UC as in You See and MGU

One year has passed after completing that voyage from a student to a former student at Union Christian College, Alwaye (UCC). It was rather an expedition for the cause of being an UCean which started with the Mahatma Gandhi University’s Centralized Allotment Process, something which made sure that I would get the admission, something which would have not been possible with a normal procedure and without Divine intervention. There haven’t been many of my friends who admire MG University and its way of operations, but I do; for even as I admit that I did suffer with its Off Campus Department working with that Distance Education, the rest has actually worked so well for me. I might need to complain about my total percentage like everyone else, but I am mostly a pessimist and a cynic who lacks focus, so no complaints about it from my side.

The first rays of a UC morning (taken on my GT-B7722)

The first rays of a UC morning (taken on my GT-B7722)

MGU’s CAP procedure made sure that I had the admission through a straight path, and there was something else about it, and it is about the out of syllabus questions that it comes up with. Yes, it once came up with the question who is Mrs Norris; the answer being the pet cat of Argus Filch, the caretaker of Hogwarts – I love when they come up with such questions, which I can proudly answer just because of a random reading or movie watching habit instead of studying those books which are forced on us. I didn’t remember the owner’s name, but the other details including its petrification in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were clear in the mind. I have always hoped for them to ask some purely Gothic horror question out of syllabus, they never did though.

Whatever is closest to the tree of life :D (GT-B7722)

Whatever is closest to the tree of life 😀 (GT-B7722)

MGU, you are an intellectual beauty, and what you did with a lot of out of syllabus questions was to make the students think and read more literature making the library of some use. I know that a lot of students might despise the same, but I don’t. I admire what came up there even as nobody there might have really wanted that to happen. What English Literature students need are those out of syllabus questions, because you can’t restrict the post graduation in Literature to a few books, for it is a vast subject and questions has to come in such a way that the best readers get the better score instead of those who just memorize for the examinations. It would have even prepared us better for the NET exams. I shall choose to be a pariah rather than not support an out of syllabus question paper for MA English. I would say “add a little more history to it too”.

We are now not unlike this tree (GT-B7722)

We are now not unlike this tree (GT-B7722)

Being a UCean is a prestige, and it might not be something that one realizes when he or she is already studying there. We take our wonderful situation as granted, and a few months later, we realize that we should have considered it with that reverence that it actually deserved. But we are lost within such trivial matters that are so inconsequential that the fact rarely come up in our minds. We are lost not in the fog, but the haar of the coast, being caught in the imaginary British Literary Isles. But out reminiscences of our days at the college come up later, and that happens with such strength that it is impossible to resist, and with that strength comes unbelievable durability of the memories. We were all the riders to the sea, and now we are the fallens angels of that lost paradise, except for those who had chosen to turn Faustus and sell their souls to Mephistopheles.

Nature is happiness, it has always been (GT-B7722)

Nature is happiness, it has always been (GT-B7722)

When the life turns rather nugatory, that black hole which has been created in this busy world of chaos, turns on you and make you realize about its supernatural ability of preventing escape, and the first thing that it reminds you about, is that beautiful free world that you left behind, an year ago – the end of them all came in August 2013, even as the results came in December last year. There is no longer a free world, as the constraints stretch its arms towards you and works as dementors, feeding off the happiness and bringing out that mighty despair which converts itself to the mighy gladiator which has finally found a worthy amphitheatre. At that moment, UCC comes back to you, and the need to be a student again becomes stronger than ever. It was not just good being a student, it was awesome.

And then you give that building one last look (GT-B7722)

And then you give that building one last look (GT-B7722)

There is the morning light that you see at the college as you become one of the first students to set your foot on the college land every single day, and the meaning of the light becomes poetry when you are no longer that student. There is the evening sun which shines with its strange light going through the branches covered by green, reflecting on my Chevrolet Beat, a vision that inspires immortality. Then there is the tree under which you sit and read some random novel you take from the reading room or the library becomes the history book that you lost in the war that was to follow, randomly collecting the daily battles which are never won by any side. All the tea that you had from that canteen between the class hours is that memory which asks to be awakened – but you can’t go for tea from the class room if there is no class any more, right? How can one have the opportunity to be absent when there is no class? My absence is of no value any more, and makes me doubt my own existence.

