Through the Sands of Time

Every now and then, what has come between my heart and my mind has been a few great judgments. Some people, both men and women have the notion that men can do whatever they want and they are not judged. But it is a third-rate judgment in itself. We are all chosen to do what the society tells us to. There is nothing that I hate more than the generalization, and it is a disgusting attack on a person’s individuality – this statement itself is a judgment.

I have been a Literature student, and have read something from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract: “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains“. It is not in my power to say who is in chains of stainless steel and who is in the chain of rusting iron, because the situation is not the same everywhere. But one thing I am sure about is that I have been judged throughout my life, and I have seen the same as a perfect example of why the bloody judgment about being judged is not limited to a gender.

Every thought about Aluva takes you back the River Periyar for no reason :D

In a grand universe in which the man is so minute, society makes a mockery of him.

This calls for a flashback, and the sands of time has been reset to that period when I was going to do my thesis for MA English. I have already written about the seasons of judgment when I decided to halt my BCA and also when I started pursuing English Literature. Here is another one, as the season of judgment has been something like an eternal, hot summer. The strength of the same has never ceased to amaze me.

I have a pretty good list of judges, and there was one who came home and asked me about the thesis I was doing. It was his right to ask about the same because he hadn’t read English or any literature for such a long time. I told him that I was doing something on vampire and related culture based on a number of Gothic horror works which featured vampires, and was using some traditional beliefs to support the same.

And everything finishes with the silver lining of the great vampire thesis.

Despite not scoring the top marks, this thesis is a bonus to my individuality.

Actually, there was absolutely no need to explain it in detail, and things got kind of worse. The doubt was like why would somebody do a thesis on vampires which are like the demons which are evil? I was surprised that there were too many people asking the same question after that. I had the extreme privilege of being not the good person that I was supposed to be, and that came out of nowhere.

With all my lecturers at college providing full support, didn’t I have the right to do thesis on whatever topic I wanted? How is it that a part of my studies determine if I was good or evil? I have had the free advice to change the topic and do something on Bard of Avon or my namesake who had enough works for a big project, and that was normal. May be if the focus was at least not on the blood-sucking, it was still better.

But I had enough of this nonsense, and I had changed too many things in my life for others. So, I decided to stay judged for this one; I had to be judged for working with blood-suckers rather than a huge tree which stood alone in the middle of a beautiful meadow or a lovely maiden who waited for her lover, and there was always the dumb fiction. The mind still said that this one won’t fetch me a high score as it was about “the vampire”, but heart told me to go on.

I didn’t score that high in the end, and the right decision was indeed to change this topic which the normal people never liked. But I didn’t want the right decision, because I wanted to be judged for making the choice. This judgment was to be my personal bliss. I finally got that, and was never happier, because I was extremely good at what I did, and despite some people not liking it, I enjoyed every bit of reading about the vampires. This is where I followed my heart, and I had chosen not to score high marks, because I study to know; I do this with all my heart to read more and more – this was a true dil ki deal! I felt good, and I felt like a vampire who inherited a lovely castle from Count Dracula.

“I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdealactivity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.”

***The two photos used in this blog post were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 camera.

TeNy

Of Fans and Cinema

We have always known that celebrities have blind fans, and some of them are a long way ahead in the level of stupidity. We have had our own ridiculous cricket fans, and there are those fans of the movie stars who take things to the next level. These days, we can see the bad and the more terrible fans as they are everywhere. It is hard to even recognize a good fan – it is a rare thing.

I have been watching less Malayalam movies these days. It has never been the plan, and there was never such an idea to avoid them. But the tendency to watch these movies are becoming so less. Some people say that the piracy is the reason for people not coming to the theatres to watch Malayalam movies, but the truth is that, it is the fans – they are the ones who are responsible for the decrease in the number of viewers in the theatres.

The multiplexes in the malls are better choices, but for how long?

The multiplexes in the malls are better choices, but can you guess for how long?

These fans make life miserable for others who try to watch the movie in peace. The only thing which they can do is to keep yelling, clapping and howling depending on whose movie it is, and to which celebrity do they have that feeling of worship. It is a terrible feeling to be there at the local theatres, and even in multiplexes, they often try to create a pathetic situation. Yes, they do that when they are not abusing people who don’t like the movies of their favourite stars.

Well, sitting in the darkness of the theatre and between a number of friends, some people think that they can say anything even in the presence of families with kids. They have the privilege to make that kind of noise which makes it difficult for the others to watch the movie. They also got the right to shower abuses in the darkness of the movie hall because they think that the world is only theirs – they are like “Bane” with the exact meaning and also as that villain of Gotham.

A list without the presence of Malayalam movies is also possible.

A list without the presence of Malayalam movies is also possible in the future.

You get to watch Malayalam movies at any theatre near you and it is an advantage for the industry, but why are people, especially families and those who actually have a working intellect stay away from the movies for most of the time? It is because of these so called movie fans who provide a very unpleasant movie watching experience. When some people even choose to smoke inside the theatre, why are the authorities not ready to throw them out?

Is being decent too much to ask for? Is the use of respectable language that difficult? We keep watching that no smoking advertisement, and I have seen people smoking through it. We need an advertisement against indecent talks and behaviour, but that too will go over the head just like those smoking advertisements. Do these people even respect the views of others? The answer would be another question – why do they?

It is not easy for the fans to respect the opinions of others, but the more surprising thing is that they can’t even respect their fellow human beings. It is time that the theatre owners take a tough stand, and the movie stars should also try to make the situation better. The family viewers have already begun to prefer the multiplexes only, and with the same, they are moving to Hollywood and Bollywood. It is time for the Malayalam movie industry to have a cultured young audience, and in the absence of the same, there will be almost no family audience. The families have been the strength, and if the Malayalam movie industry no longer seems to feel the need for that section, it is a definite reason for a future downfall.

TeNy

Land of Perpetual Summer

It was called “The Land of Perpetual Summer”. It is not that the Vampire Bat didn’t like that title for the city which did a lot for him during his middle ages. It was going to be a major vampire metro centre soon, and it was the place which had given him friends and also a certain amount of happiness. It was where he lived for most of his life, and this was also the place where Uncle Dracula conducted the interview to take him into the Team Vampire.

It was the land of summer which never ended, and even though there were some summer showers, and the monsoon which came directly through the season of summer could only make the season more beautiful without making it any lesser kind of summer. It was always summer in the land of Aluvaites, as the sun was strong and still the rivers were full. The nature was beautiful throughout the year.

The beauty of fire on the sky can't be ignored by any camera.

He remembered the time when he had known the summer better. The season was never the favourite for the vampire kind, as it burned them like nothing else; but the Vampire Bat survived in those lands, thanks to the summer rain and the monsoon showers. The Vampire Bat was one of those rare vampires who wished for the summer season to continue to be eternal.

What the summer brought back to him was the memories of the time he spent enjoying with his friends, and they used to go on a random trip everyday, as he prepared his Honda Unicorn and just started off to an unknown world, finding a new route each and everyday. This was like the usual programme, and they had spent the summer finding new places, and exploring new areas.

The rays of the sun welcomed me almost everyday.

There was the risk of getting burnt, but no vampire cared for the same less like the Vampire Bat. He was a wanderer of the summer season. During his childhood, he used to find happiness in those mangoes on the trees which had always waited for him. He used to go to the church and prayed for a better world. He wandered around the streets and found new meanings under the sun.

