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Friday, February 29, 2008

Triolets - top three and then some

Well over 30 entries for this competition. Ranging from dead pets to murderous lovers. Favourite themes seemed to be ruminations on nature and lovers.

I strongly suggest that you go here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here to read all the entries. Please also read the comment section in each post as some entries are in there as well. Finally, it'll be nice if you can pick your favourites. Please mention the ones you liked in the comment section.

Thank you for taking part. Here are my winners.


Third place

I made you thirunelveli halwa

On our last Valentine

Singing songs from Jalwa

I made you thirunelveli halwa

While you were out bonking Alpa

So I added a pint of turpentine

I made you thirunelveli halwa

On our last Valentine

- Shoefiend

Why? I like the silliness of this triolet. And how the last two lines, when repeated, take on a dark turn.

Second place

The Good

Mummy, I will return.

But let me leave now.

Of course I'm your only son.

But let me leave now.

I should step out and learn.

I beg you, please allow.

Mummy, I will return.

But let me leave now.

-Vatsap

Why? There’s a desperation that comes across when the last two lines are repeated. It goes from being just a refrain. Also, use of the childhood word ‘mummy’ (and not mum or amma) suggests that the person pleading has reverted to the earlier adult-child relationship. Nice!

Top Dog

A TV show is boring, let me bring

A little variety to the room

No. no. let the phone sing

A TV show is boring, let me bring

You a hat, shoes and bling.

Let's go out, in the car – vroom

A TV show is boring, let me bring

A little variety to the room

-Ravages/CC

Why? I like how line 1 flows into line 2 and again smoothly flows into line 5. It hardly feels like repetition. You can almost hear the clink as a charmer goes to work.

Quite liked these too….

You did not woo me

You did not woo me

With pretty words and flowers

You just let me be:

You did not woo me

You just talked to me

Of all you thought, for hours.

You did not woo me

With pretty words and flowers.

-Unmana Datta

The Bad

Yes, I killed your cat;

never liked it anyway.

It was ugly, it was fat.

Yes, I killed your cat.

Why did it enter my flat?

Thought it could get away?

Yes, I killed your cat;

never liked it anyway.

-Vatsap


Writing triolets is good fun

So I am trying to write one too

I hope I come up with a decent one

Writing triolets is good fun

I am glad that I am almost done

I just have to repeat line one and two

Writing triolets is good fun

So I am trying to write one too

- Divya Iyer

Triolets 7

Okay, time's up. Here's the final instalment of triolets. My top three announced shortly. Come back soon!

-a

Daily Walk

I walk every day,
To keep myself healthy and fit,
I don't ever miss a day,
I walk everyday,
If I do miss a day,
My daily glass of milk is forfiet,
I walk everyday,
To keep myself healthy and fit.

-Abha Venu

Entry fee: I always give up my seat for old women or pregnant women in the bus.


Absence

Brew the Bru
Oh, instant coffee it is
While I stir stories for you
Brew the bru
While I try to convince you
Of my absence that is
Brew the Bru
Oh, instant coffee it is

-Kshama Anand

Entry fee: Gave something to eat to an old lady, donated some money.

Corn Chilli Bisque

Corn Chilli Bisque-
Hot, sumptuous!
It's about lunch time!
Corn Chilli Bisque-
With a hint of fresh lime,
Piquant, scrumptious!
Corn Chilli Bisque-
Hot, sumptuous!

-Sumithra Bhakthavatsalam

Entry fee: I hand-painted a get-well card for an ailing teacher of mine.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Triolets - two days to go

Not long left for you to send in your triolets. Top three announced on Friday.

Check out the entries so far here, here, here and here. Details of the competition may be found here.

Good luck! Now for the latest entry.

----------

For every single day

For every single day
Today, tomorrow, and after:
Till we grow old and gray…
For every single day
As long as we both may
Live: may there be joy and laughter
For every single day
Today, tomorrow, and after.

