All posts by Shaku Raj Author

Being Afraid

Tasks loom ahead
Seemingly unsurmountable
Beads of sweat on your forehead
Throat dry and tongue tied
A tight knot in your gut
Legs ready to collapse

Feelings of fear
Sometimes even panic
Amounts to fight or flight
But would you, should you
fight or flee

One fleeting moment to decide
No time to assess
No time for regrets
Nor time to find your arms
Victory or defeat
All up to you

Wipe your brows, I say
Swallow hard
Tighten your belt
Fight the fear
take on the challenge
Get on with your task

Your weapons your experience
Your armor your inner strength
Your motive,
your action plan
And end game,
your victory

running a race
cooking an apple pie
beating your challenger in tennis
or beating the demons in your dreams
all amount to
timely action

So, on you go soldier
Forward march
Only your goal in sight
It is all right to be afraid
But don’t let fear stop you, ever
Victory, I say

Shakuntala Rajagopal

Shaku Rajagopal
11-24-2019

Lace in Your Underwear

Do not give up lace in your underwear

Especially when you are over sixty
Do not give up lace in your underwear
Don the best close to your skin

Who’s to say you can’t feel your best?

Elegance has no age barriers
Even if your long skirt has tattered a hem
The lace beneath elevates your mood

And of course you add a lace of
Bourbon in your drink too
And ease the pain within your heart

When you were six and your mom
Dressed you in Sunday best
There was lace in your petticoat

and her warm hug that made you smile
was it your mothers kisses or was it
the lace that made you feel special?

To avoid what you need to do
will help no one
will do harm to your psyche
will ruin your smile

would you rather have a sad, smooth
face, or a wrinkly smiling one?

Put the smile back on your face
Widen your arms to embrace
Life, love, and whatever comes your way

There is a divine plan for you my love
You may not say no to it
You will not be given a choice about it

Just sit back and enjoy your ride
When the rollercoaster stops
Get off and breathe in the blessings

Shakuntala Rajagopal
09-11-2010

I found this poem I wrote nine years ago. I realized that nineteen years later I still hold these sentiments.

I could change the word sixty to eighty, and it would still be true.
So, to all who read this, age does not matter.
I just sit back and breathe in my blessings
11-11-2019

My Memoir Transplanted Published

My memoir “Transplanted” Has been published by Outskirts press. My memoir named “TRANSPLANTED, From 110 degrees in the Shade To 10 degrees below zero in the Sun”, recounts my experiences as a young doctor of 23 years old who left the South Indian tropical town, Thiruananthapuram, and got dropped into a ten degrees frigid Chicago winter forty-eight hours later, and despite the strange foods I had to adjust to, the strange clothes that I needed to survive the cold, and even the strangeness of the English language, (which I had hitherto believed I was well versed in,) I was able to mold my life and likes, and establish myself as a successful pathologist, a dedicated wife, strong yet kind and loving mother and grandmother, and now a Matriarch to an extended family of fifty two in Chicagoland alone.

Transplanted, Front cover, 11-21-2018
Transplanted, Front cover, 11-21-2018

I had to grow up twice. The first time, in the bosom of a warm extended family growing up was a pleasure. As a young bride I followed my husband Raj to Berwyn, a suburb of Chicago, and had to grow up all over again. In our early years here without any family, life was hard, and sometimes lonely. Our love and devotion to each other enabled us to make life here an adventure and a gratifying experience.

Any one displaced from a place of comfort (whether it is one hundred miles away or ten thousand miles away as I was,) and looking for guidance to overcome difficulties and to survive and flourish will find my “Immigrant story” helpful. While accepting and assimilating the American Heritage for my own, I detail the tradition and the legacy that I brought to the melting pot that this land truly represents.
Shakuntala Rajagopal
www://shakuraj.com


It can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and on Kindle and Nook.

You can come visit with me and discuss the book at the 35TH ANNUAL Printers’row Lit Fest on June 9th, Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5p.m.

The 2019 Printers Row Lit Fest, presented by founding organization the Near South Planning Board, returns to its roots to bring you the 35th annual book fair, with a bigger footprint along South Dearborn Street from Polk Street to the newly named Ida B. Wells Drive (Congress Parkway). This year’s fair includes more book dealers, all-free programs, a kids favorite book character costume parade, and much more.

Come celebrate Chicago’s booming literary community over the course of this historic weekend.