What would you do if you had to take The Leap?
Who will notice the light on the flowers,
But for the quiet ones?
Who will think of the green we need,
But for the dreamy ones?
Why then is the world tilted loud?
Why doesn’t love trump fear?
When will the healing come?
There is an edge to hope,
That even when it floats away,
Clings as a shadow of wonder,
To the corners of the spirit.
Let it flower within you today,
Let it rise.
Smile at hope,
And hope will smile upon you…
Who knows what the two of you can do?
Did you know that blood smells of rust?
That our starburst mangled bodies die to awaken?
That in all the liminal space of time—
Truths unfold in ontological puzzlement,
Amazed at their own impertinence?
For what is anything amid infinity?
And where’s the space for infinity in our small is?
The renderings of visions wild,
All these data streams of forever dreams—
Will we ever truly reconfigure?
There is a silent, screaming, streaming smile—
There is a thunderous rapture building—
Just out of reach.
Walk into the whirlwind—
From afar I watch a mansion crumble,
I watch the inconceivable take shape,
And somehow, I am strengthened in my self.
Somehow, I feel the essential taut granite in me,
The one that holds up the truth.
Today I know that if there is to be any hope,
We each have to ascend.
Find our power, flex it,
And go heal this earth of ours.
If there’s a dream review, this is IT! @saket71 has shone a piercingly poetic light into the heart of Our Particular Shadows and really, truly SEEN. I’m in utter bliss. Such a generous blessing this review is!
Read the full review: Book Review: Our Particular Shadows
Some of my favorite parts of the review are:
Radhika writes prose but it is so near to poetry. … It has the magic, the vigor and the flow much nearer to spoken-word poetry. The magic of experimental prose is in the honesty it carries. It is as if the writer decided not to let his own consciousness stand between the page and his soul, as if the medium merged into the creator and they are no longer two distinct entities.
And who can ever forget praise such as this?
I am totally in awe of Radhika Mukherjee’s talent. She is a mystic poet who camouflages herself as a story-teller. Her writings are not for you if you are looking for trendy stories. If you want to read something timeless, something which will survive both the reader and the writer, do read this. I am greedy. I do not know if Radhika plans to someday write a full-length novel. If she does and if these stories are any indications, we might have a writer penning something like The Waves of Virginia Woolf someday. Her writing is experimental prose which is so rare to find these days. Dive in to discover the divinity in the magical world of words. This is the book you will keep coming back to, whenever your soul is bruised by the brutal world we live in, and I am sure, it will always soothe your senses.
Here’s the full review again: Book Review: Our Particular Shadows
To take the journey, at $0.99 for the eBook of Our Particular Shadows, go to:
Amazon (all territories): getBook.at/OPS
B&N, Apple, Kobo, Scribd: https://books2read.com/u/38DxMw
Happy soulful reading!
When you see me, think of words.
A swaying mass of swirling rainbow words in tangible girl shape. I’ve become indistinguishable from the resonances in my mind.
I am my words. Words are me. They make me, just as I make them. That’s my space in this world!
Words to wonder.
Words to heal.
Words to lay down and cry.
Words to comfort.
Words to whisper.
Words: the most precious of them all.
Words = Rads! 🙂
Our Particular Shadows has received a thoughtful and delightful professional review from Readers’ Favorite!
It begins like this:
“If you are looking for a collection of short stories that express various emotions but should be sipped upon as a fine wine, Our Particular Shadows (Shadow Stories Book 1) by Radhika Mukherjee can be the taste for your palate.”
And then just makes my hear sing!
To take the journey, at $0.99 for the eBook, go to:
B&N, Apple, Kobo, Scribd: https://books2read.com/u/38DxMw
Happy soulful reading!
If I can’t dance,
My world stops a bit.
If I don’t dance,
My universe shrinks a little.
Any stillness achieved is stale.
Dance is primordial joy given form.
Without that joy, what’s meaning?
The IS will flow back.
Flow with vibrant joy.
Reach for bliss…
We steal hummingbird flowers,
For the Gods.
