Crossing The Threshold – A Poem


 

 

in the half light of dawn the breeze-

laden with the scent of mango blossom-

drifts in from the courtyard,

calling her thoughts to the waiting river;

quietly she leaves her bed,

gathers her unkempt hair in a loose bun

then pauses for a moment,

listens to her husband’s measured breathing,

then silently tiptoes out,

tucking in the corner of her sari at the waist

she hastily collects the fallen Parijatak in her pallu

placing a few in her hair at the same time,

the red from their stalks rising to her cheeks;

beside the well the empty pitchers wait,

nearby the battered clay stove

recalls her own scars,

for a split second she wavers, then crosses

the threshold, her heart frantic with haste,

leaving behind the walls

that had risen around her brick by brick;

the river hears her hurried footsteps 

with rapt attention, at its bend

under the shade of the mangroves,

a boat and a promise patiently wait

ready to carry her away.

 

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.

 

 

Mini-Reviews And Some Other News


Le Zap

I never took writing fiction seriously. Someday I would just open a word doc and type furiously as if possessed by the very words I was writing and slowly a story would come to life.  El Pino Ruins is one such story that I am very proud of. It recently got published in the final edition of Le Zaporogue XVIII by various authors.  You can read it by downloading the ebook format free of cost from HERE  

This is what a fantastic writer friend Jerry Wilson had to say about my story

 

Jerry is one of the finest short story writers today and you must pick up his books. Just click on the link above.

Another writer/ columnist Kiran Chaturvedi also shared her thoughts with me.  You can read some of her articles by clicking the link.

 

Here’s the complete note.

“Dear Tikuli,

I read your wonderful El Pino Ruins short story today and enjoyed it very much. Loved the classic style and haunting mood. It has such a vividly evoked setting, and a rich narration that makes for a captivating read. You have paced the action fluidly and built the puzzle beautifully. You should write more prose and I suspect you are specially good at such other worldly story twists. “

Thanks so much Kiran.

Have you downloaded the free ebook? Please do by clicking the link above. 

 

Meanwhile, my second poetry book Wayfaring reached Sabine Pollack Merle in France. She sent me a very heartwarming note after reading the poems.

“I read your poetry book, Tikuli, and once again you have moved me with your words written here, and that you whisper in my ear…
Some of these poems have made me cry because they are so meaningful. 
It is such a precious one. 
I really can say but one thing, many people should read Wayfarer.
Tikuli, you are a beautiful woman. 
Brava !”

You can read her review on amazon.fr 

I posted these on Instagram earlier. You can follow me there.

Some copies of the book are up for review and I am eagerly waiting for more feedback. Do write to me if you are reading Wayfaring. The book is available with all online booksellers across the globe. Do get your copy soon.

Bhavana Nissima  is a fabulous writer, artist, educator and NLP practitioner. She is based in Hyderabad, India. I have always loved her writing. She is also a very compassionate human being and a friend I cherish. In last few months she unconditionally healed me from distance in one of the toughest phases of my life.  I am grateful to her for helping me connect with myself.

In August last year she did a wonderful write-up with one of my poems along with one another poet I admire. You can read it here –

#FridayLights — Issue2 

Thank you Bhavana for this generous gesture.

 

#superblurbloodmoon #shotwithOnePlus3T

 

The whole world watched the phenomenal #SuperBlueBloodMoon on 31st on Jan. I took these pix from my #OnePlus3T Sometimes I regret not having a good camera. The sight was enthralling to say the least, the rare convergence of a ‘supermoon’, a ‘blue moon’ and a ‘blood moon’. Thankfully Delhi weather didn’t play up that night and I was able to watch the total lunar eclipse.