Finally, the sun sets on thee and thy car (GT-B7722)

Finally, the sun sets on thee and thy car (GT-B7722)

UCC was the perfect place for me to be. It was always supposed to be so. But what does it take to realize the same? Not just some wrong decisions, but also two years of being there along with a few more months of pondering over it. But the question remains if it would have been any better if this worked more like school and I could just fail to stay in the same class for longer, for I would like to think that the time period between 2011 and 2013 was almost perfect for my existence there, and a few years early or just a little bit later might have taken the beauty out of it. Some things come late, and there is certainly a time for everything – some of them working well and the others working terrible, but all of them should come to an end, that ragnorak which happened and I never gave it the significane it deserved – damned be those pettifogging things which intervened.

I miss the tea at the canteen, parking the Chevrolet Beat under that huge tree, the quiz competitions and the English Department plus all the bloody green trees and even the grass. Above all, I miss literature in all its glory, and I lack inspiration with all its opulence, for I can no longer visualize Valhalla or Avalon 😦

TeNy

The Path to Redemption

2009 saw the release of Solomon Kane, telling the tale of the rise of a hero, a protagonist who was different from the rest, and even his motives having a separate cause behind them. It has James Purefoy has the protagonist, a former mercenery seeking redemption. It came up with a great atmosphere, which was not scary, but still haunting, and its use of the elements like plague, demons, sorcery and swordfights without overdoing anything, is worth mentioning. It was one of those movies which came instantly into my favourites list.

Our hero is Solomon Kane, a ruthless man who has massacred innocents in war, and one day, captures a castle in North Africa where his men are taken away by demons from the mirror around, and he comes face to face against the Devil’s Reaper who is there to take his soul to hell for the terrible things he had done. But he rejects the fate that is put in front of him and jumps out into the sea to begin a life in hope for redemption.

You don't mess with Solomon Kane (Pic from movie's FB page)

You don’t mess with Solomon Kane (Pic from movie’s FB page)

He comes to believe that his hope for salvation will be attained by pacifism. But that would change when he is provided asylum by a family which is later slaughtered, and the young daughter of the family is taken by an evil sorcerer. There comes the alternate path for redemption, and we see that he says “There are many paths to redemption, not all of them peaceful”. From there, he travels a different path, not something that is unknown to him, but something that was there to be taken.

The world itself reflects the state of the protagonist’s mind. There is wasteland all around, with not much hope left for anyone. There is evil running through the world and goodness is rare to find. Demons ravage the world and the angels are nowhere to be found. Well, not that much different from the present world, but in the case of this movie world, it was clearly visible – in this century, even demons can act as angels really well and any possible angel is mistaken as a demon.

The name itself reminds us of two people, and we see the contrast there – the wise king who was Solomon, and the cursed human whom Cain ended up becoming, after slaying his sibling. These two personalities seem to exist in him, and it was only upto him to decide which one he had chosen to become. James Purefoy is a lot like the poor man’s Hugh Jackman, and here he is, like Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing – and that helps. Do look out for the yound Rachel Hurd-Wood as Meredith Crowthorn, the same person who played Sibyl Vane in 2009’s Dorian Gray, another character of innocence.

“If I kill you, I am bound for hell. It is a price I shall gladly pay” – this is what Solomon Kane would eventually come up with. The movie has no clear presence of God or the Devil, as there are only messengers to those beyond Earth. Devil himself chooses to send the Reaper rather than bringing himself or his trusted minions to Solomon Kane. Even the redemption of our protagonist is a story which seems to be never-ending, and only a few sequels can bring it to the finishing line. There is a lot left for humans to accomplish on Earth by themselves, and for the same, we might need help, but not new human gods.