Wings flutter in question…
Flowers bend and sway,
Hummingbirds divebomb the other,
Fat little squirrels chasing each other.
The branch sways,
Totally almost non-spoilerey, scene-by-scene reactions!
This is how it all began:
So excited to start reading #HarryPotterAndTheCursedChild!! With a lot of EEEEEEEs!! (Of excitement, not terror!)
Eww! Harry, Ron and Hermione sound like bored suburban parents in Act 1, Scene 1 & 2. Nothing magical! 😦
Act 1 Scene 3 (A1S3) of #HarryPotterAndTheCursedChild is looking interesting! They’re going to try and invert things i think! Cool!
I LIKE Scorpius! Only one with any humanity/ personality so far!
So sweet he is, this Scorpius! To think I could ever appreciate a Malfoy! Well played! Well played!
I’m confused! How can the Sorting Hat be walking??
And then the Sorting Hat “puts his hat on Rose’s head”! Strange right?
Poor Albus!! I feel for him now! Bad Sorting Hat!
Someone or something has totally cursed Albus! (I hope he’s not the Cursed Child!!) #poormite
Wow! Is Harry clueless about Albus in A1S4, or what? They couldn’t have a heart to heart over the holidays?
They’re overdoing Platform 9 3/4! It’s not that charming! I feel rushed, like I should catch a train!
Draco Malfoy has a ponytail! Cool!
Harry should get a prize for sensitive person of the year! #Not #WhatAMeanie
How are the Malfoys getting all the empathy till this point?
I cannot stop raving about how sweet this #ScorpiusMalfoy is!! Only kid-like kid in here! #adorable
Why couldn’t they have a scene at Harry’s house? Does everything need to be resolved at the platform?
Here I am, heart breaking for #ScorpiusMalfoy! Sniff!
Uf! Finally that never-ending Act 1, Scene 4 is over! Devastating! Onto 5. Ordered lunch!
To sugar or not to sugar is the question apparently!
Happy for feminism BTW!
Where’s my lunch? All the sweets are making me hungrier!
Lunch is here, so taking a break! Don’t want to get food on the new book! #BRB
Lunch done, emails done! I’m back to reading #HarryPotterAndTheCursedChild #yay!
The dialogue in the book was so much better! #nostalgia
Finally! We arrive at Harry and Ginny’s house!! #ICanBreatheNow
Things are getting serious! I sense that we are about to enter the actual plot!
Oh someone who’s cheerful at last! #Delphi! Reminds me I miss how Ron used to lighten things up. Sigh!
I really like clumsy characters! They’re so charming! I’m rooting for Delphi!
Awww! Poor Harry! He’s trying so hard! okay, I’m coming around to grown up Harry. Hooray!
Whoopsy Daisies! The way the scene ends!! #suspense
The Dursleys are back! #why? #whygodwhy
Complete rerun. Why was it necessary? No idea!
A1S9 : Things are heating up! Portents are portending! Terribly stilted husband-wife conversation! That’s A1S9 for you!
Why do they have to be so self-conscious about hugging?
Some action is beginning to boil up! At last! #Yay!
Oh my gosh! The trolley witch! Wow!
And off we go!
A1S12: Expected more from Hermione’s character! Draco being the old Draco. O well!
A1S14: I miss the books! They were so much richer! Anyway, the action proper begins here.
A1S15: Harry, Ron, etc. haven’t been written right. Don’t feel right as adults or teens. But revelation time!
A1S16: O look! Polyjuice Potion my old friend! #huh? #why?
It’s way too freaky to hear the words”My Department” coming from the mouth of Harry Potter!
Still don’t understand #Albus at all! Even at Act 1 Sc 17. Maybe he’ll grow on me?
Back after a break! So to business!
Tension rising! I start to believe a little…
I have one word: Ewwwwww!!
So many #Ewwwwws!!
Complete chaos with none of the cleverness of the books. Or structure. Meh!
Really? It was all laid out to solve and find? Why? What? How? Also, too easy! Like sloppy fan fiction!
