Velankanni: Longest Car Trip

This is not our first journey to Velankanni, as we had been to the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health the last time in 2010. But this is the first time that we are traveling in that direction by car. Tata Tigor was ready for the most distant location from its origins, and the journey was a memorable one. We took the journey in two different routes – on the way there, we went through the Palakkad-Coimbatore-Karur-Trichy route and while returning, we took the Trichy-Dindigul-Pollachi-Nenmara route, and I would suggest that traveling through the return route, but avoiding Nemara would be the right choice, for traveling from Trichy to Pollachi is joyful. While getting to Velankanni, the route through Mannargudi was better than the shorter Nagappattinam route, which was undergoing repair. Well, we reached Velankanni at a time when there less visitors. There are times when so many people go to the pilgrimage site, and there is rarely even the space to pray in peace.

The better roads in Tamil Nadu made sure that the journey was not troublesome, and only a few areas were troublesome for the vehicle’s suspension. I don’t remember much about that earlier journey to the sacred place, but it didn’t feel like something that far away from memory; yet the place has changed in twelve years. Velankanni is part of Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) for urban planning, economic growth and heritage conservation, which means that we have hope for the place to feel better. We prayed in the Lourdes of the East, and hoped for the best, as we live in an uncertain world. These are the times when life in this world seems irrelevant, and therefore, such spiritual journeys seem to be the need. Among the requirements to survive in this world, the connection to the other world becomes more important than ever. This trip has been pending for a long time, and the completion of this one provides more confidence and self-belief.

The trip anywhere would require a Tata Tigor and the usual food.

There is something about visiting Velankanni that never leaves us.

The beauty of the basilica will continue to enchant us.

The basilica has been visited by all of us for such a long time.

There is always something about the prayers and penance around here.

You keep looking towards divinity for the spiritual guidance.

Resting at places of divinity has never ceased to bring blessings.

The shrine of the old times continues to be a place of faith and belief.

You look up to God and hope for redemption in a world of chaos and hatred.

No journey is complete without Tata Tigor stopping by the side of highway for tea.

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***The images used on this blog post were taken by me on my Samsung mobile phone during my visit to Velankanni.

TeNy

Yercaud: Vagamon’s Twin

There are many interesting hill stations in South India, and among them, we have Yercaud, the less visited and lesser known one in comparison to the others of the same kind. With Ooty and Kodaikanal being the better placed attractions, and also with a cooler climate, this place has gone unnoticed by many nature enthusiasts. If we look at the climate there, the two places in Kerala which can be compared to it are Vagamon and Kumily. The place is located about thirty kilometres from Salem, to which a journey from Coimbatore is remarkable, considering the quality of the roads. We did think about going to Valparai, another hill station with a similar climate, but this one was preferred due to the roads. You can always trust Tamil Nadu with their roads, as they are as good as you will find anywhere else in the South. Well, always choose the less travelled good roads.

Yercaud is well-known for Montfort School, its chapel and the Sacred Heart Church, but all of them were closed. The three lovely viewpoints are Gents’ Seat, Ladies’ Seat and Children’s Seat, all providing some fine views of the area around. Cauvery Peak, despite a long drive away, is a must visit for coffee lovers – they also have some activities of adventure and some history attached to it. The boating and park area is pretty good, and the lake in the middle of the town is a lovely thing of beauty. There is scarcity of big restaurants, and the Guru Restaurant turned out to be a favourite. We stayed at Hotel Tamil Nadu just like we did in Kodaikanal, and it turned out to be lovely option, very close to the boating and lake area, also providing some fine breakfast. Our journey was quick, and it was lovely. The place was not crowded at all, and that helped us to go through the whole hill station very quickly.

You have the wonderful roads and you love the 20 hair pins.

We loved the rowing boats over everything else.

Just cool enough on the lines of Vagamon in Kerala.

The hair pin roads can be seen from a distance here.

The misty, foggy world of Vagamon was missing here though.

There are always the signs of antiquity being seen around.

Cauvery Peak is a place of coffee, unlike the usual tea plantations.

It is calm, peaceful and without the crowd; so love the serenity.

I would always choose Hotel Tamil Nadu (TTDC) when available.

When roads are so good, why wouldn’t you choose to drive Tata Tigor?

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***The images used on this blog post were taken by me on my Samsung mobile phone during my visit to Yercaud.

TeNy

Eternal Fall of Humanity

There is no limit to how deep a human can fall. The evil in a human being knows no boundaries. If Dante’s circles of hell were brought to Earth, there are so many people who can share the room with the devil. We have witnessed the shootings which have occurred in the United States of America, and it can be said with confidence that if such gun laws were passed in any part of the world, the result would be the same – such is the evil that humans come up with. If given an opportunity to murder another human being outside the laws, mankind will immediately know how to take a life effectively. There are no opportunists like humans, and everyone wants everything for themselves. This greed has run through their minds which have been devil’s lands.

We have seen the increase in crimes, especially murders in the last few years. Corona virus pandemic and the resulting lock-down can be blamed for the same, but the real credit goes to the true nature of humans. They just need a reason for the same. If humans had a choice, they would choose evil – it is always the easier option, and you don’t have to try that hard for the same. Yet, humans have the opportunity to be evil or pure evil, and most of them choose the second option as far as others don’t find out. For the same, cash is a major factor – earning a lot of money makes one confident enough to be evil, and as the character of a person is rarely considered while recruiting for a job. Most of the successful people in the world would find it easier to be evil, as they are in control.

You keep looking out for hope. Is it there to be seen?

There is too much of a control which the celebrities have over others. They surely have the influence, and they can also easily manipulate people into becoming mindless zombies. The same was reflected in the movie, Driving Licence – the tale which had an evil film star trying to be the demon of pride like no other. Even though there is no goodness or lack of pride on the other side, the celebrity here is pure evil. There are a number of Youtubers who seems to be trying the same with their newfound popularity, but you see that some of them with lesser viewers are even better than some of the celebrities – well, world is not fair; nepotism and lying will get you through every time. In the field of cinema, there will always be sons, daughters, nephews and nieces coming up instead of the outstanding actors and actress that we would expect.

It is difficult to live in this world, which has no point – the reason for existence itself has been missing for so long. You keep failing while trying to find a meaning. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, the world won’t get any better for you, if you stay close to truth and justice. The closer you are to pure good, the more difficult it will be for you – maybe, it will lead to your death. Humans will never feel the need for good leaders in politics either – well, politics has been all about selfishness, and there has been nothing for the people, of the people or by the people. Politics can bring a lot of money forever, like a government job in which one gets through with the help of a political party or reservations in the name of religion, community and caste. It is no wonder that people leave this part of the world too easily, and the leaving is felt more like a necessity.

We have been reduced to shadows against evil.

Why did humanity fall so deep into the well of greed and hatred? Where they always this evil? Well, they have held on to evil for very long, and they have inherited it from their predecessors. During the earlier times, there have been different explanations of evil in different parts of the world, but now, there are so many common things in evil, at least in the case of pure evil. Most of us witness too much of pure evil, and it is everywhere. In every corner, and at every turn of the road, you see the signs of the fall of humanity; the evil; the hopelessness; all the chaos – it would seem that there is no end to all of these. Human extinction seems to be the only hope, and whether religion or science causes the end of the world, we have to accept it, as faith, belief and hope have all gone the wrong way towards end, and you can only mourn them.

We can’t say that humans haven’t tried throughout the centuries – there were a few of them to be noted; even now, there is a small number of them who can make a difference like never before in history. But they will be stopped, detained or murdered, as they don’t have the power. We are left to choose from different types of evil, and there is the need for a careful analysis to find out the lesser of them – all the evil can be noted down here to know which is the worst among them. We are now left counting evil deeds, and that works as the exact opposite of hope. One day, these could be hunting grounds of the demons – maybe some aliens can serve as the same. Some of the most ruthless aliens like in Alien, Predator, The Tomorrow War and A Quiet Place can come in here. There is just too much of evil here, which should bring more of pure evil here.

I still wonder what we did to come to this terrible situation. Are we such terrible people? At which point did we fail? Evil was always there, and it has always found a way, but now we are so much at the limits, so much near the end. The basic evil nature is now not lagging behind with anything. You can always fight evil, but this pure evil which has embraced the world requires a better army to have a chance. The army requires love and compassion, but if the same is displayed, the pure evil side will lie, cheat, steal and murder like never before. I would let the aliens decide on this, and maybe when some creatures from other world arrives, we should support them instead of humans. There is nothing much for humans to do now, for it is out of their hands now. Maybe, doing nothing will serve everyone better and in a smarter way.

