What defines you? What are you like?
I stand for everything that my heart believes to be right. We are continuously evolving so it is difficult to point out one thing that defines you.
Walt Whitman said it aptly, “I am large, I contain multitudes.” I think that is what I am. A friend once remarked that I come across as a shy, introvert, scared, insecure person and that does not fit the image I have as a blogger / writer in virtual world. People who read me and know me from there expect me to be that gregarious, extrovert, bold and outgoing. Both these selves are me. One what I wanted to be and maybe was from within and other which people saw in me as a person who interacted with them. These interactions also differed from situation to situation and people to people.
Sometimes I feel I live multiple lives concealed in one body. some die, become star dust, a few spring up and form new galaxies, a few more are ancient.. nothing but dust, bones and shadows. Sometimes I break with them and then writing joins all of me together like Kintsugi. We are all a mix of all that was, is and will be. I am very vulnerable and I see it as my strength.
Tell us something about your childhood and growing up years, college days.
I was raised in a most unconventional way and my parents never imposed anything on me. I never felt the pressures of being a girl child which is so common in our society. Ours was a family of free thinks and liberal educationists and that influenced me in a good way to some extent. I had a working mom, stay-at-home dad(who was hardly home) and an elder brother (nine years older to me). I mostly spend time on my own or with my imaginary friends. There are a few incidents from my childhood that left a deep scar on my psyche and shaped my life in a certain way. I always thought ours was a dysfunctional family for more than one reason and it was but eventually we all find our own path. How you live ultimately depends on your own choices. We are all complex beings and one cannot blame or credit any one person for one’s growth as a person. Family, immediate or extended, friends, teachers etc do contribute to our personality but ultimately we are what we allow ourselves to be. My parents encouraged me to visit libraries, museums, participate in outdoor activities like trekking etc.. I was a basketball player in school and also member of the Red Cross Society among other things. College life is always special. I did my honours degree in English literature from a very prestigious women’s college in Delhi University (Miranda House) and then did Intensive diploma in Spanish Language from Faculty Of Arts.
Any painful incidents/experiences which made you stronger as a person?
We all go through many phases of life and all the experiences are in fact good for some reason. We learn more from what we call the ‘bad’ experiences. These help us find ourselves, own up and take decisions that will eventually make us what we desire to become. I too had my share and each one changed me as a person in a certain way. I won’t like to mull the old wine. Our society is not kind to women who speak their mind or assert themselves in any way. Role playing starts from birth and either we allow ourselves to be wrapped in the layers that patriarchy throws at us or we rebel and when we rebel we face contempt and isolation. What usually appears is not what the reality is and each of us has to fight a battle to live with dignity in one way or the other. I am fighting that battle every day and I think I am much stronger now then ever. That first step is the most difficult and most important but once you take it there is no turning back. It is a one way journey onwards. It takes immense strength to step into the unknown, to push yourself over the edge, to leave things behind that may have at one time been the only source of your reason to be. It is like the cutting of the umbilical cord.
To detach completely so that you can carve new potentials. I am proud of my evolution. Each ending is a new beginning. Each rejection a step closer to acceptance.
Tell us how your love for the written word and poetry began …
I can’t remember the exact moment when it all began. I was an avid reader and a dreamer who created imaginary friends, situations to fill the emptiness and somewhere I yanked myself from the worlds created by others and plunged into my own creations. I appreciated poetry from a very early age. We had loads of poetry collections among other books and I loved losing myself in them. The love blossomed more during my Spanish course when I read the Latin American poets. For a long time writing was purely for my pleasure. I must have been in my teens when I began but it is only recently that I became serious about the craft. Eight years ago I created my blog and began to showcase my writing to a larger audience. I was scared and considered myself as an ‘aspiring writer’ or ‘wannbe writer’ until a friend/mentor said, “you are a writer who just needs to write” so I did, and before I knew, I had a readership and a book deal. I am basically a autobiographical poet but sometimes I do become confessional too. Poetry has helped me release and cleanse the hurts and pains. Many of my poems are intensely personal and at times I use nature or some other element as a mask to write about private feelings but mostly all my work is about ‘laying bare’. It is about vulnerability. 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 own 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. 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 are an avid food blogger too, what kind of recipes excite you the most ?
I am no way a food blogger. Food bloggers are completely devoted to their craft and their blogs are amazing melange of gorgeous photographs, recipes and other information related to food. I am just a food enthusiast. I love to eat and cook/bake. I like the idea of exploring new cuisines and experimenting with ingredients. It is therapeutic as well as highly creative just like any other art. Everything excites me and I try my hand on new recipes as an when I can, sometimes with even a twist of my own. Cooking and writing for me are interlaced, both require the same amount of attention and dedication and both involve the joy of creating. I work from home so I am able to devote time to both of them as I wish.
Your blog is amazing, it reflects so well the kind of work you do. We can see a lot of indiblogger badges too!
Thank you, yes indiblogger played a big part in my journey as a blogger. They stood by me in good times and bad during my blogging journey. Six years of great association.
Any other interests that we don’t know about.
I enjoy travelling though in the last few years I haven’t travelled that much due to my health and other issues. I plan to take it up again. I paint sometimes. Music, reading, gardening are some other things I am passionate about.
How do you want to see yourself in the future?
Life is a journey and I really do not know where it will take me in the next five years. For me living every day, doing what I love to do is more important. Things will fall into place with time. I just go with the flow.
Any message you would like to share for the readers of our blogazine?
As a writer I would say, read, write, tell your story. Enjoy the process. Remain a student. Be glad you have some chaos in your head and in your heart. That’s what art is all about. The only remedy is constant work and training. Many people expect things to come too easily. Good things come to those who work and failure is a very fine teacher.
For the women out there, You are a woman. Sexy , beautiful, intelligent and totally awesome. Recognize it and take control before you get swallowed by others perception of you. Fuck everything. Be yourself. The strength of your desire will bring you what is yours and much more. Be open and receptive. Launch forth your heart. Create, co – create, stay vulnerable.
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