Interview: Writing Haiku, Haiga and Haibun with Salil Chaturvedi

We had the opportunity to chat with Salil Chaturvedi, author of love and longing in the anthropocene.

Author and his book

Salil Chaturvedi is the author of short fiction and poetry and dabbles in photography. His stories and poems have been published in various journals and anthologies. He loves creating haiku, haiga (a combination of a visual and a haiku) and haibun ( a short prose piece, combined with haiku), which have been published in international journals dedicated to the Japanese forms.  His poetry collection, In the Sanctuary of a Poem was published in 2017 and is available on Amazon. In 2019 he was conferred the Hindi Seva Samman by the Hindi Academy, New Delhi, for his collection of Hindi poems, Ya Ra La Va Sha Sa Ha. He lives in Chorao, Goa. Tell us about your writing process.

Salil Chaturvedi: It’s quite a messy and reiterative process. Once the first draft of something is down on paper, I tend to look at it from many angles, trying out different ways of saying it, different voices and viewpoints, so that I frequently end up with quite a few versions of a piece, complicating my life. But when one finds such joy in working with words it is a welcome complication. I can happily spend a day fussing over a single word in a poem, or a punctuation mark! The way things sound plays an important role, too. For some poems, their shape on the page becomes exceedingly important. But there are enough of those times when things happen in a more spontaneous manner and any fiddling would only spoil things. How did you develop an interest in haiku, haiga and haibun? Please tell your readers about how these forms of Japanese poetry differ from each other and which one is your favorite?

Salil Chaturvedi: Let’s tackle the forms first:

A haiku is a short poem, usually juxtaposing two images to find a leap of meaning, and in English, about 10-12 syllables long.
A haibun is a short prose piece, written imagistically and usually in the present tense, with a haiku attached, though there are other variations to it. A haiga is an image, traditionally a monochrome ink painting, with a haiku attached to it in such a way that they expand each other’s meaning.

I had known about haiku for a long time, but my serious engagement with the form began after reading Basho’s classic The Narrow Road to the Deep North. It’s a book I return to regularly. I honed my skills through reading haikus of the masters, the various online journals dedicated to Japanese forms and books. There are plenty of educational resources online, especially on the Modern Haiku website, such as essays that explore various dimensions of the form, its historic development and other finer points. Since I like taking pictures, haiga, where a haiku is juxtaposed with an image, was a natural progression.

Amongst the three, haiku remains my favourite form.

What I like most about it is how it hones your attentiveness to the world. If poetry can be imagined as a net made out of words, I think of haiku as a finely meshed net that is ideal for capturing the littlest of mundane things. As Basho said, for haiku the interest is not duck soup, but vegetable broth. For me, the single most important aspect of the haiku is the kigo (the season word) which is a nod to the larger world in which all the happenings take place. In that sense, Ecopoetics runs in the DNA of haiku. I am reminded of the feminist scholar and philosopher Donna Haraway who says: The biotic and abiotic powers of the Earth are the main story.

Overall, I can sum up my encounter with haiku thus:

inside a curled leaf
a cocoon shifts You write in Hindi and English- how different is it writing in different languages?

Salil Chaturvedi: That’s an interesting question. One doesn’t make a conscious choice, of course. The poems seem to choose a language of their own accord. I guess my Hindi roots are still alive and their tentacles seek out some vernacular nutrition. On rare occasions, I translate a poem from one language to another, but otherwise, it’s an automatic process. The Hindi poems seem to say things that I can’t possibly say in English because the idioms are so different. Taking the first few lines of a poem, Kuch Hai

Kuch hai hawa me is vakt—
Dopahar ke sapno ki svarna lahar

Gilahariyon ki chulbul cheekhein
Baadlon ke maylon ke dholak

I wouldn’t know how to say it in English and maintain the same cadence!

I do write haiku in Hindi as well, just so your readers know that that’s possible. In fact, there are a few of them in the Hindi book Ya Ra La Va Sha Sa Ha available at Tell us about how you arrived at the fascinating title: love and longing in the anthropocene.

