Guidelines for a Holy Year

There has been a lot of talk related to the Holy Year of Mercy ever since Pope Francis declared the same. Well, these are not official guidelines relating to that, as I am not qualified for that. If you are asking about on what authority I am providing these, I would say that it is based on my vision on what I would want to do on a Holy Year. Yes, helping others is a major thing to do, but other than that, I have to add a few things that people can really do, especially if they respect Pope’s messages and call themselves Catholic. At least for an year, can you try these?

So, how do you get to the quality of mercy? Does that fly towards you and provide opportunities to be merciful? No, it doesn’t. You have to bring it to your life. Which are those parts of life where you can show that quality? I would say that the first one where it can be done is in the case of food. It is the Holy Year of Mercy, and do try to go vegetarian. I know that most of you will find that difficult and so lets just try to keep it as much vegetarian as possible. Obviously, it is not easy to keep being so during the functions.

This tree welcomes you to Ezhattumugham as the official messenger of nature :D

Let the quality of mercy flow like a river throughout the Holy Year.

Showing mercy to the animals and birds is a nice thing indeed. That brings me back to the final word of the last paragraph – functions. Lets consider that you are going to be married this year. Why don’t you take the message of compassion right into you on this special day of your life? Can you spend less for these functions and use the money to provide at least one day’s food for the orphanages or old age homes which will make sure that your most important day will be remembered by people in need? Doesn’t it satisfy a good soul that his or her day goes on in the best way possible for those who are not having the happy days of life?

Do you need a fancy car which doesn’t belong to you on the wedding day, especially when everyone knows that it is not yours? If you have a car or a relative does, isn’t it better to use that one itself instead of spending some extra money for rent there? Do you need so many groomsmen and bridesmaids which your elders had declared not part of our culture? At least keep the number low! Do you need to spend so much money on the clothing when you are not going to use them again? Is it necessary to make a show when it is a function supposed to be a union of souls? Shouldn’t the priests be caring about this rather than coming up with that ridiculous compulsory pre-marital course? Why would you generalize people and not understand that individuals are not the same, and they won’t be needing a course on the exact same thing?

I would suggest providing pre-wedding classes instead of the pre-maritial thing to the vain people, especially the parents and relatives of the bride and groom. They are also in real need for mercy and compassion classes. Well, is this the kind of mercy that the church is going to witness and what the Holy Father had intended? And do you need so many types of food items being served to people? Different types of meat and fish – what is the point? Is this a program to have food or the function which has two people decide to be together each other? Why should the focus be so much on a dead chicken or goat on a plate rather than the bride and the groom? All these because you need to boast about it? If it is the case, get married every year. Maybe something can be done about the funerals too in the name of bloody vanity.

Marriages are made in heaven, they say. So, do we except the display of such signs of vanity there? It is not easy for vanity and mercy to co-exist. These days, I try to attend less number of marriages, because they are all just bloody show-off. I get those invitation cards and I feel nothing; there is no real feeling to attend. If you are having a certain function for the rich and too many of the poor and the subaltern are in the surroundings not having enough, your marriage will not be Holy Matrimony, but a strange thing which is everything except holy. People should get married because they want to; not to show it to the society.

A bridge on which you will drive your car. It is part of nature :D

Become the bridge, bringing the quality of mercy to the other side!

So, at least in the Holy Year, show some mercy, to your fellow human beings as well as those animals and birds around us. Lets waste less food, have more vegetarian items and show less vanity at a wedding. I am quite confident that too many people will find this one difficult; still there will be people who will display some signs of mercy here or there. But I say that if you want to make an impression, make the righteous impression, and not what the others tell you is right. If you want to spend money, spend it on the poor; those who are really in need of your quality of mercy. Be the brother and sister to the people in need, and be the personification of mercy. Also, take time to forgive more.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

TeNy

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Question of a Million

There is one question which has been commonly asked during talks – What if you had a million dollars? Before converting into rupees, that didn’t provide me that shock which was needed. Well, one million dollars was equal to 65,369,500 rupees when I last looked, and that is an amount which I am sure that I will never earn by myself in my whole life. It is not just the money that I won’t have, it is also more than all the money that I will need. So, this weekend’s WOW topic had me in some doubt. Well, the solution comes in many ways for the extra money that you will have.

Well, whoever you ask if there is the need for money, I am sure that the answer will be yes, even in the case of the top level millionaires. There is a little bit of a journey which has to be done around the world, and that is all for which the money needs to be spent. It has to cover Eastern Europe, especially Romania, as I had mentioned in my earlier post. There are also those historical cities like Rome, Venice, Barcelona, Milan, Berlin, Florence, Lisbon and Paris with all those amazing architecture. The other continents actually don’t have that much for me to travel through, except for a few places and that too the cheaper ones to wander around.

