The Unadorned

My literary blog to keep track of my creative mood swings with poems n short stories, book reviews n humorous prose, travelogues n photography, reflections n translations, both in English n Hindi.

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I'm a peace-loving married Indian male on the right side of '50 with college-going children, and presently employed under government. Educationally I've a master's degree in History, and another in Computer Application. Besides, I've a post graduate diploma in Management. My published works are:- (1)"In Harness", ISBN 81-8157-183-5, a poetry collections and (2) "The Remix of Orchid", ISBN 978-81-7525-729-0, a short story collections with a foreword by Mr. Ruskin Bond, (3) "Virasat", ISBN 978-81-7525-982-9, again a short story collection but in Hindi, (4) "Ek Saal Baad," ISBN 978-81-906496-8-1, my second Story Collection in Hindi.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Poems by a Fluke - II


I sometimes visit Aparna Ray’s blog Newsmericks. It’s a blog that specialises in composing news stories as limericks that are funny, readable and at the same time full of sparks of poetic profundity. I’m not very much qualified to comment on this particular poetic form, for I just understand limericks as something composed in five lines. About metres, well, I don’t think it is something I’ve taken care to learn in my high school days. Nonetheless, whenever I dropped by Aparna’s blog, I had felt I should leave a comment in the shape of a limerick. All these comments have gone unresponded, maybe they have gone off at a tangent.

The portal has listed me along with Aparna Ray and Shobha De and 19 others as the best Indian bloggers under Writers-Authors-Critics-Poets-Literature category. That is why I find many of the visitors to my blog come through the above-mentioned link. Be that as it may, I have found the web page quite useful to connect to some quality links.

I thought I should compile all my poetic comments that I have recorded on Aparna’s blog. These comments are instant poetry or as I call them poems by fluke. Without belabouring the point let me proceed. I will quote extensively from Newsmericks and hope Aparna will not mind.


From Newsmericks:

(News item India: Youth slaps minister over price rise & corruption)

The Pawar Slap that Resonated

There once lived a young Indian chap,

Whose nerves, one November, went 'snap'.

The outcome? As hitter,

He trended on Twitter;

The talk of town -- His Pawar slap!

My poetic comment:

Prices rise n rises rage

Palm itches n stretches hand;

Everything's drear but news's free

Hitting hard but where's the cheek?

Lo, things in pocket n money in bag.


From Newsmericks:

(Indian Express 13/06/2011: Mahatma Gandhi's spectacles go missing from the Sevagram Ashram.)

On Why Gandhiji Needs His Glasses

An UPA leader praying at Rajghat:

"Dear Gandhiji, see how your masses

Are up in arms, fighting the brasses

This business of fasting,

(Which you started) is casting

More trouble in our paths as time passes".

And Gandhiji replied:
"I must admit, even as we speak,

That I can't see a thing - vision's weak.

Let me go get my glasses,

While you sit and count grasses—

And fast - it's real good for physique!"

My Comment:

Only his specs, Gandhi's lost
Now his stick should remain intact
The poor old soul in heaven
Has to move years on end
To find his goat that lost its track!


From Newsmericks:

(Scientists now claim that yawing is not only a sign of sleepiness but could also be a sign of sexual attraction. Unfortunately, they are not yet able to differentiate between a yawn that signifies erotic arousal and simply the need to catch some sleep.)

Yawning Desires

There once lived a young guy named Shaun,
Who met a young lady, was drawn,
His hormones a-swell,
To ring her door bell,
She answered, he let out a yawn.

"You poor little darling", she said,
Then took his hand and gently led
The chap down the hall;
With no qualms at all,
She undressed and put him to bed.

She turned off the lights, "I'll be scoring".
He told himself, his heart a-soaring .
Then she turned around
And guess what she found?
Him fast asleep, happily snoring!

My Poetic Comment:

Love can come in any way
A yawn is the easiest for a guy
A girl may yawn, but only for fun
Give me my due or else I run
Miss a kiss, if it's thrown so high.


From Newsmericks:

(Well everyone has had something to say about it. We have dissected it, debated it, explored the motives behind it and almost dug up Mr. Nobel himself to ask what he would have thought about it. In the midst of all this, our intrepid Inkspot appears to have dug into the recipient's heart and come up with the 'true story' of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Enjoy!)

Obama’s Nobel

Asked Inkspot, "Obama, pray tell
what made them give you the Nobel?"
Said the President, "Old boy,
Can't you see it's a ploy
To vanquish my peace, give me hell?"

My Poetic Comment:

Obama, Obama, dear Obama
Would you care for a better balm
People have their right to joke
Don't fuss it, just ask for more
All's in order for a change n drama!


From Newsmericks:

(TOI 16/08/09: Sikh priest films woman taking bath.)

In matters of Religion, Sometimes the path leads to bath

"Religion", said Santa, forlorn,
"These days is of Godliness shorn.
So priests spend their hours,
Filming ladies in showers,
And, believe it or not, watching porn!"

My Poetic Comment

Oha! If only Krishna were alive
He'd have a camcorder with him
High on the bough with gopis in the pond
He'd click them live without a sound
We all follow the god in letter n spirit!



