All that I Have Needed

There is more than one thing that has been part of my world as an Indian, which has made my life different and special. I have grown up in a rather traditional environment, even though there was no real strictness regarding the same. It was a world which was influenced by more than one religion, and more than one language – there was the influence of more than one community, and more than one style of living here. We had more than one culture, but there was that unity in diversity, which helped us to follow what has been our way of living for a long time, that is for sure.

Among all those things, there is the skill to drive anywhere, and it is something that has been achieved by driving for so long on our roads, going on from the time when I was eighteen, to now our fourth car which is the first diesel car I have possessed. There is so much skill that you see on the road, that you feel prepared for any roads, anywhere. So many things happen on the roads, and there is also a certain amount of forgiveness that happen regarding the traffic on the roads. As long as you obey the traffic rules, you can use the skill that you have gained in this traffic as use it anywhere else, as we are not new to any kind of road.

Surviving with just gravy has been another skill which I have managed to possess in the last few decades. Who needs a side dish or curry when there is gravy, or maybe we can have food with just a little sugar. The simplicity in food has been something which this new generation which is looking for only taste, needs to understand. We just need the food to survive and live through our existence, and we do not live to eat. Wasting food has been considered a quality by many who has too much to spend, but for a developing country like India, food is precious, just like water which has been becoming scarce.

We have also been closer to tea than coffee which is rather the drink of the privileged. Going for the drink of the common man, there has been a better understanding of how to keep it close to the common man rather than to go for the elite class. Tea has always had that quality, which is why India had taken the decision to make it our national drink. We have always loved the drink too, and the tea shops have been the places where the common people gathered, from the towns to the villages, talking about various things, and understanding each other as well as the problems. I have had days surviving just on tea!

There is also this feeling that we have, that never goes. There seems to be some problem with this in the recent days with some people in a few places with low education, but otherwise we have found it easy to have more and more cultures and traditions here. I have always wished for more religions and communities around me despite the fact that we have three of the world’s major religions around. It is the culture of the other that is so fascinating for us, and unless everyone starts to feel nothing other than pure hate for the other, which seems to be a growing tendency, we are all proud of that unity in diversity, and the real Indians are only looking for more of such beautiful diversity.

The great kings from our past has been always in support of such diversity, which should be why there were so many settlements of people from far away. We have always been welcome to new things, and something to add to our already colourful culture – there was nothing against accepting new knowledge and improving our world. I am sure that some events might make people doubt the same – but that is not the case with India as a whole. The essence of this culture hasn’t been lost yet, and those who claim to protect it aren’t the ones who are the real Indians, for it is about those who live according to the same, and let others live too.

There is this mutual respect that has been practiced in the Indian culture from a long time ago, that has been part of our blood too. It is the one thing that will raise our status among the nations, along with that strong spiritual side. This spiritual capabilities has been misused, but in its true essence will go on to become stronger than ever, as hate and abuse has no real existence in our culture. We have always wished for happiness and peace all over the world, and it is where we shall return to. It is for the same that we keep trying, praying and hoping during these days.

Witness the celebration of India’s growing global influence with Lufthansa’s TVC; for it is certainly #MoreIndianThanYouThink.

TeNy

And There was the Need

I have had quite some time as break between passing my MA English exams and getting my first job, and this time period was spent the best by traveling around the town of Aluva or otherwise known as Alwaye as the people going through the railway station would know. Even before it was popularized by what became the second highest grossing Malayalam movie at that time, Premam, we knew that possibilities are endless, and I had a lot of time to undertake a random journey from one part of the town to the other. It never mattered if the journey was alone or with someone.

Watching movies could also happen with the same, and I often took some special time to travel in the KSRTC (Kerala State Transport Corporation) buses, as it has been on these government transportation that most of my life has been depending on – from our house to our flat, and also to our ancestral lands and to our current home, all were connected the best through the KSRTC service; even my schools, colleges and the work place were best reached by the KSRTC, or I preferred them before the private buses. The AluvaPerumbavoor bus route has been my most traveled bus route ever.

Such journeys were needed, because there was not much about keeping on sitting at home all the time. A possible attack from a relative was always there to bring the danger and the terror, and it was capable of destroying a day or maybe even a week with the power, making these journeys the way to making the day better. It was during one of these journeys that I came across this person from another state, standing on the same bus stop as I was, seemingly not sure about which bus to choose from a long queue of transport.

As I was not someone in a hurry, I waited in my usual style, for a bus with empty seats to arrive, and that took some time. It was during that time that he asked about the bus to Angamaly, the other town which has bee popularized by a recently released movie, Angamaly Diaries. We usually expect such a person to ask about how to go to Perumbavoor, but this time, it was Angamaly. That was not that much of a difficult question for me, but him getting there was going to be more difficult. What he needed was an ordinary bus, and that was only possible from the KSRTC bus stand.

