A Life in Flower

Where is Life to be found?

Out in the world, in the melee,

Or is it still a full life,

If it’s books and flowers and the sun,

That you choose? 

What Is The Shape of Your Life?

Natural Magic

Green Magic

Green Magic (By Radhika Mukherjee)

Nature still works!
Don’t despair!

It’s March and right on cue, there’s brilliant green everywhere,
The trees have woven beautiful new foliage for themselves.

They know it’s time,
They read the wind and earth and water,
And this is what they say, ‘We will uphold nature, will you?”

Let’s Change the Paradigm

Bright Joy

Bright Joy (By Radhika Mukherjee)

We do a great disservice to the world, when we describe it, perceive it, classify it only through an evolutionary paradigm. All around, there are birds flying for the sheet joy of it, looping across the sky; monkeys whooping and playing and taunting dogs; there is a cow and a cat making friends… And the sun, great fiery ball of hydrogen though it may be, is smiling across to us from that unimaginable distance this fine end-of-summer day.

Even in our ‘modern’ ‘scientific’ minds, surely there is some space to expand our perception of this Earth, this Universe, to include love, the play of the spirit and sparkling, connecting joy?

Irrespective of species?

The mind extends beyond the body, it has to. If we can accept wi-fi, why can’t we think of our brains as being able to transmit waves of thought and intention? It’s all the co-mingling of matter and energy and vibrations, isn’t it?

What if the purpose was not to merely ‘evolve’? But to experience? To add? To feel?

What if each life, each rock, each drop of water, was an end in itself?

What if?

Ambition’s Dilemma

Moon Rise By Radhika Mukherjee

Moon Rise By Radhika Mukherjee

Come now, it isn’t so bad!

Didn’t we just decide to emerge?

Didn’t we just say, we would reach — high?

Don’t hide now, don’t fade.

It’s our time to shine.

It’s terrifying, yes; what if you get seen?

But darling, how will you see yourself unless you open up?

None of it matters, none of the hurt.

Just call out to the dawn moon,

Dance in starlight,

Trail a little of the ocean on your palm…

All our ashes will whirlwind in rainbows,

And we will be, what we were meant to be:

Ascendant!

Mystery, Electricity, Connection

Today you are my way back. Today you save me in the blind sea of words. Today, I feel a little corner of the heart of the world, slipping past the guarded walls. Today I feel, earth. Today, I feel the embrace of love. Which strangely enough, turns out to be indispensable!

These three days of wilderness. Sitting still and just losing myself.

How do a few conversations fix that? What is this power, this electricity, that connection generates?  How do dreams seep back, just like that? Brighter than before? More tactile than before?

How, after vacating myself to the howling wind, did I flow back into myself, into my right self?

It’s that mystery, that power, that keeps us entwined to us.

This is why, we came here, to this plane.

To love.

In Memory of Kafaal…

Death taints life.

Or does life taint death?

The black eyed turtle laughs,

Crawling into eternity.

~~*~~

Kafaal died, the day before yesterday. He was my Ma’s special dog, her closest companion. He was very friendly, thought laps were his to crawl into by right, understood everything you said to him. Loved his treats, loved milk. Would stand patiently while being bathed or dosed with medicine.

He lorded it over the whole pack for years till becoming quiet and ill in the end. he stood up and wagged his tail at Ma and then in an instant — he died.

Here he is–

K1

Image

When The World Stops

When The World Stops By Radhika Mukherjee

When The World Stops By Radhika Mukherjee

Rihanna’s American Oxygen Re-imagined

I have immense respect for Rihanna as an artist and her song American Oxygen with its powerful vocals and visuals struck a chord with me. And as I went about my day humming it and hearing it again and again in my mind, an alternative vision of the song arose in my mind.

I present to you, Rihanna’s American Oxygen: re-imagined.

 

Breathe out, breathe in,

It’s the whole world’s oxygen.

