Spirituality: Special Ones

***About a few special churches from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, from the City of Kochi to Kanyakumari. The photos were taken on my Sony Cybershot.

St. John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla, Kerala
Have you travelled around Tiruvalla at some time? Then you might not have missed this one because it is such a beauty on the side of the road. We came across the church while going for Niranam Church, and this happened to be a big find because nobody really told us about this one – may be people at that side might find it too usual a thing and don’t want to make it a big deal, but this is not the kind of church you will see anywhere else. It is a special structure which you need to visit.

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Kappal Matha Church, Uvari, Tamil Nadu
The simple structure might resemble many things including a ship and an airplane, but surely not a church if you look from a distance. The scene of a ship carrying the plane might rather seem strange, but it is another special place to be – I found this one while searching for places around Kanyakumari, and added it to the list of destinations to visit while traveling to the southern most point of the Indian peninsula, and the journey towards this place is also an interesting one. There won’t be many visitors around here.

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St. Mary’s Church, Kuravilangad, Kerala
A very famous Marian pilgrimage destination and with a history which goes back to a time when Christianity hadn’t spread through Europe, and was not yet the grand official religion of the Roman Empire as proclaimed by Emperor Theodosius; this one actually goes even before Constantine the Great had declared the religion legal for the first time. It is also believed that the first Marian Apparition was here, and the church remains a much visited pilgrim centre and a beautiful structure.

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Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, Vallarpadam, Kerala
This is a major pilgrim centre about which you might know enough already. Nowadays, it is even easier to visit with the better road links, and this church with is locally known to be dedicated to Vallarapadath Amma (Local name for Mother Mary), this was one of the first few churches to be dedicated as basilicas in this part of the world, and as you climb to the top of those towers of the renovated church, the view is just spectacular. This one also has a long history which goes back through Kochi’s past.

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St. George Church, Edathua, Kerala
The Edathua Church is a very well known pilgrimage centre with devotees flocking from all around Kerala as this structure remains a place of peace on the banks of the river Pamba. The feast at Edathua is very famous, and people pray for the saint’s intercession all the time to save them from ailments. Whenever I watch the Malayalam movie – the beautiful romantic satire of visual and musical beauty, which was Amen, this is the church which comes to my mind (movie is to be remade in Bollywood with Ranbir Kapoor playing the lead role).

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Our Lady of Ransom Church, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
There are many things to catch one’s attention at Kanyakumari, and the list is like an endless one with more and more places added to it. But what caught my attention after the Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekananda Rock Memorial was this church which catches the attention from a distance with its tall tower, and also has a special look with the blue sky and the clouds around. This one was actually not part of the places to visit, but just appeared out of nowhere and caught our attention.

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St. Mary’s Church, Thiruvithamcode, Tamil Nadu
This small structure is part of the seven and half churches which are believed to have been established by Saint Thomas the Apostle. We had read about the same, and so had gone searching for this one which was not really easy to find. This is also believed to be the first church in Tamil Nadu (formerly part of the Kingdom of Travancore), established in 63 AD. Located between Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari, this church is a place of serenity, and remains the only church established by the Apostle in Tamil Nadu.

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TeNy

7 Video Songs: 2012 – 2014

***My favourite songs in the last three years – from 2012 to 2014.

Nenjodu Cherthu – Yuvvh (2012)
I don’t usually add albums music to any lists, but this one was special. Directed by Alphonse Putharen featured Nivin Pauly and Nazriya Nazim as something which came before Neram which was from these three, and having the same pair as the movie Om Shanti Oshana, this one is gives a mesmerizing feeling. It is too cute; special mention for the action if she brushed teeth before having tea, and she is like there is no need. I came to listen to this one much later, and that was a shame – I should have listened to people at least when they talked about music!

Etho Sayahna – 10:30 AM Local Call (2013)
I remember listening to this music somewhere while on the bus, and searched a lot, and finally found it while watching this movie on television. I didn’t know where to find this one as the movie wasn’t a hit, but it was actually a good one; the song had somewhat lost because the movie lacked big stars at a time when dumb movies with superstars did better. The lyrics are also too good, but even without knowing the meaning of them, this one is too good. Shritha Sivadas looks stunningly good in this song too. This has been my long time ringtone and dialer-tone.

