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

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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

Far Away from Home

[THE STORY SO FAR: The wizards join in the grand tower to make sure that the sons and daughters choose nothing other than the Dwarven engineering or the Elven healing. The Wizard of Wind takes another step towards the same as he receives the book “Guide to Destroying the Hopes of Others” and advice from the Dwarven Eldar which he takes to The Wizard of Life along with Orb of Negativity; and he thus attains knighthood. ***The images used in this post are screenshots from my time spent in the game, Age of Wonders III: Shadow Magic, a turn-based strategy title which I highly recommend.]

The wizards surely had their plans and were working on the same, even though it made no sense outside their world. At the same time, far away from the so called civilization around the towers of the wizards, a song was heard, something of frustration and revolution; something which reflected more than one world beyond the dimensions. There was a large crowd assembled around a giant rock which had the shape of a rugby ball, and it was a mixed group of races belonging to the woods. The day was getting over, but not the enthusiasm of the people. The song was as follows:

The wizards join at the central tower...

The wizards’ world is all beauty from the outside, but beware of what lies beneath…

We are not of the fake world
Not part of a universe of chaos
Which pretends to be perfect
Guided by pretenders to the throne.

We have nothing to do with that world
Which thrives on inequality
Where people are forced to be something
Like the engineers or healers called doctors.

It is that world in which people are judged
By being an engineer or doctor or not
And by the money that they earn
And the colour of their bloody skin.

We don’t know of those wizards
Who have different rules for everyone
And thinks that it is all about money
Greedy for more and more of the moolah.

Love is fair in the case of some offsprings
Especially those who fall in love
With the rich ones; gets the approval
But loving even the slightly poor is banned.

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

The rest of the world outside the Dwarven-High Elf territory is rather the fair one…

Those who are fair are the smart ones
A title which is instantly given
And the dark-skinned gets nothing
From the wizards of the grand towers.

We don’t belong their show-offs
Neither will we attend their vanity
Reflected in their grand programs
Driven by inequality and false pride”.

“So they really have different rules for education and love? And even on the basis of skin?” asked a satyr while cheering for the song.

“The man from the wizards’ bloodline has spoken about the same; so it has to be true” said a centaur while drinking a cup of tea.

“Bloody idiots. This is why I never want to meet a wizard. I always hated those white beards. They look so fake” remarked the satyr.

“We should ask some of those creatures of the night to bite then” added the centaur.

“I would steal their beards or ask a halfling rogue to do that!” murmured satyr.

“I hope that their bloodlines will be better informed about the same” said another centaur who came into take a cup of black tea.

[To be continued…]

TeNy

Her Wings of Inspiration

I haven’t been talking blogging very seriously when I started my first blog on WordPress, The Travel Diaries as the blog on fiction, The Divine Epic came much later. I just posted something about any random journey of mine and logged out, not bothering to think further about what I had written and on who all were reading the posts. The procedure continued for quite a long time with no change at all. I wrote, I posted and I got out of WordPress, but things had to change.

My most read blog, Movies of the Soul had mostly readers from outside India, and there was almost nobody from my home country reading my posts. Most of the visitors were from the United States and there were a fine number of readers from the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. As Jesus said, “no prophet is welcome in his hometown”, and that much I found as I searched for explanations to why I have so many less readers from India. Well, I reviewed Hollywood movies more than the Indian flicks, and that should have been the answer.

It was during my time of not knowing anyone from the blogging world that I came across Namrata and her blog, A Lexical Tapestry. I hadn’t been adding people from the blogging world before that, surely not to my Facebook, and she happened to be the first person from this blogging era to add me on the social media. So she became like the only person I personally knew in WordPress, BlogAdda and IndiBlogger combined. She also came with a Liebster nomination for me with her first message.

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I have been reading her posts for more than an year now, and even though I was slightly disappointed that she shifted to Blogspot from WordPress, I later felt that it was another opportunity to go through another blogging platform. Her determination and variety in writing was an inspiration for me at that time. Even though I have loved to read almost everything that she posted, I remember her post about Sir Boast-A-Lot more than the rest.

There she goes back to her favourite program, Sherlock, and explains what she calls “evil beauty” (The Vampire Bat likes that a lot). She explains the same in fewer words, but you have to love it when a post against the deadly sin called vanity works so well. Another one I remember more than the others is her poem about Ganges, and a comparison there to the imagery of a woman’s life. Then there are the points that she raises about God and His relation to man has a lot of beauty associated to it!

Yes, blogging has been more of a platform to express myself, but it has also been a place to know others, and relate to those who think alike. I have found better people in the blogging world than I have found throughout my life, and this is no exaggeration. Seriously talking more about it, there is almost nobody whom I can relate with, in my neighbourhood. People still ask about the point of blogging. During this age, Namrata happened to be that blogger who became my first inspiration. I have always enjoyed going through her ideas and having long discussions about the same. She supported me a lot during my early stages of blogging.

With her blog posts, Namrata has always inspired me to write more, even up-to the extent that I now post one write-up per day on WordPress, and also to keep trying to bring more variety into my writings. She hasn’t been writing much nowadays, and claims that she is going through a writer’s block these days – so I ask my first friend from the blogging world, my favourite engineer and the first one to comment on my personal blog The Tea Cerebration(s), to nominate her blog in any of the categories at WIN 15, and along with he same, make that grand return to continuous blogging 🙂 #YouMakeMeWIN

I’m blogging for #YouMakeMeWIN to honour a blogger who has influenced me and deserves to be nominated at WIN15.

***The image used in this blog post is also taken from the WIN15 activity from BlogAdda.

TeNy

The Eye of Cyclops

In the Chambers of the Elder Vampires, Vampire Bat and Vampire Owl has a discussion. It wasn’t about the wars this time, but it was not a case of peace either. The chambers were listening to a different conversation. It was about the effects of the love at first sight which Vampire Owl had felt for Lady Death.

Vampire Bat: Are you sure you want to do this? Do you think that this is the right decision at this point?

