Poetry: Shakti Pada Mukhopadhyay

Shakti Pada Mukhopadhyay
Embodied “I”

“Where have you come from?
Where will you go?” asked my body 
to my mind. My mind had objected 
and retorted, “You know better, 
since identity is defined by you”.

My emotions and needs I recognized
from embodied self. Mother swabbed 
my eyes at the hostel gate. 
And I remember her hands I had grabbed. 

In my love, my sensory organs 
raised my emotions. My emboldened gestures 
helped the textures of my love affairs. 
My body language could mortgage 
my decent salary package. 

The recipe of my identity emanates
from my sartorial elegance, my interactions 
and communication skills. My confident outlook 
at home or at the office, 
keeps my family and others in peace.

In my old age, my deliberations 
to my family and others may render 
a form of virtual embodiment 
of represented bodies, like in an “avatar”. 

But in the eternal journey of life, 
a mind-body split nobody desires consciously, 
since a sound mind resides 
in a sound body and conversely. 
***

 
Transience

While strolling in the garden, 
I detected that a dew drop 
had refracted light 
from the top of a rose stalk. 
It charged the drop 
as a transient gawk. 
The dew drop laughed to reply, 
“By God I was created, 
as 2H and O had united.” 

Pleaded she, “Nothing is immortal 
and the sky takes me back, 
as wished by the Almighty,
for my rebirth on the next morning,
till my soul unites 
with the Supreme Being,
by virtue of my good deeds 
and mercy from Him.”

 A new awakening that, 
“Nothing is eternal, except Him,”
enlightened me.
***


Self-immolation

Oh my friend! Like a cool breeze 
you came. We feel your absence 
in our rendezvous everywhere.
We had sailed on the river Ichamati 
and sipped coconut water there. 

You were with your wife then, 
but she died all of a sudden. 
Your world looked obscured 
by a gusty wind, leaving only the memories. 
You were in deep pain, 
since the shadow of miseries 
did not wane. 

A bird was freed from the bondage, 
leaving you maimed forever. 
Her death made you decrepit, 
as you had failed to save her. 

Flowers requested you not to go so soon. 
Your anguish drizzling clouds could share.
Wind had hugged you to sit for a while, 
but their prayers you didn’t care. 

A careless life you had started to lead 
and your sufferings were not a few. 
You had kept everything secret, 
before you breathed your last. 
And friends could not meet you. 

Was he in a hurry to meet his wife?
And the echo rippled far and near.
My ink was dried up in grief 
and an elegy was sung everywhere. 

All I could do was to scream, 
for my friend’s suicidal tale.
The air had also looked gloomy 
and burst out blowing in gale.
***


Family Aesthetics

I visited a community village. 
in Nicobar in India. It is an extended family, 
where persons from generations live. 
Meals they take, with preparations of food
cooked in the common kitchen 
and given to family men. 

The family head takes each decision 
for employment, education, marriage 
and other deployment. 
There is no individual loss or gain, 
since the family takes care 
of the member’s pain. Very happy they are 
as a community and the warmth of togetherness, 
they feel in unity.

A bright future we try for our children,
though their selfish lives 
become barren. Once the elders turn old, 
chosen they are like goods 
to be sold. Treated they are 
in their old age, not for love of heritage.

They have selfish wisdom which denies 
the elders’ freedom. Circular in nature 
a family is, with endless ties, 
which should not be maligned 
by useless lies. In life, the members 
shouldn’t take separate roads, instead, 
they should share their fun and loads.

As the snow melts to slush,
a family should not be allowed 
to crush. Each member’s pain should be 
a common pain and family wealth 
should be used for a common gain.
Folded fingers can’t be broken 
in a hand, but the pressure 
a single finger can’t withstand .

In a storm, a plant, like a small family, 
is battered, but a big tree 
like a joint family, can’t be shattered. 
In joint families the art of sharing 
and caring are learnt, but in small families 
those feelings are burnt.

People, now-a-days, find their parents 
too cheap to be kept in their apartments.
To old age homes their parents 
they send, but the poor parents’ dream 
doesn’t end. They wish that their old aged kids 
may repent and may dream of a family 
their parents meant. 
***


Tempus Fugit*

Clock jerked me to go for the bath, 
but I was late for breakfast.
I had hurried past the crowd 
to board the tube, but missed the train.
I had reached office tired and late, 
but I wasn’t praised and they sent me home.

My lover I had called for the day,
but she arrived late for the movie at a fete. 
To a fair we went, but we were late again.

While coming back we couldn’t get the bus,
but evaded a fatal mishap.
Lucky we felt to miss the train, 
as the same had met the dreaded accident. 
We had reached home late 
and my lover’s father scolded us, 
as the groom he had chosen couldn’t wait. 

We praised time 
which had fled sometime
for good causes for us.

* Tempus Fugit: A Latin phrase, literally meaning “Time flees”, 
but commonly translated as “Time flies”.
***

Bio: Shakti Pada Mukhopadhyay, MA (English), was an Executive in a Bank. A lyrical drama written & directed by him has been staged with vast popularity. His writings have been published in a number of magazines like Borderless, Passager, Molecule, Better Than Starbucks, Tatkhanik, The Dribble Drabble Review, The Poet, Deep Overstock, Mindfull, CafeLitMagazine, Down in the Dirt, Academy of the Heart and Mind, Muse India, Indian Periodical, Bibekbarta, Shabdodweep etc.

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