Wednesday, July 30, 2008


How do you cultivate creativity in your life? Have you found the things that make you come alive? Are you doing them? Shouldn’t you be?

Many a times we just get on with our lives seeing a lot of things but not observing. We go on doing the routine stuff unmindful of the beauty surrounding us. What is creativity? I think it is looking at life differently from what is the norm. Discerning it in our own ways. A person can do the most mundane of things and still be creative about it. How do I perceive it, is what matters. I think of myself as a poet. And I try to get about that in a different way. For me, every day experiences help me. Cultivating it comes in from the simplest of things. I might hold a cup of tea and see much beyond the tea or the cup or the handle. That is true creativity for me. I do occasionally end up with temporary writer's block, which is more to do with emotions than words drying up. Somehow, when I do come back out of it, I get more creative.

We only need open our ears and eyes to feel the world come alive for us. Or it might make us come alive. Watching children playing is one good example. Or just watching people is another one. I like to sit on the sidewalks and observe the world pass by me. I conjure up stories about those who interest me. Many a times, I write those down in my mind. I am yet to take to write those down in reality. I have considered that. But my mind is faster than my fingers. So I drift from one thought to other while fingers still discern what is going on!

Yes, my outpourings are in the form of poetry. That is the best way I can deal with my creative thoughts, as of now. It is better for me if personal feelings are omitted out of it.
So I keep it that way. One of these days, I might gamble it all for writing a novel, or maybe short stories, for a beginning. I am seriously considering it.

What is your take on it? How do you see it?

Monday, July 28, 2008

deeply in love with dracula’s daughter

I know it is not a ballad but it does have a story!

strolling in the graveyard
with roses in my hand,
along with the fog rolling in
for her tryst with sin;
a banshee screams,
in my nightmarish dream.

deeply in love with dracula’s daughter

creatures of darkness
what music they make.
life in the night, most don't know;
lives in the shadows, which light throws.
terror runs deep where murkiness falls,
thirst never quenched from hunger’s call.

deeply in love with dracula's daughter

never could fathom
in my wildest dreams.
life has its own course, it now seems
it follows only its own whims.
I cannot but help whom I love;
I cannot help that she thrives on blood.

deeply in love with dracula’s daughter

unmindful of what others think,
I trudge along towards my queen,
our nuptials to be held on halloween.
I look forward to good times ahead
but vampires in love with her, are sad
as I would be calling dracula, dad.

deeply in love with dracula's daughter

the very thought of her
love-bites after twilight;
her scratching nails all through the night
her bloody kisses just before dawn,
her writhing body against my own,
just stop short of driving me wild.

deeply in love with dracula's daughter

Saturday, July 26, 2008

weed it out-----half a poem

Photo Credits: Rick Mobbs

in the skeletons of my memories
only dry bones are left
yet I remember the putrid flesh
smell of death sits there
face to face with me
I howl rather loudly
as if my innards pour out

"is it not what dogs do?"

numbness setting within
how do I differentiate
between real from the illusion
I have lived too long
in a world of my own
cosseted and loved only by me
where I brushed aside the weeds

"I still get on with my howling."

It feels good to get back into poetry mode, although a dark one. Hopefully my world should right itself in no time. I suppose I am still a long way from finding myself. Maybe never.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Entertain me, will you?!

How do I entertain myself? What is relaxation for me? Where do I find solace? If I had to answer it in one word, I would say books and add another two words, more books. Or just plain reading. In a way, that is true but not in its entirity.

I like to listen to music. In my college days, I use to go to rock concerts. I was and still am a rock music fanatic. Louder the music, it affected my blood. Thats the way I preferred it. Lately I like jazz but I have not given up on rock music. Music has no boundaries. It can uplift you from anything. You just have to give in to it. I completely give in to it. I let it take over my mind and body.

I am not much of a movie person. But I do like action movies. The blood and gore kind. Those feel good mushy movies bore me to tears. I an only watch the endings and thats about it. I prefer war movies and world movies too.