Vampire Owl: Yes, I would do this for Lady Death as you would do that for her evil twin sister.

Vampire Bat: I haven’t really decided about myself. I am sure that I won’t be asked about such strange conditions in love.

Vampire Owl: You don’t understand. This is love at first sight. There is nothing ordinary about it, and instead here we have it as a thing of highest quality.

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Vampire Bat: What do you mean by that? Where did you actually see her? You haven’t met Death yet.

Vampire Owl: It is kind of correct in your simple and lifeless terms, considering the fact that you are a layman in love. I am of the standard of a bishop if love is considered a religion.

Vampire Bat: It is indeed a relief that you didn’t say Pope, Lama or Patriarch. Love is not a religion even though people say that their religion is love or God is love; your love with Lady Death is surely not that. You can ask Uncle Dracula for confirmation.

Vampire Owl: This is why you should read books about love from the Imperial Vampire Library. It is about sensing her presence and making an impression. Sight is just a word which translates into sense in after-life.

Vampire Bat: You mean to say that your dearest Lady Death is blind and can only sense your presence.

Vampire Owl: Silly layman. You should be ordained into the guild of love, or you will never find Lady Death’s evil twin sister. This is why you don’t even know her name yet.

Vampire Bat: Actually, none of these is the problem. Your mission is injurious to your health. I can give you a clear warning on that. I can even get certification about the same from our analysts.

Vampire Owl: I am very good at missions. I have accomplished so much in my career with one mission after another.

Vampire Bat: Yes, but not related to returning with an eye of a cyclops. You will be going through hostile territory. To add to that, there are two problems related to the same. One is that you don’t know if the creature exists. The second is that if they do, a cyclops got only one eye and if you take it you are going to make it very angry.

Vampire Owl: There is this area north of the Dark Elf Terrain and west of the Blood Merchant Ports. I will have to go through the Graves of the Undead, but I have a bag of bones and it will be okay to make a passage. The area is called Horn of Cyclops. I will find the creatures there. When I do, it won’t matter if they are angry, happy or depressed.

Vampire Bat: You are not even going to make it through the Free Zombie Territory. Do you know that a mythical cyclops is not supposed to have a horn, and the name could be just because the area is shaped like that? The place is ruled by tribal chieftains. You are going to be caught in the middle of nowhere.

Vampire Owl: May be. But it is love at first sight, or sense. I have to give it a try. This is one of those things to do in order to meet Lady Death; she appears in case of victory and we can get to her in case of a defeat which is death.

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Vampire Bat: Of what use is a dead Vampire Owl even to love? And most of all, what is the use to Uncle Dracula? You are not even going to be reborn again as a zombie if you die in the North.

Vampire Owl: You cannot stop my destiny with such strange words. My determination is bigger than all that.

Vampire Bat: You should still inform Uncle Dracula about the same and find the right moment.

Vampire Owl: I shall be doing the same. I will appoint Vampire Alligator in my place when I am not here.

Vampire Bat: But Vampire Crocodile is the third in command and the fourth most experienced person of the team.

Vampire Owl: Yes, but he and his stories of Lake Placid have been getting into my nerves. I am giving punishment transfer for him to the borders around the Werewolf Kingdom.

Vampire Bat: Not a fair decision as usual! I suggest you go through the sea then, around the Old Vampire Isle.

Vampire Owl: I shall give it some thought. The first thing to do is to say good bye to Uncle Dracula and make sure that he agrees to my points enough to grant me leave.

Vampire Bat: So be it then! So much for what follows the love at first sight, sense or whatever.

[The chambers were back to sensing the silence with no vampire presence].

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Hotel Transylvania.

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

TeNy

Television on Safe Mode

During these days when televisions have become the true idiot boxes and are eating our brains, there are a few programs which manage to be better than the others. There are not many interesting things going in the Malayalam television channels these days, except for may be a few songs and comedy clips. Oridathoridathu is a program which should have been still there on Asianet, but it is not. But if someone is caught in a situation in which only Malayalam channels are there, he or she also needs to be saved, and here are a few programs which surely won’t make you throw the tea cup to the screen.

1. Badai Bungalow (Asianet): With a new and interesting concept, this one is the first preference for most of the people I know. Ramesh Pisharody and Arya are the new couple here who are the tenants of Mukesh in his bungalow, while Dharmajan is their cook who wishes to become a movie actor and Manoj is a neighbour who keeps coming to their home with something weird all the time. Praseetha plays the aunty who is still waiting for her knight in shining armour to get married. Every Sunday, they invite a celebrity guest, and it is followed by moments of unlimited fun to which the whole cast contribute so well. There is also an audience who can interact with the cast.

2. Marimaayam (Mazhavil Manorama): Working with so much efficiency as the one big satire for a long time, Marimayam has managed to create a big impact on the audience since the beginning itself. It mocks the ridiculous situations at the government offices as well as with the public, as there is a certain reflection of what happens in the common man’s life. All the problems that people have to face because of the system and the society are brought to light in a funny way. It also brought the actress Rachana Narayanankutty to the big screen, and also S. P. Sreekumar. More than an year old, the program is still going strong – no wonder when the system always needs cleaning.

Marimaayam is the political and social satire which you have been looking for!

Marimaayam is the political and social satire which you have been looking for!

3. Ningalkum Aakaam Kodeeswaran (Asianet): Continuing to be the Kaun Banega Crorepathi and Who Wants to be a Millionaire in Malayalam, this one is blessed with one of the best hosts of all time, Suresh Gopi, and keeps a certain responsibility towards the society going. Only if the locking of options had happened right after the contestants had answered without giving them clue that the answer was wrong, this would have been the top program. The contestant should never be helped, otherwise the resulting money should go not for him or her, but for the host. Measuring of knowledge should be done in a righteous manner without shortcuts. Otherwise, people can be helped directly.