Every breath I breathe,

Comes from a fragile rainforest.

Turning nickels and dimes into empires,

Goes against basic economics.

We need a level playing field for all,

Everywhere.

Breathe in the world’s bounty

The wide world’s oxygen.

I say, you see, it’s everyone’s dream.

Young girl, anywhere, hustling,

Don’t think your life is small,

Limited to a situation.

You can be anything at all,

If you fight for it.

Everywhere.

Anywhere.

I say, try and see,

Just close your eyes and breathe.

Breathe out, breathe in!

This bountiful earth’s oxygen.

Every breath we breathe,

Chasing a better world’s dream.

We’ll sweat in futility for nickels and dimes

Till we fix the environment.

Breathe in, breathe out,

Climate change is just a few years away.

Breathe out, breathe in!

This bountiful earth’s oxygen.

The hurtin’ earth mother’s oxygen.

Oxygen…

Oxygen…

We know, us all, that this is everyone’s dream.

Young boy, hustlin’,

Be tender and strong!

Get the wheels in motion,

Join hands, build the dream,

You can do anything at all,

Anywhere.

Everywhere.

I say, you can see,

If you close your eyes and dream.

Breathe out, breathe in!

This bountiful earth’s oxygen.

Every breath we breathe,

Chasing a better world’s dream.

This is the new world!

We are the new world!

And we all count.

Tendrils of Light and Color

Here’s wishing you that special light you seek in this season of joy and wonder, endings and beginnings! 🙂

Breathe…

Smile…

Love.

Flowers & Light |  © Radhika Mukherjee

Flowers & Light | © Radhika Mukherjee

The Flickering Light Of Hope

Light and Hope

Light and Hope

This time for me

Is one of hope for dreams.

 

For dreams to come true,

For hurts to mend.

For words to flow.

 

It lights-up and flickers

Almost dies down

And then burns bright again.

 

And so goes this living-writing journey…

Aside

Question For You

People who play the roles of terrible, despicable, venal villains on TV or the movies, have to have a good sense of humor, right?

earth spirit

Fresh Writing Advice from the Website

I’ve just put up a blog post on the website and it would be great if you could give it a read:

What Do All These Writing Rules Really Mean?

It’s an exploration of what all these rules actually want you as the writer to do.

See you there! 🙂

 

Image

Fallen Beauty

Fallen Beauty

Lilies. Fallen. Overladen with beauty.

Indie Author Spotlight – open for submissions

Indie Hero

At least once a month, Indie Hero will feature an Indie Author. If interested, please submit the following:

– Author name / book title

– a brief bio

– book purchase links

– social media links: twitter, facebook, etc.

– Responses to the following questions:

  1. Why did you decide to go indie and self-publish? What was the process like for you?
  2. How do you market/promote/advertise? What’s been successful and what hasn’t?
  3. What advice would you give to an author who’s trying to decide between traditional publishing and independent?
  4. When/how did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
  5. Most indie authors have day jobs. How has your current or previous employment informed your writing?
  6. Do you have any favorite authors and do they influence your writing?
  7. Anything else readers should know about you?

Please send (just the info listed above) to indieheroblog at gmail dot com

subject: Indie…

View original post 14 more words

While I am Editing…

I’ve been editing away for the past few months. So lucky to be a part of such mammoth book projects! But they have left me with nary a moment to blog.

So while I edit some more, I wanted to share a photo of my cute editing/writing guardian/muse with you:

Cutie

She’s always encouraging me on!

And now she says to you: Smile, close your eyes and take a deep breath.

See?

 

Countering Digital Noise With Books

Countering Digital Noise

Countering Digital Noise

If your mind is buzzing with digital noise, just pick-up a physical book and start reading. Paper Books promote peace.

The combination of the soothing smell of the book and the serene non-glowing pages with gloriously static letters will start to imperceptibly calm you down. You’ll notice your need for digital stimulation plateauing and then waning. Your heart and mind will stop racing and the words of the book will start-up a steady rhythm of deep, meaningful cognition in your system.

