#PoetryReadathon – Meet author and blogger Ritu Bhathal

Poetry readathon

Ritu Blog Pic

Ritu Bhathal is a wonderful blogger and friend. She has christened our blogging community as her blogily which I think is the perfect name for this lovely and supportive group.

Ritu and I have become good friends over the blog. We have a lot in common, we are both working mothers, doing our best to balance our families, work lives and writing aspirations to the best of our abilities.

Ritu has a splendid blog, https://butismileanyway.com/ where she shares all sorts of interesting pieces of information, anecdotes about her children and life as a nursery and reception school teacher, poetry, book reviews and lots of other bits and bobs. Ritu’s lovely heart and great sense of humour shine through in her writing which is why her blog is so popular. Ritu is also labouring away on her first novel and has shared some interesting bits of it along the way.

Michael and I are very pleased to have Ritu over for a visit today.

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hello there everyone! My name is Ritu and I am quite possibly Jill of all trades, master of none! I am a wife, and mother to a newly turned teen and a tween… (aargh!) I am also a teacher to Early Years children. I never feel comfortable calling myself this, but I blog, I compose poetry and create stories so I guess I am a writer too! On top of that, I like to sing, dance and be merry (without the alcohol!) I an 40-something, living in Kent after getting married. A British born Indian, born to Kenyan born Indian parents, with a brother who lives in Finland, married to a Finnish girl, raising their two gorgeous Finndian boys. A bit of an international bunch are we! I am also mother to my furbaby Sonu Singh, a glorious ginger cat, and my two feathered babies, a pair of parottlets, named Heer and Ranjha. I could go on, but I really don’t want to bore you!

You have a wonderful talent, Ritu, of never being boring!

Who is your favourite poet?

I can’t say I have a specific favourite poet, but someone whose poetry I liken my silly ditties to is Pam Ayres. She is a real life poet who takes inspiration from life around her and puts a poetic spin upon it all!

What is your favourite poem

I have to say that is something really tough to actually pick one poem, from all the amazing poetry I read daily! But I’ll go with a funny one from Pam Ayres!

I Should Have Looked After My Teeth!

Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth,
And spotted the dangers beneath
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food.
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

I wish I’d been that much more willin’
When I had more tooth there than fillin’
To give up gobstoppers,
From respect to me choppers,
And to buy something else with me shillin’.

When I think of the lollies I licked
And the liquorice allsorts I picked,
Sherbet dabs, big and little,
All that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.

My mother, she told me no end,
‘If you got a tooth, you got a friend.’
I was young then, and careless,
My toothbrush was hairless,
I never had much time to spend.

Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin’
And pokin’ and fussin’
Didn’t seem worth the time – I could bite!

If I’d known I was paving the way
To cavities, caps and decay,
The murder of fillin’s,
Injections and drillin’s,
I’d have thrown all me sherbet away.

So I lie in the old dentist’s chair,
And I gaze up his nose in despair,
And his drill it do whine
In these molars of mine.
‘Two amalgam,’ he’ll say, ‘for in there.’

How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

A lovely choice of poem, Ritu. It does reflect your writing and sense of humour to a tee.

What do you appreciate most in a poem?

For me, the words flowing, creating an image for me to find building up in my head is always a good thing. Equally, I really appreciate funny poetry, so if someone is able to write verse, limericks etc that make me giggle, then perfect!

It is a great skill, indeed, to make people laugh.

Why do you write poetry?

Poetry and me just fell together one day, to be honest. I liked writing rhyming verse in school, and as I began blogging, I found the weekly challenges very inspiring, but was unsure how to write. I learned various forms slowly, like the Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, and recently the Etheree, along with the more traditional forms, and found I had a bit of a talent for using few words to create feelings and images.

I love to write fiction too, but I don’t always have the time to write something with any real meat (It’s taken me 18 years to finally finish my first novel… but that’s another story!) Poetry means I can still be creative, and I find I can pen a verse in minutes! One of my favourite poems, which is the first in my book, was actually written in ten minutes, as I waited for my bath to run one morning, all about the journey to become a mother!

From Twinkle To Reality

Let me take you down that road,

Much traveled through eternity

The journey to become a mum,

From twinkle to reality.

The plans you make at a young age,

Full of gurgles and laughter,

The horror as you realise,

What really does come after!

The fun of trying,

The monthly wait.

The disappointment,

That feeling, you hate…

The years of trying,

Full of hospitals and checks,

The medication taking you over,

You feel like total wrecks…

Then finally, the day comes

That positive is clear

The goal that you were aiming for,

Has suddenly come near.

