To Shave or Not to Shave

[No vampires were harmed while writing this story] [All images used here are from Gillette India’s official Facebook Page].

The settings were all complete for the Great Bloody Day of the Vampires. All arrangements were already done by the Vampire Bat, the Vampire Owl and the vampire apprentices. Vampire Crocodile was in charge of saying the welcome speech and the Vampire Cat with the vote of thanks. There was an unlimited supply of noodles and blood shake arranged by the Vampire Kung-fu Panda Catering service. The Vampire Cat was busy making sure everything was at the right places.

“Surprise! I am here early” screamed Dracula.

“Who are you? What do you want? What business do you have here?” asked the Vampire Owl.

Dracula was in doubt. It was the first time he seemed unknown in the vampire community. No other vampire had ever asked him that question; not even Louis de Pointe du Lac or Lestat de Lioncourt. A lot of them knew him from even a kilometre away; such was the impact created by him.

How many reasons do you need to shave with a Gillette?

How many reasons do you need to shave with a Gillette?

“I am your uncle, the great, legendary Dracula” said Dracula.

“No, you are not Dracula. You are just a caveman in a Halloween costume” said the Vampire Crocodile.

“No, I am your most awesome Uncle Dracula. See my fangs?” Dracula said as he showed his teeth.

“No, our uncle is a bloody old man with the looks of a handsome young man. You look like you were wandering in the Carpathians and has now come here to take a free shower” said the Vampire Owl.

“I am Dracula, because my name is Dracula”.

“Yes, you might be a Dracula, but not the Dracula. You were named after our great uncle and teacher?” asked the Vampire Cat.

“What is wrong with you people? This is just the first time that I haven’t shaved”.

Lets learn something from the Wall here.

Lets learn something from the Wall here.

“No, Dracula never had the facial hair. Human turned Vampires never have that. You are a fake” remarked Vampire Owl.

“I never had the facial hair because I always shaved, you idiots” yelled an angry Dracula.

“We are not accepting that. We don’t see the vampire gentleman in there. It is too risky to let another person into this secret celebrations” said the Vampire Bat.

“See, this is my visiting card; it says Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, Member of the House of Drăculești, Full time Vampire and part time Count, The Vampire Castle”.

“Anyone can make such a card. Do you have an id?” asked the Vampire Bat.

“What id? I don’t need an id. I am the greatest vampire of all time. Why do I need an id?” asked an aggressive Dracula.

“We need to approve you if you are to enter here. So, go and get your id”.

“But it will take me hours to go back there and by then it will be too late. Do you have a razor?” asked a worried Dracula.

Roger Federer. Awesomeness, Class and Gillette.

Roger Federer. Awesomeness, Class and Gillette.

“No, we don’t keep razors here, because we don’t need that. Now, please leave as we wait for our one true uncle with absolutely no hair on his face” said the Vampire Owl.

“Yes, you shall not have any of my noodles with the special ingredient unless you prove that you are the one” yelled the Vampire Kung-fu Panda from a distance.

“What kind of idiots have I trained? I should have trained a coconut tree and it would have done better than these guys” murmured Dracula as he returned to the castle.

*Moral of the story from Count Dracula: Always shave or lose a significant moment or two.

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity
at BlogAdda in association with Gillette.
I’m accepting and acknowledging the tag of Maniparna through this post. I’m tagging a few of my blogger friends for the same activity: Namrata, Rohit, Vartika and Sagarika

Please don’t forget to mention that you were referred by me in your post.

Topics for Girls:
An instance when a stubble came in the way of a man’s chance to make a good impression.
An instance when a well groomed look ensured that they struck gold on an opportunity given to them.
Topics for Guys:
Missed chances- Stories or instances where you missed out on an opportunity because of a non-shaven face.
Luck or Confidence?- Will you leave your fate in the hands of destiny or will you step up and say yes to a well-groomed face to be at your best everyday? #WillYouShave.

TeNy

Attempt for a Clean India

We are all proud Indians, and our national awareness and patriotism reaches new heights when Indian cricket team wins the World Cup or during some other international event. We are extremely happy if an Indian somehow makes to the next round of a big tennis tournament or wins a medal in any of the games. But do we have the same feeling concerning cleanliness? Do we find a clean India as something to be proud of? Shouldnt we consider it the more significant thing and not abusing the players from other countries?

