Two Trails – Tikuli

Illustration by Sukanya Roy


I often walk on lonely trails

sometimes mist fills the jungle

it drifts like a sad song

sometimes it rains


then my only companions

are the silence inside me

and the longing in my heart

for all that could not be ours


when I face the mountains

I look far into the valley

where a house rests quietly

beneath the dhauladhars


it waits for you there

when evening comes

the dying light of the sun

illuminates the snow peaks

like prayer lamps in a window

and I imagine your silhouette

with the breeze gently weaving

sunlight through your hair


in that reverie I watch you from afar

thinking of what might have been

just as I do now, gazing at the forest

burgeoning with our dreams

the glacial pools of water

that once kissed your skin


I have often walked these trails

but none have led me to you

so here I sit, staring at the house

at the mountain peaks at the valley


from where I know you will emerge

with a bagful of dreams

and the sun in your hand




We were together but alone

the distance between us

like the table at our favourite dhaba

where we often stopped

en-route to the mountains


we sat opposite each other

breathing the aromas

of the open kitchen

a wide table between us

paddy fields behind


an old man sitting nearby

began to hum a tune

from the land he had known

and my imagination

took me to places I yearned

to see with you—


those hidden waterfalls

and Himalayan villages

with quaint slate-roofed houses

the colourful prayer flags


the distant moon and stars—

rising spice trails

from the sizzling pans

end my reverie, I smile

as you pluck on khubz tandoor

hot and tender


taking time to savour

the hunter’s moon

dripping through your fingers


*Khubz tandoor – flatbread made in tandoor (clay oven)

Tikuli is a blogger & author from Delhi. Her short stories and poems have appeared in many renowned print and online literary magazines including Cafe Dissensus, The Criterion,The Enchanting Verses Literary Review amongst others. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies. Her debut poetry book ‘Collection Of Chaos’ was published in 2014 by Leaky Boot Press. She blogs at