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***The images used on this blog post were taken by me on my Samsung mobile phone during some of the little journeys for the soul.

TeNy

Fear the Evil Humans

There has been the lack of interest in horror movies which is evident in the last few years. The Conjuring was a movie which brought the dying genre back into track, but as we look around, we see that the genre has come down in popularity by some distance. We remember having watched the old version of Evil Dead, as well as those other horror movies of that age which successfully scared almost everyone at that time. Now, the world has changed, and despite those spin-offs like The Nun, Annabelle and The Curse of La Llorna seemingly making some impact, horror has lost its strength, and the main reason behind that is a change in humanity’s alignment.

Humans have always been attracted to evil, but they have never been this much aligned to evil. We have come to a situation where the evil spirits and demons are not that scary as humans of this era. The more terrifying thing is that is as real as it can be, and we see such terrible actions of humans in news. Humanity has come to such a situation that if the demons try to haunt a random house, there is a chance that they will stop the same and go back to the other world, after understanding that they just cannot scare these people any more, as humans are more evil than any evil spirit could ever be. There is the strong evil spirit inside each and every human which is waiting to get out.

The light in humanity has been disappearing quickly. Is there still hope beyond?

No ghost has been that evil to its own kind like humans have been to its own kind. It is something which scares the demons, even those from straight out of hell’s deepest area. Demons have enjoyed a certain amount of universal brotherhood among them, and these actions of humans have made them question goodness and evil. They might be wondering about the factors which have led to humans being so evil – the first thought would be about the devil playing his part with his minions, but humans need to be already corrupt to fall into the trap set by the master of hell. It is like humans want to take over hell and the kingdom of the devil.

This human alignment to evil has been set by a generation of bad parenting and a flawed society which have preferred successful people over good humans. During the earlier times, being a man of goodness mattered, but not any more. You have to be rich and successful, and for the same, you have to lie, cheat and steal your way up the ladder. Fake advertisements and continuously lying salesmen have made sure that businesses thrive without ethics, while the new generation graduates and postgraduates depend on scores rather than anything else – you score well, maybe by cheating, and don’t go for values any more. You add some online apps to it, and you are completely done.

Humanity’s lights are not forever. They shall be gone soon enough.

The movement for being successful at any cost had started long before these apps started capitalizing on it. You have always been forced to become an engineer or doctor, and being a good human being hasn’t been the priority for some time. Getting married to a successful person or someone with a lot of assets was the priority over having a marriage alliance with a good person. Being a kind-hearted person will get you nowhere, and if you trust these humans rather too much, they will surely cheat you. Humans are not the species that you should trust with anything, as they have given up their goodness in favour of success, fame and money.

The youth going for easy money and becoming part of illegal activities is due to the pressure put on by the society, and with the evil always present in them, they often take this to a step higher. In the end, they find it easy to murder too. Society’s role should have been to transform a person into a good human being rather than a rich and successful one. But society has asked for financial success, and by doing the same, the inherent evil inside humans have become more active than ever. All the parents of this age are also focusing on the same, and have successfully contributed in making their sons and daughters, the evil human beings that the demons fear.

The world should have never been this competitive. Living in such a world itself is scary, and when you add all the evil to it, you are in a dark world with no hope. The idea that one only needs a lot of money by any means is scary enough, and so is the idea that anything is justified by a lot of cash. As long as parents and society will continue to ask too much from the younger generation without second thoughts, the world is going to further descend into evil and chaos. We have reached a situation where there cannot be a human who is not evil, and this journey towards hopelessness means that humans will replace the demons as the leading evil species, while demons will be known for compassion and love instead.

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***The images used on this blog post were taken by me on my Samsung mobile phone during some of the little journeys for the soul.

TeNy

The Myth of Good Human

A myth is supposed to be a traditional story, mostly concerning the early history of a group of people, which explains some natural happenings. It is supposed to be only partially true, or at times, completely false. But there is nothing more unnatural than the myth about a human being being good, for humanity’s inherent evil and their never ending greed makes sure that there can be no human being who can be honoured for their good deeds. Maybe, it was not the case a few decades ago, as even between those wars and acts of oppression, there was kindness. But now, humanity is too materialistic to be classified into the spectrum of good, as the tendency to be evil is more than ever.

Humans are simply not motivated to be good anymore. A few decades ago, religion was a fine inspiration, and people believed that goodness will be rewarded and deeds of evil will bring terrible punishments. Now, religion is not of that strength any more, and the only place where it gets stronger is in the field of politics. All politicians make use of religion in one way or the other, and some of the religious leaders are not less than politicians. Religion has always been used as part of politics, but never like it is now, dividing people, and forcing them to be evil in the name of God. Well, when someone does evil in the name of God, the person should be serving the devil instead.

The good human is a mythological creature who is supposed to hide in the fog.

The only motivation seems to be money. It is such a huge motivator that people are even ready to die for it. People are forced to be like this from early childhood itself. There are so many online teaching apps which force students to be money and career oriented, without values. We are now provided with a generation that thinks that money, fame and career growth are everything, and this training is going to bring us an even more terrifying generation sooner or later. Nowadays, students are forced into studies as if it is the only thing that matters, and for other programmes, they are given a chance only to gain the first place. Being ranked first matters so much these days.

The motivational speakers are always trying to make you successful, but the stories of inspiration are rooted in money for most of the time, and it never gets going for most of the people. The path to be travelled are not the same for everyone, and not everyone is looking for money. Well, the people who are close to goodness are never really the successful people, and they cannot get too rich either. In this world, when you are too empathetic and as you are not that prepared to move through the evil path, you will be at loss. Most of the good people in this world are left with no hope due to the same reason. This is not a world for the good people, which is why the idea of the good human being has turned into a myth, with most of them becoming extinct.

Yet, people take the evil lightly if you have a lot of money. There are not many things which the celebrities cannot do. There are always the fans who support them without second thoughts. For these people their role model cannot be evil at all. If the celebrity is also an actor or actress, the person will find it easier to hide the evil. Being a successful person by any way is a fine step towards declaring one to be perfect. There are so many Youtube influencers who have recently been part of controversy – they are also celebrities, and making money through videos have been easy these days, but they only cater to a certain group of people. The others who are part of films and cricket – nothing matches them in their popularity and fanfare.

An exploration into the myth about good humans is a difficult task, which is why I am not going to talk about those rare men and women from the past who can only be declared as reflections of goodness. We cannot live in the past any more, even though it does come back to us. We have to look forward to the future, and hope that there can be some instances of the myth becoming true. We can keep looking, but it saddens me to see that the myth remains the myth, and wherever I look, I can see only those cruel men and women who are looking only at money, fame and career. I wish to see a few people who were focused on the beautiful qualities of being human, but I am disappointed at every moment.

You can look for the good humans in the clouds, but it remains a tough job.

We see grand places of worship being built when people struggle from the Corona virus pandemic – but we remember that it is up to the government to do more. And will the rich care for the poor? We see that there are skyscrapers being built during these times too, and those serve as the reflections of the myth of good humans, for going for so much more during these bleak times is nothing less than evil. The mind of humans have been set into a materialistic tone, and I would hope that the world would change, with humans caring for each other. But that would be hoping against all hope. During these days when murders, frauds and other crimes are increasing, I will not be a man of hope.

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***The images used on this blog post were taken by me on my Samsung mobile phone during one of the little journeys for the soul.

TeNy

Happiness as a Clear Lie

I have heard that some of the motivational speakers do speak a lot about happiness. I haven’t been happy about that, and the same has taken away a little bit more of my own happiness too. There have been so many people quoting that happiness comes from within, and each person is responsible for creating one’s own happiness. Well, if that was supposed to be the case, human beings had to live in their own bubbles from the beginning to the end, without contacting anyone else. Each human being should not be talking to other people at all, and got to mind his own business after being locked up at home, with all the necessary things delivered to the house.

Can humans live like that forever? Most of us introverts would prefer that, but it is certainly not possible. It would be possible if there was an apocalypse and everyone else had changed into brain-eating zombies or blood-sucking vampires – but in that case too, you would be dead too early. Happiness is not something which is created in a room, and if someone says the same after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even a dumber statement. When so many people struggled due to Corona virus, and with the crime and violence increasing, how can people still continue to believe that a person can be responsible for one’s own happiness? It feels rather cruel.