Summer was a special boost for his soul, and unlike the others of his kind, the cold ones, he couldn’t stand too much of the cold. He was physically made to be a cold one, but at the soul, he was a child of the extreme heat. He was born in March, one of the three months of fire according to the Vampire Mythology Version written by Uncle Dracula. He was among the very few of the kind.

The Vampire Bat loved this summer which never really ended, no matter how much closer it came the end. He knew that it was not his season, but the soul told otherwise. Summer was the season of happiness even when it was burning, and up-to an extend, it had the effect of purification. He believed in summer’s ability to make him feel better, and as the child of the season of fire, he had every reason to think so.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

***The images used in this blog post were taken on my Sony Cybershot camera and my Samsung Star Duos phone.

TeNy

Time for Some Coupons

The power of online shopping has been at the highest level these days, as it has evolved from being a stranger to someone that we closely know, even those most of my known world is not that much part of doing this online; they are rather traditional, but I am not – a lot of things at home including my mobile phone and the tab has origins in an online shopping website and are working so well without showing even the smallest signs of problems.

I have bought many things from a number of online shopping websites, and what has helped us more than any other site is the website bookmyshow.com without which watching a number of movies would have been near impossible task on the first or the second day of its release. Yes, this is the kind of online shopping which came to me much earlier than the usual stuff, and we have chosen to book tickets and make sure that big movies like the sequels of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, X-Men and all were never missed.

bookms

There are some nice offers at 27coupons.com which can be used for the same and you have to love how some of the offers seem to be, like buy one ticket and get one free – it is a fair deal because we mostly go for a movie with one friend; I have rarely had more than one with me, to be exact. It is all good, isn’t it? No longer standing behind those long queues which seems to go on and on till eternity, and you have this nice offer.

Then there is that 50% off on booking movie tickets – it inspires you to watch more and more movies, and it something that I really want to do right now. I have been watching less movies these days, and this is the kind of thing that can improve the numbers with ease. After all, that big crowd is the most significant reason why one won’t want to watch the flicks; and you often end up paying too much – the absence of a movie partner also counts, but the rush is always a big problem, and this coupon adds the big discount for even better motivation.

flipkt

20% cash back offer is also fair, because it is always good to get some return of funds; it just feels good. These are just a few of the offers, and there are more like 25% off, gaining 5% cash back, 10 reward points for every Rs 125, Rs 500 off and many other things depending on various factors. What 27coupons.com makes sure about is that you go to bookmyshow.com to book a ticket, and this website is there to provide some special offers and make you more and more interested. Here is a full list: http://www.27coupons.com/stores/bookmyshow.com/

We do spend so much time on the internet these days, an it is time we make better use of it, and for the same, 27coupons.com is the website that can make a big difference. I would also prefer to use the same website for discounts at Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon and e-bay because the need for online shopping will only increase, along with the desire for more and more discounts to keep everyone happy.

There is the bright future for us – the people belonging online as much as offline; it is 27coupons.com which is going to save a lot of money for us while watching movies, and also related to shopping. I have been reluctant to begin online shopping, but with 27coupons.com, one has to wonder why the delay; because the offers are good and it can only get better for you. I leave you with link to one of my favourite offers there: http://www.27coupons.com/coupons/bookmyshow.com/upto-50-off-on-booking-movie-tickets-88933/

PS: The images used on this blog post are screenshots from http://www.27coupons.com

TeNy

The Abuse Theory

There was a free abuse program at Mitchell Johnson’s Facebook Page which was about him, his family and the Australian Cricket Team in a movement lead by a set of online Keralites who were all set to save India. They always had this belief that Kerala had the right to save India from all kinds of problems, like from Maria Sharapova, Pakistan Hockey Team and others. Yes, they feel that India is at its best because Keralites abuse random people in Malayalam.

So, what happens? Australia wins by a huge margin and Mitchell Johnson plays a big part in the victory. Ever heard of Karma? It is like a vampire who has known you and comes back to bite you and suck the blood out of you. Did they think that this could negatively affect Australian team? I would say that it did only the positive, and it gave out the idea that there was no professionalism or sportsman-spirit coming from here. Did they think that it could affect Maria Sharapova in a negative way? Her game hasn’t come down. Serena Williams was always supposed to win the US Open. Asian hockey is no longer the powerhouse, and they can’t even say that the Pakistan Hockey Team is playing worse.

crck (1)

Some credit for the same should go to a few Malayalam newspapers who translated a few things said in English like they were the masters of two languages, but it turned out that they were good at none or only one. Do they even know what sledging means? Otherwise, they could use the same word. But what they have been doing is to create new things out of nowhere; they are the magicians of the new world. If you don’t have command over the language, what is the point of having studied journalism?

These newspapers have been trying to re-invent tennis these days, and the sport actually came to them very late. They are surely figuring out a few things about the game now. It is mostly the media which creates abuse – they are calling for the same in an indirect way and when they find that the crowd has taken it over, they report the same. It is like a win-win situation anyway. May be if there is no abuse, the newspapers and channels can speak about the forgiving nature of Keralites.

crck (2)

What does the abuse talk about? It doesn’t mean anything other than degrading India in front of the whole world. The biggest shame about it is that a state which boasts of hundred percent literacy is leading the charge or is the only big player in doing the same. There is the pathetic display of a culture or rather the absence of it, which was never really part of our life. Once again, I also blame the movie 1983 and its one pathetic dialogue about abuse to make this evil spread – it was actually like making abuse cool and legal.

I would guess that the free abuse program on Ranjini Haridas has finished, or was getting to repetitive. Prithviraj Sukumaran turned into the crowd favourite and Sreesanth is no longer the enemy. So, here are our people finding new replacements for abuse. As they keep abusing one or the other person all the time, there is a certain amount of freshness in the procedure. After all, doing something constructive has actually ceased to exist. Being the cool bad person is the trend.

With Indian Cricket Team losing the match with a certain amount of disgrace, I only hope that Anushka Sharma will be spared. In a normal environment with intelligent people, we shouldn’t be afraid for a Bollywood star who has nothing to do with cricket except for being the girlfriend of one of the major cricketers. But this is a strange world that we live in, and people mostly have no idea what they talk about or what they do. Don’t we need a law against online abuse instead of this chaos?

***The photos used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

TeNy

On that Digital India

Earlier this year, I stumbled across some news. It was about Kerala becoming the first one hundred percent digital state, and the first of that kind in India by April 2015. All government offices were to be connected by the internet, and the programme has been going forward at a very good pace. Kerala Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy had already talked about the same in 2012.

It is not just about Kerala, as Digital India is a fine initiative from Government of India which makes sure that things get a lot easier with the various departments. There will be easier access for the common man and the paper usage will be reduced a lot. It has never been known to be easy with government offices, but this is surely going to change that. With complete digitalization, the procedures will get a lot less difficult.

intl

Do you remember those days when you had to stand in a long queue at the government offices or had to come back now and then to get things done? That might not be the case some time later. The corruption itself can be reduced up-to an extent along with safety being increased – but that is rather a subjective thing based on a few other factors; as they say, evil always finds a way.

We have already seen the good signs with the options to pay fees for many exams including UGC NET; there have also been the chance to pay the BSNL bills and even payment for electricity and water have been going online. We no longer have to wander around the towns and cities looking for the place to make the payment; we can do it from home itself with so much ease – and they are just a few of the smaller things.

