The Bright Future

As this year’s movie watching adventures come to a close, there are a number of movies which I am looking forward to in the next year, not including the sequels. As far as the quality and the variety of movies which released in 2014 are concerned, I would consider the year far behind 2013, whether we are considering Hollywood, Bollywood or even the Malayalam movie industry. There are only a few movies that are left for release in 2014, which can change that, but there is hope for the next year. It might be too early now, but these are the five non-sequel movies which I am looking forward to in 2015.

The Last Witch Hunter: Even as it kind of brings some doubt into our minds with sounding like The Last Airbender, I would trust Vin Diesel on this one, and joining him is Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones, this time with a hero who knows a lot, and this should keep the standards. As witches seek to unleash a plague, it is this hunter who stands between them. I would have like The Rock to do such a role, but it seems that Vin Diesel would do nicely – he hunts witches this time, and not aliens or humans, works perfectly well for me. May this one not be the last witch hunter you will ever want to see, hoping that this will do only good to the genre – meanwhile look at this poster’s similarities to the creature in Mama.

This should be a fascinating story (Pic from movie's FB Page)

This should be a fascinating story (Pic from movie’s FB Page)

Victor Frankenstein: As James McAvoy plays Victor Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe is Igor in this different adaptation of the original classic from Mary Shelley, there is the certainty of some beauty in variety here. We have had the perspectives of the monster as well as the scientist, and it is time we get the viewpoint of the scientist’s assistant. Coming up on Gandhi Jayanthi next year, lets hope that this one is not lost and not shown here due to some random stupid Bollywood movie with any superstar releasing in India, like Besharam in 2013 and Bang Bang! in 2014.

Hitman: Agent 47: As this movie which needs no introduction comes to the big screen as a reboot, this adaptation of the game franchise should do even better than the other one which released earlier. Hitman is that kind of a character with immense possibilities and a lot less chance to go wrong. Lets hope that this movie twists the wrong idea about video game adaptations and turn it into something better. Paul Walker would have been an amazing Hitman, and it is saddening that he had to be replaced with the accident. We should give this assassin a chance, because video games can certainly make good movies without getting the critical appreciation, and it is a proven fact.

Hitman was never just another game for us (Pic from movie's FB Page)

Hitman was never just another game for us (Pic from movie’s FB Page)

Crimson Peak: Its been sometimes since we saw something from Guillermo del Toro, and I have to say that whenever his name is involved, I consider the movie a must watch, and that feeling has never failed me. It has Mia Wasikowska in the lead role. If you have seen her in Stoker, you would know how good she would be in a movie like this. The nineteen century setting in a Gothic mansion far away from the city, sounds too good to go wrong. As it is supposed to be not just a ghost story, but also a Gothic romance, there is going to be mysterious feel about this one which is going to be special. Our own Loki, Tom Hiddleston is going to be there – something big is surely coming here!

Jupiter Ascending: This one has been making us wait rather too much. Along with having Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis together, this movie provides us with a huge universe extending through different planets and solar systems and if what we see in the trailer keeps happening a lot, we can be sure that there will be some incredibly powerful action and magnificent visual effects which will rule the screen. This should be an amazing new world if it can rightly deliver what it seems to possess. Check the posters and the trailer and you will know. Lets trust The Wachowskis once again to bring that awesome science fiction movie of the year to us.

Such awesome visuals and action (Pic from movie's FB Page)

Such awesome visuals and action (Pic from movie’s FB Page)

Among the sequels, my best bet would be on Avengers: Age of Ultron and Furious 7 – no surprises there. I also have high hopes for Insidious: Chapter 3, Sinister 2, Jurrasic World, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, The Woman in Black: Angel of Death, The Transporter Legacy, Terminator: Genisys, Taken 3, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Kung Fu Panda 3, Mission: Impossible 5 and London has Fallen. There are also the upcoming James Bond and Star Wars movies, plus Fifty Shades of Grey. It is a long list of movies yet again, and my guess is that it will surely be a better year than 2014.

TeNy

Crosshairs at Home

Vampire Owl: You are older than the Transformers. How can you even buy a toy when you are a thousands of years old Vampire Bat?

Vampire Bat: Because I won the gift voucher, and I have to spend it wisely.

