First Review Of ‘Wayfaring’ And City Musing


 I’ve watched this city moult. The change in its personality. The struggle to live and work through the masquerade of urban beautification. The slow and painful makeover. The contradictions. The altered demographies. The inequities. The restlessness and the river that quietly flows through it all.  I’m composing a new set of Delhi Poems. Somewhat ungrand this time.

The city around me is a fucking cemetery darkened with age where buildings stand cramped together like old, forgotten headstones representing a rift between living and dead. Pigeons, like monks at prayer, line up on balconies and window ledges. Nothing romantic or mysterious. Nothing historic or glorious. Nothing eerie. What lies beneath is dead. What lies above is stagnating. Slowly it will all crumble and die to give place to a yet another set of graves. Funeral is the word filling my mind right now. Somewhere a bird sings a mournful song. Must be a nightingale.

I muse about this as I walk around the city of Delhi. I feel that the culture has died in the eyes of almost everyone you see. If this is a fact, then I guess we must be independent of it, and seek out those who are also independent of it, in order to live at all among the ruins. I look at a different perspective. Vitality lies in the past, whose traces remain in those very ruins, but we cannot go there: our relationship to that, like our relationships to those we love, must advance, change – which is the very thing the ruins refuse us – but in its balance of decay, a change disrupts it, so any thought is a victory. Nightingales can learn plenty new songs. Delhi has layers and layers of surprises. It is a city full of emotions.

Emotions make me think of a blue Yamuna, a river we have collectively brought to a slow death with our neglect and apathy. No one cares to visit her banks or give a little thought to her. The monsoon rains give us a glimpse of the glorious river momentarily but then again she reseeds to be dismissed as a dirty sewer. No one thinks who turned her to be what she is now. I think of the women in my country as I look at her from a distance longing to reach out and touch its waters. There is something so deeply comforting and soothing about sitting at the bank of a river. I am dreaming of a blue Yamuna.

The River Yamuna from Nizamuddin Bridge, Delhi.

I’m sailing on silent waters
between dreams and 
half rememberings
In a floating world 
where nothing is as it seems

 

November has been benevolent in more than one ways. Someone special has brought good tidings in my life. A daughter I always yearned for. Bless her. She’s an exceptional poetess too.  There is still a hint of autumn in the breeze but slowly we’re heading to the real Delhi Winter with all its glorious flowers, snug, colorful woolens, fests, music and art festivals, visits to the monuments and parks. Winter is also the ideal time to experience the incredible Delhi Street food, the pipping hot aalu tikkis, kachoris, gajar halwa, hot jalebis, spicy sweet potato and fried potato chaats and also cold rabri falooda. yes, I’m one of those who love to eat ice creams and kulfis in winter. 🙂 exploring the city for authentic food is a journey of discovery in more than one ways.

Speaking of journey reminds me to tell you about Djelloul Marbrook. He is the editor-in-chief of The Arabesques Review Magazine. Originally from Algeria, he lives in the US now. An exceptional poet, writer, he’s someone I look up to as a student learning the craft of writing. You must check out his website and YouTube channel. It is a gold mine for poetry lovers. When my publisher and friend James Goddard told me that he’s reviewing my book I was slightly nervous but at the same time extremely happy too. This is the first review for ‘Wayfaring’ before it releases on the 20th of Nov. I don’t have words to tell you how proud I feel right now of my evolution as a poet and as a writer. He has written a glorious review of the book and touched the soul of my poetry.

Here’s an excerpt : 

Tikuli is a skilled plein air painter; her palette of words is spare, meticulously chosen and applied in a variety of metrical patterns that, while not avant-garde, are modernist and reliable. The reader is never required to study her metrics; her focus is on the act of recollection and its requisite imperative. She has stories to tell, portraits to paint, ghosts to address, and issues to redress.

The complete review can be read here – A Journey Beyond the Baggage of Pronouns in the tradition of Hafez Rumi and Al Arabi 

The review moved me deeply and to place my poetry in the league of some of the greatest poets of all times that I love and admire is very humbling.  Thank you Djelloul for this precious gift. I will cherish your words forever.

On another note, I have not been very regular with my blog post except the recipes but will soon resume updating the other blog categories too. I plan to visit some old, historic places this winter.