4. Thatteem Mutteem (Mazhavil Manorama): Dealing mostly with the relationship between a mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law in a funny way, this one uses simple incidents and exaggerates the same to evoke laughter, but still stays close to life. The family which includes the mother, son, his wife, his daughter and son, creates all the fun inside the house itself. The home is where the fun is, and K. P. A. C. Lalitha and Manju Pillai steals the show along with Jayakumar who is mostly the one who begins the fun every episode. The kids are also nice, especially Bhagyalakshmi. Veena Nair’s guest presence at times also remain unique. This is a real hope among the pathetic television serials which keeps coming.

The cast of Thatteem Mutteem, never losing the charm.

The cast of Thatteem Mutteem, never losing the charm, even after all these years.

5. Onnum Onnum Moonu (Mazhavil Manorama): Even though this one has its ups and down according to the celebrities who come to the show, the whole thing works due to Rimi Tomy and her trademark style. Without her, the program has almost no charm, but she is there, making fun of everything including herself in a show which is more comedy than anything else. There are also some of those celebrities whom we don’t know or see, who become better known to us due to this show. The whole thing is so cheerful that it leaves the viewers happy – it is sure credit for Rimi Tomy and Mazhavil Manorama.

6. Comedy Stars (Asianet): Formerly Vodafone Comedy Stars, this has been the best comedy show on Malayalam television so far, and the first episode was huge. This program to select the best comedy team in Kerala surely had some of the best in the field and has given the Malayalam industry some of the interesting comedy actors like Noby, Nelson and Ullas. It has lost some charm in the recent years, but with the last episode mocking the educational blunders of the state’s tenth standard exams in which almost everyone passed, this has raised the level higher. This has made the common stressed man happy throughout the years, and there will surely be some nice skits coming up with so much scope for satire in Kerala.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Facebook pages of Marimaayam and Thatteem Mutteem. I also give a special mention here for the programs Don’t Do Don’t Do on Asianet Plus and Vellanakalude Naadu on Asianet, the former being a celebrity comedy show and the latter being another satire!

TeNy

Urulanthanni: Not the Obvious

No matter where or how you search for information, Urulanthanni is not a place which you can find with ease; not on the internet or not while talking with those people whom you usually meet. It is because Urulanthanni is far away from most of those places where you visit for a relief from the normal city routine. It is also because it is not that much explored by people of modernity. Urulanthanni remains a name which is not usually talked about among the travelers, but it is a place which deserves to be discovered.

You see this on the way and you know that this is going to be good!

You see this on the way and you know that this is going to be an awesome experience!

If you have searched for Urulanthanni after reading the first paragraph on google, I am sure that you won’t find much of the written information about it, not even on Wikipedia. It is an area around Kuttampuzha river and a few kilometres away from Kuttampuzha – this much should be easy to find. If you come from Cochin, take the road to Muvattupuzha and then to Kothamangalam. Our starting point was at Aluva, fifty nine kilometres from the destination, not including the distance which we had to walk after the drive.

While on the way, you stop here, and just have a look; can't resist!

While on the way, you stop here, and just have a look; can’t resist on this view!

If you are coming from the Cochin Airport, you can join this route, and it will be fifty five kilometres from there, and fourty two from the place where the routes from Aluva and Airport joins – Perumbavoor from where there is fourty two kilometres to the destination. You will be travelling on the Aluva-Munnar road, and you can choose to have food just before reaching the next big town, or rather the last one worth mentioning – Kothamangalam. There is a vegetarian restaurant Dwaraka, and a non-vegetarian restaurant Paradise on the way which might be the best options to have food.

There are smaller places of worship around, as God doesn't go for money around here!

There are smaller places of worship around, as God doesn’t go for money around here!

After Kothamangalam, finding big enough restaurants get tougher except for the fact that there might be something around with Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary on the way, and there is the Bhoothathankettu Dam if you take a deviation, but you won’t if you are going to Urulanthanni. The path is indeed beautiful, and nature only gets better as you keep moving. Once you reach Kuttampuzha, the last small town, you have to take a deviation to the right. Otherwise you might end up reaching Pooyamkutty. You can travel through that road to reach and end from where you will have to walk.

So much green for the eyes, and for the camera - can't deny its power.

So much green for the eyes, and for the camera – can’t deny its extreme power.

There you enter the charming world of Urulanthanni, which is part of the Idukki Wildlife Division, even as it is part of Ernakulam district. Vodafone might be the only network which has connectivity there though. As you walk deeper into the area, you will find not much other than greenery, and there will be streams of water which you need to cross, and so there is the need to be prepared. some of them might be quite deep and having strong currents, so care is needed there. The rain which actually make it stronger and create newer ones.

Just one of those streams which should be crossed during the journey on foot.

Just one of those beautiful streams which should be crossed during the journey on foot.

You will also have to walk through the water which is caught between the rocks, and it should be slippery; therefore further care might be needed. You have to walk, run and jump until you reach the waterfalls which is a nice sight with the greenery. If you can manage to climb to the top of any of the rocks there, you can get a nice view of the surroundings. The beauty of the green is so powerful, and seems like eternal there. As it is not a big tourist site yet, the human disturbance on nature is not there and let’s not create something like that there too.

You can climb one or two of the rocks there and have a detailed look around the area.

You can climb one or two of the rocks there and have a detailed look around the area.

Along with the chances of slipping during the rains, you will also have to be careful about the leeches. I did donate some of my blood to a good number of them during my visit, but you needn’t make them grateful by feeding your blood. The best option will be to wear the shoes rather than chappals. You can ask for the help of locals to guide, as the path can be confusing or even dangerous for people not used to such journeys and leeches at full strength can be disgusting. Urulanthanni might not be the obvious tourist destination, but surely a nice place to visit with all the beauty of nature.

The waterfalls and all those green elements - that surely feels like Tomb Raider!

The waterfalls and all those green elements – that surely feels like Tomb Raider!

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my camera and mobile phone (Sony Cybershot and Samsung Duos).