The world has changed indeed. It is up-to us to make our own changes, and this is just one of them. From here, may be more can be achieved. This is the age of the internet – anybody who has been part of a social networking website will find it very difficult to disagree. The best and worst things go through the internet, and we can’t really avoid it because the web has become part of our lives with or without us knowing.

intel

When we hear about Intel being part of that initiative, it is clear that things are supposed to get a lot better. Well, Intel was almost used instead of computer at a time. The Intel Pentium Processor was the one memory that we can’t live without. Each and everyone used to ask if the processor is Pentium or Pentium II, and then there was the talk about Pentium III arriving in the market. Intel was to computers like Maruti was to the cars, and it is a compliment.

Intel is sure to bring something positive for all these, and with their experience and efficiency in the same, they can bring wonders to this Digital India initiative. There was a time when we had trusted Intel more than anything else, and that change continues as the processor of my laptop is from the same company, and so is the case of the former laptop. It feels good when Intel is involved with the same, and I thank them for the same and hope for the best from #DigitalIndia.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Intel website as well as from the contest page. Cheers to #DigitalIndia. Do check the Intel website for more details: http://www.intel.in/

TeNy

The Simona Update

It has been some time since I updated something on Simona the Kitty. She has been doing good around here, even as we missed her during our journey to Delhi. She was taken good care of as we had arranged for the same. She didn’t leave from around my legs since we returned, and we actually gave her a lot more freedom after we returned. She did turn more peaceful and matured after our return, it seemed. There are significant changes which happened since we returned.

No more hugging, but a lot of leaning: The hugging procedure has mostly ceased to exist. Now it is more about leaning against the legs. Whenever she finds me, she needs to lean against my legs, as if she is trying to push me. She even pushes open the doors and also pull her legs in between to push them apart, trying to find a few human legs. Yes, she needs them, and she considers it her newly found right.

Jpeg

The new sleeping programme: She sleeps a lot nowadays, and prefers to sleep on a lap or chooses to find a human sleeping and stay asleep close to the legs. She is finally making her choices clear. She belongs to the clan of that mighty hunter of the jungle, and so if she decides to rest, she should have the royal right to do so. She is Simona the Lionhearted, honourable princess of the concrete jungle.

A special need for massage: Nowadays, she overtakes a walking human, and lies down asks to be given a massage. She keeps doing that until enough of the same is received. It has become so regular a practice now that she is on the floor on more occasions than she is doing anything else. But you can’t deny her that, can you? After all, she is a valiant kitten who decided to defeat all odds.

Jpeg

Climbing the first tree: She actually managed to climb a tree for the first time, and it was a zapota tree which is of good height and with a lot of branches. She got to the top very quickly, trying to touch an analyze the smaller branches, finally deciding to come down slowly and carefully. She was on monkey mode for quite a long time, and only after she was tired that she got back to the original kitten mode.

Catching the first big lizard: She is known to have caught spiders, cockroaches and lizards, but this is her first live-action attack on a big lizard. Even though I won’t expect her to go after a rat, this is a fine start. It was as if she was planning a tactical game with her prey, and she successfully became the smart predator. She has always been the survivor, and he is slowly, but steadily becoming the hunter.

Jpeg

As Simona keeps transforming into the big cat of her concrete jungle, I hope that she remains happy in this small world which has a road on one side, houses on two sides and and emptiness on the other. She hasn’t gone beyond the wall so far, and has wished to stay close to us. Hope she remains with us as the symbol of optimism forever rather than thinking about wandering away 🙂

***The photos used in this blog post were taken on my new Asus Zenfone 5 yesterday. The new phone is very good, and I shall write about it later 😀

Jpeg

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TeNy

Guptaji Knows the Best

Vampire Owl: You are asking why should we have food from there? Reason one is that it is free food which should be given respect and the second reason is that the girl is so cute; she looks like Selena Gomez.

Vampire Bat: What? I shall do this alone, thank you.

Vampire Owl: You don’t want my highly intellectual ideas on food?

Vampire Bat: No, because I know that it begins and end with eating.

Vampire Owl: See, this is why I have to bite random people.

Vampire Bat: I shall just write and will let you read it, okay?

Vampire Owl: I shall wait, but you know that I am a busy owl. I need food.

[Stares at the wall].

kellog (1)

Let me come up with a flashback here. Kellog’s Corn Flakes has been my favourite food for quite a long time, and as a child I loved it. Then there was Kellog’s Chocos to join the party, and there were offers like free dinosaur toys with the packets. Everything was so good at that time, as there was nothing much to think other than to eat some Kellog’s and then again eat more of the same.

That was quite a long time ago, and Kellog’s still remains a favourite. Lets take the instance of Guptaji’s house. Everybody wants to have food from that one place which is Guptaji’s house. It might sound strange, but actually it is not that surprising, as long as our nostalgia is alive. There was that time when we friends used to have corn flakes together – that was so long ago, but still has not faded away.

Kellog’s and childhood were best friends, and now I am looking forward to the Sitaphal Cornflakes about which it is written on the Facebook page, and the related details are provided. Custard apple and cornflakes have never been my combination, and the one big truth is that I have never had custard apple except for in the form of ice cream – and walnuts make some nice addition to the same.

kellog

Vampire Owl: What is this one? Apple Cinnamon Cornflakes? I will have that one. You should let Guptaji know. Look at the apples. I need to eat them right now. I haven’t rested on an apple tree for years.

Vampire Bat: You shouldn’t interfere. I shall bring a portion of everything. We are not going together because you are a Vampire Owl of the food.

Vampire Owl: I hope you do realize that the jackfruit tree branch near Guptaji’s house is our owl territory.

Vampire Bat: You should see this one. Cornflake Popcorn Clusters. I have never seen something like this before. See the combination? We can have them while watching one of those vampire movies with happy horror endings as serial killer murders them all. It is bloody new and looks so awesome.

Vampire Owl: Walnut Cornflakes Chocoballs! It is something that I have never seen. We should have this one with horror movies. Popcorn was always old style. Guptaji will have this one at home for sure because it is a special one.

kello

Vampire Bat: I have no courage to see any more. I am going to Guptaji’s house. There is a nice mango tree on the left side of the dining room. I shall go and hang from there.

Vampire Owl: I shall be around too. Let me know when the smell begins to make the impact, and my presence will be there! Guptaji, here we come!

Vampire Bat: Do have focus though; the aim is to taste, not to finish everything available there!

***All the images used on this blog post are from the Facebook page of Kellog’s (which I have mentioned below) from where you can get some interesting information about working with cornflakes too. With over one hundred recipes, Guptaji and family are ready to work some magic with you! How can we miss this opportunity? Check the following links for more details: https://www.facebook.com/anaajkanashta and https://www.youtube.com/user/kelloggindia

TeNy

A Blog Tour Award

blog tour

I have been nominated by Prakash Hegade for the Blog Tour Award. This is something different from the rest, and therefore has a special and unique value. Thank you for this nice gift on the week of my birthday!!! 🙂 https://itsphblog.wordpress.com/awards/blog-tour-award

Rules:

1. Pass the tour on up to four other bloggers.
2. Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post.
3. Answer four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.
Q1. WHAT I’M I WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT ?
Q2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN MY GENRE ?
Q3. WHY DO I WRITE OR CREATE WHAT I DO ?
Q4. HOW DOES MY WRITING/CREATIVE PROCESS WORK ?
4. Compose a one-time post on a specific Monday (date given from your nominator).