Vampire Owl: What does wisdom got to do with a brainless movie such as Transformers, especially the last three movies of the franchise? You should have used your Transformer Chevrolet Beat instead and hoped that it would transform like in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Vampire Bat: I have always wanted this one since I was a kid, as per the official records; not as per our original vampire age.

Vampire Owl: Do you realize that there are many evil devices in these online stores which we can use for world domination?

Vampire Bat: Do you know that this is Diwali and one should stop being evil until Halloween?

Vampire Owl: That reminds me, do you need to hear me crack a cracker joke?

Vampire Bat: Absolutely not.

[Drives the Transformer in car mode].

What I bought from Flipkart (pic from Transformers wiki)

What I bought from Flipkart (pic from Transformers wiki)

There have been many question that I asked myself about what to buy on my first experience with flipkart, and when I wandered clueless on that website which had extra charge for delivery as far as the total amount was below five hundred (yes, I am very much late on this online shopping stuff). Then there was the long list of Transformers toys which were priced above thousand, and a few of them which looked less impressive or without a seller near my area which costed less, and then there were those which costed approximately rupees eight hundred and fourty nine.

Chevrolet Corvette, I would have preferred the red (Pic from Corvette's wiki page)

Chevrolet Corvette, I would have preferred the red (Pic from Corvette’s wiki page)

The normal person should surely buy some clothes, electronic gadgets, movies, music or books, but I don’t remember being like others since beginning to study English Literature (there was only an attempt before that). People and their quesions – is there any end to it? There are so many of them about which I can write another post, but here there was only one. That question was asked about why the Transformers toy, but it is one question which can’t be answered, and also deserves absolutely no answer, and still I have my reasons to buy this one which I had chosen from a short-listed group of two.

Some smart dialogues from Crosshairs (Screenshot from T4)

Some smart dialogues from Crosshairs (Screenshot from T4)

Coming back to the choices which were there for the same price, they were Crosshairs which transformed into a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Bumblebee which transformed into a Chevrolet Camaro. I did think that the black and yellow combination of the latter looked better, but in everything else, the green and black Crosshairs scored. It was a new and stylish car which it transformed into, compared to Bumblebee’s choice of an older version of the Camaro, or at least it seemed to be so. Remember Crosshairs’ dialogues in the last Transformers movie? It is one robot with individuality that we have there unlike the usual dumb ones which follow Optimus Prime in the absence of brains.

Crosshairs in action (Screenshot from T4)

Crosshairs in action (Screenshot from T4)

To be frank, I have always hated Bumblebee, for that robot always had too much attention in all those live action movies, and as all the other original robots other than Optimus Prime (the zombie robot that just can’t stay dead), are dead – Jazz, Ironhide and Ratchet are no more in the movies – still, Bumblebee remains, and the existence of an yellow robot which can appeal only to kids is depressing for a serious action, and it is the same reason why the movie is not taken seriously. Even when the main human characters are changed, the dirty yellow still remains!

Crosshairs was the only impressive robot in Transformers: Age of Extinction after they killed off Ironhide in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. As another weapons expert, this is the only one which I can choose to replace what used to be my favourite choice, and even in the absence of those big cannons as Ironhide, this is one nice armorer and trooper as we see the action. The other two new transformers of the movie Drift and Hound were changed into bloody stereotype characters. So, Crosshairs it is! And I am glad that it reached here in three days, seven days before it was supposed to be. It is kind of overpriced, but well done Flipkart on bringing it here earlier and giving me the Diwali suprise!

TeNy

Diversity has its Unity

Do check Lufthansa TVC

There is something about pride being the Devil’s favourite sin. But what Mephistopheles hopes to thrive on as per the instructions of Lucifer is rather that pride that a man or woman has on oneself and that selfishness which boosts vanity; it is what the Devil always roots for in man among the Seven Deadly Sins. It is from the lack of care for the other that the pride arises, and it has made man fall beneath the abyss, just like Christopher Marlowe had shown us with the example of Doctor Faustus in a tragic story of human devastation.