A2S1: Young Harry will break your heart! Also, nice magical suspense being built up! #prayingforliftoff
A2S2: Tiny scene but hard work to read this overall! I am flagging fast! Even with breaks.
A2S3: Why are they all so rushed and cryptic? Great plays are never so!
A2S4: Wow! Feminism happened for nothing! Nothing I tell you! Also, Ew!
A2S5: Seriously, why do the centaurs have to be so mean? Mean writing ya! Just mean! Don’t we get to like anyone? It all has to be angst, angst, angst, is it?
A2S6: Scorpius strikes again! There he goes being all sweet and tugging at the heartstrings!
A2S6: Look, look! Magic! Special effects! Kinda feels like a Harry Potter. Distantly.
A2S7: More of the old. They don’t like girls here. Mom and daughter are identical? Magical cloning? #Wow
A2S7: Oh, Oh! Excitement! Strum and Drang!! Suspense! That’s what I’m talking about!
Dumbledore reduced to ‘kindly’! Oh unkind fate!
Dude, you’re an adult now! Make your own decisions already!
Okay, sorry! Wrong advice! Harry sucks at adulting!
A2S9: What on earth is PANJU!!! They know it’s slang in India, right? Wow! Just wow!! #EWWWWW
A2S9: Harry! Harry! Harry! Some sensitivity would be much appreciated by us all!
A2S10: What a numpty!! Harry that is. Do these writers just hate Harry?
A2S11: And Hermione too? They have gone too far I tell you! There will be an uprising!
A2S12: Those poor mites #Albus and #Scorpius! This is the emotional heart of the story!
A2S13: As adults also they’re using Expelliarmus! No imagination only!
How on earth does a non-student/non-teacher just slip into Hogwarts like that? Did they not read Hogwarts: A History?
Drowning in sentiment here!
A2S15: How come only one thing, Ron-Hermione changes? #TheyMustThinkWe’reDim
A2S15: Draco Malfoy! So very human. Who knew? I like it! Ginny’s pretty cool too!
A2S16: Uh! Apparently the jealously was all important! Weak! #TheyMustThinkWe’reDim
Okay, they’re taking the underdog thing too far and too literally with no resonance!
Where has all of McGonagall’s power gone?
Boys expressing their emotions. Nice idea, badly done.
A2S17: O Ron! O Hermione! Double sigh!
A2S18: Filler. Necessary. But…
A2S19: Will it work?
A2S20: Oh oh! Albus and Scorpius really messed it up this time! What scamps! But it’s getting compelling!
A3S1: Chilling! Also, go alternate Scorpius!
A3S2: Total terror now! What a world! Clever, to conjure this possibility…
A3S3: At least Draco didn’t go all Voldemort on Scorpius!
A3S4: How can alternate Scorpius be soooooo different?
A3S5: This is the real stuff, this scene! Nice new spell: Colloportus!
A3S6: Go Hermione!! Be an Amazon! Don’t ever give up your power! Also, is Dumbledore considered God/God-like?
A3S7: So funny! Ron, Hermione and the big SURPRISE! Onto the reversals then!
A3S8: Rinse and repeat! Ludo Bagman gets more insufferable every time!
A3S9: Can’t talk! Reading! Shhhhh!
A3S10: It should end here, but isn’t. What’s going on?
A3S10: At least McGonagall’s found herself again!
A3S11: Sons and fathers I tell you! Even when they have a heart to heart, it’s not a heart to heart!
A3S12: Woweee!! I’m a little scared! Hold me!
A3S13: Danger! Run!
A3S14: That scamp Scorpius! So sweet and sincere too! It’s not too early to declare him my favorite, right?
A3S15: I keep wondering, was that scene necessary?
A3S16: It’s all going pear shaped and it’s time for the tables to turn and give us the big reveal! Brace yourself!
A3S17: Why did we have to witness the utter joyless and mundaneness of the Harry Potter kids as grown ups? Even the romance falls flat! Persistent question for this book: WHY?
A3S18: Now you tell us! Actual villain come forth!
A3S19: Oh how the worm turns and how false heroism fails!