Behold evil in all its glory (Pic from aceshowbiz)

Behold evil in all its glory (Pic from aceshowbiz)

Solomon Kane’s message is to react to the evil rather than let it thrive. It asks to act for the righteous and on the side of goodness rather than checking such things and thus seek redemption for the wrong that has been done. Even for the worst, there is the hope for redemption, even during the worst of times. The movie’s message remains strong as it has a strong protagonist played by a wonderful actor, and the atmosphere of the movie keeps the viewers interested in it. I loved the rain that kept pouring. This is a movie I choose to recommend highly. It deserves to be watched – for Solomon Kane didn’t get a release at this part of the world.

TeNy

In Search of a Soul

Based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, the movie I, Frankenstein continues the journey of the monster which was created in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. It does tell something about the background story which can be seen as a small introduction. The book has been among my favourite horror stories of all time, having an opportunity to read it during my childhood. Along with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, there was something about this novel which came second in my list at that time. So, a continuation of the tale of this monster was going to be intriguing.

The question about how good the movie is, might bring some discussions, but the major question about this work is not about its quality, but about one thing – the soul. It has Aaron Eckhart as the Frankenstein’s monster which wanders around the world we know without a soul. He has survived all the changes that the world had undergone and spends his time in loneliness. But he gets caught in a battle between the gargoyles appointed by the Archangels and the demons who are hoping to take over Earth.

Know the Frankenstein Monster, the man in search of a soul in the land of vainglory. He is Adam Frankenstein, the first monster created on Earth, the demonic paradise.

The soulless monster, Adam Frankenstein (Photo from movie's FB page)

The soulless monster, Adam Frankenstein (Photo from movie’s FB page)

The soulless creature becomes the centre of attraction because the demon Naberius, one of the original fallen angels, plan to use the procedure which was used to create this monster to re-animate a number of corpses without souls and use them as containers for the souls of millions in hell, unleashing an army of demons which will finally be able to walk on Earth and cause chaos. You remember the plan which was brought by Mammon and Balthazar in the movie Constantine and by Blackheart and his minions in the movie Ghost Rider.

It was quite easy to identify that the creature made my re-animating a dead body had no soul. But the interesting thing is that by his good deeds, he finally does grow a soul. Still, the question remains about the people of our present world. Do they have a soul? A conscience which makes them do good unconditionally in a world dominated by money where only the winners have honour and approval forcing one to shed goodness? The fact that a monster gained the same in a movie might not be consoling for many, as most of the current world lacks the abilitiy to be the container of a good soul.

Our monster does kill the wife of his creator in a few moments of anger and frustration, but the new generation does much worse. Their brutality to the people around them is not just related to some murder, but in their daily words and action as part of a long procedure which they consistently force upon their own species without any remorse. It is more like a river of anger and hatred flowing without restrictions on a monsoon. The anger at Maria Sharapova has subsided, but we do see a lot more every day, and the reality is much worse outside.

The creature was closer to the dead than the living, caught between two dimensions, of life and death, and yet manages to find life and the humanity worth his time and care. It was a creature without identity, and no conscience at all, until it became the “he”, changing his ideas about himself to more of a common hope for salvation, becoming part of all that he has known, from gargoyles to humans. He is still the equivalent of what we would call a zombie, but like in the movie Warm Bodies, he has something in him, and here it is more than just a heartbeat and a brain.

The beauty & the beast one step closer to the soul (Photo from movie's FB page)

The beauty & the beast one step closer to the soul (Photo from movie’s FB page)

Our creature understands his higher purpose and elevates himself to something beyond the selfishness that he had earlier gathered. He understands that despite what he has gone through, it is not in his power to deny God’s will or to deny himself his own right to do good, as he himself was created by a creation of God, thus becoming God’s own, in an indirect manner. He is thus Adam, the first of his kind, and unique, yet part of the universe and its plans. As they say in the movie “You’re only a monster if you behave like one” – so do most of the humans of our time deserve a soul more than a monster?

TeNy