Rejected Poems


Two of my poems did not find a home in any online magazine. They were not considered “poems” but a jumble of words. Well, what can I say, most of my work is a jumble of words.  I’ve been away from blogging for more than one reason but thought of sharing them with you. Maybe one of you will be able to unscramble these words.

1.

Somewhere in the thick of the night between sleep and wakefulness I suddenly found myself furiously typing away on my mobile. It continued till I got exhausted and then I cut pasted it an email draft before turning the device off.  In the morning I read what my possessed fingers wrote, rearranged the words and decided it was a decent poem. The poetry experts thought otherwise so here it is.

NIGHT THOUGHTS

In my search for a home

All I wanted

was two arms

that would hold me in love,

a quiet lap for my head,

fingers stroking my hair

a shoulder to lean on

when my heart was heavy

But that was asking too much

all they gave me

was four walls and a roof

A window to see the world

and a door that kept me in

Often

i would stretch my arms

out through the window,

close my eyes and free myself

of everything that held me,

often

i would try to fly

but would fall instead

my injuries seldom showed

Once

i found the door open and fled

as if my life depended on it

No,

my life did depend on it

I had no experience of freedom

there were arms, laps,

shoulders everywhere

luring as a spider lures a fly

to make the kill

With sinking heart

i searched for those four walls,

a roof, a door

that would keep me in,

a window that was closed

unless i wished it otherwise

I wanted to hide away in the dark

Away from prying eyes

but they found me…

Every single time

I wanted to bury myself in a hole

but they would only dig me out

Instead

I was a forever drifting

between what was

and what might have been

The only constants

were the walls and the roof

enclosing me,

morphing into arms, laps, shoulders

that pushed and groped and pressed

Till i was like a palimpsest

Absent yet strangely there

Sometimes

everything was a black expanse

Even in the searing daylight

from that blackness

They would pull me in

Deeper

deeper

Until my breathing failed

until my heart exploded

yet still i stretched my arms

Trying to find freedom

from all that held me

Sometimes

hands would pull me out

only to abandon me as i held tight

then i would fall again

invisible injuries hurting so much

Sitting in this black hole

desperately

i stare at a patch of sky

I feel the sides for hand and footholds

I find a few

but my legs

Have forgotten how to climb

I stretch my fingers

Press them hard against the cold

Hoping they’ll grow into vines

Vines climb upwards

Follow the light

Snip

Snip

Snip

A sound echoes

………………..

2.

An autobiographical sort of poem written in moments of deep anguish. Sometimes this is the only way to release the stress, the emotional burden and the anxiety. My search for a place I can call my home continues, the struggle with my emotional, physical health continues and so does the constant effort to keep my finances stable. Many times I reach a breaking point and then pick myself up. Sometimes writing it out helps. A lot of people question my public writing of my personal struggles. Why do I write and share? Do they serve any purpose? Well, perhaps not to the readers but to me they do. They help me with many things and that I will keep to myself. On practical grounds writing may not helps, it may not get me a house or improve my monetary situation but it is a a stepping out of blocks that choke my mind.

There have been betrayals and backstabbing, abuse and gaslighting, there have been people who snatched what was truly mine but then one learns. It is all about moving on. Writing helps.

LONELINESS

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for being born when no one wanted me

not even me nor the womb that carried me

as I wrapped the placenta around my neck

as I tried to end what should not have begun

a son was enough to continue the family name

a son was enough for a mother to love

who needs a daughter

conceived perhaps to spite the mother

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for shuffling between life and death

a cause of utmost bother to caregivers

forced to revive a child

in almost vegetable like state

it snapped their backs and their feelings

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

            for abandoning that little pup

            on a side street many years ago

            a pup who had cried with me

            when mother was taken to the hospital

            her heart weary

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for that is all I had to call my own

as I wandered the streets after school

not wanting to go back to a loveless home

whose key hung around my neck like a noose

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for witnessing what I shouldn’t have seen

someone close and her lover

a man who played uncle

his hands reaching for places

that I was beginning to discover

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for trying to wash away

that dreadful touch

which scarred my innocence

which made me flinch away from men

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for giving it all

sometimes at will at other times forced

for retreating within my adolescent heart

as I was forced to atone for sins I didn’t commit

punished by my father every other day

the gaze of the neighbourhood scalding my skin

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

because that is all I had to call my own

my mother too busy

my father mostly absent

my brother indifferent

not much has changed

except my father is dead

he doesn’t come home every season

to replace his clothes.