With a population that goes above a hundred crores and having a wonderfully diverse culture, an outsider will always have the tendency to think that India is not one – but that is not true. We are one, and this unity among ourselves is rather boosted by the diversity that is there. We actually love the customs of others and respect it, and there lies the pride which extends to the one who is seemingly outside one’s culture, but still part of one’s own extended family. There are exceptions, but considering our population, they are very few. It is a strong message for the outside world.

Sameeksha @kalady, promoting inter-religious harmony (taken on Sony DSC-W180)

Sameeksha @Kalady, promoting inter-religious harmony (taken on Sony DSC-W180)

Here comes the question of being proud, yet again. Yes, we have the right to be proud about our nation, and it is entirely different from being proud of oneself boosting that vanity. This right to be proud is something that we gain by doing something for the nation and keeping its traditions alive rather than something that comes up only when Indian cricket team wins the World Cup or as the means to abuse people from other countries. You are part of a nation by birth, which is rather the accident and you earn the right to be part of the nation when you do what is good for your country. Here, we can see that it includes people who are different from oneself, coming from different cultures.

I remember what I was told when I was a child – that India is a lot like Europe, but we have always had people who had chosen to stay close to each other despite having different languages, religions, cultures and traditions. It is something that would have been entirely difficult at the early times, but has been managed since 1947. We have been one nation of different people who have respected and celebrated our differences like no other nation. It is a message that India has for the world, to respect the other, and it is a message that India should always carry. It is that message that the majority of Indians have had with them.

Lufthansa does portray the Indian side as they could, but the fact remains that India is not just the land of Bollywood, Namaste and one kind of food. India has strong movie industries in the South, with Tamil movies having a huge fan following (I remember seeing the posters of Anniyan at parts of Malaysia), and there are Malayalam movies always coming up with the intellectually superior stuff plus there are also the strong Telugu and Kannada movie industries. Cinema of West Bengal always had my attention, and the film-making occurs in rather too many languages for someone from another nation.

Kadamattom, a mix of different myths - the passage to underworld (taken on Nokia N95)

Kadamattom, a mix of different myths – the passage to underworld (taken on Nokia N95)

And in the case of namaste, there can also be namaskaram, vanakkam, namaskar and many others changing throughout the nation. At the same time, the diversity of food is rather mouth-watering, and not something to worry about. This existence and the respect for diversity is something that India can give to the rest of the world. There is the message of peaceful co-existence and harmony is something that some part of the world does seem to agree with and some other parts need to check and think about. Everywhere in the world, we see wars over small disputes and nations wishing to divide themselves on the basis of something or anything just increasing the number of world nations further, and we wonder why it is so hard to live with people who are different.

There are not many things as beautiful as having a diversity among people. It certainly supports love and care for those who belong to different races. Some people would feel that diversity is a curse and having the same kind of people who think alike will support unity further. But that is clearly not the point as far as you can go through India. There will always be one reason or the other for people who want to hate and divide. In India, it is the diversity that is the beauty which powers the unity, and when we realize that and love the other, it is the message that we pass on to the world, and it is what it needs as turbulence is always waiting for a chance. This example that India has set surely has made some impact already, and it is undeniable.

*The above photos were all taken by me. This blog post was written in relation to the “More Indian than you think” contest from Lufthansa India in association with Indiblogger. Please do visit the link below for further details about the same:
http://bit.ly/MITYTIndiblogger

TeNy

Past, Present and Health

We all have memories of our childhood, but mine actually started much later, but among those days which are part of the big memory train, are those early days of school and what followed the same. I was considered as a child for a pretty long time, and therefore I haven’t really kept the exact border for the moment which I ceased being a child, and that should indeed be debatable. All the pictures that I share below are scanned from my old photographs.

Among the things that I can remember from those days include a number of calcium tablets, and a few tablets for immunity, but there was always Dabur Chyawanprash which took the centre stage on a lot of occasions. I used to run away from anything which was said to be good for health, but this one did have an interesting taste at that time, even though I did ask for one chocolate after having the same just because it had become a routine for me.

I was pretty good at smiling those days :D

I was pretty good at smiling those days 😀

The need for some extra immunity rises from the fact that these days, there is rarely the time for children at the hands of parents who both would be working, quite in contrast to that idea of having the mother always being present for the child. Yes, things have changed radically, and the need to improve the child’s immunity and protect him or her from illness now has more requirements, and parents might not be able to do the same.