1. Four Bloggers i would like to pass on:

Maniparna: http://maniparna5002.wordpress.com
Namrata: http://namratakumari.blogspot.in
Ranjini: http://rangelz.wordpress.com
Shibu: http://shibumathewn15.wordpress.com

2. Give them the rules:

Rules are layered out. I would like to propose the dates: 30th March 2015, 6th April 2015 or 13th April 2015 (Feel free to vary here and there)

3. Answer four questions:

Q1. WHAT I’M I WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT ?
I am working on the next episode of story for my fiction blog with two different timelines at http://divineepic.wordpress.com.

Q2.HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN MY GENRE ?
We are all different from each other because we are separate entities, and we are bloggers with newer ideas every day!

Q3. WHY DO I WRITE OR CREATE WHAT I DO ?
I write this way because it defines my world, and it is more of a reflection of my thoughts and the incidents of my life. 

Q4. HOW DOES MY WRITING/CREATIVE PROCESS WORK ?
I just think and write. Something always comes up.

4. Compose a one time post:

I was given the date: 16th/23rd March 2015. Here is the post!

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Of those Happy Moments

The moments of happiness are mostly subjective. The things which can make one happy needn’t apply to others with the same power, or they might not apply at all. There are moments of passing examinations which brings a few people some happiness, but for me, it is just a case of relief. Some people are happy about seeing celebrities, but for me, it is just an experience. Some others are happy because India won a cricket match, but for me, it is a game and can only applaud. But I have my simpler moments.

A cup of tea at the Indian Coffee House: Having tea at one of the branches of he biggest group of family restaurants in Kerala has always been a moment of joy. When I was a kid, it always made me happy to see the workers with the special hats and turbans. The group is more of a socialist organization, and the tea here has been part of my life for such a long time. Wherever you travel in Kerala, Indian Coffee House is the name which you can trust, related to having food without any worries, and you can find ICH at many locations.

A drive through empty roads during the monsoon: I have always hated the heavy traffic and the heat which has prevented me from opening the windows and switching off the AC. My favourite moment of driving the Chevrolet Beat comes during the monsoon showers, as the rain keeps pouring down and I keep driving, opening and closing the windows according to the strength of the rain – I would keep driving through the most beautiful landscapes of Kerala until a tiny tea shop of my choice is reached.

An early morning motor-bike ride: Here is the most common thing in this list, I have been doing this for quite a long time. This early morning journey is one of the most refreshing things of the day, and these days as I go for early PSC coaching classes, the whole thing gets easier. There is no happiness in the return journey, as it happens after 10AM, which is too late – but happiness is achieved in the earlier journey which makes sure that the day remains good; yes, I am the one who wakes up early.

Watching the foggy world from the top of a mountain: When I talk about this moment of happiness, the first thing that comes to my mind is Ilaveezhapoonchira which has some of those moments closest to nature, with a lone tea shop at the top. It is applicable to many other places of higher altitude, but you need to visit this place, see the fog spread all around you and get lost in the moment of awesomeness. This is another beautiful destination in Kerala on which I have already written about.

cvr

Reading history or literature in an old building: There is a certain amount of difference about where you read a book, and this where I wish to read my books. It is more of happiness when you read them at a place where history stays ready to be awakened, and reflects the beauty of literature on the walls. Yes, there is a cup of tea to go together with this, and you end up reading the book with more interest, and finish off as an even happier person.

The sadness is when you can’t get tea when you need them, and when there is no nature when you look around. Fortunately, Kerala has a lot of both of these, and not many other things bring this much happiness as tea and nature – it gets better with the rain or the fog, and a few books can nicely contribute to the same. Unfortunately, except for the third one in the middle, none of the others have worked for me for some time – hoping for those moments of happiness to make a return.

***The image used in this blog post belongs to Coca-cola and the brand’s advertisements. Coca-cola also asks you to celebrate International Day of Happiness, and so lets have a glass of Coke and enjoy the weekend: http://CokeURL.com/96jnc

TeNy

To the Edge of the World

There was a belief among the vampires which was deeply rooted in tradition. It was about true love, something which was not a common thing among the vampire community, as they had witnessed too much of fake love among the humanity through the ages, and had still survived to continue their eternal existence. The Vampire Bat was never a strong believer of legends, but he was a traveler and an explorer, and do you know what that belief is?

It was said and written in golden letters in the Great Chambers of the Vampires, that “One who travels to the edge of the world and take a leap of faith shall find true love”. The writing glowed at night when the moonlight fell on it. This story comes from a time when Earth was not declared spherical. But the fact remained that no vampire had ever traveled to the edge of the world. No, not even Uncle Dracula or his former vampire assistants who were teleported to the other dimension.

The wizards join at the central tower...

Vampire Bat took that journey to the edge of the world. With the blessings of Uncle Dracula, he started on that journey which had nothing certain about it. It was a journey based on faith. He passed through the graveyard where the zombies stared at him in disbelief as they came to know about his quest, which didn’t really work that well inside their brains. They told him that the only true love is with edible brains.

Vampire Bat passed through the werewolf lands, who seemed to have a little more optimism about the same, but they didn’t hesitate to tell him their opinions. The leader of the pack told him that true love is attained only by death, and it is too rare in life. If you take a silver bullet to the heart for someone else, it is true love and in the heaven among the stars, you are going to be united with your lady love; said the leader wolf.

The centaurs had another idea. “Take this bow and arrow” said the centaur chieftain. “After you aim at the stars, turn back. If the arrow comes back to you, there is true love and you can take the leap of faith” he added. “But won’t I be dead if the arrow comes back to me when I am not looking?” asked the Vampire Bat. “Good point. It is better to take the leap of faith without thinking then” the centaur agreed.

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

A leprechaun was singing a song as he reached the rainbow’s end. It was a story of unrequited love in verse and the trees danced to his tunes. It stopped the Vampire Bat and made him think what if it was not the right thing to do and that there was no real point. But he continued anyway, as he knew that this was no longer his journey to stop. It was only half his journey and the rest belonged to his soul-mate.

The journey was tedious, but the Vampire Bat stood strong at the edge of the world. The wind was strong there and the sun was all prepared to hide behind the mountains far away. He took a leap of faith from the top of that cliff with the clear knowledge that he can’t fly. The fairy who looked at him from a distance screamed suicide and the unicorns just ran away scared, but the Vampire Bat knew better, or didn’t he?

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

***The images used in this blog post are screenshots from the time spent in one of my favourite games, Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic.

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TeNy

There is Always a First

Just like many other things in my life, there was a first for my mobile phone too; even as my first mobile phone was Nokia 1100, the first smartphone was a Nokia 6600. It actually had a short stay and was replaced by another phone which made way for a Nokia N95. But this Nokia 6600 had a special part in my life. It was the first one to let me store and play videos, and also the first to transform into my favourite music player.

I was among one of the first to get a smartphone in my class and remained the only person to have a Nokia smartphone for some time. I still remember that the volume of the phone used to reach such a high level that it could overtake all other mobiles at full volume, especially with some songs. It was big and had a special shape, good enough to catch the attention of almost everyone.

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But then, one has to have the luck to start with Moto E. It wasn’t really the season of the smartphone when I got the first of them. It took me some time to get used to it, and there were not many people whom I could ask for help. When there is the option to start with Moto E these days, things have changed. Almost everyone knows so much about the phones, and there have been so many positive opinions on Moto E.

This is the season of more power, and Moto E provides just the same. My first smartphone was a drag, and I wished for more power. Symbian had its own problems here and there, and I wished for a better Operating System too. 6600 had made me wait a lot after clicking here and there, but I have been a patient owner, or it is rather like I had no other option. There was the need for regular restart too – it was a machine of that generation, and not a Moto E.