Our new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi also came up with a request for the same, as the new government seems to have their attention on cleanliness. There are advertisements all around the movie theatres and multiplxes concerning the same, asking us to respect and follow the path set by the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi. They have raised their voice through the media and made things clear. It has actually made a lot of people aware of the need to the same. But have most of us changed, or is it limited to a few people or practiced only when camera is rolling?

Kitty caught in what humans litter (taken on my Galaxy Duos)

Kitty caught in what humans’ litter (Photo taken on my Samsung Galaxy Duos)

People still throw their waste on the road, and even relieves themselves in the open, leading to the spread of diseases through mosquitoes and rats. A lot of big cities are facing this problem in a bigger way. One has to wonder why people are so careless about it. There are big garbage collections on the side of the major roads and nobody cares? Isn’t that one of the most depressing things a fast developing nation can have? Are we not better than this? Than why does this happen? The bigger question is about why nobody is saying anything about it?

We have the tendency to avoid a few things which don’t directly affect us, especially if we don’t consider them as a big deal. We might look at the world around us and try to adjust with the lack of cleanliness rather than doing something with it. We are determined to make adjustments to the situations. But things are surely changing. #AbMontuBolega is a campaign for the same reason, and it reminds us that it has been a long time since the need has arisen for the common man to come up and do something about it. One can try raising his or her voice, and see what happens.

Not among the cleaner beaches, right? (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

Not among the cleaner beaches, right? (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

We have the right to do so, as much as concerning any other thing. Cleaning and maintaining that cleanliness have been a thing of problem for our nation. We haven’t been known to be among the cleaner countries in the world. There exists a lot of foreigners as well as NRIs who have complained about the same. But no right step has been taken. People become more and more aware of the same, but don’t care to do anything about it, because we adjust too much. We need to keep calm and speak about it like Montu at the website http://www.abmontubolega.com/.

So, next time when we see some garbage, let’s make sure that we make an impact. Let it be certain that we don’t drop garbage on the streets, and also try to do a certain amount of cleaning by ourselves. If we see someone doing that, there is the need to raise our voice and talk to them about it. If there is a real bad situation concerning the waste disposal, it is our duty to inform the authorities and make sure that they take the right action concerning it. Our nation needs collective efforts and one or two people can begin to make a difference.

Every place needs to make sure about the trash (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

Every place needs to make sure about trash (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

This blog post was written in association with #AbMontuBolega campaign from Strepsils in association with Indiblogger. The campaign asks us to raise our voice against the lack of cleanliness, and deal with everything dirty, as there are places which needs our attention. It is only if we raise our voice that the desired results are achieved. Please do check the website http://www.abmontubolega.com/, as well as Strepsils on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/StrepsilsIndia) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/StrepsilsIndia) for further details.

TeNy

IPTL: What it Brings

As you might have seen in the advertisements, International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) begins on 28th November, and with the Indian Aces team being part of it, there is the scope for improving the status of tennis in India, improving the number of fans as well as the media attention. But as far the quality of tennis in India is concerned, I have my doubts about it, as a league might not be something that works with this sport as much as it does with a team game. There is also no scope for young Indian players unlike in IPL or ISL.

Still there was the big twist about it, as Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Indian Aces citing injury, and Roger Federer replaced him, and it would surely mean a lot of more ticket sales. There is nothing like having Roger Federer playing in India for the first time. There is also Ana Ivanovic, and Pete Sampras who significantly boosts their respective categories. I would say that choosing Gael Monfils was also an interesting decision considering how much of a surprise he can keeping bringing up. It is our chance to cheer for India in tennis, and Micromax Indian Aces is a star team worth our applause.

As all good things begin and end with Roger Federer.

As all good things begin and end with Roger Federer.

But the challenge seems evenly adjusted for the teams from four nations across Asia. We have four teams with players of different styles and most of them having not played each other much at all. The result cannot be predicted that easily with five divisions of matches to be played. The matches of the past champions will be very much unpredictable, as it gives us an opportunity to watch splendour on the court. Then about mixed doubles, it is going to bring us lots of suprises.

You can also choose to join the Genie Army :D

You can also choose to join the Genie Army 😀

We are introduced to some of the greatest names in tennis here; there are the current champions, the legends from the past, the surprise packages and the rising stars. Singapore Slammers got a strong women’s side with the power of Serena Williams, while UAE Royals is a balanced team with another strong women’s side – Eugenie Bouchard and Caroline Wozniacki in the same team? That calls for support.

And there is always the Djoker looking for his opportunity.

And there is always the Djoker looking for his opportunity.

