Monday, August 11, 2014

Life of a Poet - Ankita

You know how much I love Mother India! It is why I'm so happy we are going back there this week to visit the beautiful young poet, Ankita, who hangs out at Poetry....A Journey Within. Grab a window seat, as there is much to see as we rush through the crowded streets. Ankita is waiting for us, and is setting out steaming cups of chai, which makes this moment absolutely perfect!









Sherry: Ankita, you live in a wonderful place where we visited another poet recently. Tell us a bit about it. Have you always lived here? Do you have a favorite spot you love to go to?

Ankita: Thank you so much, Sherry, for asking me to be a part of ‘Life of a Poet’ series. I am truly honored. I presently stay in Bangalore, a cosmopolitan city in the southern part of beautiful India. My work brought me to this city. 

Otherwise I was born and brought up in Jodhpur (Rajasthan), a small city located in western part of India.  It is beautiful historic city once ruled by Kings and presently a home for magnificent palaces and forts. It is a desert but colorful in every way with its culture, cuisines and hospitality.  This place I have called home for long, and have lived happily before I moved to Bangalore. Let me give you people a peek into this city.

         Mehrangarh fort  


  
      
    Umaid Palace  


I have visited almost all major destinations in India, yet there are loads to explore. I love nature, and would love to go as many times as I can to places inhabited around natural landscapes.

Sherry: From your writings, I can tell you had a wonderful childhood. Would you like to tell us a bit about what made it so magical? You must have wonderful parents and grandparents.


Me, my sister, my brother

It is one of the most beautiful memories I hold. We are three siblings; I have an elder sister who just got married, and younger brother who is studying in an engineering college. Being a middle child definitely has loads of perks; I was pampered a lot and at the same time I get to scold my younger brother. 


My family, with my sister and brother-in-law

My childhood was full of fun and loads of learning, which definitely made me what I am today. My lovely mother believed  one should know everything, irrespective of you are a girl or a boy and she had a major impact on my educational endeavors. She taught me cooking, dancing, swimming, knitting, paintings, games, apart from excelling in studies. I don’t know how she did it but she made it all.  I never missed a class nor any of my childhood games. Dad was always there to cut some slack when mom wasn’t around. I am blessed to have parents and siblings like them.


My sister and grandmother

I have only my maternal grandmother around, others I lost at a very early age. She is a lovely soul and we call her ‘Nani’( Mother’s Mother).  I miss spending time with grandparents and being pampered by them, but then Mom and Dad never made us feel that void in our lives.


Me, in my sister's wedding

Sherry: Ankita, you look absolutely gorgeous in your wedding finery! Your gown is spectacular, and your entire family is beautiful!   What is your life like today? Give us a little peek into the life of Ankita!

Ankita: I can say it is finally like what I dreamt of when I was a child. I did my engineering in Electronics and Communications and presently employed as Staff Software Engineer in National Instruments (R&D).  I really enjoy my work and when not working I love cooking, writing or reading novels. I love exploring new places and have travelled to many incredible places and still look forward anytime to visit new places. Travelling has been always a beautiful experience and during one of them I wrote these lines which I wish to include  here:

As I travel across the man made boundaries
I happen to ponder over a passing thought
Elements of the nature remain same
Yet every part of the world tells a different story...




Sherry: I love it. And I love all the footprints on the sand...could be any feet, any beach in the world. When did you begin writing poetry? What led you to writing your first poem?

Ankita: I have been writing for around two years now, it has been a pretty wonderful experience so far. It was one day when I had so much going on in my mind, and somehow I just grabbed a pen and scribbled a write on piece of paper and it turned out to be my first write ever. I still have that scribbled paper kept as a memory of my first write. Since then I have written whatever that comes to my mind and I would love to write about.

Sherry: That is a cool story. Why did you choose poetry as your means of creative expression? What does poetry mean to you?

Ankita: I have realized over a period of time that there are certain things in life that come naturally to you, and poetry is one of those things for me. I love writing, there are some times that I don’t have thoughts and sometimes words don’t come to me, but then when everything is right and they do come, those moments are beautiful in themselves.  I love what I write and I love writing, poetry is not the only way of expression, but it is one of the most beautiful expressions for me.

Sherry: What are your hopes for your poetry in the years ahead?