Salil Chaturvedi: It just popped into the head! There are three sections in the book, and ‘love and longing in the anthropocene’ is the first section which brings together the body, love, techno-science, nature, refugees, wars, runaway capitalism, disappearing species…in short, everything that marks the consumptive and polluting Anthropocene era. The work was born from a dream in which I wrote a short poem, the only time I have written a poem in a dream. It was an erotic/love poem. I woke up and wrote it down immediately, and for about six months after that, I kept writing these poems to an imagined lover where the body (and the earth as an extension of the body) takes a central place. So, yes, it was a fascinating and intense process in which I seemed to be taken along for the ride. Later, I realized that the title forms a nice acronym — LALITA, meaning, pleasant, playful. How do you put a book of poems together- what is the glue that holds your poems in a certain order? Is the ordering of your poems planned or organic?

Salil Chaturvedi: So, this is how it works—I will struggle with the sequencing and arrangement of the poems for weeks, trying out many combinations. I will see myself as a reader and read through the work noticing how a poem on a page reacts with another on the facing page. I will also pay attention to the way the tone of the book develops, what moods are evoked. I will play with all this. It’s a thrilling sort of game. The poems will keep shifting and changing places and then, one day, will come together. Then I am ready to publish. After publication, I will find that I might have wanted to do it slightly differently. So, it goes! That doesn’t mean that all the thinking has been a waste, just that there is always scope for improvement. Writers are usually apprehensive about publishing their poetry. Could you advise aspiring poets about which avenues they should consider for publishing their poems?

Salil Chaturvedi: I think the best way to go about it is to first send poems to journals that accept poetry. There are a plethora of online journals these days. The advantage is that you get some feedback on your work from editors and readers. While it is easier to publish through self-publication options, including with Pothi, I feel that many people rush to publish their work. I have had a few aspiring poets who have sent me manuscripts, and my advice generally has been to take a little longer to publish, allowing the work to gestate and mature. I’m just passing on the advice that I have received from seniors. Tell us about your experience self-publishing with us.

Salil Chaturvedi: The process is easy and smooth. The staff is ultra-professional and accessible. The author dashboard is a great feature that lets you track your sales and royalties. But, one drawback of self-publishing remains marketing. While some writers are good at it, most that I know, including myself, would rather write than promote their work. But, that’s a whole different conversation. Also, self-publishing means that mainstream publications do not review your work and you have to work harder at developing your market and finding readers. Your favorite poet.

Salil Chaturvedi: That’s an unfair question, but for now, I’ll say Arun Kolatkar. favorite beverage.

Salil Chaturvedi: Sikkim Temi Tea. Future projects you are excited about.

Salil Chaturvedi: Right now, I’m looking forward to bringing out a short story collection which is titled The Inexact Room. It should be ready by March-April, if all goes well. Apart from that, I have a vague idea for a collection of haibun.

Thanks for the informative session, Salil! Wish you all the best for your writing!


Interview: Conan Karchang Doley Writes About Love and Dreams in Delhi

We caught up with Conan Karchang Doley , the author of I Don’t Think Straight.

Conan Karchang Doley: AuthorConan Karchang Doley was born on November 14, 1992. He completed his graduation and post graduation from Delhi University. He lives in Majuli Island, Assam, where he was born. He spends his time reading, writing, and taking and bringing his seven-year-old younger brother to and from school. Tell us about what inspired you to write the book I Don’t Think Straight. You could tell us if you were inspired by campus life or if any book/movie set your pen rolling.

Conan Karchang Doley : The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger inspired me to write I Don’t Think Straight. I read it when I was sixteen and the experience was mind-blowing. I instantly wanted to write a book like that. The character Omo is somewhat like Holden Caulfield—I was very happy that I could include a chapter where Omo visits her favorite teacher in her apartment, just like Holden Caulfield does in The Catcher in the Rye. I love Holden Caulfield and I think I can understand him, just like the millions of individuals who have read The Catcher in the Rye—and as an adult I am still sad, in a way, that he never looked forward to growing up—and that’s one of the reasons I love him so much—so I changed that in I Don’t Think Straight. Towards the end of Omo’s narrative, she is not afraid to grow up. Her final words are: “I have no clue where my life is headed, what lies ahead is a vast unknown. All I know is that there is going to be some love and compassion in it.” Do you plan the story in advance or do you plot it out beforehand?