We are volcanoes with lava of sadness, that won’t come out as boys don’t cry.

People who are able to come up with this kind of statements seem to be those well-settled men and women with high paying jobs and lots of assets already. These are the kind of people who resemble the celebrities who asked everyone to stay at home and enjoy, because they have such huge houses and a lot of money stockpiled. These are the kind of people who have somehow managed to find the easy way into their jobs and lots of money, because of which they are not able to understand the reason behind the abiding sadness among the people around, who have their own struggles in life related to jobs, money and certain family problems.

Let us leave those people who choose the world of crime to make some easy money, and those who continuously lie, cheat and steal – they should be happy in their own way, as such terrible acts do provide them with enough money. But what about the common man who has been struggling to become successful in a straight path, but fails? Can be happy about failing again and again after working so hard? Can a person who is so much learned and extremely good in his subject be denied opportunities while those who know almost nothing gets a fine job, just because he is affiliated with a political party or can tell lies better than anyone else? How can a qualified man, an expert, be happy after knowing that?

The emotions rise and fall like certainty of tides, but melancholy remains.

How can a person who has lived a life of goodness and learning be happy as he understands that so many less qualified and fake-faced others have lied, cheated and stolen all the way up the ladder while he remains at the bottom? How can anyone look at the gap between the rich and poor be happy enough? With so many people taken right into poverty, and with all the wealth concentrating on a few, can anyone feel that this is a happy world of justice and love? How can anyone believe that the nation is developing with so many people forced to go through terror? How can one go on with life when you see that the best and the most lovable people whom he met are the unsuccessful people?

Well, the world doesn’t need unsuccessful people. It categorizes people according to how much they earn, and those without enough monthly earning are placed in a lower level. You can easily feel it from the way they talk. You can try to live a life doing good to others, but these are not the old times when acts of goodness counted – the people will look down upon you, and some people think that you can still create your own happiness? Do they think that happiness is two-minute noodles? When you feel that you are so much let down by the society, you would think about anything to make the depression go away, but you just cannot create happiness in there out of nothing.

What do these quote serve other than victim blaming? If we are depressed and cannot be happy, it is our own fault? The great poets were depressed enough, and never really came out of the feeling. If you are too rich, you can do a Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, and wander around different nations, but what will the common man do? Well, Bollywood provides too much for the capitalist class, and they also put the common man into the trap. The common man also thinks that traveling will make things better, but for that, you still need the cash. You save the money for traveling, and once the journey is done, you are unhappy again as you have no money. What all people do for the fake emotion, the lie which is happiness! The reminiscence! The melancholy! The loss of hope in life’s wasteland!

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***The images used on this blog post were taken by me on my Samsung mobile phone during some of the little journeys for the soul.

TeNy

Dark Beauty of the Absurd

Most of us keep trying to find meaning in our lives. Some of us are Sisyphus, and the others Naranath Bhranthan. The former is cursed to roll a huge boulder all the way up a hill only for it to roll down as it neared the top, an action which is repeated for eternity. The latter would roll the huge boulders up the hill and lets them roll down back by himself, and it is a sight which he enjoys. From the Greek myth and from the Indian Keralite folklore, we have two characters who perform meaningless, irrelevant actions, which are repeated again and again, as people look at them with wonder, and many future writers would have them as part of their works.

These rocks have purpose. Death has purpose, but do we?

Sisyphus is someone who was punished to carry out the meaningless thing for eternity. Most of us are like that, because we are part of a thankless world filled with evil humans. We have to go on doing our meaningless work all the time until our drop of eternity, the life ends. Even when we often have the feeling that life is meaningless, there is nothing that we can do about it, for we are cursed and damned to live through this eternity which is called life, even though it is originally a journey towards death. We carry these huge burdens, and some of us become good enough to be called successful, but all is lost in the end. There can be no true meaning to these actions.

Naranath Branthan or the Madman of Naranam is another person who gets a huge boulder to roll all the way up, and then pushes it down. He has been called the mad man, but he is the man who realizes the uselessness of one’s actions. He is showing everyone around him that whatever they are doing is useless, but people only laugh at him and considers him as a crazy person who does meaningless things. People feel that what they are doing will matter, but the truth is that none of these are of significance, and at least the mad man knows that everything happens for no reason. What is the significance of a human being and his or her actions? Absolutely nothing.

We are all trying to find some meaning in life with our actions, but the realization that there is none won’t do us any good. This is the reason why people keep doing something or the other to forget the meaningless of existence. When life’s purpose is to exist until one dies, and death being the final destination, you cannot ask for too much in this life. The only hope is the afterlife, as people can do the good deeds and wish for a place in paradise. But in this materialistic world, people are only after money and fame, with no real act of kindness being performed on a regular basis. People have no compassion, and hatred has roots in the minds of people of this age.

Finding the silver lining in the cloud is a worthless task.

One might feel that the struggle itself is enough to make the life worth living, but this is not really a world which deserves us. It doesn’t matter how hard we try to make it a better place, the world will not change. The only option which is left for us to do nothing, or become as terrible as the world itself. Paulo Coelho, in his work had said that when you want something, universe will conspire to help you achieve it, a quote which is often used in different contexts without shame. Everyone knows that nobody will help you to achieve your dreams, and most people will only try to make it worse for you. The universe is like that, and this quote is another attempt to make us go for futile things.

Ralph Waldo Emerson had also come up with a similar quote earlier, but he lived during a time when there seemed to be immense possibilities – the present world is the most hopeless one, and any hope that this universe brings us is fake. One does keep wondering about how many more centuries will it take for humans to realize that none of these matters. One also has wonder how many days it will take for the humans to have their own pessimistic speakers to make people understand that none of these matters. There should be a time when all these motivational speakers turn pessimistic and inform people the truth, that there is no need for inspiration in a mundane world.

It is a bigger wonder that some people still feel that there is hope. The politicians know that there is none, which is why they try to make as much money as possible instead of just living with their already huge salary. They happily make life worse for the very people who elect them, and find happiness in such actions. The advertisements are where the celebrities tell lies about products after taking a huge amount of money, thus cheating their fans, while the salesmen continuously lies to sell their products. I would guess that at least these people know that there is no hope in this world, and therefore they should lie, cheat and steal till the end of their meaningless life, and it won’t matter to them if they are fried by the devil in the afterlife.

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***The images used on this blog post were taken by me on my Samsung mobile phone during some of the little journeys for the soul.

TeNy

Need for Human Extinction

There are two Russian movies which brought us so close to human extinction, and they have even left us with hope that it can still happen, as there is no total annihilation of the enemy or the possible enemy in the end of these movies. I have felt that Russian movies have managed to be better than their friends from Hollywood movies very often. Well, Hollywood did have its chance to bring us close to extinction while trying to find the secrets behind our origins, but it lost the opportunity with Prometheus which was one classic alien movie, and it could follow up with just Alien Covenant, something which couldn’t go through the same path, choosing the deviations instead.

The first among the two Russian movies is The Blackout, a film which reminds us of the new movies of Ridley Scott, but manages to make it more of an alien invasion on Earth, taking us close to that possible human extinction. But the opportunity is lost, even though the ending leaves a little bit of something for us to hope that humanity will slowly perish in the hands of aliens sooner or later. With most part of the world already done, just a few mistakes from humans can make sure that there is extinction. A few smarter moves from aliens earlier could have made things easier, but with a second part of this movie, we will be with less survivors, and maybe about ninety nine percent of humanity done.

It also shows the kind of wretched creatures that humans are. Humanity proves itself as the curse of the planet which only the aliens could cure. Humans in this movie are the type of creatures who are ready to get rid of the alien who had earlier helped them. Well, aliens do not know the humans well enough, do they? The truth is that nobody knows the true nature of humans who will do anything for their selfish needs from money to fame. The aliens never knew the immense possibilities in evil that the humans can come up with. All the vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons and witches have already categorized humans in their list of evil – not just random evil, but the purest form of evil, with no compassion to their fellow beings or other species.

The second one is Superdeep, a movie which finds the cure for human disease from underneath the surface. Milena Radulovic, the leading lady tries her best to make sure that the strange mold which has caused all the terror in the underground laboratory won’t reach the surface and infect humanity. But there is still a small amount of hope that it can still get to the Russian scientists, with its ending. The extinction here can be brought about by a kind of creature which grows inside people, and also seems to become one with the elements of nature, a seemingly perfect method to get the green nature to regain its power from the evil humans which kept torturing it for centuries.