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for marrying a man I thought loved me

as I wanted to love him

tied to his mother’s apron strings

he could never give enough

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for clenching my tongue between my teeth

so that no words escaped

for drinking the bitter taste of agony

as they fought for breath then gave up

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for crossing a line women in India

are not supposed to cross

better to die in the marital bed

than return to the childhood home

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

            for abandoning my sons

            for leaving them in a toxic house

            that I could never call a home

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for craving love either non-existent or forbidden

years of carrying a curse has turned me into one

though when I raise my voice in protest

I’m labelled with the choicest of names

reserved for women of my kind

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

things go full circle

a placenta wrapped around my neck

slowly and steadily tightening its grip

what begins has to end

loneliness is a curse I’m tired of carrying

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for it is still all I have to call my own

Kinship of Words


Separated by seas, connected by literature

I had promised to write about James and our long distance impromptu poetry collaboration for Duets.  Today’s post is an introduction to a genius who has always kept a low profile.  It is also a prelude to the post on Duets and how we collaborated on it. I will post it in a few weeks. Waiting for my print copies to arrive.

I don’t know how to begin telling you about James. I thought it would be easy for me to just talk about mentors, writing experiences, friendships, publishing of my books, our friendship across time and space etc etc but when I am actually here I am unable to find words. What do you say, how do you explain an elusive person who is too modest and shy to talk about himself and his achievements ( which he calls”little things I did”? How do you explain a bond that goes beyond the boundaries of all distances, physical or mental?

I was rather annoyed that he did not write much about himself on the back cover of our collaborative book of poems ‘Duets’. I knew he won’t share his photograph in any case even after my relentless nagging. After a lot of discussion I decided to write about him here. People needed to know who’s the other poet behind the beautiful work we have created and how it came about. They need to know his literary background, “the things he did”. Nag nag nag .. and finally I got him to send me a list of his published works etc. I am pretty sure there is much more but I will draw a line and respect his privacy at this point. I am glad he opened up a bit. If you know James Goddard this is a huge achievement on my part.. hahaha..

I met James on Facebook via some mutual friend in 2012. He was not sharing much of his writings on his timeline but his monochrome photographs were so utterly gorgeous they could draw anyone to explore more. His visits to India and the magnificent photos were the connecting dots and with time our friendship grew stronger. We did have our fights, disagreements, arguments but in the end what emerged was a stronger bond. There is an immense love and respect I have for him not just for being my guide and publisher but also for being such a selfless, caring confidante and friend. He has listened to me and lifted me out of some of the darkest periods of my struggle. Listening is a dying art and not once he made me feel uncomfortable. He has a big role to play in my personal growth too.

James’s gracious presence, life experience and unbiased attitude continues to fill me with the energy I need as I battle my personal issues. Over the period of time he introduced me to other genres, writers, helped me polish my writing. Not just poetry but fiction too. I was also fascinated by his extensive travels in India, Middle East and Europe that he undertook in pursuit of photographs of ordinary people and interesting places. Here was a guy so talented and creative with great sense of humor and passion for life ready to help me with all he had. I felt blessed. As he began to share short stories, ditties, poems  or “little pieces” as he called them I realized what a brilliant writer he was. each of us were hooked to every word he wrote and waited with baited breath for the next one to be posted on his timeline on FB. A little birdie told me his interest in Science Fiction began at the age of twelve. Writing good stuff comes so effortlessly to him.

As day went by I felt encouraged to write more, write better, to explore new ideas, to send my work for online publication and then began another phase of my journey as a published author. A step forward from where Kris has brought me with his care and support of four years. He’s still around if I need him.

