Welcoming Simona II

It has been more than one year since Simona left us, and we have all missed her so much. It was the time when everyone felt that she was going to stay forever that she had to jump in front of a moving vehicle. You know that from the earlier posts, as well as the posts on my social media that Simona has left the big impact, that much of an impact which have spawned so many blog posts as well social media posts in a small amount of time, along with those photos which are so much in number, filling up the hard drive.

There is something about the one cat that was the favourite of everyone in the neighbourhood. Her impact was so much that people wanted to wait in the queue to feed her – everyone surely misses her on their legs; there is no longer the cute little kitty hug, or the attempt to get into the house before you do. She was the skilled warrior who were catching the squirrels and rats along with regular murder of spiders, cockroaches and lizards. There was also the rumour that she could catch a few snakes, but the same couldn’t be practiced without the presence of a real snake.

Hello, I am the new kitten who owns this house. Feed me cat-food and milk 😀

Maybe so many insects cursed her just within a small time period, that she has to leave us – it was into their rather peaceful world that she decided to keep wandering into, very often. She was one cat that changed the world, and for the last year, there have been almost no cat in the neighbourhood except for one or two wandering around very less, including one big cat with one eye. It seemed as if the place was cursed by the cats, for there were only stray dogs around.

It was during one of those days, on a rainy day, to be exact, that this little kitten made its entry, and there was certainly the music of the rain to provide it a dramatic entrance. It had no hesitation to become the star, making enough voice to gather all the attention. It surely needed a home, and more than that, it needed the food and some love. What more can a lonely kitten ask for, on a rainy day with stray dogs wandering all around? Not many other things were on its list for sure.

This is the special pose that we people from tiger family do; watch with attention 😀

We decided to keep feeding her, and she decided to stay at home, outside on the verandah, just inside the table which is there to keep the newspapers and the pieces of cloth to clean the car with. At times, the home is changed to under the car which is the second shelter, but it is not a permanent solution for her, as it is not there all the time. Staying within the limits of home, she would grow up, and lets see how long she decides to live in her new home, and whether there is a change of place coming up when the rain stops at some point. Well, we can’t call her by any other name except Simona, thus making her Simona II or Simona the Second.

Among the creatures that are given special attention, it is the cat that deserves the most, and you understand the same when you look into their eyes – they need you, despite being from the family of many tigers. There are the dogs getting all the attention from one side and the cows from another, which leaves the other creatures without hope. As you should have read about in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” – the same couldn’t get more correct than during these days.

Well, the world does change doesn’t it? Some animals do have the chance to reclaim their spots at some other point of time. Meanwhile, we see that the cats are the real lovers of home, and let them protect your home, because it belongs to them too. Maybe, they would just bless our world because sometimes you look into their eyes, and they just seem to say that we are blessed to have them in our lives. I wouldn’t disagree to the same, if it is exactly what they are thinking.

***The images used in this blog were taken by me on my Asus Zenfone 5 at home. As you read this, take time to read the reviews of the latest Hollywood flicks at your nearest theatres, The Mummy and Wonder Woman.

TeNy

What Happens in Life

Six months have passed and this is the half-time for the year 2016. Well, I found that out just two days ago. The last six months have been the fastest part of an year in my whole life. I feel that I missed most of the days during these months, and that there is the need to keep writing down these days so that it won’t give me the feeling that I missed some of these. I have never really known the existence of some of these days because time has taken off with some super-powered wings.

These days, I have been thinking that there are just two sides to everything, and when we have free-time, people are just bothered about it, and when we are so busy, people are just not happy about it. These days, most of my time is spent in the office or in the traffic, and people have been asking about what I have been doing to be so busy. Well, even when I was not working, I did keep myself busy. These days, as I have a job, I am busy without any need to keep myself so.

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There is something about starting from the city in a long-distance bus, and after one and half hours of traveling, you are still in that city. At the same time, you have traveled through so many pot-holes that you will feel that it is the time to retire. Meanwhile, the rain keeps coming down so hard that you have to keep the shutter down and be denied the view outside. To add to that, there is more water in the pot-holes than in the canal that runs in front of our home.