I’ll meet you at another place, another time, another field. The prettiest and most resilient flowers grow in broken spaces like the cracks in the sidewalks. Look out for those places.

Advertisements

Stepping Into The Unexplained – Dream Diary


I have not updated the dream diary since almost one year. Last year had been very disturbing at many levels and I am still coming to terms with various aspects. Though there was always a certain kind of fluidity in my dreams all through the year and the nights were always live with  dreams that were more real than reality there wasn’t anything that struck me very strongly. Mostly the family members feel I sleep soundly but the brain is active or maybe I should say wandering. It is usually not connected with the daily living. The people are unknown, so are the places but there is a feeling a feeling of Déjà vu.  The accompanying male figure in many of my dreams is my elder son. Maybe because he too is very receptive to the unknown or maybe because he is an emphatic match.

This constant fleeting between dreams and wakefulness has actually disrupted the usual sleep routine but now this seems normal. Some may find such dreams crazy or even macabre but that is what makes them so profound. I feel I am always at the threshold of consciousness. I thought my long term insomnia has become a gross feeder for such events but then I do seem fast sleep to others which is intriguing. I’ve had dreams that have left very vivid impressions on my memory. More vivid than the physical reality we experience. I believe that the depth of the experience and the alternative reality is limited to select few but most of us are never able to validate it as we would an event in physical reality. We are never able to bridge the gap.

I have a strong feeling that science, society, religion has boxed us in by limiting our thinking. There is a lot that is unexplained and unexplored with regards to human brain and what we term as “real”.  It is evident that the brain does have some functions beyond what science has already examined. Society builds our box for us, we sometimes feel confined to it because we don’t want to look odd, feel silly or out of place. Personally, I love exploring and seeing what’s out there, beyond the confines of my box which is truly not defined. It may seem odd to others but to me that is  the essence of life. I don’t know how to articulate it properly but in my thinking there is a connect between the universal energies and us. That is why some people are psychic.

Every living thing has consciousness has a connection to everything else in the universe. We are all sort of wired together and sometimes we go beyond the realms of physical world. There may be many reasons for the sensed presence, intuitions, out of body experience or such other things. I read about quantum mechanics of brain and it is fascinating. “When people have a near-death experience, all that quantum information leaves the brain, yet continues to exist, which is why some people report out-of-body experiences and lights at the end of tunnels. I think it says a lot about other such experiences too. One needs to explore. Having said that, it may be the confirmation of our perceptions too.”

We all carry a certain energy within and around us and many of us can sense that. It is an intuitive quality which is inborn but many of us lose it because of the conditioning of our minds by the environment. We are programmed to think and feel in a certain manner and anything that does not subscribe to it is frowned upon. Just as the women healers, psychic, clairvoyant were termed as witches and killed since ancient times.

Some places / people drain you out or make you happy, you feel comfortable in some homes or rooms and not in others  that is because you can feel the energy they emit, it is the same with things that we are unaware of or which are beyond the realms of our understanding. The law of attraction.

There is a fascinating world out there and within us and we know so little.

I remember someone telling me that I may be turning schizophrenic or may have a neurological dysfunction that I am not aware of. I don’t think so. Some people are psychic, intuitive, they have transcendental out of body experiences.

I have felt presence around me many times but they aren’t what the stories tell us. Not shadow beings, transparent apparitions with cold air around them, mostly there is a warmth. Some may say it is dues to the lack of it in the real world for me but I have felt the reverse too. It isn’t scary but it is definitely something I haven’t experienced before and yet there is always something which can relate to my physical life.

Some life energies take more than usual time to crossover and cling to this plane. They even feed off you at times. They prefer to stay earthbound. The reasons could be many. Sometimes they choose to stay  and at others they just hover because of some unfinished business. Energy can not be destroyed, it just changes forms and it is these forms we experience at times. We are like cosmic magnets and our viberational energies attract other energies from spaces around us. I think it is based on our thoughts and emotions and our receptiveness in finding our  matching energy. Our bodies are aligned with nature and the universe in the larger sense.  I am no expert so these are my personal beliefs. I think I never fitted in the norm and was always a little bit of an outsider. Maybe wit ha little bit of sixth sense.

