One Year of Wayfaring And Other Things


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can read the full review on my Instagram page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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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.

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.