The months of fascination,

Your changing body grows

The feeling of satisfaction

That only you can know.

Those pain-filled days, or hours

To reach the prize you sought

The feeling of satisfaction

That this little bundle brought.

I gaze at you in wonder

Are you really here?

I’m overwhelmed with happiness

And a tiny bit of fear.

Will I be able to give to you

All you want and need?

As you look at me, wide eyed

Snuggled close while you feed.

Little blessing, sent from God

My heart is filled with joy

I will do all I can for you,

My darling baby boy.

And so the cycle continues

The waits and checks again

We’re gifted with a gorgeous girl

After a little more pain.

My life is here with me right now

Some twinkles from my eyes.

But I’ll never forget those twinkles

That now, do grace the skies…

Dedicated to my wonderful children, recognising the struggles to have them, and remembering my 2 angels lighting the sky at night.

By Ritu Bhathal

Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem with us, Ritu.

As Ritu mentioned above she has a lovely book of poetry called Poetic RITUals, which I read and reviewed a while ago.

My review

This is a delightful book of poetry with a lot of variety in the tone and content of the poems. They are all written from a very human perspective and cover the day-to-day life of a Mother of two, wife and employee with a lovely twist of humour. As all of these things myself, I found the verses to be very relatable. The book is divided into four sections which each deal with different aspects of life, namely, Family RITUals, Life rituals, Rituals of the heart and Rituals to make you smile.

Who could not enjoy such words as the following:

“Snuggled close while you feed.

Little blessing, sent from God

My heart is filled with joy”

This took me right back to those first days as a Mother and the closeness of cuddling your new-born and breastfeeding.

“A cough or sniffle, fever, rash

You wish you could

make them well

but other than love, and Calpol

It’s a parent’s

Form of Hell”

As a Mother of a child with a chronic illness, this verse had me nodding my head in agreement and feeling Ritu’s anguish.

I would recommend this book which is a keeper. A book to delve into for a smile when life gets heavy going.

Purchase Poetic RITUals

Follow Ritu

Social Media Profiles

Website: http://www.butismileanyway.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhantomGiggler

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/phantom_giggler/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway/

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/bhathalpadhaal/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/56854412-ritu-bhathal

Flipboard: https://flipboard.com/@Phantom_Giggler

Mix: https://mix.com/butismileanyway

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ritusmiles

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ritu-bhathal-48941648/

Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/@ritubhathalpadhaal

 

68 thoughts on “#PoetryReadathon – Meet author and blogger Ritu Bhathal

  1. OH, my! How I love the teeth poem, especially the line
    “So I lie in the old dentist’s chair,
    And I gaze up his nose in despair,”
    Urk! The entire poem is witty, funny, & true, but the gazing up the nose thing is immediately relatable to me. Thankfully, these days my dentist wears a mask and that isn’t the issue it was when I was younger.

    From Twinkle to Reality is profoundly sweet and moving, with hints of sorrow beneath the joy.

    Thanks for a great post Ritu and Robbie! Heading off to buy this book right now, lest I forget! (I’m currently composing a poem about how I keep track of the days of the week in my old age. It ain’t easy.) Sharing! 🙂 ❤

    (And btw, my favorite poet of all time is Amy Lowell. Anyone remember her? Just wondering.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Marcia. I am delighted that you enjoyed this poems. That particular line about the dentist’s chair also brought back memories for me and I also had a giggle. I don’t remember Amy Lowell but shall look her up. Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Amy Lowell was a controversial woman of her day, and her poetry was required reading when I was in high school, back in the Dark Ages. Particularly, one called Patterns, which is lovely. But my favorite is Purple Grackles, because it is exactly how I experience the coming of fall every year, and grackles are among my favorite birds. Hope you enjoy reading some of her work. And I did remember to download RITUals yesterday. Looking forward to reading it! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful interview, Robbie. Ritu is one of the best, and poetry is so important- especially to children. Ritu, do you read Shel Silverstein to you students? “The Light in the Attic” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends” are terrific.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. They’re classics, very funny and often poignant. Children love his poetry. Do you know “The Giving Tree”? That’s perhaps his most famous book. I should write a blog post on that book.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. A lovely interview with Ritu, Robbie. I loved all the poems and the information as well. Not a moment’s boredom in her family, for sure! Great review too. Thanks, Robbie and good luck to Ritu, in writing and in life.

    Liked by 2 people

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