THERE ONCE WAS A BLOGGER

~ Posted by Charukesi Ramadurai, June 20th 2012

Plenty of bloggers react to news stories and the Indian blogger, Aparna Ray, is no exception. Ray has blogged about the woman who bit the ear of a man who called her fat, and the boa constrictor that died of silicone poisoning after attacking a model’s breast, and the college professor who was arrested for forwarding a cartoon about West Bengal's chief minister.

What's unusual about Aparna Ray's blog is that she writes her posts in limericks. A postgraduate in applied psychology, Ray, 43, lives in Kolkata and works as a market researcher and ethnographer. But for the last five years, she has been keeping the tradition of the limerick alive on her blog Newsmericks.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edward Lear, the master of the limerick. The traditional limerick has five lines and an AABBA scheme and it's the challenge of the form—“a strict structure and rhyme scheme where the writer has to be very concise”—that first attracted Ray. What kept her going was the response from readers. They left limericks as comments.

“Limericks have the potential," says Ray, "to infuse bite and sarcasm into any story." Her most recent limerick concerns the Bombay High Court, which heard a divorce petition, filed by a man on the grounds that his wife was unwilling to relocate to his new place of work. The judges held that: "A wife should be like the goddess Sita who left everything and followed her husband Lord Ram to a forest and stayed there for 14 years." Ray's response went:

The judge told her "Swear on the Gita,
(That) you'll follow your husband, like Sita."
Said she, with a titter,
"I can follow on Twitter,
But in real life? No way! Woh din beeta*!"

*Woh din beeta—Those days are long gone.

Charukesi Ramadurai is a freelance journalist based in Bangalore who has written for More Intelligent Life about the death of single-screen cinemas in Mumbai