You did not woo me

You did not woo me
With pretty words and flowers
You just let me be:
You did not woo me
You just talked to me
Of all you thought, for hours.
You did not woo me
With pretty words and flowers.

-Unmana Datta

Entry fee: I'll give the son of my domestic help notebooks/paper/pens for his schoolwork.

Monday, February 25, 2008

An Imperfect Business

It's not easy or fun. And it often leaves you feeling miserably lonely. But we all fool ourselves into saying how much we love it. Being a mother is probably the toughest and the least rewarding job on earth. And yet so many of us choose it.

This Sunday is Mother's day (at least in the UK). And this is what I'd like you to do. Write a letter to a mother. Yours, your child's, your partner's, Bharat mata...any mother. Telling her something that'll make her happy. Send a photo, if you wish. Or go anonymous. Please stick to a 200 word limit, marking 'Mother's Day' in the subject line. Send your letter to ammania@gmail.com

All letters will be published on Lost in Post on Sunday, 2nd March 2008. Thank you.

Edited to add: After some thought, I've decided to rephrase my request for letters to mothers. I realise that it'd be much better if you wrote a letter to your child's mother. That is you, if you are woman. And your partner, if you're a man. And if you don't have children, then you could write a letter to your own mother or to anyone else you consider deserving of being celebrated on Mother's day.

I figured there's enough pressure on mothers to be these perfect people. After all, we live in an age of supernannies and their ilk telling us off for not doing a good job. I often feel like I don't come up to scratch when it comes to raising my child. And god knows, I could do with a pat on the back for what I do manage. Even if it's just from me.

So mothers, write a letter to yourself expressing your appreciation for a job well done. And if you're still not convinced about it, then just have a look at those stretch marks. Now get writing!

Triolet - final call

The challenge is almost up. You've only got till Thursday to send in your triolet. My top three will be announced this Friday.

For inspiration, please go here, here, here and here. Details of the competition may be found here.

Good luck!

A2Z

I rarely do tags. But there's a reason for taking up Sur's tag. As you'll soon discover.

A -Available?
For what though?

B-Best friend:
What? Just one?

C-Cake or Pie?
Pie

D-Drink of choice:
8 glasses a day. Not counting tea or coffee.

E-Essential thing used everyday:
Can't think of one. Which means it's not really essential, is it?

F-Favourite colour:
Earth tones. Hardly any blues in my wardrobe, coming to think of it.

G-Gummi bears or worms:
Neither. Ever since I discovered that it has gelatin, I've gone off the chewy stuff.

H-Hometown:
'How many roads have I wandered?
None and each my own.

Behind me the bridges have crumbled.
Where then will I call my home?'

(from a song, obviously!)

I-Indulgence:
Not nearly enough.

J-January or February:
September

K-Kids and names:
Jikku

L-Life:
is fun

M-Marriage date:
Today! No, really! 25 Feb(Aha! Now you know the reason)

N-Number of siblings:
Two. One of them's over there on the sidebar. The other, older sibling sensibly refrains from blogging. Though his wife does leave the occasional comment.

O-Oranges or apples:
Both

P-Phobias:
Jumping off heights.

Q-Quote:
Something I read yesterday which I liked. It's by some actor called Ben Miller. He says 'Watching my wife give birth has taught me that pain is all relative. She was having contractions without pain relief. She gripped my hand and I honestly thought she was going to crush my knuckles into fine dust. I wanted to say, 'You're really hurting me' but felt it was inappropriate.'

R-Reason to smile:
Plenty

S-Season:
Autumn

T-Tag three people:
You, you and you over there!

