Impact of the Fallen One

Vampire Owl: Are you sure that we are at the right place? This seems to be something like an enchanted forest; but too dark a place for even my taste. This is not just dark, but magical dark as if some kind of curse exists here. There should be more than one supernatural force around here. Don’t they call this place the darkest of woods?

Vampire Bat: Yes, it says here and so it is the right place; you can see the map, and you can also see the tree which has been shown on the map. The branches are exactly the same, and the roots are also drawn in the same way. There is also the destroyed space in the middle.

Vampire Owl: Have you ever seen what all the official Vampire Artist draws? Now, the position is filled one of those half-undeads from the village, and he is just terrible. I won’t be surprised if this copy of the map is not even close to being real. It is sad that the original was lost; we should buy a photostat machine in the castle, don’t you think?

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Vampire Bat: No, photostat machines are not allowed in the castle as per current guidelines. And this is the place because there are too many similarities.

Vampire Owl: So, are we calling this one out? Are we ready for this summoning?

Vampire Bat: Yes, we are. Read this passage from the book.

Vampire Owl: Oh great overlord and the former unofficial lord of all the undead under the grave, rise from beneath the roots of this great tree!

Vampire Bat: Wait. Why is your voice so strange? Are you already possessed by the one whom we are going to summon?

Vampire Owl: I am trying to sound like a powerful sorcerer so that he can be summoned easily. See, I am even wearing the special sorcerer’s gloves from the goblin market.

Vampire Bat: Owls don’t do that, and you sound like a partially transformed werewolf. Don’t do that. It won’t make him happy for sure.

Vampire Owl: Actually, do we really need this person? There are others whom we can use, including the Vampire Elders with extra fangs.

Vampire Bat: Yes, we do. We need him to make a great impact in the upcoming battles which wll feature the Lich Queen during her next return from the dead, as he has been the one making grand impacts in all the wars of the long gone past.

Vampire Owl: What about my impact? I have been among the best in the vampire team. I have even managed to have my own fan club.

Vampire Bat: That is surely nothing in comparison to the effect of this particular person. We are talking about an ancient force of pure evil here.

Vampire Owl: You mean, like a demon; from the times when the vampires were first transformed and had no idea what to do with their lives.

Vampire Bat: Yes, exactly. When blood was the only reason and need. He was one of the first, and also among the first to fall – The Great Fallen Vampire.

Vampire Owl: Then the only impact he is going to create might be by devouring us.

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Vampire Bat: Possibly that too. But we really need to unleash him. After being unleashed, he will be here, and this is the border of our part of the realm, you know. Nobody will cross over with him around. We just need to make sure that he stays here only.

Vampire Owl: That will surely be some impact. Thankfully, I have just renewed my immortality clause. I hope that the same applies to you too.

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

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

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Blood of the Fallen

I recently came across Spartacus, the television series which was inspired by the tales and historical accounts of Spartacus, a Thracian fighter and a later gladiator who had started a grand slave uprising against the Roman Republic. I have been looking forward to watching this one since a long time ago, but got the chance only later. The Third Servile War which occurred between 73 and 71 BC, depicted here has the take mostly from the viewpoint of the slaves and has more to do with ideals of Spartacus himself as expected.

I have managed to watch all the three episodes and also the prequel. Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Vengeance and Spartacus: War of the Damned as well as the prepared prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena brings the story of the slave rebellion with interesting changes, and stylish presentation of another page from the history stained with blood and war. There is no shortage of moments which would make the parental guidance advisory list very long with its sex and violence, but Spartacus remains big entertainment.

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The question about Spartacus aim being immediate freedom or ending slavery will forever be doubted, and so will the extended aims behind them. But this television series got us the legendary slave himself, giving life to the historical figure in an interesting way, beginning as the man who is sold to slavery and wishes to free himself and his wife from Rome as he rises in the gladiator ranks eclipsing the champion of the time, Crixus the undefeated Gaul by defeating the man they called “the shadow of death”. But with the death of his wife, and knowledge of treachery, he changes his path.