This is where something like Dabur Chyawanprash would come into the picture. It has also happened in my case, and I didn’t have that much of a healthy childhood. Born to working parents, and with a father who is always working at one or the other corner of the nation, not really there when you needed him the most, and the mother struggling to handle two pesky kids (I was still the less mischievous one, even as irritating enough), it was never going to be easy to get the right nutrients to the kids.

Maintaining one’s health is extremely important, and there is no need for any text book to talk about the same. When a child gets sick, it destroys the flow of daily life and the problem takes over the whole household. The children can always be asked not to go outside to play or venture out when the climate could get bad, but the question is about why can’t there be the thought about increasing the child’s immunity rather than stopping him or her from enjoying life before getting stuck with a boring life that is to follow?

Still, one of the more dangerous kids around, of course :D

Still, one of the more dangerous kids around, of course 😀

Here comes Dabur Chyawanprash again with its offer of a better immunity. There is no time for the parents to see what all the children eat and drink, and they often let them have food from outside – but how can one be sure about what they are provided with in the canteens and restaurants with their friends or relatives? Even yesterday, there existed the news about a number of restaurants given notice for supplying old food – and most of the times, these people are repeat violators and we don’t even realize that. There is nothing that we can do about that.

Despite our hope for an immune India, the world around us won’t get any better, and the choices we would have can only get worse. Due to the same, it is only a very good option to choose something like Dabur Chyawanprash. After all, what we want is the best for the kids, and what is better than giving them protection, that supply of immunity which they need, and what parents have the duty to provide them? Let’s hope for the better days and healthier children on this wonderful festival of lights, and keep the faith alive.

*This post is specifically written for the Indi Happy Hours campaign, A HEALTHY CHILD MAKES A HAPPY HOME! Thanks to Dabur India and IndiBlogger for the opportunity. For more details, please visit the link below:
https://www.liveveda.com/daburchyawanprash/

TeNy

The Diwali Nostalgia

PepsiCo #GharWaliDiwali film

There are only a few celebrations which survive on my nostalgia list, and among them the strongest surely might be Onam for all Keralites, but the brightest has indeed been Diwali or Deepavali as we call it here. This festival of lights have always given me hope throughout my life with its message that levitated above all despair to push it down, and reign supreme on that day which was another wonderful one. All the photos shared in this post are from my collection of snaps related to 2011 Diwali celebrations at our apartments.

As we used to live in an apartment building, the celebrations always brought us together and kept us interested. We have now changed our home, and the need for such meaningful celebrations was disappearing quickly from the minds of our new generation as well as the older generation which cared less. But there was always that time when the celebrations where at full power, and among them were the days of Onam, Diwali, Christmas and New Year – they had a certain beauty about it.

Let the light go on (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

Let the light go on (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

Among these celebrations, Diwali always maintained its separate identity. It was celebrated without any hesitation and no discussion was needed about how it was going to go. Every other celebration needed planning, but this one was just done. It was a spontaneous thing which we kids and youngsters took over and celebrated without thinking a lot about it. We decorated the place and arranged the lights along with a few candles as a few of us took the opportunity to buy extra crackers and the fireworks.

The sweets were brought by a few people who volunteered, along with our apartment’s association which bought the most of the same as well as sponsored those fireworks and crackers which would be brought by a few of us. I have always been scared of the crackers and fireworks, but this was one particular moment of the year when I found that lost courage and stood there praying and believing that it would all be just awesome and nothing else on the festival of lights.

One of the better shots I have on a Diwali night (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

One of the better shots I have on a Diwali night (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

There are not many things that we have loved more than the Deepavali sweets which we had on those days, and some of our friends from the other states contributed with even better ones. There would also be the speech about the triumph of good over evil along with how we should care for others society and related stuff from the elders, and also a few songs which contribute to the day. There would be little kids and the old people alike who would wish to sing and contribute to the occasion.

We always took the special care about those lamps which found the best of us, and taking snaps with the same remained a priceless activity. We kids and youngsters always took the opportunity to enjoy the same a little bit more with exchanging gifts and wandering around the Sivarathri Manappuram which would also have its own beautiful arrangement for the festival, and then finishing off the day with porottas and milk shake; in my case with that unavoidable tea. It was a celebration which brought us together.