So, this was the time to remember “Atithi Devo Bhava”, and I had become the righteous host for the town of Aluva, the place where I was spending most of my youth. Prescribed in the ancient texts and also becoming the tag line of India’s Ministry of Tourism’s campaign, this was to become more and more significant in the wake of racist and nationalist attacks all over the world – at least us, who are part of a civilization with deep roots, and are determined to hold on to keep our values and culture strong, had to make sure that the slogan about “the guest being equal to God” was to stay alive.

Therefore, I decided to travel with him to the KSRTC bus station, and make sure that he got down there to get into the Angamaly bus, that too the ordinary service as he had wanted. When he came out of the bus after getting in, I thought that my understanding of languages was once again bad, but he had come to thank me, and then he returned to the bus to travel to the destination. Well, there can be many success stories, but nothing like being successful in helping others in need – it is part of our culture, and it should be on the top of the list of values that we would be passing on.

Yes, the idea of culture is more than just about behaviour, but how we behave with others does deserve to have the priority. Being Indian is more about how good a person you are, and not about how you force others to say that you and your country are so awesome. It is by how you treat others than others will be seeing you. Abusing people on the Facebook page or App page of an android application is not how one earns respect, and it should be the culture and values from our past, and not what has been developed by a modernised new generation, that should guide our lives.

Witness the celebration of India’s growing global influence in Lufthansa’s TVC; for it is #MoreIndianThanYouThink.

TeNy

Special Class: Great Traditions

Vampire Hamster: Greetings, my dear fellow vampire appendicitis, and I welcome all of you here.

Vampire Crocodile: Wait a minute! Did he just call us appendicitis?

Vampire Alligator: On some occasions, that is also true.

Vampire Panda: I would have been surprised if he had managed to get that one correct.

Vampire Bat: It is apprentice, Squire Hamster.

Vampire Hamster: Oh! I apologize! Yes, my dear fellow vampire apprentices, you are welcome to this special class on the “Great Vampire Family Traditions” which will taken by the Vampire Owl and watched over by the Vampire Bat.This will be the final class before the tea party.

transyl (1)

Vampire Owl: Good evening, students. I hope your coffins are all in good condition and you are enjoyed the darkness inside there. I would like to begin with the most important tradition that we follow here, which the humans never know about. It is called respecting each other ass a person, no matter from where and from what background the other person comes from. This has been a part of the great vampire tradition.

Vampire Crow: I know that very well. The humans disrespect crows every day. They don’t even have wings, and still they do this. I often wonder how evil they would have been if they could fly and had my special colour.

Vampire Penguin: They think that I am cute, and that is the most disrespectful thing.

Vampire Owl: Then there is the tradition of drinking tea. The artificial blood chemical mixed into tea makes the drink a usual part of our tradition. It was introduced for us with the second stage of the New Vampire World, but the roots go back to the Old Vampire Isles. This way, we remain mostly vegetarian.

Vampire Crocodile: The tea is my favourite. When we mix this tradition with the crocodile tradition of Lake Placid, it makes clear that the crocodiles need more tea than the others.

Vampire Panda: That makes no sense. We are from the Kungfu Panda tradition. We need more tea for more energy to practice martial arts.

Vampire Bat: Silence! The individual traditions will be dealt with during another class. This one will be on collective vampire traditions only.

Vampire Owl: Well, you know the tradition of not living according to the advice of the society. It is the elders of the realm and some people who call themselves professionals that keeps telling us that we have to do something and nothing else; that we are not capable of anything else. We have worked hard on this, but we haven’t been able to achieve this like our predecessors did. Still, we will keep trying, and soon we will achieve perfection in this.

Vampire Penguin: I have forgotten the happy feet dance completely. I am good at that.

Vampire Panda: And in my case, the noodles making procedure. I don’t even eat noodles these days.

Vampire Bat: That is once again not part of our class and discussion. Kindly listen to the class. There will time provided for asking questions.

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Vampire Owl: The grand tradition is to respect our history which has defined us and made us what we are now. It lives in us and it shall live through us. We have gone through the times of trouble and fought big wars, but all of us have come out of them stronger and with better understanding, having further care for each life and all that defines us, which has been proven to be very important.

Vampire Bat: And that is my personal favourite.

Vampire Owl: And our final and the most important tradition, to live in harmony with nature, not to exploit it, but to do whatever we can for conservation. We shall return to nature the love that it has provided us, at least in parts. This is a tradition which we intend to teach the humans soon because they are the only creatures who have absolutely no plan of respecting nature.

Vampire Bat: That finishes the lecture.

Vampire Hamster: I believe that will be all from the class, and now we are open to questions and some discussion.

