Little Red Writer – 1


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A cute doggie to draw the readers in….

One day, Little Red Writer decided to write poetry. Now, poetry is very hard to do. Little Red Writer was little and unschooled. He had some words in his bag and he wanted to show his words to his granny, Facebook. Little Red Writer knew that poetry has rules. These are to be followed and sometimes broken. LRW, as he was called by his dog, knew just enough rules to think he could hack it.

LRW knew that poetry often uses metre. A metre in poetry is not the same as a beam of light in some laboratory in Europe. Metre is a measure of sounds in a line. There are names given to the poetry that follows different metres. LRW did not know all these. LRW was uneducated. LRW had not read much poetry. Poetry also uses rhymes. Rhymes are words used to end a line to make similar sounds. For example, June and Moon are rhymes. LRW knew rhymes.

Most importantly, Little Red Writer knew that poetry expressed feelings. He had often written letters to Granny Facebook. He had felt things. He had told Granny F everything he felt. What he felt most often was a sense of wonder. Gran was a very social being. She always had people over, partying and yelling and taking pictures and posting cat videos and puppies and posters about the importance of gods and goddesses with big butts and lots of cleavage and ministers and tv hosts and communist propaganda and faith. Granny F also had salons where poets and poetesses of all strengths, convictions, skills and ideas met and denigrated each other’s poetry.

Poetry, Little Red Writer learned, was a big thing for Granny F. Poetry produced many likers, a type of wonderful insect that tickled every pore of the poet, thrilling him/her as they drilled deep into his/her very core. The Little Red Writer also wanted to feel these lovely creatures and so he resolved to write his own poetry and mail them to Granny Facebook.

Little did Little Red Writer know that he knew very little. He little knew that to attract those little insects, Likers, he had to write words that meant little but gave much. So he put on his thinking cap, the one with the yellow tassels, the colour clashing beautifully with the scarlet of the cap itself. His white hair, poking through under the brim of the cap, his glasses aligned on his well-manicured nose, he set to work.

Granny Facebook is still waiting for the poetry that Little Red Writer is trying to write. The word on the street is that Little Red W is not really trying. Rumours abound that he has been busy planning weddings instead of writing. There are those who are rejoicing at the thought of a blog less clogged with poetry. These people are known cat-fanciers, however, and cannot be trusted to understand the Power of Poetry. There are some, a rare breed of dog-lovers, okra-eaters, lotus-worshippers and yoga practitioners, who do expect a bit of verse at regular intervals.

For them, unfortunately, the wait continues. The Little Red Writer has no poetry to offer. Granny F has given up waiting, even stopped clicking her teeth in frustration.

Granny F is waiting for poetry no more.
Little Red Writer is back being a bore.
He has no poetry to offer.
But a few words from his coffer,
no gore or sweaty pore, just tales of yore.

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Shameless Flamboyance!


I didn’t see it coming. It was all coming along so well. It came as a bit of shock actually. But let me back track a bit and provide some backing track to the song of my life over the  past few months.

Not quite sure what this represents, but it's made of glass....
Not quite sure what this represents, but it’s made of glass….

I used to write this blog fairly regularly. When I first started it was with the belief that I’d soon get the hang of it. As you know, I tried different styles. I had the ponderous, third person of the SloMan pondering the pond we call life. He observed the specimens in the pond and pondered on the meaning of it all. He was the first.

Then I came along as myself, writing some rather nostalgic pieces. I even inflicted poetry on the unsuspecting public. Often, I fooled them into visiting by attaching a cute kitten to the piece. Once enticed, they read the poems. Some poems actually were commended. A couple were shared on social media. A fellow blogger actually reblogged one of them on his blog. Such exciting stuff! And all that from poetry! Can you imagine the ferrous quality of the situation? ( Irony.., Iron, Fe, Ferrous .. if not chemically inclined). That was a high point. Also a low point, because I’d rather someone ( could be anyone, really, anyone at all, would you please? ) shared some of my scintillating pieces of prose. Some of them are prosaic, some are inclined to talk about my proboscis, my professional life ( or lack thereof ), none were profane, but some did talk of programming, some about my productivity struggles, some simply prolonged the post for no reason at all. Some probed the profound truths and one talked about probiotics. I’ve talked about the progress I’ve made in my goals ( none, whatsoever, thank you for your concern.) Hell, LeggieLefty has also talked about the Proteas. Quite simply, then, I have been proactive in procuring for you the best prose that my head can provide. As you can see, I have a certain proclivity or propensity towards proudly proceeding to provoke a prolonged probe into the problems facing us.

