Poetry Exercise 4: Weak endings, trochaic and pyrrhic subtitutions

Aug 28, 10:30 AM

I was able to make quite a bit of progress over the 10 day long trip to my village(probably because I left my laptop back home). Here’s exercise 4; I scored 78, slightly off Stephen’s 106, but respectable I guess. You get 5 points for trochaic/pyrrhic subtitution, 2 for enjambments and 2 for feminine endings. The quality of verse is quite dismal though. I took inspiration, as you’ll no doubt notice, from a tech magazine.

Google has now a car that scans the road
and makes a map of whatever it encounters
announce as if life depends on that
but remember warned you were by his highness

Facebook is causing trouble, mayhem, and
concern amidst a growing population

all passwords have been dropped by dropbox now
a massive glitch in system causes this today

studies reveal usage of web by us
inhabitants of a slow nation, still
we ask to be forgiven day and night.

Apple has got its multi touch in patent
only a matter that concerns the rich

a case that was a landmark case, was lost
by microsoft today or may be not

This is the last of lines to be composed.


Rahul Jha

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Three Goodbyes, Part 3

Jun 24, 05:50 AM

Link to part 2

t was drizzling when Yash landed in Bangalore. When he left two years later, it wasn’t.

The apartment looked emptier than usual. “Are you sure you didn’t forget anything?”, she asked as she surveyed her immense collection of shoes in order to pick one. It was always a tough choice. “I don’t think so,” he paused for a second, and added, “Well if I did, you can always give it to me when we meet in a few weeks.” She turned and smiled. He smiled too. They were only going to meet once more, before parting for a long, long time. But somehow, it made this departure seem less final. “Alright, I am ready. Let’s go!” He dragged the enormous bags out of the apartment. “Last apartment hug?”, she asked teasingly after he had made the final check on the luggage. As they hugged, he felt something moist on his shoulder. He lifted her face and knew that the fact that he won’t be around anymore had hit her just now.

They were soon in the cab driving towards the airport. “I sometimes think that my life is like a movie”, she said as the cab went past a coffee house they’d spent many evenings reading together. She was past her sentimental moment.
“Really? What do you mean?”
“You know, it’s like there is always this invisible audience that I am performing for. All the little acts of life: from lifting a cup to entering an office door. I feel a need to do all of it with a certain poise as if somebody somewhere was watching every single thing. Oh, by the way, did you remember to keep your tickets? I saw them on the bookshelf.”
“Yup, I did. I think I know what you mean. And now that I think about it, I feel something like that too. Except, it’s a little different for me. For me every little moment, every little act, should fall in the proper flow of things. It’s like all of it is part of a bigger thing and should fit perfectly. I guess that bigger thing is like your movie.”
“Yeah.”
“Or like a long, well choreographed dance number.”
That thought amused her. “If they ever make a movie out of your life, it’ll have to be a musical!”
“Well, I just hope it’s full of Punjabi dance numbers!”. They looked at each other, and burst into laughter. She hated that music.

As he entered the automatic glass door that marks the final boundary between those who leave and those who stay, he looked back; she was still standing there, smiling. He found at the check-in counter that his bags were overweight and he haggled to make sure he paid the smallest price for the extra baggage: his ex-roommate had made that a habit out of him. It took 20 minutes. As he finally carried his bags to the escalator, he looked back towards the door to find her still there. He knew she would stand there till she was sure he couldn’t see her anymore. When he looked back for the final time, she was still there, smiling. It made him feel like time in this place is going to freeze, and no matter how long he was away, he would still find her at the same place, smiling, when he came back. That put his mind to peace. He found an empty seat near his departure gate and took out the novel he had been reading. “Just 50 pages left”, he thought to himself, “let’s see if I can finish this one before boarding begins.”


Rahul Jha

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Comment [3]

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Poetry Exercise 3: Enjambments and Caesura

May 11, 05:21 AM

Here comes the next exercise of “The Ode Less Travelled” (Exercise 2)

End Stopped

Precisely what you see and hear outside your window

a few of what I am attuned to hear,
so few be heard in darkness save police!

Precisely what you’d like to eat, right this minute

even though I just decided not to eat,
I feel a secret urge for ice-cream now.

