The Chronicles of Miss Shola

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

Archive for August 2014

Life should be a Sunday

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#1 Some days just turn around, look you straight in the eye, and with a dead pan expression say to you “who told you it’s going to be easy”. I met six such last week, and tried to run away from them as fast as I could. I didn’t get too far and can still hear the collective echoes of their wicked laughter.

And no, the poem below doesn’t offer hope. It doesn’t tell you that you will be able to escape from that laughter and that it’s all going to be fine just-watch. It tells you that this is how it is and will be, so be happy when that rare day comes along that smiles at you because her brothers and sisters may not be as well-mannered.

The poem also took me to Stephen Fry and I am looking forward to reading more of him, especially his collection of poems The Ode Less Travelled (such a cool title!) that this is a part of.

Kitchen Villanelle

How rare it is when things go right
When days go by without a slip
And don’t go wrong, as well they might

The smallest triumphs cause delight –
The kitchen’s clean, the taps don’t drip,
How rare it is when things go right.

Your ice cream freezes overnight,
Your jellies set, your pancakes flip
And don’t go wrong, as well they might

When life’s against you, and you fight
To keep a stiffer upper lip.
How rare it is when things go right,

The oven works, the gas rings light,
Gravies thicken, potatoes chip
And don’t go wrong, as well they might.

Such pleasures don’t endure, so bite
The grape of fortune to the pip.
How rare it is when things go right
And don’t go wrong, as well they might

*By the way, a villanelle is a lyrical poem of nineteen lines, with only two rhymes throughout, and some lines repeated. I don’t know if the poem preceded this definition or vice-versa verse.

# 2 Talking of getting to know people better, I am discovering so many acclaimed writers that I should have got my hands on so far but was too shy, through the fiction archives of The New Yorker. It’s such a pleasure to read short stories by the ilk of Paul Theroux and Nina Gardiner and see a flash of their brilliance. Best thing to happen after speed dating.

I just completed Apple Cake by Allegra Goodman (another celebrated American author I didn’t know about) who shows that dialogue can be the hero of the story. But the clincher of a line was: She died because she couldn’t breathe. Which seems silly when you read it just as is, but is characterisation at its briefest best.

# 3 The only good thing I have done while I was away from this page was to bring Sunday Loaves to life. I am admittedly not the best baker in town or even in the suburb I live in, or east of it, but it’s brought me the joy of creation. So here’s in celebration of those “smallest triumphs that cause delight”.

glass-empty

Written by Miss Shola

August 10, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Poetry, Ramblings, Shots

Dolce Vita

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In which I indulge in the littleness of life.

#1 Old music revives memories and new music makes memories. I made one with Raat Raazi. I’ve been tripping over it for a month now after I came across it quite accidentally. Which is not surprising for when I crossed over to the millennium I took my music with me, unsure of how things would sound on the other side. I have since remained a resolute ‘the best of the 90s’ girl and not bothered catching up (someone corrected me recently when I called EDM electronic data music). But when I heard this I realised I’ve been missing out on tagging a passed moment, a familiar feeling, a keepsake memory with a tune. A new tune that is nursed in the cradles of your head until it grows up, bows out and leaves behind footsteps.

So here is to a memory of a particularly difficult summer that heat-trapped my mind till it banged its doors but got no answers. It came back home everyday to the same soothing melody which silenced the noise inside until another day.

 

# 2 And then this from nowhere caught my attention and made me smile. My mother, a kitchen-window bird watcher, has a penchant for feeding crows. She often looks up from that simmering alu gobi (I’ve relished so often) or midway of rolling a chappati to say hello to those men in black and chat about the weather. She knows when they’re hungry and what they’re hungry for, and is just short of naming them after her children. The flavour of the season seems to be Parle-G, for that extra flapping energy, broken into three perfect beak-sized pieces.

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# 3 I came across this piece of dialogue in the movie Lost in Translation. It is simple and depthless but offered me a strange kind of solace.

Charlotte: I just don’t know what I am supposed to be. I thought maybe I wanted to be a writer…but I hate what I write. And I tried taking pictures, but John is so good at that, and mine are so mediocre…and every girl goes through this photography phase, like horses, you know dumb pictures of your feet…

Bob: You’ll figure it out. I’m not worried about you. Keep writing.

Written by Miss Shola

August 3, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Posted in Quotes, Ramblings, Shots