A3S20: So confused and confusing and then you realize the utter futility of it all!! Where you just have to stand by and watch!! The horror!
A3S21: Huh! Yes, yes, visually awesome but all hokey prophecies! Very convenient ones!
Again with the undermining real-Hermione! What are they doing?
Fatalistic much? Has a few resonances though. Makes you care, in a despairing way.
A4S2: Back to where it all started! Did they have to? I’m tired!
A4S3: A-quivering!!? Who talks like that? Who puts a word like that into a teenage boys mouth? Expository scene. No action.
It’s all about loooove!
This is like Han Solo and Princess Leia : “I know.”
What is happening?!?
Draco’s revelation! We totally should have guessed! Clever Hermione!
Still, it all seems futile! Unless—
A4S5: The teen conquering heroes figure out a way!! Will they? WILL THEY?
A4S6: Do they? Huh? Huh? (BTW: Totally implausible bit of magic!)
A4S7: I caught a typo! I caught a typo! (My editor’s heart is so happy right now!)
A4S8: Uf! How much Deus Ex Machina can a story sustain?
Will there be some resolution to the storm in the teacup?
Ginny figures it out! At least someone’s thinking!
A4S10: Surprise! Disguise! Will it work? Can it ever be so simple?
Passable performance there as the epitome of eeeevil! Lots of action!
Question: How can the Malfoys not know anything about a child born in Malfoy Manor??
A resolution with no empathy at all.
A4S12: They could and should have changed it all but instead they still stood there! And it’s heartbreaking! I need a cuddle! #WhereIsMyLiveTeddyBear
A4S13: I can’t even!
A4S14: Back to the status quo of cute teens! Also, what’s with all these self-conscious hugs? And have you noticed there’s no cute British slang at all? No ‘git’, etc. I miss that! #GiveMeTheBooksAnyDay
A4S15: Ah! The proper heart to heart! Love wins the day! Sweet.
Slightly mawkish but sweet too. Stop being cynical!
So there you have it, the kids had a romp and we said hello to most everyone and move forward an inch. Huge plus: Scorpius is altogether adorable! I’d read more about him in a shot. This one? Maybe I’ll read it once more. In a calmer frame of mind.
Should you read it?
It has pros and cons the play, the books are definitely better. Read it if you want to revisit the world and catch up with the grown-up gang and the next generation.
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!
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—
The gulf between the sublime and me,
Wavers some days,
Then dances away,
Delighting in just the prospect!
That long leap—
Hangs in the shadows,
Darker than dark,
Lighter than light!
Just the inward smile,
Just the breath-spirit wide,
Just a little crinkle in the heart,
Is all I have to show—
That the heart of the world had called to me one day…
Reach for sublimity with my abstract, sublime book of micro-fiction with the rave reviews: Broken Shadows!
Happy reading! 🙂
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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:
I’m starting a new video series, on YouTube, called Real Beauty, to share the raw, real, visceral moments of beauty that I encounter on a daily basis.
Writing a book about the Beauty Spell (Rackety And The Beauty Spell) tends to open your eyes to the beauty energy all around! And I wanted to share those moments with you! 🙂
Here’s the first video of the series, a sunset video taken around a year ago when I was visiting my Ma in Bengal.
If you liked the video and want to see more, please do subscribe to the channel!
P.S.: I’m getting ready to send out my monthly newsletter, where I send my readers fresh life and writing updates and delicious exclusive content!
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.
Words tell you that here, this is the thing,
That circumscribed within me is a something…
When you go and look,
You see a too-muchness that cannot possibly be described…
So you ask them,
Are you sure you have said the thing?
Oh yes, they exclaim,
We are right, we are what is!
You stare into your ever-shifting mindscape,
Into the indescribable deep…
And know, that words cannot follow you here!
You indulge them though—
You tell then,
Yes, you said it true!
You are right, you are what is,
Without you, the world could not be seen.
Suppose the way lay through the air?
Would you with your pink lightning wings,
Go charging across the ocean,
Straight to what you thought was the heart of the world?