If you love my writing then you should know that it is the product of hours and hours of patient guidance and hard work irrespective of time and distance. I was as eager to learn as he was to teach though he may not call it teaching. A nudge in the right direction perhaps, “just suggestions”. Always there without being intrusive. Never culling my true voice. I think this is what laid the foundation for Duets.

I couldn’t have dreamed of getting my poems and short fiction published in print if James had not edited and published them. I owe them to him. You can see my LBP Author Page here

I am linking his profile here so that you can read his work that’s been posted on his TL and notes. Check his albums for some stunning photographs. His love of monochrome photography started with his first camera and he still firmly believes that only black and white images can bring out the beauty of the mundane. His photographs have been featured in the arts and literature annual, The Zaporogue , edited by Seb Doubinsky; Invierno: A Cantata of Spain in Winter(John Lewis) and on several book covers. James was born in Bournemouth, a university town and resort on the south coast of England, lived in London for a short time and now lives with his 10,000 plus books and three cameras in Driffield, a small East Yorkshire town.

I could go on telling you about our association if I had enough space here but I want you to discover his genius through his writings and photography. I request his friends, associates and co writers/editors to pitch in and provide more information in the comments.

Social media has its assets too. Its not always intrusive and addictive in a negative manner. For me Facebook was like a virtual home where we were all connected yet there was were spaces between us. That important space which we all need to evolve. It played a part in my learning, my friendships, my mental and emotional health and perhaps to a large extent finding myself. It is true and we’ll talk about it sometime. The writer friends tribe that I am part of now is all via FB. Each one a gem. I have written about many of them in my earlier posts.

I am posting a list of James’s work that I could gather by stalking various pages, sites and pushing him to reveal some facts. Do look up these links or books on Google as I do not have all the links to lead you to them.

JAMES GODDARD 

  • Published the first attempt at a bibliography of the fiction of J. G. Ballard. It was called  J. G. Ballard: a Bibliography 
  • Edited and published the SF fanzine Cypher (early 1970s) attracting contributions from many well-known writers including Brian Aldiss, Kingsley Amis, J. G. Ballard and James Blish. Cypher was the first fanzine to receive an element of Arts Council funding, via Southern Arts. 
  • A short interview with Ballard is published on the Ballard page of British Library Website
  • Published some poems—in an obscure publication, titles forgotten
  • Published a short story in the magazine of the Leeds University Science Fiction Society—title forgotten
  • Short Fiction A Dish of Devils in  Science Fantasy July – August 1964
  • Contributed three of the major themed articles to The Visual Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction  edited by Brian Ash (Pan Books, 1977 in paperback, Triune Books, 1978 in hardcover) . The articles were titled – Cities & Cultures, Sex & Taboos, Cataclysms & Dooms.
  • Co-edited with Interzone editor David Pringle, the J. G. Ballard festschrift  G. Ballard: the First Twenty Years (Bran’s Head Books)
  • Contributed articles and author interviews to the magazine Science Fiction Monthly and was also instrumental in acquiring several works of fiction for that magazine. Here is one link 
  • Read and advised on science fiction for Fontana Paperbacks
  • With others set up Kerosina Publications, published limited edition books by prominent science fiction writers including Brian Aldiss, John Brunner, Philip K. Dick, Gene Wolfe and Lucius Shepard
  • Acted as British secretary to the UK chapter of World SF for several years during the same period and also edited the World SF Newsletter.
  • Worked as a bookseller specializing in science fiction for some years
  • Worked as a freelance book editor for a number of publishers
  • Set up and managed the website of author Brian Aldiss
  • Wrote a ‘remembrance’ of author Keith Roberts which was published in the UK, USA, Japan and several other countries
  • Set up and managed the website of author Ian R. MacLeod
  • Established the small publisher Leaky Boot Press and, with Seb Doubinsky, Weirdo Magnet which publishes what Seb calls “New Edge” literature, that could be defined as provocative, mind-bending and outside genre.
  • Photographs of Spain included in the book Invierno – A Cantata of Spain in Winter photographs by John Lewis, Patricia Lewis & James Goddard
  • Subject of an ‘appreciation’ (for photography) by Marcia Marquez Rambourg in the French language online journal La Revue des Resources
  • Published stories and photographs in Le Zaparogue edited by Seb Doubinsky
  • Published poems and photographs in online journal The Arabesques Review
  • Set up online photography portfolio
  • Published a story in Silence is White (Weirdo Magnet), an anthology edited by Chris Kelso
  • Compiled a book of his own short stories, Dolls, as yet unpublished
  • Published a book of collaborative poems, Duets (Leaky Boot Press), with New Delhi based poet Tikuli
  • Collaborated with Canadian singer/lyricist John Lyle in this beautiful song. You can see some of James’s photographs’s here.
  • You can find James Goddard’s contribution of actual Ballard documents from his extensive collection, a total of 56 pages of Ballard’s handwritten text, interview corrections, lists and more from JGB’s intense and experimental late 1960s and 1970s in Rick McGrath’s The J.G.Ballard Book.
  • Cover Art – The Roads (2005) ,The Dead Orchards (2006)
  • There are some more of his essays and reviews that were published but I am unable to track the links.