This post may seem like a rambling and it is that. It is a portal for discussion for you. The dreams, the sightings, the intuitiveness,  precognition in a very limited or discreet way are some of the aspect of this being different.

We were having an interesting discussion about the two simultaneous photographs I took last year in the dinning area of my house and I just felt like sharing it here.

Here is the pic and it is open for interpretation. Play or light and shadow or something beyond that ?

 

These two pix were taken on a lovely sunny April afternoon around five o’clock. I was flirting with the mobile phone camera around the house and taking shots of light and shadows. When I focused on the wall in our dinning area I was rather surprised at what I saw. The chair was empty and yet there was a shadow image on the wall. No one was in the room except me. I opened the phone gallery to examine the pic again and could make out an old/middle aged man’s figure so I looked again at the wall. Nothing was visible to the naked eye. I positioned the camera and took a pic again. This time there was no figure. It could be a play of light but I was intrigued. A dream I had day before and a discussion about keeping the ashes of dead family members brought me back to this picture. So I leave you to ponder over this and one more question, is it proper to keep the ashes in the house? Is it proper to flow half of it in the river and keep the other half at home? Is it okay to divide cremation ashes? Are these beliefs tradition/ religion based? I know about keepsake urns etc.  

I must say again that I am not superstitious, just curious…

.  

Spring In Delhi, A Poem, A Story And Some Thoughts


The more a voice gets stifled, the louder it gets. So much has happened in past few days. There is too much anger and anguish inside me and I am just not getting into the rhythm of regular writing. Pages are still lying blank. Pen poised over them like a finger on the jugular.How can one remain composed when  voices of dissent are silenced. When Rohith Vermula is pushed to commit suicide. When peaceful dissenters (students) are painted as “anti nationals” charged for  sedition without any proof, for just having a different political ideology and guess which one got targeted as a terrorist and why? When news channels incite the public with doctored videos/audios. When evidence is manufactured. When goons are given protection and encouraged in their hooliganism. When students, teachers, journalists are beaten up for speaking up for what is just. When Perversity rules. When acid is thrown on the face of a  woman tribal right activist to muzzle yet another voice of dissent. When the country burns in the fire of communal hatred. When you are hounded and trolled for your stance on what is happening right now in the country When a twelve year old child is hit and her father killed for asking a second helping of meal. When the tragic suicides of the farmers is termed as “fashion”. When there is a complete breakdown of law & order. When anger kills the power of reason. When you are targeted because of your gender, caste, name, political stance or simply because you use your mind and speak out against the unjust.

It makes me uneasy. Makes me pause and reflect.

I fear for my life every single time I open my mouth in this country where I was born and raised. Who will stand up for me or any ordinary citizen? Who will listen to our pleas? I am not as articulate as many of my writer friends but I am a thinking and concerned citizen. A woman trying to stand for her rights and her dignity. A mother watching two young adult sons growing up in an environment that is getting vicious day by day. I taught my children dissent, I taught them to participate actively as citizens. I taught them to be discerning without being judgmental. That is what my parents taught me. I do the same. Does that make us Anti Nationals? Tell me how? Be very careful when you label anyone. Know its power. Labels box you in. I have been boxed in and I know how it feels. It dramatically changes your life in a matter of seconds. Most of the times scars you for life. Listen to that little voice of conscience and dissent that is knocking from within you to wake up. Listen and act.

In the midst of this unrest the spring came quietly to the capital bringing myriad hues of flowers. Every roundabout, every garden, every park is a riot of colours. The barbets, the flaming golden woodpeckers and the parakeets and many other birds are here. The roadsides and roundabouts are full of nasturtiums, yellow poppies, purple asters, yellow violas, red pitunias, Cinnenarias, dog flowers, marigolds, sweet peas, sweet williams, chrysanthemums, dahlias and bougainvilleas in varied hues have painted the city in every colour. Some of the Mango trees are blossoming too and then there is this distinct fragrance of the Saptparni tree across the city. The coral trees and the Silk Cotton trees are beginning to bloom too.

Delhi also hosts flower shows during Feb-March. I went to he 29th Delhi Garden Tourism Festival Yesterday to get soaked in the colours of basant (Spring)

And when we talk of flowers and blossoming how can we forget poetry. A poem got published in prestigious Open Road Review Magazine recently. You can read it HERE.