I am writing some more of Hindi poems on Delhi and will soon start sharing. Last two months have been very hectic and I have been unwell too. Apart from a verse here and there I haven’t written much.

i

my soul
is impatient with itself, 
my inner – disquiet, 
my intellect – not satisfied, 
my heart – not still,
my mind – ruffled,
I’m restless as a
willow in windstorm.
If you are afraid to step into quicksand

stay away.

ii

mystery 
madness
chaos 
carnage 
passion
intrigue
phantasm –
landmines in poet’s mind 
tread softly

 

I am trying to get back into the rhythm and start reading more blogs from friends. Do keep giving the support and leave your comments if you visit the blog so I know you’ve been reading my stuff.

A small note to end the post –

We take people for granted. We feel ‘entitled” and this feeling of entitlement blocks us from giving or receiving and when we aren’t receptive to gratitude whether in receiving or giving then we may be lacking many other positive emotions.
Relationship becomes stronger and deeper when a little grace and humility is shown.
Great Relationships are precious gifts. Be grateful. 
Thank you for being part of my journey.

Love and Light.

‘Collection Of Chaos’ Review By Dr. Amitabh Mitra |Poets Printery


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.

Tikuli's book

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 SunHere.

You can buy ‘Collection of Chaos’ from all online book sellers including amazon.com and Flipkart

‘Collection Of Chaos’ Review – Kalpanaa Misra


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.”

You can read the full review Here 

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.

Five Poems in Levure littéraire


 

(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. 

 

VerdArti – Birth Of A Poem (Nascita di una poesia) In Porcia, Italy – The Video And The Photographs


My poem in English and its translation. 

‘Birth of a Poem’ as part of VerdArti festival at Villa Dolfin, Porcia, Italy.

My Poem at Verdarti festival, Italy

 Alessandro Canzian reading the Italian Translation of my poem ‘Birth of a Poem’  at Villa Corrier Dolfin, Porcia ,Italy as part of the VerArti Festival.

A few more photographs from the lovely festival where artists and poets gathered to celebrate their work and of others. Copyright VerdArti.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Also Visit these links for more information and event photographs/videos, media news etc.-

VerdArti 

Foglie di poesia 

Samuele Editore Website

 

Chicken Soup for the Indian Romantic Soul : I too got published


When I got Chicken Soup for Every Mother’s Soul as a gift from my mom, I never thought I will see my name in the contributing writers list in the CS series and then came the mail from Guest Writer and friend Raksha Bharadia saying that she is collecting contributions for her new book, I was thrilled. I sent some of the material and she selected one of my poems for publishing. I was ecstatic.

Recently on visiting Teksons I found Chicken Soup For the Indian Romantic Soul on the racks and picked up a copy with a big smile on my face. The feeling one gets to see the name among the contributors is something I can’t describe. A stepping stone for me as a creative writer. I read and then read it again. It felt so good.

I picked a copy and gifted it to my mom who has been a pillar of strength and encouragement to me. I wrote ” this is from one eternally romantic soul to another. Thanks mom for helping me take the first steps in a romance called life “. The eyes said it all, the lips remained silent. She hugged me an wished me luck.

Here is a link to the poem which was included in the book.

Precious Memories

The poem is very speical to me although it is one of my early ones. It’s dedicated to a very special some in my life. I thank him for being my muse and adding the romance in my life.

Thanks Love.

These are the small pleasures of life. Every thing counts however litttle. One needs to be grateful for even the smallest joy that comes our way in any form and it mutiplies manyfolds.

I thank Gulnaz for introducing me to Raksha and Raksha for giving me the opportunity to showcase my writing. Love you both.

The book has 101 inspirational stories that will touch your heart. It also has some poems. I really liked the simple short one by Shekhar Kapoor. My friend Arun Nair also has a short story of his own marriage in it. Congrats Arun. I loved the contributions of  Jane Bhnadari, Raksha Bharadia, Anand Patankar, Usha M, Vibha Karnik,Meenakshi Roy. The other stories and poems are also worth reading. Over all it is a great read.

The book which was released as a  Valentine Day special has everything a romantic soul wants love, compassion, companionship, memories , belonging, and romance. A perfect gift for someone you love.