But things do keep happening, and leaving the confidential information aside, there has been the presence of a new car. Yes, finally got to my first sedan and the very first diesel car – this is also the first time I have gone for red. There has been a lot of traveling after that, even though the only day that I get to travel is a Sunday, with six working days on my list. As Id-Ul-Fitr was there, that came as some relief, and the next relief is to be on the Independence Day next month, and the month after that, Onam.

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The number of movies I have watched at the theatres in the last six months is also at an all-time low for the last few years, as the movie count got stuck at seventeen instead of the fifty which I was planning to complete. The journey of the day that lasts from early morning to night has taken the movie time too, and I wouldn’t dare to remember the last time I watched the television – but that is really a good thing though; there was never something that good on the idiot box.

I have had good time with work, but things before and after work has been pretty much the trouble. There is that list of things which are to be done otherwise, and there are those extra things which are to be there as part of the contribution from others. Just now, I have managed to sneak in and get a stereo and the nitrogen filling for the car. The rain has made sure that I will have all the exercise I need with washing the car.

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Maybe something interesting will come up in life outside work too! As some people say, there should be the right time for all of these; twists happen as they have occured on many occasions in my life. There have been a few interesting movies which I watched in the bus and reviewed though, including Kill Command, Deadpool, The Witch, The Boy, The Visit, Brooklyn, Sinister II, Knock Knock, The Vatican Tapes, Wrecker, Victor Frankenstein and Inside Out.

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

TeNy

RIP: Simona the Kitty

I had been looking forward to post this one, but as most of my friends here are friends with me on Facebook or is in contact with one person or the other who is friends with me, I thought they knew. But the news about Simona’s death had to be told, at least for the people who don’t yet know about the same. It happened on a terrible night, when she jumped in front of a vehicle which was passing through the road in front of our gate. We have been missing her a lot, especially from a few days after the event; the absence was really felt!

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Here are a few of my favourite photos of her from the past which you might have seen in this blog; I have kept them separately…

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Simona shows her tongue in defiance of the latest food ban.

I declare this as my property. Nobody touches this :D

And also falling asleep in different ways.

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TeNy

Birthday and the Conclave

March 12th is my birthday, and there are lots of facts which are related to this particular day. I have never been that much fond of celebrating this day, even though when the friends were there, it was kind of different – giving and taking those treats were essential things. It had become a tradition to celebrate the birthdays more than the rest of the celebrations. But things did change, and I was back to my normal situation, of not celebrating anything – celebrations did leave me, and I was a lot happy to skip them all.

But sometimes, the birthdays become more than just birthdays – it will have other memories and special things happening on the day which will make it the memorable day, but not directly related to being the day on which you were born. There is something special about this year’s birthday – it will be the first birthday of me on which I will be working; the first time on a birthday that actually have a job; it has a special status in that case, but there is something about the last year’s birthday too.

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

The last year’s birthday had me at three different cities – in the morning, I was at Cochin, at noon, I was at Mumbai and in the evening, I was at Delhi – well, that was surely a different day for me. Usually, it was like, each and every day, I am either at home or at the theatre watching a movie. This one special advantage of not going directly to a city – well, I had so much to spare at that time, and so this kind of journey was not going to waste my time! The return was through Bangalore for some change.

That was what happened on March 12th last year, and then the big moments were to be on the next few days. It was about attending the India Today Conclave at Delhi, and it was what I was there for, even though visiting Delhi for the first time was also a priority. After winning the contest, I found myself at Taj Palace, and right there in the hall to listen to those eminent personalities. I also found my new friends there, my co-winners and delegates – Arvind Passey, Shoma Abhyankar, Shreya Das and Yogita Aggarwal.

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

When a day has Sachin Tendulkar in the beginning, you know how awesome it can become. There were people like Katrina Kaif, Lisay Haydon, Chetan Bhagat, our honourable central ministers and others on that wonderful first day. On the second day, there were Viswanathan Anand, Ranveer Singh, the ambassadors to India, Shobhaa De and the others, along with the Chief Ministers of a number of states – and when everything ends, you are not happy that it ended, but you can’t wait to travel through Delhi!