Ankita: I have two poems published in anthologies and I feel great about them. One is ‘My Gracious Moon’ in a book named ‘Natural Reflections’ and the other ‘In a fabled garden’ in the book named ‘Impressions’. In the coming future I would love to have a book with my collection of poems printed. It is a dream that I hold close and would really want it to come true sometime.

Sherry: It will happen, Ankita! I just know it. I love your poem, My Gracious Moon, and would love to include it here.

Ankita: I have always loved writing about nature. This was my first poem that got published in an anthology and that is why it is special to me. I wrote this looking at a full moon from the window of my bed room. It was beautiful clear sky with moon shining so bright in the lovely night sky.








When the beautiful night unveils with darkness
I look for you in the starry sky above
And I find you glancing through the clouds
You feel so close yet so far, my love

Everything about your existence is amazing
The waning gibbous, the waxing half moon 
And the solitary crescent, I have always been praising
But I adore the most, the gracious full moon 

When everything shines in your silvery light
And only the outlines highlight in your presence
When the charmed ocean dances every night
Babbling and celebrating your eternal essence

And as the dawn makes its way with a light
I shall wait for the night to see you again
The world of night is a beautiful sight
'Cause of you, my wandering gracious moon...



Sherry: Such a lovely poem, Ankita! Your blog name is Poetry....a Journey Within! (Isn't that the truth!) Will you continue to chart your journey through poetry? (I hope so – you will be AMAZED when you reach my age and look back at what a journey you have made.)

Ankita: The name ‘Poetry .....a Journey Within!’ was the first name that came to my mind when I first started writing my blog and sometimes it is best to stick with what comes first to mind.

Yes, I would love to continue writing about my life’s journey through my blog. I just wish, Sherry, when I get old, I am as good as you are or any other poets at Poets United. 

Sherry: Ankita, you are kind. Thank you. But believe in your own writing - you have your own very unique voice. When did you begin blogging and how has that affected your writing?

Ankita: It has been around more than year since I started blogging and it has been a beautiful journey so far, I first started blogging to keep my writings in one place. Now when I look back I love to see how the blog has turned up over the time.  The comments from friends keep me motivated and have made me improve my writings over time.

Sherry: I see you have a second blog, Thoughts,  where you offer snippets of wisdom. Do you sometimes write prose as well? If not, do you think you might branch out into prose in the future?

Ankita: While writing poetry, there are often times when there are lines that are complete in themselves and my other blog ‘Thoughts - Anything you say can make a history’ holds a place for all those random thoughts that I have while writing.

I would love to write Prose in future. Ironically, I never thought about writing poetry, but I always thought about writing prose, as a child.

Sherry: You list travel and art as your interests. Are you an artist yourself? What do you appreciate about art?





Ankita: Yes. I do paint as a hobby. I have always loved art in its every form, as a matter of fact, we all three siblings love art and that truly comes to us  from our mother. 
She used to paint when we were young and that is how we all learnt painting. She is an incredible artist; all our paintings at our home are made by her. I have been sketching since I was a child as a hobby, and I have always loved art. I would love to include some of my paintings, and some of my younger brother's as well here.





 My brother Ankur's art can be viewed on Facebook at Artistic Ankur
 Here are two samples:

                       
               

          
                                                                                                    
    Sherry:  You are a very talented family, Ankita. Thanks for sharing these. They are wonderful! I can see a book combining your writing and art work, somewhere in your future. Now for travel. Where have you traveled so far? 

Ankita: I love travelling and I never miss a chance to get on a bus or a train whenever I can. I have travelled  my whole childhood, with family around India, and since then I have loved to roam around and explore. Apart from India, I have travelled to to Sri lanka and United States. 



Bentota Beach, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a beautiful city with the blue waters, mouth-watering cuisines and a colorful culture. 

In the United States, I had a chance to visit Austin and San Antonio, in Texas. It was different than many other places I have visited, but incredibly beautiful.


Sunset view from The Oasis, 
on Lake Travis, Austin, Texas

I have a wish to see sunset in every part of the world once. I know it seems really unrealistic, but then there is so much to see in just one life.


Natural bridge caverns, San Antonio


Sherry: I love sunsets, too. Do you have poem written by you, that you would like to share with us? 

Ankita: I would like to include one of my all time favorites:  ‘It is the Journey that’s Important’. I wrote this when I was sad about parting ways with my dear friend, and reading this has always made me feel better.
Life is but an unspeakable journey
With each turn a new one
At times the destination is known
Other times wandering aimlessly on life's road
But somehow it leads us where we need to be
And I always question
"Is it the journey that's important,
or getting there?"