It feels great to see my work being recognised and to receive my first earning, or maybe second if count the Indus Ladies prize money 🙂 . Friends do get your copy ..

Erotica: A Poetry excercise with Kris


Touch

My hands
open the curtains of your being
clothe you in a further nudity
uncover the bodies of your body
My hands
invent another body for your body

Octavio Paz

I wrote this poem as an excercise in writing erotic or passionate poetry. My first attempt went flat so posting Kris’s correction also. I think it just stones you once the flowery words get trashed. enjoy both the versions . :). It’s wonderful when someone goes all the way to help you improve and make you learn the finer aspect of something you are passionate about. My heartfelt thanks to Kris for being such a considerate, caring and excellent teacher.

The curtains rhythmically sway
sunlight streams in,
into the dark chamber
caressing the soft pillow cases and sheets
faintly touching their bodies

drowsy curled honeysuckles,
entwined in sleepy heat
bathed in moist molten bronze
they glisten,

electrified nude sculptures of Khajuraho

A moment suspended in time

Fragrance of passion
wafts through the room
and whirls around them
She stirs, stretches in feline grace

From behind the Dark lashes
emerge deep intense eyes
teasing twinkling with want
tilting her lips
She dared him to play

Temptress

Her twin tulips, tipped crimson
in the refracting sunlight
He felt the rush
Their breath synchronized

feverishly his hand travel
down the smooth arch of her back
her firm breasts crushed against his face
ignited, flamed by fiery passion

Soaked in scintillating sensuous notes of saxophone
intermingled with citrus aromas
his lips, hands and tongue
traced circles, lines and curves
on the canvas of her body
unknown frenzied patterns
brush strokes of splashing exploding colors

liquefied bodies
in the rivulets of steamy sweat
moving in synchronized, frantic fluidity.
A torrential river gushing
to meet the raging deep ocean
swirling like a whirlpool,
gasps, moans, screams
A mystical ride
complete surrender.

Here is Kris’s version, a quick rewrite and a perfect one . Thanks Kris for being the light.

Electrified nude sculptures of Khajuraho
suspended in fragrance

He felt his hand travel
down the arch of her back
her firm breasts crushed against his face

Liquefied bodies intermingled with
unknown frenzied patterns
moving in synchronized whirlpool surrender

making it too hot for her to handle anymore.

Detritus: My Poem Selected 4Poetry Fest Anthology


438px-Claude_Monet_-_Camille_Monet_sur_son_lit_de_mort

Guntur in Andra Pradesh saw more than 100 poets on 2nd July at the “2nd National Poetry Festival”. The Hindu covered the fest extensively.

A combined effort of P. Gopichand and Nagasusheela the fest was a huge success.

Two of my poems along with two of my friend and fellow blogger Nabina Das featured in the anthology called “posy of poesy”. We will get the cpoy of the book soon.

It is a great moment for me to be part of such a fest. We were invited to recite at the fest but due to some reasons We could not make it..

Here is One of my poems .. my favorite.

Detritus

I watched her as she slept

Dejected isolated and dying

Her frail body barely covered by dirty rags

Devoid of dark mascara, fiery red mouth

Painted cheeks and kohl lined eyes

Her face resembled the pale wintry moon

The room was bare but for

Old cigarette butts & broken beer bottles

The air was laden with stilled hope

And stagnant stories of human lust

Pleasing hundreds of nocturnal panderers

Her nights were aflame with

Loud music, liquor, smoke & men

As a ten year old it had seemed

Like an unending circus

Now Twenty summers later

The circus has moved on

Leaving stumps of memories

& the ghost of my mother

-TIKULI

Here is the link to Nabina’s contribution , a beautiful poem called

‘Finding Formother’

Finding Formothers by Nabina Das

Image from the internet PAINTING BY CLOUDE MONET of his dying wife.

Link to my other poem for the Fest anthology Drama in the Sky