Shyamambaram – Thattathin Marayathu (2012)
I do expect a lot of difference in opinion about this one, but this is my favourite song from this movie which made the future better for not just Nivin Pauly and Aju Varghese, but a lot of others. No offence to “Anuraagathin Velayil” and “Muthuchippi” which were the bigger hits and thus the better known ones, as even though they were beautiful too, I would prefer this song from the movie because I could feel this one having the heart and the soul of Thattathin Marayathu and that wonderful feeling. I define the movie with this song, and it is the only song from the movie that I still listen to.

Karmukilil – Bachelor Party (2012)
There are many other songs, and there is this one which has almost no match in the way in which it is taken. The movie itself is visually superior, but that is all that this movie could manage, and still the song could rise above the flick. In a movie in which everybody shoots all those who are in sight and nobody knows who is dead or why some others are not dying yet in a world of endless bullets, this song came like something of eternal beauty on the big screen. This also have those moments when you can’t do nothing but admire Nithya Menen, and you also have to applaud Amal Neerad for the visuals.

Oru Mezhuthiriyude – Visudhan (2013)
Kunchacko Boban and Miya George are part of this beautiful song in an average movie which had more scope. But this might have still been the most talked about song of the year, and there might be nobody who has talked bad about this one. Still, the ending of the movie is so touching and tragic; giving a powerful feeling, which it taks from this song itself. Here is another song which makes one strongly believe that the music will survive the ages, and is beyond all barriers.

Ven Megham – London Bridge (2014)
This has been my favourite for multiple reasons, as along with the music, I love the visuals which involve the beauty of England and Scotland with those places which I have visited, and the cast is like a dream – Prithviraj Sukumaran, Nanditha Raj and Andreah Jeremiah; plus those lyrics which seem to go directly into the heart, may be not that effective for everyone with their favourite destinations and viewpoints, but certainly working perfectly for me. The other songs in this movie are also visually too good.

Mazhaye – Pattam Pole (2013)
The song and the movie are the opposite extremes, with the latter making a sadistic approach to eat the brains of the viewers with unparalleled zombie power. But the song is like an eternal tribute to the rain and the monsoon of Kerala. I have hoped for not having seen the movie to enjoy this song more, but I have watched that terror, and I do try to forget that terrifying experience of artificial love and romance which is difficult to get rid of. But lets listen to this beautiful song from the movie and hope that it goes away! Let Pattam Pole go and let the song in!

TeNy

You are Right Here

Shymaprasad’s Prithviraj Sukumaran-Nivin Pauly starrer Ivide releases today, and with shows at the malls as early as 9:15 in the morning, the talks might already be out in a few minutes, and the opinions will be all around the internet with praises or disappointment. This is actually a movie for which the fans have waited for long, and the trailer has managed to catch the attention too. Ivide has been the talk of the world around, and there is nobody I know who doesn’t want to watch it.

The first reason you need to watch this one is because this is the first commerical movie from the skilled director Shyamaprasad who is trying to go another path this time. He has been the maker or fine movies for so long, and they were rather the classics which got a lot of critical appreciation and many awards. Akale which was well-adapted from The Glass Menagerie remains his best work, but you have to see this movie which is going to show the crowd-pleasing side from him.

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Then there is Nivin Pauly and Prithviraj Sukumaran sharing the screen for the very first time. The former has made big impact in a very short time and is a crowd favourite while the second has established himself over a long time claiming the throne of the grand young superstar of Malayalam movie, and these two are the future of the industry without any doubt – it will be a pleasure to see these two together, and the theatres are going to be flooded due to the same reason.

Nivin Pauly plays a different character here unlike what he has been playing, and this one seems to have some dark shades (Da Thadiya‘s villain was just a fraud); his ability to play the someone of the other side is going to be displayed here while Prithviraj Sukumaran plays the role of an investigative officer again, and this is a role which has always suited him; he has been the new classic cop after Suresh Gopi in the Malayalam movie industry and this is surely going to take his skills in such roles to another level.

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We haven’t seen Bhavana for some time now, with her last Malayalam movie being a lesser watched Angry Babies in Love, while Koothara only had her in a smaller and less noticed role. It is a pleasure to have her back in Malayalam, as she has been a favourite for so long. Shyamaprasad has got the cast right for all three of the main stars because this is a powerful combination as Nivin and Bhavana comes together for the first time too as something that many people wished to see together for a long time.