It would benefit the world so much to have humans as part of the mold, as there would be no longer the greed, lust and other deadly sins on Earth. It is basically the easy way to clean Earth of its sins. If the evil humans continue to exist, they will torment the very small percent of good humans who are left on Earth while living to lie and cheat for money. Well, this is a materialistic world, and hatred comes naturally in it. The goodness is so less in this world that you can safely say that it doesn’t exist. There has to be forces strong enough to stop humans and bring the extinction – it doesn’t matter if it comes from underneath like in Superdeep, or from above, as in The Blackout.

Another Russian movie, Sputnik had a perfect creature to deal with humans, but that movie actually ended without leaving scope for a sequel. It was a monster which could have fared so well among the evil humans. One can only look on with wonder seeing all the quality that Russian films have brought for us. There is enough horror, science fiction, alien invasion, war, superhero stuff that stays so strong. A few years ago, I had the feeling that I would have to stick to the South Korean movies to bring that kind of a special quality, but these are really splendid. You can depend on these movies for quality entertainment.

Coming back to extinction, it is better for humans themselves as well as the other creatures of the planet to get rid of humanity. How many more years can one see the humans doing such evil to their fellow beings as well as other species? God wouldn’t want to have anything with humans anymore – such wretched are the people. The only reason why humans haven’t killed themselves yet is because they need some of their own kind for their own evil plans against the other groups. When all the other groups are done, they will start fighting between themselves. It will be a long process, and therefore I would call for a quicker extinction, whichever celestial being or subterranean monster can bring it.

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***The images used on this blog post are the posters of these movies, used to support this particular blog post only.

TeNy

End of Life’s Meaning

It shouldn’t really take much time to realize that life has no meaning at all. The fact that people take so much of time to understand the same is the strange thing about it. Those who proclaim that they have found meaning in life are either living in a fool’s paradise, or are trying to make fools out of people. People should have at least understood the same after the floods or the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no real purpose, and we are just existing through this world of chaos because we were born, and are doomed for an inferno in advance before we get to see the real heaven or hell. We are now facing the third wave of a pandemic, and even the government do not want to impose a lockdown and stop the spread anymore. Everyone is indeed tired, and the vaccine is as useless as it can get.

There will always be those fake motivational speakers who will try to say otherwise. These people will come up with the examples of people who have fought against all odds and succeeded. But the truth is that this is not motivating, but depressing – the fact that even these people succeeded while you didn’t leads to the realization that you are worthless, and maybe it is the time to end your life. This leads to you stop searching for those so called motivational people and start searching for methods to commit suicide. Well, you just cannot get better through the inspiration provided by the lives of others, as no two people live the same life – maybe it is true in the case of celebrities who all seems to go through the same lifestyle.

Motivational speakers can talk about light in the dark, but darkness covers them all.

You cannot connect the celebrities to the meaning of life, as there is nothing that they will provide as a positive thing. It is still a wonder to see that we have so many people following the lives of these celebrities – can they be saying truth at any moment? Will people believe in the advertisements which they are part of? Is Boost really the secret of the energy of any cricketer from Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli? Hasn’t their performances come down after beginning to appear in those advertisements? Does Amitabh Bachchan eat so many Cadbury’s Diary Milk chocolates at this age? Did Mahendra Singh Dhoni use that matrimony website to find the person to whom he got married? Is any Bollywood celebrity using the soaps which they are advertising?

These days, it is often about one celebrity child having a Youtube channel. It could have been tik-tok, but thankfully, that one was banned to get rid of some of the irritation. The son or daughter of the superstar who is going to be the next superstar will have a Youtube channel, and the person would talk about what happens at his house, what all plants and trees are there, how many cats and dogs are around, and how amazing the family is. Well, the fans are basically brainless, and they would want to watch all the rubbish which is provided by these people instead of looking for genuine people with content. There is always the easy way to glory, and it is achieved by birth – for everyone else, life doesn’t hold that many promises other than genuine absurdity.

Most of the paths are not to be trusted. They can have some bad effects on you.

The case of matrimonials has been strange for quite a long time. It has been more bourgeoisie than the celebrities themselves, as everyone belongs to the rich, aristocratic families which even seems to predate Jesus Christ. Everyone is fair, hardworking and god fearing, with the display pictures photoshopped with a certain amount of skill. One should not be confused about all these suicides and murders happening with husbands and wives, because they were never really meant to be together. They might have started an account at a matrimonial website before finding a random person there, or to avoid this, they might have eloped together. Well, nowadays there are more suicides in love marriages, and that trend has also started.

There are only a few people who can be really successful around here, if you have not studied a professional course. You need to somehow get a government job or jump into politics – both seems to be having more and more scope these days. The other chance for success is to get away from here – it seems that there are more people whom I know in Canada than around here. From the United States to the United Kingdom, and then from Australia to New Zealand, the new favourite place to go and settle down seems to be Canada. It might be easier to ask who is not in Canada these days. Well, where did the other countries go? Are they not interesting anymore?

Well, if I had to go somewhere, I would go to Sri Lanka, Bhutan or some other place which has the same amount of tranquility. I could choose one of the Eastern European countries – Romania, Estonia or the others. I find the busy world which is associated with those much loved countries to be something that will contribute to that absurdity. It is difficult to live in a world which focuses on the monetary benefits and swallows the happiness in return for such benefits. They say that this is a competitive world, but it is not the kind of world that I would appreciate. If you are rich, you can have a Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, a purely bourgeoisie concept, and otherwise, you can sit at home for most of the time, and hope for the expenses to come down. Lockdowns can do such favours, but the meaning of life is once again lost, as you journey towards the more meaningful death.

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***The images used on this blog post were taken by me on my Samsung mobile phone during one of the little journeys for the soul.

TeNy

A History of Our Cars

Ever since Ford had decided to stop its operations in India, I had wanted to get a new car, a sedan to replace my Ford Aspire. I never had any problem with Ford, as the service was really good, and I had driven the car more than any other. We had owned four cars after I learned to drive – Maruti Suzuki 800 (silver), Tata Indica (green), Chevrolet Beat (black) and Ford Aspire (red) as our primary cars, along with Maruti Suzuki Alto (blue) which served as the secondary car with Aspire. Among these cars, Ford Aspire is the one car which we used for the highest period of time (five years and four months), and was driven the most despite the presence of Alto as the secondary car (63000 km), and it was also our only diesel car. The two-wheelers were always there, and the last two were of Honda, but that is not something of relevance in this particular blog post. That would be another history which could be part of a smaller blog post in comparison to this one.

Our original idea was to keep on driving Ford as much as we could, but with the end of Ford India as a competitor in the Indian market made us think again about the same. There has been the spread of Corona virus, and Ford’s present situation also added to the disappointment. But the memories that Ford left for us are too many, from being the car of our wedding, and being the one vehicle which has traveled through eleven out of fourteen districts of Kerala, and three districts of Tamil Nadu, something not done before by the other cars before, which were all sold before reaching fifty thousand kilometres. At the expense of the two-wheelers, Ford Aspire became the most traveled vehicle of our home. With so many memories connected to it, finding its successor was going to be difficult, and it was a tough procedure to find a sedan that could replace the car that made the difference.

The chosen car, the one truly Indian automobile – Tata Tigor

The grand shortage of semiconductor chips was something which was heard in most of the car dealer shops. It seemed that the waiting time for the car was going to be endless, no matter from where we buy one. Red and blue were difficult colours to get, even though we only wanted those two, with others being too dull – unless it was black which always keeps a certain amount of class related to it. During these times, white seemed to be an easy colour to get, but we wouldn’t be persuaded to go for the same, as for us, it is a colourless thing. White has never been considered a colour as far as we were concerned, for it was the colour of the scratches and the work of the birds that wanted to have a say from the sky. If we were to buy a car, it had to be special and beautiful, and white never satisfied these conditions. If it was a printer, white was fine, and for everything else, we needed the colourful, not the dull.

Beyond this particular dull world where the white car is preferred, one had to make that choice, and it was stuck on a blue Tata Tigor. The only other place where the eyes had stuck for some time was a Hyundai Aura, but by the time it would have arrived in one of our favourite colours, we would have lost all interest in buying a car. It would have been a longer wait than what was seen in Ennu Ninte Moideen, and that was certainly not advisable – to add to it, I have never seen that car on the road. This made Tata Tigor the better option immediately, and it was also cheaper, and the Tata showroom was closer to home than any other. Tata Altroz was also considered as an option for some time, but we continued to wish for the sedan over the hatchback. The Altroz blue was also not that interesting in comparison, as it was too light for our liking. In comparison, Tigor seemed to score better – I would always prefer my car to be as dark as it can get.

