Sunday, December 31, 2017

Erasure Poem

Happy New Year 2018!

So this is the first challenge of the new year and the site (https://yeahwrite.me/) has made a few changes to the weekly challenges. :)

For the poetry challenge, we have to write an Erasure Poem and let me tell you, it is fun.

I took a page from PG Wodehouse's Damsel In Distress book and made a poem out of it.



A City Morning

Singing canaries were out,
cats washed themselves on doorsteps,
waiters peered from the windows,
the sun shone with a genial smile.

Guardian of the stage door,
emerged from the glass case
to observe life,
with an indulgent eye.

His job was a permanent one,
he felt nevertheless, a proprietary interest.
When a musical piece made a big hit,
he had a warm regard for the composer.



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bake the Cake

After not making it to the voting in the last week's challenge, I was a tad disappointed. But then my piece was read and enjoyed by some of the fellow writers and that made me feel a lot better. I know I am still in the early stages of writing and yes, I do tend to jump tenses at times.

So does that mean I am going to stop writing? No way! It only means I'll have to concentrate and work harder. Which is why I am taking up writing creative non-fiction again this week.

The underlying theme for this week is to keep trying and the first thing I remembered when I read the write up was about my disasters in trying to bake a cake in the microwave.

Unlike the households in other countries, in India we did not have built-in oven in the kitchen. The trend began with the increasing number of people taking interest in baking cakes & bread at home and it is fast becoming a standard feature.

It was during my early college days that we brought home a microwave and it sat in a corner, dressed in an old curtain cloth. Indian cooking doesn't really need a microwave and the person who came to give us the demo told us about reheating and preset recipes most of which were non-vegetarian.

We were totally disappointed. It looked like we had absolutely no use for it! Month after month I would look at it not knowing what to do. I searched on the internet, wrote down recipes and tried using the poor thing, but I ended up being the poor thing. They were absolute disasters and I thought I was better off using the cooker cake mix to make cakes at home.

But.... the microwave should have some use (we do not reheat food) and I kept trying asking people for tips and ideas. I hit gold when I posted the same query in a foodie group in Facebook and a kind lady explained to me the different types of microwaves(mine is just MW & grill). She gave me the approximate time settings and encouraged me to keep trying. For half an hour in an OTG the microwave takes around 5-7 mins.

Honestly, my parents were reluctant but I got stubborn and they gave in eventually. I messed up a few more cakes and even bread (it ended up looking like a ball of dough). Another round of hunting the internet began and it was then that I realized; not cakes can be made in the MW and definitely not breads.

A simple recipe caught my eye and finally I got a decent chocolate cake. It was kind of mushy though, but at least we could eat it.

I kept trying, reading stuff and making adjustments in power and time settings. Gradually, the efforts began to pay off. I still mess up at times, the cake turns out too dry or hard, but most of them come out fairly decent. I tried numerous recipes but my most favorites are the egg less chocolate cake by KK (a fellow member of the foodie group), semolina banana chocolate cake, paan (betel) flavored cake which I am proud to say is my creation. (I used a butterscotch cake recipe and moved things around). Also I discovered how the cakes taste much better the next day as the flavors intensify. I now have the confidence to use whole wheat flour, sorghum flour or finger millet flour to substitute the bleached all purpose flour in cakes. (It is comparatively healthy!)

My latest cake was an egg less Christmas cake with nuts soaked in rum (first time again). It was soft and a touch dense though the color was a pale brown (MW doesn't change the color of the batter. There will not be any golden top to drool at.)

This is the image of a semolina chocolate banana cake. 


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Red!

A new week again and a new challenge. :)

For me, these challenges are a way to learn writing. And I wanted to try a new style of poetry and do it properly, unlike the haiku I messed up last week. :(

Reading the post in YeahWrite I came across the word tritina and saw that it was a poetry form. Luckily I did not have to search for the details about it. The site had a wonderfully easy explanation Here.

I am not really sure if this meets the exact standards but I did give it a try and I am happy about it.




