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richasmukherjee.com

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

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poems

There’s today


Life is a constant and unrelenting pursuit.

Of dreams, of destinations, of meaning , of purpose.

What am I doing? How can I do this better? Is this enough?

I sometimes think no one is happy with where they are.

It’s like being on a train journey, always anxious, in anticipation of the next stop
.

Instead of enjoying that mild sedatory rocking motion, that numbing of the nose while sticking it out of the window in the cold nippy night, fighting sleep to crack that murder mystery you’ve carried along as a perfect companion.

Who says striving is bad?

It has tremendous power.It powers us to do more, to do better,to not give up.

But if God intended us to be constant strivers, he would have delivered us as robots.

It’s our imperfections, our pace, our need to slow down that makes us real.

Tomorrow is great but today is amazing.

That picture looks great but put down that camera and let your eyes behold real beauty.

You might not have finished 3 lucrative assignments but you finished that little dollhouse project today.

You never made it for the fancy holiday your friends are on, but you had a piping hot cup of coffee watching the sun set with your head resting against the only shoulder that matters.

You’ll never make everyone happy.

You’ll never have everything to desire.

You’ll never make all your dreams come true.

But look around, take a deep breath, and know that today, you’re already part of an amazing one.

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.

Vanish


What will happen on a day when you want to be nothing?

Not a frustrated employer with repetitive instructions.

Not the earnest employee trying to save the world from nuclear catastrophe by shooting off that one last email.

Be gone the anxious wife constantly casting the web of a healthy diet onto a reluctant soul.

Be gone the constant mother with that constant spoon full of food, running that daily marathon.

Be gone always the little daughter, terrified of what might take them away.

I don’t want to be a friend , foe or relative today.

I don’t want to make phone calls, I don’t want to be devout and pray.

I’ve shed my skin, and with it all my responsibilities for the day.

I want my world to be restitched with a blanket, stormy rain, a piping hot mug of coffee and an old tattered book.

I’ll cover myself from head to toe, and imagine myself perched by a murmuring brook.

I was whole, but I know little pieces of me that my ‘everyday’ took.

I am nothing today but I’ve found my old self, even if for a moment, nuzzled in a cozy nook.

Imagine


I saw it. Clearly. And then it was gone.

A white fluffy rabbit jumped over the sun and suddenly became a reindeer.

Did you see that? Did you see?

There is so much I see that goes unseen.

When I look at the gnarled bark of a tree, a wrinkled old man always peers back at me.

A receding dance of spilt water on the table always leaves an anaconda in it’s wake
.

When the rain is splattering the windshield relentlessly, a liquid fireworks display breaks out in front of my eyes.

Just the other day I saw a battle unfold at the bottom of my cereal bowl.

With rebellious flakes of corn battling the elements on tides of tumultuous milk.

The tree behind my house, billowing in the breeze often guides me with its big leafy hand, when I find myself heading in no particular direction.

Coffee stains on important pages, so dramatic, so decisive, yet depicting myriad scenes from day to day life.

Do they find me or am I looking for them?

Isint it ironical though?

There are no boundaries to the imagination, in a world defined by them.

Perspective

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When is too much enough?
From the time we are born, it’s a steady diet of superstitions.
Don’t laugh too much, or you will end the day crying.
That’s too much happiness. Don’t jinx it.
I’ve had too much good luck, I’m in for a downward slide for sure.
Is it that we are scared of utter happiness?
Or is it just second nature to doubt normalcy and stability.
Why must our hearts be gripped with weary predictions of doom,
When it’s just so much easier to be happy and carefree?
Does an empty house with bare walls make you pine for what was?
Or does the resident laughter, the memories, the echoes that ricochet off the ceilings, rebound into your heart and light it up like a Christmas tree?
You can’t stop the sun from setting, the lights from dimming, the darkness from descending every night.
But what you can do, is welcome the rising sun with a smile, and tell yourself, that whichever side of the bed you get off, your glass will be half full every day of your life.

Little lessons

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It felt like a day that should be forgotten, quickly.
Nothing made sense.
I looked at a wall, and upon this vast canvas I painted and projected all my contemplation.
Then suddenly you crawled into my lap. I hugged you and breathed in your tiny soft curls.
I will never forget that smell.
It was a heady mixture of baby powder, happiness, innocence, trust, joy and peace.
It carried me away on a cloud.
I was weightless, drifting, with your tiny trusting fingers wrapped around mine.
You gurgled and burped. This amused you so much that you toppled over laughing.
When was the last time I had embarrassed and entertained myself this way?
Back on the ground you crawled over everything that came your way, never losing that smile.
I wish I had thought of your resolve and tenacity when I needed it recently.
When you wrapped your tiny finger around mine, I knew I had to trust in my instincts as well.
For all the fancy schools and colleges and miles upon miles of books,
Some of life’s simplest lessons can be carried in the tiniest hands, you just need to know where to look.

Fearless

 

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In a land faraway lived a shadow of Doubt.
But one fine day it came home, never slept, always alert, always up and about.
It suffocated me everyday with its power and might.
Each step each decision, always wrong, no matter how hard I tried.
It strangled my happiness before I could make merry.
Uprooting all my hope in its tearing hurry.
What if everything is lost? Dare I risk it all?
Success was a faraway dream, how could it not? Doubt wouldn’t even let me fall.
Then one fine morning I decided I would not be afraid.
I would hurt I would suffer, but then that would be my own destiny, my own fate.
I might not have the answers, but I will not live in fear all my life.
You don’t control me anymore, Doubt, I now banish you from my life.

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.

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