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?

Just Dance!

If I can’t dance,

My world stops a bit.

 

If I don’t dance,

My universe shrinks a little.

 

Without dance,

Any stillness achieved is stale.

 

Dance is primordial joy given form.

Without that joy, what’s meaning?

 

Dance today!

The IS will flow back.

 

Dance today!

Flow with vibrant joy.

 

Dance today!

Reach for bliss…

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…

In Memory of Moti (#WordlessWednesdays)

Moti

Moti The Valiant

Wake

What will they do when they wake up,

From their dreams of fire red?

When they see their blood-stained hands,

When they see the ash all around,

Of the burnt home that used to house us all?

 

That rallying cry, that self-righteous anger,

The hurt that fueled their rage—

Will it still protect them?

From the reality of the nightmare they have wrought?

 

In their quieter moments,

Will they be able to face themselves?

Could they smile at the mirror when they see themselves?

How will they live with themselves,

Now that they are awake?

 

Or will they never wake at all?

Healing In The Daylight

Initinite Freedom

Your face is daylight,

Learn why don’t you, to flow free?

 

Emotions too big for the body,

Carried across the infinite sea—

 

Snowflake shy,

Your hands caress the breeze.

 

When will healing come,

Is that what you wonder?

 

With your faraway look,

Your voice trailing off into a book…

 

Your spirit is fire,

Feel it. Be it.

 

Be your own healer,

You – who are every infinity!

Beyond…

 

Filaments of Feeling

Beyond the dark, behind the eyes,

What universe lies?

What atomic secrets?

 

I send out fishing net feelers,

With breath and wish;

And receive – a moment out of moment…

 

What is this silence though?

 

Is it peace?

Or is it a muffling up?

Or preparation for communion?

 

When will I open mind, heart and spirit,

To feel deep within,

The very heart of the world?

 

Jewels Hidden In Moments

A Glowing Sunset by Radhika Mukherjee

A Glowing Sunset by Radhika Mukherjee

There is a jewel everywhere you look,

A glowing sunset trapped in each fragile moment,

In each hour whiled away in noise.

 

Treasure the rare moments of silence,

Inside, outside.

 

The chance to dive deep—

Into the truth.

Into the absoluteness of the self,

To the heart of the world.

A Glimpse Across The Tables

Hidden Girl.

Quiet Girl.

Girl exploding with feeling.

 

I see you.

I used to be you.

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?

Comfort Reading

Comfort Reading

Comfort Reading

When I’m stressed or sad or I want to soften my sense of self,  I read Eva Ibbotson and her books for grown-ups and sometimes her kid’s books as well.

When I want to regain my sense of humor and buoyancy, I read the inimitable Terry Pratchett and his Discworld books.

I call this comfort reading.

And as I wander into another round of comfort reading, I started wondering about this  phenomenon. So here’s a question for you:

Do you practice comfort reading too? Is there a specific book or author you turn to?

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

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?

 

Celebrating Springtime with a Poem and a Photo!

Spring!

Spring! (Copyright: Radhika Mukherjee)

Just before the spring rains drummed out its beats
There was a day of transcendent brightness…

The world smiled!

Blue brightened
Fluffy white clouds sparkled
And Green sang!

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.

Since… [A Short, Fictional Poem]

Since…

 

Since you called –

Since you did.

 

Since you and I fought so hard –

Against and together.

 

Since our blood and our tears mingled –

To join us in spirit.

 

Since you learnt to fly and dream –

In quiet.

 

Since all our long imaginings, our longings –

Dared too much…

 

Since you called –

I’m here.

Turn the Page

Turn the page

And see a star

Bid it ‘bye

And turn again

 

The world folds

Into slow

Will you catch?

 

In me there was light

The stars kept their pretty patterns

I lost.

 

Perhaps like you there should have been rage.

The Other

The Beautiful Other

The Beautiful Other by Radhika Mukherjee

We were once all one.

Swirling embraced in a space infinitely small.

Then we separated into galaxies.

And  suns.

And planets.

 

And now on this earth—

We have become ‘other’.

Why is that?

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 Bell

There are stories coming, can you hear?

 

When ideas seem alive

When life seems made of rich, tactile textures

When someone else’s song moves you to tears

You know your own song is just waiting in the wings

 

The first soft footsteps-

Curling tendrils of resonance

 

A double life – being doubly alive!

It waits, it waits!

poetry….




When I discovered poetry,

The world suddenly sparkled anew:

A leaf seemed special,

A flower divine;

A song lit a wound inside.

The face of a lonely child,

The moonlight – mournful and mild,

The scent of a flower borne along the breeze,

A shell, lying on a sandy beach,

The waves splashing to and fro—

A baby sparrow chirping for more.

All this seemed to touch a place—

The tenderest spot upon my heart;

So that my heart would ache for joy,

And soar up high on gossamer wings—

Listening to a small child as she sings.

