My roots are from Kashmir. A beautiful valley in the Indian subcontinent; between The Great Himalayas and Pir Panjal mountains, from The Lesser Himalayas. My family and forefathers belonged to the same place.
I did my schooling there and afterwards shifted to the capital city, New Delhi for my higher studies. I live with my family in Delhi NCR, what we call as National Capital Region.
Delhi, its foundation was laid by George V during the famous ‘Delhi Durbar’ of 1911. It was designed by British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. The new capital was inaugurated on Feb 13, 1931, by Viceroy and Governor-General Irwin.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
Kashmir, in its ode, Emperor Jehangir had said, “If there is heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here“, is an interesting place to be known. Entrancing in beauty and engrossing in its antecedents.
It is believed an ascetic named Kashyapa reclaimed the land (now comprising Kashmir) from a vast lake. That land came to be known as Kashyapamaer (identified with Kaspapyros of Hecataeus and Kaspatyros of Herodotus).
It is also believed to be the country meant by Claudius Ptolemy’s Kaspeiria. Cashmere is an archaic spelling of Kashmir, and in some countries, it is still spelled this way.
The matchless alpine beauty of the mountain ranges, waterfalls flowing along; springs and lakes with mighty Chinars undoubtedly prove breathtaking experiences for visitors.
What turns you on creatively?
Everything and everyone. Any happening, whatsoever circumstances.
Often we assume that elation is the starting point for heightened creativity, but I derive it in heartbroken moments too. My creations are too instantaneous probably because I’m a person who believes to live in the moment.
Feelings do spur creativity. I strongly believe emotions and creativity are intertwined. But it’s important to keep these equilibrated for a compelling resultant, and the key lies in not getting these two entangled.
Mother Nature is yet another choiced muse of mine. We all have witnessed the art of ancient antiquity, evocated by the natural world. I can sing odes for sunrise and sunsets, flowers and pebbles, sea and sky. The multiverse can be a huge inspiration.
And yes, daily mindfulness and gratitude too, do boost the imagination.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
I muse on many words and contexts. Beauty, hope, memories, smile, so on and so forth. Writing haiku, if not ‘in full bloom’ poetry piece, have become my cherishing everyday engagement. It’s a requisite for every poet to keep words wuthering in their hearts and minds. Always.
So I shall write one of my “Smile” poems here and I hope poetry lovers will take a shine to it.
Smile.. An instant vacation A blessed relief..
Smile and hope.. even when your soul is in shards and heart feels feeble.
Smile and trust.. even when hopelessness is fiddling with your faith.
Smile and dance.. even when unsung songs in your heart make no sense.
Smile and frolick.. even when everyone around is laughing at you.
Smile and slumber.. even when you’re not sure, what colour your dreams are.
Smile and smile.. when tears are berserk, hazing your eyes.
What is your pet peeve?
Being critical. To pass judgments without knowing.
I mostly try to keep away from black and white thinking ambush; shun even the grey scale.
I know no absolutes. I never have. If I weigh the world by any measure then I’m still wading in the waters of immaturity. Probably I impede my own reasoning.
Mankind ain’t in effect this way. And if it does, it will surely become iniquitous and eventually disunite, caught in quagmires. Reprobation, criticism, and being judgemental indicate possession of limited imagination.
Life is complex. Life is elfin.
We need poise and percipience; lenity and clemence. For everyone, this ain’t a big ask, at least to make the world a better place to live in. To love.
What defines Monika Ajay Kaul?
I’m an introvert rather a loner and often I need this ‘Me Time’ to introspect. I’m certain of its flaws but I do consider it a booster for enhancing creative insight as well. So mostly I’m convinced with this and therefore cajole myself into it.
I’m a dreamer. Quintessentially romantic and idealist, deeply emotional and intuitive. I’m blissed out to traipse in my dreamy valley of emotions, fantasies, and musings. While I keep my feet here and now, my mind does the meandering.
Being an aesthetic person offers me an absolute opportunity to be ‘appreciative of’ as well as ‘responsive to’ beauty and virtues. Mostly I’m inveigled to express through poetry and painting. It’s a sort of ventilation for me. And it won’t be an overstatement If I say that I breathe Art. Trust me.
Born in the breathtakingly beautiful vale of Kashmir, Monika Ajay Kaul has had her schooling done there. A Post-Graduate in Business Management from New Delhi, an Academician by profession. She is passionate about writing poetry and short stories. An avid reader, mostly biographies and autobiographies of World Artists and Writers. Currently a full-time toiling mother. Besides writing, she is a painter too. Giving wings to her imagination through Beautiful Colors and Wuthering Words. As she has rightly put it into words, "Give wings to your imagination..and let your ingenuity fly..!"