U-Unknown fact about me:
I wear a size 6 shoe. But sometimes a size 5 1/2 will do too. But never 5

V-Vegetable you do not like:
None

W-Worst habit:
Irritability, impatience, easily bored

X-Xrays you have had:
Can't recall

Y-Your favorite food:
Anything, really. But milagu kuzhambu is high up there (you can tell, I'm getting bored now)

Z-Zodiac:
Aries

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Announcement

I will be announcing a new exercise which involves your participation soon. Watch this space.
-a

A quick tale 209

Lament

God knows what I’m doing here, standing in the middle of the bedroom like this! If I had it my way, it’d have been so different. None of this drama and certainly not this violence! I’m a peace-lover and you know it. You’ve seen me for so long. Tell me, have I ever lost my cool? Even under the most extreme provocations, I’ve been level-headed all throughout. Like when he hit me when I was six months pregnant over some minor misdemeanour on my part. You saw how I handled that situation. And that incident when my parents lost the plot when I told them that I was going to marry him inspite of everything. Again, you were witness to my grace under fire. And if you cast your mind way back to when I was first introduced to you as a 11-year old who’d just broken her mother’s prized antique vase, you remember how calmly I’d gathered all the shards and presented them to my mother with much apologies as her ‘former vase’.

Now, after one episode after another of presenting me as the cool-headed one who always had her wits about her, how could he make me do something so uncharacteristic as to shoot my husband? I bet, in the coming chapters he’ll say something like ‘momentary madness’ or ‘years of pent up frustration that was uncorked in an unguarded moment’. These writers will think of some clever turn of phrase to justify my actions and you will put down this book never having noticed any aberration in my character. Oh well, there’s not much I can do now. My revolver is loaded (God! Quelle drama!) and the lever is cocked. I make my way across the dark bedroom. I find him asleep in bed and smoothly place the barrel against him temple…

Triolets 5

Onwards and upwards! Here are some more triolets. Details about the competition and how you can enter can be found here.

-a

A TV show is boring, let me bring
A little variety to the room
No. no. let the phone sing
A TV show is boring, let me bring
You a hat, shoes and bling.
Let's go out, in the car – vroom
A TV show is boring, let me bring
A little variety to the room

-Ravages/CC

Entry fee - I am usually kind to strangers. But today, will be more so. I shall not argue/bargain with the Auto driver, and pay him the money he asks for. Does that work?

---------

Empty letters falter with labored sighs
Hollow words bear a staggering goodbye
A vacuum you've filled with guise
Empty letters falter with labored sighs
Ignorant of my muted cries
A touch you stiffly deny
Empty letters falter with labored sighs
Hollow words bear a staggering goodbye

-Rads

Entry fee: Bought a sandwich for an old lady as she'd ran out of cash to buy for lunch.

---------

Licence to rhyme

Where is the poetic licence?
Only a triolet, she says
Oh! I m not allowed any of my non-sense. Where is the poetic licence?
Sigh! I will have to show obeisance
All the rules down she lays
Where is the poetic licence?
Only a triolet, she says.

-Bhargavi Subramanian

Entry fee: Made my contribution to United Way from work

---------

State of Mind

I wish I wasn't in this state
Makes me yearn everyday
Its all my fault to make it late
I wish I wasn't in this state
I would have a better fate
Just a wait till next Monday
I wish I wasn't in this state
Makes me yearn everyday

- Aravind Subramani

Entry Fee: Donated Blood

-----------

Writing triolets is good fun
So I am trying to write one too
I hope I come up with a decent one
Writing triolets is good fun
I am glad that I am almost done
I just have to repeat line one and two
Writing triolets is good fun
So I am trying to write one too

- Divya Iyer

Entry fee: Helped the office boy struggling with his paper bundles, by carrying half of them from the store room to the printers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Triolets 4

And they keep coming! Here's another varied selection of them. Bhargavi Subramaniam, your mail went to the spam folder and was deleted by mistake. Could you send it to me again, please? Thank you.

For details of the competition, please go here.

--------------

I keep running to the loo

Since I read the magazine in the noon,

For am guzzling water like a fool,

Since I read the magazine in the noon.

The room's a chilling igloo,

But to keep my skin glowing like the moon,

I keep running to the loo

Since I read the magazine in the noon.


