Raindrops Chasing Raindrops
By Paresh Tiwari
First published in October 2017
Available at Amazon.in
Recipient of The Touchstone Distinguished Book Award 2017
Redesigned edition published in July 2018
Available at Amazon.in
Over the past four years, I have written my fair share of confessional pieces. And then, there were stories that wouldn’t take no for an answer. Dead painters who would talk deep into the night, shadows that wished to unshackle themselves, dreams that scampered on little feet and poets who struck friendships with unsuspecting crustaceans. They all wanted to come out in the open; they needed to be heard. And once I started writing about them, they took me to new and exciting places.
In an attempt to remain honest to the story, I have at times pushed the limits of this delicate form. My own insistence to call some of these more experimental works, haibun, has often been challenged. Perhaps, I have been stubborn in the past. I attempt to correct that by calling this book a collection of haibun and hybrid poems.
Now that you have picked up this collection, I welcome you to their world. Each of these poems is a story waiting to be unfurled. Put them together and you may as well be building a narrative from the jigsaw pieces of my life. At times, these works shine a feeble light on a life lived with people and situations that may have existed only in my head; but then, why should that make them any less real?
I hope, dear reader, this book would be your bedfellow, at least for a few days. That you would snuggle with these poems to dream, cry and smile with them. I wish that you would run a finger over their curves, caress them and maybe even make love to them. And most of all, I hope you would find bits of yourself somewhere in these pages.
Paresh Tiwari is a writer, poet and a cartoonist. He has been widely published, especially in the sub-genre of Japanese poetry. The first collection of his haiku and haibun, An Inch of Sky, was published in the winter of 2014 and is being used as source material for haiku and haibun at Indiana Writers Center, USA.
He has won peer-reviewed haiku competitions multiple times and his haiku have been recognised in various contests and reviews, the most notable being shortlists for ‘The Touchstone Sward’, and the ‘Skylark Award’, a third prize in the Summer World Haiku Review 2014 and an honourable mention at the Mumbai Tata Literature Live, Autumn Rain Contest 2014. His haibun won the Wordweavers 2014 Flash Fiction contest.
He is currently the resident cartoonist for Cattails, a journal by the United Haiku and Tanka Society, USA. He was also commissioned for 35 illustrations for the 16 December edition of Frameless Sky.
Paresh has been invited to read his works at various literature festivals, including the Goa Art and Lit Fest 2016 and has conducted haiku and haibun workshops at Hyderabad International Literature Festival 2014, SIES College, Mumbai and British Council Library, Mumbai.
Find Paresh Tiwari on Twitter @PareshTiwari or Instagram writer.paresh.
This collection by Paresh Tiwari highlights a unique talent. Haibun are often seen as a sharing of experience with the reader. The work contained herein go further; they allow the reader to be an integral part of the story. I found myself thinking that these works captured many of my own experiences.
Michael Rehling, writer and editor
In this book of 61 prose poems, Paresh Tiwari dwells on love, memory, family, pain, war, rebellion, dreams, mutiny and mundanity, exploring new facets by shifting meanings up a slope on the axis mundi of the unknown. Whether you are a lover of words or phrases that slither into newer meanings, or you just want to set afoot into deep snapshots — portals of reverie — is entirely your choice. But you will be reminded sooner of Haruo Shirane’s ‘vertical axis’ of myth, literature, history, and life in the postmodern.
Rochelle Potkar, writer and poet
Being a painter as well as a writer Paresh Tiwari has an eye for (visual) details and how these add to the ‘colour’ of a scene; how scents, light, sounds and materials all are essential parts of the scenery in which his stories play out, and yes, these are stories, short films for every sense, ranging from (childhood) memories over encounters with love and that sweet melancholy that often clings to our memories of love to the surreal and fantastic clearly demonstrating an open and curious and hungry mind along with brilliant penmanship. The surge of Indian haikai in recent years has given birth to a gem of a book!
Johannes SH Bjerg, writer and editor
A Bookworm’s Musings writes:
“Forget the book for a moment; let’s start with the title, and there’s a poem there too. Raindrops Chasing Raindrops. It’s an observation that many of us might have made, but not put that way. It just paints a scene for me, of a rainy July afternoon, where I look at the rain and see one drop chasing the next in a race to see which will be the first to plop on the earth and release the scent of petrichor. I kid you not, that just gave me goosebumps.”
Read the complete Book Review: Raindrops Chasing Raindrops, by Paresh Tiwari
We have exciting news to share!
We are proud and humbled to share with you that our book, Paresh Tiwari’s ‘Raindrops Chasing Raindrops’ has found a place in the ‘Honourable Mention’ section of the annual Touchstone Distinguished Books Award.
This is big news not just for us or for Paresh, but for the entire haiku/ haibun community in India, as this is the first book from India to have found a place in The Touchstone Distinguished Books Award in its nine years of existence.
Created and administered by The Haiku Foundation, The Touchstone Distinguished Books Award is bestowed annually on published collections of poems, or works of scholarship, that represent noteworthy contributions to English-language haiku in the estimation of a distinguished panel of poets, editors and scholars.
For current and past award-recipients, please see the Touchstone Archive. https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/touchstone-archive/
“My poems rely on the interplay of prose and poetry. If the prose is a meandering path, the haiku are birdcalls. They guide the travellers, not by holding their hand but by telling them that there is more to be explored. The haiku often allow the reader a toe inside the door, or a window to be privy to a parallel scene unfolding in the street below without ever leaving the room. They offer a different vantage point, a new strain of thought.”
Red River poet Paresh Tiwari discusses the arts and crafts of his work in an insightful interview with Jhilam Chattaraj in Frontier Poetry. Read the complete interview, Writing Haiku as a Possessed Man in Frontier poetry.
Kakoli Mukherjee reviews Raindrops Chasing Raindrops in The New Indian Express.