Conan Karchang Doley: So far I haven’t plotted it out beforehand. There is a theme, an idea to begin with, and then the rest happens as it happens. I Don’t Think Straight is my second novel so I consider myself pretty new to writing novels. I am not good at it, in my opinion. How much has the city Delhi influenced your story? Are there any passages in the book that talk about life in Delhi?

Conan Karchang Doley: Delhi has influenced the book a lot. One of the titles I had considered for I Don’t Think Straight was ‘A Pilgrim in the City’ and another was ‘Love and Loathing in New Delhi’. (I thank you for asking this question, it’s like a load has been released from my shoulders.) Yes, there are passages that talk about life in Delhi; one reader beautifully put it in her Amazon review, “The book isn’t just about the journey of two people, it’s a heartwarming read that will take you on the roads of Delhi, the metro and the protagonist’s world.” Tell us a little more about Omo and Domo. 

Conan Karchang Doley: Omo and Domo are the two protagonists of I Don’t Think Straight. They are similar in that they are both attracted to people of the same sex. And different in that Omo comes out of her loneliness and frustrations at the end of her narrative, while Domo is pretty much stuck in a rut till the very end. His final words are: “I thought that I was happy but I had a keen sense that I was stuck in a rut.” This self-knowledge that “he is stuck in a rut” although hints that there is something taking place inside him. We all know the old adage ‘Know Thyself’ and Domo suddenly arrives there at the end of the novel. Your favorite books.

Conan Karchang Doley: I love everything written by—someone, who probaby does not want to be named. (I think he does not want to gain any kind of authority or become famous in any way so I would rather not name him. But his books are my favorite.) Apart from his books, there are the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa, Pow! by Mo Yan and recently I chanced upon a novel, In Custody by Anita Desai, at a friend’s place—some writings can make you breathe like a dragon, Mo Yan for example and Anita Desai’s writing can make you fall in love, be in love, become love itself. Your favorite beverage.

Conan Karchang Doley: Tea and Coffee both. What has your experience with been like?

Conan Karchang Doley: I came to because their website said, ‘Writing is Hard. Publishing Should be Easy.’ Something about it attracted me when I saw it the first time. Then I read about their service. I agreed with what they were doing and I especially loved that they were not providing any ISBN but were telling us how to obtain an ISBN for free. And flashforward to one year later: I self-published a novel with

Self-publishing I Don’t Think Straight with was not so easy for me- the process was not a smooth ride for me, I was trying to get things done quickly and got too anxious when the process got stuck. But every problem was sorted out step-by-step by the Team, which I found very satisfying. I am happy about the way things worked out and I am currently self-publishing my new book with again. The Cover Designing is being done as I speak. Your advice to aspiring writers when it comes to writing, publishing and marketing the book. 

Conan Karchang Doley: If you know that you have something important to discuss then discuss it through your writing. It could be anything.

If you have self-published a book and want it to sell a lot then you have got to market the book, because no one is doing the marketing for you. But if you are happy with five readers enjoying your book then don’t bother about marketing, and begin writing your next book because those five readers of yours are waiting for your next book. Your next project?

Conan Karchang Doley: My next project, (not the one whose cover is currently being designed—it is almost ready) is about an island where people know how to disappear. I began writing it as a homage to the The Invisible Man and the Harry Potter books. Thank you so much for talking to us, Conan 🙂 We wish you lots of luck for your future writing journey!

Down Memory Lane: Once Upon a Bring Your Own Book (BYOB) Party 📚

It was in 2015 that we held our first Bring Your Own Book (BYOB) Party. Since is a book company and the founders are devoted readers, the idea was to get people to talk about the books they loved. Unlike a book club where the point of discussion is a single book, at this party, book lovers could choose any book. This made the parties supremely interesting. We had participants from all walks of life- scientists, engineers, start-up founders, lawyers, writers, creatives, colonels, bankers, students, some regulars, many newbies who discussed fiction and non-fiction, movies and food with gusto. Seldom were there awkward silences; sometimes there were even tears and heated discussions.

No genre was exempt. We discussed fiction, mythology, fractured fairytales, crime thrillers, vernacular language books, graphic novels and non-fiction books featuring science, history, poetry,  business and commerce, self-help, spirituality, etc. We also interviewed select participants.

The highlight of our BYOB Parties was the after party where Red Velvet cupcakes and dhokla were served.