Red
As I pause to smell the rose,
the sky turned a glorious shade of red,
and across the clouds flew a bird.

Landing on a tree, chirped the bird;
swaying to the gentle breeze, the rose
began to paint my garden with red. 

Oh! who knew the colors of red,
shimmering in wings of the bird,
would compete with the marvel of the rose.

As I hold the rose, blood drips red; and the bird swoops down to taste the blood. 


In case you haven't understood what I did in the poem, concentrate on the words at the ending of each line. :) 


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fly High

I found a blog by Ronovan Hester when searching for something. (I usually go off tangent when it comes to searching things on google)
In his blog was a post that hosted Haiku challenges every week. (Yeah!) It's been running since longgg, but the idea of joining it was fun. That too when I am learning to write haiku. (lucky me, touchwood)

So he gives two words and we've got to use those or their synonyms and write a haiku. This week's words are Bold and Daring. In case you wish to participate, visit Ronovan Writes #178.
I am using Brave as a synonym for Daring and writing a 5-7-5 syllable haiku.



 Fly High 

Be bold spread the wings
Brave the wind, the clouds, the rain
Fly high touch the sky.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Cookie Thieves



“There is no light.”
“But I want one cookie.”
“I can’t see!”
“The candle.”
“There is no match.”
“In the drawer.”
“Found it!”
 “Here. Take only one.”
“Umm..”
The mother laughed silently, watching her sons steal cookies in candle flame. 


Monday, December 4, 2017

Holiday Haiku



Hustle bustle in the house
Children, stockings, sweaters, presents, cookies and music
Angel on the tree top.



P.S: The image was sent to me last year by my best friend. (It was her first snowfall)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Where is my muse?


Where are you?
No response.

What do I do now? The deadline is less than three hours away and here I ma pulling out my already messy hair. Good thing, I don't like to bite my nails or my fingers would have been bleeding by now. The paper stares at me with a blank expression while the screen blinks in disappointment. The fountains, my darlings glare at me in frustration. Well, none are helping me today. Where did my muse run away when I needed it the most, traitor.

"Come on, think of something." I mutter and tear open a slab of chocolate. The burst of bittersweet flavor makes me sigh. At least the chocolate never disappoints. As I close my eyes, I hear a sound but do not bother. It comes again, closer this time; a high pitched scream that makes me jump.

"What! Where!" I look around in confusion. All I find is a little bird sitting on my window. It was hanging precariously from the mosquito net fixed onto the frame. It chirped again and I blinked in wonder.

From where does such a tiny bird gets its voice? It is hardly the size of my thumb while the screech is piercing my ear drums. Ouch!

The birdie balanced on the net, its small feet gripping the holes and not letting go. That was hardly a comfortable position; yet it stayed staring at me. I stared back trying to scare the mini creature, but there was no movement.

I gave up on the staring competition when an idea struck me. The paper filled as words flowed from my fountain. I kept looking towards the bird, it hung on looking at me. The first draft was complete and it chirped again. This time, I smiled and waved. Now the birdie flew away, poking the net once with its long beak.

Laughing, I blew a kiss to my lovely muse hoping it would find the home of it's dreams in my home and come back to stay with me.




Saturday, December 2, 2017

IBMC #10: Happiness is

Hey!

We are into the last challenge of the marathon!
For the Day #10 we are given a single prompt that has to be used as the starting line to write a paragraph in less than 500 words.

So the prompt given is "Happiness is..." Good one, right?

My first thought was the Happiness page I follow in Facebook. It has such cute sketches and images; I have quite a few saved to my computer. :)

But if you were to ask me what happiness is, I'd say it is the ability to make other's smile, especially kids. Happiness is to see a child hold my finger and not let it go, it is to see a flock of birds flying across the sunset sky, it is to bake a perfect cake, it is to listen to an old song and remember all its lyrics, it is to see my mother happy, it is to read Christie to Holmes, it is to take the exact picture I wanted of sunsets and clouds, it is to see the seeds sprout in my flowerpots.

