GloPoWriMo 2020: 29/30

Oof, penultimate day – and another year will now go by without writing any poetry at all (but a lot of reading, I would hope). Today’s prompt is to write about a pet. I do not have one, but I love pets. I thought this was a great opportunity to write a humorous haiku:

Tamagotchi

I wanted a pet,
So bought something virtual,
It broke in a day.

 

GloPoWriMo 2020: 28/30

Martha Dickinson Bianchi’s description of her aunt’s cozy room, scented with hyacinths and a crackling stove, warmly recalls the setting decades later. Describe a bedroom from your past in a series of descriptive paragraphs or a poem. It could be your childhood room, your grandmother’s room, a college dormitory or another significant space from your life.

Gosh, today’s prompt is a doozy. So many rooms to pick from.

A-201 

The bedroom was to the left of the hall,
Its door right behind the tiny desk I called my office,
You wouldn’t have considered the possibility that 3 slept in the room,
But for us, it never felt too little.

Straight ahead from the door was the attached bathroom,
A small alleyway to the right led you to the rest,
A large king-sized bed to stretch out your legs,
White cupboards lining the walls to store clothes, books, the very best.

Originally there was a large, Alder Hardwood Table,
Resplendent in the light that hit it,
A Windows 98 Desktop computer rest comfortably there,
“Tell Me Why?” played on the VCR mounted in the right corner top,
On a small black television that I watched from the bed.

Soon, however, my parents wanted me to be independent,
So one summer, when I was in India – a remodelling was done –
The computer table disappeared altogether, the VCR did too,
I came back to find a bunk-bed in its place: capacity – one.

I’ve played cricket in the space between the bed and mine,
Chipped off edges of walls with tennis balls,
I’ve hit my head on the edge of the bed with a towel on my head
(Ruining my kindergarten photo no less),
And hurt myself in that house countless times.

However if I search within myself to find, really
Find the person I am,
It seems to me it all started in that room, because
Today I have a room with a bunk-bed, with cupboards underneath,
I keep my books neatly organized, stacked, yet, food in the room,
I do not eat.

The royal blue on my pin-board matches those old cupboards well,
And the wood in my room is Alder too,
You may leave houses and rooms, it is evident –
But they will never leave you.

GloPoWriMo 2020: 27/30

Today’s prompt is to write a poetic review.

Curd Rice 

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways –
I love thee as the perfect palate cleanser
Between courses in a meal,
The ultimate finale to them all.
I love thee as my meal itself,
With tadka, with pomegranate,
Or the simplicity in plain serving,
I love thee on plates,
In bowls,
And from banana leaves,
In English,
In Kannada,
In Tamil, and Hindi – even in tongues I don’t speak,
I love thee across continents,
Europe, the Americas, and
Africa too
I’ll find you to in Antarctica if I had to,
Mosaranna, I love you.

GloPoWriMo 2020: 26/30

I don’t quite enjoy today’s almanac questionnaire prompt. I’m also in the mood to write haiku, so that’s what I’m going to do. Since I recorded a piano cover of “You’ll Be Back” from Hamilton: An American Musical (see here), this was the only thing that felt appropriate.

King George III

My loyal, royal
Subjects will be back to see
They belong to me.

 

GloPoWriMo 2020: 25/30

It’s difficult to put a prompt like today’s into words, so here’s the hyperlink to the original. As is the case with most poems that ask me to do more than one thing, I find it easiest to try to incorporate as many as I can without taking too much stress.

10 Seconds

In a ten-second span a lot goes through my head,
Its’ incredible to me how I can sway from joy to
Angst, to sadness, to
Dread,
Yet what I admire is the tenacity of the brain – to
Find the small spots of yellow in a
Palette that can sometimes feel grey.

 

GloPoWriMo 2020: 23/30

It’s a little sad that’s we’re down to our final week of GloPoWriMo already. Another 7 poems and we’re done for the year. Today’s optional prompt asks me to write a poem springboarding from the shape of a letter in the alphabet.