TeNy

The Return of Simona

The first few days of May had Simona the Kitty missing. We had a total of ten days without the sweetest and the cutest cat of this area. It was just a few days after her five month anniversary at our home that she went missing. There was no trace of her when we looked for her on a morning. She was there at night for sure, but there was no clue in the morning. Nobody around the neighbourhood had seen her. People did wonder why there was no “meow music” around though.

So we waited for her return for three or four days, but there was no clue. People said that she had to some place which had better food, but that was a lie because we gave her the best. Some of them said that she was going to come back, but we doubted the same because she was still a kitten and not a cat. There were others who said that she would have gone because we were too possessive about her, but it was actually her who never wanted to leave us.

Simona just a day before leaving home.

Simona just a day before leaving home. She was indeed the curious one.

Then on the night of the tenth day, we were watching Ningalkum Aaakaam Kodeeswaran, the Malayalam version of Kaun Banega Crorepathi or Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and then a kitten darted into our living room in between the grills. It was Simona the Kitty making her return, and she directly went to hug the legs. She was afraid as her eyes said, and wouldn’t leave the legs. She was crying non-stop, and let all the neighbours know that she was back.
I wouldn’t believe that she went away from us though, as there are limits to the area which she wanders around.

Even if she was chased by a big cat or a dog which she came across while roaming around, she could have easily escaped by coming back home or at least returning after a day or two at least for food. But the ten day break doesn’t seem all right even for the wildest imaginations. She couldn’t have gone away by her own. I would guess that she was kidnapped by someone.

She might have been locked in someone’s house all these days, which should be why she didn’t return. Some random dirty guy might have taken her because she was so attached to the humans. She might have been taken and given to some family with kids where she was forced to stay. The same explains the loss of her collar because there is no other way by which she could have lost – it was locked, and therefore only a human could have removed it after abducting her.

Simona returning home on a night, ten days later.

Simona returning home on a night, ten days later.

The removal of the collar meant that people won’t identify her by the collar and they thought they could keep her there. But this is Simona and she had to return. She was small, but smart enough to make it back here. She had become so thin, and had gained fear, but had become smarter with the experience. Nowadays, she has become quicker and with better reflexes, and may be te journey might have changed her.

Let’s hope that cruel nature of humans won’t get to Simona the Kitty again and she remains with us throughout her life. The world is full of terrible humans and Simona has learnt it now, and from now on, she will surely be more careful about those creatures outside home. A cat’s heart should always be where the home is, and no matter what the evil humans do, hope that the members of the cat family always return or are always found and brought back home.

***The photos used in this blog post were taken on my Asus Zenfone 5.

TeNy

The World’s Expert

Each and every day, we wake up to see our problems solved by mother. She has been the expert for the problems of this tiny special universe of her child. She has still solved more problems than the biggest revolutionaries in the world. Yes, I had too many problems, and I made her solve most of them during my childhood. My sister has had the same opinion too, and along with the same, she had to solve dad’s problems – the newest addition to the list are those problems of Simona the kitty.

Sometimes, when I was thinking about the problem and the nature and essence of the problem, she is already there, having solved that and spoken nothing about the same. She continued to save the world like a Power-puff mom, and at the same time went on with her work at home and office. She has never boasted about the same, but her abilities were like no other. She was the captain of home as well as her office without speaking about it or taking any honours for her efforts.

moms (2)

She is there when we need her, and it is our duty to make sure that it works the other way too. I have known too many sons who had chosen to move away from home in the name of work even when there was no need, leaving the mother alone with herself and hoping for his return. I have known too many daughters who decided to fall in love and marry a man who is far away just to stay away from the tired mother. But it is our duty to stay with the mother when she needs us. I give four examples of her expertise here.

1. Finding Whatever is Lost: Not including the lost brains and hearts, she can find most of those things which we can’t find. There are those books, pen, watches, bands, rosary, wallet or anything which you need and can’t find – she is there to find them with so much ease. You might have lost all hope, but she has found it, gives it to you and goes back to work; as simple as that. There is the mother, the one who finds everything; the seeker who saves your day in the blink of an eye.

2. Solving the Hunger Problem: Your basic idea of solving this problem is to scream that you are hungry, with the knowledge that mom will hear this and shall come up with some magic to bring the food for you. But you will know that it is a bigger problem when mom is not around. Yes, I have managed to create things of terrible beauty when I tried something at kitchen when she was not at home. Even the cat who ate anything and everything ran away at the sight of my creation, which is why only she can solve this problem with the best efficiency.

moms (1)

3. Ending the Fear Challenge: She has been there to scare the fear away! She has always done that without thinking twice. The very sight of a spider or cockroach has always had her finishing them off as quickly as possible. When I was a child, she knew what I was afraid of, as well as what I could be afraid of, and got rid of all them very fast. She always used to tell me that we are not to fear any creature more than a human, but in our case, let that not be fear but caution. When I grew up, I understood that it was nothing but the truth.

4. Getting Rid of the Terrible Ones: There will also be those relatives who are worse than those insects which come into the room and refuses to go (the cat can also deal with them). But in the case of these people who claim to be well-wishers make our lives living hell. The expertise of mother include the ability to know who is the better person among them – after all, she have been seeing these people for a long time and knows how to deal with them. There are also some fake friends, and she finds it easy to know the truth about them too!

As we are celebrating our wonderful mothers, let’s also spend some time to celebrate the one huge expert when it comes to hair colour. Why don’t you get the Godrej Expert for your expert mother? If you think that you don’t need this, you surely need to think again. Choose healthy hair with what remains a favourite already! Check this link for further details: http://godrejexpert.com/single_used_pack.php

***The images used in this blog post are from the Facebook Page of Godrej Expert.

TeNy

Enlightenment: Myntra Model

Count Dracula was preparing for the first All-Nation Conference at the United Races Imperial Organization Centre which is within the High Elf lands. He represented the New Vampire World on this first ever peace conclave which was attended by the representatives of all nations of the realm including the shadows. He was searching all around the room for one special thing, but it was clear that he never found the same.

Uncle Dracula: This is impossible. I can’t go for this meeting. We are supposed to have some variety here. I am unable to choose a style which is different or even something which suits the vampire model.