He is an avid collector of science fiction first editions by a select group of authors. He is also a master of truism 😀 ( that is something no one else knows I am sure.. hahaha) I am tempted to disclose more but perhaps I can leave it for some other time. He is such a fun person to be with. If you live in those part you may sometimes find him hanging around The Butcher’s Dog Pub enjoying his beer.

I write this with deep affection and respect. I am not reading it again to edit or improve. Ours is friendship I cherish and hope it flourishes in the coming years. I also hope we see some of his recent individual work published and read.

I always tell him that the World of British Science Fiction needs to recognize and honour him for all the brilliant contribution. I hope that day comes soon.

We are already thinking of Duets 2 and many other things. Meanwhile do read him and you can thank me later.  Support his independent publishing project Leaky Boot Press. Buy the excellent books they have published. The link to the website is provided above and you can also find them all on amazon.

You can order Duet, Collection of Chaos and Wayfaring from any online book vendor.

For those in Australia Book Depository is a better option. They have free delivery too.

 

 

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.

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.

Enter The House Of Stories


I live in a house of stories. In a phantasm. Here everything is made up of words. Said and unsaid. Written and unwritten. Heard and unheard. Familiar and unfamiliar. Words that are still in the nuclei and others which are decaying and dying. Dead words and their ghosts. Orgasmic words exploding at touch of a thought. All encompassing all including words. Tainted words. winged words- magical, ethereal.  Then there are the creative trouble makers. Words that will bewitch you, cast a spell and posses you. They will become your fingers and write the stories for you. You will have no control, no power. Drugged by them your stories will rise from the belly of your mind and float out of the house while you watch in helpless trance. They will be your masterpieces. Your finest creations.

Cast a net  catch a few starry words, look for those glowing words hidden in the crevices, sniff the pain and  joy, vulnerability and  passion, death and rebirth if you have a nose for it. Allow your senses to indulge. Let the words have their way with you. Let them tickle you like a soft feather, undress you slowly down  to the wire syllable by syllable, consonant by consonant. Let them undo you one vowel at a time.Lend yourself to them. Surprise your tongue as they gently push past your teeth , rejoice in the deeper play they create inside you. Watch their sweet swell. Taste the salt on their skin. Dance to their symphony of lust. Let them feed you a story or two in bite size morsels. Be part of their stories. Always searching, always needing, always wanting. There is  a beauty in staying incomplete. Hungry.

Do not be afraid. Open yourself to the house of stories and it will sing you its  siren songs, it will string together and weave fascinating tales.  It won’t lie, It can’t. It isn’t capable of deceit.

No emotion is superfluous here, everything is an all engulfing whirlpool. Everything is larger than life. Raw, naked, stripped off of all inhibitions, everything is free of boundaries reality imposes.  The boundary between the animate and inanimate is in itself animate. Walk that line.