Then words became my special friends,

My time with them I would spend;

To try and express the joy I feel

To be part of such a magical world!

*

The Street of the Small Gods


The street of the small gods, is a curious place. Hedged between a huge banyan tree and lines of trucks. There, in house after house, bestowing blessings from their god shops; sit two streets lined with room-temples.

And exquisite gods! Clean, shining, colourful; and bathed in golden light.

As we pass by quite unintentionally, wave upon wave of longings stream by. It is quite tangible, this sublimation; this clinging, powerful belief, in the phantasms of imagined divinity. Or
are they man’s reciprocal imagination manifested, and so, real?

—What is the self, but a chimera to be given up? What are these endless circles? “I don’t want, I want. Let us be free! Deliver us from misery. Safety, I want safety. Don’t let anything bad happen. Make it all alright.”

“Please?”

— Whispers! Yes, whispers too.

And the gods shine on. Do they draw out our volition from ourselves; is that which they feed on, and glisten so? The street of the small gods — shine here, and soot opposite. Why is there so much power here, then?

I imagined the spirit of this street as a tiny woebegone creature, huddled against rain. Quite scared of so much expectation. And then I thought, do streets, even of gods, do they feel? Do they have any spark of life at all? So much life is poured into the small gods, lost among their bells and flames and holy water. Perhaps it all coalesced. Formed a trickle and then became a sea.

A sea with everyone in it. All of the people you are, and all the other people you carry with you – in essence and memory. In the six degrees of separation of mankind, at least three degrees of everyone are here. In one great sloshing frenzy of hope and fear. We of all the different answers and positions that just throw up more questions and more doubts. We are all here, bound.

The small gods know it all.

They never seem to end. The taxi crawls along the puddled, mired lane, and they gleam into view one by one. Cynicism doesn’t stand a chance here. Not against this sea. Not against the sweet incense, which is still something more.

When the policeman directed the taxi into a thin, unfamiliar byway I was annoyed. And as a good sceptic, I laughed in scorn, at the first god’s miniature marble palace, his inner sanctum, and his priests, clean-shaven and yellow dhoti clad, with a tikki at the back of the head – self-importantly dispensing water touched by the god’s feet, to some gullible believer who no doubt paid for the privilege.

Then, as I turned away from that scene, on the other side of the taxi – outside – was an ancient Banyan, sky high, spread out in a canopy, eating up a thirty foot brick wall; huge white-grey tapering cylinders of roots descending in bunches from high up, suspended between earth and air. Oh for a camera! I cried. Almost appalled at the symmetry. It should be ugly, but it was beautiful, even the ruins that I could glimpse behind, in that fantastical reflection of the small gods’ light.

And then the small gods called. We have the world here, they said: look. Turn. Listen –

Be quiet!

One by one they passed, all festive pomp and people’s diligent care. Utterly, delightfully self-important. The stars of the stage. Hanumanji, beloved of porters, a huge Ganesh, patron of wealth and business, resplendent, with a pint sized, very pretty Kali on his left – this is her city after all, and she does not like being left out. Shiv in his abstract form, covered with garlands and tinsel. And more and more, Ganesh, Hanuman, Kali in miniature all around. Even a Krishn I think.

I was cheering for them by the time the sweet shop loomed up and announced an end as we turned the corner. Every few feet before it, almost every façade was god ridden. Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle they went, one after the other, radiating something intangible.

The lights went out but I felt a glow in me.

I smiled in the dark.

So do I now believe; that is what I ask myself.

*

Then…..


When in Time’s autumn

The trees are bare,

Never to flower again;

Then will some girl lament,

As I am doing now?

The dry robs water from the air,

Leaves nothing for me to breathe.

In early winter, faraway sister

Merry, melancholy, fate-stabbed—

Will you gasp too?

Then in the Decembers and Januaries,

Of bitter cold, and layers and layers of woollens for me,

You went out into snow;

In a thin, white, muslin gown—

Clung, and wept for the tree, asleep for eternity.

The year will wake for me.

Sweet winds of sap and song.

My trees are tender green.

The mango trees are golden and russet in flower.

I breathe – in an ecstasy!

You, buried your world long ago,

And I forgot.


*

Good Thought — 25th July ’10

*

It is a nice feeling to stop being petty and angry and for once to see how you can be giving and good.

How you can be a little more considerate and ease someone else’s heart.

In doing so, you get soothed yourself.

*

Dapples

Tree-Bright

An hour ago there was grey, visibility obscuring rain.

By the time I stepped out ( By secret pact) —

Only for me — came a little warm, damp sunlight.

Standing under a newly awakened, bright-leaved tree,

I looked up and saw the sun winking down at me.

A sparkle here, a glow amid the dappled dark – Kaleidoscopic –

Which made the soul sing for just a little while.

*