Sunday, November 29, 2015

An Ode to Prakash

Today one of my classmates left the mortal realm to merge with the cosmos. It seems cruel that a man in the prime of his youth and in the pink of his health had to meet this fate.

When such things happen, every memory become crystal clear and prick us like shards of ice. I am no exception. Even though, we were not very close, all my memories are gathering momentum and I felt there is no better way to release them, than to write.

Prakash was one of the most decent men I've ever met. He was the first follower of this blog, that too when it had only indecipherable poems. He liked playing age of empires too. That's how we first became friends. He read each and every blogpost of mine. In class, he was helpful and sincere. He was empathetic. I don't think he ever teased or annoyed anybody. We've had few long conversations, after Tribute in bus, the bus accident that both he and my best friend shared, the projects his company and my college shared, planning the birthday surprise of our mutual friend, discussing after our second symposium how he wanted to be president, discussing the programs I gave him, the first tour, wishing each other happy birthday. There are other thousand conversations that beg for attention but the emotional toll is draining me. If a mere classmate can have so many positive memories, I can only extrapolate what his close friends must feel like and I cannot imagine the trauma his twin brother is facing.

As a person, he lived life to the fullest. He travelled the world, he had the latest gadgets, he was well dressed, celebrated himself, participated with his family.

It is ironic that the man who didn't break any heart had a massive heart attack. He was a man who was better than most of us. I am confident he is resting in peace. But the world will sorely miss a gem of a character.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

How I Write Poems

I've always thought creativity and poetry are quite spontaneous and that there is no fixed 'methodology' that you can prescribe to it. However, in recent times, I've been thinking we all have a set of algorithms embedded deep within us that brings out our signature style. Even though, technically, how I write poetry is I meditate on an emotion, make it expand intensely and let it engulf me whole and let the words flow, I realize I do have a set pattern.

#1 Fixing the rhyme scheme

Call me old school. I just don't like poems that don't rhyme. It seems as if it is too easy. I generally go for an AABB rhyme scheme, just rhyming consecutive lines and being happy. If am adventurous, I may try ABAB.

#2 Fixing the meter

I usually go for a pentameter, 10 syllables per line. Sometimes I do seven syllables per line. That's about it.

#3 Throw in a LOT of alliteration

I love alliteration. I like phrases like 'tree trembles', 'wind whispers'. They almost sound musical to me.

#4 The cheats I use
Sometime, I google rhyming words :P Sometime if am too lazy, I'll end with the same word in two lines.

#5 Poetic license
I try not to abuse my poetic license much. I like a good structured poem. One prominent example where I used it is when once I said, "when blows the breeze" instead of "when the breeze blows".

So all this talking led me to try writing a poem. I'm going to try this algorithm in four lines on a very easy topic, the current incessant rains.

Dear droplets of Hydrogen Dioxide,
You batter everyone that's outside.
However, you brought well needed respite,
from both, the heat and the power bill's bite!

Hmm, maybe one day I'll make a natural language generator out of this!