‘The Intimacy of Thought’
Books have been my best friends all my academic life. They neither betrayed, nor caused a heartache. They comforted me at my lowest as I looked for solace and immersed myself in reading one after another. Much to my mother’s annoyance, I lost track of time, oblivious to my routine, as books transported me to my own world of imagination. There were times, I sneaked a book into the washroom to evade my mother’s vigilance. Today, I think a washroom isn’t a respectful place to read books and I often find myself chiding my children about it.
I wasn’t someone who had many friends, let alone a confidante. The resilience I developed since my growing years, and my books never made me feel lonely or yearn for a bosom pal. My mother always encouraged me to use the written word to express, as my teachers appreciated my humble compositions. So I began filling up pages of diaries. One day my mother came to me looking all amused. There was pride and admiration written all over her face. She said, “You write very well. I think you can write a book someday.”
That gave me jitters for I feared she must have stealthily gone through my writings. I never kept my diary locked, it always lied in one of my wardrobe shelves. I felt a tinge of anger, for it is an unsaid rule that a diary is personal and no one has the right to break this rule. I didn’t question her though.
It’s been three decades since, and my first contribution was published in 2022 as the first chapter titled ‘In the Pursuit of Wilderness, Ocean, Earth & Sky’, in Priyanka Behl’s anthology – ‘Women Who Made Name’. That was an impetus to write and publish more. So here I am now with a short collection of my poetry that I write now and then, over the last few years titled ‘The intimacy of thought – A collection of musings’.
I feel poetic expressions are largely a poet’s personal experience of triumph or pain, either their own or their perception of other’s feelings. More often than not, it’s actually pain over triumph that is the catalyst for poetic outbursts. The poems in this collection have been written over a period of time that denotes the writer’s journey of self-discovery through moments of triumph and pain. What are words without the speaker’s or writer’s emotions? The words in these poems are an intimate expression of womanhood, identity, love, longing, nurturing, yearning, deceit, belongingness, family, friendships and relationships beyond family.
You might perceive the poems to have a touch of feminism, here, I should clarify that I am no feminist, but the one who celebrating differences. Sadly it’s still a man’s world driven by patriarchy since eons. For example, whenever I toy with the idea of taking a break from my responsibilities and get away over a weekend, I feel painfully pressured about considering my safety first. Choosing a quiet and quaint getaway to stay all by myself for some solitude seems like a burden. Does a man experience such pressures or insecurity ever?
How can men and women ever be the same when they are wired so differently by nature itself? Men and women have always displayed their differences in their view of the world and that’s what makes them unique. It’s time we bask in the glory of these distinct differences, embrace them, celebrate them and complement each other. That’s the only way to bring in peace and harmony in all man-woman relationships. Let me clarify that by man-woman relationships I mean all kinds of love that exist including those classified so far as different types of love: Philia (Deep friendship), Storge (Family), Agape (love for everyone), Eros (Sexual passion).
Having experienced Sound Meditation and as a Practitioner of Sound Healing, I perceive everything as frequency. Love, they say is the highest frequency. Imagine if the whole world operated from that very frequency, would there be much heartburn or suffering? A woman of substance personifies patience, resilience, intimacy, nurturing, tenderness, compassion, healing, empathy, intelligence coupled with unfathomable grit and determination. As much as she is tender, she is stubborn about her self-respect and identity. She finds joy in little things like gorging on a spoon of pickle with childlike delight. And then she also detests being confined to a box and conform to societal norms or perceptions of her character.
A free-spirited woman is rare, dangerously divine and her love has no boundaries. It takes a great deal of pain and suffering for her to discover her own divinity. She seeks the wilderness in all her expressions of love, but feels miserably trapped in the worldly ways. The material world doesn’t allure her. She longs to exit her human existence and merge with the Universe to find the solace she yearns for. The poems in this book are about one such woman who cannot be aptly defined by the society. They carry a plethora or deep emotions, turmoil and turbulence sensed through my own perception of overwhelming joy, passion and suffering influenced by situations and people in life and those in others. The words crowded in my mind surging and urging me to pen them down. Sometimes they rushed out uncontrollably with an element of desperate urgency.
Writing these poems have been totally cathartic. I hope you find solace in them, resonate with them deeply and find similarities with the various stages in your life for these are derived from the very lives of those experiencing a humane existence. Marvel reading about love, longing, passion, yearning, deceit, strength and resilience in these poems that will indubitably stir your emotions.
This book was not an intention as much as writing the poems were unintentional. The intimate words flowed out effortlessly. However, now that the poems have been published, I must admit I am grateful to all those people who came into my life at various stages for reasons unknown, but stirred me in ways I had never expected or known. Some have stayed while some left. Both their entry and exit have been catalysts in the outpour. The one who stayed have given me reasons to pen down the words that crowded inside me overwhelmingly. So this book is dedicated to everyone who has touched my life in myriad ways.
I strongly believe ‘No one achieves anything alone’ just like the saying:
“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads form one to another that creates something”. Sandra Day O’Connor (First woman associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)
The world belongs to the women as much as it does to the men! Why not celebrate the differences and attract harmony? You are more than the roles you play in the society!
Care to drop me a few words? I would love to hear from you. I am @ email@example.com
Some of these thoughts left me with dejavu’ effect . For example, whenever I toy with the idea of taking a break from my responsibilities and get away over a weekend, I feel painfully pressured about considering my safety first. Choosing a quiet and quaint getaway to stay all by myself for some solitude seems like a burden. Does a man experience such pressures or insecurity ever? – Have had these thoughts cross my mind too ? But self- doubt myself if I have it in me to challenge myself to come out of my comfort / comfortable zone and break loose to experience life .
Its amazing how your words as simple as these invite thoughts and make me not feel silly anymore 😊👏👏
A free minded person with having high levels of privacy inside will definitely understand well and try to connect , just like me…. lovely write up 💟 ❤️
Really amazing Shilpi. Congratulations 🎉 on your first book and many to come. Your are a very strong person and I am sure your poems portrait those emotions. Looking forward to reading your poems 😊
Roald Dahl has said of life “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”
POETRY is magic, as opposed to prose,it’s lyrical and can be woven in a beautiful song. So, Shilpi if you have reached this stage of writing poetry then there is an expression of beauty that’s coming out of a prosaic experience. Good luck with poetry, you must ask shiuli, your daughter to give your poetry, a music to match. You are blessed.