While you do all this always have an escape route. Don’t let the words hold you captive in the house of stories. Slip away the moment you feel the cage closing in. Escape. Heaven is real but so is hell. Sometimes the word wall will crumble like cookies and the winds will scatter them. Do not despair. Other words will take their place and those flung far and wide will take roots there and lay the foundation for some other house of stories. There is always a birth in death. Nothing actually dies.

There is also a dark world lurking in here.  A house within a house where you can cut yourself on words, bleed. Weapons- sharp, loaded. Silent cold words with sharp jagged edges. Gleaming daggers. They can ravage your heart, pierce through it, nibble on it or tear it like a carnivore, throw you off-balance and hurl you down a narrow, gaping hole. They can strip you naked and whiplash you till your skin burns crimson, black and blue but as I said do not be afraid. Let them hammer on your pain points, slump you like a deflated balloon but remember it is all a part of love-making, of self-awareness, of  becoming aware.  Be aware, let them scribble on your heart, accept, relax, surrender to them as they surrender to you. Let the house of stories take you in its warm, moist fold as you take it in yours. Stay joyously drunk on them. Enjoy the fluidity. Ride through it, plunge, rise, drown and rise again. Meet those unmet passions, unbound desires, celebrations and raptures, slaughtered dreams and rejections, the end of the rope and secret shame, discover the road map of scars, heal them , touch them with love as they throb inside your being. Let them bring you to your knees as they take you on a roller coaster ride called life. Watch the swing and swirl of words as they tangle with human emotions.

Be a relentless seeker. Seek the stories hidden in the nooks and corners of this house. Reach out to them. Reach for the void at the end, look for spaces between for it is there you will find yourself. Listen to the echos of your heart. Curl up and retreat in those empty spaces. Don’t be in a hurry to fill them for they add meaning to all that is around you. The spaces between tears and laughter, silence and words, between the pieces of yin and yang that lie in your path. Nestle in the light that seeps through the spaces of darkness and dark that quietly descends between the light. Be there in the spaces between your breaths, give yourself to the space between the rising and the setting sun, slip through the spaces between your fingers, sit quietly between your illusions and delusions.

Find stories hidden in the spaces between awake and sleep, between birth and death,  in gaps where the warmth meets the chill, where yearning meets the indifference, Don’t occupy it , just be there. Dig deep into yourself. Feel the intimacy of being with oneself in these miracle moments.

This house is ever reinventing itself. You can’t live here as a whole. You are split into a million nano particles, each as complete as the other.

You are the house. The house is you. It is a maze. It is an extension of you. Add your stories to it. Write. Create. Co create. Love its solitude and yours within it. Be in love for that is what writing is all about. Become your writing and merge into the house of stories so there is no physical self, just words. Let it be an excavation site where every moment is a mystery revealed. Where in every crack lies a spring waiting to launch forth just like your heart. Don’t box yourself in for the true blossoming can occur only when you have set yourself free of everything that restrains, restricts. Explore, take risks, question, allow yourself.

I live here, in my enchantment. 

Would you like to come in? 

Lured by inner music that words make


Alright ,  I confess.

 

I tried to stay away , to rein the creative streak in me and apply myself to something else but the inner music that words make lured me back to my blog.

 

I would have gone insane if I had not written to empty my mind. This is an itch that can only be cured by the music your fingers make on the keyboard. ( it used to be the scratch of pen on paper … how times have changed)

I resisted the pull for a long time but ultimately had to give in. The questioning stare of the words hovering all around me was unbearable.

As James Michener says, “I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”

My heart was overflowing with drafts and I had to write them down somewhere.

Facebook  is a great place to share notes , have debates but there is something amiss ..something that only this place can offer.

I shared some thoughts on FB and would love to share on my blog too.

