A Wedge of Wednesday Wisdom

Wisdom I’ve gained this day:

Your first responsibility is to try and be open and vulnerable to yourself. Admit any aspects of shame, fear, anger/anguish, etc. you are carrying around. Explore ‘weaknesses’, don’t hide from them. Connect to everything about your self. 

That’s when true, integrated strength, a sense of purpose and connectedness begin to emerge. You begin to ‘flow’ in the world again. 

Start exploring the interior landscape. The rewards are myriad! 

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Welcome The Day ‪

Welcome!

In the last few years that I have been writing, I have tried to listen to that small inner voice of inspiration as well as mold myself into a disciplined artist. To varying degrees of success!

Through all that, I have learned that the essential self is paramount, no matter what you try, and that:

There are productivity days, there are insight days, then there are rest days. We need to welcome each kind of day.

I know a lot of us struggle with the prescription to write every day and to produce X number of words, etc. per day. To that I say:

Welcome every sort of day! See what you can learn from it, what riches it brings you.

The journey is the reward after all!

 

Book Cover Reveal For Our Particular Shadows!

I am delighted to present to you the re-imagined book cover for the first book of Shadow Stories, Our Particular Shadows, which is slated for re-release in August!

Are you ready?

Here it is, all starry-eyed, referencing the story ‘Longing’; the new book cover for Our Particular Shadows!

(Cover Design: Nikhil Karmokar)

Our Particular Shadows

Our Particular Shadows

What do YOU think? Do you like it?
Please let me know in the comments or by writing to me at radhika(at)radhikamukherjee(dot)com

Our Particular Shadows

Our Particular Shadows is a collection of 7 pieces of micro-fiction, each bite-sized story more poetic than the next. It is the first book of the Shadow Stories and features various ‘selves’ in their quest for light amid their very own shadows.

This book was my first release in 2013, and I am making it available again after revising both content and cover!

Our Particular Shadows will re-release on 14th August to all the eBook stores of the world.

If you’d like to read and review Our Particular Shadows, please write to me at: radhika(at)radhikamukherjee(dot)com

To add Our Particular Shadows on Goodreads, CLICK HERE!

Spot The Sleepy Elephant (#WordlessWednesdays)

Sleepy Elephant (By Radhika Mukherjee)

Sleepy Elephant (By Radhika Mukherjee)

Those Gremlin Days Of Art

The Body Of The Root

The Body Of The Root (By Radhika Mukherjee)

What is there within me today, that is deep and dark?

Complex chocolate foamy loam,

Worm dwelling, corporate shelling,

Ruined lives buried in glee?

 

What in me was dark is grey under siege,

In moments of such madness as these,

A poem is a silent angel of futility,

Parading unpretty in the hall of shame…

 

What is this world of melee?

What is proven if anything of fire?

There is but a chink of gold,

In each pearly sunset mound of flesh.

 

What is my glory, my honor?

Through words hot and cold,

I fly in incomprehensible circles,

And make my futile art of—

 

Muzzle

Puzzle,

Dazzle,

Dross…

A Stilled Dynamic (#WordlessWednesdays)

A Stilled Dynamic

A Stilled Dynamic (By Radhika Mukherjee) 

 

My phone made a movie all by itself! It’s got the most amazing yellow roses in it!

Please watch: The Beautiful Yellow Roses (Real Beauty Series, 3) 

 

In Memory of Moti (#WordlessWednesdays)

Moti

Moti The Valiant

You and Me and Me and You

The Colour Of Love

The Colour Of Love

(Tomorrow, is a special day for me and my love, so sharing this personal poem with you!)

 

Within the tactility of you and me,

Within the dark cocoon of love,

Is a beat;

Counting out the moments,

Meting out the feelings,

With which we confront our realities.

 

It is a dance,

A contest,

And a race,

Where losing and winning,

Is interchangeable,

Indistinguishable from the other.

 

The skin tells the truth,

Does it welcome touch?

Or recoils?

The eyes tell the truth,

Do they soften,

Or turn away?

 

Trading poetry,

Trading jokes,

Scolding despair away,

We run away and to,

We sing in harmony or off,

But melt, melt into together!

 

And there’s always something,

A little out of reach…

The whole truth can never be seized.

Our two arcs intersect,

To send out sparks,

That bedazzle—

 

That beguile the mind into thinking,

This island of us is the whole world,

We to each other is all there is and will be.

But for this time,

For me,

That is the sweet truth.

 

What Does The Blank Page Say?

Such an inviting thing, the pristine blank page!

Just waiting there with a hidden mischievous smile. Such temptation for me! To jump into the fray. To cavort with words, to play with sound, to create a whole world around.