Miss those parties! You can visit some of our Bring Your Own Books (BYOB) Party stories here.

On International Mango Festival Day, 8 Book Titles That Feature Mangoes! 🥭

Every year since 1987 on July 9, the International Mango Festival is held in Delhi.  This is a great opportunity for mango gourmands, sellers and growers and a mango product bonanza for visitors. Favorite mango varieties on display are Langda, Malda, Dasheri, Alphonso, Chausa, Sindheri, Himgiri, Bombay Green and many others. Besides the achars, jams and shakes available at kiosks, there are folk song shows featuring mangoes and binge-eating mango contests.

This year the festival remains closed owing to Covid.

As part of honoring the festival this year, we put together a list of some books with Mango in the title and we came across many genres from literary to chicklit. Tell us if there are any more Mango-themed titles featured in your book collection!

House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street is a story of childhood and self-discovery. Sandra Cisneros started writing the book as a memoir but the book ended up taking a life of its own and became an exploration of otherness and identity. Read about her writing process here.


The House of Blue Mangoes by David Davidar

A generational saga of three generations of Dorais set in southern India during India’s freedom struggle. The house at Chethavar which is the fulcrum of the book is surrounded by the famous blue mango trees.


A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

Wendy’s protagonist is a synesthete- she can smell colors and taste shapes. She must learn how to come to terms with her condition as her world is an explosion of the senses.

A Case of Exploding Mangoes

A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

Explosive writing! A Case of Exploding Mangoes is a satirical account of the conspiracies that clouded Zia-ul-Haq’s death. He chooses satire as a medium to expose hard truths and the comic touch to touch on subjects that are very much forbidden fruit.


Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in IndiaClimbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India by Madhur Jaffrey

When you pick up a Madhur Jaffrey book, you are sure to be assaulted by a tonne of flavors. This memoir cum recipe account is a culinary autobiography not just of Jaffrey’s own experiences but India’s food journey as well.

Monique and the Mango Rains: An Extraordinary Story of Friendship in a Midwife's House in Mali by [Kris Holloway]Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali

Humor laces this book set in a West African village. The protagonist is a midwife who saves young lives and becomes a legend.


The Mango Season by [Amulya Malladi]The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi

Chicklit set with a protagonist from the Indian diaspora. Priya is expected to marry a nice Indian boy but over a mango pickle culinary exercise, she is in a dilemma about whether she should reveal more about her American boyfriend.


Imaculada de Bomba Cabral's Mango Tree and other nonsense talesImaculada de Bomba Cabral’s Mango Tree and other nonsense tales

At the store, we found a title that matches the mango theme- a book of humorous essays with Goa as the protagonist.



Haiku Extravaganza with

There is a pandemic that is raging around us and a lot of things that we have taken for granted have now been postponed indefinitely. So a haiku challenge at felt like the perfect way to alleviate the mood.

A haiku is a seventeen syllable poem usually about nature. The Japanese poet Basho was a famed exponent of this form of poetry. This is a translated haiku by him:

In Kyoto,
hearing the cuckoo,
I long for Kyoto.

When you write a haiku in English, you follow the #fivesevenfive structure which means five syllables in the first line, seven in the second and five in the third line. A syllable is a unit of sound, e.g., the word haiku has two syllables.

What the Pothidotcomers did was frame a haiku each after a small session with me. We then decided to extend the haiku challenge to twitterverse. What started as a one day enterprise turned into a three day haikuthon!

We received over forty submissions and decided to frame each haiku in digitally beautiful picture frames. We got poems about the corona virus, the beauty of nature, summer holidays, folktales and the daily routine of living in pre-Covid times. People from all walks of life emailed us- first time writers, established writers, students, bloggers, teachers, friends….we were simply overwhelmed!

Here are some gems.








For more of these you can check out our twitter moment. Have you ever tried writing haiku and has it lifted your spirits?

Some interesting Love Letters that did not qualify for WYL Contest

Love Letter ImageWe received some love letters, which did not qualify for the contest. But they were interesting nonetheless. We are posting them for your reading pleasure.

From Pierre Curie to Marie Curie

by Saras Ojha

About the character: The writer of this letter is Pierre Curie. Pierre died in a road accident. When Marie learnt about his death, Tears failed to drop from her eyes.  She was immensely shocked and was supposed to deliver a lecture. Pierre writes to Marie , reminding her about the lecture she was now supposed to deliver  after his  sudden death.