From the Daemonic depths of Mind

It dug holes in my brain and planted itself. Its roots reaching deep and spreading in my nervous system. If I try to pull it out it shrieks like Mandrake torn out of earth. It can’t stand the unruly heart and its longing. Makes me feel like a vision seen in Opium sleep.It chides as loud as thunder when the clouds in autumn crack. Got to tame it.

I hear its whispers in hollowed shadows, I hear its murmurs as it flows beneath the maze of streets of my mind like some drunk colored liquid. Filling all empty spaces.

Slowly I have begun to understand its moves and my heart has softens for this pathetic creature.It only needed a vessel to grow and expand. It wanted to share the space with the dream world of creativity. It wanted to break the shackles of robotic programing. It was scared , lonesome and hungry for love. I decided to give it some space and it began to flourish at an amazing speed.

The shirking reduced considerably.

And then one day it crossed the line, trespassed into the world of inflaming passion and began to swirl and swirl untill it became a blur.

I feared that it may destroy itself and sucked it out of a dark dungeon.

I feel like a junkie addicted to it. I explore its depths and heights and I marvel at the intricate crisscross patterns  that it creates.

And yet there is something very potent that rides above it . My dreams. They hate intruders.

They have a mean streak. If needed they will swallow the mind.

They warn.

This is the dream I had some days back.

Two robed men, faces half painted in red and black, holding Katanas or something similar, a path leading into darkness, night, am being chased. I see flashes from the swords but never them, they are just two apparitions, I run for life, they chase but never get close enough. A dream I have had since sometime. Gets sinister every time. Is there a calling again ? Where is this path going? Dreams freak me out

And then

A week back I felt a presence in my bedroom. It must have been early morn because the alarm shrieked like a tortured soul in an hour or so.

I felt a presence , a male. it stood near my feet urging me to get up. I wanted to open my eyes but they felt heavy. Spirits don’t scare me. I struggled to open my eyes and suddenly with a jerk I was pulled to sitting position as if someone pulled me by my arms. My arms were inside the quilt.  I felt the heaviness of strong hands. They were cold hands.

Normally I wake up and look around trying to understand my surroundings but this time I was dazed and sliding down slipped back into slumber.

I wonder how I remember this dream. It doesn’t bother me though. Makes me curious.

What is this thing that haunts me?

Does it want to take me someplace ?

It makes me comfortably restless. What does this mean?

I take refuge in writing for all it is worth. My fingers feverishly tap dance on the keyboard. Possessed. Words neatly pop up on the screen neatly arranging themselves in sentences. I do nothing than watch.

I love this strangeness, feel blessed. If you have even a spark of it you will understand. Do not interpret it conventionally , it won’t be right.

It is weird stuff.

Have you been inside the mind of a lunatic? You must. It will freak you out with its brutal understanding of existence.

It will suck you in and spin you like a dancing dervish till you are dazed.

The creepy symbols , the lurking spirits, the storms inside the brain , the freaky dreams and portals that urge you to step on them all are indicative of something.

It is a jigsaw puzzle where all pieces need to be put into correct slot to get the complete picture and the pieces are scattered in various brains all over. They sometimes make contact .

And when they do something neat arises. Am I getting ready for such a contact ?

I do not know what prompts me to put this song link here but it really makes you comfortably numb Do listen

Blog Break – On a mission


The icy winds of last two three days have left behind a frozen chill. Wrapped in the nothingness I listen to the hushed voice of silence. It moves slowly through the dripping trees, above the wet grass, over the empty roads and along the paths leading inside the smoky ridge area.

The puppies cling to each other for warmth.  Sitting on dead branch an old crow watches their every move .  Leaves shiver with the slightest breeze and the sky is filled with a terrible longing for warmth of the sun.

My fingers freeze around the mug of coffee.

Change is always uncomfortable. Nights after nights I gazed at the glow stars on my bedroom ceiling , turning all known into a blur. New beginnings are scary. I have decided to take the challenge, to pave a path to freedom . I have a drawback. I have an itch to learn.It doesn’t matter whether I win or lose. If I set my heart on something I give my best shot to it even if I fail. The fact that I went out to the unknown territory and explored is a great high.