I also remember how bulky that phone used to be. It was like it could be used more to throw it to get mangoes from a tree. It weighed a lot and had too much of a size to fit into the shirt’s pocket. These could have been solved if my first smartphone was Moto E. I have gone through the photos of the phone in Flipkart, and it is very thin, and the right phone if you wish to keep it in the shirt pocket.

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The battery is also going to last longer with a Moto E, making sure that I don’t have to keep recharging the phone. It was another problem of that age, but now, we are into advanced times with Moto E. Then there is the new Android, and such an Operating System was also the need of that age. With the 5MP primary camera and the presence of the secondary one, I could have done better than all who didn’t like my phone’s camera at that time.

The storage problems also get solved with Moto E. The speaker is so good and the same is with the design. Yes, the touch screen option can’t be forgotten, as the screen looks so clear, and it is smooth to operate. During those days of the past, I actually struggled to work with that big phone. The 6600 could make an impression with the high volume of sound, but I expect Moto E to make things better with more clarity of sound – achieving fine quality.

***The images used in this blog post are from Moto E’s contest page for which this one is written. I would #ChooseToStart with the new Moto E! That would require a time machine right now, but there can also be another beginning, because there is no limit to the possibilities: http://www.startwithmotoe.com/

TeNy

Having New Favourites

The recent trip to the North has helped in changing a few ideas that I had about the geography of India, and is a very good boost to my knowledge about the location of the major cities and monuments. It also helps in my further reading of History. There is another major thing that happened, and it is in the arrangement of those monuments inside my mind – throughout my life, I have thought that some monuments were the only ones which I really needed to visit, but now, it seems that the order has been changed.

1. Humayun’s Tomb: This place actually became my Taj Mahal, or one of my favourite Indian monuments of all time along with the temples of Mahabalipuram and Victoria Memorial of Kolkata. I have found it a peaceful place unlike Taj Mahal, and we could wear footwears as well as take pictures inside, unlike the great wonder at Agra. When you visit a historical monument, it is peace that you want the most, and here you can have it. Humayun is also a Mughal Emperor whom I have always liked, as a fine personality from history, despite hearing people saying that he was a weak ruler.

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2. Agra Fort: I had initially thought that this was the Red Fort, but it turned out to the the Agra Fort in red. The colour of the building looks exactly like the colour of my home, if I look at it from a personal viewpoint. Despite all of the fort not being open, there was so much to see around there, and we walked and walked until finally finishing that journey inside the walls. The carvings as well as those white areas inside the red fort catches our attention, and there is the view of Taj Mahal from here, and Shah Jahan was at least lucky enough to have a view of his masterpiece from here even though he was imprisoned by his own son.

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3. Lotus Temple: When we see it from a distance, there is the desperation to visit this place as soon as possible. It is like the feeling automatically comes to you due to that unique architecture. It is a very impressive structure, and nothing like I have seen anywhere due to its variety. This one has cent percent met my expectations, and I am glad that I visited this early in the morning, and when we were back, there was that long queue of visitors. This actually leaves you highly interested in the Bahá’í faith, and I have even bought a book about the same.

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4. Qutub Minar: The popular misconception about this minaret is that it is very tall. Well, it is the tallest brick minaret in the world, but not the tallest one of today’s standard – it is tall according to its times as well as the method used for construction. Begun by Qutb-ud-din Aibak and finished by Firoz Shah Tughlaq, the monument is surrounded by other historical monuments, and among them, this one remains special. Yes, I have visited Qutub Minar, something that I have been longing to do since childhood. UNESCO World Heritage Sites in my Indian bucket list gets another tick.

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5. Red Fort: Being home to the Mughal emperors for a long time and witnessing history a lot, this structure which was built by Shah Jahan surely has a lot of interesting areas, including a number of museums. The fort itself is a beautiful structure, and I do have an attraction towards this colour as I have mentioned earlier. The shops inside were interesting, and were cheaper than those outside Taj Mahal – may be it is because those outside “the Wonder” needed some wonderful bargaining, but that is not my method. I would still prefer the Agra (red) Fort more than this one.

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Throughout my life, I have wanted to visit Taj Mahal. The problem with such repeated praise of a monument is that when you go to see it, you will end up feeling that it is not that much of a wonder. I skipped the Akshardham Temple because I don’t see any point in visiting any place which doesn’t allow photography – the decision is very unfair as it is something of joy to take something from a wonderful place when we go back home, after all we travel so much to witness the beauty of a place – restrict it, but please don’t ban it completely.

***All photos used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 during my recent trip to Delhi.

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TeNy

The Conclave Saga: Part II

#Conclave15 on the first day had its best moments with Sachin Tendulkar and Katrina Kaif, while Day 2 started with talks from Ambassadors of seven countries. The talk had a good number of points to note down, especially with the man from the United Kingdom. Still, it wasn’t really an interesting thing for me in totality. The conversation with Mehbooba Mufti brought a few things about Kashmir into focus, and it was another thing which was rather new to me – I shall stick to not writing about what is unknown territory for me.

The talk about “Make in India” had some charm, but was repetitive at times for me. Actually, I did find the talk about dissenters rather interesting despite having not much love for politics. And then there were Moni Mohsin and Shobhaa De with “Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee” – this is a very good segment which you need to watch to enjoy the real splendour as it won’t do justice when brought about in third person. There is a clue, and it is once again the Malayalam movie Picket 43 which provides that.

This is from where the tweets, Facebook updates and even blog specials come.

This is from where the tweets, FB updates and even blog specials make it to internet.

Meanwhile, Viswanathan Anand managed to keep us interested with some memories about his games and a few nice Chess moves. It was once again and honour to see him and watch him play, even though I stopped playing Chess long ago – it was him who inspired me to try it for the first time. The talk about the Chess moves were getting a little bit too much for me, but with him around, things were to remain interesting.

The talk about terrorism from survivors who escaped from captivity was engaging. It is still not something that I would like to keep talking about though. Then there was AIB who came up with ideas on free speech and comedy. I haven’t watched their episode which caused trouble, but it was quite funny with them on the stage, even as there were some jokes which I didn’t really follow. Well, I have had my lack of knowledge on Bollywood related entertainment and the Hindi television channels.

You know that you need t see and listen to Viswanathan Anand.

You know that you need to see and listen to another legend, Viswanathan Anand.

The food related program was not something of my interest, but I did realize that the speaker surely got some nice ideas. Then came the moment of the day, and surely one of the best of this Conclave – or a collection of moments which were provided by Ranveer Singh who made an amazing appearance. It did make me wonder what he was going to talk about, and then he started talking, and performing – from that point of time, I forgot to tweet and post Facebook updates.

He was dealing with coming of age in Bollywood. It is like going through the history of Bollywood in one of the best ways possible. I have been a Bollywood watcher for quite a long time, even though not that much of a fan now. I had recorded a lot of Hindi songs on tape and watched movies on the VCR during my childhood. I can say that some ultimate movies like Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani played very significant role in making me diverge away from Bollywood.

Ranveer Singh - such power and unlimited energy on stage.

Ranveer Singh – such power and unlimited energy on the stage. This was too good.

Ranveer’s story was more like how he grew up with Bollywood throughout his life and how he came up triumphant in fulfilling his acting dreams, and he presented the same with such an energy that we don’t see often. Well, this has actually inspired me to write a post about how I grew up with Malayalam movies, even though I have always been watching movies in more than one language. You can expect another post related to this soon enough.

