My entire childhood

Was a lie.

I grew up in a maze of lies;

In a thick cloud of untrue

Realities, of possibilities

Which were impossible

In their own way, of false

Assurances that veiled

The harsh truths of life.


At four, when the nurse said,

‘It won’t hurt’,

And punched that big needle

Into my arm,

It was a lie.

It did hurt.


At six, when mother convinced me

That the tooth fairy would replace

Those fallen pearls with rewards,

It was a lie.

My father did.


At nine, when father assured

That I won’t fall,

And let go of that bicycle,

It was a lie.

I did fall.


At sixteen, when elder sister


‘You won’t understand a thing’,

And slammed

The bedroom door, with

Tears in her eyes,

It was a lie.

I knew everything.


At sixteen, when the lover

Held my hand,

And promised a ‘forever’

With a peck on the lips,

It was a lie.

It wasn’t meant to be, ever.


At twenty, when my brain

Tells me I have grown up,

My heart counters,

‘It is a lie,

You have yet to see the world!’


My entire existence

Has been a lie.

It was a lie,

Is a lie,

And will be a lie eternally;

Even when I cease to be.



Shefali Banerji

Image Source: Internet



Who am I?

Am I the heartbroken dame standing by the window

Trying to catch a final glimpse of her lover before

He goes out to the war? Or the rebel lady

In denims and boots, puffing away the cares of

The world, wearing a mask of nonchalance,

Concealing the hurt of her heart?

Perhaps I am the little child playing at the curb,

Oblivious of the sin of Adam, whose burden his kind

Still bears. Surely, I am not the reflection I see

In the mirror. The reflection is tainted. I deny it.


I think I know who I am.

Weaver of words, creating beautiful patterns on paper,

Using the pen as my agent, celebrating the tales

Of life.


Did you like my tapestry?



Shefali Banerji

Image Source: Internet

The Choked Friendship


I remember my school days.

Me and my best friend.

Best friend of six years.

We would talk on the phone, in the bus, in class, during breaks,

In extra classes, on the streets, at each other’s place,

Over text messages,

And yet we couldn’t put an end to our conversations –

Chattering, bickering,

Lamentations and regrets.


Now three years have passed.

Everything seems to have come to a standstill.

After the initial exchange of pleasantries,

We do not have much to talk about.

We think and think and think

And brainstorm over things that might click,

But nothing comes up.

All empty.


Isn’t it funny though?

We have so much going on in our lives,

So much more than what was, three years ago;

And still we have nothing to say.


All empty.


We have lost the ‘connect’.

We have lost the reason to connect.

We are selfish beings.

We have no use for each other.



Where is the friendship?

Hiding behind the facade?

Behind the “busyness” of life?

Or has it collapsed?



Shefali Banerji

Image Source: Internet

Death Almighty!

On 31st March, a tragedy befell Kolkata – my beloved City of Joy, as an unfinished bridge, the Vivekananda flyover, collapsed over a busy road, killing many.While some others are severely injured and some still trapped under the debris. The pain and sadness of the entire incident and the consequent shock and uneasiness that gripped me gave birth to this piece.


The bridge collapsed,

And so did many lives –

Crushed under the debris,

Oblivious of their fate.


Death doesn’t discriminate.

It visits both the rich and the poor –

Death’s unwanted attention

Showered upon the innocent

And the unsuspecting,

Busy in the humdrum of life.


A fatal accident,

A tragedy,

One stroke,

And all’s over.


And we – we spend our lives




Complaining –



While Death

Watches over us,

Smirking smugly,

Stroking his diabolical sceptre,

Laughing at the futility of human toil

And the vanity of human aspirations.



Shefali Banerji

Image Source: Internet


From the memories of childhood impressed upon my mind,

I recall the day we had our first disagreement.

I was three.

Mother, you looked so beautiful!

‘I hate you.’

I scribbled on the drawing book

In my big, obscure handwriting.

You nodded and walked away.

Was it a tear I saw at the corner of your eye?

It was a long time ago.


I turn to see you smiling,

Reliving the day with me.

You are aging now, Mother.

My beautiful mother – wrinkled and freckled.

A sudden flash of thoughts;

Insecurity creeps in.

I was naive then, I know now.


‘Stay with me forever, Mother’;

I lunge at you like my childhood self.

You gently pat my back –

With a hint of tears in your eyes

And a rejected, desolate sadness

Etched across your beautiful face.


The tears were there then;

The tears are here still.



Shefali Banerji

Image Source: Internet


Adieu Stranger!

Hush Hush.

We do not have time

In our fast moving lives

To follow our true desires

And love’s magnificent fire.

In this mechanical life

It is lust that takes over,

Standing smugly on love’s pyre

As we see our affections

Despondently retire.


Hush Hush.

Let me kiss you!

As our lips sync and tongues meet,

Doing their own little dance

Of gaiety and fulfilment

In their own moment of grace

And perfect symphony;

We submit to each other

Wholly and faithfully.


Hush Hush.

Let me bite that lip of yours,

As full as the ocean,

Providing joy in its own way

And satisfying the carnal desire.

Let me take in

That one erotic drop of blood

That escaped the sinews

Of your lip and

Let it seep into my hungry soul!


Hush Hush.

Do not make noise.

Let us embrace our natural forms

As Adam and Eve did

In their world of love and joy

Where there was no shame,

No consciousness,

Blissful ignorance.

Where Man and Woman

Knowingly gave breath

To their natural skins, natural bodies

Natural beauty –

The primitive sense of existence.


Hush Hush.

Let me touch you,

And feel your beauteous form

Against me,

As we unite in this holy fire

Of our lust’s being and desire.

Our bodies –

As they accustom to each other

And accommodate,

We pant and moan

And realise

That this is it –

The ultimate of worldly pleasures!


Hush Hush.

It is morning now.

And as the sun

Acquaints us

With its early beams,

So does sensibility!

And our brains

Tame our hearts

As we rush off

To our lives of monotony,

Forgetting the night

Of passion and ecstasy;

Seeing each other as strangers.

You go your way, I’ll go mine!



Shefali Banerji

Image Source: Internet