A Short Fiction also found a platform in Read Fingers, a portal for those who enjoy reading and writing. This story is very close to my heart. Do read it HERE.

Heartfelt gratitude to the editors who appreciated my work and included it in their magazines.

Talking of magazines, if you have not submitted your piece for Cafe Dissensus March issue (23) then please do it fast as the last date is not very far. Here is the submission link. I am guest editing the issue this time. 

I will leave you with this brilliant piece by my friend Nabina Das. – ‘After Every War’: Reading poetry in the dark times 

And One more by Saif Mehmood – Repression and Resistance, Delhi 2016: Through The Prism Of Urdu Poetry  

 

 

 

 

Fractals


Image Copyright – Tikuli

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

there is still

a hint of autumn

in the breeze

fragile as a whisper

a quiet reminder

of something fleeting

***********

    winter pruning

            I nip a thought in the bud

                 **************

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore– And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?” Langston Hughes

what happens to the dream deferred? does it become wafer thin? Does it perforate? Does it encrust and fall off like scabs? Does it smell of moth balls? Does it spawn a warped double? Does it trickle away and dry up?.

 

                    ***************

I said, “I have been put in the box before death.”

He said, “but you are a Hindu, you go up in flames when dead.”

I said, “I go up in flames every moment of living too.”

 

**************

the motionless day

grows dark inside the room,

the winter breeze

slithers through the window,

a spider dangles on a single

strand of web, thin branches

tremble and weep, but you,

on such winter days, are

the scent of lemongrass

not wanting to leave

the teapot

**********

The parting isn’t hard really ,

it is the wretched sense of abandon

in unfinished conversations,

in lost fragrances, in heart’s great void of silence,

in places that have a putrid sense of familiarity-

coffee shops, cheap hotel rooms, bars,

in old telephone diaries, in hunger

that food cannot lay to rest, in words

frozen mid air, in the crumpled pieces

of paper filled with gibberish, in the taste

of your skin, that’s hard to let go.

The constant abandoning

in that abject indifference, the obscure silences

that tie my stomach in a hangman’s noose, wherever I go,

whatever I do, whoever I am with. It’s always there,

 morphed into everything familiar and unfamiliar, and

when I look into the mirror, I see it in my eyes.. looking

at me with the same look of abandonment I saw in your eyes

when we last kissed before the distance between us stretched like melted cheese

Some Random Thoughts, Seven Poems, A Memoir and A Photograph


I have neglected my blog since a long time. I mean apart from the news and photographs and recipes I haven’t really posted any stories, poems, memoirs etc. The reason is I am working on the MS of the novella I am writing and collecting the short stories, poems etc for publishing. Also, I am desperately trying to clean myself of patriarchal bullshit. This whole year has been amazingly annoying and hurtful at the same time at many levels. It has also been a mixed year for writing. This  winter is going to be long and harsh..

Now, coming back to the BS I mentioned above.

Patriarchal bull shit comes in more forms than you can ever imagine and it can be very subtle. AND where should I put the increasing number of labels the men are honouring me with? you can trust some people to screw your life when you least expect. It makes my blood boil but just the slogan shouting and walking out as a rebel defying the system seldom helps. Don’t ever think you can count on support of natal home. Nah.. it turns toxic sooner than you can think. Unless you have a job security and/or a heart of steel you get fucked both ways. If you don’t have good health then it is the cherry on top. I know.

Many women are not living their dreams because they are living their fears. Isolation, restriction, guilt, humiliation, denial, continuous controlling and criticism and lack of empathy, love, companionship, shattering of a dream of ” a life long relationship based on mutual respect” breaks them. Emotional, mental tortured is hard to explain due to lack of ” solid evidence.”

Emotional Abuse comes silently most of the times camouflaged as “love, betterment, moral duty, guilt, emotional blackmail, and marital rape. Silence helps it breed and dig its claws deeper.
In our country ‘Thinking for oneself’ is not encouraged. It’s always conformity & herd mentality. The moment a woman begins to voice her thoughts she is condemned, ridiculed & told to shut up. If she rebels, her condition is even worse.