Finally, there was that debate which ended things. With Chief Ministers from a number of states (this is surely going to help me in my PSC exams), the final conclusion was made that all states have to work hard in collaboration with the centre to achieve progress, and it is not a lone journey. There were many points made in between, as I ended up knowing a few more ministers, and this was a good choice of leaders they had there, I have to admit.

I am not going to forget these CMs for my PSC exams, that is for sure :D

I am not going to forget these CMs for any of my PSC exams, that is for sure 😀

I was blessed with a nice group of bloggers who gave me company at the Conclave. Shoma Abhyankar, Arvind Passey, Yogita Aggarwal and Shreya Das – I haven’t known them before the event, but I am glad to have had them with me for the Conclave. It was a pleasure to meet the four of them. I have never been to a blogger meet before, and may be this was one! Once again thanking BlogAdda! – http://www.blogadda.com for this wonderful experience, and thanks to Mayank and Sumit from India Today for the support. Now this journey of mine is also a certified Delhi trip 😀 I shall leave you with a link to the blog posts which we five had written on the topic “The World Remade”.

TeNy

The Conclave Saga: Part I

Do you know that Kochi Biennale is going on and I didn’t attend it, but I am there for the Delhi Conclave? It is strange indeed, because it was so easy for me to go for that art exhibition which I admire and is close enough to my place. But life do provides one with enough twists, and I was there at Taj Palace Hotel at Delhi, and not at Cochin or its surroundings islands – not looking at art, but listening to some of the best of our nation. Thank you BlogAdda! – http://www.blogadda.com.

Lets get to the first day then. The highest point of day one was surely with the Master Blaster, and undoubtedly the biggest Hero of Our Times from our land, Sachin Tendulkar. There are only three cricketers whom I ever wanted to see, and with this programme, it is one down and two to go. You can make a guess who all the other two are, and with the first one, it is easy. He was indeed the reason why many people told me that they will shoot me if I don’t go to the Conclave.

When you see such clouds on the sky, good things can happen to you :P

When you see such clouds on the sky, good things can happen to you 😛

It was amazing to hear from the legend, as he continued to thrive in his humble nature throughout the talk, and there was that moment when he gave tribute to Roger Federer as his favourite player and someone who has no replacement – as God’s gift. It is always a special feeling to listen to one legend giving credits to another. We already know that they are good friends with each other with a photo that we usually see on Facebook, but this is even more special.

With his hopes to see a better world supported by the philanthropy, the first big talk of “The World Remade” had finished. It was followed two talks related more to Politics about which I shall not talk about without being better informed about it. My relation to National Politics has been like a void; the knowledge about Kerala Politics should be a little more though. I am surely working on it with my PSC studies, and may be I can discuss about this topic in a good way later.

And there is the legend - notice the divine light that burns bright ;)

And then there is the legend – notice the divine light that burns bright 😉

One interesting topic in between the two political talks was about being educated with a degree, but not having a job. There is a dialogue from a Malayalam movie, CID Moosa which I wish to share here – in the flick, a character keeps saying, “It is about me, about me and me only” (translated from Malayalam). Yes, it was the feeling that I first got while listening to that talk. Rajiv Pratap Rudy made some valid points there, and the rest including Chetan Bhagat provided the audience with something to think about.

The question was asked about the need for dignity of labour. Why is one job superior to other, is a question that becomes extremely relevant considering the current scenario. Well, how can we expect that to happen in a world when the parents want their children to be engineers or doctors? I have been listening to this for eternity. An engineer is an engineer and a doctor is a doctor. Then who am I? Did I drop out of the ninth circle of hell with my MA English according to the society? Do I need to add something before my name to improve my quality instead of being a good person?

It is good to have an identity - we don't always get to have one.

It is good to have an identity – we don’t always get to have one.

I pondered about it for a lot of time over tea, and I had to have a lot of it because it was extremely cold inside the room, and I have already written about my reaction to cold. I was born in March, which is one of the hottest months of Kerala, and I am more inclined towards heat than cold. We grew up playing cricket and football at mid-noon and not bothering about any globe of fire over our heads. This is also one of my reasons to be addicted to tea rather than any of those colder drinks.

I remember seeing “chawal” somewhere on the list of food, and I only recalled my lack of Hindi vocabulary despite studying Hindi in school and scoring well in the subject. The word actually meant “death” in Malayalam, just like “chor” meant rice in Malayalam. I just looked at a few other names, which I won’t be sharing here, but what I surely want to share is something about Lisa Haydon.

One of those interesting things which I found about tea :D

One of those interesting things which I found about tea 😀

My admiration for this lady increased a lot after this talk. Yes, her name reminds me of my second favourite Australian cricketer of all time, but that is not the point here. She was there to share the idea that we are more than what wear, and a person is not his or her dress. Even as she might have surely meant it more about women, it is something that has a bigger scope – the judgment made based on one’s clothing is rather too much to handle.

The talk about the future followed, which included a few things about the future of science and technology, and the one about 3D printing was more interesting than the others. The temperature inside the hall was getting lower, and the well-known soul guru Deepak Chopra did come with some interesting points, but the talk was too long and not always there making the point, I would say. There were a few things taken from his talk for sure.

You can avoid and forget many things, but not the lovely tea!

You can avoid and forget many things, but not the lovely tea!

Then came the afternoon session that we were waiting for, and it was “The Kat with Nine Lives” – Katrina Kaif. Yes, she is among my favourites of Bollywood. I was impressed by the way in which she answered almost every question, especially those related to her personal life. But what makes me wonder is why are people so interested in the personal lives of the celebrities, and what the relevance of these questions are, especially on a stage like this.

May be it was meant to add the comic relief, but we were never going through a tragedy like in the case of a Porter scene in Macbeth or like the situation which demanded something like a grave-digger scene in Hamlet. Well, my best guess is that a lot of fans who will watch this programme on the television or internet might want such questions. It was indeed funny and enjoyable, and I would like to applaud Katrina for the way in which she dealt with those questions.

The talk about the India-Pakistan friendship which followed had some good thoughts to take home too. The first thing that came to my mind when listening to the same was about the Malayalam movie, Picket 43 starring Prithviraj Sukumaran (My take on the movie: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/picket-43). I recommend that movie too. Yes, we need our neighbours to be our friends, but we are still left with that question if it is possible.

The crossfire stuff related to elections which are won on the internet gave some interesting points too, even though I have been completely unaware of such things behind the that election about which I only read on the newspapers. The talk about Afghanistan was an interesting addition which ended the day’s programs with a hope for peace in the nation which has been suffering. #Conclave15

***And thanks to my blogger friends there: Shoma Abhyankar, Arvind Passey, Yogita Aggarwal and Shreya Das – yes, there is the Part 2 with the final day; this has gone too long already 🙂

TeNy

The Conclave Saga: Intro

When my post won a prize which was the pass to the India Today Conclave (https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/the-vision/), I wasn’t actually ready for this. Yes, I always knew that there was this prize for the contest, but was rather more interested in writing about that idea than thinking about the prize. It was the same reason why I posted that one which turned out to be the winning post – coming to Delhi wasn’t among my worries when I posted that on my blog at a time when I was bored and was looking to write on something.

There are not many of my readers who don’t know the Vampire Bat story, even as it started the same more on the other blog – Movies of the Soul. I wanted this idea of the Vampire Bat’s world to work, and this time, it did, and I am really happy about it. The Vampire Bat’s utopia was to be mine, and there was no other way through which I wanted to write the second post for the contest.