And then there was the Lighthouse Beach at Kovalam.

You need the beacon of light on this one; after all it will be the season of doubts.

This actually means that I will be left with something to talk about after finishing the journeys. The number of places to visit will only get lesser in number if things get repetitive, leaving me with more in the bank. Back home, the need for another house, four-wheeler and two-wheeler are not there as I am satisfied with what all is there already. What I have as of now is good. Trying to get more and more will only make me not liking myself that much. Too much luxury will only make me not the person that I have been. Most of us already have more than what we really need.

I am also not a person who believes in changing according to new fashion, and so the already existing clothes will be there for an eternity; I never judged people by their clothes much and never really cared what people thought about they way I dressed. It just needs to fair and decent; nothing more. A person is to be judged by good he or she is, and not by the grand clothing, and so there is no expense coming up there for me. My journey to different parts of the world is to be quick and will have almost no shopping with minimum food, and so there will be more left in the bank.

A few years ago, we used to have a Halloween program, and we collected what we could from the homes around our place and donated the same to a number of charity homes. The youth had decided to turn the night which was looked upon in a negative way into something positive. The response was nice, and one of the recipients we considered was a boys’ home called Snehakkoodu at Aluva. Unlike the other places which had the support of a lot of patrons, this at that time seemed to be a place which could use a lot of help.

Is there a sign of relief among the dark clouds?

Be the light in the darkness; be the colour among the black and white!

The place would be my first home to provide a donation, and I am sure that it will be a very useful act for them. It is all about helping the people in need rather than anything else, and they were in need at that time. Sadly, after we moved from Aluva, I haven’t been there much, and I would like to leave quite something from the amount for them. There is also the Home for the Aged and the Infirm, a few kilometres from Aluva, and I also wish to leave an amount for the old and sick people there.

As we help people in need, there are many around us who are not in that much of good situations as we are. There are our own friends, relatives and neighbours who live around us, and they will also be in need at times, for which some of the money could be kept in reserve to provide for them. We also owe something to them, irrespective of religion, caste and status. It is our duty as an Indian not to discriminate by divisions, and to help our fellow countrymen, the people whom we see each and every day and are in need.

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

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me only.

TeNy

The Vision of a Lost Bat

Dracula was lead to that new world which was set on the newly baptized Planet Vampiris by the Vampire Bat. It was just recently discovered after the Vampire Bat teleported himself through a worm hole which had opened near Pluto during a superhuman vampiric abilities test conducted under the supervision of Doctor Frankenstein. It was considered a failed experiment until the Vampire Bat managed to contact Dracula through the intergalactic telepathy procedure which worked during its test experiment itself.

Dracula was lead through the first city of the newly civilized planet. The humanoids who selected the Vampire Bat as the leader were present everywhere. It was the “City of Righteous Spirituality” to be visited first. There were people worshipping different religions, and they were living in mutual respect and harmony. Those people who had nothing to believe in, and were fighting each other, had been transformed. There were non-believers among them who tried to make these believers of different deities fight each other, but that was solved by the ultimate realization that the God is indeed one, no matter by what name he is called.

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

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

Then there was the “City of Eternal Wisdom” which took care of all needs of knowledge. There was the ultimate realization that only by knowledge and wisdom that the world can be changed for the better. Always acquiring knowledge and helping other cities with their needs, this city is the brain of the new world, like the former was the heart. The best people were trained here in various categories without inequality, as each and every subject as well as job was equal. Nobody was forced to be an engineer or doctor, and the profession in demand was that of a helper, a class which was present everywhere, selfless and caring.

As Dracula wished to have a drink, they started with a restaurant at the “City of Striving Legends”, which had people working hard to make things better for the other cities. It was the city of industries, and people earned according to how much they worked, and everyone who wanted a job was sure to get one here. There was no unemployment as this city was there to provide support. This restaurant itself was started for the industrial workers, and the basic food was always available free here, and they also made sure that there was no poverty by sending food to all the other cities.

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

There is no lack of grandeur within the cities, but the soul remains simple as it can be

They passed through one of the cities where they didn’t stop. It was the “City of Unlimited Compassion”, where the people with diseases were taken care of by healers. The medical care was free here, as half of the earnings of almost every person belonging to this civilization went here. Nobody needed to buy a Ferrari’s equivalent or a bloody supercomputer or mobile. Everybody wanted to help, and this was a place where Dracula only wanted to visit after he had come up with a certain amount for donation. There were no evil people in this world, but those who had chosen to be bad were sent here to help.