The Letter

Dear Marie,

The Sorbonne might ask you to assume my physics chair.  Probably on the day my lecture class is to resume, the room will be crowded with celebrities, politicians, and most of the faculty of the university. There would be even a stenographer ready to record what were sure to be your  historic opening remarks. Upon entering the room, You will meet  with a thunderous round of applause. Without fanfare, you wait  for the applause to subside before speaking. Foregoing all formalities and introductory remarks, you begin your lecture at the very point where I had left off months before.

You remember what I had felt about you when we met for the first time. When I saw you, I noticed your deep interest in science. I had always believed that Science and romance cannot go together. But you , Marie,  made it possible. I had done lots of research over my span of fifteen years but I had never completed a doctorate. But you insisted me to write up my research on magnetism.

I remember the day of our marriage when you instead of a bridal gown you wore a dark blue outfit, which for years after was a serviceable lab garment.  My father always told me that I am lost in dreams. Oops! even , while crossing the road that day, I was dreaming. Actually after working in the laboratory all morning, I braved the heavy rain, umbrella in hand, and traveled across Paris to my  luncheon meeting. There I spoke forcefully on a number of issues that concerned me, including widening career options for junior faculty and drafting legal codes to help prevent laboratory accidents. Hurrying to cross the street, I was run over by a horse-drawn wagon with a load of military uniforms, weighing some six tons. I was killed instantly.

I wish if you could  take care of Irene . I wish if even Irene could win a Nobel prize like us.  And secondly , I would like you to make a laboratory, for which we two always thrived for. You know that a laboratory is not created in a few months with a wave of a magic wand. It requires a sheer pace of work and thought.


End of the Letter

From Romeo, the trainee chef to Juliet, the senior chef

by Mohit Ghildiyal

The Letter

My dearest Miss chef,

I sure in the name of Newzeland Lamb rack , that you are  percious for me like a Beluga Caviar. When you stand in front of me , choping onion does not dare to wet my eyes. Looking at your face remind me of the Californian grapes. Though from outside you are as hard as rare done Lamb Steak, but i know you heart is softer than a Salmon Steak. For me your presence make this dhaba a Michelen star restraunt  in which Gordon Ramsay is a comiis doing Mise-en-place for you now.
If you are a sushi, i will be your soya sauce,
This Trainee will make your heart rock.
If you are a Pancake, i will be your Maple syrup,
No one can change our destiny of love.
If you are Sandwich, i will be your fries,
Loving your junior will not lead to sucide.
If you are a omlette, I will be your toast,
Please be my Valentine, I will never take weekly off.

Romeo Salad

End of the Letter

To Rose from a Bull

By Hemant Soni

The Letter

O my dear Rose

Ever since I saw you standing on the fore peak of titanic, It was like the end of my ocean life. I wanted to be human, yes that was the moment I can never forget.

I know u do not remember me, how can you remember if you don’t know me and also when you had someone (jack) there who loved you may be or may not be more than me.

Let me introduce you to me. I was an unrecognized bull. A bull in water?  No! Not that one you must be thinking about. A male dolphin is called as a bull.

How a fish can love a girl?  See my love this you don’t worry about because anything can happen in fiction.  Just if you can do something then do love me somewhere in the core of your heart and when you come to see shore just give a whistle. I may come depending on the decibels. Like my mother use to come for Amitabh Bachhan, his son in Ajooba.
You must not be watching Indian movies so you don’t worry about how my mom used to manage that because anything can happen in fiction.

My love not only started with you it was with you always but you never felt.once I was very happy when you were coming to jump in the sea for me but Jack interrupted you and you believed on him more than me. O my love you did not know that I was there down for you to catch and fill you between my fins.

You must be wondering how this scene come after the scene when you came to forepeak but again that you don’t have to worry about. I said anything can happen in fiction.

My love I was sailing with Titanic continuously just to have a glance of you whenever you come to the railings. I never liked jack with you but I was happy for you that someone is there after me to protect you, to care for you, and to kiss you. Oops! Its ok I know it but I will not mind it because love knows sacrifice.