This is the ground reality of majority of women. The woman who works for us said a thought-provoking thing. She said,” Middle class non working women are in a worse situation than others. The rich have other resources to fall back upon, like money and all that it brings, and we, the poor, can just leave an abusive home, make a jhuggi somewhere else and work in homes to sustain ourselves. You can’t do that. So, its worse for the likes of you.” I couldn’t have agreed more. I have shared this earlier too but now and again the reality of it smacks me hard on the cheek, reminding me to shake the muck that I am allowing to grow on me and move away. Where? How? When? I don’t know.

I also know the hawk-eyed snoopers are reading this right now and itching to set the grapevine ablaze. Go ahead all you pinch-brained nitwits. I don’t give a hoot. Some others may be steaming within and wanting to say something nastier than what they said earlier but don’t know how. If you burn the bridges you lose more than you can imagine. By the way I always wanted to ask, “who it was that taught you to speak bullets without considering the exit wounds, tell me who?” Oh I love this line from Flatsound|you said ok 

Rant over. Now some good things.

Seven of my new poems got published in Cafe Dissensus blog. The news made me super happy.

Sharing one of them here but to read the rest do click on the link below.  Do explore the magazine, it has some excellent stuff.

Void

loneliness curls in the spaces
between the notes of the rainsong,
the night bleeds neon, collects
in puddles near the wet sidewalks,
cigarettes, float like decomposed corpses
bloated with memories, voices, tense with
longing, rustle through the trees, possessed
and restless the midnight lingers.

I wrote a memoir long ago for Soul Curry that used to come in TOI but by the time I sent it they stopped that feature. It remained tucked away  in some folder until I chanced upon it sometime back, polished it and sent it to Readomania. for publishing on their website.

They accepted and here is the link.  The Old Black Trunk .

Do read and leave your views about these two in the comment section on the respective sites as well as here.

I will be sharing a few more poems soon and will try to keep the blog going.

Till then stay blessed.

darkness and pain?
well, that’s now a thing of past
now let’s look after
passions and
surrenderings
meanderings and
wanderings

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’.

Nothing

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.

Ten On Tuesday


1. I don’t look fat but I have gained weight. I have stuffed myself with desserts lately. I think it is ‘stress eating’ or ’emotional eating’ though I do have a sweet tooth. I am basically eating my feelings. The result is the weight gain and still the lack of energy or for that matter inspiration. I am not bingeing but I am just eating too much sweet. Food as a form of relief. Relief from stress, insecurity, loneliness, hurt, anxiousness. I am aware and I am trying to get past it. Time isn’t a good healer and I am just too emotionally distraught now. Food is a passion for me and I do not wish it to become a curse. So ‘ban’ is not what I aiming at but control. Sleep deprivation is another thing that may be adding ounces and inches to my body. Need to cure that and get into shape. Love myself before others.

2. The Urs Mubarak of Hazrat Amir Khusro has begun and this time too I am unable to go to the dargah. It is not very far from where I live but there is no calling I guess. It is something I need to do. I am not a religious person but there is a mystic pull that keeps me tied to this place. I often sit and focus on the energy I get from there. Sending all the vibrations to the universe to make it happen.  Asking for healing, guidance and peace.

3. This year has not been good at some levels which have changed the entire course of my life once again. Uncertainty looms large and I need to take some decisions. Asking universal help to bring things to closure and for new beginnings.

4.‘I fell in love, and with all the recklessness of love, I had no idea what I was doing until it was far too late to get out…’ – Jeanette Winterson

5. I am not averse to being alone. It is the best thing to happen if you can befriend your aloneness. It is the loneliness that seeps in the hollow of your bones and nibbles them from inside out.  There are worse things than being alone and most often when you do realize that it’s too late and there is nothing worse than too late. Indifference is the opposite of love, not hate. Right now, dealing with reality is tough but not impossible.

6. Sometimes one knows one’s place, outside the periphery. I have said this from the start, felt it from the start. I continuously felt something shifting from your side, I wasnt a priority or maybe I never felt like I was. I needed you to hold me while I was drowning in my fears. really, just that. It terribly frightened me when you shut me out while I tried to reach out to you against all odds. I wanted a little respect, some regard for my feelings, loyalty, a little importance in your long list of priorities… I simply needed to feel that in many hours and miles that indefinitely sat between us, Was I asking for a lot? I hopelessly waited for you to call me, stop , at least talk it out but you just let me slip away like sand from fist. I am trying to get over it. There is so much to get over with.

