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richasmukherjee.com

love, laughter, pain, joy, life and its lessons, one word at a time

Month

April 2016

Tongue tied!

 

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Damn! I did it again.
Or rather I didn’t!
Why won’t the right words come along?
It’s always a – Should I ? Or maybe I shouldn’t?
Just this morning,that nasty old woman had her say.
It wasn’t even my fault. I was going my merry way.
I muttered, I mumbled but the bloody words wouldn’t leave my mouth.
My thoughts played maudlin then merry, but despite all the coaxing, not one relented, not one came out.
Why is it that, what you should have said, always comes sailing in as a lazy afterthought?
Leaving you mulling and staring into your soup,
Wondering who is it today that is having the last laugh?
Now that the opportunity is lost, I have many versions to spare.
If only he could hear my thoughts now, he wouldn’t ever again dare.
Now I’ve practiced and practiced, so much and so well that Shakespeare would be proud.
I have the right expression on my face, and finally the right words, but alas!that nasty old woman is lost in the crowd!

In between the lines.

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I would have never even known it was there.
If the waterfall of cascading books in the attic had not revealed all.
It sat in all it’s past glory, full of secrets, yet so humble.
Brown, it’s spine bent, in a cloud of dust, a diary with a yielding lock
I unlocked a life.
I unlocked memories.
I unlocked more than even it’s lock thought it knew.
Dog eared pages folded away the remainders of busy days when there were so many other important things to do.
Brown, crumpled pages, that were mangled in the rush of life.
Amoeba shaped stains that were born while lip smacking recipes were being discovered.
That musty smell that wraps up memories in a warm blanket of reminiscings.
Different coloured inks dipped in myriad emotions of the author.
Scribbles, doodles that dotted many corners full of mental meanderings.
Daily accounts of pockets full and then emptied mercilessly, telling tales of sometimes a king and sometimes a pauper.
How can a bunch of pages be so vocal in the most utter silence?
How can they write the beginning an end of someone’s story, an entire life?
Who are you? Will I meet you some day around the corner of a street?
We might be strangers but I know you so well.
I walked 200 pages of your life, not a soul will I tell.

Of an old man and a tree

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You laughed through the whole episode.
“Silly old man!” You said.
With your usual ,loud ,uproarious guffawing, miles ahead of a laugh.
Everyone saw the small bloody gash, that the traitor branch outside made on your head.
The one that your now often tottering feet, led you into.
Everyone saw the blood being wiped away. Gone forgotten, done with.
I saw much more. In a single flash.
I saw the wispy white hair, that are so carefully combed across your head, the ones that are tenacious and still stand.
I saw the network of veins, so green, so stark now, against your pale white skin.
I saw the denture, wide and expansive, holding tales from the wonder years.
I saw the shaking cotton grasped in your shaking fingers, now reaching, now missing the target till my fingers closed around yours and you laughed again.
I wish I hadn’t seen this much.
Everyday I shake my head thinking nothing can change, nothing will, I won’t let it.
Everyday I watch you sleep, your hands and feet jerking animatedly, looking so agitated but I know you’re dreaming of something peaceful.
And the days when I feel truly anxious, I turn into a mad scientist.
I imagine that we have travelled back in time, I have managed to protect you in my womb.
Far from falling hair, creaking bones, aches, pains, gashes, far far far away.
And here I will keep you safe, for you are my life, unto eternity.

Goodbye

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The last of the mourning masses have left the hall.
The last of the reluctant feet have shuffled out, after drenching you with their tears,the belle of the ball.

And I sit by your picture.Wondering how is it that you smile.
Is it amusing that we will never ever share a meal?
Is it a relief that you will not have to buck me up like my only champion, full of zeal?
Is it funny that I will be talking for hours to myself?
Is it ironical that, now that I have time for you, you’re just not here to tell.