Maruti Suzuki never came close to getting into our list of possibilities, and Honda came close with Amaze, but that was also dropped quick enough. Almost everyone you see has a Dzire or Baleno, but we wouldn’t be part of that. The Honda showroom nearby had closed, and the Mahindra showroom in the town had closed much earlier, and Verito had ceased to be an option early enough. We thought about Renault, but nobody knows which motor company is to leave next, and the Ford exit has left us as the doubtful ones – with Nissan, MG and Kia, we have to buy the bigger cars, and it is not something that we would prefer. Nissan Magnite was attractive with its price tag, but we couldn’t be sure about another foreign company either. A few years earlier, maybe buying a sedan would have been the one right choice for so many people, but not anymore. In the end, it was to be Tata, and also stick to the sedan when people were all buying the bigger ones, Nexon and Harrier.

With the 2018 Kerala floods and the later smaller floods, it seems that people are taking the bigger cars now to drive through the flooded streets, even though that doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference. Even 2021 hasn’t brought much of a change related to the strange and unpredictable behaviour of rain, as we keep looking at similar situations again and again. We have seen too much destruction of property with cars being a regular prey in many cases, and in most of the situations, there is only the change of location where destruction has affected people more than the other places. As more people also wanted to own private vehicles due to the Corona virus induced decrease in public transportation, we see more people buying smaller hatchback cars after somehow learning to drive. Women are also preferring those smaller cars, and therefore sedan with a longer tail is not of preference for most people around here – it is like either go for the big SUV-like thing or choose the hatchback version which doesn’t confuse you about the back.

There has been a fine increase in the number of Tata cars in the last few months as we look on the roads, and we were adding ourselves to that list of people. I have seen that more people are now preferring Tata, and I would have loved to see Mahindra with the smaller cars too. The variant which we decided to choose was the blue XZ Petrol version, as that seemed to have everything that was required. This one particular version was also easier to get, within a small amount of time. The next variant had more of what we didn’t need, and so making the choice was finally easier than we thought. The Tata dealer nearby, Sree Gokulam Motors also made sure that the whole procedure was easier, and we could come to the decision after checking both Tigor and Altroz. The dark blue colour of Tigor is different from the blue which our secondary vehicle Alto has, and the two blue cars make a nice view at our home. Our first trip with Tigor is yet to be finalized, even though we are making some small trips around here, and something bigger would come up soon.

Tata Tigor on one of its smaller trips which won’t qualify as a tour.

*** The photos of the car used in this blog post were taken on my Samsung Galaxy A20S, and all of these are of our new Tata Tigor XZ Blue.

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TeNy

The Highland Connection

Kerala has always had its natural beauty in its hills, as these are the more preferred destinations in comparison to the beaches during the days when temperature is higher than it used to be. Among all these options, the first choice would always be Munnar, followed by these two special places – Thekkady and Vagamon. Located forty two kilometres, and about one and half kilometres apart, these two were to be combined in our trip. Our original idea was to travel to Thekkady and return after spending some time there, but the tour was rather extended. These two have been among our most visited destinations, with Thekkady being a place visited even when we traveled to the Tamil Nadu side, even though Munnar comes first as the most traveled hill station of all time, but a journey there would have meant eighty six kilometres and three hours, and so Vagamon seemed to be the much better choice.

At Vagamon, we stayed at Chillax Vagamon this time, and it was a simple place very close to the town itself, and the main attraction was a swimming pool at the roof top. During our earlier trip, we had stayed at Fairmount Vagamon Resorts, which was located further away from the town, and had a better view of greenery. At Thekkady, we stayed in Crown Valley Resorts, which was a grand place, a four star hotel which provided some fine facilities. During an earlier trip, we had stayed at Hotel SN International, which was closer to the town. The idea about this journey was more about traveling all the way there, and staying there to enjoy the atmosphere, and sight-seeing was not part of the plan. Well, at times, you need these hill stations for just the same, and not more.

The journey towards the destination always matters.

Reached the Crown Valley Resort, and then I had to take online classes.

Ford Aspire resting at Crown Valley Resort makes a fine view.

Note the route between Thekkady and Vagamon which is one grand sight.

What lies between Thekkady and Vagamon is the treat for the eyes.

Vagamon has its cute little hills at all places for you to see and admire.

There is always the setting sun which has the hills and clouds to hide itself.

Vagamon, even though the smaller among the hill stations, has its special charm.

View of the rooftop swimming pool of Chillax provided something to cheer for.

Some greenery is always there to be seen, from different angles and spaces.

*All the above photos were taken by me during our earlier trip in March 2021.

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TeNy

The Flowers Supremacy

People might think that this post is about The War of the Roses, but the story about that Civil War is not the Flowers that we have here, for this one is a television channel, which Keralites have loved to watch since its inception. While learning about The War of the Roses was more or less part of the academics if not a requirement for raising the level of knowledge, Flowers channel has been all about entertainment. It was initially known for one particular programme, Uppum Mulakum, a series which competed with Mazhavil Manorama’s Thatteem Mutteem, and has not lost its charm due to repetitions and being outdated as a number of years have passed now, and Flowers itself has other shows which gained supremacy.

Among the shows of Flowers, the one programme which stands apart is Star Magic, an event which includes a number of performers who are skilled in more than one field, and it is like a celebration, which has been going on in Flowers channel for a long time, but doesn’t have a feeling of repetition at all. It has a limited number of participants, and they keep changing every day, even though more than half of them remain the same every day. There are talks, games and performances, and everything has a fine touch of humour to go with it. The programme is the kind of thing that we need to watch at night after a bust schedule or during a depressing Corona season to be happy.

A random screenshot from Star Magic (for blogging purpose only)

Some of the commonly repeated names in Star Magic other than the anchor Lakshmi Nakshathra are Binu Adimaly, Nelson Shooranadu, Kollam Sudhi, Sreevidya Mullassery, Jaseela Parveen, Anna Chacko, Dayyana Hameed, Anumol RS, Thankachan Vithura, Azeez Nedumangad, Shashankan Mayyanad, Shiyas Kareem, Bineesh Bastian, Kollam Shafi, Aiswarya Rajeev etc among others. Along with the same, there have been other names which made regular presence in the programme including Noby Marcose, Anu Joseph, Anna Prasad, Abhirami Murali, Mridula Vijay, Yuva Krishna, Naveen Arakkal, Stephy Leon, Saadhika Venugopal, Rini Raj, Krittika Pradeep, Manvi Surendran, Reneesha Rehman, Tanvi S Ravindran, Lakshmi Priya, Chilanka S Deedu etc and also a number of guests from films and other fields. The programme manages to be more or less like a festival, and has a wonderful spirit associated with it.

Along with Star Magic, another programme has risen to fame in the last few months, and it is a show on the lines of Ningalkkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran, originally known as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and best known in India as Kaun Banega Crorepati with Amitabh Bachchan’s early addition. This programme known as Flowers Oru Kodi is special because of having Sreekandan Nair as the host, and there is a certain amount of variety being added to it, with the help of its robotic sponsors, Lana Technologies, as it has two robots providing aid when required. It also has more or less a fun feeling rather than the emotional setting which was maintained by other programmes which provided cash to the contestants in exchange for answering questions – a case of positive energy here.

We have watched News 24 a lot, and basically it is the channel which provided a neutral viewpoint in almost every case, while all other channels were mostly having their anchors prejudiced towards one side. As both comes from the same source, we know that Flowers and News 24 are not to be separated when watching television. The use of technology and augmented reality has set the channels ahead of others, and the floor used for each programme is indeed splendid. This is the same reason why almost all the time, we are looking forward to watch News 24, despite having so many channels around. Flowers and News 24 are channels which know what to do when they have to do it, correctly, and without pretensions or prejudices.

Flowers also has Chakkappazham, a series about which I had already written earlier. Even though it had started become a little bit repetitive, it still remains fun, and you know how well a series with simple things of home depicted on the screen can work for the family audience. Thatteem Mutteem, the only programme which was giving competition to Uppum Mulakum has also paled in front of this one, as Mazhavil Manorama has once again lost the advantage here despite having Marimaayam much earlier, except for getting those new movies to have their television premiere in there, like Zee Keralam has been doing for some time – Asianet which earlier had Vellanakalude Naadu also has managed some similar television premieres rather than getting some quality shows in there. The competition is there, and it is good.

