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richasmukherjee.com

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

Static


The axis of just about everyone’s personal universe is balanced on something precarious and unpredictable.What will he think? What will she think? Will I look stupid? What will they think if I fail?

This brotherhood of apprehensions comes in a thick book full of myriad shade cards.

One more debilitating than the other, leading to paralysis.

Of intent, actions, determination and resolve.

It’s that same look you see on a child’s face, tapping his bat nervously, waiting for the ball to come in the backdrop of a sea of expectant faces.

Behind stooped shoulders and a quivering mouth, desperate to answer a lingering questioned scribbled and left unanswered on a blackboard.

In an unfinished joke that withers away on unsure lips.

On the beads of perspiration dripping down throbbing temples, which were full of a speech, now frozen, having already predicted failure and judgement.

All they really need to do is see nothing, assume nothing, hear nothing, but the sound of their own voices.

They are the masters of their destinies.

Opinions and tags are like transient ash from a withering campfire.

Long after the ash, fire and heat are gone, what will remain are the coals and pebbles of their determination.

Determined

It flickers, dances, now you see it, then you don’t

Playing hide and seek like a twinkling star

But it’s there.Sitting at the end of that road, that tunnel, that journey

Egging you to try, to fight, to walk, then run towards it

It keeps you warm in the biting cold

It sheaths and shields your passions in the blinding rain

It is baked and stoked on the coals of your determination

It is carved by your shaking but stable hands full of clay and doubt

But it will take shape 

Morphing into people, faces, destinations or dreams

The journey between where you are and where you want to be

I can see you so clearly that it seems you were made for my sight

I can feel you in every pore of my body

My knees might buckle I will still crawl to you

My hands might shiver but my elbows will renew

With every fibre of my body withering and washing away

I will conquer, vanquish , I will have my way.

I want my money back

I would feel cheated for my money.

If I had paid good money, to buy silence.

Post purchase dissonance for sure.

I would rip open the package it was delivered in, but gently, aren’t all wrapping papers engineered to shout and crackle?

I would expect a whole day’s worth of deafening silence but I’d be in for a shock.

The early morning solace, pounded by the unrelenting waves of unfinished conversations playing back from last night.

The quiet coffee lull, shattered by the newspaper screeching its warnings about the world gone mad.

A long run up the hill, without a soul in sight, would fill my head with the noise of aborted work and the instructions I never uttered.

No one plays cassettes or tapes anymore but there is a broken down tape recorder in my head that is always powered up and replaying memories and songs I have long muted.

Try stuffing your ears with cotton and your head with reverberate with the echoes of your own thoughts.

That fellow commuter,listening to music on his earphones, will still, egged on by an incensed sense of politeness, murmur pleasantries while craving his own quietude.

Makes me wonder if it’s more polite to be quiet than to break someone’s quiet.

Did you know that even the sun sets with a slight thud? Everyone’s a talker I tell you.

And don’t even get me started about bedtime orchestras.

Those crickets are my sworn enemies.

If I was really delivered that package, I would send it right back!

Thread by thread


Tricks, emotions, tears, joy and trepidation.

Relationships are like that unpredictable blanket, sometimes too territorial and snug, making you sweat, sometimes not as indulgent, leaving your toes peeping out in the unwelcome cold.

Every fibre woven with memories, music, melancholy.

Infused with a familiar smell of warmth and familiarity,some parts soaked in helpless tears.

Sprinkled with stains of cozy coffees, tinkling laughter and aimless conversations.

Strong and unyielding in portions, threadbare in others.

Tug a string too far and line upon line will unravel.

Tangled, twisted, knotted, but they will still make sense to you.

A wrap too strong and you feel suffocated.

With the rigours and vicissitudes of life, the patterns fade, the lines blur.

But on the most directionless of days, and the darkest of nights, they will land softly on your weathered shoulders.

To lift your chin, to wipe a tear, to kiss a lip, to tell you that tomorrow is another day.

To tell you, stay warm, I’m here with you tonight.

In Search


My toes peep out from under their comforting blanket of sand.

Weary but happy that they have been bold and adventurous.

Every little blister stings and sings of that new nook, that new borough they found by chance.