Happiness is so many tiny things which seem inconsequential in this busy and fast paced world. It is the ability to be able to live life on one's terms and take time to smell the roses in a garden. And finally happiness is to listen to the national anthem as the flag flies high!


This post ends the IBMC and I totally enjoyed participating even though there were times when I had no idea what to write.

To read the rest of my posts of this marathon, visit the Main Post. And thank you Prakash Hegade for hosting this challenge.


Friday, December 1, 2017

IBMC #09: Baby Steps

Hii!

We are into the Day #09 challenge of the marathon and this one is slightly different. I have to take a word, sentence, etc and try to look at it from a new perspective. I should be able to think differently from what I would usually do. This sounds easy but trust me it is not. It is like writing from the POV of an ant, rose or lighthouse (I did those for Micro fiction).

I went scrolling down the dictionary app but nothing caught my eye. I typed random quotes in google and went through the images until I got bored. Somehow I wasn't able to find anything interesting. I almost gave up and then this came up. It isn't great or anything but I kind off liked it.



The question here is how do I look at this from a different perspective? I honestly have no idea because I belong to the category of people who are masters at this.
But a challenge is a challenge and I have to look at this from a different perspective! Let me think...

Okay! Let us take the example of a crowded bus where everyone is busy trying to make sure they don't trip on other's feet, send a text, etc and most of them are seen either talking to themselves. But there will always be a person or two who will stare at us like me are demented. Does that stop there? No. They then mutter under their breath, "Crazy! Who talks to themselves!"

Now I think you are beginning to see my point. Exactly. Everyone mumbles or mutters and has conversations with themselves. But the difference is people like me accept it as a common condition and carry on while some feel they are special and have the self control to not talk to self. 
What I don't understand is why is it wrong or wired to talk to oneself? It is way safer than talking to a stranger and offending them (especially when people get offended for nothing these days). 
It doesn't mean we are crazy or have multiple personalities unless of course one starts to enact various characters (Then they definitely need a therapy). 

Even as I write this I read it to part of myself to see how a normal reader might react and you will also be doing the same, except that you will be judging. 

Those who have understood what I wrote above, you guys are awesome. :) 

If you would like to read the rest of my posts of this marathon, visit the Main Post.


IBMC #08: Nursery Rhyme

Hello again!

We are into the Day #08 of the challenge and this is a pretty interesting one. I've got to take a nursery rhyme and give it a new interpretation. Sounds fun, I know but it needed some research to get things sorted out.

Firstly each rhyme has a backstory of its own and I needed to know that before I choose a rhyme. That was when I realized that a good number rhymes have dark history attached and we need not actually teach our children those rhymes. Why on earth would I want my child to sing a poem/rhyme that talks about old England history? I'd rather have them listen and learn the poems we have in our native languages.

Alright I am deviating from the topic here, so getting back to the challenge I chose Humpty Dumpty as my rhyme. It was my favorite as a child and I remember the image of an egg shaped person sitting on a wall laughing.
But the history of the rhyme is that it was written (supposedly) about King Richard III of England (now you see what my rant above was all about!) who fell of his horse in the Battle of Bosworth and his enemies hacked him into pieces (gross). He was so mutilated that his men couldn't put his body together and probably left him on the battle field.

If I were to interpret this rhyme I would rather deal with live humans than dead bodies. So here my Humpty Dumpty is going to be a person's attitude. Yeah! That sound good.
Sitting on the wall is cool and fine (wall here is a border and sitting on a wall implies how some people keep changing sides in any argument to stay with the winner) until their truth comes out and they are literally pushed aside. Who would want an opportunist to be with them, anyway. They are the most dangerous kind. Well, then this opportunist gets detected and pushed down the wall and no body wants to catch them either. So they fall, break their ego or whatever. If by chance any optimist wants to help them, it would probably be too late by then. If it is not, I feel sad for the optimist. Some people never learn and they should be left to deal with their mess alone.


With this half baked interpretation I end my post for this challenge. I promise I will try and revise it one day. If you wish to read the other posts related to the marathon, visit the Main Post.