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As I wasn’t ready, I couldn’t really reply to the winning mail fast enough. But then I thought, what was there to lose? Except for the money played for the flight tickets, stay and the food when not part of the Conclave – but there was no replacement for an experience. Then there is the element of time – I was preparing for the PSC exams and would miss the coaching for a few days, but it wasn’t something that couldn’t be brought back on track with some effort, but the Conclave was something that was a first opportunity for me.

Yes, Delhi is quite far away, and I was sure that I have to cover a lot of distance for this programme. I asked myself, why not? This is the first time I actually won a contest from a major blogging community (Thank you BlogAdda – http://www.blogadda.com). I didn’t need to miss out on this, as this was a special event and I had never visited Delhi. This was also a trip, and not just an attempt to claim a prize and see a few celebrities on the stage. This also had an intellectual side, and even though I had the ability to come up with many excuses, there was not the need for any, because I could just go.

It was not a good start for the journey. The flight was delayed and I was caught in the heavy traffic of Delhi later – that kind of traffic from which I had doubts about making it out alive even though it made me a lot more confident about driving around Cochin. The wait at the Mumbai Airport was worse, and the waiting procedure continued only to have me at the destination much later than expected, and I had to wake up early on the next day to get to the Conclave at the expected time.

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It was my birthday when I started from my hometown, but it didn’t go the usual way. Half of it was spent at Cochin getting prepared for the journey, and the rest at Delhi and in the flight with a part at the Mumbai Airport. The day for the Conclave was to begin was waiting to arrive. It was cold and I felt like being frozen, coming right out the hot climate at Cochin. I haven’t been good friends with low temperature for quite a long time.

I reached Hotel Taj Palace at 7:45 AM next day though. I did feel that it was more than needed, as I thought that I was not going to make it on time after that birthday which had no celebration at all – yes, people who were not on my Facebook list completely forgot that I was born on that day. But it is quite natural, and I hoped, or at times knew that it could only get better later. After all, I had come all the way from Cochin to attend this one programme. The post about the experience of those days coming up 🙂 #Conclave15

*The photos used in this blog post were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 at Delhi.

TeNy

Joy of Being Together

There are many forms of happiness in one’s life, as they become the other side of that coin which has sadness on one side. One of them is that bliss of being together with your loved ones – friends, relatives, and all those who find a nice place in your heart. The need for people in our life is a certainty, and we need some good support to remain motivated through the dark times – after all, life is not a soft bed of flowers on which you can just lie down and enjoy.

This brings me back to a memory from some time ago. We had shifted to our old home again, and it was a return to the past. But there were still not many friends around there, and couldn’t find most of my childhood friends there, as most of them were having jobs somewhere else, and a few others couldn’t be contacted at all. I was lonely there and the scope was there to be eternally alone unless there was a nice twist to come.

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Then one day, I had a Facebook message from an old friend of mine who stay near my present home to which we have returned after a gap of around fifteen years. We had studied together for the tution classes, and it was good to hear from him. He was getting married and told me that he will be coming to visit me. I told him to come whenever he wanted because I wasn’t much hopeful about it – this had happened before with nobody really coming and I was pessimistic.

But that was not the case this time. As I was going through my normal pessimistic model, he came to my home on the very next holiday. We talked about a lot of things, like how he was going through the difficult times in his life, especially with facing people without a job, and it was easy to relate for me because it was the same on this side too. Society wants all of us to get a job, then get married and afterwards, bring kids to this world.

He told me that it will pass, like in his case, as it has only gotten better for him. He had been going through the same phase as I was, without a job and writing for entrance for his post graduation. There might have been times when his case was worse, as I always had some other things to do. He was like for this all the time, but never really achieved the good results for a very long time. He struggled real hard, and I have been the lazy one with my studies, even with my good scores.

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He told me that there is always the right time for the right thing, as it happened with him. After his marriage, he was going to go for the Doctor of Medicine, and his wife was also going to pursue the same. He made it clear that things did finally came right for him, and what you have to do was to keep trying. There was never going to be a substitute for hardwork, and he was another example for the same.

So, we had porotta and paneer butter masala at the nearby restaurant, talking a bit more about it, finishing the small meeting with a cup of tea each. It was a fine day which proved with ease that being #together is very important, and we all need our friends in our life. This was that little nudge that I needed to get back on track, and just like Housing.com, lets believe in the power of optimism which can be attained in one way or the other. Check this link for more details about Housing.com and how they can be helpful: https://housing.com/

***The images used in this blog are those of St George Basilica, Angamaly – another symbol of optimism for me. These two photos were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 #together.

TeNy

Because it is World Cup

There are many World Cups that I have liked, but as far as cricket World Cups are concerned, I feel that I am going to like the 2019 World Cup more than the others. The main reason is that it will have no minnows and the games can only get better. Yes, we are love an upset and cheer when underdogs win. But when they are ruthlessly trashed by the opponents on too many occasions and they also make us wonder about the quality of the game, it is not case.

It is a forward step by the International Cricket Council, and I would like to welcome it. There is no need to add more and more teams which can’t play good enough cricket just to increase the number of teams and to let certain cricketers score centuries and get easy wickets. The players who can never hit an overseas century or can’t score more than a run-a-ball against the good teams might find this interesting, but otherwise, it is not a good idea to increase the number of teams.

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Talking about the lesser teams, they have to raise their level, and only then should they be allowed in the World Cup. After all, this is a cup featuring the best, and not just some dumb tournament. It should be like, prove yourself and get in. For a beginning, there can be just eight slots. Yes, you heard it right. There is too much miserable cricket going on right now, and some teams need to improve or perish. They shouldn’t take their test status as a guarantee, but just a compliment.

Only the top six ranked teams should be allowed straight into the World Cup, with number seven, eight, nine and ten made to play a qualifying tournament with the associate members. The total number of teams can be eight, with two teams from this competition joining the group of teams, putting them into two pools. Only top two teams from each group should qualify. As the number of matches do decrease, may be the teams can play each other twice and thus also make sure that more consistent team gets in.

The 2019 Cricket World Cup will have ten teams already there, among which only eight of the top ones having a clear place (including the hosts England). The rest will play in the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh which is only fair in making the game of cricket better and of a higher standard. If someone needs to score some runs of take a lot of wickets against the weaker teams, just be at the lower level of rankings – don’t bother the teams playing high standard cricket.

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There should be no matches without results. It doesn’t matter whether it rains or the lights go. There should be more than one reserve day. After all, it will be a tournament of the best then. May be Kenya can make a return here. Do you remember them coming second in their group and even doing enough to get into the semi-finals? There is no team like that now, and only the strong teams get stronger and hopes to destroy these teams with ease. So these teams should prove that they are at least as good as the last ranked test playing nations.

When the level of Zimbabwe has only gone down from the past, Bangladesh seems to be coming up with a big slap against the ICC which gave them the test status when they were not ready. The former has gone through some turbulent times, but it is time for them to come back and return to the competitive team that they had often been. The latter should do a lot better than this with the talent and the support of the fans – just defeating a test playing nation on World Cup is not enough. There will be improvement if these two teams are made to earn their place rather than being guaranteed the same.

*If you want to globalize cricket, you need to stop being selfish. It includes not using these teams as the means to score big runs, take wickets and attain huge victories. It doesn’t prove anything. Help them, provide them some assistance with training as well as money, and play some good practice matches with them. May be some of their players can have some chances in the IPL. Ireland is a team with so much potential – I hope one of these over hyped teams is thrown out and they get in for the next World Cup. May be after letting them play with a team like India A and manage to compete with them regularly and even defeat them, we can talk about a fourteen team or even twenty eight team Cricket World Cup with a big qualifier featuring half of the total teams. ***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Page of ICC Cricket World Cup on Facebook.