By “us”, I mean “me”. I just attended a seminar where I was told that the most important person is the room was “you”, but he pointed his finger at me. Now, before you protest ( no, I’m starting that thing again.. we’re done! I am, seriously done with that – what’s that? you prohibit me? ) Ok, well, here is the thing then, I found that I was too poetic and too ah – I don’t know, “sensitive”, maybe, in my writing? Well, we can’t have that! I can’t be seen to be “sensitive”. I’m a middle-aged, red-blooded, Punjabi male, for god’s sake! It would not be right for my idiom! Besides, there were so many things that bugged me and I needed a rant or two to every once in a while. Thus, the PeevedPunjabi, was procreated ( oops ! soooorry ..).

I’m not going to talk about LeggieLefty. LeggieLefty moons about thinking and dreaming about cricket, but his writing style is a good mix of styles. That’s me, I said. Of course, I needed proof so I looked in the mirror and I confirmed that it was indeed me. LeggieLefty looks so much like me, it’s uncanny! I checked with the PeevedPunjabi and the SloMan and would you believe it! They all could pass for me, without the benefit of dark glasses, fake Assyrian moustaches or a hair makeover! How weird is that? Identical quads, with the same glasses and identical moles, facial hair and eyebrows!

Now, the sad bits. The last few months haven’t been good to me. Business has been quite bad. All the prospective clients have proceeded to turn to dust. I haven’t been able to get any signatures on the dotted line. Things are bleak. I came close once or twice, real close, but no cigar. In protest, I proceeded to work on my writing with results that I have reported elsewhere. As they Bongs say “Jahgey! Boi ta to lekha holo!” Shall I translate? Jahgey is an exclamation that loosely means “whatever”. Boi is a book. In a singular lack of qualification, boi also means movie. Lekha is written. You get the picture…. ( At least the book got written, if still befuddled. ) Now, on the Bong need to qualify. Bongs qualify most nouns. You’re not just going to the “beach”, you’re going to the “sea beach”. A longer discussion of this phenomenon will be held over until a later post. Don’t whine! I gotta have something in reserve!

To make matters worse, the coffee machine has gone away for servicing. It’s going to be away for two whole weeks! I have to either use the Italian percolator or the French Press, which is more work than lazy ass me is usually inclined to do. When feeling really lazy, like today, and down in the dumps, I’ve even resorted to instant. Now if that isn’t plumbing the depths of coffee-snob hell I don’t know what is.

Then a certain Facebook friend, rashly promised to read the blog AND write some comments. After a delay of a day or two, during which I naturally had to prod her a few times, she read a couple of the articles here. Her prognosis?

First impressions: Funny. Interesting. Runs the gamut from self deprecating humor to shameless flamboyance. Anything but dull….makes for great reading on the long commute to and from work

Shameless flamboyance! She also labelled me a “drama queen”. But wait, there’s more!

Today, while brushing my teeth I saw it….

A tiny strand, a single tendril of hair tending towards the left of my face. On the slope of my nose.

Death, where is thy sting!

Alice doesn’t wear drawers, anymore


It’s funny how words have more than one meaning. It’s funny how that one fact can give rise to some very funny situations. Here is one I remember from an earlier time.

English: Flowchart about how to become an Indi...
English: Flowchart about how to become an Indian Chartered Accountant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regular readers will remember that once upon a time I was a young man living in Calcutta. This is a story about a time when, as a 19-year-old, I was serving my 3-year sentence as Articled Clerk to a firm of Chartered Accountants. This was a mandatory service required to be a Chartered Accountant. You had to pass two sets of exams too, the first of which I failed miserably and did not bother to retake. Thus, you’re reading the words of a loser, dropout and quitter, all rolled into one. I prefer to think of it as a providential escape from the humdrum world of accounting to the exciting world of a lion tamer, which is what I became. ( But that’s another story… ) Continue reading “Alice doesn’t wear drawers, anymore”

The Traveling IT guy and …


Once upon a time there lived an IT guy. He was young, some say he was good-looking. He loved and was loved by a young IT gal. They loved in a small flat on the ground floor of a quiet neighborhood of Calcutta. He was not quite tall and not really of medium height, but somewhere in between. She was of just the right Continue reading “The Traveling IT guy and …”

How To Write a Novel


1711 The Court and City Vagaries
Click the image and see page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In this, for the first time ever, I shall attempt to write a serious post. Come along for the ride, as we explore the process of writing a novel. I have never taken a creative writing class or literature appreciation classes. This guide, therefore, is perfect for the lay author, written as it is by Continue reading “How To Write a Novel”

The Big O and I


The Big O. It’s probably the most used and most misunderstood term. It’s not just misunderstood, it is one of the leading causes of misunderstandings. At the very outset, I must confess that I have so far failed to fully comprehend the nuances of the O and it’s usage.