The first season is actually the best of them all, with interesting gladiator fights and an end which is very much satisfying with the death of the bad people of the time. It also has the one Roman who remains respected throughout the season until death, a feature which is absent otherwise. The battles as well as the opponents are very much catching our attention too. This has Spartacus moving away from the aim of being with his wife and focuses on freeing the other slaves from captivity.

Viva Bianca and Lucy Lawless are the ones who continues the awesomeness of the first season into the second from the Roman side. Replacing Lesley-Ann Brandt with Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Naevia comes as the big mistake of the second season, with Andy Whitfield already being lost to cancer and Liam McIntyre replacing him as Spartacus. Even though that latter replacement does work later, the change of the lady playing Naevia works completely against the series.

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Except for a few battle tactics and some talks about ideas, Spartacus: Vengeance remains the weakest of all seasons. The only hope remains Katrina Law as Mira and Nick E. Tarabay as Ashur along with Viva Bianca and Lucy Lawless in a story which is less thick. The later efforts from Gannicus also bring some relief to this one, and the ending is fair. Even with two of the best Roman female characters dead, the excitement returns to Spartacus: War of the Damned as the ideals as well as the aim becomes clear here.

The last season is the deciding one, as Spartacus understands that justice will never exist in this world and decides to leave beyond the reach of Rome while Crixus decides to march on Rome with his people only to meet his end to the large army of highly trained Legionaries. Gannicus getting his spot is the biggest boon of this movie, and in the end, we know what happens. The prequel deals with how Gannicus had risen to the great hero and the God of the Arena. I would talk about these in detail later, and consider this post as what has come to my mind right after watching all the seasons.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Spartacus television series.

TeNy

The Kingdom of Travancore

There was the news about Kerala State Board Exam results for Tenth having published, and students given free pass marks – unlike the time when I had my tenth and we had to work hard to pass, now there are free passes to the Plus Two in Kerala – only to struggle to pass with degree and PG. So it will surely take the new generation some time to find Kerala on the map, and therefore, I will share two historical battles which happened here related to the Kingdom of Travancore which extended form Central Kerala to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. With those IIN advertisements continuing to make no sense, I am sure that the new generation will be searching on Google to study, and may be this blog post will help them a lot 😛

The red flag with silver conch shell

The red flag of the Kingdom of Travancore with silver conch shell at the centre

Battle of Colachel (1741): There are many battles that the Indian subcontinent has had against European powers, but among them, the most significant one is the Battle of Colachel and it is a case of huge and surprise victory. I am shocked that a lot of people don’t know about this which was part of the Travancore–Dutch War. But Battle of Colachel is more than just a battle, as it was decider. It was like the forces from Netherlands never really had the power to come up with another assault after this battle, and became no more threat to India almost completely disappearing from the scene.

The newly formed Kingdom of Travancore under Marthanda Varma defeated a superior Dutch force which had modern fire-arms, bringing the first complete defeat of a European power to an Indian kingdom. This was surely a twist of fate for the colonial powers in India. Eustachius De Lannoy who lead the Dutch, surrendered and served Travancore as “Valiya Kappithaan” and helped the king in later conquests, leading and modernizing the Travancore army. From here, Travancore would go on to become the best known and the most powerful kingdom of Kerala, and covered the half of Kerala along with Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari.

The Dutch surrender to Travancore

The Dutch forces surrender to the Kingdom of Travancore after the Battle of Colachel

Battle of the Nedumkotta (1789): It is interesting for a good number of people to avoid some battles and glorify only a few people of history. The case of Battle of the Nedumkotta is just the same. But nobody from Travancore can forget the great king Dharma Raja who might be one of the most likable king ever, and the man who is credited as “maker of modern Travancore” was that king who provided safety for everyone who fled for their lives during the attack of Tipu. Along with Dharma Raja’s respect for all religions, the efforts of his commanders, Raja Kesavadas and Vaikom Padmanabha Pillai to hold the fort despite being outnumbered by Tipu’s forces was an act of high valour.