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

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

TeNy

On Responsible Tourism

Exploration is a fine thing to do, and occasional travel refreshes our mind and soul as we wander around those wonderful destinations, whether they are the much visited ones or the locations lesser known. There is the never-ending need to travel, and as we go through these journeys, we arrange our food and stay at some nice place, and take photos of the beauty which is around us. When we are on such a journey, especially through the beauty of nature, we not only have the right to enjoy all these, but also got some responsibilities.

1. The first thing which I would consider as part of the responsible tourism is not to litter, no matter whatever be the circumstances. Well, the situation might differ everywhere, but the nature and our responsibility remains the same. It is a bad idea to leave the trace of our visits here and there. If there is something to be left behind, I would suggest that we leave some love and take home only the beauty which we have captured on our cameras and phones along with those rejuvenating memories.

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

Why someone feel the need to litter at places like these is beyond understanding!

2. I would also suggest treating these places as if they are our own homes. Will we make our own homes dirty? We are supposed to keep these places clean as we would do to our own houses. We do see those historical monuments which are not in the best shape due to the visitors who find some fun in writing on them as well as spitting here and there. Along with conservation of nature, there is the need to preserve these archaeological monuments which tells the story of our past; it is also our duty to consider them as part of our culture.

3. We should also respect the local culture with their customs and traditions. After all, it is their world into which we enter. If something is banned somewhere, lets not use it, whether it is parts of the law or the tradition. If alcohol is banned, do not use it; the same goes for smoking. If some place has a vegetarian traditions, lets follow the same. If beef or pork is not supposed to be part of the culture at some place, respect that too. Wherever photography is prohibited, lets not take photos; there will always be other areas where it can be done.

4. There is also the choice to minimize the pollution in other ways. When there are four people on a journey, you don’t need to use two cars. But unfortunately, some parents who provide too much for their children make sure that they go on and show some style with the extra vehicle. It is mostly in the name of the homes being a few kilometres away from each other. If you are entering a place close to nature, I would suggest keeping the vehicle some more distance away from the place than you are expected to.

5. One should also stop making noises causing disturbance to other people as well as creatures of nature. This kind of people create more terror than most of the others, because they instantly destroy the peace which prevails in areas close to nature. It is a case of lack of respect, and unfortunately, this one can’t be taught by anyone else, but their own people. There is too much disrespect going on among people, especially the new generation and it might to be too much to ask this, but we have to.

So, when Thommankuthu calls you, will you be there? :D

So, you really want to disturb nature and the other visitors – then be ashamed.

6. As a visitor, it is our duty to be aware of where we are going and what we are doing, not just one of us, but the whole group of people. It will help us to cause the minimum impact during our visits and there is nothing which makes a negative impression is left behind. Enough information about the place, its people and nature will help us to make sure that the journey is a responsible one. Even if a place is mostly unexplored, there will be always something available at least related to the surrounding areas.

I am blogging for #ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda

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

TeNy

The Types of People

I have watched too many movies in the theatres, and what I have found out from my time there is that there are many types of people whom we see there, and the variety is actually more than the kind of people whom we meet otherwise. They can be classified into different categories according to their actions there. Most of them are seen only in the local theatres, and looking for them in the multiplexes of the malls rarely work. I am hoping to add these people to different kinds of magical races some day 😀

The Screamers: They are everywhere and they exist to disrupt the experiences of others. They scream and occasionally howl. They are so much skilled at it that one has to wonder if they were trained by banshees and werewolves. I hope that no theatre exists near any zoo, because the animals there will feel strange. I am sure that all of you have seen these kind in theatres more than the rest who are to come, because they are not attached to any group – they just scream and howl as if it is their basic right. If it is so, I don’t want to hear about the duties.

All hell will break loose - note the point :D

All hell will break loose because it is their season – please note the point 😀

People of the Foot: What is the first thing which is shown on the screen before the movie starts? Do not place your legs on the front seat. But it is what these people do from the moment they find the seats. They are the people of the foot, as we always see more of their feet than faces as far as these people are concerned. I have often wondered if they watch movie with their feet and that their eyes are placed there. May be they walk on their heads – you can’t say for sure because it is a twisted world. May be this is a disease which they have inherited after watching Happy Feet.

The Abusers: We think that with them being very active in Facebook, they might be less active otherwise, but that is a wrong conception. They abuse full time on Facebook and part-time in the theatres. The reasons? Well, when there is that anti-smoking advertisement, a delay in closing the doors, not switching off the last light in time, displaying too many advertisements – the list is rather endless. The display of this special culture in the darkness is a lot more convenient because the decent character of these people exists only when the light is there. When it is dark, they let the everyone know that multiplexes are better options for the families.