---


Love - 'Under the Sky'
As a star falls under the sky – Prussian blue,

I make a wish for us two,
That we stick for all life – like glue,
As a star falls under the sky – Prussian blue;
A song in distant, comes from a heart so true,
Singing of a love, he never could woo,
As a star falls under the sky – Prussian blue,

I make a wish for us two.

Melancholy - 'Not in mood so bright'

Elegy I want to write,
For am not in mood so bright,
Give me words all trite,
Elegy I want to write.
No! Triolet I cannot write,
For it needs humour, light
Elegy I want to write,
For am not in mood so bright.

-Deepika Patil

Entry fee: Fed biscuits to a few stray dogs in the locality and
brought in lunch for my colleague, so that she could catch-up some sleep due to a late night flight.
=======

Unknown Horizons

Beyond horizon is where my eyes ache to see
the unknown, yet wondering if its known
and contemplating if it is where I want to be
beyond horizon is where my eyes ache to see
for that's where i smell joy and glee
away from the trifles I have borne
beyond horizon is where my eyes ache to see
the unknown, yet wondering if its known.

In Unsung Merry

Merry writ large on her face
shoving away any signs of distress
as he pulled her into a warm embrace.
Merry writ large on her face
knowing fully well this was a disgrace
yet sinking into his caress
merry writ large on her face
shoving away any signs of distress.

Churn of Emotions

Crimson red, the sky turned
subtely indicating the arrival of night
as her heart ravageously burned
crimson red, the sky turned
while in her emotions burned
as the woman within her rose in might.
Crimson red, the sky turned
subtely indicating the arrival of night.

Streaming Joys

Meandering through the bushes, gurgled the stream
the air resplendant with chirps and glee
for with happiness it seemed to gleam.
Meandering through the bushes, gurgled the stream
radiating in joy with the subbeam
for, it knew, here is where it meant to be.
Meandering through the bushes, gurgled the stream
the air resplendant with chirps and glee

- Sindhu Kalyanasundaram

Entry fee: I helped an old woman behind me in a queue by asking her to move ahead of me to board a taxi as it was freezing cold and I did not want her to stand out for a long time.

=========


I want to bake a cake
And make it special for you
Though I donno how to bake
I want to bake a cake
And would like to have it at lake
When I sing "Happy birthday to you"
I want to bake a cake
And make it special for you

- Loga Balasubramanian

Entry fee:
Opened the door for a stranger with grocery bags

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Triolets 3

Another motley selections of triolets. Including a triplet! Suraksha, I deleted your mail by mistake. So if you'd mentioned an entry fee in your mail, could you please write in detailing the same? Thank you!
Less than two weeks for this competition to go. And now's a good time to start inviting sponsors for prizes. Any takers? Please write in to ammania@gmail.com Thanks!
-a
---

The Good

Mummy, I will return.
But let me leave now.
Of course I'm your only son.
But let me leave now.
I should step out and learn.
I beg you, please allow.
Mummy, I will return.
But let me leave now.

The Bad

Yes, I killed your cat;
never liked it anyway.
It was ugly, it was fat.
Yes, I killed your cat.
Why did it enter my flat?
Thought it could get away?
Yes, I killed your cat;
never liked it anyway.

The Ugly

I am horny, I need sex.
Hell, where is she?
I so much miss my ex.
I am horny, I need sex.
My bedroom in the duplex
It's just so empty.
I am horny, I need sex.
Hell, where is she?

-Vatsap
Entry fee: I slept with a stranger. Alright, kidding. A stranger wanted me to buy him beer. I did. We talked about life too. :)

-------------------

I think I've gotten way too emo
and I know it's because of you
Everyone's calling me Nemo,
I think I've gotten way too emo
I even cry watching Teamo Supremo
Even for me, that's really too much too
I think I've gotten way too emo
and I know it's because of you.

-Anantya

Entry Fee: I helped a disabled man get into a cab and built up my muscles loading his wheelchair into the boot :)

---------

To write a triolet
Isn’t that hard
A few words and I’m all set
To write a triolet
On what though, I fret
Captain Picard?
To write a triolet
Isn’t that hard.