Ups and down, twist and turns
Mountains and valleys, bumps and holes
Life's road is like a blank map
I am trying to lead
Knowing often I came from 
Going somewhere I wish to be
Leaving questions to ponder
Will I reach where I want to be?
"Is it the journey that's important,
or getting there?"

Though we all have an outlandish destination
Yet we share journey at some point
Often like a ride in the common bus
The joy we have in the ride
Makes us forget the destination
Once held so close to our heart and
Wishing the journey never ends
And I slowly understand
"It is the journey that's important, not getting there!" 


View from Mount Bonnell, Austin, Texas



Sherry: That is so true. Enjoy the journey! What would we be most surprised to learn about you? 

Ankita: I love talking, and I can talk nonstop for hours. I love to shop and travel whenever I can, and I am a girl that believes totally in happy endings.  Most of the people who know me say I haven’t grown up yet but then there is no fun in growing up. 


Shopping


Sherry: I agree. Refuse to do it! Is there anything you would like to say to Poets United? 

Ankita: I would like to thank you, Sherry, for being a wonderful host, and for all your patience. It has been a wonderful experience being associated with Poets United. All the poets here are incredibly gifted and wonderful human beings. Each of you has inspired me in so many ways, and has been so encouraging and supportive, and I love exchanging comments with all of you. Thank you for everything.

Sherry: Thank you, Ankita, for this lovely visit and for your kind words. We are so happy you found our community and look forward to reading many more of your poems in the days and months ahead.

Don't you love these international visits to beautiful India? It was so lovely meeting this beautiful young poet and getting to know her better. Do come back and see who we talk to next. It is a Chat Between Two Poets and is one of the most amazing conversations I have ever had in my life!

  

42 comments:

  1. very impressive interview. We proud of u.

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  2. nice to see you here Ankita...what an interesting life you have! enjoyed your poems and beautiful paintings & your brother's....so talented you are...and Sherry you are truly an artist in drawing the person out....a lovely interview :)

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    1. Thank you Sumana for all your kind words.Yes, life has been interesting so far, hopefully it will continues this way. It has been a great experience knowing you, your writes reflect the warmth of your kind heart....smiles. Indeed Sherry is truly an artist!

      Love,
      Ankita

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  3. Amazing Ankita... I really enjoyed your poem "its the thats important" . ive never visited bangalore but im hoping to soon!! ive been to jaipur and udaipur but plan to do a road trip soon to whole of rajasthan... ill definitely include jodhpur... your pictures entice.. youve got suchh a cute family... you look beautiful at your sisters wedding... best of luck with the book and art!! :)

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    1. Hey Arushi
      Thank you! Yes, indeed Rajasthan is a beautiful place you should visit sometime. If I am around whenever you visit , would love to show you the place myself....smiles. You are a wonderful poet yourself and a very kind person. :)
      Love,
      Ankita

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    2. thanks Ankita... will sure get in touch!! :)

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  4. Wonderful interview... its great to get a glimpse into your world with so many differences and similarities..

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    1. Thank you Bjorn for all your patience with the reads and your lovely comments always....smiles.
      Love
      Ankita.

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    1. Thank you Annell for your kind words! :)

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  6. I enjoyed knowing more about you, Ankita. You were obviously blessed with wonderful parents and siblings. Your mother in particular seems to have been a great mentor. Thank you for sharing 'it is the Journey that is Important'. It is a beautiful poem. Thank you, ladies for this interview.

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    1. Thank you Gabriella! Definitely I am blessed to have parents like them...smiles. It has been a wonderful experience knowing you, would love to meet you someday in person.
      Love
      Ankita

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  7. This interview revealed great happiness--rare and wonderful and very evident in your poetry. I hope you get to see sun up and sunsets all over the world!

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    1. Smiles..thank you for your touching words Susan! That is one wish I hold very close to heart. :) Hopefully I will be able to live my dream some day.
      Love
      Ankita

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  8. Ankita, I really enjoyed learning more about you. What a talented poet you are. I do agree that it is the journey that is most important, not the destination. There is so much joy to be found in the journey....And, ha, I agree with your idea about growing up. I am older than you, but I never plan to 'grow up' either. Smiles! I enjoyed reading about your sketching as well. So many poets seem also to have artistic talents in other areas. Keep writing! Sherry, thanks for another wonderful interview.