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Vampires are Forever

So, my post wins the prize which is a pass to the India Today Conclave (https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/the-vision/), and it was a write-up which was based on the vampire universe, with the Vampire Bat at the centre, showing the great uncle, how he has remade the world. On this occasion, I would like to give that thanksgiving post to the vampires with information about the best vampires movies of all time, along with thanking India Today and BlogAdda for this opportunity.

There are too many vampire movies that I like, and I would like to leave the classic behind this time, because they don’t need to be told as the best. Yes, these movies which follow are also classics of the future and the first one is actually seen with so much reverence among the vampire fans. Along with this list, I would like to thank the Gothic thoughts which have been surrounding me and helping me to bring a new flavour to my blog posts, and a twist to my tales.

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) :: Based on the Anne Rice novel of the same name, this is a movie which overpowers the novel which was also so good. The credit for the same goes to the incredibly powerful and effective cast which includes Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Christian Slater, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas. The credit should also go to our director along with the cast, as we know how bad the sequel The Queen of the Damned happened to be. Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt are those vampire characters to look out for, as the go through the life unsuspected by humans and working with their philosophy, questioning more than just a few things.
Best Quote: “I longed for death. I know that now. I invited it. A release from the pain of living. My invitation was open to anyone. To the whore at my side. To the pimp that followed. But it was a vampire that accepted it”.

Chloë Grace Moretz is the future: She has been one amazing child actress, and now into even more mature roles

Chloë Grace Moretz is the future: She was too good in Let Me In as the child vampire

Let Me In (2010) :: This movie is not recommended for pure and blind entertainment seekers, and all the movies in the list do have this quality in varying degrees. A remake of the Swedish movie Let the Right One In and also an adaptation of the novel of the same name from John Ajvide Lindqvist. Chloë Grace Moretz as Abby, the child vampire comes up with a stunning performance. It is a reflection of how horror movies can be beautiful art. The movie tells the story of a bullied boy who meets a vampire girl, and develops a friendship with her. The boy who who finds life difficult due to bullying, finds the girl who has her own difficulties, thus joining the two lone souls.
Best Quote [From the book]: “He had put his hand up in class, a declaration of existence, a claim that he knew something. And that was forbidden to him. They could give a number of reasons for why they had to torment him. But the real problem was simply that he existed, and every reminder of his existence was a crime”.

Vampire Journals (1997) :: This movie is a case of unexpected awesomeness. When I watched it, I knew nobody who acted in this one anyone associated with the crew. What they have managed with their limited resources is unbelievable. Just like the Brad Pitt-Tom Cruise movie mentioned above, this one also has a vampire with a human heart, and is desperate and disappointed with his new blood-sucking life. They are vampires, and yet human; but without those silly and ridiculous things that humans come up with. There is the darkness, stylish Gothic buildings, shadows and the music of the piano to hanut you. This might be the best low-budget vampire movie ever.
Best Quote: “I am God’s most desolate creature – a vampire with a mortal heart. I destroyed the one who spawned me and I have sworn to destroy his entire bloodline – the ones who stole me from the warmth of the sun”.

Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton steals the show in this powerful vampire flick

Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton completely steals the show in Byzantium

Byzantium (2012) :: As a completely female-centric movie, this one has Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton playing the major characters; the daughter and the mother vampires who travel through the world undetected to save themselves from a certain doom that follows them. The movie has a stunningly chilling atmosphere, and the skills of its lady leads take it to another level. Look out for that moment which has a stream of blood flowing between the rocks into the sea. It is a beautiful and powerful experience that this wonderful movie leaves us with. This is more like a work of art, with its horror experience more beautiful than scary, and you need to watch this to know it.
Best Quote: “My story can never be told. I write it over and over. I write of what I cannot speak: the truth. I write all I know of it, then I throw that pages to the wind. Maybe the birds can read it”.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of two movies which are mentioned. The list is not in any particular order. There are also a few other nice vampire movies, but these remain the best and this is a special list. None of these focus too much on the violence or the hunting of humans or vampires even when blood does run through. If you are looking for a full vampire action movie, you should go for “Underworld” and its sequels. Meanwhile, “Fright Night” solves your need for comedy. I have to watch a few movies like “Cronos” and “The Hunger” and there is the need to add more to this list.

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Exploring the Elements

This writing is part of the Explore The Elements Photo Contest which was announced by Thomas Cook. Here I explore and represent the four elements of nature with the help of the photos which I have taken using my Sony Cybershot DSC W-310. You can check here for more details about the contest: http://www.thomascook.com/blog/holiday-competitions-deals/explore-the-elements/ #ExploreTheElements

1. Earth: As it is said and known, “for dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou return” is what the following scene reminds us about claiming our place back under the Earth and hope for a better time at the other world. There is stubbornness in this idea of truth, and the certainty of this return to the dust and dirt is as clear as the presence of these things on the surface of the Earth. The problem with humanity is its consistent loss of memory about this, and their pursuit of Carpe Diem. The photo was taken at a church cemetery around the city of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England.

It is to the insides of Earth that we have to return, for we are dust.

It is right into the insides of Earth that we have to return, for we are dust.

2. Water: You can see how well water could adapt and as much as it can become the life saver, it can be the destroyer. The unbelievable amount of suppleness can be attributed to this element which is a powerful force of nature which can make impact in its presence as well as the absence. The photo shows the brutal strength that the element of water came up with, during the monsoon rain of 2013 (there were worse situations during that period at the banks of the river Periyar) at the town of Aluva, near Cochin, Kerala, India.

Water has its power to take over whenever it wishes to.

Water as an element has its power to take over whenever it wishes to.

3. Fire: The element of fire always burns, either in the minds of the people or on the far away horizons, as the globe of fire reflects our motivation and desire, becoming the silent watcher of the human hatred for the other people of their kind. The energy of fire is something that we can take into our lives, without the negative sides, choosing not to burn the people around us with hatred based on religion, caste or race. There is the need for fire in our lives. The photo was taken at Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India.

The beauty of fire on the sky can't be ignored by any camera.

The beauty of fire on the sky can’t be ignored by the eyes or any camera.

4. Air: There is freedom associated with air, something which is not easy in this world. We, human beings are bound by strange things and weird laws being passed, some of them making just the religion more important than humanity, and a few other making a few animals more significant that human beings. We should have chosen to air in this life, so free and with all the wisdom that is gained by traveling over long distances. In the photo, you can see how the vegetation bows down in reverence to the strength and wisdom of the element of air – photo taken at Ilaveezhapoonjira, Kerala, India.

When the element of air travel around freely with wisdom, take a bow.

When the element of air travel around freely with wisdom, take a bow.

There is only the human nature which is as unpredictable as the elements of nature, with compassion on one side and the tendency to be devastating with a certain amount of inherent evil which comes up here and there. There is something about the use of the word “nature” at both places. I hope you found the four photos of the elements of nature interesting – they have all been cropped and adjusted to a standard size so that there wouldn’t be any confusion. They were all taken by me only on my camera, Sony Cybershot DSC-W310..

Here, I nominate five other bloggers to participate in this contest:
Anita (http://www.anitaexplorer.com)
Maniparna (http://maniparna5002.wordpress.com)
Namrata (http://namratakumari.blogspot.in)
Shibu (http://shibumathewn15.wordpress.com)
Tara (http://crimsonapril.wordpress.com)

TeNy