The Chronicles of Miss Shola

The blog's epitaph: Miss Shola came and went as she pleased

Archive for March 2010

Intentions

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What’s an intention? A scarecrow of straw 

Stuffed full of guilt in a field of sighs.

My! How the crows of reality caw,

Perched on its head, as they peck out its eyes.

 ~ Felix Dennis is a British magazine publisher, poet and philanthropist. His privately owned company, Dennis Publishing, pioneered computer and hobbyist magazine publishing in the UK. In 2001, following a life-threatening illness, Dennis took up poetry. Within a year, he authored his first book ‘A Glass Half Full’, from which this verse has been picked.

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Written by Miss Shola

March 31, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Poetry

The Balcony

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She put her piping hot cup of tea on the stool and knelt down to sit on a big lumpy pillow that she had set up at the corner of the balcony. This was her favourite place in the house and she spent most of her mornings here, looking forlornly at the trees outside, the people coming in and out of the building gate downstairs and the going-ons in the third floor flat in the opposite building.

With years of use, the pillow had taken the shape of her derriere and almost seemed like an extension of her body when she sat on it. She didn’t want to replace it even though the cotton wool was threatening to make its way out from between the loose stitches. She remembered how she had stuffed the wool herself into the pillow one afternoon in March long ago when her son was preparing for his board exams. The house was full of relatives as her mother-in-law had just passed away and poor Monty had no place to study except the balcony. She thought of her mother-in-law and immediately reached out to the balcony railings. Some of them were still loose. They had never found the time nor inclination to get it fixed after that fateful day when Ma had jumped to her death.

Her eyes fell on the stool, dulled with time but once a bright red and green. Her husband had got it for her from the Sunday market so she could easily reach out to the rice container at the top of the kitchen shelf. Her dry lips broke into a smile when she recalled how her husband had tripped and almost fallen on the kitchen floor when he was demonstrating how to use the stool. They had laughed about it together and there was something so magical in that moment that it transpired into an afternoon long session of love making. But that was before Monty was born.

She looked far away into space and remained in this stupor until a colorful piece of paper floated past in the distance. Was it January already, she questioned herself. She recalled how both Subroto and Monty had spent a lot of quality father-son time in this very balcony during the kite-flying season. Subroto had taught him how to sharpen the string with glass and hoist the kite in the sky. She had heard from the kitchen the thumping of the back and the cheering when Monty had cut a kite for the first time. The words of encouragement still rang in her ears.

As did the loud harsh words that Subroto had used when Monty decided to leave the house for good. She had been watering the neem plant that stood solitarily on a wooden plank that jutted out of the balcony. So shaken was she, that the neem plant quivered with a chill as water fell on it. By then Subroto was already diagnosed with chronic depression, just like Ma.

The balcony had seen Subroto puff away a dozen cigarettes in the day and another dozen by night. The floor still bore the black stub marks of the stifled out cigarettes. She feared each time he would get up in the middle of the night and make his way to the balcony. But he didn’t choose the same way out as Ma. He was much calmer when he died with Monty by his side. They didn’t blame each other; neither was at fault.

The sun was up on her head, a sign for her to get on with the day. She was all alone now – in the balcony, in the house, and in the world that she had been a silent part of.  But she had memories of a lifetime for company, that could last another morning like this in her favourite place in the balcony.

Written by Miss Shola

March 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Posted in Shorts

Menu writing

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Had fun writing out yummy descriptors for a bake sale menu. Here are some of them.

Oreo cheesecake

We define sin like this: Cocoa, Oreo cookies and chocolate chips in a cheese cake.

Mango cheesecake

Your chance to do a Katrina with this ‘aamsutra’ cheese cake. Just a slice won’t do.

Cinnamon chocolate cheesecake

Heard of sugar and spice and all things nice? Well, this thing is better than just nice!

Chocolate chip muffin

Lots of chocolate chips in a small cupcake. Best things come in small packages no?

Almond cookies 

Dip it in your afternoon chai, pop them in post dinner, offer it to the neighbours – a ready treat anytime

Blueberry cookies

Dollop of blueberry compote sandwiched between two cookies… need we say more?

Written by Miss Shola

March 25, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Chow

From the movie ‘Before Sunrise’

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Delusion Angel

Daydream delusion,
limousine eyelash,
oh, baby with your pretty face,
drop a tear in my wineglass,
look at those big eyes,
see what you mean to me,
sweet cakes and milkshakes,
I am a delusioned angel,
I am a fantasy parade,
I want you to know what I think,
dont want you to guess anymore,
you have no idea where I came from,
we have no idea where we’re going,
launched in life,
like branches in the river,
flowing downstream,
caught in the current,
I’ll carry you, you’ll carry me,
that’s how it could be,
don’t you know me?
don’t you know me by now?

~ A David Jewell poem written for the movie Before Sunrise. Before Sunrise revolves largely around the twin themes of self-fulfillment and self-discovery through a significant other. They are underlined by the poem ‘Delusion Angel’, which evokes a longing for complete and unifying, possibly even redeeming, understanding between two partners in a world which is itself unknowable, and over which one can exercise no control.

Written by Miss Shola

March 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Posted in Poetry

Chocolate & Orange Marmalade Pudding

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  • Cut china grass finely (1/2 packet) and soak it in water for 10 mins (put 1/2 tsp of soda bicarb in the water).
  • Boil 1/2 litre milk and put the soaked china grass in it. Keep stirring the milk till the china grass dissolves.
  • Put 4 tsps of sugar and 4 tsps of orange marmalade in the milk and keep stirring.
  • Remove from flame and let it cool for 10 mins.
  • Crumble chocolate sponge cake and put it at the base of the containers as the first layer. Pour the milk on top of it as the second layer. Keep the containers in the fridge until the pudding has completely set.
  • For the chocolate sauce mix together some melted chocolate, orange marmalade, crumbled cake and milk until it reaches pouring consistency.
  • Put it over the pudding and let it remain in the fridge for another half an hour till it is chilled and ready to eat.
  • Serves 4

Written by Miss Shola

March 19, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Posted in Chow

Norman Rockwell’s Gossip

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Norman Rockwell (1894 – 1978) was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator. He is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life scenarios he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine. During his long career, he was also commissioned to paint the portraits for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, as well as those of foreign figures, including Jawaharlal Nehru. The Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts is the world’s largest, including more than 700 original Rockwell paintings, drawings, and studies.

Written by Miss Shola

March 10, 2010 at 10:27 am

Posted in Art

Not Waving but Drowning

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Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

~ Stevie Smith (1902 – 1971) was born in England. Death fascinated her and is the subject of many of her poems. She wrote in several poems that death was “the only god who must come when he is called”. Sylvia Plath became a fan of her poetry—”a desperate Smith-addict”—and made an appointment to meet her, but killed herself before the meeting could occur.

Written by Miss Shola

March 9, 2010 at 10:17 am

Posted in Poetry