O is best understood by a few, very select people. These people are usually well read. They tend to be culturally advanced. A large percentage of them will own cameras and will be accomplished photographers. Almost all of them will understand the Continue reading “The Big O and I”

HOW TO WRITE GOOD


I love it – this post learned me everything I must do to write rightly!

Kenneth Harper Finton

by Frank L. Visco

My several years6f9b0bd7-adc8-463c-8f16-0bf9bc250395 in the word  game have learnt me several rules:

  1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
  2. Prepositions are  not words to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid cliche like the plague. (They’re old  hat.)
  4. Employ the vernacular.
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  7. It is wrong to ever split  an infinitive.
  8. Contractions aren’t necessary.
  9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  10. One should never generalize.
  11. Eliminate quotations. As  Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s.highly superfluous.
  14. Profanity sucks.
  15. Be more or less specific.
  16. Understatement is·always best
  17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  20. The passive voice is to be avoided
  21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid…

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about integrity


“Disgraced integrity czar walks away with $ 500,000”.  

The headline troubled the Slo-Man at multiple levels.

Firstly, the use of the term “czar” to imply a senior-most position. The media is tempted to use this indiscriminately, with seemingly no regard to the history behind the term. Is the position really as autocratic as the term would imply? This is another instance of connotations being changed. Over time words lose their original meanings and North American driven political correctness has been the driving force behind much change in recent years. Sadly, though not all the changes makes sense, “sex worker” being one that particularly irritates the Slo-Man with it’s forced air of desperation.

Secondly, some government apparently had a well-compensated officer charged with monitoring the “integrity”, presumably of the staff. What qualifications would someone need for such a position? Would hall monitor for 2 years in high school add any value? How exactly is the integrity officer supposed to execute on her brief? Send out emails and flyers and a website exhorting staff to keep their hands out of the till? How about the integrity officers political masters? Does the officer’s influence extend to them too? Most people will not bother to answer that question and the Slo-Man can see the wry and cynical smile on the readers’ faces.

Thirdly, for someone with that level and type of brief to be given compensation for doing a bad job, is something that really upsets the Slo-Man. Surely, an integrity officer, responsible for the collective conscience of the government, should be set to a higher standard of accountability?

And then there is the delicious irony of the situation. “Disgraced” and “integrity czar”.

Once again – the Slo-Man shakes his head as yet another instance of his impotence and influence is highlighted.

The Obsolescence of phrases and the “t-Shirt bra”


The English language evolves continuously, words change their meanings almost from generation to generation. “Sick” used to mean unwell, ill, under the weather. For anyone over the age of 20 it still does. Fro a modern generation it is akin to “fantastic”.
Somewhere, somehow, subtly sentences sustained a serious setback in their construction.Parsing, clause analyses and the parts of speech are no longer taught as grammar and spelling have taken a backseat to the immediacy and intimacy of the internet. Parsing alone remains as a term understood now by some computer programmers, a term that was replaced by software developer and software engineers. A modern generation of young students would, the Slo-Man expects, be hard-pressed to explain the difference between a gerund and a present participle and who, in a support of “free expression”, never have been enjoined to not split the infinitive.These are examples of changed meanings or lost meanings, but the Slo-man is concerned here about terms that are no longer generally applicable or commonly usable, phrases that are obsolete because the situations or conditions they describe are no longer extant.

All this was brought to the attention of the Slo-Man by the LLBF, who was visiting after a recent trip to the shopping mall, in itself a concept less than 100 years old. On a cool late summer day in his adoptive city, reminiscent of the advent of the festival season of his far away foster city, waves of nostalgia washed over the LLBF. On such a day as this, the LLBF was wont to remark gently “Ahh, my dear, a nipple in the air, eh?”.

And that brought the Slo-Man memories of an age past and left him lamenting the lapsing of lace lingerie and yet another phrase.