats show the encouragement I get from all of you. Stay connected.

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. .




About poetry and other things

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

long gone?

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.

Shadow of Iris – Matt Dioguardi


He basked
in the unnatural light
of blue orbs
that hovered in his room
and granted a sweet rapture
as they undulated
to secret melodies
that only he could see
in their wavering shimmers.

blue orbs by Matt


Facebook helped me connect with a lot of  poets/fiction writers .  While on this wonderful journey there were times

When the heart and mind looked for a place to escape in search of calm and beauty I found solace in The Shadow of Iris.

Matt Dioguardi is an English instructor in Japan and writes soul-stirring poetry. Simple words that take you to some different plain. I love his poems. His blog’s name intrigued me and I searched his About me for a clue and then finally found it in his first post. I wanted to know more about the person who loved Lawrence , wrote poems that transcendent all poetic philosophical emotions , that create magical  kaleidoscopes   and more than anything  make your heart smile.

Here is one more of my favorites from Matt’s collection.

three beats

Nothing more from you
than a wordless glance
in my direction
and my heart
three beats
then flutters.


I wanted the poet  to tell about his passions, poetry, blog, everything. Here is what Matt had to say :


Why the name Shadow of iris?

This is too hard a question, and too long a story. The name was arrived at by trial and error. For very intense personal reasons, I knew I had to have the concept of rainbow as part the title. However, if I used the word “rainbow” directly, the connotations I wanted to emphasize would have been totally lost. So I needed another word. I tried the thesaurus first — no good. I started looking at how the word rainbow had been stated in foreign languages, and eventually started looking at some Celtic then Latin dictionaries on-line. When I came across the word “Iris”, that struck me as intriguing, so I looked it up at Wikipedia, and read about the goddess Iris. Wow … it was *everything* I wanted to convey as far as the concept of the *rainbow*.

Yet just “Iris” didn’t feel right. I needed something else. I must have thought up a hundred different titles the day I was working on this. I didn’t like anything, but I knew I had to use the word “Iris”, and I had given myself a sort of deadline to start my new site, so I was pretty frustrated. The next morning when I awoke, the phrase “shadow of iris” sort of popped into my head. I really liked that … it had an almost Jungian overtone. The rainbow is our hopes, our dreams, yet if we don’t temper them, we fall prey to them. I love what the phrase suggests.

That morning I typed the phrase into Google, I found this amazing passage by D H Lawrence, whom I love, from his book _the Rainbow_. The whole passage has to be read, but just to share two lines, it reads, “And forgetting, startled, she looked for the hovering colour and saw a rainbow forming itself. In one place it gleamed fiercely, and, her heart anguished with hope, she sought the shadow of iris where the bow should be.” It’s was so breathtaking. I knew I’d found exactly the title I was looking for.

Of course, I’m condensing a lot — and the truth is, what the title means is still something full of potential for me to explore. It’s not anything set in stone, I think. The title of the blog is a guide for me — to keep me on on course.

>> What does a poetry mean to you?

Art, in general, to me, is a means of exploration. I think the word poetry itself is huge, and I don’t see it as meaning any one particular thing. It’s everywhere. Just in terms of language, even when reading a very serious non-fiction work, I come across passages that strike me as being poetic in a sense that has little to do with the material actually being presented, and I feel the urge to take that passage and shape it into a poem … to see what happens.

You know, who can say what the limits are to what we can feel or how we can see the world? We can take just a few words and try to phrase them precisely thus — and from that we catch something, a feeling, a mood, an image — and what you catch might not even be the same thing I catch — even from the same words. If we can turn off our TVs for even just a while, if we sit back and just breathe, this is a creative process we can each participate in and share. Scribble a few words down and start to play with them. Watch them move around the sheet and take new positions — see what magic lies within them. It’s a kind of play that reveals stuff to us, sometimes really big stuff, but sometimes really small stuff that hits your right there. I really don’t know what poetry means yet, and I’m still learning about its inherent possibilities.

>>Tell us about the kind of poems you write?

When I write a poem, I see myself this way: I’m in a workshop, and I’ve got some pieces of wood lying around me of various sizes and shapes (free form thoughts scribbled on a piece of paper, word lists, sentences lifted from books, and so on). My job is to try and take what I’ve got in front of me, and to try and construct not only something aesthetically pleasing — but also something meaningful. If I’m really fortunate, what I want is an end product that resembles a kaleidoscope, so that depending on how you look at it, and under what kind of light, you’ll see something unique each time — and not just unique, but potent with meaning. Now, I don’t say I’ve *ever* achieved that — I don’t think I have — but that’s what I am always aiming for.

>>I see you have written some stories too and are working on a novel, tell us about it.

I’m always working on a novel. In the early 90s, it’s frightening to go back that far, I did several drafts of a novel … but the concept was too big, too awesome for me to handle. I wanted more time to work on it, so I did something completely crazy. I quit my job and went to Japan to teach English. It was my hope with a less typical job, and in a more stimulating environment, I could write more. I can’t say it was a mistake, because it certainly wasn’t, but it *was* the death knell for that particular version of that particular novel.

In Japan … I wrote two more drafts for entirely different novels … neither of which felt right. So what did I do next? I got married, studied Japanese, studied philosophy, had two children … and gradually have been trying to find my way back to writing. There have been many false starts, many half halted projects … the main reason for Shadow of Iris is to try and give myself just the right amount of push to get me producing. I love poetry — reading it, trying to write it. But I hope it is just the beginning of the journey (after so many false starts), and I hope I can take the blog in many new creative directions, especially by putting some fiction up on the blog. I have many ideas and this will be a very serious goal for me for 2011. 🙂

>>The audio part makes your poems come alive. Where did you get this idea?

I was very worried that some of my more experimental poems were going to be very hard on the reader, so I thought it would help if I read the poem — and actually, I’ve learned I really do enjoy doing this. I use a WordPress plug-in that I had seen used on a news blog.

>>One more unique thing is that you share works from poets you like. Not many people do that. Any particular reason for that?

People who blog poetry need all the help they can get. I also want to recognize the poetry of other bloggers. I don’t think I’m doing this nearly enough. I want to do it more.

>>Any inspirations? tell us something about yourself and some experience as a writer/poet that you remember fondly.

The number one inspiration is other on-line poets. I read a tremendous amount of poetry on-line, and I think this has had a big impact on me. Other than that, it’s a really weird, long, list containing a hodgepodge of writers and poets and thinkers.

>>Any tips for budding poets?

I hope I’m a budding poet … at least I feel it’s would be presumptuous to call myself anything more than that. As far as advice, the publishing industry is changing. Nobody really understands what will be the effect of not only the Internet, but electronic books, and delivery devices ranging from smart phones to tablet computers. I’ve heard people say poetry is in decline — really? There are so many people out there writing really good poetry on the Internet right now. It’s amazing. It’s a great time to start a blog, or to even just share poetry via Facebook or MySpace. I really don’t believe in the idea that we write only for ourselves, we write to communicate something … and sharing forces you into a greater degree of commitment; it pushes you to try harder. So my advice would be to write, share, and read as much as possible.

******************             ****************************           ************************
It was wonderful to read what Matt had to say. Thank you my friend for this honor and for featuring my work and that of some wonderful poetry of other blogger poets.
All those who love Shadow of Iris can join the Fan Page on Facebook.
I end the post by yet another lovely verse


Blank pages
rise up
and begin a dance
that taunts me;
each sheet
fast enough
to escape
the swiftest movement
of my sharpest pen.

I reach for my coat
and my hat
and I head out the door
yet everywhere I go
there it is
my typewriter
a melody
without words.

blank pages by Matt Dioguardi