The thriller efficiency has been high in the Malayalam movie industry for the last few months, with Memories, Drishyam, Angels, Mumbai Police, Saaradhi and many others managing to keep the level from coming down – the first two have been legendary as Jeethu Jospeph made them score big time. This one though, is going to go bigger from the crime thriller with its possible drama elements, and we will have the lives of three major characters full on the screen with a possible love triangle of past and present.

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With the Gopi Sunder effect on music, we are going to have a serial killer in this movie too; we have mostly loved them at least for the last few years, haven’t we? There is going to be another psycho murderer who might be able to take this to another level. Shot completely in Atlanta, this movie is going to take the thrills not only to the Malayalam audience, but also to the Tamil viewers as it has released today, and is running in the theatres right now. All the best to the movie, as the opinions are just on the way!

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie, Ivide.

TeNy

Why Interview with the Vampire?

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles – you should have heard the name, and there is no reason why you won’t have, because I have been writing something or talking about the same for around eight to ten years now. Based on the work of the same name by Anne Rice, published in 1976, the movie based on the same and starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas released in 1994. This has also been the main pillar for my thesis for MA English Language and Literature.

One thing which is certain about this work is that Anne Rice has never created a better work after this one, and this first book from her remains her best. Created right after the death of her little daughter and bringing up the idea of the child vampire (something of depressing beauty), there are not many surprises about that. It also has Louis de Pointe du Lac, the most humane vampire as its main protagonist, as the creature with so much of conscience and a big amount of philosophy as he denies his own existence as the creature of the night and struggle with himself being “the other”.

The extremity of "the other" - the child vampire Claudia.

The extremity of “the other” – manifestation of the tormented soul of a child vampire.

Anne Rice has successfully used the history from different ages and locations to supplement her story. There is the relation of the characters with the time period of their existence, and for vampires, they belong to more than one age and with the new birth, they are not people one place or even one nation. As they belong to the universe of immortality, history and cultures begins to be part of them, and they would experienced most of it without reading one single book. History remains the background here.

The major incidents of the world do make changes on the vampires, and the human world around them gets affected by the vampires as much as they do in return. The novel itself was written during the time of the hippies, and at the same time period, Anne Rice brings this novel on vampires to the light. Even Louis chooses San Franciso, the centre of all these. The vampires come to us as people who are different and are mostly confused, except for those vampires who have lived through centuries and have a lot of experience to deal with situations. Some of them are already part of many cultures.

Interview with the Vampire - there is more to that talk.

Interview with the Vampire – there is more to that talk, but even more to experience.

We can even see a certain amount of the Cold War between capitalism and communism between the two protagonists of the novel as even though they never really drops the nuke, the tension is high due to the difference in their thought processes and ideologies. The city where the flashback begins is also at New Orleans, home to the cities of the dead. There is so much of the mystery which surrounds that world and happens to be the perfect place to discover a vampire.

Louis’ rebirth into vampirism also occurs in 1791 after the French Revolution begins. The doubt in Louis’ mind only increases, and he moves towards finding his own ideology as the grasp of the religious institutions lessens and morality also goes down. There are some interesting quotes which are made by the characters about the same, like evil being a point of view, God also kills and on goodness being too difficult. It remains a period of doubt for both humans as well as vampires. You see changes with the vampires of Paris and those of other parts of Europe.

The Embrace of the Vampire - This theatre of the vampires is an extension of culture.

Embrace of the Vampire – This theatre of vampires is an extension of the cultural side.

The vampire characters are given not just the human feelings here, and the relation in not just through the emotions, but through a certain shared history which reflects sometimes as the background for the characters and at other times, in relation to the times of the author when she wrote it. This makes the novel more related to humanity rather than adding trivial things like romance as in many other vampire works. It becomes part of the cultures of different parts of the world for centuries. For the movie, the cast takes the whole thing to another level.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Facebook Page of Interview with the Vampire. The ideas presented here are further extended from my reading while working for my Post-graduation thesis, and most of these are also part of the same in another way.