A crab wriggles over my toe, not entirely happy that my clumsy feet are sitting atop his humble abode.

I coax this industrious little lifeform to sit by me and tell me tales of the many beaches his claws have sculpted.

The friendships, the battles, the joys and the sorrows,collected like little pebbles along the way.He relents and then we watch the sky in companionable silence.

A little sparrow now finds its way to the crumbs of the biscuit laying next to my hand.

A crumb for the many clouds it has circled.

Another for the many wonderous skies it has painted with its wings.

The last one as fuel for the new journey that this humble seeker will embark on in a few moments.

Each one of us is a traveller.

Some walk through the rigours of each day, content that they have found the same version of themselves in bed at the end of it.

Some will forever wander, looking for new meaning. In every new city, on every beach, under each pebble and grain of sand, ahead on each road, in what they see in the mirror each morning.

To those restless souls, those wandering toes and those keen eyes, may you forever roam.

Passage

They are restless, simmering, bubbling, they will come

They are forgotten, buried, snowed under, they will breach the surface , they will come

They are prisoners of time, daily rigours and chores, but they will come

They are burdened with doubt and fear and restraint, the shackles will fall, they will come

Amidst the noise, the chaos, the walls closing in, a tiny clear voice will emerge, they will come

Like the torrential rain, like a searing unstoppable pain

Like a dead even bloody bout where there’s no loss or gain

In an impenetrable wordless darkness where not one shard of light can prick through

My resilient nameless army of words will march, they will come.

A perfect Sunday 


A lanquid yawn escaping a shapeless mouth.

A stretch so sweet, promising to linger, you just know you’ll never be up and about.

Some giggles, some thuds, some pitter pattering feet.

The pressure cooker hissing away, promising a king’s feast.

The droning din from the television no one’s watching.

The window sill battle of the pigeon and crow, who’s winning, who’s lagging.

The washing machine is steady but shaking with passion.

The fruit vendor wafts by the window, shouting his prices in a sing song fashion

Feet are stacked on some more feet.

Hearts and tummies are full, it’s time for some more of that sleep so sweet.

Who would have thought the lazy, the familiar, and the mundane,

Could bring such peace and comfort, time and time again!

Not from the muscle, but the heart


Strength is not about a display of sinew and bulk.

It is born in a very quiet place.

Sometimes it just gathers on you , resting on you, like dust,

Till one fine day you decide to stir that dust, fuelling it, till it becomes a storm and is unleashed.

Strength doesn’t live amidst bruises, broken bones and purple abrasions.

It lives in eyes that have seen the worst but are still willing to see the best in everyone.

It lives in feet that have lost their way so often, but are now guiding others to their salvation.

It lives in empty hands that hold on to others, with courage , grit and determination.

It lives in a back that is bent with age but that has the tenacity and resilience to carry the weight of an entire family.

It lives in a bleeding heart that’s holding on to a tear soaked faded red shirt every night, but can meet every sunrise with a smile.

A life cycle of words


Born with a meaning and sometimes for no reason at all, words remind me of a journey much like ours.Like a little infant, mewling in it’s mother’s arms, they are born.

With the power to make us chuckle or despair with their foolish callousness.

Carefully crafted and nurtured by many, they stumble, they fall, but start becoming whole, day by day.

Sometimes brilliant, sometimes unsure, but steadily becoming a reflection of a growing mind.

At times they simmer, deep inside, without being delivered, pouring out wordlessly through a tormented teenager’s eyes.

Suddenly they are all grown up, striding confidently into the world, sharing thoughts, opinions, ideologies.

Rendered to sweet nothings whispered into a loved ones ears.

Then cooing and gurgling incoherent tales into tiny ears set outside tiny trusting brown eyes of a miniature you.

They stand by you with resolve, as your admonishments fall on reckless, irreverent, adolescent ears, trying to guide them through their young lives.

There comes a time when slowly, but surely, the words start to fade, replaced by cobwebs, replaced by a second childishness and silver streaks.

A time when you have much to say but no one to say those words to.

The words that will linger and waft through the air, like a faithful legacy, long after you’re gone.

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