In my school days I liked going to circus. It was pure entertainment. Nowadays, those are rare. You don't get to see any circus. I think I have not visited any for 20 odd years. Anything that makes me stress free, gives me pure pleasure, makes me behave childish is entertainment for me. Be it writing poery, chatting on the phone, blogging or any other modern way of interpreting it. People watching, walking around doing nothing too relax me.

Lately I have taken to visiting museums, art exhibitions and book readings. Signs of senility? I suppose so!

What if-----

This time I offer a short story, I wrote three years back. I have not edited anything. Feel free to critique it. Maybe this is a sign that I should try to venture into prose writing. Please let me know..


After a long harried day at office, I was negotiating the traffic with impatience. I had worked so hard on that particular presentation to pitch our sales, which had been sliding downhill. Despite my best efforts, the buyers were not convinced. There had been series of meetings throughout the day to discuss the ways and means to save our company. We tried negotiating with the bank. But for no avail. If this continued we would go bankrupt. Not a nice prospect. Finally we decided to call it a day at 9.30 p.m. It was a long drive home for me. I was not looking forward to it.

Here I was waiting for the lights to change, tapping at the steering wheel, the day’s event passing through my mind like a bad movie. Lost in my thoughts, I did not notice the lights changing. The car behind me honked. I moved, slowly turning towards the left. A yellow Chevrolet, followed behind.

It started to rain yet again. It had been raining intermittently for 3 days and had stopped for a while. The dark clouds made my mood even bleaker. Barely glancing behind, I kept on my lane. Rains make it so difficult to drive. I felt my car lurching. The yellow car was still behind me. I kept driving straight ahead. The car behind me turned right and disappeared from sight. But after some time, I noticed it following me. May be it had taken a wrong turn before.

But it was uncanny; the Chevrolet followed me closely wherever I turned. I too noticed the driver of that car making wild gestures. It was unnerving. I accelerated, so did he. I slowed down to let him pass but he too slowed down, waving at me to stop.

Without warning I swerved to the middle lane, but so did he, waving menacingly at me. I shook my fist at him and accelerated away. But there he was, faithfully following me, shaking his head and pointing towards me.

I again felt my car wobbling but as it was raining I did not give it much thought. Now my mind was on the car following me. I kept changing lanes, without notice. The car followed me wherever I turned. I speeded up and took another detour. But there it was behind me. I was getting scared by this time. It was pouring. Not another vehicle in sight. Occasionally, a car passed by. No one had any time to glance what was going on. I tried calling the police but no network on my phone.

Suddenly I felt my car shaking. I must have drove over a pothole. Before I could react, the Chevrolet speeded up and stopped in front of my car. I had to brake suddenly to avoid hitting him. The driver got down. He looked so forbidding. He came towards my side of the window. I kept it close, stared ahead resolutely, avoiding looking at him. He tapped and said something, pointing towards the rear end. I could not hear him in all that rain. I saw another car stopping behind. A woman got down. Came and tapped. But I did not want to open the window for her either. They looked at each other, shook their heads and then kept looking at the rear of my car. Throwing caution to winds, I opened my window and asked what was wrong. She said my left rear wheel was on the verge of coming out. Then she drove away. Getting alarmed, I got down with a jerk and checked it. It would have come out in a few more minutes if I had been driving. And if I had not stopped when I did…………!!

I kept staring at the wheel like moron, my mind blank… Without asking, he got down to the business of fixing up the wheel. That made me break away from my stupor. We both worked at it, without exchanging a single word. I was grateful for his help. I wanted to thank him but he brushed aside and drove away, taking a U-turn, without glancing at me.

I started the car, changed the gear, and progressed slowly. My grim mood had disappeared. I was lucky to be in one piece. Switched on the radio. Suddenly interrupting the song, there was an important announcement……….. I braked, went numb and sat there for a long time, my head on the steering wheel, thinking, thanking my stars and that man in the yellow Chevrolet. The announcement was still ringing in my ears when I saw security personnel ahead, stopping everyone. The old bridge ahead had partly washed away some time back taking a few vehicles with it……...