To color it with ecstasy!

But sometimes, I have hesitated. Sometimes, I have been afeared. Sometimes tired, sometimes dazzled and many times too puzzled to respond.

Still it waits.

“Oh you will fall for me,” it says.

And I, what do I say?

“Yes, oh yes! Always!”

The Twirling Moment

Summer Hibiscus

Summer Hibiscus

The pen connects me to the moment,

The ghost behind the mirror hums—

A most enticing tune.

 

Words blazing fire!

Every coat of fear that recedes,

Reveals a vibrant unknown me.

 

Memories preserved in pressed flowers,

The flowers know it is not time yet…

When the air feels safe, is when you can truly breathe.

 

So much hidden and beautiful,

So many paths to travel…

The bedrock of the self,

Quivers in delight,

Twirls to the heavy beat,

Of summer!

Presenting The Book Cover For Broken Shadows (My New Book)

The book cover for Broken Shadows is all ready!  And I am so happy to share it with you!

These tiny, intense tales of isolation are sure to wring unexpected emotion from you. That is the sense we have tried to convey in the book cover, a depiction of the solitary self as it faces its shadows.

Will the shadows break them or will they break the shadows?

That’s the central question.

Here it is!

Broken Shadows Cover_social media

What do you think?

Broken Shadows will release on and around 19th March 2016.

Stay connected with the release by subscribing to my Newsletter or add Broken Shadows on Goodreads.

The Lost Love of Need and Despair

 

Lost 2

Just a collection of reactions,

Just a rapture felt far off.

Awake sometimes upon the ether.

Humming to a rhythm unfelt.

 

What’s to do with this bag of wishes,

This chitinous tentacle of need?

Words spill in a variegated tangle,

Stain the mouth they cannot feed.

 

There is no ‘I’ here—

Go elsewhere.

Look under the chaos,

The mangle.

 

Just go!

There is no one here to answer:

Your outstretched hand,

Your everything smile.

 

There are shadows though,

With them will you dance?

Would you clasp close, these discarded images;

That could perhaps pass for a self?

 

~~*~~

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There’s A Hunger There…

Hunger and Despair

There’s a hunger there,

Running on empty,

Slipping on oil slicks,

Drying up the winter sap.

 

Criss-cross coruscating desires,

Wildly leaping forward,

In a thorny void.

 

Ovoid.

Android.

Devoid.

 

There is but broken,

There is but ravenous,

There is chaos,

And unknowing…

 

And chance-touched sublimity,

That will not let go,

Of the mind.

 

Will paralyze life!

 

Salt doll had no chance,

Salt doll with her hubris,

Salt doll sullied her light.

 

One tiny piece of art—

Was all she wanted.

She circled and circled,

And forgot everything else!

 

And life sweet!

Life turned,

To others,

To love.

 

When will it all mesh together?

 

For aloneness is there a cure?

Is there any hope,

For a girl who has forgotten to speak?

 

Image

The Trajectory Of A Silent Wish

Wish

The Many Shades of Moonlight

The moonlight to me is simply magical!

Here’s a selection of moon shots, ranging from‒

Sparkly:

Sparkly

Somber:

sombre

Serene:

Serene

To deliciously Sensory:

sensory

Image

Before The Storm…

Stormy

Flowers of the Monsoon

The world is sparkling in color with the rains. The greens are greener and fresher, tender. The air is humming with cool freshness. And the flowers! Wow! The flowers are so happy, they almost dance!

Here are a few flower photographs captured on evening/morning walks around the neighborhood. On these walks I breathe! And sun-hunt and flower-hunt ever so happily.

First come the serene, rain drenched whites:

Then skip up the pinks:

Yellows nod at you cheerily:

Royal red says, ‘Yes indeed, more monsoons please!’

And did I forget the cat? Here’s the serene cat I met, resting ever so trustingly on a parked car. She was very gracious about being photographed.

What have you enjoyed about your walks recently?

Image

The Sky Bleeds As We Do

Sky Bleeds

Image

On The Way To Narnia

On The Way to Narnia by Radhika Mukherjee

On The Way to Narnia by Radhika Mukherjee

Image

At The Cusp of Magic

At The Cusp of Magic

At The Cusp of Magic

Time’s Gifts: New Favorite Things

Smiley Dolphins. Photo Credit: Pinterest.

Smiley Dolphins
Photo Credit: Pinterest.