The memories stay so well that I often wonder if this is my birthday or the conclave anniversary; a few things are a lot meaningful than the rest, and it changes according to the person; for not everyone thinks the same about their own lives. Maybe I was never really going to think about it as my birthday and as the reminder of myself getting older; it was going to be remembered for my big journey rather than anything else. I didn’t think that much in that way at that time, but now I feel that it might have been the biggest moment of my life, and nothing bigger is to come; especially related to writing.

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

There are more facts about the same – I have never seen a Malayalam writer this close, but Chetan Bhagat was right there; I have never seen a Kerala cricketer close enough in my life, but I have seen and heard Sachin Tendulkar speaking in that hall; I have never seen a Malayalam movie star in my life, but I have seen and listened to Ranveer Singh, Katrina Kaif and Lisa Haydon – I consider that surprising, but it is something that I am a lot happy about. I guess that some things just happen in life, and there are others which will never occur.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me during the 2015 India Today Conclave at Delhi.

TeNy

UCC: All that is Fantastico

I have watched many movies which are based on campus life, including Classmates, Niram, Doctor Love, Nammal and more, but never did I thought that my post graduation time will be the best years of my life. Yes, there has been problems here are there, but all of them have only contributed to making me a better person, and there was the chance to go through all the literature, which is why I consider the two years as among the best of life, and remain as my strongest memories; UCC is the fantastico of my education.

This memory is all about UC College or Union Christian College. The history of UC College’s history goes back to 1921, when it came to existence as a result of co-operation between four major church denominations in Kerala, the Church of South India, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, and the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church. Earlier affiliated to The Travancore University and now affiliated to the Mahatma Gandhi University at Kottayam, UC is a very much reputed college.

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UC College has been one of the few things which continues to represent the town of Aluva, along with the Marthanda Varma Bridge, the Federal Bank HO, the Shivarathri Manappuram, the Advaita Ashram and Mangalapuzha Seminary. Located about four to five kilometres from the main town area, UC College is one the best known education institutions in Kerala, and among the colleges in Ernakulam district close enough to Cochin, it has been traditionally the most popular.

The college was also like three and half kilometres from my home at that time, a distance which I could reduce by a few metres if I had chosen to walk by taking a few shortcuts through a world without traffic. So, UC College was always going to be the right choice for me to go for MA English. So, the fact that I could get admission there on merit itself was more than just another happy moment for me. But I wasn’t sure about my future even then, and I could never be clear about what was to happen there, being the big cynic.

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But the college which you have seen in the movie Premam was not just another educational institution for me. UC College has been the source of nostalgia, something that still stays, unlike the rest of the insitutions – in the case of all the others, the memories have clearly disappeared. From the canteen to the library, and through each building there, stretching around the green campus which has so many trees and old structures, each corner of the college is still alive in my mind. It feels so good to reach the campus early morning, and walk through this green universe. There is the need to arrive early and leave late considering how refreshing the campus is.

The days were fantastic, even though I understood that they were so when it was coming to a finish. I didn’t feel that it was going to be this good when I began, but things only got better. As the second year started, life had become so much closer to literature, and Film Studies was also a paper waiting to come to light. The whole department had become even more friendly, and even getting permission to go to the canteen and have a cup of tea was so easy. I could never study at an institution which had friendly teachers earlier, but UC College was an exception. Most of the school teachers have been demons for me as I remember.

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The advantage of having friendly teachers is that you will have a better interest in the subjects which they are teaching, and you never hesitate to ask the questions. Throughout my studies, until joining UC College, I had only one or two of such friendly teachers, but thankfully that changed with the MA English adventure. I remember the opportunities to attend the seminars at different colleges and the chance to be part of many quiz programmes in Central Kerala along with winning a few! One of those wins are still shown there on the official website of the college, and that still feels happy and extra fantastico! 😀 You can see it here

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me during my MA English course there.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

TeNy

Did I Really Do It?