Unfortunately, there is no monument for the former who was the minister, and the later who also lead rebellions against the British, and there happens to be no memorial for the valiant defence. It is a shame that we are forgetting our history and Kerala has given too less value for its heroes and its monuments – even the remains of the fort is lost. What happened at Nedumkotta was purely an effort of courage, as they managed to defend the lines and even strike a blow to the stronger and the more advanced opposition. The forces of Mysore were later denied by the monsoons and the river Periyar only to be forced to return without any gain except for spreading terror.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Wikipedia pages of the Battle of Colachel and the Kingdom of Travancore.

About two of the many great kings of the Kingdom of Travancore:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marthanda_Varma
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma_Raja

The rulers of Travancore were truly committed to their people, which is why they haven’t spent much money for building monuments, tombs or palaces. Building memories for them, their wives, parents, uncles, brothers-in-law, grand-parents and all those family members never became part of the plan. They did what the real kings were supposed to do – they ruled and they did that wisely. This is the reason why people will remember them a lot even after such a long time. They were not just kings of the territory, but kings of the people.

They were more committed to social reforms rather than luxuries. They have left marks on the hearts of the people with love rather than through the huge monuments. Spending state’s resources for personal use never really came to them and their religious and caste-related tolerance has left a mark on Kerala which has left their territories free of hatred towards “the other”. They were true devotees of Padmanabha, and were loved by all religions and castes of people in their kingdom alike.

***The Kings of Travancore give a free lesson to the intolerant new generation politicians and religious/spiritual leaders who find it impossible to live without the luxuries and can’t stop hating others. It is never about the size of a worship place, statue or monument, for it is about how good you are to others!

More on the Kingdom of Travancore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travancore

TeNy

The Great Overlord Saga

It was one of the coldest and the darkest nights of the season, and there was a small team waiting outside a mansion located on the countryside, surrounded by huge trees. They were all having stylish black capes with red borders and one of them held a lantern which gave out red light.

“Keep your swords ready, my dear soldiers. This is your day of glory” ordered the Vampire Bat.

“Excuse me, sir. Why are we actually here?” asked the Vampire Hamster.

“What? Why is this guy even here? He is not even in the list. Who is he?” asked the Vampire Bat.

“He is a replacement for the Vampire Panda who has gone for his part-time job; to act as the Kung-fu Panda. He is good at being annoying. Hamsters have very short memory and we don’t even have to pay him” murmered the Vampire Owl.

“Okay, my dear vampire apprentice friends. We are here to fight the Legendary Pimple Overlord, defeat him, and save our leader and the best uncle that we ever had, Uncle Dracula from having that terrible pimple infection on his face. This is the day we shall always remember. It is mostly because our life is pretty much boring and we usually waste time sitting at home, but still this is going to be a day of great heroism like never before in the history of the vampire kind. I am kind of like Achilles, and so you can follow me with confidence” shouted the Vampire Bat.

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“Yes, exactly as he said” added the Vampire Owl.

“Vampiredom forever” shouted the team together.

“I am bad in Mathematics, but still I am going to count till three. Ready, one, two and three” finished the Vampire Bat, as the team of Vampire Bat, Vampire Owl, Vampire Crocodile, Vampire Penguin, Vampire Alligator and Vampire Hamster kicked open the door and entered the house to come up against the Pimple Overlord, also known as the Man with the Thousands Pimples.

“That broken door will cost a total of 447 gold coins. Thank you. I hope you back through the same way” said the Overlord.

“This is the Pimple Overlord? A thousand pimples? Where are they?” asked the Vampire Crocodile.

“I have been using Garnier Pure Active Neem and all of them have disappeared, and I have even lost my title of the Pimple Overlord due to the same” said the Overlord.