What if ?


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

practice makes pleasure profitable

What do the three P’s of writing…practice, pleasure, profit…mean in your writing life?

As I mentioned here sometime back, writing happened to me by chance. Once I started it, I have not looked back. It kind of sustains me. At times I have this compulsion to put on paper all of my thoughts. As if someone is pushing me to do it. As with any other thing, writing too gets better with practice. One has to avoid cliches or it tends to get jaded. It has to have class!

Most of of what I write is for my own pleasure. Many a times I feel elated after a piece of writing. Sometimes it simply forms within the recesses of my mind. At others I have to struggle. For the past two weeks, I have been kind of in a downward slide. Words are there but they don't come out. It can be explained as the state of aphasia. Emotions tend to make me feel that way. It is a sticky situation. And I have to get out of it.

I have not as yet thought of making profit out of what I write. Poetry has no takers other than the blog world. I have thought of writing short stories and novels but I don't have the patience! Poetry comes easy. As I said, the words form in my mind and I write those down. As if in a trance. Does that make sense?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

out of nowhere

Photo credits: Rick Mobbs

looking overhead at the sky

you jauntily trudge along the lane
joy spilling over unable to be contained
you just live in the moment
basking in the shade of sun-kissed trees

in that madness of happiness
you start thinking you have now taken
control of your life, to live it the way
you always wished it and wanted it
although never verbalized it

out of nowhere spectre of your past
catches up with you
dashing your desires into ground
and you are left with nothing
not even hope, to hold on to

"simply rest your head on the cold earth
and let it take you wherever it wants to"


I am back with this. My words are not dead. Problem is too much of those. Sometimes we cannot verbalize what is really happening. When we do we reveal so much of ourselves. I don't wish for that. I thank my friends for standing by me, encouraging me. I needed your love. I truly did. Does it matter that I never met you? Is it any wonder that I love my blogger friends?!

I will write. I can't stay away from it for long. It is like breathing.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

spent history narrowed down------------unpoem

defencelessly gazing down
at the shreds of her own mortality
she stood her ground
trying to understand her deathwish
history did not allow her to narrow it down
"spent" seemed invincible in her case

"when she thought there was nothing left,
it came back to torment her"


I know it is too dark. After I drew a complete blank for a week or so, I could only manage to write this. I am contemplating leaving writing altogether and deleting my blog/s. I am not saying I will do it. I have truly hit a low after a long time. I have nothing much to offer other than despair.

*Update: I am unable to keep up with my writing schedule. Everything seems to have gone haywire. Problem lies on my personal front. How do words come when my heart is not in it and my mind refuses to write? Despair is a mild word for what I am undergoing right now. I know I will come out of it. I just need time. Away from myself. Is that possible?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

building balconies inside your head

out of nowhere you find things in your head
unable to fathom how they fit in
mind although colourless contains
all those shades you never thought possible
tangled with unexplained material
what can only be called myth of the matter
permeating your whole being
layers and layers of it
akin to building balconies inside your head
without cement yet holding on steadfast

out of nowhere you find things in your head
unable to fathom how they fit in
but knowing that somehow they do


#Update@14/07/08: My muse is dead. I can't offer anything new today. I wrote this a few days back. I can't even take my own advise and keep writing.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

for my closest friend-----a senryu

twenty five years ago
you steamrolled into my life
stuck through thick and thin


As both of us are not into mushy stuff or display our feelings for each other, she is gonna hate me, if she sees this! And a sloppy one at that!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Feel free to move around my blog---Rockin' Chair Writers

I got into blogging by chance. Before May 2005, I never wrote anything. Creatively, that is. A friend I met online, insisted that I write. He asked me contribute a ghost story to a network. Within an hour, I had written one and never looked back. I posted my story. Needless to say, I knew nothing of editing or finer nuances of writing. However, that did not stop me from writing short stories and 55 word fiction. Poetry came a bit later. I used to gobble up Browning and Burns' poetry in my school days. When I did PG in English Lit., I disovered other poets, medieval, modern and contemporary. Before that I had known nothing of modern poetry. Plath, Parker, Oliver, cummings and Neruda are just a few poets I am mentioning here. The list does not end here.