Vampire Owl: You have your vampire cloak which you have been wearing for centuries. It is your usual model, and you always wear the black with a very small touch of red or white with which people identify you.

Uncle Dracula: No, it is too common. It is like what everyone have seen me in, and they will think that I never have a shower or change my clothes. I am a supposed to be a world leader. I need to look stylish. All the garment shops in our nation have the same kind of clothes only, and the vampire fashion is always the same. What am I to do?

Vampire Bat: Why don’t you go and visit an online shopping website?

myn

Uncle Dracula: Yes, I have some of the links to the websites saved on my laptop and I did search, but couldn’t find the right clothing there either.

Vampire Bat: There lies the problem. The best online shopping website for fashion is no longer available on the internet in your laptop. It has gone app only. You need to use it on Android, iOS or may be get your first mobile with the Windows Phone.

Uncle Dracula: They are app only? Why?

Vampire Bat: Well, fashion is unique for everyone, and for this personal experience, mobile phone is the best option. You wanted to be different and special for the conclave, and this is the best option in that case. The App Party with fifty to seventy percent offer was till yesterday, but you can still find some nice options now.

Vampire Owl: In the men’s section, among the coats and jackets, get the John Players Men Beige Wool Blend Slim Fit Blazer. These Navy Blue Aviator Sunglasses which I am wearing were bought from Myntra too.

Vampire Bat: You need to buy some jewellery for the vampire brides too. Otherwise, they are going to be bloody unhappy.

Uncle Dracula: It is indeed interesting. I always peferred to have it on the mobile phone. Otherwise, Mavis always tampers with the laptop. She has become such a big IT pain on my fangs. Things will be easier with the app – after all, this is my personal device as of now, and it is time to stop downloading only those endless running games.

Vampire Owl: There has already been about ten million downloads, and so you are too late – just get into it.

Vampire Bat: No, Uncle Dracula is never late. As this is a personal thing, another world of style begins with the uncle going through the same. You personal space will bring a new level of awesomeness to the world.

Uncle Dracula: It will always be with me, and shall be so easy to use. So I don’t see a reason why I am to choose against it.

Vampire Owl: Ex-act-alley!

Vampire Bat: What was that? Did you just say the word “exactly” like an undead zombie pirate who died while trying to raid the New Vampire Harbour?

Vampire Owl: Just trying another personal style, this time with words. No dead or undead pirate model here. No undead was harmed related to this.

Uncle Dracula: Yours is no style anymore! Get ready for my unique style from the Myntra android App of mine! Go and come back tomorrow. You shall see something special. And don’t tell Mavis.

mynn

You might have read about it before – Myntra went app only on the Fifteenth of May. You can download it from Google Play Store, Apple or Windows Store according to your platform, and it is going to be exclusive for only one kind of device, the mobile phone which is in your hands. Yes, Myntra goes more personal, and it will now be with you only as the app that joins your team of mobile applications.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Myntra, and is supposed to support this write-up.

TeNy

Shadows of the Light

It has been almost an year after the Vampire Bat was teleported into one of those strange planets as part of the superhuman vampiric abilities test conducted under the supervision of Doctor Frankenstein. A semi-utopia was created on that world under the supervision of the Vampire Bat, but on his return to the planet Vampiris after a long break, he and Vampire Owl found out that it was the season of the “Shadows of the Light” which meant a full month of darkness, and this darkness generated invincibility of the shadows which is caused by the gyration of the dark matter, would unleash the centuries old spirits that lie beneath the planet, dead and buried, but not passed on to the other world. In simple words, it was the season of death and destruction.

[At the Vampiris Grand Palace of the Elite].

Vampire Owl: So, he is like the minister whom you have appointed here?

Vampire Bat: Much more than that to the people. Yes, continue with the story.

There is no lack of grandeur within the cities, but the soul remains simple

Sirius: The darkness is too powerful, master vampires. We cannot fight it. The shadows have always existed on this planet, and are the rightful heirs to this realm. You might have changed our system, but you can’t change the end. There are no happy endings for us, but brutal continuity which leads to the need for another beginning.

Vampire Bat: How long has this been happening?

Sirius: Since the last known part of the past, my lord. From the day our civilization began, we have been looking for hope. You have provided us with something special, but it shall not ensure our existence beyond the shadows of the light.

Vampire Owl: But I had heard that you were nyctophilic?

Sirius: Yes, we still are. But we are just the lovers of the night. They are darkness of this planet, and they are lead by the Dark Lord. He stays in his cave of million mirrors in which he store his dark magic as it serves as the passage to the other world. He leads the spirits to the cities during the shadows of the light.

Vampire Owl: We should talk to this dude then. He sounds so not so cool.

Vampire Bat: Yes, I guess we should. He is an immortal too. A very unpopular one though – may be he will still manage to understand.

[At the Dark Lord’s Cave].

Vampire Owl: There is a certain shortage of mirrors here considering the fact that he said a million. Your minister exaggerates too much.

Dark Lord: What do you want?

Vampire Bat: We want you to retire. The Vampire Team will arrange your pension directly from the Castle Dracula.

Dark Lord: I am the Dark Lord here. Dark lords don’t retire. Ask any of our kind in your realm. Who do you think you are? You can’t threaten me in my mansion.

Vampire Owl: This is actually a cave.

Dark Lord: Yes, cave mansion. You should know that already. I have already written that on the entrance. And I repeat – do not threaten me. What can you threaten me with?

There are always difficulties in creating new worlds, but nothing like the inherent evil

Vampire Owl: We threaten to switch on the lights.

Dark Lord: There are no lights in this cave, which is why this is a dark cave mansion owned by the Dark Lord, who is standing in front of you.

Vampire Bat: He means that we threaten to bring the light into this cave.

Dark Lord: What? No, it is impossible. This is my dark mansion, and the rules are all mine.

Vampire Owl: We can do anything. We have Uncle Dracula. We even got the cool vampire army.