I would consider Manila Mavericks as the weaker side there, but still having some power to surprise – having Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova guarantees that. This is not the usual tennis stuff that we might see here, and so our guess work might most probably won’t work at all. I would have loved to see Simona Halep and Agnieszka Radwanska playing in the tournament, but unfortunately, that is not to be.

Happy days have been returning for Caroline Wozniacki.

Happy days have been returning for Caroline Wozniacki.

The tournament happens for three days in each of these four nations. The points are won for the team by players winning matches – Men’s singles, Women’s singles, Men’s doubles, Mixed doubles and Past champions’ singles, and then by winning the tie, four points are added to the table. There is also the provision of two points or just one depending on the performace from the losing side. There will be tie-breakers at 5-5, and the action will be faster with less time taken between the points and sets.

Ana Ivanovic, another big name for the Micromax Indian Aces.

Ana Ivanovic, another big name for the Micromax Indian Aces.

There is also a seven point men’s shootout to be played in case of a tied score too. There is sixty second coaches time-out, there will be power-points which will count as double, and there are lots of other things. Yes, it has me somewhat confused about how it works beyond the tennis match – I care less about that though. Here, entertainment is surely guaranteed, and this is more like a great collection of incredible exhibition matches. It will surely bring something to Indian tennis as far as the number of fans are concerned, and it might be quite small, in my opinion. *All images are from the Facebook pages of respective tennis players.

TeNy

When Nobody Knows

I am pretty sure that a lot of people have prayed a lot for the Indian cricket team to win the World Cup. But among the things I have wanted the most was for India to win the Davis Cup – yes, Indian football team qualifying for the FIFA World Cup was a necessity, but I had always hoped for a tennis achievement more. This love for tennis had kept me trying to play tennis shots in badminton even as that reinforced the fact that I will never play tennis in my life.

That brings back to the topic – who would I want to win the Davis Cup as it was kind of impossible for India considering the absence of a big tennis player in the ATP division. There might be just one win in the doubles, which would have been quite easy at a time when Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi were at full flow. But then, there is the other option, to watch Switzerland win the Davis Cup, something which happened yesterday at the same time as the ISL match between Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC was going on.

Federer and Wawrinka - redefining Swiss tennis (pic from ATP site)

Federer and Wawrinka – redefining Swiss tennis (pic from ATP site)

I switched on the television and checked some of the so called big news channels starting with Indiavision. I waited till the sports news and kept staring at it, but it seemed that nobody knew there was such a tournament. For a tournament that happened at night, they don’t feel the need to show the news about it in the morning. It made me wonder where our journalism was heading. This is exactly why tennis doesn’t have that much of an impact in India.

Fed-rinka in action in France (pic from Reuters)

Fed-rinka in action in France (pic from Reuters)

Czech Republic did win the Fed Cup earlier defeating Germany in the final, but it is clear nobody cared about it. I would say that most of the people don’t know that there is a woman’s equivalent of the Davis Cup. The media might also need some classes about the same, as they keep searching for cricket even in the ISL. The final didn’t end up being the close contest that I had expected it to, but I am an admirer of Lucie Safarova and is glad to see her team win, as I feel that she has under-achieved. I am surprised that Sabine Lisicki didn’t play a singles match though.

The Swiss Davis Cup team (pic from daviscup.com)

The Swiss Davis Cup team (pic from daviscup.com)

The total number of quality female players in Germany was surely high, but the two players, Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova ended up being too good. These two were far ahead of the rest of the players from Czech Republic as out of the top twenty rankings, the next available players was under rank 150 while Germany had a better team in totality. The same is the case of Switzerland and France in the Davis Cup. Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrnika being way ahead of the others who are ranked below 200, and their opponents having all their five players in the top thirty.

The Swiss players with the Davis Cup trophy (pic from ndtv)

The Swiss players with the Davis Cup trophy (pic from ndtv)

This is a great win for Switzerland, and a wonderful addition to the list of great achievement of Roger Federer who had been fighting a lone battle for a long time before Wawrinka came into the picture – what an year for him too, beginning it with the Australian Open title and ending it with the Davis Cup trophy. The way in which they have managed to get rid of the rift between the two and come together to play for their nation, and how Federer managed to be fit for his country – all these are worth the appreciation.