Precisely what you remember dreaming about

I dreamt of talking loudly with my friend,
but then refused against this time again.

Precisely what incomplete chores are niggling at you

the rent is not deposited in bank,
the tasks are waiting for the kick of life.

Precisely what you hate about your body

my nose is shorter than a pipe of wood,
amazed is anyone who recalls my youth

————————————————————————

With enjambment and caesuras

Precisely what you see and hear outside your window

all silent, suddenly noise, alarms just rang
and broke the lull surrounding us forever.

Precisely what you’d like to eat, right this minute

the ice-cream doubtless now, is only found,
in dreams I made, remembering past events.

Precisely what you remember dreaming about

I spoke, she listened, so I thought during
the time I spoke to self in hushed tones.

Precisely what incomplete chores are niggling at you

the calls are waiting as are cars, and I
am just iterating sleep’s importance loud.

Precisely what you hate about your body

no nose, might suit this face as well, the one
I have been fit does not present a lot.


Rahul Jha

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Comment [2]

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Rails conventions

May 10, 06:25 PM

I’ve just been starting on Rails again and am bombarded with the amount of idiomatic usage arising out of “convention over configuration” philosophy of rails. The problem is that it might be hard to even recognize and look for this idioms online since you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. I am compiling a list of idioms as and when I encounter them for reference.

Routing

Creating paths and urls from objects

This is the full syntax:

<%= link_to "Ad details", url_for(@obj) %>

But rails lets you ignore the url_for when using with helpers like link_to and redirect_to, so this is common:

<%= link_to "Ad details", @obj %>

Reference: Rails Routing Guide

Layouts and Rendering

Embedded Ruby tags

Tags beginning with <%= evaluate the expression they contain and insert them into the document while tags without the = only execute the expression but don’t insert the results into the document.

Reference: Smashing magazine guide


Rahul Jha

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Comment [2]

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Three Goodbyes, Part 2

Apr 2, 07:43 PM

Link to Part 1

sharp sunlight woke him. He looked outside the bus window and realized Delhi was here. He took an auto-rickshaw to college, overpaid the driver, found his room, freshened up and went to college on the dirt road that he would take almost everyday for the next four years. Years in which he struggled, discovered friendship, got insulted, experienced accomplishment, fell in love and, on one occasion, almost jumped from a roof three stories above the ground. Then, it was time to go.

It drizzled mildly as he waited for the car his dad had arranged to take his stuff home. He was with two of his friends: almost the last two people remaining on campus. People had been leaving all week, the usually exuberant young crowd in the canteen got thinner everyday. They spent some time in the canteen making small-talk over tea, last of an endless number of similar trips: it’s funny how trivial obsessions bring people together. The driver still wasn’t here. They decided to get out and take a walk—the weather seemed encouraging.

There wasn’t much to talk now, it’s one of those strange times: the last few moments that mark the end of a phase. Those fugitive moments that hang in a state of suspended animation, being neither in the past, present or the future. Like droplets hanging at tree branches after a heavy rain, in a last attempt to retain their identity before dropping and becoming an indistinguishable part of the giant monolith: the past. It seems useless to start one of your usual conversation, because in all probability, it will be interrupted much before reaching its natural conclusion, and saying goodbye is something everyone wants to delay because you never really know how to say it. Thus, they walked idly, with a small comment here and there, but mostly in silence. The phone rang, it was the driver.

The car arrived. It was a pretty nice car, he hadn’t expected that. He allowed mild excitement to occupy a small portion of his mind, the rest filled by immense nostalgia. He said goodbye to his friends and exchanged the usual “Keep in touch!” and “I’ll miss you so much”, followed by hugs. Hugging her, he felt something strange and then recognized it as the realization that despite being close friends for over 3 years, this was the first time they had actually hugged. It wasn’t important, just strange. He took the front seat and waved at them as the car started, with a faint hope in some part of his mind that something would happen—may be the car engine will break down—that will delay the departure by a few precious moments. But nothing happened. 8 hours later, he was back home. 44 days later, he left for Bangalore.

Link to part 3


Rahul Jha

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Comment [2]

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