If you read a paper book each day, for at least 30 uninterrupted, silent minutes, you’ll equip yourself to deal with and even thrive in the digital deluge.

A Very Wise Quote From Mahatma Gandhi

So does it follow that if we reverse the trend, we re-forest, re-wild the world, we come back to ourselves and each other again?

5 Life-Changing Novellas

The wonder that is Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The wonder that is Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

 

There is increasing debate and interest around novellas. Which to me is wonderful news.

Some interesting viewpoints can be found in the articles: Ebooks Breathe New Life Into Novellas and Paris Literary Prize Celebrates Unique Art of the Novella.

This reminded me of a few amazing novellas that I absolutely love.

These books have transformative powers!

They are:

  1. Jonathan Livingston Seagull : A tale of a transcendent seagull in search of excellence.
  2. The Little Prince : The heartbreaking, mesmerizing, soul-giving account of a stranded pilot who meets an intergalactic traveler in the Sahara Desert.
  3. The Old Man and the Sea : Dignity and perseverance exemplified.
  4. Mrs Dalloway : That masterpiece of one day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway.
  5. The Ordinary Princess : The simplest and sweetest love story!

And a special mention for The Alchemist : a wonderful metaphor!

I do hope that we see more and more amazing novellas being published.

What’s your favorite novella?

 

A Wish

 

Afloat on the Ocean of Books

Afloat on the Ocean of Books by Radhika Mukherjee

Lots of books, that’s all I wish for from life.

To read and read and read.

And fill-up with words and ideas and maybe – wisdom?

 

In the summer-scorch a cool book on logic or something light and breezy.

In cold, cold winter – a book like hot stew – engulfing me in the gumbo of life.

The rains are for life-giving lazy books of love and philosophy.

In spring I’ll start books of growth and renewal – new genres untouched.

 

And in the in-between times think of all the new skills and languages encased in books!

This decade of my life is dedicated to books.

Reading and learning and just a little doing.

 

P.S.: And watching all the dance movies ever made! 🙂

What about you?

Why I Don’t Write Good

After reading some of the most common writing advice out there I have come to the conclusion, I don’t write well.

My writing vices are:

Rich, redolent, nuanced language.

I don’t do simple.

Unusual, made-up constructions in language and thought.

Playful inventiveness.

A balance between showing and telling. As a writer, as a narrator I want to speak directly to my reader sometimes.

The story, the characters, the ideas are my special interests.

My characters are special people. I don’t write about everyman.

I write 1 sentence in place of 10.

The reader has to stretch and adjust and learn our common secret idiom.

Abhor plain and/or idiomatic language.

I think one word sentences are my right to write.

I just write the story, as it wants to be written.

Don’t pay attention to genre/rules.

I believe I am an artist working with words and I need to create unique beauty.

Writing is my life.

To make mine.

To rediscover.

 

What about you? In what way are you a fierce artist? And don’t write good?

 

However, there is one bit of advice I loved and which had affected my writing as well as my editing and critiquing and that is: Chuck Palahniuk on ‘Thought Verbs’

Enjoy!

 

Talisman

The sky

Clouds

Dolphins

Stars

Kittens

Sunsets

Trees

The moon

The ocean

The Himalayas

Spring-time

Elephants

Giraffes

Deer

Durga Puja in Kolkata

Fruit

Forests

Green open spaces

Ferns

Books

Music

Art

Beautiful photographs

Dance

Old bookstores

These are my talismans. They make my life rich and full of meaning. If I hold them close, I smile…

What are your talismans?

The Sky Everyday…

Image

Everyday, the sky lights-up some new delight for me.

The halo of the dawn

The bright sun peeking out from the clouds

At sunset — purple curls of clouds march across a pink-orange festival.

There are entire worlds hidden in sunsets!

What a wonderful teacher the sky is.