But do our media know any of this? I have always considered Davis Cup with a great level of esteem. It is more equivalent to the World Cup than anything else, and it is the duty of the media to broadcast it and provide enough information about the same. The same is the case of Fed Cup which is more like a mystery around here. I wouldn’t be surprised though, considering the cold way in which they report Wimbledon. I hope that the senior Malayalam news channels and newspapers take tennis more seriously (a corner in the sports page is not enough for big tournaments), and it can only help the growth of tennis here.

TeNy

The Wizards’ Choice

*This is an allegory inspired by a comment from Raja Saravanan (http://rajareviews.com) at https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/theory-of-relative-it. This is purely fictional in nature with its base on fantasy, as you can see – but the idea is real and applicable anywhere, especially when equality and freedom of choice are denied 😀 *The images used in this post are screenshots from my time spent in one of my favourite games, Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic. There are influences from the same game and another two games Disciples and Overlord, as well as The Lord of the Rings.

On the top of the tower of Pling, the five wizards joined on a feast. The eldest one held control over the Sphere of Life, followed by the four younger ones holding powers over the Spheres of Wind, Earth, Water and Fire respectively in the order of their ages. The joining of the five Spheres was significant to create a wall of magic on the day of Christmas, when the stars aligned with the underworld, forming a passage between the worlds. For years, they have done the same, making sure that the worlds don’t touch each other.

“The world has been saved, for now. We are doing great as usual” announced the Wizard of Life.

“But you need to save the world again” added the Wizard of Fire. “You have to tell your son. He is not following the Dwarven engineering. See the sons and daughters of our wizard brethren and the sorceress sisters, and some of them even possess the Elven healing skills, taking training from the high elves. You should have taken him under your wing and forced him to follow you. A young kid should always grow up under his father. Mothers know nothing about leading the children in their path, and relatives of the mother are always quite bad” he said.

“Professionalism is the path, you know. Dwarves are skilled people. If he was trained with them, he would have been working in an armoury by now, making weapons and earning money in gold. Just look at how well my son is doing. Money is a very important thing in the world of magic, or may be it is the most important thing, as there is limitation to what sorcery can do. Even we are getting weaker in power due to the development of science” remarked the Wizard of Wind.

“Just send him to a centaur then. He can teach him enough to be successful in life. We can’t have young wizards wandering around without associating themselves with the Dwarves or the Elves. They have to learn engineering or medicine. Otherwise, what is different from them and a bloody underground goblin or an orc from a cave?” asked the Wizard of Earth.

The wizards join at the central tower...

The wizards join at the central tower…

“May be there is still time for him. It is the best if we don’t interfere much in the lives of the children, right? I think we have already did that a lot, or rather too much in the case of your son” said the Wizard of Water.

“We have saved the world again. It is so amazing isn’t it? I have never thought we could do this good. I mean, we don’t have that much of a great background, right? So we should be doing a lot worse” said a thinking Wizard of Life.

“Yes, it is a big achievement that we have come so far. We are just below average people holding a wand and chanting spells about which we have absolutely no idea. But we are still moving away from the topic” said the Wizard of Earth.

“I don’t think that my son is the only problem. There is also that daughter of the sorceress of the mountains who has gone for social service among the Wood Elves. How could she do that? We belong to an elite class. We don’t do social service. We are wizards. We don’t go down the level, we have to go high up the ladder, and all these sons and daughters in our family have to be ready for the higher calling, making as much money as possible in the process” said the Wizard of Life.

“Actually, it is kind of better. She could have actually gone with the Dark Elves. She got many friends there too. This is kind of better” said the Wizard of Water.

The rest of the world outside the Dwarven-High Elf territory

The rest of the world outside the Dwarven-High Elf territory

“You can say that with ease. Your sons and daughters are already part of the Dwarven heavy armaments engineering system. Here, we have children who are going the wrong path. Our elder wizard’s son is creating literature with Halflings! Can you believe that? I mean, they are just Hobbits in disguise. Writing worthless things and working in the local garden. How can we approve of such a thing which earns no money and is not a high class profession? asked the Wizard of Earth.

“He has still not mingled with the undead yet” said the Wizard of Water.

“An engineer is an engineer. It is a title that the Dwarves directly pass on and is worth a lot in the society. Now, he has only one option. To be a teacher. He has to go to the dragon scholars for that. The wise dragon hybrids can teach him how to be an educator of spells, something that can improve his skills a lot, and will speed up the process of becoming a wizard” said the Wizard of Earth.

“Or make him do some business. He can start a business by selling magic wands in the market. As he has wizard blood in his veins, he will be successful, and soon can become the best in the business, as there is no established wand-seller in our realm” said the Wizard of Fire.

