The Author

Nilakshi Borgohain‘s favourite ways of celebrating life is gardening, reading and writing poetry, short stories, novels, travel pieces, essays and reviews. Her extensive travels abroad as well as within the country has greatly shaped her as a writer who can write credibly on the local cultures which occupy an integral part in her writing. 

Her work has appeared in The Sunday Statesman,(Kolkata, Delhi),The India Perspective (Published by the Ministry of External Affairs), The Contemporary Vibes (Literary journal published from Chandigarh), The Indian Literature (published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi), Asia Magazine(Seoul), Namaskar (in-flight magazine of Air India), Jet Wings (In-flight magazine of Jet Airways) among other literary journals and lifestyle magazines.  

from the alcove, a new poetry collection by Nilakshi Borgohain. Read excerpts and the introduction by Sri Anil Sharma on the Poetry Page. Order your copy today. Write about your feelings on reading the poems. Email your reviews/feelings/write-ups on the poems to : Include your phone number and complete postal address. You may be the lucky one to win a surprise.

Myopic Musings

The dying embers of the discarded wood fire
Quiver out from the rusted stove,
Like a swan song the cinders  
Blow a whorl of smoke— 
Which melds with the mist
Prowling in the vicinity
Conspiring to manifest into opaque fog
And mask 
Life from my vision.

There is a world beyond though.  
This threat is but only ephemeral.

A burnt umber bundle
Your black glossy hair, ruffled, 
You wobbled your way around the garden
Your limp made you a family reject.
The garden nourished 
You to health
You became like the
Others of your species.

You choose to stay on
The garden offered you plenty:
Insects, worms, amphibians.
A terracotta tub filled with fresh water,
A shed to build a safe home,
Trees benched out
For you to perch on,
Watch the world.

Your tentative forays
Into the nearby woods
Led you to your companion
She came for a visit
You showed her around the garden.
Caught a protesting 
Apple green grasshopper,
Offered it to her for lunch.

The next day 
She moved in with you,
Following you
Around the garden
Learning all that you taught her.
With coy glances, she nibbled at the slice 
Of fresh fruit wedding cake I offered, 
You polished off the treat.

You flew in the open skies
Above the trees, into the forests
You strolled in the garden
Tasting ants and termites.
Sunrise to sundown
You spent your days in happy abandon
Bathing, eating, flying, resting, sleeping.

Soon sounds of little ones
Lent gaiety to the air
You became busy parents  
As your duties multiplied.
From sunrise to sundown
Fetching food for your fledglings
Flying fast to and fro
You raised strong young birds.

Your happy family
Frolicked around the garden
Hungry, noisy and together,
Mouths deep as wells, wide open in hunger
Incapable of nourishing themselves,
Your young dependents learnt from you.
One morning
Your abode was silent.

Why would you 
Abandon your home?
A garden so abundant
With food, shade and sunshine.
Mornings were devoid of 
Your familiar crackling greetings,
Water splattering with your 
Splashing in your water tub.

I tried to remain content
Bereft of sounds of your daily routine.
'Far better off you are
Without those pests,'
I was counselled.
I maintained a peaceful silence
Least my words thundered,
Exploded the world around.

I missed your cantankerous, 
Whistling, loud talks;
Your kitschy dull yellow goggled
Fish shaped speaking eyes
I missed 
Morning and evening
As I filled your water tub
Unfailingly every day.

One bright morning
You were back home
I woke up to find you
Merrily splashing 
In the tub.
The couple of you croaked your greetings
I felt a wide smile bubble up
From happiness in my heart.

You had set up your children 
In their new home, in a different locality,
You were back
Immersed in your lives.
A monumental lesson
My winged friends, you taught me that day:
An empty nest is also
An event of our life experience.


Waltz in Happiness

Life’s Beautiful Days

Meeting Nilakshi Borgohain—–Emily D.C.

The city was treated to an enthralling event ….it was the theatre festival !  Such exciting events are a rarity in this city and theatre lovers were delighted at the prospect of getting an opportunity to view  a series of plays in the coming week.

The public was particularly keen on viewing the play by the famous actor turned playwright. Tickets were sold online like hot cakes. People arrived early only to ensure that they get their seats in the front rows. Alas, it was not to be. There was a delay for more than an hour.