I want to take on what life offers. Life teaches us in many ways and one has to learn those lessons. We can weep and complain or laugh and learn,the choice is ours. We write  our screenplay and all depends on that.

Somehow I am unable to leave this space. It draws me, grows on me for some weird reason and yet I have to go.

I need to focus on this new chapter and test my limits. It is a time for hard work and complete surrender to that one goal.

I won’t be posting much here nor I will be able to read and comment on other blogs for sometime.

I just wanted to connect to all of you who have loved me, cared for me, appreciated my writings and stood by me in my darkest times.

I will be back for writing is my passion but right now there is no time for love.

 

The time has come to become an ant.

Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!”

They are better goal seeker than any other species. Did you know that?

They follow the proven path, they are determined, never lose focus, they collaborate better than anyone, defeat is only temporary with ants they always come back in bigger numbers, they fearlessly defend and continuously expand( they build and build),.

Doing my readings about ants I noticed that ants adopt the old saying “There’s a time for work and a time for play.” They never get the two confused. When they are at work, they work, non-stop till its time for rest, then they rest.

As I write this I watch a sugar crystal walk away with the ant .It scales the sleep wall and maneuvers itself through the tiny gap in the window and after much effort it gains its freedom.

It reminds me another thing. Ants expect more from themselves than possible. They never limit themselves to mental limits like us.

I am setting higher goals, venturing into unknown, raising my stakes. I know it will be backbreaking but I am willing.

So it is good-bye for sometime. Ones in a while when my muse wants me to shed it all and just dance  under the moonbeams , I will and you all will know :))

wish me luck, wish me success and when you see a little blade of grass shimmer in sunshine or a delicate sapling break and emerge out of a crack in the wall or a sidewalk Think of me.

The Cottage -2


“Are you sure Raul that you want to live in that cottage?” Karan asked as they sipped hot frothy coffee at their old time regular hangout.

‘Yes, 100%”, Replied Raul. He had no second thoughts about it.

“When is your wife coming?”

“Tonight” he said as they paid the bill and walked out of the café into the long winding path.

It was cold and breezy; Raul pulled the zipper up to his neck and rubbed his hands to warm them a little.Not much had changed here, in this little town in the hills. They walked quietly till Karan’s home .Each one absorbed in his own thoughts.

Rabia was elated when Raul told her of his plans over the phone. She always wanted to go back to India. Since their marriage she had spent most of her time writing her thesis etc and then the pregnancy. He on the other hand traveled a lot due to his assignments.

She had met Raul in the university, the talented Indian boy whom everyone raved about .After a few meetings they had fallen in love and getting her father’s blessings was such one more reason to add to her happiness .They loved each other and complimented each other in every way .She a musician and he a painter.

As she lay swaying with the baby in the hammock under the large tree in their London home, she dreamed of the lovely hill cottage Raul had told her about.

Raul waved at his ravishing wife, as she walked passed the security check to meet him .He hugged her and kissed his year old son. He introduced her to Karan, with whom she had spoken many times on the phone.

They drove to their new home filled with mixed emotions.

Rabia fell in love with the place, the moment she saw it.

She loved the huge glass windows, beautiful gardens and the lovely terrace .She kissed and thanked Raul.

Karan watched the happy family and prayed for them silently.

Raul took Rabia on a tour of the cottage and the gardens and the more she spent time their, the more she loved it. Even little Danish squealed with joy as his parents took him around the gardens in his pram.

Many a times the family would go on nature trails near the cottage. Everything was just too perfect.

Time flew and Raul spent most of his time painting, sketching or strolling in the gardens .Many a time Rabia found him standing on the terrace or in the garden talking to him self or lost in rapt attention.

Danish had started school and was full of stories from there.

The date for exhibition was drawing near and Raul spent long hours painting. She glanced at the colourful canvases spread all over his work room.

Most of them were of the cottage and its surrounding areas and many more of a beautiful young woman with lovely expressive haunting eyes. Rabia looked at the woman closely, she seemed to hold her gaze and that disturbed her.

