Thursday, January 22, 2009

The resolution that never was

My colleague and more importantly bay mate (R), if such a term exists, is majorly in to low calorie foods. And, her desk tray (the rack which used to hold keyboards when things like desktops still existed) is always filled with different kinds of food items ranging from rusks to fruits to soup sticks. The latest addition is the diet “khakra” (a Gujarati food item which she says should be pronounced khaak – raa).
Now, I am someone who is used to chocolate, chocolaty biscuits, rich chocolate cakes, chocolate brownies – I hope you are getting the drift. So, I have been on a guilt trip seeing this low calorie gourmet fest right next door for the past many weeks.
And to top it all, when she said (with reference to the Mumbai marathon), “I don’t think I would participate in the marathon this time. I am terribly out of touch. It has been like, 6 months since I ran”, I could only say, “Yeah, I too am terribly out of touch. It has been like, 23 years since I ran.”
From that moment on, guilt started wagging its accusing finger at me every time I tried to eat anything tasty. I had to do something, and really fast. So, last weekend I went to the nearest super market resolved to pick up every low calorie food item that caught my eye. But, as providence would have it, the first that caught my eye was
Bournville. Right in to my shopping bag went the dark chocolate. After that, however frantically I searched, I could not find any of the low calorie stuff that R had recommended. So, I picked up a large packet of Britannia Low Calorie biscuits (which I suspect is not low calorie ‘cos it tastes so good) and came back home, neither happy nor less guilty.
All said and done, I have always firmly believed that I am on the plumpier side strictly owing to genes :). And, it has never bothered me – so much so that
I have instigated jokes on my “healthy” physique many a time. Add to that a clear hatred for any activity which involves movement (I used to bunk physical exercise classes during school days) and a never ending list of immobile activities (reading books, writing/ blogging, playing Veena, and singing).
So, weighing the pros and cons, I have finally decided that diet food is not my kind of stuff, really. Nor is running the marathon. I am quite content being the chocolaty person I am and have resolved not to take resolutions on this one any more:D

Sunday, January 04, 2009

'aabb', 'abab' and others

The other day, I was chatting with a friend about poetry. He was saying that he likes poems that rhyme and in fact went on to say, “If there is no rhyme at all, I wonder what the difference between poetry and prose is”. It set me thinking.
I have always found it nice and soothing to read poems that rhyme. Somehow, they get more understandable when there is some rhyming scheme, be it an ‘aabb’ or an ‘abab’ or any such thing. On the other hand, I cannot get myself to write poems that rhyme perfectly. It somehow feels forced when I sit down to write a poem and spend hours chewing the end of my pen trying to fit in rhyming lines such as
“I am a flower
In a pearly tower”
In my opinion, considering rhyme to be a predominant parameter of poetry, one that defines poetry, is quite juvenile. For that matter, prose too can rhyme (the way our most versatile Tamil actor cum director cum musician cum what-not TR talks it).
Poetry is a literary form that expresses a lot of meaning and/ or emotion in a very suggestive and beautiful manner. In the process of delivering an aesthetic poem, a poet might use various techniques including simile, metaphor, alliteration, hyperbole, personification and so on. Rhyme is just one of those techniques.
All said and done, rhyme, when used the right way, is a tremendous tool. And, I have forever been envious of people who can write poems that get enhanced twice over ‘cos of the rhyming scheme employed in them.
P.S.: ‘A Suitable Boy’, a brilliant novel by Vikram Seth, is a must read for people who would love to read rhyming poetry as part of the novel.