The first reaction of the guests at the announcement was to grab the few vacant chairs to make the wait as comfortable as possible. Once ensconced in the chairs, they started looking around at the other guests seated in the lounge all dressed up for the occasion. Most appeared to belong to the educated, elite section of the society. The men were dressed in smart suits and jackets, the lovely ladies in flowing silk sarees, some in their fashionable soft sequinned kurtas. A few were adorned in the beautiful traditional mekhela chador. There was of course the young, modern crowd smartly turned out in western attire with coats, boots et al.

Very soon, the remaining vacant chairs were occupied and the foyer was flooded by waves of humanity pushing slowly towards the doorway to the main auditorium.  Engrossed in lively conversation, many of the guests seemed not to mind the delay. This was an opportunity to slip away and entertain oneself, stationed at a vantage corner to observe  people,  their attractive affability shining from their faces. The crowd could have been around two hundred or little more waiting patiently for the show to begin. A small group though seemed quite affected at the growing delay and were heard complaining. Others moved towards the canteen to partake of the assortment of food and drinks laid out on the counter. Many were happy to strike a perfunctory conversation with strangers standing nearby. It would be no surprise if some such meetings ended up in close friendships. Every one seemed quite comfortable getting themselves acquainted with strangers if only to pass the time. The whispers in the lounge gradually started rising in volume punctuated by stifled laughter and occasional giggles.

  A couple smartly dressed stood a little apart from the rest of the guests. The lady wore an elegant coat that made her stand out in the crowd. The man and the woman undoubtedly belonged to the State judging by their physical appearance. However, their demeanour revealed they were sophisticated city dwellers perhaps on a short visit to the city.  Standing quietly, a little aloof from the rest of the crowd with a soft, amused smile on her lips, the lady was taking in the crowded scene before her. Her eyes were warm and sparkling. There was a glowing self confidence and self belief in her distinctive personality which makes such people attractive to everyone. She exuded a kind of warmth and aura that was alluring and made people keen to connect with her.  Her face showed no traces of irritability or impatience at the delay confronting us all. She aroused a keen interest and before long, a conversation was struck and there started  a friendship reminding one of that fashionable trendy Japanese word  ‘Moai’ meaning an informal group of people with common interests who look out for one another.

Very soon the organisers announced that the show was about to commence and we were requested to enter and take our seats.  The show took all of two full hours and ended with rounds of applause.  Evidently, it was a great success and  the guests enjoyed the play.  While the show ended with every one happy and exiting with smiles on their faces with the delay now forgotten, it launched a new friendship of two persons who had never before met each other but connected as long lost friends.  It was a moment of fresh beginning. Several meetings in popular cafes and at their own homes followed where  each other’s interests and hobbies were discovered. The calm and dignified lady  was an author of several books published and a poet too, entirely a league of her own. She shared her poems  and presented some of her books which were quickly read and devoured. Common interests and familiar stories of the past help to create firm bonds of friendship.

Her books talks of righteousness and character building which she says makes one beautiful inside out  and that one has to give away love to feel more love. She speaks of forgiveness in her books which can make you simply smile and feel joyful. Her charming and positive approach to life inexplicably makes you feel real good just by being around her. It is, therefore, not difficult to understand why she chose happiness to be the  central theme of her very first novel.

Happiness is certainly a  meaningful subject for man is forever pursuing this as his ultimate goal but  didn’t someone say that happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase happiness ,the more it will elude you. But if you wait quietly, it will, like a colourful butterfly,  come and gently rest upon you. It can burst forth from closeness with Nature, it can come from an emotional relationship, it can also come from an attractive object you see and appreciate it , the distinguished lady would state. Even doing very ordinary tasks during the day like cleaning your own cupboard can bring happiness and  joy.  True happiness can have a profound effect on your senses. The body, mind and spirit are closely  connected and if you allow this connection to happen, it becomes naturally beautiful.

Friendship may generally start for three different reasons amongst people so said a wise man – firstly, it may start for the sake of utility or usefulness where both parties feel that they can benefit from the new relationship in some way or the other. Secondly, it is for sheer pleasure and joy at making new acquaintances, having fun and enjoying each other’s company . Thirdly, friendship may be based on mutual respect and admiration towards each other.  Based on such mutual considerations where respect is the cornerstone of the relationship, friendships are destined to last a lifetime to bring joy, beauty, kindness, love and of course happiness.

Life is good when it’s lived for oneself and it’s great when lived together with friends and loved ones. Dedicated to my new friend.