Danish needed a room to himself and on one evening Rabia asked Raul if they could decorate the terrace room for him, which was locked since they moved in .Raul’s reaction took Rabia by surprise .She had never seen him so disturbed by something .After a definite NO from her husband, who seemed to be acting very strange lately, Rabia decided to let go of the topic.

One afternoon, after putting Danish to sleep she was coming down from the stairs, when she heard some noises. Quietly she moved in the direction of the sound .It led her to the terrace room .The door was open.

She watched as her husband spoke to himself in that empty room .She glanced around .Toys closet, a bed for a child, sketches. The room seemed to have been unused for a very long time .Yet there was something that brought her husband there not once but many a times .She remembered Raul standing on the terrace laughing or muttering to himself on many occasions .Rabia almost let out a scream when she heard another voice there ,a voice of a woman .

“The time has come for me to leave Raul” the voice said. “You always asked me how I died so before leaving I thought I should tell you the story.”

“After my parents forcibly took me from here, we shifted to Delhi. I was never happy .I missed my home, my friend, whom they called a bad spirit, and you, though we never spoke to each other.”

“I was put in a hostel. After completing school I decided to take a trip back to this place and without the consent of my family, drove here .I wanted to get here as fast as I could, as if some force was pulling me and missed a turn due to thick fog and darkness .The car crashed into the rocks hundreds of feet into the valley .It was an instant death .they found my body after many days”.

My heart was here so my spirit followed it and here I have been since long. It was a joy to see you the other day, and when you moved in, it made my family complete, but now I need to go with my little friend here. Our time is done here.”

Rabia felt as if she was dreaming, it could not be true. Her husband was, all this time talking to a dead woman. Her head began to spin.

She held the railing of the stairs and quietly came down.

She did not ask Raul about anything, thinking how to solve this crisis.

Raul left in the morning with his painting, for the exhibition. He was going to be away for a few days and Rabia was scared .She called Karan.

He listned to her, with a grave expression on his face and said “Rabia I know about the spirit. We were kids when this girl stayed here .Raul and I used to wave at her from the road .I think he liked her and so did she but they never met .Then the family went off suddenly .This time when Raul came here he saw her again ,I thought he was imagining things but when he decided to buy the cottage ,it was clear something was not right ,but I was told to keep shut .I am sorry but now the pressure is off my head ,I guess you should get some help .”

“No”, Rabia said.” I will handle it but thanks anyways”.

That night, she took little Danish in that room; both mother and son spent some time there looking at the things playing with some toys.

Raul came back, with all his painting sold .She congratulated him and kissed him. He was happy to be back.

For some days he wandered around the place, as if looking for some thing or someone and then one night told Rabia that the terrace room could be used for Danish.

They cleaned it and, redecorated it, retaining some of the original stuff.

Danish was elated and loved his new room, the toys and the terrace.

That night, Rabia confided in Raul about all that she had seen and heard .Raul listened to his wife in amazement. He was surprised that she could handle the thing so courageously .He smiled at his wife and apologized for not including her in his secret. He felt it would disturb her and maybe they too will have to leave the cottage he loved so much .She understood .She loved him.

Raul no more spent his time talking to empty spaces and Rabia silently thanked the two spirits for leaving them.

Rabia took up music classes and life became stress free and happy again.

Danish was eight now, a bright little bundle of joy.

One evening Raul and Rabia sat in the garden when they heard a thumping sound from inside the house .They immediately left the tea and went in .The sound was coming from Danish’s room .Raul’s heart started to beat faster and Rabia was scared.

They found Danish hammering a nail into the wall.

“What are you doing Jan?” Raul asked him gently.

Danish turned and gave a dimpled toothy smile and held out a painting to his dad.

Raul and Rabia looked at each other .It was a picture of a young woman and a girl with golden floating hair.

“This is a parting gift from my friends .They said good bye to me and gifted this. Isn’t it lovely abba”?

“Yes it is”, both His parents said in unison.