7. Hills are calling. I am thinking of settling down somewhere in hills. No, it is nothing to do with ‘how bad the word is’ , it is because I love mountains. I love the quiet, it has that formidable quality to counter the deafening stillness inside me. I was born in hill and a part of me always wanders in those paths moist with the sweetness of pines, it wanders with the clouds, over the valleys and little hamlets with red slate roofs. I am saving money to make that one way trip to some place where no one knows me. Start afresh and do what pleases me. Even if it is just gazing at the flight of the eagle.

8. I am reading a lot of zen these days. There is something calming in those pages. I am also learning to paint again. Dipping my fingers in real colors. I did two acrylic on canvas but I think I will buy a big sketch book, crayons and color pencils. Something I carry with me wherever I go. I need to hold the pencils again. The tips of my fingers are becoming numb with too much typing. I want to feel the pulse of the words I write and it’s not possible with the impersonal letters popping up with the click clack of the keys.  Things need to get real.

9. It is also time to bring closure to the novelette I began many moons ago. It has been beta read and coming back with comments. I plan to work on it with utmost dedication and bring it out. A lot of time, effort and commitment has gone into it. Same with the short fiction I have to edit. Time to make it all final and add some more to have a presentable book ready. Universe has been benevolent as far as my writing is concerned and many good things have come my way, I just need to go with the flow and discipline myself. i thing I have struggled with since long.

10. Talking about writing i am reading and experimenting with new forms of poetry and fiction. I twill be shared later sometime 🙂 Till then life will be all about keeping the faith that good things will happen. All that is lost will come around. If it is really meant to be.

Ten On Tuesday – Notes To Self


1. Learn to be with yourself and like it. Do things alone. Treat yourself to a coffee or a meal. Explore the city including the gardens. Visit the exhibitions, fairs, museums.

2 Let go. With grace. If someone decides not to love you anymore there is nothing  you can do about it. Stop chasing.

3..Love yourself. Love your body. Treat it with respect. Treat yourself with respect. Sleep well, walk, drink plenty of water, excercise. Shed worry and fear.

4. Learn something new everyday. Teach something new to others. Try something you haven’t done before. Solo travel is one of them.

5.. Resist the temptation to respond immediately when hurt, provoked  or in anger. Never dignify an insult with a response.

6. Read more. Write more. Repeat.

7. Get your act together and forge ahead. You do not have a choice. There is no middle path nor one that will lead you back.

8. Life is too short to have toxic people around you. Get rid of them.

9. Stop being a hypochondriac. You don’t have all the diseases listed on the internet.

10. Remember how Leonardo DiCaprio taught Winslet to spit in the movie ‘Titanic? Just practice that when you are free so that you can use that skill when people judge you. (Thanks Farida for this valuable tip)

Ten On Tuesday


Today I am not really in a mood to write. This year has been a mixed bag of good and bad. In equal measures. “Well, Something’s lost but something’s gained in living everyday.” Remember the beautiful song by Joni Mitchell?

Today I have decided to post ten random things from the various drafts lying in a folder left orphaned since one day everything changed. Lines that could have become poems, stories but now they just lie abandoned, waiting. Just as I am.  The opposite of love is not hate, it is the abject indifference. People may say, “this too shall pass” but it doesn’t, it seeps in the hollow of your bones. Half of July has passed and I am tired of being brave. I can’t go on pretending. Right now dealing with reality is impossible so don’t mind if my conversations seem wounded in love.

1. “I am getting acquainted with your absence. I write as much as I can to write you out of my system but it doesn’t happen. the sorrow doesn’t turn into poems. The phone remains silent as the mornings turns to afternoons, which in turn fall into dark and then the dark too goes quiet, just like you. I stare into nothingness, even the breathing becomes inaudible as I grieve about the parts of me you buried while they were still pulsating with life.”