Initialy I had no vistors on my blog. I used to do it for my own pleasure. I taught myself writing various forms of poetry writing. Then visitors trickled in and I too started to interact. Then I discovered various prompts and writing exercises. These helped honing my skill. Creative writing communities help each other to write better. Many amongst us offer valuable tips. Critiquing is a part of it. However, encouragement is the keyword.

After a while, our blogs do become our homes. It feels good when we share this space with our visitors. Over a period of time some of us become fast friends too. It might be via the net but nonetheless very important. We open our blogs, our hearts to our friends. Any kind of writing is mostly derived from from personal experiences. In a way we reveal more in our creative writings than anywhere else. Happy or sad, it is for our blog friends to see. Many a times, they help us get away from despair. It may be on the net but it still feels good to know that complete strangers care about your well being.

My blog contains more than 700 posts. Most of it is poetry. Structured as well as free verse. A few pieces of prose poetry. I cannot slot my poetry. I write on wide and varied issues. As I have not seriously considered publishing, I think, this is the only way I can reach out to the world. Small one, may be. I also have a book blog where I write reviews for books I read. I also participate in various memes if I feel like it. That can and does help building up the blogging community.

Show you around? Hey, you are welcome to explore my blog. Get busy, get clicking, get going!


Thanks Brian, for this prompt. It rocks!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

tears trickle slowly

tears trickle slowly
down the cheeks
when I raise my fingers
to wipe those away
I find not a single drop

clogging the throat
all the more potent
for being unshed

least they could do
to fall in torrents
cleansing the debris
washing away
my inner torment

Rick Mobbs

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

long and short of it

Do you ever feel the need to jump start your writing? What drains the energy from your “writing mind”? What do you do when your creative battery dies?

Firstly, a personal bit about me. It has been sometime I have talked about myself here. I have not even visited my dear blogger friends. Most of you have not let that deter you and visit me regularly. I must thank you for sticking to me. There has been a lot of changes in the past three months. As you know I changed my residence from one part of the Delhi to another. And last week I got transferred to a school near my new home. Although I had applied for it, somehow I feel saddened. I had been there in my old school for 11 years. A long time. I made lasting friendships with a few. And I loved each corner. Not to forget my students. I am getting withdrawal symptoms. I know I will adjust. I will like it just as much. Changes are always for the better. But...

So what is new? I am still the same old Gautami waiting to be renewed...Yes, you heard that right...renewed. Inevitable I think of that word, when there are so much of rains here. Rains renew the earth, embracing it. So what am I waiting for? Hell, I don't need to tell you about my personal life more than I have. Let me remain the elusive woman you have always known me as.

Coming back to the question on top, when I am stressed out in all fronts, like I am now, , my writing energy becomes low. I can't find any kind of order anywhere. My mind feels pulled into all directions. How do I deal with it? I sleep it off. Yes. Reading does not help that unrest state of being. I find sleep is the best antidote. It refreshes me. Although sometimes it might take a bit longer. It might appear inappropriate for some. However, that is my only shortcut from stress and into more writing. Does it make sense?!

Monday, July 07, 2008

piece of charcoal split into splinters

nucleus stared me in the eyes
almost imploding on my face
I sat up with a start
turned left, instinctively

piece of charcoal split into splinters
burning ones did cartwheels
bellowing curtains caught fire

when lights came back
I had been sketched into the walls
permanently etched there
my nudity staring at you obscenely

"don't you think death becomes me?"