Vampire Bat: You have bothered the people here for too long. For your kind, we have another name in our planet. What you do here directly, they do there in an indirect way. They make people fight each other in the name of religion, caste, race, language and a long list of many other things. They are called politicians. At least you are direct, and not a liar. We will give you a truce. You can come to our world and teach a few people some valuable lessons. Come to our world, use our darkness and make it a better place by unleashing your spirits. Unleash the shadows of the light, and switch on the light of change.

Vampire Owl: I still don’t get why he has to use shadows of the light. Doesn’t shadows of the night sound better?

Dark Lord: It actually sounds even more stylish in our language. Well, I accept that offer. I always wanted to unleash the shadows on some aliens.

Vampire Bat: It is a deal then.

Vampire Owl: Let’s call for a Vampire Fangs Party!

Dark Lord: As long as it is dark enough, I shall try to attend the strange vampire function which you are talking about.

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 from the Official Facebook Page of one of my all-time favourite computer games, Mass Effect.

TeNy

Kings of Travancore

I had recently written about two of the biggest battles of Kerala, the Battle of Colachel (1741) and the Battle of Nedumkotta (1789), and also mentioned a few of the great kings of Travancore. After a few posts about the Renaissance in Kerala, I plan to write something about those rulers who had control of the biggest kingdom based in Kerala, the Kingdom of Travancore which consisted of about half of the state along with the Tamil district of Kanyakumari. I have just chosen four of them, but you might also want to read about Ayilyam Thirunnal and Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma and a few incidents.

1. Marthanda Varma: Credited as the only king from India to beat any European army, which happened at the Battle of Colachel against the Dutch in 1741, he is also known to have been the maker of Travancore. The Dutch commander Eustachius De Lannoy had even chosen to join the great king. The Treaty of Mavelikkara made sure that the Dutch was no longer a threat to the Indian subcontinent. The unification of the southern part of Kerala is his biggest achievement as he lead the formation of the greatest kingdom based in Kerala. After establishing a strong kingdom with the capital at Padmanabhapuram, he made sure that it is properly defended with a more modernized army and enough fortifications, and also formed an alliance with the Kingdom of Cochin which ensured the latter’s extended existence.

This creation of modern Travancore was well aided by his minister, Ramayyan Dalawa who was the Chanakya figure during his time – his role in the success of the kingdom was more than one could imagine. Ramapurathu Warrier (Vanchipattu) and Kunchan Nambiar (Thullal) were known to be his court poets. The movie based on his life was just the second ever Malayalam movie after Vigathakumaran. You can also choose to read the novel by C. V. Raman Pillai which is a historical romance and the first historical novel to be published in Malayalam. Do check out for the pillar of victory at Colachel if you manage to travel near the place.

The Dutch surrender to Travancore

The Dutch surrender to Travancore

2. Dharma Raja: Succeeding his uncle Marthanda Varma, Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma was given this name as he gave asylum to a good number of Hindus and Christians who fled from the north during the invasion of Tipu Sultan. He was already known to assist his uncle in his conquests. The defence of Travancore from Tipu with the Battle of the Nedumkotta happened during his time, and Raja Kesavadas was the man behind the military success along with Vaikom Padmanabha Pillai. It was a battle against all odds in which Travancore succeeded in defending their kingdom.

Known for his religious tolerance and continuing the policy of his uncle, he remains one of the best known adherants of Dharma Sastra, and the success against a many times bigger and more modernized army of Sultan remains a great achievement of Travancore under him. Development of Alappuzha port, Construction of Main Central Road (Currently SH1 from Trivandrum to Angamaly) and establishment of Chalai Market also happened during his period. He was a much loved king, and serving the people was a priority for him, as infrastructure managed to find even more life.

3. Swathi Thirunal: This reign is often referred to as the golden age of arts in Travancore. He himself was a skilled music composer, and the golden age was not restricted to arts, to be exact. English education in Travancore started during his time, and the first Government printing press along with a better code of laws came into existence during his reign. Irayimman Thampi who wrote the famous lullaby “Omanathinkalkidaavo” when the king was born, remained part of his court. He was a huge patron of music and continued to support the same in his court. Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram, the highest honour for musicians from Kerala government is under his name. A music festival, Swathi Sangeethotsavam is also conducted in his memory.

The red flag with silver conch shell

The red flag with silver conch shell

4. Sree Moolam Thirunal: He established the Travancore Legislative Council in 1888 is said to be the first Legislative Council for any state in India. It later went on to become the Sri Mulam Praja Sabha. The fields including education, transportation, medicine, law and order and others got major attention. He would continue to lead Travancore as the successful state that it has always been. The path of reforms would be followed by Sethu Lakshmi Bayi (grand daughter of the renowned painter Raja Ravi Varma) who would be the next one to be on the throne, and she abolished Devadasi system and animal sacrifice.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Wikipedia pages of the Battle of Colachel and the Kingdom of Travancore meant to support this post. I do not claim to be an expert in this, but I read Kerala History for the information and has graduated in History.

TeNy

The New App Program

I have been an Airtel user for a few months now. I switched from BSNL to Airtel after buying a new Asus Zenfone 5, as I thought that a change was needed. Things have worked very well for me since then. Airtel has been an affordable choice for me, which is why I decided to try the Airtel App too. I don’t have the mobile internet, and so I used the wi-fi of my modem to give it a chance. After all, it is good to be aware of the options which are available, and this was new for me.

Things are just simple with the new Airtel App. You just need to give the mobile number to which they will send the One Time Password, and you are ready. We have five connections for the three people at home, thus making the option open for more than one app, and this one from Airtel did very good, with the password as well as the verification being quicker with this one. They will keep giving instructions as we progress through the app.

airl

You can do a nice recharge for any number simple and fast. I haven’t tried recharging through the mobile phone before even though I had the apps, but this was the right time because things were so easy this time. May be I should have tried this much earlier. But as the wise people say, and so do some of the movie quotes, there is the right time for everything, and it is now for the Airtel App.