- Suraksha

Friday, February 15, 2008

Triolets 2

What's a triolet? And what's this competition about? Details and examples here
Look forward to your entry.
-a

--

I am not interested in the prize
But I’ll do it for the worthy entrée fee
I’ll tell you, your posts are nice
I am not interested in the prize
Even if it’s got a bigger size
But the Triolets of others I’ll see
I am not interested in the prize
But I’ll do it for the worthy entrée fee

- Hari

--------

Do you know I hate to cook
But do it everyday
I'd rather curl up with a book
Do you know I hate to cook
The rasam's a mess, just look
Wish I could dump it into Bengal's Bay
Do you know I hate to cook
But do it everyday

-Inba

Entry fee: Helped a poor old woman sort out a billing problem at the grocer's.

------

I made you thirunelveli halwa
On our last Valentine
Singing songs from Jalwa
I made you thirunelveli halwa
While you were out bonking Alpa
So I added a pint of turpentine
I made you thirunelveli halwa
On our last Valentine

- Shoefiend

Entry fee: Gave money to a local charity.

-----


Mongrels of the night, scrambling
Away from vicinity
Nocturnal birds smirking
Mongrels of the night, scrambling
Slowly maneuvering
As I learn to tug the vehicle along in the locality
Mongrels of the night, scrambling
Away from vicinity

-Kshama Anand

Entry fee - Gifted someone through- http://www.truegiftsindia.org/

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Triolets 1

A wonderful range of Triolets! Loved every one of them. Please keep them coming. For more entries, please check out the comment section of the earlier post.
-a

--------

If I could compose a Triolet
That spoke to you from my heart
I'd be a romantic poet
If I could compose a Triolet
Or draw you a pretty violet
Either way it would be art.
If I could compose a Triolet
That spoke to you from my heart.

-Broom

Entry fee - I increased my monthly contribution to a charity called Akanksha.

--------------

...hvd...

Tender, thy Love and Charm, Vivid in my mind
Ineffable, the feeling, a new one to come
Thoughts of Oneness, that sure will bind
Tender, thy Love and Charm, Vivid in my mind
Someone like you, Am indeed lucky to find
Treasure you are, As always awesome
Tender, thy Love and Charm, Vivid in my mind
Ineffable, the feeling, a new one to come

-Shiv

Entry Fee : Helped a couple with directions to an address near my apartment.

-------

We are forgotten

We are forever forgotten in your dreams
O merciless knights of paradise
And forever in sorrows our theme,
We are forever forgotten in your dreams
O, shall we in scarlet rivers gleam?
O, then can our souls be sold for a price?
We are forever forgotten in your dreams
O merciless knights of paradise

-Kannathil

-------

6.24 fast

I travel to Borivali
In a super crowded train
This gives me a lot of talavali
I travel to Borivali.
Listening to all the gaali
Makes me want to pull stop chain
I travel to Borivali
In a super crowded train.

-Blogeswari

Entry fee: I helped an old woman get off the crowded train

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Triolets

The things we learn everyday! Just this morning I found out what a Triolet is.

It's a short 8-line poem in which the first two lines are repeated as the last two lines and the first line is also line 4. Lines 3 and 5 rhyme with line 1. Line 6 rhymes with line 2. It will all become much more clear with this very topical example by my favourite poet Wendy Cope.

Valentine

My heart has made its mind up A
And I'm afraid it's you B
Whatever you've got lined up, a
My heart has made its mind up A
And if you can't be signed up a
This year, next year will do. b
My heart has made its mind up A
And I'm afraid it's you. B

In the above example, the capital letters in bold at the end of each line symbolise the same line repeated. While the lower case letter mark those rhyming with others. Google for other examples. It's really quite simple once you read a few of them Triolets.