I needed to get back to this kind of dark poetry. This what I feel comfortable to write. I think I will give love poetry a rest for sometime to come. And posting without editing works best for me.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

in a place that only sort of exists

in the silence in my room
the methodical deliberation of fingers
on keyboard,
compile the tacit exchange between you and me,
soundlessly beating across a net of stars and dreams,
meeting you in my half-comatose slumber
in a place that only sort of exists.
I glimpse through the window,
not your countenance,
but the words I would verbalize
if you were truly here.

mere text only simplifies the emotion
complicating mood making me speechless.
no matter how infuriated,
sound of my fingers on the keys
try to convey everything,
and hide it too, all at the same time.
the jumbled words dance around
and try to reach you and touch your soul
across this vast electronic chasm

"yet why do I feel sadness seep through me?"

Saturday, July 05, 2008

defining boundaries

Photo Credits: Rick Mobbs


aura surrounding me
unseen but built like a wall
intangibility of it pervades you too
you can break bricks
how does one demolish something
which is invisible
you can't define the boundaries
yet one can let the other break it
allowing to enter it with own free will

"can any one predict where
chance might lead this encounter?"

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What does your editor tell you?

Are you ever assailed with self doubt about your writing ability, or about the reasons for writing at all? Do you “follow yourself around nagging and suggesting and complaining”? What are some of the negative things your Editor tells you? What could your Editor say to be more encouraging? How do you encourage yourself to keep practicing the craft of writing?

Writing for me came by chance. Before May 2005, I never even considered it. Now I can't seem to stop. Maybe to make up for all those years I did not. Doubts are inevitable. Sometimes I can't write a full piece as I can't find that appropriate word. It gets so frustrating. Then I start thinking, is it worth it? Why do I have to be a perfectionist? When something does not come up the way I wish for it, I do keep turning it inside my head. I cannot rest until I get it right. Sometimes I don't. The first villanelle I wrote took me more than a year to finish. However, after I completed it, I wrote many more.

Every writer will understand that mind block. Words refuse to pour forth without rhyme or reason. My editor stops me from using long words. It is indifferent to all kinds of cajoling. It is saner than me. It keeps me in order.

For perfect writing, one need only practice. When we see our words formed perfectly into some sort of order, the pleasure we get is not something that can be described. My advise is keep writing more and more. Only way to fight the writing blues. With that note, I think I will go on to work on my novel. I have only written 6700+ words. That too in November 2007.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tangled in Wisteria by J. Andrew Lockhart

Today on a Tuesday, I would like to talk about a poet amongst us. Here I write about his book of poetry.

Title: Tangled in Wisteria

Author: J. Andrew Lockhart
ISBN: 978-1-60247-852-7
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises/2007
Pages: 108

J. Andrew Lockhart is blogger poet. He lives in Van Buren, Arkansas, United States. He writes Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Haibun and Tanka. He was kind enough to send me his book Tangled in Wisteria, which contains haiku, senryu and tanka. I have been reading him for some time now, on his blog.

Andrew was an attorney when tragedy struck. In 1996 he had an intracerebral hemorragic stroke at the age of 30. He rose out of it all and became a music teacher. In his introduction, he writes that music and writing were sidelined and he went to law school.

He came back to writing. Reading his verses one can observe the beauty of nature, find greatness in mundane things and see love in a new light. Those short verses of his are loaded with so much meaning. You can see them in simplicity or the complexities....whatever way you choose to. Those contain nuggets about life and much more.

Here I quote a few of his verses:

"looking up
at the oak tree, planted
when i was young-----
there is no need
for a mirror"
"although you are
so far away from me
i feel your presence
in the cool summer night
as flowers rest"
"buying a pack
of firerackers
made in china"
"brick after brick
after brick after brick---
hidden thoughts"

This book has four parts----spring, summer, autumn and winter. I read it at one go. But I am going to come back again and again. The best part is my mom picked it up and did not put it own until she finished.

Each page contains a haiku or a senryu and a tanka. Those verses touch the soul and illuminate it. I am very glad I read it and also that I read him everyday on his blog. Please do check him out.