Rose that was the furious day and I am very sorry, but I had always tried to grab attention of the captain by my sway and jump in water to let him know about the iceberg ahead. Not only me but all my friends were trying to help the ship. We tried to pull the ship back but it was very fast (Don’t worry, anything can happen in fiction). Many of my friends were killed but we can’t help it.

The Captain must be Drunk! But it never appeared from his beard that he would have been an amateur captain. I suspect him that he must have also jealous of you and jack and of me too, may be.

He always uses to watch you for a long time from the binoculars on his bridge wings when you were standing in the sunlight drying your hairs oh! Leave it anyways he died before he could have done something for you.

So that furious night I was watching the titanic taking a KitKat break and diving deep. Till the last moment my love I and my friends were there near to hold you. To save you, but you fallen asleep on the Kitply and the jack was taking you away from me. I was not fearing of jack but was just waiting for your call if you could have noticed me.

After when you were leaving on boat I was still there waiting for you to notice me. In absence of jack I thought you must be feeling alone and I was there to hold you. But I think it was very cold and your emotions were frozen in that.

Saw you on television giving interviews for that night. You are quite old now but still my love is as young as before. On this valentine when you will get this letter try whistling on the shore and I will come for you, if it is not more for you to blow out try using the electric horn, my listening capacity is also grown weak.

Your pendant is there with me always, kept for remembrance.


End of the Letter

Entry for WYL Contest: Letter to Christopher James Nielson

Here is the entry from Sreemoyee Basu for Write Your Love Contest.

The letter is addressed to Christopher James Nielson from the movie ‘What Dreams May Come’.

The Letter

Dear Christopher,

I have been in love with you from the first day I saw you and heard your tale of love. There is a voice inside me that corresponds to every word of yours making me realize that what you said is soulfully true. It might not make much sense to the mind, but the heart knows that it is being recognized in every action of love that you performed. While your tale unraveled I imagined that all that you did, you did for me. After all, it was you who said, “What is true in our minds is true”; and I believe you.

I learn from you, Chris, not because I take what you say and imbibe it, but because I find your words resonating within me. The foremost thing that you have taught me is the importance of looking into someone’s eyes and really seeing him; of knowing that fear, denial, insecurities are a shell which the real person exists beneath and beyond. I admire you for not belittling my inability to see clearly, instead for your efforts to stand with me and see through my eyes.  I love you for trying to find ‘new ways to love me, to help me and to keep us together always’. I love you for the fight that you put up with yourself to be with me; when your instinct was to not give up, you did so to be with me. When you were safe and untouched by grief and denial and had the option of moving on, you chose to adopt my reality so that I wouldn’t be left alone.

You made me realize that sometimes, when you win because that is what you have been trained to do, you are actually losing out on what your inner voice wants you to do; and when people love the way you do, they transcend the boundaries that they have set for themselves and realize that happiness lies in making the impossible, possible.  This is what I love most about you, the fact that you do not lie to me about happiness. You do not tell me that it is easily mine to have and to keep and are not offended when I turn away from it; you truly realize that for some people to whom life has been unkind, happiness is a struggle and to such people the only thing that matters most, is knowing that they are not alone.

I love you Chris because even though you have never known me, I feel that you do.  You know all that is good in people and hence you know the good in me too. The beauty of a person like you is that you can relate one’s faults to one’s strengths making them seem natural and hence not faults at all. When I look at myself the way I know you would have seen me, I feel beautiful.  It is because of you that I know that things like love and beauty reach people beyond boundaries and connect their souls. It is because of you, darling, that I believe in soulmates.

Yours Soulfully,

End of the Letter

About the character: Christopher James Nielson is the protagonist of the1998 film, ‘What Dreams May Come’, directed by Vincent Ward. Most of the film speaks of Chris’ experiences after his death, relating them to  the people and situations from when he was still alive.

There are times when I refer to things that he does for me. This is because as mentioned in the letter, I put myself in place of the female protagonist.

Entry for WYL Contest: Letter to Pooja

Here is the entry from panditG for Write Your Love Contest.

The letter is addressed to Pooja, a very modest and enthusiastic dancer in the film “Dil Toh Pagal Hai”.