It has been some years, but it feels like an eternity. I don’t really remember those days at all. Did they really happen or were they just dreams? I do have the certificate and the mark list; so it should have happened at some point of life. I have only some recollection of the same, but it seems like I did do it. There will be doubts if it is really a useful thing, but I guess I did it at that time. Sometimes I wonder if it was ever supposed to bring something better in mortal life or monetary benefits; I guess it wasn’t on the list.

Yes, I am talking about the MA English Language and Literature course. It was only a few days ago that I found and looked at the syllabus of the course, and that made me wonder if it was me who really studied that course and wrote those exams for that MA English First Class (read as the BCom First Class which was mentioned in the movie, Naadodikkaattu). I actually remember very less from the course and a lot of these papers in the syllabus stare at me as if I am a stranger. The syllabus itself seems to wonder if it had ever seen me before, but I will show this one the degree certificate! I will just go through what used to be that syllabus and see if we remember each other enough in the end.

The classroom itself has the special charm that we all need.

I will miss this classroom all the time, no matter where I visit in my life!

I dig deep into the memories, and I remember those earlier works like The Canterbury Tales, Utopia, Doctor Faustus, Paradise Lost, Pilgrim’s Progress, The Way of the World and all that we studied, but there were the two papers which followed, and those were Phonetics and Literary Criticism. I remember being shocked at the subjects which were part of these papers.

Vampire Owl: What do you mean?

Vampire Bat: Biographia Literaria, The Language of Paradox and others.

Vampire Owl: Okay, whatever.

In the case of Phonetics, I felt that I was going straight to hell. But I still passed, and scored well there, and that was a confident booster. I still believe that words should be spoken like we want to and not according to the Phonetics side – that will be Indian English 😀

These days, when I look at these papers, I am only going to be more and more shocked. I really wanted to use what I studied in life because I managed to pass, but such an opportunity was never to come. While my earlier talk was about the first semester, here I remember that the second one was much smoother, and I remember the second semester as a rather easier one; I was more comfortable with the class and the college, and the seniors were close; the papers were smooth and Linguistics remained the only problem there. But with more focus on that, I could do it better than I did in the case of Phonetics.

I remember that the first semester of the next year, and this third semester of the course had two big troubles; one being the Literary Theory – I was absolutely uninterested in this, but I had good teachers. The classes turned out to be better than expected and something in the internet surely helped. Nature of the Linguistic Sign? The Metaphoric and Metonymic Poles? The Death of the Author? The Critic as Host? And whatever came after that, I don’t remember much of it, and I am not that disappointed about my short memory here. I will keep the memories of my college instead of that, the greenery and everything else. Those sights will surely bring more of the memories back to me.

It is easy to work with green here. You can understand the reason easily.

The greenery at college is inspirational, but the theories are surely not.

The second big trouble was this paper called Politics of Narration, about the aspects on fictional and non-fictional expression in narratives. Even though this was a twisted paper, the scores came good just like Literary Theory. Another thing about this paper is that the talks and discussions related to this paper has helped me in improving my writing. Along with the same, there were a few interesting works of fiction with this paper. Women and Literature along with Writings of the Public Domain were partly bad for me! But the fiction and some interesting ideas saved the day most of the time. I still wish I could go forward with life as the MA English graduate, but that option is the jobless one.

Film Studies was the strangest paper for me; one one side, there were those movie which we surely had to watch, and there was the need to write critical appreciation of movies. This side was pretty much okay for me, and by the end of this paper, I was ready to start the blog, Movies of the Soul. The review of Celluloid at the blog is the same which I submitted for the assignment, with slight changes. But it took me a long time to recover from the theories which were related to movies; those were the difficult ones for me, and I shall not name them – but the memories are coming back to me; now I realize that I had learnt them all, and they are stored somewhere in my memory 😀

Now I am sure and I remember that I am MA English First Class from Mahatma Gandhi University and jobless 😦
Check this video of the BCom First Class version from the movie Naadodikkaattu 😛

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me at Union Christian College, Aluva.

Btw, check out for my favourite movies from the year 2015.

TeNy