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    1. Thank you Mary! Your words have always been so encouraging, I really appreciate you taking time to read and comment every time. :) Yes, life is wonderful journey and not a single destination and definitely there is no fun in growing up.... I will always be hmmm...lets say 24! hehehe..
      Love
      Ankita

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  9. Ankita, you're a remarkable young woman. I love how you enjoy your life. Best of luck with all your writing and art.
    Sherry - a good interview as always. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you Myrna for your lovely compliment and wishes..smiles.

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  10. Sigh. I am homesick for India already, and I've only just gotten back. Smiles. I so enjoyed this lovely glimpse into your happy life, Ankita, and the beautiful photos and art work that grace the page. Sigh. I'll be keeping an eye out as your happy story continues to unfold. You looked like a princess at your sister's wedding.

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    1. You are truly an artist Sherry and a wonderful soul. Thank you so much for being such an incredible host and making it a wonderful experience for me...smiles. Do plan to visit India sometime Sherry, I would love to host you and meet you in person someday.
      Thank you so much for having me here at Poets United.
      much love,
      Ankita

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    2. It is truly my pleasure, Ankita. One of our poets said, if you can only go one place in the world, let it be India. I think I have missed the boat this lifetime, but that is why I so enjoy visiting poets like you who live there and experiencing it through your lives.......

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    3. Then may be some day if I visit your part of the world...smiles.

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  11. Great Stuff Ankita! Your poems rock. Your dream of publishing a book is not far from reality. Keep Enjoying what you do.

    Cheers
    Akshat

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  12. Such a lovely interview! Its so nice to know about Ankita and her life, Best wishes, keep writing.

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    1. Thank you Vandana! :) It has been a lovely experience knowing you.

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  13. a wish to see the sunset in every part of the world...what a cool goal that is...
    i love all the color in your wedding outfits as well...hopefully i will get to see your part of the world soon enough...i have several friends over there now...

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    1. Thank you Brian! I love colours..speaking of them my wardrobe has almost all possible colours. smiles. You can definitely count on me, would love to show you around.

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  14. Your poetry is lovely...such a pleasure to meet you, Ankita. You exude such a positive spirit. Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself!

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    1. Thank you Sherri for your lovely compliment! :)

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  15. Ankita, you can write poetry and paint! I'm officially jealous. I so wish to be able to paint one day...

    It's very nice to meet you. ;-)

    Sherry, thanks for the introduction.

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    1. Smiles..You will be surprised how good you can be with colours, just pick up that brush and start painting! After all one can never wrong with colours, there are so beautiful.
      It is nice to me you too Magaly. You have a lovely name. ;)
      Love,
      Ankita

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  16. What a really great interview! Ankita is so talented and writes beautifully. It has been a joy to read about her journey!

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    1. Thank you Torie for your kind words! :)

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  17. Nice interview! Thanks to Ankita an Sherry! What a positive talented person she is! Love your gentle balanced poems, Ankita. Enjoyed the photos and story! Let your dreams come true :)x

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    1. Thank you humbird, Sherry made it sound so perfect! :)

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  18. Ankita, I loved your "My Gracious Moon" poem. Your photos of your family and India are stunning and resplendent. I have always admired your culture, curry chicken dishes, and Bollywood. Lol. Great job once again Sherry! And Ankita, please stop by my blog to read my poetry please.

    Have a great one!

    Jamztoma
    jamztoma.blogspot.com

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    1. Hey Jamztoma,
      Thank you for your lovely comment! :) Wow! You are a fan of Bollywood, we have loads in common there, let me know if you need to decide on which one to watch next...smiles.Over to your blog now, see you there.
      Love
      Ankita

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  19. Ankita, I loved the poems. Also it was very nice getting to know more about the writer behind your poems.

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    1. Thank you, it has been great knowing you as well...smiles.

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  20. My adorable sister...there are no words in the dictionary to describe my emotions right now. You have a unique talent to leave the readers with a happy feeling. You are setting a wonderful example of optimism and positivism. You make me proud. God bless. :)

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  21. Such a nice interview...love your poems Ankita...and your paintings too... :-)

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  22. Sherry thank you for the beautiful interview...Ankita a big hello from fellow bangalorean...nice to meet you here..loved your poems ..enjoy the journey of life.good luck and all the best:)

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