They stopped at the “City of Ultimate Courage” then. There were the best trained people of the whole civilization who always dared to rise above fear. The big wall on one side of the city was meant to be used for training and it was also the city which was close to a possible natural disaster which lurked on the other side of the wall. But the ones here were dauntless and were ready to stop any lesser disasters and save their people from any problem. They also acted as part-time law enforcers, as law was obeyed most of the time.

“What about the reservation?” asked Dracula. The Vampire Bat replied that there is none, as everyone is equal, and stealing education and jobs is not the style here. “We are not a society that is based on divisions and selfishness, but we live for the other” added the Vampire Bat. Dracula had a deep thought about it. As he wondered about this new world and its possibilities, there was that moment when I turned around and told Dracula: “I am the Vampire Bat, and here’s the world which I remade, away from the known universe!”

I am participating in the #TheWorldRemade activity at BlogAdda in association with India Today #Conclave15

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the video game, Mass Effect.

TeNy

Does it Really Feel Good?

There have been so many so called “feel-good” movies, and it makes one wonder if it is a title which is just used because there is nothing else could used to describe that movie. There has been too much use of that word to describe the recent movies, even the recently released Bangalore Days which actually has nothing to feel that good with even motherhood given no positive points. So many other movies have been asking for that title, or have adorned the movie like a colourless garland. Is it too easy to make some people feel good, or do they make themselves feel good by pressing a button after watching any movie?

So what does feel-good mean? Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary says it is “causing happy and positive feelings about life”, and this is where Bangalore Days completely misses out. But the fans of the movie have been wandering around forcing people to accept their opinions, as it includes fans of too many actors who are part of the multi-starrer. This has become a new device to make bad movies good – a “feel-good movie”. They said the same about Salalah Mobiles, Pattam Pole and Annayum Rasoolum, none of them having that element and are pretty much among the worst.

The poster of North 24 Kaatham (cropped from movie's official page)

The poster of North 24 Kaatham (Cropped from movie’s official page)

To this world of fake feel-good movies, North 24 Kaatham comes and proves to the audience that a true feel-good movie is not about what the fans say, and it can only be understood by the people whose eyes are not tied by the black clothing of celebrity worship. Even as movies like Immanuel, Punyalan Agarbathis and London Bridge do have a certain amount of this feel-good effect, there is nothing like the one cent percent feel-good influence that North 24 Kaatham has on the audience. The winner of Best Feature Film in Malayalam in the 2013 National Film Awards and getting the Best Actor for Fahadh Faasil in the State Film Awards, the movie is making more marks.

The movie has the protagonist going on a journey, and ends up on the road with two strangers on a harthal day with no means of transportation. Our hero is a geek and an introvert with OCD who is not liked by his colleagues. But this wonderful journey will change him in such a way that he is able to go beyond his problems. The journey is woven very nicely with significant lessons at almost every point of the tale. The other two people are also interesting ones, an older honest politician and a social worker. The aim of the journey changes to another one which involves getting the old veteran home as his wife is seriously ill.

The movie has a hero who doesn’t speak much, and the more heroic deeds are rather performed by the female protagonist. She is the smarter and the more active participant of the journey. This is a road movie, and lets not deny its role in the genre, and unlike the movies like Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi, this is not a selfish one, but a powerful message to help others rather than saying that much known dialogue about one deciding his own life and how others don’t really matter. This movie from Anil Radhakrishnan Menon is also a bildungsroman, a story in which the protagonist changes or even gets better over the tale progresses.

Innovative posters by Shilpa Alexander (From movie's official FB page)

Innovative posters by Shilpa Alexander (Cropped from movie’s official FB page)

North 24 Kaatham is a movie that keeps the humanity’s hopes alive for a better tomorrow, and its message of compassion and kindness makes sure that it gives a lot for the audience to be happy about, and obviously feel good. It will play a significant role in restoring faith in humanity sooner or later as we are fed with dumb movies full of mindless violence and sex. The celebrity worshipers, the fans of the worst kind will take it over and praise those movies as greater than whatever movies are known to man, with a ten out of ten rating. There were good and sensible people among them, but where are they? Nowhere to be found in the open?

The main problem which this movie also faced was with the fan-boys and fan-girls, and this was a movie for them to dislike because of its goodness. The interesting thing is that most of them can only use abusive language or illogical excuses without watching the movie. There will be good movies and there is hope in all movie industries, but for that, the fan clubs have to learn to behave instead of abusing other movies and the makers just in the name of appreciating bad superstar movies. The procedure of expressing one’s opinion in a decent way seems to be unknown to some people. This movie could somehow rise above it, but should have had an even better response.

TeNy