P

Like a proud windsock,
Or a hoisted flag,
A cutlass, unangled,
A scimitar with a handle,
Portable paper fans,
All of these represent the letter P,
Initially just a box in Hieroglyphy.

Vacuum Cleaners

The first house I properly remember living in is a perfectly-sized apartment for a young one and two adults. It’s the house I remember having my first sleepovers in, where we folded out the green sofa we had and my friends and I slept there. It’s where I remember spilling milk on the wall because I accidentally knocked down an entire glass with my right hand, and it’s where I first remember eating my mother’s pizzas. Aside from these memories and more, including a bunk-bed surprise, my first tryst with a vacuum cleaner comes in this house.

We had a vacuum cleaner at all of the houses we lived in when I was younger. Now I’m not sure what brand it was – and whether we had only one vacuum for all those years or not, but I’ll explain whatever I remember of it. Memory is a fabulous thing, but it’s likely that the vacuum cleaner I describe is a blend of two vacuum cleaners we had. The only things I’m certain of is that it was either a Hoover or an Aftron, and it was either red, or silver.

The rest is honestly a whirr. Quite literally, a whirr – the most powerful whirr you’ve heard. Biswa has this lovely segment on the irritating sound that motorbikes make, and my vacuum cleaner hit that frequency and more. It was not possible to live in peace in that household when the vacuum cleaner was on. The size of the house made everything echo so you heard the vacuum whirring about 4 times for 1 whirr. While we moved across the corridor to a new house, I think that was the thing I was looking forward to the most – the fact that there was an extended passageway and multiple rooms made it almost certain that in the hall, the television would be protected from the vacuum cleaner’s engine.

That was not to be.

I disagree with this Physics principle on emotional grounds, but I learned that sound travels fastest in solids. Never was that more true than when one wall separated me from the vacuum cleaner. I was in the hall, watching television, eating food, while the house-help that assisted us with maintenance vacuumed the rooms. But the sound traveled through the walls and pierced my ears like nothing else.

I knew I would love living in India when we moved here and didn’t have a vacuum cleaner. The jadu did all the jadoo and swept away all sound. For years, I lived in silence, yet a clean surrounding at all points. Till I went to live in France for 6 weeks. The vacuum returned, and with it, all the trauma of my childhood. I was really grateful for a small house and a roommate, because I had to vacuum only half the time, and I could stay outside and far away from the sound when vacuuming was being done, but oh man – on the days I vacuumed, how I wished that these things made less sound.

I thought my saga with the vacuum cleaner had come to a close. Till this lockdown happened and I was home alone. Remember how I said we didn’t have a vacuum? Turns out, our vacuum was in hiding all along. My parents told me where it was to make my life easier, and the convenience of everything has made me love cleaning up the house and doing the chores every day. Vacuuming is a joy because you can see dirt disappear. Dust vanishes before your eyes revealing smooth surfaces. I am no longer scared to make a mess because I can vacuum it away.

I’ve learned how to deal with the sound. My solution so far has been to vacuum quick. It’s worked. My ears can tolerate short bursts of this (and the mixer), so I try not to expose myself to it for too much time on any given day.

However, I’ve made another discovery about the vacuum cleaner, a discovery that has changed my life – and is the sole reason I wrote this post.

You see, my assumption about the vacuum cleaner is that it sucked dust up into the unknown; a void where all dust disappeared never to be seen again. This morning, after finishing up my vacuuming I noticed the vacuum felt considerably more heavy than it did at the start of the month. Then I noticed some flaps. Naturally, I opened them. Lo and behold, the vacuum had an interior!

First, I examined the source of my pain, the vacuum’s motor. After which I found the vacuum’s dust bag where I saw a collection of all the dust and hair the vacuum had sucked up over the past month. I gagged.

Turns out, dust isn’t decimated by the vacuum cleaner. It’s collected and stored for us to clean out. For it’s convenience this machine really sucks, I must say. First it makes that horrible sound, then I have to see and clean the dust it collects? We need a vacuum cleaner that instantly burns all the dust it collects and leaves ash or something. Some technology advancements are owed to society after this medical crisis blows over.