And there remains the fireworks (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

And there remains the fireworks (taken on my Sony DSC-W310)

Those days are gone now though, with the shifting of the home, and those friends who have already been lost to the extremely busy and barbaric world, with three of them who passed away in the last few years, and they have left that void which can never be filled, especially Jean Mathew who succumbed to brain tumor last year. There have been no Diwali without him capturing the essence of the festival with his camera, and he will be missed, every time there is Diwali or any other festival anywhere. The story of his fight against the disease and his faith has always brought hope and belief in our lives like the festival of Diwali itself.

This blog post was written as a part of the Indiblogger Happy Hour Campaign on DIWALI – A TIME FOR FAMILY! See more at: https://www.gharwalidiwali.com/

TeNy

Reaper and his Messengers

For the Mad Hatter Day 😀
There has been very few things which had provoked my thoughts other than those ideas about death, and it was a prominent part of my life for a long time along with those vampires, zombies and ghosts. Four years earlier than where we stand now on the sands of time, there was an incident which made it stronger. It was during our journey to Colombo through Chennai as part of a Ramayana Tour arranged by Riya Travels; it was a beautiful experience, but before there was any experience, there was the presence of Sir Death, the smartest hero and villain I have ever known – the available information about the same is shared as it is:

On 25 July 2010, Kingfisher Airlines Flight IT 2482, bound to Chennai, detected smoke in its cargo hold, due to chemical reactions happened in a chemical consignment cargo for a laboratory. Leakage from ten packets of boric acid powder and two 100 ml. bottles of liquid detergent where packed in a single consignment, resulted in the chemical reactions, causing smoke which triggered attention of ground staff. It was found that, there was security lapse among the cargo security staff to allow such a consignment reach the aircraft’s cargo hold. There were 36 passengers and 3 crew members on-board. The consignment was taken off and the flight was cleared to take-off.

The messenger of death with its tombstones (Pic from The Crow's FB page)

The messenger of death with its tombstones (Pic from The Crow’s FB page)

That deals with our flight. There was no delay with the smoke as nothing was there after the airplane had taken off. The smoke came too early for Death to take over. May be there was too much to handle upstairs to take me, or may be Death needed more people when crashing one flight. The ways of Death are indeed strange, for it vanishes even when there is the need for its presence and comes when it should have stayed in its abode. One has to wonder if Emily Dickinson was ready for her suitor when he arrived, as she already let us know about the uncertainty with the same due to her being too busy.

So, without earning Death’s displeasure, I shall call him the Grim Reaper, the name that we usually associate with him – or the Angel of Eternal Sleep should also be nice, I would think. I would mostly go with Miss Dickinson there with her good depiction of her suitor, as long as the one passing to the other world is me. On such an occasion, he is indeed a gentleman, and I would respect his choice and the duty to take me away. But there shall be no such respect when he sneaks in to take my loved ones, and in that case, neither he or his messengers are welcome here.

Poe and his plutonic black bird (Pic from The Raven's FB page)

Poe and his plutonic black bird (Pic from The Raven’s FB page)

Talking about his messengers, let the due respect be paid to them, the crows and the ravens; from being the sacred creatures of Apollo, the legends have grown. We had Edgar Allan Poe depicting it with all its mystery in his poem as he asks the raven to return to the underworld of Pluto/Hades. It is an enchanting creature of the shadow world and darkness there, and its chant “nevermore” is rather the mocking of human hopelessness on the face of death, and only the dark creature knows the master of death. It is as if it knew what awaited the man in the depths of Tartarus, and it is a bird of wisdom which knows how meaningless man’s vain puruits are.

There was the 1994 movie based on the crow and its ability to bring the soul back to the body as it acted as the messenger to the other world. Acting as the link between two worlds, this crow should be Grim Reaper’s favourite. The leading actor, Brandon Bruce Lee had also died during the shooting of this movie adapted from comics. The feeling of watching that movie was something dark and beautiful, and leaves us with the desire for a reboot. It is like looking at the black bird and feeling that it is no longer the same creature any more. May be I need such a bird as a pet as much Grim Reaper needs his scythe.