“I have lost the purpose of my life” shouted the Vampire Owl.

“I wanted to fight with my sword before forgetting how to do that. I wanted to be a Musketeer Hamster” said the depressed Vampire Hamster.

“This is not the end, brethren. We shall find another one, at another time, because the story of pimples never end. It causes more problems than any other thing of the same calibre. We shall bring the Garnier Pure Active Neem for our aid and we shall fight and win our battles which will be recorded in golden letters in the history of vampirism” said the Vampire Bat.

“Vampire army, disperse” shouted the Vampire Owl.

The team returned to Uncle Dracula to give him the good news, that Garnier Pure Active Neem has got to the root of the problem, and there was hope for him to get his old face back. Dracula could be the awesome seeker and sucker of blood again, and could lead his pack with confidence.

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This blog post is written in relation with the contest organized by Garnier Pure Active Neem (Garnier Skin Naturals) in association with indiblogger website, related to the problems related to pimples that common people have to face in their daily life. Thanks to Garnier India and Indiblogger for this great opportunity. Please check the websites for further details: bit.ly/GPABlogLinkIndiBloggerActivity and bit.ly/GarnierPureActiveNeemWebsite

The pictures used in this blog post are meant only to support this writing, and were taken from the Official Facebook Page of Garnier India at http://www.facebook.com/GarnierIndia.

TeNy

The Path to Redemption

2009 saw the release of Solomon Kane, telling the tale of the rise of a hero, a protagonist who was different from the rest, and even his motives having a separate cause behind them. It has James Purefoy has the protagonist, a former mercenery seeking redemption. It came up with a great atmosphere, which was not scary, but still haunting, and its use of the elements like plague, demons, sorcery and swordfights without overdoing anything, is worth mentioning. It was one of those movies which came instantly into my favourites list.

Our hero is Solomon Kane, a ruthless man who has massacred innocents in war, and one day, captures a castle in North Africa where his men are taken away by demons from the mirror around, and he comes face to face against the Devil’s Reaper who is there to take his soul to hell for the terrible things he had done. But he rejects the fate that is put in front of him and jumps out into the sea to begin a life in hope for redemption.

You don't mess with Solomon Kane (Pic from movie's FB page)

You don’t mess with Solomon Kane (Pic from movie’s FB page)

He comes to believe that his hope for salvation will be attained by pacifism. But that would change when he is provided asylum by a family which is later slaughtered, and the young daughter of the family is taken by an evil sorcerer. There comes the alternate path for redemption, and we see that he says “There are many paths to redemption, not all of them peaceful”. From there, he travels a different path, not something that is unknown to him, but something that was there to be taken.

The world itself reflects the state of the protagonist’s mind. There is wasteland all around, with not much hope left for anyone. There is evil running through the world and goodness is rare to find. Demons ravage the world and the angels are nowhere to be found. Well, not that much different from the present world, but in the case of this movie world, it was clearly visible – in this century, even demons can act as angels really well and any possible angel is mistaken as a demon.

The name itself reminds us of two people, and we see the contrast there – the wise king who was Solomon, and the cursed human whom Cain ended up becoming, after slaying his sibling. These two personalities seem to exist in him, and it was only upto him to decide which one he had chosen to become. James Purefoy is a lot like the poor man’s Hugh Jackman, and here he is, like Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing – and that helps. Do look out for the yound Rachel Hurd-Wood as Meredith Crowthorn, the same person who played Sibyl Vane in 2009’s Dorian Gray, another character of innocence.

“If I kill you, I am bound for hell. It is a price I shall gladly pay” – this is what Solomon Kane would eventually come up with. The movie has no clear presence of God or the Devil, as there are only messengers to those beyond Earth. Devil himself chooses to send the Reaper rather than bringing himself or his trusted minions to Solomon Kane. Even the redemption of our protagonist is a story which seems to be never-ending, and only a few sequels can bring it to the finishing line. There is a lot left for humans to accomplish on Earth by themselves, and for the same, we might need help, but not new human gods.