Multiplexes have something like these - local theatres should have at least tea!

Multiplexes have something like these – local theatres should have at least tea!

The Ignorant Evil: Yes, ignorance is not a crime, but making a terrible mess out there due to the same is a terrible thing. This happens mostly during a Hollywood movie, especially those without subtitles. Some people really can’t get it, and it is okay – but when they keep talking loudly about it, others can’t hear at all. I had this terrible experience while watching Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; they were keeping on talking about why is it so, and why did that guy do that or talk like that to the other person or why are they not like this or that. The same is somewhat displayed during Hindi and Tamil movies too.

Slaves of Science: This is where the mobile phones take over. They already talk loud, and along with that, they have to talk on the mobiles too. Yes, it should be very important matter, but they keep talking and talking until the interval, sometimes continuing with the same thing in the second half too, and that makes one wonder if they have come to watch the movie or talk on the phone in the darkness. May be the mobile phone usage in the theatre comes as a special offer. Slavery has been abolished; these people should understand that in order to move out of the enslaving technology, and watch a movie as it should be; without making anyone uncomfortable.

Natural Fans: Well, this category needs no introduction. They are in the theatre for only two things, to clap and to howl – the first thing for their favourite actors, and the second for the others. From the beginning to the end, they make such an effect in the theatre that others won’t be enjoying the movie – sometimes, people will end up hearing nothing. Sometimes, we have to wonder what are they clapping for, especially when there is soem pathetic dialogue being delivered on the screen. Well, what can people do when they are programmed to love people who don’t know them, and hate random people?

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

TeNy

Why Interview with the Vampire?

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles – you should have heard the name, and there is no reason why you won’t have, because I have been writing something or talking about the same for around eight to ten years now. Based on the work of the same name by Anne Rice, published in 1976, the movie based on the same and starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas released in 1994. This has also been the main pillar for my thesis for MA English Language and Literature.

One thing which is certain about this work is that Anne Rice has never created a better work after this one, and this first book from her remains her best. Created right after the death of her little daughter and bringing up the idea of the child vampire (something of depressing beauty), there are not many surprises about that. It also has Louis de Pointe du Lac, the most humane vampire as its main protagonist, as the creature with so much of conscience and a big amount of philosophy as he denies his own existence as the creature of the night and struggle with himself being “the other”.

The extremity of "the other" - the child vampire Claudia.

The extremity of “the other” – manifestation of the tormented soul of a child vampire.

Anne Rice has successfully used the history from different ages and locations to supplement her story. There is the relation of the characters with the time period of their existence, and for vampires, they belong to more than one age and with the new birth, they are not people one place or even one nation. As they belong to the universe of immortality, history and cultures begins to be part of them, and they would experienced most of it without reading one single book. History remains the background here.

The major incidents of the world do make changes on the vampires, and the human world around them gets affected by the vampires as much as they do in return. The novel itself was written during the time of the hippies, and at the same time period, Anne Rice brings this novel on vampires to the light. Even Louis chooses San Franciso, the centre of all these. The vampires come to us as people who are different and are mostly confused, except for those vampires who have lived through centuries and have a lot of experience to deal with situations. Some of them are already part of many cultures.

Interview with the Vampire - there is more to that talk.

Interview with the Vampire – there is more to that talk, but even more to experience.

We can even see a certain amount of the Cold War between capitalism and communism between the two protagonists of the novel as even though they never really drops the nuke, the tension is high due to the difference in their thought processes and ideologies. The city where the flashback begins is also at New Orleans, home to the cities of the dead. There is so much of the mystery which surrounds that world and happens to be the perfect place to discover a vampire.

Louis’ rebirth into vampirism also occurs in 1791 after the French Revolution begins. The doubt in Louis’ mind only increases, and he moves towards finding his own ideology as the grasp of the religious institutions lessens and morality also goes down. There are some interesting quotes which are made by the characters about the same, like evil being a point of view, God also kills and on goodness being too difficult. It remains a period of doubt for both humans as well as vampires. You see changes with the vampires of Paris and those of other parts of Europe.

The Embrace of the Vampire - This theatre of the vampires is an extension of culture.

Embrace of the Vampire – This theatre of vampires is an extension of the cultural side.

The vampire characters are given not just the human feelings here, and the relation in not just through the emotions, but through a certain shared history which reflects sometimes as the background for the characters and at other times, in relation to the times of the author when she wrote it. This makes the novel more related to humanity rather than adding trivial things like romance as in many other vampire works. It becomes part of the cultures of different parts of the world for centuries. For the movie, the cast takes the whole thing to another level.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Facebook Page of Interview with the Vampire. The ideas presented here are further extended from my reading while working for my Post-graduation thesis, and most of these are also part of the same in another way.

TeNy