Alice and her world of wonders (Pic from Alice in Wonderland FB page)

Alice and her world of wonders (Pic from Alice in Wonderland FB page)

This is part of my own celebration of the Mad Hatter Day on October sixth which I enjoy as the un-birthday on which twenty one cups of tea and a certain dose of madness are to be added. Let me ask you then, why wouldn’t a raven be not a writing desk? Well, what if our tables were ravens? What if they acted like a portal and had the entrance to the other world? My dear Jabberwocky, I do wonder, how you make perfect sense to me; there is no vorpal blade that remains in the modern world, and can you grin like a sweet little Cheshire Cat as you show me the way out of my thoughts? It is a bloody frabjous day, even for the jubjub birds. Happy Mad Hatter Day, everyone 😀

TeNy

A Change or No Change?

There are a few things that are difficult to change. Among them are the passion for cricket in the subcontinent and the worship of cricketers. This has always happened at the cost of the devastation of other sporting events. Cricket has almost annihilated all the other sports from India, and this struggle that the other sports seem to be putting up is just because they are working so well outside the subcontinent, and there are still some good people left in the country who choose to watch the rest.

The arguments for cricket are completely invalid. The first one is that Sania Mirza is also a big name even without winning anything huge – but it is a wrong argument, as she is popular just because of her looks, and it is disgusting to read how some people make comments about her. The next argument is that India is winning in cricket, and so it gets support. But no, the case is that Indian cricket team is winning because they have money and facilities, and also because nobody outside the subcontinent gives a damn about the game.

Team Kerala Blasters (Pic from Kerala Blasters FB Page)

Team Kerala Blasters (Pic from Kerala Blasters FB Page)

Let’s take the case of IPL. It has deteriorated into the worst level with its match-fixing scandals and other scams, with two of its teams already terminated and two or three almost getting terminated, with players banned and controversies coming up again and again. Even with all those fake entertainment stuff in it, they couldn’t even come with a story-line better than WWE, and it is a real shame. One actually has to wonder if there is any point in following a sport which only one nation actually plays and two or three nations make a half-hearted attempt to try.

Consider the evil that has IPL has turned cricket into, one has to wonder what ISL will do to Indian football. Indian Super League is certain to be better than that though, and can create a better Indian football team for the future, with the number of fans also increasing. It is a much needed thing to have a team for us to support in the FIFA World Cup – we can surely qualify from Asia in a few years or so. India will surely be a power to look out for in twenty years, I would guess. We should just keep the politics away from this one.

Sourav Ganguly for Atletico de Kolkata (Pic from team's FB Page)

Sourav Ganguly for Atletico de Kolkata (Pic from team’s FB Page)

Unlike IPL, this league also have the teams from the right areas, as Kerala and the North East always deserved its teams even in cricket. It is good to have more balanced distribution of teams here. Among the teams, I can easily declare my support to Kerala Blasters ownder by Sachin Tendulkar and from my home state. Let’s only hope that people would not resort to abuse, as it is what Sachin fans have been resorting to – hope they will respect the opposition this time rather than going in the path of that terrible Malayalam movie 1983 which called for the abuse of all who don’t support Sachin Tendulkar.

Leaving the immortal cricketer’s team behind with its large number of Keralite football fans, my next support will be for Atlético de Kolkata, in the name of Sourav Ganguly, the greatest left handed batsman and the best captain India has ever produced, and also for the beautiful city of Kolkata, and hope that they can win if Kerala Blasters can’t. They also have my favourite logo in the league. Then I give my support to NorthEast United FC, as I hope that the beautiful North East will have all the attention that it deserves with this team. May be John Abraham can bring it there, and the actor’s commitment social work have always been things worth cheering for.

John Abraham supporting football as usual (Pic from NorthEast United FB page)

John Abraham supporting football as usual (Pic from NorthEast United FB page)

I shall leave a little love for Goa too, and about the rest of the cities which have had an IPL team for more than one season, I would care less. I hope that one of those cities, states or collection of states which haven’t had much of IPL action with them, shall go on to win ISL. More over, I hope that it will trigger the much needed resurrection of football in India, as it will surely bring hope for the other neglected sports, and end the dictatorship and evil ways of cricket. May the two great men of cricket Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly bring it to soccer. I wish the league all success.

TeNy