The tears of cut grass smell so mellifluous!
Everything spills tears today – from me.
I imagine you at least, free—
Soaring, with those crackling wings,
Reaching at last that space of my torment;
Of my deepest longing.
The flavor of loneliness
Is a smoky vanilla
Without the sweet,
Without the usual milkiness.
There’s only the insubstantial echoes of sweetness,
Within intangibles so intense, the very self evaporates.
The flavor of loneliness
Is an intense bitter chocolate.
Dizzying, electrifying, giddy.
Coating the tongue with desperation,
Buzzing like static that never coalesces
Into the image of a connected whole.
The flavor of loneliness
Is condensed milk gulped right from the can.
The fiery sweet that nearly knocks you out.
A trance of resounding silence.
That goes on and on,
Into a black nothingness.
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!”
If you’ve ever been hurt, ever felt bewildered by the world, ever felt it was all just too much, Broken Shadows is the book for you.
Broken Shadows is a collection of 12 abstract micro fiction stories which explore the sighs and sorrows of the deepest self. Joy peeks shyly from the shadows, while healing takes center-stage.
Want a taste before trying? Here’s a free PDF preview:
Broken Shadows received a fabulous 5-star profession review from Readers Favorite!
You can buy the Broken Shadows eBook for $0.99 / INR 0.49 at all the major eBook retailers:
Amazon (Kindle: will redirect to your local amazon store) : getBook.at/BrokenShadows
Apple (iBooks / iTunes : Might only work for the US) : https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1095198226
Kobo (International link) : https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/broken-shadows-6
Nook (Barnes & Noble : Might only work for the US) : http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/broken-shadows-r…/1123563604
I’d love to hear from you about the book. Drop me a line at:
radhika (at) radhikamukherjee (dot) com
Happy reading! 🙂
Just uploaded my new book of short stories, Broken Shadows to Amazon! I am so all in a whirl!
And so while we wait for the book to go live on Amazon and then other platforms, I wanted to spread the joy! I am offering you a chance to read it just for today, completely free!
So this offer is valid this the end of day, today, 20th March 2016!
Want to know more about Broken Shadows?
Here’s the cover:
Here’s the blurb:
Do you break out of the shadows or do you let the shadows break you?
That’s the central question explored in Broken Shadows.
Broken Shadows is a collection of 12 tiny, intense tales of isolation and discovery. Told in fluid, direct, ungendered, abstract prose, these stories are depictions of the self’s deepest, most painful, most vulnerable moments, along with its fledgling triumphs.
Told through the protagonist’s intensely personal, idiosyncratic (interior) monologue, the moments are arranged thematically. You read about the essentially solitary, shadowy essence of the self as it navigates pain, war, art, homelessness, addiction, betrayal, etc. along with the intransigence of its own nature.
Going beyond gender, beyond ethnicity, these snapshots of ephemeral moments are an exercise in understanding the universal through the specific.
It’s all about merging into a fleeting, shadowy moment and tracing how it turns on itself.
Immerse yourself in intensely executed, abstract written art!
And if you liked the book and wanted to post a review or spread the word, I would be totally over the moon!
Red frangipani in exuberant bloom,
Blood clustered on sky,
Sharp shadows perfume.
The rainbow people will come they say,
They will set it right.
What if you were one,
But got trapped in the pretty colors of the world?
What if you were one,
And they captured you?
What if you were one,
But gave into despair?
What if we are all of the rainbow,
But got enmeshed in the ordinary,
And lost the lance of light?
What if they made us so afraid,
That we feared stepping out?
And the crown of glory withered away?
What if all you wanted was a little light in your life first,
Before you took up the hard work of healing,
And held the ring of radiance at bay?
Were you then still of the rainbow born?
The one who could right all wrongs?
Heal the earth and make us smile?
What would make the rainbow people rise up and play?
How will they usher in a brighter day?
How will the prophecies ring true?
I count rainbows,
I watch the wind,
And I pray, pray, pray!
Do you want to read and review my book of short stories, Broken Shadows?
– Sunlight symphony.