lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Monday, June 25, 2007

The lament of the mistress

Writing poems is fun. It is an esoteric kind of fun, I admit, but that doesn't detract the fun quotient a bit. Reading poems is fun too. I get to argue, and one thing leads to another.

I am not easily provoked; I will have you know. I can't help having opinions and stated them to a neutral listener. But he turned out not to be neutral. He said I nit-pick, fuss and wax pedantic. I suppose I do, but never without reason, so I felt aggrieved.

"You quibble too much, Lali."
"Nothing of the sort," I said, primly. "My points are valid, honey."
"You never wrote metered poems…"
"Scuse me? I did too, I'll have you know."
"Let me finish what I am saying, willya?"
"Yessir. You have the floor, sir, and I am the doormat." He sighed.
"Limericks don't count. You never wrote a sonnet or a whatchamacallit, did you?"
"You can't criticise if you haven't done some work in the same field, after all."
"All right. You have the floor now."
"Is that official? Are you the doormat now?"

He only said that to get my goat, I knew. Of course, one can criticise without expertise; people do it all the time. You don't have to be a cook to say a dish is over-salted. If the lord and master says write a poem before you quibble at one, lady of the house obliges. So I gave him an impromptu tercet.

"You are still here but I miss you, when will we meet next, I fret; to banish the doubts I kiss you."

"Hmm. Tell me more about it. I am languishing unkissed here, by the way." I smiled.

"My cheeks wet as if with dew, small trysts are all I can get; you are still here but I miss you," I improvised. "You are leading up to something, I can see. "

"Stolen kisses and chances so few: you wonder at my cheeks so wet? To banish the doubts I kiss you," I continued. "But you haven't," he complained. I laughed.

"Stolen kisses, eh? The plot thickens," he said. "You bet. Shall I go on?" "You might as well."

"Giddy days when our love was new, madness in recall, hard to forget." I said. "You flatter me Lali," he sighed. "You are still here but I miss you." I concluded the tercet.

"Be that as it may, I can't see how the fourth tercet develops." "The fifth, honey. I can count that high, you know?" "Yeah, rub it in, I lost count. So let's have the next bit."

"There's bliss now, there'll be grief anew; passion owes deceit a debt; to banish the doubts I kiss you," I said.

"Interesting. So the quatrain is more or less set." "That's what you think." I grinned wickedly.

"You aren't mine, I can't have you; sometimes I wish we never met." I stated, and he winced. I finished the quatrain. "You are still here but I miss you; to banish the doubts I kiss you. The lament of the mistress in a villanelle, so there."

"Tell me Lali, are you contemplating an affair?" I burst out laughing.



Anonymous Ash said...

Lovely, Lali. The theme is sad, so you violated Henley's rules about villanelle writing but the picture of your extracting playful vengeance is charming. How can you do such extempore versifying? The mind boggles.

8:27 pm  
Blogger Nilu said...

But you aren't just contemplating.

9:44 pm  
Blogger anantha said...

How can you do such extempore versifying? The mind boggles.

Amen to that.... :)

9:47 pm  
Anonymous dipali said...

Mind totally boggled! Loved the post, and Mr.& Mrs.Doormat.

12:01 am  
Blogger Shirsha said...

Really extempore?
Clap clap clap ....

10:48 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Ash- It's just doggerel, not serious poetry, after all.

Nilu- That's right, announce it to the whole world.

Anantha- Like I said, it's just versifying, not real poetry.

Dipali- Mr. Doormat says, thank you very much for that. :-)

Shirsha- Thanks, But it is easy for a person who thinks words all the time, that's about it.

3:06 pm  
Blogger Rimi said...

*I* have the floor, Lali. I'm absolutely and completely floored. How DO you do these things?

Re. "You can't criticise if you haven't done some work in the same field, after all.", incidentally, K and I will have to have a Talk. A stern one, too.

2:04 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Rimi- He only said that to goad me, princess. After all these years he knows all the buttons to push. He was appalled I posted about it, but it serves him right, right? :-)

2:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a film student studying in kolkata. I am orginally from Andhra Pradesh...I am currently making a 20min docu. film on pickles.
Did a google search. came across your blog. exciting!
can we meet or talk ...just about pickles. pickle stories. or what our mothers told us about pickles. our memories...
tangella madhavi.

5:12 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Anon- Dear girl, you could have mailed. I refuse to take responsibility for all sorts of strange calls you might get soon and anon, now that you gave your number on my blog. Never fear, though. Most people who read my blog are basically nice. I am not answerable for the kooks.

Pickles, is it? Bengal is lousy when it comes to pickles, give me Andhra any day. Let's talk about Avakaya and exactly how it should be done. :-)

9:00 pm  
Blogger WA said...

Such a lovely post Lali, loved it.

11:56 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

WA- Thank you. Coming from you it means a lot.

12:12 am  
Blogger Priya said...

Trust you to be a wicked lover. ;-) Floored I am too. In more ways than one. Btw, this comment is to tell you that I some remote corner of the earth, I still breathe.

8:04 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Priya- Pathetic clingy lover I thought the poem depicted, but still. You do have my number, angel, so call.

12:00 pm  

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