Tishani Doshi

Tishani Doshi

Sum up the Self in a line if you could.
Divided: Whole

What made the girls come out of the woods in your eponymous anthology of poetry?

‘These days even the chairs have opinions on mortality,’ you write.  How do you stay clear of social noise?
I read books. 
You've found poetry in burglary. Which of the two has stolen more from you?
It’s not about which stole more, rather, which was more palatable? Obviously poetry. I’m happy to be repeatedly robbed by poetry. Whereas that thief who stole all my money from the green room in Amsterdam…I want you to know, I got you by the karmic neck. 

Three ways in which a poet can turn a howl into a song.
Mastering pitch, not jumping to crescendo to soon, remembering to keep warm. 

How successfully have you been able to inch up to your own reflection of the self?
It remains an exercise of renewal and futility. 

One city that has impacted you most deeply.

Three strains you’re sure you inhabit, in body and/or mind.
Optimism, restlessness, earnestness [this last one being somewhat unfortunate].

Your thoughts on celebrity vs. anonymity.
The ideal combination of this is to be a mildly famous author, where most people don’t know who you are but your fans know you. This seems to be most pleasing. 

Why do you do what you do?
Because I can and there is nothing else I’d rather do. 
Your first memory of writing.
Crouched in the damp grass over the garden wall in Kodaikanal. I am writing in my diary. It is all very self-indulgent and self-pitying, but I am so enjoying it. 

What was your first job?
First and final fulltime job – advertising assistant for Harpers & Queen magazine, London. 

Favourite thirst quencher?
Coconut water 

The best thing to spread on toast.
Butter and honey 

The strangest thing you've seen by home sea.
A moray eel strangled with a blue fishing rope

One ritual you cannot do away with.
Reading in bed 

What makes you feel...
Sexy – salt air plus sun plus sea
Mad  - plastic, environmental degradation, the news 
Dumbstruck – the entire industry of advertising 

What inspires you?

Two artists you deeply admire...
Virginia Woolf

The one label a person from the 31st century writing [or coding] about us would use to describe humanity today.
A most inconsistent species 

Three most significant steps or memorable experiences in your journey thus far.
Leaving home two months shy of 18 and arriving in Charlotte, North Carolina, for college. 
Arriving in Italy at the age of 21. Discovering wine. Discovering beauty, and opening the door to a new life.
Coming back to India at 26. All journeys. All made at the right time. 

What, to you, is Freedom?