Raka Mukherjee: Figures of Thought: Collegiate Voices across Spaces

Ode to Dusk 

Half dizzy eyes transfix themselves on the lonely dream catcher that's spinning from an unknown blow of cold breeze in an otherwise summer afternoon. The window sill is of an antique middle class Bengali household paralleled to woody damp pelmets, that hold translucent curtains faded with its   tête-à-têtes with sunlight through the years. The three legged side table by the mighty old  bed whispers the arrival of the mystique as it watches the grandfather clock strike quarter to six. The sky starts reflecting  emotions and prayers of the mortal hearts as silence cries out loud and hums the song of melancholy as the twilight unveils the colours of the struggling faint human hearts. Tinctures of a slowly fading reality complementing  the hurt frozen in the mandarin garnet adjacent to your heartbeat  suspended as a pendant from the  hand - me -down silver chain your grandmother gave you. The red of your blood, the lilac of your bruised lip, the orchid of your pale eyes and the illusion of a faint yellow hope that lights up your tired eyes for a split second as you relive a happy memory and the light gets lost again ; all of it painted on the vast canvas of the infinite. The only mirror that makes sense to you now. Twilight has its own magic of revealing the truth and beauty of suffering. The beauty does not lie in poetic verses, it lies in survival. Surviving each day as family, friendships, love, work, acquaintance, strangers, the unforgiving earth, slowly disintegrate minute by minute into a mirage you can't perceive. The numb chaos, the shriek of a heart breaking silence as a faint sound of a conch mixes into sub consciousness.  All of it embraces you as you drink and drown in the abysmal whole of dusk.  Just before you go to slumber and bathe in the félhomàly  just before you fake death in sleep at Nightfall. 

A wanderer,  of all the people in the city. You are a wanderer in streets. A two second glance to numerous pair of eyes. 
Someone noticed your habit of adjusting your spectacles every alternate minute. 
Someone had a conversation with you about a particular location he was trying to reach and trusted you when you asked them to take a few lefts and the second right. The penny  you gave to the little boy down the street, saw in you a potential human. Prayed goodness for you. Somebody had a nightmare with your face as the demon. Somebody dreamt of you being their  lost father. You sneezed, and the woman in the bus stand said “bless you” . Instinct?  Yes. People who know your name have mentioned you in similes, in gossips, in remembrance. Somebody shared a secret with you. Somebody made you cry. But today, you feel wasted because you were rejected. 
Rejected by the interviewer in your dream job. Rejected as an artist in an audition. Rejected as a lover in confession. Rejected as a friend in misunderstanding. You keep your eyes fixed on the emptiness, feeling useless and clueless. You want to cry but your tears do not come out, depriving you of cathartic satisfaction. Let me tell you something today, my friend. Yesterday is a memory where you have wasted a part of you. Tomorrow is a chance of wasting some more. Today is the day of utility. Utilise by getting wasted. Look at your shoelace,  ever through about the piece of solid at the end of it?  Don’t know what it’s called?  I’ll tell you. It’s an Aglet. Look carefully at the washbasin. Strands of hair clogging in it. A part of you or a dear one. Menstrual blood! The foam in your champagne. The remains of your food. The last piece of bread. The non refillable pen. Feel useful yet ?  
Then my friend,  I will tell you my story. I just returned home. Nobody talks to me, but everybody talks about me. Today was a sad day. A day of tears. My near and dear ones have cried and released pain. Food has been rejected. A lot of unknown relatives have come and cried and lamented. My clothes have been kept unwashed and my room is messy with a strong odour of Sandalwood. We had a procession. Had to walk 3 kilometres. Fire, Tuberose and water from the Ganges had a lot to do. I watched the Sandalwoods burning and took in the aroma in myself. It was suffocating. Everybody returned home when I stepped on the Ashes left over. It reminded me of the ashtray that our living room had. The grey was different this time. I could feel the colour today. I took a fist full and returned home. Nobody talked to me. I saw my picture in my living room, A garland around it. I looked at the ashtray, it was empty. I filled in with a different gray and rested in my picture. 
My gaze still affixed on the urns in the ashtray. Today, is the only day I feel wasted my friend and the rest has been utility. So, utilise what you think is waste until  you turn into a different grey.

Author's Bio:  Raka Mukherjee is a Poet, Research enthusiast, literature and film buff from Kolkata, India. She’s pursuing her Post graduation in English Literature from Loreto College, Kolkata affiliated to University of Calcutta. Her areas of interest are Feminism, Queer and Gender Studies, Post colonialism and Diasporic Literature. Her favourite poets include Sylvia Plath, Carol Ann Duffy, Emily Dickinson, Kamala Das, T.S. Eliot , Sukumar Ray, Rabindranath Tagore and Robert Browning. Her poetry and fiction have been published in various literary magazines. She enjoys writing lived experiences transcending memory, imagination and reality mostly in free verse. 


  1. The second part WASTED is just mind-blowing. I am just mesmerized and hypnotized. God bless you.

  2. Nicely written..keep it up


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