A random screenshot from Chakkappazham (for blogging purpose only)

Yet, in between all the competition, both Flowers and News 24 has brought an identity of their own, and it is the style which other channels have been trying to copy, but not with that much of an effect. After all, imitations can only be imitations, and won’t have that quality which is displayed by the original. We know about the same here too. During the time of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Flowers has been the one channel which we watched regularly, and News 24, the one news channel which we watched the most, and that is something which might not change for a long time, as other television channels surely seem to lack in that diversity as well as innovation.

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TeNy

Waiting for Godot is Real

***A list of Malayalam films we are waiting for, like Vladimir and Estragon waited for Godot!

Thuramukham: Following the much appreciated performance in Moothon, this is another film which has something big to do for Nivin Pauly, as he has moved away from the predictable on only a few occasions. It does remind one of the grandeur that Malik had displayed, and with some of the cast members from that film being present here too, we can surely have a similar experience here. Seemingly a very long movie in comparison to others, and after having its first show at the 2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam, this one will have to wait to have its first show in the theatre, but this is that kind of a movie which should be available for non-Malayalis, and an Amazon Prime release would be the best choice for this one.

Kurup: Based on the life of the most wanted criminal of Kerala in the 1980s, Sukumara Kurup, this one should have something different in store. We do remember the incident, which continued to be popular talk even in the 1990s, and we as children were very much aware of such an incident. As one of the longest standing cases in Kerala history, this one is of significance to many. With Dulquer Salmaan in the leading role, let us hope that there is no glorification of criminal activities, as having a superstar in the lead has that kind of a tendency. Still, if taken well, this has a lot of scope, but it remains to be seen on what element does this particular movie focus on. This is not the first film based on the same though, and I would guess that this is not cent percent connected to it.

Marakkar: Subtitled as Arabikadalinte Simham in Malayalam and as Lion of the Arabian Sea in English, this movie has waited for its release for an eternity, and is still continuing to go through the same trouble in getting the release due to COVID-19 pandemic. It was going to have its grand release in March last year, and had declared the release on August 12th this year, but they seem to have completely avoided the possibility of another wave of the pandemic. They completely neglected the possibility of releasing the same on any OTT platform, maybe because of the high budget and the use of special effects. So, it seems that they are not taking the Drishyam 2 path, and we will have to wait for this one for so long that its graphics might get outdated. Do you think that COVID-19 will end this year? I don’t think so.

Minnal Murali: Tovino Thomas’ superhero film comes as an answer to our requirement to have a superhero film in Malayalam, and even though many other movies seemed to become close to the same, that was never really achieved. Basil Joseph who is best known for two light-hearted entertainers, Godha and Kunjiramayanam has this movie seemingly maintaining the same feeling. Well, we all need our superheroes, and this one should serve really well. We know that Indonesia had a superhero universe with films like Gundala, and I would say that we could have something like this soon enough. After all, we have grown up watching the smart heroes like Shaktimaan, Betaal Pachisi and Captain Vyom, and had the mystery of watching miserable nonsense like Krrish later to move us to disappointment.

Kaaval: This should be the first one among Suresh Gopi’s grand list of films which are to be released soon. It marks the return of the character plays by him in the film, as much as it marks Suresh Gopi’s own return to Malayalam cinema in an action thriller role, the category which suited him the best many years ago. From the trailer, it seems that this could be the one role in which we would love to see him again, even though some people might be doubtful due to the long gap in between. But it is to be noted that we found no such problem when he was there in Varane Aavasyamundu, a family drama film which released just before COVID-19 made its terrifying presence felt. Well, we do know what he is capable of, and I would let him save the day once again in style.

Jana Gana Mana: Prithviraj Sukumaran has already has his time with Kuruthi and Cold Case, two movies I have enjoyed watching on Amazon Prime Video – both of these are also thrillers, and this one also promises to be something similar. The trailer had promised the same earlier and seems to provide a police officer and criminal reasons to go against each other, with Suraj Venjaramoodu seemingly coming up with a role similar to what he did in Driving Licence with the same actor on the other side. I hope that this one would also release on an OTT platform, most probably Amazon Prime Video, like Prithviraj’s earlier movies. Thrillers these days have been best suited for online release, with more audience from outside Kerala giving it a try too. Well, you can’t wait for theatres now, considering the present situation.

Paappan and Ottakkomban: Along with Kaaval which was mentioned earlier, Suresh Gopi has two more movies to bring him to the genre which had suited him very well earlier. In one movie, he plays Mathan a.k.a. Pappan who is a retired police officer trying to solve a case, while the latter film has him as Kuruvachan a.k.a. Ottakkomban, an aging plantation owner trying to fight against influential men trying to destroy his family’s reputation. In both cases, he seems to be playing the roles which suit him very well even at this age. The former also has his son Gokul Suresh, as they will be seen together in a movie for the first time. I would personally love to watch Pappan before the others, but with the theatres to remain closed for long, we cannot be sure which one would be coming to us first on which platform.

***The images used in this blog post were taken from the pages related to these movies and the people associated with them.

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TeNy

Just a Little Away from Munnar

Mankulam which is located at about twenty seven kilometres and an hour and a quarter from Munnar was our location of choice when a few months had passed after the end of COVID-19 lock-down last year. We had chosen this place over Munnar because is it is located ten kilometres closer to the midlands than Munnar, even though it will still take the exact same amount of time to reach there due to the bad condition of the roads – but the road is being repaired, and so that can change. We had chosen this area because it was peaceful there in comparison with Munnar, even though the temperature there was lower by three or four degree Celsius. But it was December, and so that ended up okay. It is to be noted that the other hill stations like Thekkady, Vagamon and Nelliyampathy also have lower temperature than Munnar, and so this is not that much of negative at that particular moment.

We really wanted a break at that time because we hadn’t gone for a trip in such a long time, and we were staying at home whenever possible. At Mankulam, we stayed at Treebo Trend Misty Garden Resorts and Spa, a fine place to stay with a swimming pool, and a good variety of food options available if ordered early. There is also some nice areas to visit nearby, even though they are not big tourist destinations. An evening walk in the area was refreshing. The roads which were being repaired at that time, if finished, can make this journey a quick and easy one. If Munnar seems to crowded, or if you don’t want to go that far, you can choose Mankulam, and I have shared ten pictures below for you to remember this particular area. After all, a stay away from the crowd and within nature with hill view can always be refreshing enough.

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***The images used in blog post were taken by me on my Samsung Galaxy A20S.

TeNy

Kumbalangi Nights and Days

There might be many islands which you know for the scenic beauty, but Kumbalangi is different. You will know the same, as I have known it from my childhood itself. It might be the same reason why it was chosen as the perfect setting for Kumbalangi Nights, one of the greatest films of the century, a flick which should have been nominated for multiple awards including international ones. With some fantastic performances to go with that background of Kumbalangi, the movie became the best of India, a thing worthy of sending for Oscars, even though they don’t seem to have considered the same in favour of some lower class films. I guess it was Gully Boy which was nominated during that time, much to the surprise of sensible people.

There, we stayed at the Kallenchery Resort, a place which we have preferred for some peaceful times for some years now. We celebrated my birthday there, and that proved to be the perfect one, with all settings being done there, and we had also ordered customized food – even though the place is known for its great seafood, the Paneer which we ordered was superb too. Kallenchery itself is an island which is connected by a small road to the island of Kumbalangi, thus making it a remote area – – it is the inner area of the village which provides a lot of view. This resort itself is getting more developed during these days, and during the next visit, I would expect things to be even bigger, as hope for a new dawn past COVID-19 is certainly there.

You have to be there for the sunset, every time.

You watch the sun setting in peace, and so do you have serenity.

Ford Aspire had a journey to remember past the city.

They brought one of the best cakes we ever had.

You sit and watch this throughout the dark night.

Always spend some time to happily work from Kumbalangi.

The Chinese Fishing Nets make your perfect reflection of the world.

There is always a lot of space to walk around this resort.

You move around & find that the money spent here is worth it.

Just the random nice shot which you get by looking above.