Now here's what I want you to do. I want you to try your hand at writing Triolets. And I'll give you time till the 28th of this month. But there's a catch. There's an entrance fee. And it's this. You'll have to do something nice to a stranger. It can be to a neighbour offering to walk her dog one afternoon. To an old lady, helping her cross the road. Or simply by donating blood. You can choose your own entry fee. And once you've done it, make a mention of it in your email and send it along with your Triolet to ammania@gmail.com

The winners will be announced on this blog on the 29th of February 2008. I would also like to invite sponsors for prizes 1, 2 and 3. If there are no sponsors then we'll settle for a mention on this blog.

All set? Good luck and triolet away!

A quick tale 208

The business of writing

So I sit down to write this piece about what keeps me from writing the things I want to. I know precisely what I’m going to write. It will be funny, incisive and brutally insightful. I’ll start with something rather reflective. Then I’ll elaborate into something typically self-deprecatory. I bet that will get the chuckles. Finally, I’ll end on a positive note. About being focussed and how to keep the fire burning against all odds and stuff like that. I should be able to wrap it all up in say, 500 words tops. And once I’m done, I’ll treat myself to a lovely bar of chocolate. One of those with 70% cocoa. Fair-trade and organic, obviously. At nearly 400 calories to a bar, I need all the guilt off-setting I can afford. I remember that hideous woman on TV telling some poor old overweight sod that he would have to power walk for 5 hours to burn off all the calories from his curry dinner. I wish he’d burnt off some of the calories by smacking that obnoxious, self-righteous bitch on camera.

Look at me breaking into a sweat at the thought of some silly tv show. I wonder if thinking burns up calories. All this thinking and writing business must use up some energy. After all, you don’t see very many obese writers, do you? I mean, look at that Rowling woman. All prim and pampered on the jacket of her book. Mind you, if you are the richest woman in England (some say the world!), surely you can get someone to suck all the fat out of you. Bet at some point in her life, she too must have sat at her desk like me and wondered about the book lurking inside her waiting to get out. Talking of which, I had better crack on. Now, where was I? Ah yes, something tragic-comic about writing. Oh! I think I have the perfect beginning. Which I will jot down. Just as soon as I investigate the dripping noise from the kitchen.

A quick tale 207

Calamity Jane

If I told you my name, you would recognise me straightaway. If you saw me, I wouldn’t even have to tell you my name. You would know me from the thousands of news reports on television. I first came into prominence during that terrorist attack on that passenger train that killed 178 people three years ago today. I was on that train on my way to see a friend who’d just had a baby. One minute I was on the seat and the next I was thrown against the window. I can’t remember much from the first few minutes except that there was a deathly quiet where there had been the reassuring rhythm of the train. My mouth felt dry and my throat was burning and for some reason I found myself patting my chest. Probably because I was having trouble breathing. It all seems so hazy. But I don’t know how I found the strength to raise myself to my feet, locate my handbag, fish out my mobile and film what had just happened. I called my boss at the tv station where I worked as a runner and told him between rasping bouts of cough what I’d witnessed. Within minutes news had caught on and before I knew it, I had become the poster-girl for that tragedy.

Over the years, I’ve had to relive those harrowing moments several times on television, print and on radio. To be honest, I can no longer remember how exactly it happened but I’ve come to believe in my own version of it. Obviously, I’ve added a few dramatic touches here and there for effect. Two Christmases ago, I even brought out my memoirs of that fateful day and you may recall how the book zoomed straight to the non-fiction bestseller list. These days, I have a clutch of awards to my credit and I regularly report from war-torn areas of the world. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be caught out. I can see the salacious tabloid headlines accusing me of profiting me from a disaster. There will be prime-time TV shows dedicated to how I milked the tragedy. So called snoop journalists will not even spare my garbage bins in a bid to unearth filthy breaking news. My boyfriends will be quizzed till they confess to how I revelled in new found celebrity status while scores of families mourned the loss of loved ones. Yes, I can see it all lurking in the not-too distant future. But for now, I have a job to do. So if you’ll excuse me, I have another mishap to cover.