TeNy

The Kitty Celebration

This post takes over the duty of celebrating the return of Simona the Kitty with her photos through the ages, one for each month, as she finishes half an year and gets into the seventh month at our home, a record for any cat with us. From the day she was found in the canal to the day she returned after being abducted, and to this day as she stays with us! Here are seven photos taken on my Sony Cybershot and Asus Zenfone 5 of Simona. Hope these photos will make you like her even more as she asks for love 😀

November 2014: First available photo; saved from canal.
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December 2014: Simona’s exploration season.
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January 2015: Searching for new limits.
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February 2015: Evolution into a mighty hunter.
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March 2015: While we were at Delhi.
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April 2015: Quick and smart tree climber mode.
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May 2015: Pathfinder as of earlier this month.
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While I am having my exams, Simona the Kitty sends her greetings to all readers, and she hopes that you are all doing well as she is. She is smarter and faster than she has ever been, that is for sure. She is back at home to celebrate life as she used to, and also let’s hope that Simona Halep wins the French Open this time 😀 Happy Roland Garros, and may the lady with the same name as the kitty win this grand slam tournament on clay – may be this one’s return signifies the same.

TeNy

Mili Lost on NH10

It has been months since I watched and reviewed the movie Mili (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/mili) and also wrote a number of related posts which talked about flick and a few things which are directly or indirectly linked to a movie. Even after these many months have passed, there is a question which keeps lingering through my mind, and it is about why people are unable to comprehend the good intentions of the movie and how well it has managed to stay out of the masala elements and make a fine movie close to life.

Yes, some people just can’t relate to the character. But that doesn’t make Mili a mean character, but a girl suffering due to circumstances. Just because they are not introverts, these certain movie watchers think that people who are not extroverts don’t exist or don’t have the right to live inside their smaller worlds. These people have a certain problem with “the other” which they will keep exhibiting because they feel that they will have the support of people of their kind because they are used to hate.

The story of Mili should begin and end with everyone having a personality.

Well, in that case, I choose not to relate with these people who have no empathy at all. I am surprised or rather shocked that people are still choosing the masala entertainers with the heroes who are so negative in their treatment of law and order/women/truth, and they refuses to accept movies with positive messages having a protagonist who is true to life and trying to find her feet in a world of chaos. Well, there are too many bullies out there who wishes to keep the people with problems away from their lives, and it is their easy solution.

This is the world of fans, and they are of that kind who supports the movies of either those heroes who are past their prime or those newer heroes who are there just because their parents have some influence in the movie industry; sometimes the fans also pass on to the next generation. May be if we stop watching the movies of these so called superstars who are forced on us by birth, such fans will also cease to exist. There is no choice of superstars here, because some are born and labelled so and are brought to the audience with the title. What is more surprising is that the fans even talk about “killing the movie” – honour killing for their superstars? That NH10 model? Well, the talks from some people seems to indicate that it is also possible in the future.

Mili will always be Mili. If you don't like it, please go to the Ninth Circle of Hell.

We should get out of this family business in movies, and only then the fan menace can be dealt with, and then the situation will get better in the theatres too. The lack of acceptance of a movie just because the so called superstar hasn’t acted in a movie and adding dumb excuses for the same, is rather shameful. I have heard similar comments while watching NH10 – why is people hoping for the end of a good character when the heroine has done so well in the role? Is it a new generation trend? Some people have the attitude of those villains of NH10 when facing a good movie with a message – they just can’t take it.

Why do people think that only the speeches done by their role-model are worth the applause? Why is it that goodness on the screen go over the head of some new generation people and a few old generation pretenders? Why is it that these fans make so much noise in the local theatre for the movies which don’t have their favourite stars and one can do nothing but watch the same only in the multiplexes? Is empathy and sense clearly lost? The situation of NH10 exists in the minds of people – I will say the same about the incidents which are depicted in the Anushka Sharma starrer.

Yes, there can be no method of teaching empathy and sense to these people, as it had to be taught at home. Some people have surely spared the rod and spoiled their children. But there seems to be no hope for the movie watcher who wish to get into the shoes of the character and see things from his or her angle, as well as wander through that world which exists within hte screen. There is just terror in the theatres, with ridiculous judgments clearly lacking in sense, empathy and an actual desire to watch the movie. They are people of NH10.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie Mili. When I say NH10, please read it as “the movie with the same name”. *Also a reminder to those who are fighting over IPL – it is not real, and neither is the title of “the best team of all-time”. The worst fans title should be shared with the new generation cricket fans.

TeNy