The Letter

Dearest Pooja,

This is my first love letter (and probably the last one) to you. The last, I said because after denying Ajay, you have decided to go with Rahul. Rahul, who never believed in one true love in a lifetime. But, your simplicity and honest feelings towards the eternal love made Rahul understand what true love is.

This letter is an attempt to uncover my heart to you. Also, that I want to convey my truest feelings towards you. I reiterate that you are the one who has enamored me and made me believe in one true love in a lifetime. Your mesmerizing smile has always left me awe-struck. But, even in this state I would like to bestow my love upon you and reassure you that:

My love for you is very true,
which is offered by a rare few.
Don’t ever suspect its purity,
It’s as pure as morning dew.

Pooja, trust me; I am a staunch believer of the maxim –“Someone somewhere is made for you.” Time and again, not just seeing you, even imagining you, rings bell in my mind (Uparwala ghanti bajata hai!).

Actually, awaiting your reply, but even a sly smile on your face would give me a comfort of being connected with your neurons for few nanoseconds. And, that’s it what I can expect.

Soulfully yours,


End of the Letter

About the character: Pooja is the central character from the romantic film “Dil Toh Pagal Hai” released by Yash Raj Films in 1997. “Dil Toh Pagal Hai” is a very heartfelt love story with a sublime message that – ‘someone somewhere is made for you’. This film had great star-cast like Shahrukh Khan (Rahul), Madhuri Dixit (Pooja), Karishma Kapoor (Nisha) and Ajay (Akshay Kumar).

Pooja comes into the scene after Nisha accidentally gets her foot injured during the dance practice for Rahul’s dance show titled “Maya”. Rahul is in search of Nisha’s replacement and finds Pooja to fit the bill. Pooja eventually replaces Nisha and enters the dance troupe but also in Rahul’s life. But, Pooja is engaged to Ajay. The story revolves with a tailspin “Jo jeese chahe, woh aur kise chahe”.


Entry for WYL Contest: Letter to Jennifer

Here is the entry from Amar Agarwala for Write Your Love Contest.

The letter is addressed to Jennifer, the tragic heroine of the best-seller romantic book written by Eric Segal, called – Love Story.

The Letter

Hey Jenny,

When you will be reading this letter, I know you will be in another world…perhaps too far to even care. More so, for someone you never knew and may never ever know. Yet, a letter at your graveside would surprise you, for the dead receive no letters… perhaps a passing angel or a druid would be kind enough to carry its contents to wherever you are…maybe you would at least read it, if only, just out of curiosity.

I know how much you loved Oliver…when you were alive; perhaps as much as he loves you now. Strange that divinity never gave you both a chance…to be together always; or maybe it did, in painful memories and thoughts. Despite of his feelings for you, Oliver tries to search a new life for himself, for he is alive and therefore the need to make a life, if not living. When I read ‘Love Story’, I was visibly moved, for it touched the core of my heart. Then ‘Oliver’s Story’ followed. The sequence distinctly mentioned right at its beginning – Death ends a life but not a relationship, which carried on in the mind of the survivor towards a resolution it may never find. How true? Did Oliver really carry on the relationship? If he did, then what made him look for other relationships…what made him reach out for someone who would match you, at least in some qualities. Ironical really…but then it happens to the living… who never really give up the zest for life. Just as Oliver is doing; nothing wrong with that except that somewhere he is not really true to all what he shared with you. His affairs or flings if I may call them, are an assault to the tender love you had shared with him. As they are to me… I would rather he spent his life finding resolutions to all what you had shared with him. Guess…not many I know of would find that even remotely appealing.

You must be wondering what the hell I am getting at? What does this guy want of someone who has been dead a long while? Don’t people look for the living to fall in love with, it is natural and normal too. But the little that I know of love is that it seeks nothing in return – it is what makes it so pure so perfect and so near to being divine. Did you think that I was some jerk, making a crude joke out of it all? Well! The answer is in the negative. I am no jerk; I am the normal kind of guy you find in a class-room at the college, waiting for the bus at the stop, buying a pizza for dinner after a movie or maybe just watching television out of sheer boredom at home. You could be wondering if that has made me crazy…! I don’t think so but I guess if you fall in love with a dead woman, you’d be called just that.
Honestly, it does not matter as to what people would think or anyone for that matter – at least I am honest to admit a fact which I believe is true.