2. “Even though it hurts, I will stay open and vulnerable. The beauty of the human life lies in its fragility and I wont give it up or give it away.It is the real strength and power of being human, to accept your brokenness, to put it all back together. To fill the cracks with gold of love and move on. Cracks are the wounds indicating you have suffered and have overcome that suffering. Courageous risks are life-giving and the rewards are deep.”

3.

“I bring to you my poems

a clumsy bouquet of words

unbefitting for your tastefully done life

wildflowers, a wealth of perfume…..”

4. “Delhi summer drips in mangoes. The summer seasons opens officially with mango blossoms and the entire two months are ruled by the king of fruits, canopies of gulmohar carried forward from the spring into summer alive with cuckoo birds. Watermelons swollen with the red summer heat inside them. Flamboyant Bougainvillea exploding on walls in vibrant colors. Blinding sun, dust winds, road rage, power cuts, melting asphalt, chuski licking, water trolleys, sweat and grime, white sky and chilled lemonades signifies the summer in Delhi. City is a color palette with the golden amaltas, gulmohar, tesu, kanak champa, silk cotton, coral tree, all in full bloom and the neem trees filled with tiny starry flowers. Who can’t fall in love with the lilac spread of kachnar and the beautiful Jacaranda. In me, the summer drips with the memories of you that evoke painful secrets. It is a funeral without a shroud.

5. The horizon makes her lonelier than she is as  she stands looking down at an unspoiled landscape of sand. Now a tree, she once was a woman, a keeper of the words,  a story-teller, a mystery from time immemorial.

6. Age is catching up with the Neem trees (Indian Lilac) in central Delhi (This one is part of the canopy of lush green trees that line up both sides of the Aurangzeb road). It is a beautiful experience to drive down the roads, esp when the vehicular traffic is least, with so much green surrounding you. There was a time I would walk down these roads and simply gaze at the spread of many shades of green above me. One could hear so many bird calls in those days. Each season brings its own dramatic change to the landscape. Each one more beautiful than the other. For once one forgets all the chaos that surround us.

These trees are a legacy of the colonial raj. Ten thousand trees and one hundred and thirteen km of hedges were laid out by an expert from Kew Garden London, with each major avenue having one species. Tamarinds on Akbar Road, Arjuna trees on Janpath, pipuls on mandir marg, and Neems on Aurangzeb road.

We stopped under the shade of this tree waiting for the signal to turn green. In the midst of the thick foliage, high up on a branch was nest, now empty. One can not see it in the photograph though. Life is all about holding on and letting go. Dont know why but a line from Blake’s poem instantly came to my mind.

“The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.”

7. “Whatever you give comes back to you.
I gave myself. Love is a boomerang I never learned how to throw correctly.”

8. Not even for a moment forget that I am a river.
No matter what you put in my way,
i will still find a way to break free.
Don’t assume that I will be on this narrow road forever,
your perception of my exterior
may not match what lies beneath my surface,
I am holding a fiction inside me
if you think you know me, think again
what is visible is camouflaged
what is hidden is true
we are kind of schizoid, aren’t we?
containing multitudes within.

9.

each of us

for all our lives

live

so bitterly

misunderstood

10. I carry a raven in my chest. You, a songbird. Isn’t it clear who should fear the cage?

Nonuplets


Everything, so fragile, 

connected by the slenderest 
of threads, ephemeral, delicate,
intangible
and yet ….

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~

as many things exist in the dark

as in the light and as many more

hide in the shadows, vaporous creatures

that come from the solitude of

dark’s intrepid fantasy, dodging time,

dividing, multiplying, into the total dark

as it eclipses the light and the line

between what is and what isn’t

becomes whisper thin

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

darkness moves through me 

trying to fill a void 

no longer there 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I am a nocturnal echo

hanging by the thread.

 

 ~~~~~~~~

the poem staggered away

from the edge of the page

like an afterthought.

sometimes, the drama

isn’t in the script

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

there is a mystery unfolding 
in the steam from my coffee mug 
Behind my ears the temperature rises

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

A shared dream 
half-lived
life is nothing but a joke

 ** *** **** **** **** 

every time you touch my life,
wounds open and my
fragmented self
catches your light
staining my soul
with colors of love.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am weary of houses
I want to be home

~~~~~~~~~~~~

This post is BlogAdda’s Tangy Tuesday Pick for May 9th.

tangytuesday