(From the foreword by Kris Saknussemm) As with all the poets I most
admire, words are living things for Tikuli. But as you will come to
discover, they are never deployed for their own sake. She uses them to
tell stories. The images, scenes, characters and fragments of visionary
empathy that you will find in this book are all rooted in her native
India-and yet they reach out far beyond national and cultural
boundaries. They do so because they have an interior cohesion of spirit.
Her subjects are often the dispossessed, the lost…the abused. There
are undercurrents of sorrow and anger. And yet love shines through, even
when it seems to be fading away. Above all, there’s a powerful sense of
hope at work-a conviction in the redemptive strength of poetry.
Brought up in Delhi in a family of liberal educationists
Tikuli is a mother of two sons. She is also a blogger and author. Some
of her short stories and poems have appeared in print and in online
journals and literary magazines including Le Zaparougue, MiCROW 8,
Troubadour21, The Smoking Book (Poets Wear Prada Press, US), The
Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Mnemosyne Literary Journal, Women’s
Some of her print publications include poems in
Guntur National Poetry Festival Anthology and much acclaimed Chicken
Soup For The Indian Romantic Soul(Westland). Her work has also been
featured on websites related to gender issues and child sexual abuse.
She blogs at
Where Even the Present is Ancient: Benaras is a book that seeks to tell the little stories that make us who we are. The author believes that Benaras resides in all of us Indians, in some beautiful often-unknown way. The author is the Sutradhar, in that she attempts to connect an India that many do not realize exists, in that it is everybody’s story. Radha, Krishna, Ganga, Benaras and Me are all characters in this deluge of poems.
This attempt at telling the story of the ancient, of love and of faith is to instil the confidence that poetry exists in all of us, everywhere, all that is needed is to smell its fragrance.
To those outside India, the book does not seek to be a representation of what India is or was, but a whiff of what it also can be. It is an attempt to ask people to see the little stories that govern all of our lives, stories that we often don’t see, but those that are important.
The audience for this book might be strewn across the globe, for faith is not religion-centric, it is people- centric and often without dimensions.
In poetry there is no beginning, no middle, nor no end. Like faith it is everywhere, it is omnipresent. The book affords no answers, nor no questions, but if you listen and read carefully you will see new things, a new beauty perhaps, one that has been silent so long.
Maitreyee B Chowdhury is a web columnist and creative writer. She is author of Reflections on My India, a book of Indian traditions and spirituality in parts. Maitreyee is also author of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen- Bengali Cinema’s First Couple and Ichhe Holo Tai, a bilingual muti media presentation of poetry. Maitreyee is featured amongst other Indian writers such as Gulzar, Shashi Tharoor and Deepti Naval in an anthology of Indian writers Celebrating India.
A disclaimer: This book is a part of a blog tour conducted by The Book Club and all the reviews are done in exchange of a copy of the book from the publisher or author. No monetary trasaction takes place.
The book is a collection of free verse poems that encapsulate the poet’s most heartfelt emotions about life. They speak of moments that sweep our breath away, of beauty that bewitches the heart, of people, memories, sights, sounds and smells that awaken a sense of wonder and wistfulness. With rich metaphors and eloquently flowing imagery, the poet’s love for the simple things in life unfolds in different moods and tones, ultimately ending up in words felt, cherished, concieved and written… in turquoise silence
Writing poetry is a very different, mystical experience. There is no plot, no storyline, no characters…just a stage set for you and your own deepest self. When I wrote my first poem six years ago, I never imagined it would someday become such an important aspect of my life.
I have always loved poetry for the creative freedom it offers, the minimal rules, its ability to elevate even the most ordinary moments. At the end of each poem I write, it feels as though I have not just evolved in my style, but also as a person. My work first appeared in Cyberwit’s international journal, the Taj Mahal Review, which paved the way for me to getting two books published.
I have long been inspired by poets like Khalil Gibran, Rumi, Rabindranath Tagore ,Rolf Jacobsen, E.E Cummings, and John Keats. A voracious reader myself, I enjoy reading poetry and novels from around the globe.