That’s been my adventure of the day.

GloPoWriMo 2020: 22/30

Today’s poem asks me to use a saying from a language other than English, and make that the starting. I picked “The pillow is the best adviser”, a saying in Swedish.

Sleep

When confronted with the unpleasant,
The difficult, the disenchanting,
I put my head on my pillow, and close my eyes, and
Try to drift off for a while,
Amidst tears, and even when I’m upset, I hope
Pray, that I’ll wake up wiser,
Particularly since the pillow is the best adviser.

 

GloPoWriMo 2020: 21/30

Today’s poem provides a lovely opportunity to look at poems from other languages and create a homophonic translation.

I picked the following verse from the poem, Meteor, which is originally written in Slovak. I wanted to pick a language without a Latin base to make it tougher for me to create  a homophonic translation:

Pripravili sme ti strašnú smrť.
Nechali sme ťa klbčiť sa so šelmami.
Mysleli sme si, že si jednou z nich.
Dovolili sme ti skrížiť
mliečne zuby s ihličkami,
lastúry mäkkých nechtov s pazúrmi.

Here’s my translation

Meteor

Primarily, smells suffocated me,
Not smells to combine with salami,
But smells yes, those smells, shallow and rich,
Drearily smells, they squeeze
Millenniums and ruby, entangled origami,
The story makes nectar seem like blasphemy.

 

Open-Ness

There are several things I’ve taken up during this lockdown: things I’m finding helpful to give me a sense of routine, as well as mini-goals to look forward to each day to keep busy while being away from University and sitting at home. So far, I’m enjoying all of them. For the most part, each day feels distinct from the last (on occasions I don’t write, the days sort of meld together). I start each day clearly knowing what I’m trying to do through the day, which I find particularly helpful, and I end each day feeling grateful for having the day to spend the way I’ve wanted to – without University pressures or anything of the sort.

I have, however, noticed one thing. Most of this, whether it’s the research I’m working on, or the new skills I’m trying to learn, or even the reading I’m doing – it’s all happening on open-source software systems, or openly accessible sources that are not behind a paywall. Paywalls are prohibitive, and that argument stands, and yes, of course, I could get behind the paywall by paying a fee and breaking it down. However, most of the things I’m enjoying at the moment, including plays and concerts are happening on software that doesn’t contain paywalled content – take Twitch, or YouTube.

This is an incredible thing.

I fully understand neither Twitch or YouTube are fully free, but you get my point. The content I’m accessing is free, and for the majority part, most content is. Select portions of content are behind the paywall.

Now, I’m conservative with the money I spend, so it takes me a while to commit to spending on something, including books and resources. I usually turn to open source stuff anyway, since they’re almost at par with their paid compatriots.

However, the current success of openly accessible things is telling me one thing. After this coronavirus pandemic ends, I’m joining the open-access brigade with more passion and fervour. I understand the economics of things, but I think the open-access model can be made viable if people chip in and actually contribute to things, and financial backers end up backing these open-access things. And opening up access opens up a world to the person creating whatever media is being consumed because more people will consume the good.

Atleast go freemium.

And not barebones freemium.

GloPoWriMo 2020: 20/30

Today’s prompt is very nice. It asks me to write about a handmade, or a homemade gift I’ve received. I’m grateful to have people who have gifted me some really, really meaningful gifts over the years. This one stands out though:

Cookie Bouquet

Glass stirrers wound tightly with royal blue chart paper and a
Purple ribbon held the sweetest gift I’ve received – a bouquet of
Twelve cookies.
These golden disks of joy wrapped in
Tin foil to preserve freshness,
Forgetting that I was a monster who ate them all at
One go.
The cookies lasted twenty minutes at the end of the day
I was giddy:
Didn’t know if I had won every jackpot,
Every carnival game,
Or if it was just love –
The subsequent nap confirmed it was but,
A sugar rush.