Jenny, I know that you can not offer me anything any longer… at least things which are normally sought for in love. All that you could give and share is long done and gone… moments which were just Oliver’s. I do not even seek any part of it, nor of your thoughts he harbors in his pensive moments. For love is not a piece of cake one shares sitting together; it is not an afternoon spent, sharing tender moments away from the world and perhaps not even sitting close to one another speaking in whispers. There is more to it…than just that. Perhaps the silence of the cemetery where you are buried, maybe the greenery of the wild shrubs near your graveside, or could be the dry leaves caressing your gravestone in the breeze… they sing a song. For I can hear them, as they seem to relate your story, which I just want to sit beside and listen to… because it would make me feel closer to the brown bosom of the earth where you lay inert in cold, silent darkness.

And what then…it makes you wonder? Nothing…to begin I want nothing of you except a small right…the right to love you as I want to…from wherever I am…and wherever you are! I must admit that I feel strange writing to you the most misused four lettered word in the history of mankind. Yet, I know of no other adjective to best express my dormant thoughts… thoughts which are yours. Yes, I do seek that you read this letter till the end… for I am prepared to wait a lifetime or whatever it takes to meet you. Maybe at another time and place, where we could be together… where you could feel for me like I do…even if you don’t it will not matter. It is also likely that we may never meet in succeeding lifetimes…but it would not erase my feelings for you. I know all what is loved and shared is never lost…and my thoughts for you will remain etched in eternity. For loving you is my prerogative; as much as I do is again my prerogative; and loving you forever a passion I am imbued with…possible that it borders on insanity. Nothing strange about that, people who have loved intensely in this world have often been labeled that by lesser mortals. Fair enough…yet, it does not take away the candidness of this most wonderful thought called ‘love’.

There is nothing else I can offer as a homage to your graveside along with this letter and the wild orchids…hope you like them, for they carry untold feelings, tender thoughts which I know will bring some light to the darkness you are engulfed with. If the fragrance of the words in this letter bring a smile to your face, it will be enough for me.. for that is all I seek of you. All I will ever seek!

If not yours…no one else’s
And if yours…then only yours…always…till eternity.


End of the Letter

About the character: Jennifer is the tragic heroine of the best-seller romantic book written by Eric Segal, called – Love Story. It was later made into a movie which was an all time hit. Jenny, pet name of Jennifer dies of cancer when the story ends. The book was followed by a sequel called – Oliver’s Story, where Oliver, Jenny’s husband tries to come to term with his life after the tragic exit of Jenny from his life.

This letter is for Jennifer… to be posted at her graveside with a bunch of wild mauve colored orchids, soon after her death somewhere in the middle of the sequel…mentioned above.

It is a presumption that the soul of Jennifer reads the letter…delivered to her by an astral body like an angel or a fairy which happened to pass her graveside one summer evening.

Entry for WYL Contest: Letter to Nirjala

Here is the entry from Mohit Ghildiyal for Write Your Love Contest

The letter is addressed to Nirjala, a character from the movie “Tere Naam”.

The Letter

My dear Nirjala,
“Beauty lies in simplicity”, a perfect of example of this phrase is you. “Love is worship”, a perfect example of this of this phrase will be me, if you accept my love. Nirjala you are a challenge for present generation modern girls on whose dictionary meaning of love start from calling a person honey and ends in his money. The way you worship your deity, i will worship you and that too with same devotion and care. You believe in a word called pure heart and this word meaning are enclosed in my heart.
I do not find “fight” a meaning full action but for you I can even single handily go for the war with Greek Spartans. I love my life, I also love you but if there is the option I can sacrifice first option for you. May be i will not be able to provide you all the luxuries’ of the world but I sure I in the name of god that with me you will be the happiest on the earth.
Sorry to mention you as a deity,
But you are close to that.
My heart suffers from severe anxiety,
But I will not force you for that.
I believe in word called true love, I believe in word called unconditional love,
One or the other day you will feel this sweet pain of real love.
Cupid arrow had struck deep inside my heart,
This had made me mad about you, my life.
Taking help of dear cupid is not what I think,
My love will become sharper than the arrow of cupid.
I will give you all the option in this world; I will give you all the time in this world,
But think before you speak, as it’s a matter of our love.

Yours and only yours,

End of the letter