Interview with Tikuli Dogra – Part 2

Her first part was inspirational to many. Many loved to see the face behind her blog. Did you know before what ‘Tikuli’ means? That was just a part. πŸ™‚ We have lots more. We present to you the second part of this awesome interview where she speaks about her life at 40, her favorite Indian Blogs and more. Read on…

Q: ‘Life at Forty Rocks’! What is it about the forties that so many people enjoy? Traditional wisdom says that a person mellows down with age – and obviously has so much to share then. What are the things you enjoy doing in the forties? Which decade of your life would you want to re-live again?

I don’t know about people but personally I feel that it is the time we finally get to look within and discover ourselves at leisure that makes it special. Apart from the change that comes over in attitude towards like I guess this stage of life is crucial for living it up and rediscovering oneself before the body takes over the spirit and one is unable to pursue many things because of physical restrictions like health etc.

A friend once wrote in my Orkut testimonial, “Tiku was a pinafore grape then and now she is a matured vintage wine. Amazing texture, aroma, flavor and taste for life.” :p

This somehow explains the pleasure of turning forty.. lol

I am free of many responsibilities and actually have time for myself. To do things I wanted to but which I had to put aside to make place for more pressing matters. I love to spend my time listening to music, meeting friends, writing, reading and most of all I enjoy the company of my teenage children who help me retain that youthfulness from within. In last few years I certainly have learned to “live” and understand life. I am still a kid at heart but I have matured from inside. Somewhere deep down I think have got the grip on myself which was visibly lacking before.

I enjoy all stages of life and take every moment of life as a new opportunity to bloom so I don’t think I would like to re-live any stage.

Q: You blog on many issues quite openly. Have you faced any criticism from your near and dear ones on the views you express? If yes, how did you handle it?

A: Well my near and dear ones hardly read my blog LOL but those who do always appreciate and support me for writing boldly about certain issues so openly. I do not write to please people so obviously those who resent my writing always have something to say even about being a blogger. It is the mindset people have.

My in laws (including my husband at times) have a strong dislike for what I do. For them what does not pay is useless activity and writing so openly about some issues does seem to threaten their own beliefs and deeds somewhere so I do get a very negative response at times. I used to do a lot of explaining before but then I felt that I am not abiding by what I am writing. Why a need to explain? It is my right to express freely on what I feel and so I do.

The good thing is I feel that it shakes their consciousness somewhere and hence the reaction. That means my writing has hit them somewhere and that’s what matters.

I have stopped being answerable to people long ago. What I write I believe in it and can argue my point with conviction.

Q: You were born in an enlightened free thinking family with a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Spanish language.

  • Why a diploma in Spanish Language? Any typical Spanish connection which we don’t know about? πŸ™‚
  • Did the responsibilities that comes with marriage allow you to continue what you wanted to do? What prompted you to rediscover your passion for writing again?

A::p ummmm well, The Spanish Connection hehehhe do you really want to know πŸ˜‰

My main reason for choosing Spanish was my love for Latin American literature, music and culture. I wanted to understand their world in their language.

The other reason was career. I wanted to learn a foreign language because my desire was to go in for travel and tourism or take up interpretation and translation as a career along with journalism.

Spanish was in demand and as I longed to travel to Latin America, it seemed the right thing to it.

Unfortunately nothing actually worked. Though I topped in the language and even got an offer for a scholarship I was unable to pursue it for just one reason – I was not courageous enough to say “I want to pursue my dreams at all cost”. I gave in, resigned to the fact that maybe after some years when I am settled in my marriage I will live my dream but it never happened.
I gave up too much including my identity. I began to feel suffocated, like a caged bird, and desperately wanted to break free but somehow kept getting tangled in the web I had woven around me.

Social networking made me realize what I had lost and slowly I began to find courage to stand for myself. Friends helped and motivated. There was a sudden outburst at “my getting wings” “par lag gaye hain iske” was what the in laws would say but my parents, friends, my Godfather and most of all my children stood by me. They gave me the strength to redefine my life and so I began to write again. hesitant at first but not ready to give up.

I do not have much contact with the Spanish language now but I may just give it another shot one of these days.

Q: Do you promote your blog? What promotional techniques work best for you and why?

A: I am not very savvy about these things but yes when friends suggest some promotional sites I do give them a try. I usually put share my blogs on Blogadda, twitter, facebook, google reader etc.

I think the best way to share your work is to interact with other bloggers. This works best for me. one gets a wide readership if one forms that chain of regular interaction.

For me it is not exactly promotional techniques it is sharing and learning.

Q: How important is it for the blogger to interact with their readers? Do you respond to all the comments that you receive?

A: I think interaction with the readers is very essential. The comments are the heart prints of those who have given a precious part of their time in reading your work and It is important to reciprocate.

I always tell my readers to do a honest critique and leave their views because it helps me improve as a writer. I usually reply to all the comments if not immediately then sometime later. Many a times if I feel that some comments can be replied together I post one reply to all. It depends upon the content.

Q: How, in general, would you rate the quality of Indian blogs? Share your favourite five blogs.

A: I do not rate anyone. I find that each blog is unique and there is a diversity of subjects, opinions and a wealth of learning. I always find something to treasure in each blog I read.