Look-up, look out and there it is:

Infinity within reach.

Quote

As artists, cre…

As artists, creatives, we should not work hard or smart.
We should work richly.
Fill ourselves with the richness of inspiration and then make unique magic.

-Radhika Mukherjee.

“Nature spontaneously keeps us well. Do not resist her!” Henry David Thoreau

Such a wonderful thought and photograph. On our journeys of self-discovery, it is so important to connect to nature. Especially mountains!
Original: A wonderful post by pahari.s of “Discovering Myself”

DISCOVERING MYSELF

View original post

Quote

The closer you …

The closer you get to art, the more you open your heart, the more tears gather and fall. You heal and you feel your humanity that much more keenly!

The Futile Quest for Personal Perfection

A Cat is Perfect

Cats are perfect, especially the Queen of Cats. Photo: Radhika Mukherjee.

Let’s stop over-editing ourselves to achieve some sort of perfection.

In our life stories, or looks, weight or careers or relationships—

We lose so much in the process!

Cats are perfect.

We are humans, we can’t be perfect.

We don’t need to be.

Humans are uniquely beautiful messes and it’s our absolute right to be that way. Proves that we don’t have to mould ourselves to some robotic template devised by mindlessly moronic alien overlords.

Go on, go out there and celebrate your quirks –

Your not-quite-perfect nose,

Your food fetishes,

Your people issues,

That little (or not so little) bulge over the waistband of your jeans,

Your out of tune rhythm of speaking,

Your signature convoluted sentences,

Your silliness,

Your special, non-cliché love story,

Your crooked smile…

Don’t let anyone tell you what to be.

Or how the world is and should be.

Find out for yourself who you are,

Which world you would like to create,

What you like and who you want to be –

That might just be the path to bliss!

Do you agree?

What is the special brand of kookiness you celebrate in yourself?

How do you redefine the world we live in?

Please share in the comments!

Amazing Series

A look at the best fiction series that I have read –


1. The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett

The most spectacular series ever from the grand seigneur of fantasy fiction. A world crafted and maintained with care over more than 30 books. With each one fresh, vibrant, and insightful — some subtle nugget of genius hidden in plain sight. Each book is a delight.

2. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

This iconic series makes the light / dark conflict tangible with layers of complexity and historical references intertwined with the everyday world of Will Stanton who we first see as an 11-year-old boy — awakening to his powers. Simply and beautifully written.

3. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (Being continued by Brandon Sanderson)

Words fall short in describing this 13 part monolith of literary achievement. One of my aims is to finish reading all the books in this epic saga!

4. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

This is the series from which the movie ‘The Golden Compass’ was made.  It’s a rollicking adventure with an interesting take on theology and the soul. There is also a very tender adolescent love story there, against an apocalyptic background.

5. The Once and Future King by T. H. White

This is sheer delight. The Arthurian legend infused with whimsical magic and a particularly English charm. This is the version I always keep in my mind. This Merlin and all that surrounds him, is absolutely delightful.

*

Renewal, Reincarnation, Reinvention

Renewal, Reincarnation, Reinvention…

These words spring to mind at the start of the year, than at any other time. But do we actually get to do that? No matter how much we wish, as the date changes, can we change too? Can we purge away the tiny black holes within us to emerge renewed and baby soft in the new year; rid of all our devils?

The things that hold us back from being all that we can possibly be — this is that once-in-a-year chance, a clean break that we all get — to shatter all odds and be truly ourselves. Time however, does not part down the middle and show us a shining new self or world. From 23.59 to 00.01, it’s the same banal everyday midnight, spiced-up a bit; depending on how you are celebrating.

So how do we reconstruct ourselves? How will these new year resolutions work?

What if the New Year actually began in Spring-time? When the earth truly awakes from its winter slumber and the new green celebrates! Would it be easier for us to awaken as well?

I, wait for the chill to pass and then fly!

*