I know time will heal and it’ll all seem like a dream.
I know the tears will dry up even if my heart is bursting at the seams.
I know life will push me along, next to your picture it won’t let me stay.
But I also know we will meet again, and till then I’ll let you smile away.

Parched

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Why is it that all our fondest memories and the best of games were wet?
That generous puddle after the rain accommodating dirty little feet.
That water tank always overflowing, ready to douse any trace of the summer heat.
The stones that skimmed the water and bounced away to never land.
That industrious sprinkler, infusing the night sky with dew while eyes were shut and resting.
These memories are now fading as fast as our lakes and seas.
Very soon there will be no innocent games no dreams.
Every time I relax under the hot pin pricks of the shower, I look at my feet and imagine the thousands that have burst into sores and rendered useless in search of water.
Each time the tap is running, I have to shut my ears to the phantom screams of people hurting each other for a bucket of water.
Every time I see a lazy leaking pipe around me, I imagine a set of parched lips somewhere , that have drawn their last breath in their vain search for that one small drop of life.
Mothers, fathers, the silver heads and babies, through my callousness I have murdered them all.
What do they say about pain being a distant relative till it comes knocking on your door?
Sit up, listen, change, act before it’s too late.
When the earth is parched,there will be no paradise to run to, no where to hide.
Just the carcass of your loved ones, just like the thirsty thousands you casually drive by.

Amorphous

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I feel like a shadow today.
Dark, shapeless,voiceless,changing with the light that falls around me.
I walk the streets that I used to know.
Looking in the window, my nose pressed and flattened, my hands spread out,
Wondering what it had felt like being inside.
I am not happy. I am not sad. Just blank.
Waiting for something to happen something to change.
I can make a bird on that wall with my fingers but I doubt it will fly.
I am whole visibly, I certainly look it, but it’s not the same inside.
I could be a mindless doodle but I’m glad I’m atleast a shadow of what I used to be.
Maybe soon, very soon, around a corner, I will find a bright light.
The shadow will melt and I will be myself again.

Feelings in transit

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I get the distinct feeling that I am forever pining.
It makes me weary, melancholy,but it is often a sweet pain.
Sometimes it creeps up on me at a coffee shop.
Swirling along with the steam from my mug, flashes of another one shared with someone a long time ago.
It follows me down a familiar street, where our carefree spirits roamed.
Our laughter, ennui and immaturity bringing a knowing smile of rememberance.
It seeps out through a familiar handwriting.
Bringing with it black and white peppered pictures of a faceless someone who made reading something somewhere very special.
An old tattered place that was home, grips my heart with familiarity and joy.
The halls echoing with muted shrieks of laughter and admonishment from loved ones,my heart echoing the deafening silence in the absence of those voices.
A rough old weathered hand makes me think of someone who made me, I want to hold on, never let go.
There is happiness all around, fireworks in the sky. Then why is it that there is a corridor in my heart always trapped in the memories of years gone by.

Invisible

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Do you remember me sir? From the signal? I clean your window everyday.

I hope I didn’t leave any smudges with my dirty hands, for that mistake very dearly will I pay.
That man, he watches my every move, every mistake, each penny I make.
Please please don’t roll up that window, just one small coin, my afternoon bread is at stake.

Hallo kind sir how are you today? Remember me? From polishing your shoes the other day?
I’m sorry. I dint mean to make your baby cry. I just thought he wanted to play.
Do you think you could spare that food? I don’t think he wants to eat.
Just one bite and a drink of water will save me from this unbearable heat.

Madam do you think I can carry your bags again?
Don’t give me any money, can you just be my friend?
I’ve never seen her but somehow I feel that you look like my mother.
I don’t think she is dead, but each day I feel the pain of it,I suffer.

We meet again sir but I’m afraid I can’t clean your window this day.
I lie in a heap, tired, hungry, I think right here is where I’ll stay.
I can’t move but I still have infinite stars in my eyes.
And I hope one day you will stop for me, and not just drive by.

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