Five favorite blogs are a difficult pick . As I said I like something in every blog but still the ones which I inspired me are:

  • Weaving a Web by Ritu Lalit. I began my blogging by reading her blog and it became my daily doze of laughter. She is a humor queen πŸ™‚ and deliciously evil ( love her for that). I enjoy her posts. They are a reflection of how amidst all the pressures of life one can still retain the love for life. Thank you Ritu for everything.
    (Do read her interview)
  • The Life and Times of Indian Homemaker: I began to follow her blog during the initial stages of my blogging and never looked back. I feel that she is doing a commendable job by writing for a change. We all know our dear IHM so I need not say more. πŸ˜‰ Just one thing – IHM is an inspiration for all the homemakers and stay at home moms who want to get out of that mundane mould of life and spread their wings.
    (Do read her interview)
  • Apple Pathways: Gulnaz is a wonderful human being and a very creative writer. I always feel a connection to her work and love the lyrical, almost magical pull, her simple writings have. One always carries a piece of her whenever one reads her blog.
  • Monika’s world: I love her blog essentially for mouth watering recipes :P. She is also one of those women bloggers who is not afraid to speak her mind. I like the flow of nature, her love for reading, the travel tales and much more. Her love for life and the sweet posts about her darling son are very refreshing.
  • Chitter, Chatter and all That Matters: I recently discovered Rumya Bhatt’s blog and she is an immense delight to read. I love the humor, the freshness and originality in her posts. Connecting with youngsters like her really make a lot of difference to one’s attitude towards life. A wonderful human being she is and a very fine writer. I wish her the very best in life.

Q: What is your advice to someone who wants to start a blog?

A: Be open and receptive to criticism, advice, suggestions and learning is all I would like to say.

Q: Do you earn revenue through your blog? How does one go about it?

A: Sigh! I wish I knew how .. πŸ˜€ but seriously I do not blog to earn. There are content writing and freelancing sites to earn.

I write for my pleasure not for money.

Q: Let’s conclude off with a few favorites.

Color: Black, Blue , Maroon

Movie: Astitva and Behind Enemy Lines

TV Show: I am not fond of TV but I like Nat Geo shows

Book: This very difficult to reply. I love to read and naming just one book as a favorite will be unfair.

Time of Day: Night time. I share a special bond with the myterious night. My senses awake when the world sleeps. I love the night sky and the sounds that come to me in the stillness of the night. It is a spiritual experience and the best time to connect with oneself.
I feel I am more creative at night so always keep a pencil and notepad near my pillow just in case :)….

Your Zodiac Sign: Libra

Thank you Tikuli for this inspirational interview. We are glad to know more about the ‘Cyber Mom’ and your wish to know more about Latin America among many other things. Readers, we are sure you would have been inspired by this interview. Do let us and Tikuli know your views, comments and feedback.

Connect with Tikuli: Blog, BlogAdda, Twitter,

14 Replies to “Interview with Tikuli Dogra – Part 2”

  1. You have talked about English and Spanish. Let me tell you she is also very good in Hindi and Urdu. The best thing that the interview missed is that she likes to experiment with her writings in these languages. The way she experiments with writings makes the reading experience of a reader a learning experience.

  2. Thats a lovely finish to the interview !!! πŸ™‚

    Am impressed – Eng literature + Spanish – WOW, Tiku !!! I just wish that you had followed your dreams….then, maybe we might be missing the blogger in you… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

    Hats off to you @ the way you handled the criticism from near and dear ones…

    Yes, life rocks at 40 !!! Hugs to the night bird…keep up your lovely writing. πŸ™‚

  3. Thanks so much Pramathesh for those words of appreciation. you are very fine writer so such praise from you is an honor. Part 1 of the interview features my Hindi Poetry .Do read . πŸ˜‰

  4. Thanks Uma .. there is always time to spread the wings.. we can not go back in time we can make the future though ;0

    I am happy to blog , to express my inner feelings, to share my opinions and most of all to read such wonderful writers. It is a big family and I love you all.

    Thanks again my friend

  5. Congratulations and thank You Tikuli!! I had loved the first part and was surprised to know ‘Tikuli’ had a meaning too πŸ˜›

    One more thing about your blog is you write fiction (and I have some favorites, like the one about this woman and a bird in a cage), poetry, photo posts, serious posts, autobiographical posts… you experiment!!
    I also admire your honesty and your courage. Keep blogging, it is a pleasure to read you.

  6. Awesome second part…and I agree with not giving explanation to what you like doing…especially when its legal such as expression of thoughts and right of speech!! πŸ™‚
    Nice to know you…loved the interview! πŸ˜€

  7. @IHM it is an honor and a pleasure to know you . I always feel that if you are honest to yourself then you got to be honest to the world. I write only about stuff I believe in.
    I love to experiment , that’s the way to grow in life. Yet to do a lot of things. Thanks so much for being there always .

    @ Sree πŸ˜€ I know what you mean Sree . Thanks buddy it is wonderful to know you.
    Best to you .Cheers!!!!

    @Zephyr Thank you zephyr I hope to remain here for a long long time .. the journey has just started πŸ™‚ . hugs to you

  8. wow that was a fantastic read! There is so much to you! You are a delight to know and discover! and hey thanks for the appreciation, means a lot! hugs!

  9. Sigh !!!!!

    Well Tiks, the same kinda feeling im going thru that I had when i read ur 1st interview…..

    U really can play with words. U are like PELE of alphabets……..

    Amazing !!!!!!!

    I just fell in love again with ur responses.

    BTW the grape u mentioned is Pinnanoire…… πŸ™‚

    YOU ARE THE BEST.

  10. Dear Tiku,

    You are frank and honest and by instinct, even before reading this piece, was aware of the fact that you have been paying a big price for it.

    This said, you follow the voice of your conscience and that is what truly matters no matter what others say.

    Just don’t have any regrets, that’s all.

    Three cheers for the courageous woman!
    Shail.

  11. honesty shines through your interview. Like you i too don’t believe in promoting blog and write for pleasure. It is theraupetic and yeah same pinch, me too a libran. Glad I came across your blog and thanks for a special mention of my post on blogadda contest.

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