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TeNy

The Bollywood of Childhood

You can never forget Bollywood of 1990s. There were some of your childhood movies right there. Those films became your favourites quick enough, and after watching them on a VCP or VCR, you felt so good. To get those video cassettes, you had to wait for such a long time, and once you get the film you have been looking for, it was the best feeling. Finding Hindi movies was a process which was achieved by watching Chitrahaar, just like the Malayalam movies came in Chitrageetham. Those movies with good songs always had an advantage, just like the favourite actors and actresses attract us to the cinema. The following were my favourites of the time.

1. Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995): I had to start with Sabse Bada Khiladi, one of those movies which I watched at the ancestral home. It is to be noted that I never liked those over hyped romantic movies of Bollywood. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge was never my kind of movie, and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai never came close to being an interesting flick. Akshay Kumar movies were my type then, and this one in particular was always in my mind. It proved to be one effective thriller then, and I wouldn’t think otherwise even now. “Bholi Bhaali Ladki” is a favourite even now, and the action hero whom we knew the best was Akshay Kumar, and this one was a perfect khiladi.

2. Gupt (1997): It took me about two years to watch Gupt, because from the songs, it feels that the movie is a love triangle – one of the best suspense thrillers of all-time was thus misunderstood with its songs. But this turned out to be an all-round film at that time. It was a romantic suspense thriller with comedy also present there. The stylish movie has so many songs which we still listen to, and none of the new Bollywood songs could match this one with music. Bobby Deol was one stylish action star at that time, as we can see from this movie, even though Soldier might be the movie which gave him that title with clarity – that one was also the first movie I watched with him in the lead.

3. Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996): I was a big WWF fan at that time, and when the Undertaker was coming to Bollywood, even though it was the imposter version and nor Mark William Calaway who performed in wrestling as the “dead man walking”, one could only get more interested than ever. Another wrestler, Crush was also features in this movie which had a lot of action going on at all times. Even though it was quite a long movie, it was never boring, and you are always waiting for the Undertaker to come to fight. It was one of those movies which decided to think beyond the usual limitations, and among the Khiladi movies of Akshay Kumar, it does have a special place.

4. Soldier (1998): Preity Zinta had already made her film debut in a supporting role in Dil Se, and “Jiya Jale Jaan Jale” was one of the most popular songs with its Malayalam words. But Soldier was her debut as the leading actress, and this heroine was one which everybody loved from this action thriller. Bobby Deol further established him as the action hero, and the film had so many lovely songs. There was no part of this music which we didn’t love. This movie was also remade into different languages, and a Tamil version actually released more than ten years later, asserting the film’s worthiness. The song “Soldier soldier” still remains in the USB in my car.

5. Khiladi (1992): From this movie onwards, we have known Akshay Kumar with the film’s title, and so many movies with the name “khiladi” in the title have followed, but nothing after Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi maintained that quality and essence. Still, Khiladi was one of the real thrillers of the time. There were some good songs, and even though a thriller, there was a funny side, with Johny Lever coming out of nowhere to deliver the best of them. There is also a fine twist coming in the end, and you need to be ready for the same. Even if you watch this movie now, it can still make that fine impact. If a good movie can be made with the name “khiladi” in the title, it would be an interesting watch.

6. Baazi (1995), Damini (1993) and Angrakshak (1995): Aamir Khan takes us into the action thriller genre nicely with Baazi, and Mamta Kulkarni is once again in one, like in Sabse Bada Khiladi which released in the same year. It does have elements from Die Hard, but it was indeed working very well. At the same time, Damini is one of the best movies with the leading actress having the much needed significance. Meenakshi Seshadri does a perfect job there, and the dialogues of Sunny Deol in the courtroom are to be remembered. Angrakshak is another movie that comes to the mind, and the political side of this particular film with Sunny Deol in the lead, is relevant even today.

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***The images used in the blog post are from the respective films on bookmyshow and youtube used for supporting this particular post on the blog only.

***These are taken from childhood memory, and therefore, none of these films might feel the same if I watch them again now.

TeNy

Seven Nations of My Travel

1. United Kingdom: As I place a quick writing on the seven countries which I have visited in my life, this one basically counts as two nations, as we did visit both England and Scotland. We remember the same from those cricket matches itself. It was also the biggest journey we had, not just with the amount spent for flight as well as the time spent on transit, but also with the world which we had there to witness. From the monuments to writers to those huge church buildings, there were a lot to be witnessed, and the traces of history out there was indeed splendid. You know that there is Canterbury Cathedral, Lake District, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and more, being part of a very long list.

This is one massive structure at Liverpool that reminds us of our minuteness.

2. Sri Lanka: The Sri Lankan trip happened in the same year as the journey to UK. Both of these trips were actually the result of the inability to go for that Israel-Palestine-Jordan-Egypt trip which was supposed to be the official Holy Land trip. So, we ended up in Ceylon, the world of serenity with tea and Buddhism, even though we were there more for a Ramayana tour rather than anything else. The most beautiful place out there was Nuwara Eliya, a hill station which was indeed the Little England. It was a world which felt closer to Kerala in many ways, especially the nature and the climate prevailing out there. We were very close to going back there again.

Nuwara Eliya, my favourite hill station with awesome tea and natural beauty.

3. Thailand: Well, we all know that everyone wishes to go to Pattaya. The Malayalam movie, Amar Akbar Anthony had made it clear already, and there were indeed more Keralites around than people from anywhere else outside that nation. Pattaya is indeed a charming place, a perfect beach-based destination, while Bangkok is the city with the charm. Bangkok Metro also became the third metro I had traveled outside India after London, Singapore and Malaysia, a metro which I traveled in, even before traveling in the Kochi Metro which was already running. The Buddhist temples of the place has the charm too, even though we got to visit only two of them.

The beach at Pattaya about which you know very well from movies!

4. Indonesia: The trip which followed exactly one year after the journey to Thailand was to Indonesia, or the beautiful island of Bali, to be exact. Visiting the one place in Indonesia which was so popular with its natural beauty, beaches and Hindu temples became the next on the list. It is also that nation where you become a millionaire due to the exchange rate even though the cost doesn’t go down in comparison to India. You have those differently designed temples, the rice terraces, volcanoes and a divergent culture out there. There are places for some nice shopping too, even though we do need a direct flight to Bali rather than being forced to travel through Kuala Lumpur.

Everybody loves Bali, and you will love the place too, once you are there!

5. Singapore: This is a journey which happened much earlier in comparison to those other foreign trips. The trip to Singapore was also our first journey outside India, and it is also the result of a failed plan to travel to the United States which had become very strict with its visa policies after the World Trade Centre attacks. Well, you have Singapore, which has been the cleanest place you could be, as far as Asia is concerned. Being in a place outside the nation, it was a rewarding experience, and it would take another five years to go on a journey like this one, and another eight years for another foreign journey. Well, some years are indeed special in more than one way.

6. Malaysia: While Singapore had its Sentosa Island, Genting Highland make the highlight for Malaysia which was known for its Petronas Towers. We could go to the top of the tower though, as we were restricted to a few levels then. One has to say that Genting is a place of beauty like no other, not just related to nature, but also associated with the attractions which were provided in that particular theme park. We do have the journey on the ropeway, and Kuala Lumpur is a nice city to roam around too. It is to be noted that my first visit to a shopping mall was not in India, but at Singapore and then in Malaysia. We visited Kuala Lumpur airport again during our journey to Indonesia and back.

7. UAE: Almost everyone from Kerala has been to UAE, or rather Dubai in particular. Our visit to Dubai was rather a short stay during the journey to the United Kingdom. Emirates flight made a happy journey, and Dubai indeed has one of the best airports around, even though my personal preference is still the Cochin International Airport. We had to spend a lot of time at the airport, and therefore I could explore the place very well. I can go to Dubai at any moment as there are so many people I know right there, but even so, we are indeed getting delayed. Easiest places to visit are often the most difficult places to reach, just like it has been a while since we wanted to visit our relatives in Bangalore. A detailed note on the place will come soon enough.

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***The images used in blog post were taken by me during these trips between 2005 and 2019.

TeNy

Timeline of My Mobile Phones

Nokia 1100 (2004): I remember my first mobile phone being this basic model, and during those days, were really happy even with models like this one. I have heard about people beginning their journey with mobile phones through Nokia 3310, but I never really came across that particular mobile during my 1100 days. My first mobile network connection was that of BPL Mobile Network, which had some nice offers for that time, and I had spent my time sending those forwarded SMS and usual simple games like Snake. Well, that felt like the luxury which I had never before, and that did take some effort to get this phone.