“We should consult the sorceress group to finalize on this. After all, we shouldn’t let out sons and daughters have free-will. It is only our opinions that should count. We also have to bring some opinions about the grand-sons and grand-daughters wherever applicable, and shouldn’t let them take decisions by themselves. We are the wizards who know everything, and so we should interfere. Remember that I have better control of the Partial Sphere of Mind more than you all do” said the Wizard of Life.

“There can still be a few things which should be left to the children” said the Wizard of Water.

“I know not many things of that kind” added the Wizard of Fire.

The wizards packed their magic wands and set on a journey to discuss and come up with ideas to make sure that none of their children will follow a path out of free-will. They had to deviate them because they knew everything and were the saviours of the world. Two things ran through their minds – engineering and medicine; they had to bring the dwarves and high elves to come and persuade their lost children to bring them back on the path by displaying engineering and healing skills.

[The saga continues…]

TeNy

Spreading Sequel Fever

There is something special about ending of 2014, as there is something special coming up for the movie fans. The sequel fever begins in one week here, as three big movies are awaiting release. In India, these three movies release between November 28 and December 19, leaving us with another busy group of weekends, after the release of The Equalizer and Dumb and Dumber To this weekend. Between them, we also have to look for The Pyramid, Jessabelle and Exodus: Gods and Kings. These are the big three sequels, all of them having the release of the third movie of their franchises:

3. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

nightatthemuseum (3)

Night at the Museum is one of those movie franchises which I personally value more than a lot of other movies which I agree to be better than them. It has provided me with some valuable lessons in history with its major characters, and it has also been a big inspiration for me to visit more museums, even as there is a very small number of them which I can easily reach from my location. It has even made me wish to work at a museum, and inspired me to take my second graduation in History and a possible second post graduation in the same subject. The movies had such big influence on me.

I loved the second part of the movie more than the first, and here comes the third and final one of the franchise on December 19th as my perfect Christmas movie. I always had faith in Ben Stiller’s skills, and this is one role that I have always believed to suit him perfectly. All those awesome historical characters are returning here, especially my favourite Octavius, and the Knight Lancelot also makes his museum debut here. This might also be my last chance to watch Robin Williams on the big screen – loved his Teddy; hope our protagonist saves the magic this time forever. Despite the doubts about its ability to be among top ten grossers of the years, it becomes certain that whenever I get the time to get lost in a museum, I am going to use it, that is for sure!

2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

mockinjay (2)

I have always loved this series, and my attraction towards the first movie did actually inspire me to buy the whole series of books, and I sincerely hoped to do a PhD thesis on the same, a hope which was crashed not only by not getting an admission, but also by the last book of the series. Yes, I loved the first two books of the series, and I found the second one a lot better than its movie adaptation, but among all of them, I have found the third book the least interesting, and its first half as the most boring side of an otherwise very interesting collection.

It is based on my least favourite part of the story that this movie comes, and that should actually bother me at least a bit, but I am having full faith on Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as far as the movie is concerned, and I also expect some awesome visual beauty on the screen. The movie already has had positive opinion from the critics with a seventy two percent rating in Rotten Tomatoes. I am expecting some great cast performances and a positive use of its themes to bring a wonderful experience, making this weaker area of the book transform into something spectacular.

1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

hobbit3 (2)

I have been a big fan of The Lord of the Rings and Narnia, two of those movie franchises, and whose original books are those which I have never read completely yet. There was no reason why these three movies based on The Hobbit wouldn’t interest me. I did love those two movies about the adventures of a hobbit and his dwarven friends a lot, rating the second movie a little bit higher than the first, just the reverse of my opinions about two of those The Hunger Games movies. I am not someone who can wait too long to watch J. R. R. Tolkien’s mastery before reading it. Look out for the nice cast, and also note down a name associated with it – Guillermo del Toro.

There is something about The Lord of the Rings – it is that we always keep needing more of it, and there is sadness about the fact that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies might finish it off, but that also wants us hoping for a lot more, increasing our need to watch this one. A visual extravaganza and some great action is guaranteed in this one. This will surely compete hard to eliminate Transformers: Age of Extinction from the highest grosser of the year position along with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, and it is certain that one of the first three positions can be reserved for this one and the Jennifer Lawrence starrer.

Keep calm and watch these sequels, worry not of the money you spend at the multiplexes 😀 [All images used in this post are from the Facebook pages of these movies]

TeNy