Your favourite actions will be saved, and the ease of use keeps saving the day as a reflection of time being saved. It can be used by almost anyone and even the people who are not familiar with this kind of thing. The balance is always visible and you can plan the next move according how much money remains – thus it works as a tracker too. You can add new mobile, landline, broadband or DTH numbers to the account whenever it is needed. The red and white looks of the app makes an impression too.

The Airtel Money option is another interesting side of the app which works separately and has to be downloaded from the Google Play Store itself. It can actually be accessed from the same application after download, and it is quite a useful thing which costs you very less MB to download. You can load money and do very quick transactions there, and it is an interesting option to have.

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The best thing is that it is not limited to one operator as far as recharge is concerned. You can notice three logos of major telecom operators at the homepage itself. I could use it for my second sim connection or for parents’ connections. There is also the option to pay the bills, including those related to insurance, electricity, gas and water. The need to go to the office, or to try the same on the computer are eliminated. There are also free deals available on every recharge.

So, the new app which I tried this week was not a game, but My Airtel App for a change – it is not about those endless running games this time. If you install Wynk Music from Airtel, you can download and play the latest songs too, and even if it is also separate, you can access it from My Airtel App too. The possibilities are more, which is why you can add another app to your list of Android apps. It is a small app and worthy of spending some time and data.

For details about the app – http://www.airtel.in/myairtel

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Airtel India.

TeNy

Clay: No More Predictable

The season of Roland Garros begin on 24th May and ends on 7th June this year. As Rafael Nadal, the four-time defending champion defeated Novak Djokovic in the 2014 final to win his ninth French Open title and his fourteenth Grand Slam title, he had become the first player to win five consecutive titles – makes you think about the situation if Roger Federer hadn’t won that lone title in between; that would have been legendary. It is the kind of brutality that Nadal has shown on this kind of surface, especially at the biggest tournament on clay.

I was saddened by Simona Halep’s loss to Maria Sharapova in last year’s final more than Djokovic’s loss though. I thought that Simona had enough to win, which didn’t really happen in the end. I have mostly wished to have a new champion at each slam, and world’s only clay grand slam had only two for the last ten years, and both are still playing. The rest of the world has been denied this slam for too long. May be this year will provide one, as 2015 seems to be the year which has brought more balance to clay than any other surface – the title is more open than ever. Let’s see the chances – it still favours the champion, but with changes.

1. Rafael Nadal: The first name in the list remains the same. Nadal has been the undisputed king of clay for so long, and his recent troubles even in his favourite surface might not carry to the grand stage. But he has still weakened from what he used to be, and he is no longer the invincible person whom he used to be, as he had his early exits in too many tournaments, and he just had his first loss on clay to the less competent clay player of the Big Four, Andy Murray. Still, he is always back at the French Open, and considering how hard working the man is, we can only expect him to make things work better. He has been the risk-taker, and luck favours his kind. 43–6 record in clay court finals, 66-1 at the French Open and 81 consecutive wins on clay – this is his yard even when not in form. Let’s not worry about the fact that he is ranked 7 now.

And there is always the Djoker looking for his opportunity.

And there is always the Djoker looking for his opportunity – the first French Open.

2. Novak Djokovic: With the current form, he is the best on the court. There cannot be many arguments against that. He is the world number one and is going to stay there for a very long time as the total points suggest – he has already had more time at the top of the tennis world than Nadal, and has more weeks at the top than any other active men’s player except Federer who holds the record. Nadal has denied him more than once, and lets see how he will face the Djoker at a time when he is at his worst form on clay, and with Djokovic at the peak of his career – Australian Open reclaimed; can Novak Djokovic claim the title which has stayed away from him and complete his list of slams? We will see. This might be his best chance to do the same.

3. Andy Murray: Just now, we have to think that Murray has more chances than Federer. Madrid Open is the second clay title which he has won one after another, and he hadn’t won any before that. This last title is special because he defeated the king of clay, Nadal in the final to claim the glory. He hasn’t lost a match after his marriage and is going on with an awesome post-marriage winning streak. But what gives him more confidence than anything else should be that straight sets win against Nadal – the race is now open and the world of clay is no longer a property of Nadal. This is his time to re-write his records on clay, and this could be the slam in which he silences the critics and becomes the integral part of Big Four rather than make it more inclined towards the Big Three who have won more slams than him. After all, he is the current world number three.

As all good things begin and end with Roger Federer.

All good things begin and end with Roger Federer, and the legend continues.

4. Roger Federer: Eternal favourite – this is what Federer remains. Even at his age, the father of four is not someone who will be an easy challenge even in a tournament which he has only won once in his career. But one of the greatest players of all time won’t go away that easily as he did make a nice comeback to his least favourite surface by winning the Istanbul Open and remains the world number two as of now. He is the legend, and beating him at a grand stage needs a lot of work. Federer might not be the best at his game now, but he is still at a higher level in the all-time best list. He can surely have another grand slam at his less interesting venue, and it will do nicely – what is there to lose for the man who has nothing more to prove?

David Ferrer might bring surprises this time too, and the young Kei Nishikori brings the Asian hopes to the draw. In the women’s division, it is more difficult to guess though, but Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams should remain the top contenders once again. Simona Halep, the last year’s runner-up and current world number two will have something to say about that. Then there is Petra Kvitová who won the Madrid Open. Caroline Wozniacki, Eugenie Bouchard and Ana Ivanovic also remain good contenders to the title. The women will bring the biggest surprises this time too, even in the doubles division. I would hope for new names on the trophy – may be Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep, but Roger Federer winning will always be the biggest joy to watch! Let’s also see what happens with Internazionali BNL d’Italia!

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the tennis players.

TeNy

All the Stress in the World

The idea of a #StressFreeMom – is it even close to being possible? You have to wonder. Yes, even though she doesn’t show it on her face, stress is a big villain who is always trying to bring the superhero mom down. This qualifier and contender for the super-villain title never really backs away from creating more and trouble with the help of fate. So, the superhero mom needs a side-kick, like Robin is to Batman and Kato is to Green Hornet. Even Iron Man got War Machine, so the need is always there. See the worry list here.