Nokia 3220 (2005): Well, Nokia 1100 was the basic mobile phone, and time was coming for the need for a certain replacement. After one year of usage, the phone was replaced by a mobile which looked stranger than most of the other phones which were popular during the time. When I bought this phone, nobody really had something like this – a weird mobile phone with lights on both sides, and these lights were blinking whenever a call came. Well, you won’t spend even a little bit of time trying to find this phone during a power cut, as it could be seen from anywhere at home. It was also my first camera phone.

Nokia 6600 (2006): The lightweight phone with LED lights lasted only an year for me, as it had its own limitations, and a phone with full multimedia facility was required. It was the phone which defeated all Sony Ericsson mobile phones which were in competition with Nokia during the time when Samsung was never really there. It was heavy and highly durable, and dropped on the ground never really hurt it in any way. With the Symbian Operating System, and so many options being possible, it had given me an advantage over almost every other phone out there in the hands of the other students.

Nokia N95 (2007): I never really had any problems with Nokia 6600 which was considered to mobile phone at a high level, but my cousin from United Kingdom gifted me a Nokia N95, and Nokia 6600 had to step away. This phone was a legend during the time, and with an amazing camera for the time, and with so many options, I was an immediate fan of the phone, which could match the digital cameras of the time. I would also consider it to be the best mobile phone I ever used in comparison to the contemporaries, and even though it stopped working a long time later, I have kept it with me as a memory.

Samsung Galaxy Star Duos and Samsung Galaxy S Duos (2011/12): These two phones came one after the other, and the second one came to me after my father bought a mobile phone, and he didn’t want to use it as it was too complicated with the Android system. Even though N95 was the phone which I used during my journeys to England, Scotland and Sri Lanka, these Samsung phones were part of my life in UC College, Aluva. They brought some fine pictures of the campus as I spent my time wandering through the green campus, especially the side of canteen and library, during the time of post graduation in English.

Asus Zenfone 5 and Asus Zenfone Max (2015/2017): The former became my first experience of buying a mobile phone online, and latter became my second phone to be bought online, the first one from Flipkart and the second one from Amazon. I loved both phones, as I have always been a fan of Asus. I also have an Asus laptop at home which has been working well for many years now, and another laptop from the same company which has served me for more than two years . If it was available in the local stores, I would have bought Asus again. It during the same time period that I bought a Swipe 3D tablet which is still working.

Samsung Galaxy J4+ and Samsung Galaxy A20S (2019/2020): I decided to shift to the local stores with my mobile buying procedure, as some extra service could be attained in that way. The former was bought because the Asus phone required more space, and it was also becoming slow, despite the huge battery giving the advantage. But with the COVID-19 crisis, online classes and webinars required better phone, bringing A20S to the picture. J4+ was becoming slow with bigger meetings, and thus, A20S, my current phone was bought during the COVID-19 lock-down, when mobile phone shops were allowed to open once in a week by the government.

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***The images used in this blog post are from mobile sites use for blogging purpose only.

TeNy

Kerala Drive: 14-1 Districts

In the last few years, I have driven through thirteen out of fourteen districts of Kerala, along with three districts of Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore, Theni and Dindigul. The only district in Kerala in which I haven’t driven by myself is Kasargod, where I haven’t tried to travel, and when I had finally had my plan, COVID-19 pandemic came upon us. As the district where I have been living, and where my ancestral home is situated, journeys through Ernakulam have been many. Ernakulam itself is a place with all kinds of tourist destinations, which can be visited again and again. Then, the other districts also follow, and among them, Kottayam and Thrissur have the lead with such drives.

Kottayam: Vagamon’s location in Kottayam itself makes the district a favourite travel destination. Along with the same, I have driven to Ilaveezhapoonchira multiple times, and Illikkal Kallu was also added to the list later. Along with the same, visiting St. Alphonsa Pilgrime Centre and shrine at Bharananganam came naturally to us. Other pilgrim centres like the Kuravilangad Church also comes into the picture, and these have made the district regular driving destinations. Along with the same, there are some relatives’ places out there which made me go through the district early itself. Kottayam should be the most driven through district outside Ernakulam.

Thrissur: It is to be noted that Thrissur is so close to Angamaly that we keep visiting the district’s border areas on regular intervals. There are also some relatives’ places to add to it, and pilgrim centres also exist there, starting from the Koratty Church. Some of the best known tourist destinations, Athirappilly and Vazhachal Waterfalls are there, and it is the district which serves as a border to Tamil Nadu through the Sholayar side, and towards Valparai on the other side. We have also loved traveling to the Shobha City Mall in Thrissur City itself, a mall which is one of the best in Kerala, and having a fine multiplex to go with it. There are some very nice resturants on the way.

Idukki: Having some of the best places of natural beauty, Idukki is a district which provides all the beautiful scenery to the eyes. There is always Munnar and we always have Thekkady out there. Along with the same, when we are crossing the borders, Kumily is always there to have a charming journey through the area. The best of tea is also available there, and just crossing the borders, takes us to those grapes in the vineyards of Cumbum. There are so many places which we have visited in Idukki, and you know Munnar very well in advance. Parunthumpara, Panchalimedu, Kuttikkanam and all have you there, and in the lowlands, there is the town of Thodupuzha which I always come across.

Alappuzha and Kollam: There have been many journeys witnessing the beauty of the backwaters of Kerala, and Alappuzha is indeed close enough – we also have some nice beaches to go with the same. Kollam might not be that close, but it also has the beauty of backwaters and those fine beaches. We remember having visiting a good number of them, and going through some interesting journeys on this path. Both the district capitals got their own fine beaches too. Yet, it has been some time since we went through this path, and there is the feeling of such a requirement.

Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram: The former is known for its beauty of nature, which we have quickly gone through, and the latter, is the charming capital of Kerala. The most recent visit to Thiruvananthapuram was for Varkala Beach, but there have been other journeys to that direction earlier. The capital city does have many interesting places to visit, and we have covered most of the beaches. Yet, Pathanamthitta is a district which we require to explore more. With some presence of the relatives, maybe that could happen later at some point of time.

Malabar (Palakkad, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Malappuram): We keep on traveling through Palakkad whenever there is the need to cross over the border to Coimbatore, and Palakkad Fort is always a charm. The Kozhikode trip was a nice one with Thusharagiri Waterfalls, multiples beaches and others. We had visited Thunchan Parambu and other beaches in Malappuram, and more beaches like Muzhappilangad, as well as multiple forts in Kannur with a fine dose of history. We also had a taste of the natural beauty of Wayanad even though a more detailed trip is needed there, as well as in most of Malabar.

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***The images used in blog post were taken by me during these trips between 2005 and 2019.

TeNy

When RTS Gaming Returned

During the Corona lock-down times, it was only necessary to return to the Real Time Strategy games which I had played a long time ago. There was the need for the games which could be played nicely through Local Area Network, as Wireless LAN would let us play the games online for a change. The Turn Based Strategy games were also interesting choices, but those would be slower, and can also take a lot of time. Real Time Strategy was to be faster, and so I went back to my past to get two of the favourites with their expansion packs, Age of Empires 2: Conquerors and Warcraft: The Frozen Throne. Age of Empires III was out of the equation due to the lack of save option in multiplayer mode, and even Warcraft had the saves limited.

This is why Age of Empires 2 is the perfect choice for online gaming as far as strategy games are concerned. It has had the same status for a long time, and even after so many years, there is grandeur in comparison to those fake Android strategy games which show something in advertisements and come up with something else. One has to remember that the advertisements seen in Facebook and Instagram were of Age of Empires, and not really of those games they were promoting. It is the quality of Age of Empires, as we play as different civilizations, through different ages, and the campaigns are just too good. Warcraft brings fantasy in the place of history, and has a similar gameplay, even though in that case, there are less races in comparison to civilization, but each one is unique. For Age of Empires, Huns, Mongols and Byzantines are my favourites, while for Warcraft, I always go for the Undead.

Some free time after all the destruction being done.

That moment after you finish the enemies and resources too.

You play as the Mongols, and you go another path.

The Byzantine Empire is indeed one of interest.

Gathering all forces, and then attacking – the right way.

You land your forces on the tip of the enemy’s island.

With the island map, a good navy is a necessity.

Nobody messes up with the war elephants unless you are so quick.

Your enemies are almost at their end in this game of Warcraft.

Humans allying with the undead against elves might feel strange, but not in Warcraft.

***All images are from my game-play with the two games mentioned above

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TeNy