Moving through the years, one accumulates a wealth of things. Some of these ‘things’ are material and many, many more are ephemeral wonders that bring a simple and bright joy. I got thinking about what are my newest favorite things and in no particular order, here are some of them:

Dolphins

Foxes

The single green-yellow butterfly in the garden outside

Intense blue Pune spring and summer skies

The curtains of bougainvillea lining the main road

Brandy snap biscuits from the Cookie Man stalls

The miniature Van Gogh print on one of my bookshelves

Sketching and my new sketching pencils

Beetroot

Aloe Vera

Tart and tasty strawberry jam from Green Tokri that cures all ills

Guilty pleasure: Red Velvet pastries and cupcakes with delicious cream cheese filling from Moshe’s at Crossword, Aundh

Downton Abbey

Tea Tree Oil – amazing for skin ailments

The scent of lavender

Trying the Headspace meditation introduction course in quiet, luminous afternoons

Slowly getting my words and rhythms back

My new sunburst yellow kurta

The joys of planning a book out

The pain of actually sitting down to write it

Re-reading, re-discovering Terry Pratchett

The Upanishads

P.B. Shelly Poems

Twitter poetry

The incredible and incredibly talented WordPress Blogging Community that inspires me so!

Pretty bookmarks

Being calm, gentle and open

Letting go of anger, and learning to be vulnerable again

My shaggy pink stuffed-toy mascot…

 

What are some of your favorite things?

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.

The Perfect Shapes of Infinity

The Perfect Shapes of Infinity | © Radhika Mukherjee

The Perfect Shapes of Infinity | © Radhika Mukherjee

The Circular Thoughts of My Writing Mind

The Cloud and the Spark_Radhika Mukhrje

The Cloud and the Spark | (C) Radhika Mukherjee

I fear the fading of words

And the diminishing of my light.

 

This writing journey of stops and starts.

There was a bright flare in the beginning –

So mesmerising!

Now I face the slow hard climb back,

Which is almost slipping.

What do I hold onto?

 

Thoughts dissolve into ether—

Of the mind, the soul, the web.

 

The contrariness of my writing spirit

Is partly to blame.

It crowds my mind with longings and ideas

Nearly audibly!

Exactly when I have lots of other work.

 

Now that I’ve cleared space for it to blossom,

It’s off, cavorting with the fairies!

 

And so between me and my words

Me and my unwritten, massing, relentless stories—

A gulf.

Of years and aeons

And that one spark

The Writer’s Luminous Road

The Neverending Luminous Writing Road

The Never-ending Luminous Writing Road

 

There is a road all writers must take—

Stark, terrifying, mystical, mystifying, exhilarating.

Lashed together precariously by inspiration’s evanescence,

That never coalesces for long.

 

This is a road all writers have travelled, but each alone.

And the loneliness is palpable,

An intolerable pressure!

Of being alone is this ocean of people…

 

Yet strangely, it is only in the self, alone,

That one can strive for mastery over words.

Strengthen the visions that only one can see.

Only the self, all by itself, has the deepest answers.

 

And the road gleams on…

And beckons—

 

 

How the Light Shines (Photo Post)

On a beautiful summer day, I took a morning walk and brought home ephemeral beauty captured in pixels and light.

And it is this light we celebrate today! (Along with the 4th birthday of this blog!! :))

Shining Bright

Shining Bright

Look how happy this flower is, on meeting the sun for the first time that day!

Basking in the Sun

Basking in the Sun

Stay bright… Shine on…

Video

My first Ever Video Upload : The Speaking Feather

A little feather came to be my teacher one day. It came to my window and said to me, look! I came to tell you a story, a story about me and you —

I am fragile but I am beautiful! And I am strong.

I persevere even when the wind is harsh and wants to carry me off with it.

But I hold on! So can you…

This video is for all of us who hold on!

A Photographic Memory (A Flash Fiction Piece)

I only remember the photographs.

The actual memories have floated away. But her parting words echo with a peculiar glowing intensity. Going round and round in a wheel of fire in some desperate recess of my rotting mind.

Was there really nothing else to be said?

— A red t-shirt etched with thin strips of white.

The tinnitus and pulsing vision of sleeplessness don’t provide any respite.

Of course there are devices galore. I could call, message, cyber stalk. Or even write a letter? No, you need an address for that.

—A tip-tilted smiling, knowing face. Searching for the best spontaneous camera angle. Billowing, swept-away long hair.

It is an artist’s vocation to make art out of even misery. This is the way to tap into the zeitgeist. Explore our shared humanity. Engage the audience’s emotions.

Yet not one tiny shred of inspiration swoops down to rescue me.

—A day of an extraordinary shimmering light, which washes away the colors but leaves its own luminosity in the greens and blues.

Isn’t art solace? The highest pursuit possible, whose practitioners decode, interpret life for the tribe? How can an artist become immobilized by life then?

Perhaps just a text? It can’t hurt right? I’m concerned, I should show it.

Right, ok!

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!

 

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.