Behold evil in all its glory (Pic from aceshowbiz)

Behold evil in all its glory (Pic from aceshowbiz)

Solomon Kane’s message is to react to the evil rather than let it thrive. It asks to act for the righteous and on the side of goodness rather than checking such things and thus seek redemption for the wrong that has been done. Even for the worst, there is the hope for redemption, even during the worst of times. The movie’s message remains strong as it has a strong protagonist played by a wonderful actor, and the atmosphere of the movie keeps the viewers interested in it. I loved the rain that kept pouring. This is a movie I choose to recommend highly. It deserves to be watched – for Solomon Kane didn’t get a release at this part of the world.

TeNy

Of Apes and Humans

Returning after watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and its messages for the present humanity – the species which is seeking violence and justifying the same with the distant past, and every group calling for blood just because the other religion or community not considered to be human, a post was a necessity. This is a shame that the modern world has brought upon itself makes them stoop to a level lower than animals. The movie gives the viewers certain lessons, and its relevance to the present world is higher than its contribution to the flick itself.

1. Violence is the dominant nature and need: It is seen that humans and apes do see each other as threats just because they are both different. It is the same problem that haunts humans who fight each other. Yes, people want everyone else to be like them, and there lies the problem. Even as war can’t be justified by any means, this hatred is boosted by people who fight each other in the social media and post fake images which completely nullifies their cause. The violence on the field is reflected even on the virtual world, and death of people from other groups is a necessity for some.

Teach something, but learn more from the apes (photo from movie's official FB page)

Teach something, but learn more from the apes (photo from movie’s official FB page)

2. Peace is just temporary relief: Humans are without the ability to forgive and forget and therefore there will be no eternal peace; Ceasar acknowledges this by the end of the movie. People always have many genocides to justify what they are doing now, and it is a shame that they have to bring things which happened in the medieval era to give the feeling of rightful revenge to their evil deeds. The world has changed and they need to get out of their distant past and learn to be good to others in the present. Only then there will be everlasting peace.

3. There is evil in every group: It is only with such sadness and disappointment that Caesar acknowledge that it is his own people who are responsible for this plight while it was humans whom he expected to start the war. The presence of good among evil gives hope, but this evil which spreads among the good people is rather terrible. There is the indoctrination that one group or the other is bad and deserves to be killed, and this spread like wildfire, faster than anything which is not so evil. The enemy might change, but there is a possibility that there is always one.

4. Apes are among humans: The indoctrinated humans form the new generation apes. They only support their own people and hope for the people of other religion or community to die. Those who are not violent enough to do it on the streets do it on the social networking sites becoming a spamming device themselves, aping others sharing the photos put by them without even knowing that it is a fake image or an something that works against themselves thus making the whole process invalid. Some others choose to abuse a person as a part of the aping, and attempts to do so because someone else did the same earlier.

5. The need for individuality: The apes resemble the humans who lack individual ideas and they think that it is always about them without even choosing to have an identity. They depend on some random person who share some ideas. People believe others to such an extent that they think that Steven Spielberg killed a dinosaur, and so how can they not believe anything else? If the same thing is given a racial, religious or caste colour, the whole thing will be easier to believe because some people only consider their group as human, and they think as our human leader says “they are just animals”.

Co-existence. Do the humans even know what it means? (photo from movie's official FB page)

Co-existence. Do the humans even know what it means? (photo from movie’s official FB page)

In the end, the only one who suffer will be the common man. Nobody really cares about the bloody politics which is bringing every act of war. There is only the need for co-existence, and for that, the change should be made at the root level, with the next generation being taught the values. But there is nothing to be done, as they have already left the children to find evil in their own way. The next generation is sure to bring a lot of hatred to this world, unless we guide the younger ones. Lets not be like the apes, and lets not be like the warmongers or the brainwashed supporters of violence.

TeNy.