A. N. Nanda





Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Objects Through Lens

I do not consider myself a talented photographer yet my last trip to Europe gave me some confidence in handling a camera. It is the easiest possible gadget since with digitisation, photography has become a child's play these days. Some fifteen years ago I had an SLR, a Pentax brand MX model, which was not a digital one and it took me quite a while to learn the basics. I had taken a few rolls of pictures and in time I had learnt to steady my hands with the shutter. But then I soon realised that to do justice with a hobby like photography, I should not mind spending a lot and probably that realisation distanced me from it. The camera was sparingly used. As a result, fungus grew on the lens and with difficulty I got it repaired in Kolkata. I remember how I fought with the repairer and had to go to a different person who finally did the right treatment with the machine. But alas! Soon some other snag developed. The model badly needed repair and it still does. Now it lies just like that in a corner. One day it will go as junk. I'm sure there is no repairer of a Pentax SLR these days left in the market.

Ten Minutes to Ten: Geneva

Creeper Contour: Ouchy, Switzerland

Water Tower: Geneva Lake

Sacre Coeur: Paris

The River Siene: Paris

Choose Your Way: Lausanne

Before Landing: Geneva

Eiffel Lit: Paris

Ceiling: The Versailles Place, Paris

Library, University TU Delft: Netherland

The Quaint Little Town of Burges: Belgium

The Imperial Dining: Versailles Palace

A N NandaCoimbatore27-12-2011_____________________

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mona Lisa: The Big Small Picture

Merry Christmas. Season's Greetings. Happy New Year.
नव वर्ष की ढेर सारी शुभ कामनाएँ ।
Mona Lisa is famous, but how?
The poor painter, even after working on it for seventeen long years, could not make the lady smile, and so Mona Lisa became famous. Whatever little she gives off in the name of smile is touted to be enigmatic. I think it is not enigmatic as such; it is rather tentative, as though she is kind of unsure if she should smile or not. If one is happy, it is not necessary for her to measure how much of her happiness to make public and how much to withhold. Is it that she is not herself sure if she is happy at all? Here what she does is, well, half a smile. Some say it is sheepish and some other term it perfunctory, but nevertheless it is definitely sardonic. It is so very apparent from the aristocratic haughtiness oozing out of her posture. For ages people have made big fuss about the picture—once someone had stolen it in the name of patriotism, for he believed the work of art legitimately belonged to Italy; countries across the oceans have borrowed it to show the connoisseurs of their countrymen, incurring huge sums on its security and shipment; people have parodied it with sexual innuendoes and smoking pipes, so much so that they have referred to the painter’s alleged homosexuality; visitors have unleashed their acts of vandalism on the frail frame of it; researchers have spun theories after theories reading imaginary lines and scripts into it; and yet none has ever been able to strike a consensus as to its actual subject and aesthetics. It will sound nothing absurd if tomorrow some researcher comes up with his thesis that Mona Lisa was neither a lefty nor a right-hander but an ambidextrous! Another researcher might even test his thesis on medical line that Mona Lisa is in the initial month of her pregnancy! Some say the painting is the embodiment of eternal femininity whereas some doubt if the model was a woman at all. In fact, there have been either overstatements or understatements but the final word that would reflect the reality is not in sight.
But I saw tourists spending on an average less than 20 seconds to appreciate it, wonder it and take photographs from different corners without using flash. Oh yes, using flash is strictly prohibited as a conservation safeguard. None was wowing at the sight of the avant-grade work of art; none had any big adjectives of amazement on his or her lips. Everybody seemed to suppress his or her disappointment of getting no glimpse of the greatness they might have heard or read about the painting before they reached Musee du Louvre. Such is its greatness! It is supposed to be the most valuable work of art, valued at some $100 million in the year 1962. Isn’t it overrated? Here’s a picture of a woman with hairline receded and eyebrows denuded, eyes squinted and physique fattened. At best she could be a middle-aged housewife with calculating countenance and her skin glow and the robustness down the base of her neck accentuates the fact that she is at the doorstep of obesity. Many would agree with me—at least my daughter did, saying that there were better pictures in the gallery than Mona Lisa.
Now the test of realism, nay magic-realism: if Mona Lisa ever gets her human form and comes alive; what would she get? What I mean, for all her physical elegance would she get a job in showbiz worth at least 5000 euro a month? Would a studio in Italy hire her for modelling and if so, at what remuneration? Would Uniliver cast her in the advertisement of any of its beauty products, say Ponds or Lux? Would the artists of Kumarotoli ever model their images after Mona Lisa? Would Pothys or Chennai Silk drape their saris on Mona Lisa for promoting their upmarket products? Would she reach the final round of any one of the innumerable beauty pageants organised all over the globe day in and day out?
Be that as it may, big people should visit big places—Mona Lisa is included in the list. And I visited it. And that’s that.
While visiting Louvre we had made a decision to reach Mona Lisa first and then the rest of the objects of art. I think our decision was spontaneous, or maybe we were determined not to leave the most famous object while rushing through the museum. And in retrospect that turned out to be the best decision to have been taken under the circumstances. Whatever we saw thereafter, we had this to assure ourselves: ‘At least it is not like Mona Lisa.’
A N Nanda

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