Reason #1: She is worried that I am worried. She is stressed that I am not stress-free and there is so much stress which I go through. She feels that I am not happy and I am so sad that I will make God himself so unhappy and will bring His wrath right down upon the Earth. She has been worried that I don’t smile that much, and it is a worry. But she is slightly relieved that I wasn’t a smiling child when I was born. Still, she hopes to bring the smile back so that she can be confident that I am not really stressed or worried that she can be stress-free. She is praying and waiting for the moment when I get a job, even a small one.

Reason #2: There is also the worry about health. It has always been there, and this undisputed presence has worried not only her, but also me. Yes, she thinks that I am not having the right food, and also not at the right time. She keeps thinking about those proteins and vitamins which I might be missing, and how my current food habits are going to hurt me during a later stage of life. She feels that I could be more responsible to my own body, and tries to give me early food so that I can have the next one much earlier. But has rarely been a thing of interest for me, and that provides stress!

Reason #3: I do spend too much time reading from the laptop as well as those printed books. Here, the concern is more about my eye. She thinks that I should calm down a bit, think, read and write only after resting enough. It is kind of right though; may be I shouldn’t be the most sleepless one around. The need for rest is there, and I have avoided it too much to have the stress and pass it on to mother. There was even that poem about “rest” which we had to study during the colleg edays. Well, I am planning a long rest for later, and so it will be solved on another day.

Reason #4: I also stay late and wake up early, and she feels that I don’t sleep at all. She feels that I am skipping the sleep to overdo the studies and it is affecting my health. She is stressed about the same that she keeps asking. May be I should have more rest, but I don’t have enough time in a day – twenty four hours is not enough for me. I have things to do, and there is no time, and I own no time machine. Even if I sleep, it shall provide me no actual rest, and may be there will be no sleep at all. Well, life is full of worries, and when we them, mom also gets them.

Reason #5: The extra stress is there, provided by those people who are not me. Yes, there are those continuous stress providers who are wandering around at all places where they can find the range. Yes, the mother is not immune to them either, as the relative trouble keeps hovering around. But they have been the least of her concern, but still they make that terrible attempt to make an impact. It is the unwanted stress that we are forced to have, and it just keeps following us – not just her, but also most of us.

It has been a long time of worrying, from the school days to college days, and now beyond all that. She really needs to stop being stressed. She would need a Parachute Advansed Aromatherapy oil massage have some rest as she takes it as her side-kick, instead of worrying and doing too much work. Yes, these days she do worry less than I do, and sometimes I feel that it is me who needs the massage. But as it is my time to worry and her time to rest after the grand retirement, she should do exacty that and leave the rest to me 🙂

I’m blogging about why my mother needs to de-stress with a Parachute Advansed Aromatherapy Oil massage for the #StressFreeMom activity at BlogAdda.

TeNy

The Memory Collection

When I was a child, more problems were solved by my mother, even more than even those which were actually problems. She has always been there for me to find the grand solutions, no matter what kind of troubles were there. She has been the one superhero who has continued to save the day. She has worked the magic with all its strength, and became the one person who could make the day better. It happened very often, but there are occasions which can be remembered with ease.

1. The Friend Problem: The most significant problem that I faced was the friend problem. I never really had many friends, and even among the friends, I had been very choosy. It is something that was not easy in my case, but I made the choice from a small list. Even then, I rarely managed to get along with most of them. Then the major adviser was mom herself who was not just the first friend, but also the first advisor on friends. She knew the right person to be friends with, and the best friend was the good friend – and not those who pretend; I managed to learn it further with life experience.

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2. The Teacher Problem: There was always the problem of finding the cane with teachers of the time. So, the mother would be a part-time teacher and work with the subjects to help and save the son from the big battle at the class. She had the time to be the part-time spell-checker as well as the Mathematics helper of that time. She made sure that I performed better at school even though it meant that she had not much time to spare after that. Well, the idea of rest was quite unknown, but she managed her part with the studies nicely, not only with me, but also with my sister.

3. The Dog Problem: It was a rather significant problem as it was rather a never ending factor as I had to travel around the Kerala State Transport Corporation Bus Stand rather than take the much easier shortcut. It was like a castle of evil for me (that was before reading Dracula), and there was this dog which I considered devilish, and always tried to block my way. It wanted to chase me, but I was good at running, and it only ran up-to a certain point of its territory. Yes, I told mom and she solved it – the dog remained inside the gate of the house from that day, I was glad to call it a bad dog from outside.

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4. The Food Problem: This has been continuously solved the mother. Actually, there was no other person who came close, even though some of the aunties did contribute well in the later stages. There was nothing like having the food made by mother. Yes, it was quite popular in the class too, and as only one curry was there, I also developed the habit of using less curry with the rice – it has helped me with controlling food too; she had so much work, and she still managed to cook and not let us have food from the outside – that habit came much later when I was in college; otherwise, it was all about mom’s cooking.

5. The Relative Problem: This one has managed to be a difficult problem to solve, and it continues to run strong, and only mom has managed to keep its level down. Some of the relatives have been unbearable with their free advice. They are the kind of people who can do no good, but only bring trouble. The specialty of their advice is consistent comparisons with their children who are supposed to be better and more successful. The advice from mother has helped in avoiding them up-to an extent and not to care much about all the nonsense that they come up with.

The Problems of Problems: Mother has been expert in solving even the problems which the problems have, and she continues to be the best in doing the same. She was always there for us and remains the best, and has also been solving the problems of the father as well as a number of her siblings, along with working at the office, thus becoming the skilled multi-tasker. While celebrating mothers, let’s also spare some time to celebrate the most widely trusted expert when it is about hair colour, which is Godrej. For more details, do check this link: http://godrejexpert.com/single_used_pack.php

***The images used in this blog post are from the Facebook Page of Godrej Expert.

TeNy