Movies for Holidays

As the season of holidays is coming up during April and May after the early lockdown for Corona virus pandemic, there are a few movies which we can look forward to. Even though the theatres are closed for now along with the schools and colleges, we can be sure that we will go past the epidemic and come strong during the next month, or maybe even earlier. Some movie releases might be missed in the mean time, but as we follow the instructions of the health department and come back stronger, there will be more movies for us to watch in the theatres. The summer holidays will have a lot of these, are some might even have a late release to go with it.

1. Black Widow: Marvel might have lost some of its greatest heroes in the form of Avengers, but it is not yet over for them, as this time we go back and follow the events of Captain America: Civil War, with Natasha Romanoff finding herself against a conspiracy. Well, we never really had enough of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and she was surely the one superhero who needed a solo movie over the much overrated Captain Marvel. The potential for a character like this is so much, and it could rise above the usual superhero stuff with ease. Whatever those people with superpowers could do, Black Widow can surely do better and in a smarter way, and you no longer miss all Avengers.

2. The Personal History of David Copperfield: We are never really short of watching the novels of Charles Dickens on the big screen. Coming from the greatest novelist of Victorian Age dealing with the common man, all these novels make great impact on the big screen. Even though my favourite novel remains A Christmas Carol and The Great Expectations has been one novel which works really well on the big screen along with Oliver Twist, this one also would have enough for us. It is never too late to go through Dickens’ most autobiographical novel even when not on the pages.

3. The Green Knight: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a tale from English medieval period which gave its poet the name, Gawain Poet. One of the best known tales about King Arthur, and the version known to us being written in Middle English, the movie takes us back to the Arthurian Legend. The movie has Alicia Vikander, and that is a name we would love to have in a medieval setting. The legend of King Arthur, his knights, queen, the sword in the stone Excalibur and the final resting place Avalon have always inspired literature lovers, and may this movie also do the same.

4. Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea: The Malayalam movie with Mohanlal in the titular leading role is also something much awaited, even more than the overrated Bollywood movies – it has made that kind of an impact already, and even though a similar movie out of history Mamangam didn’t receive that much of an appreciation, one can only keep waiting for this one considering the grandeur and the effort. I also have my own doubts about it, but I am also hoping for the best – it should release next month itself, as the theatres here have closed due to Corona virus this month.

5. Artemis Fowl: Somewhat taken from Eoin Colfer’s works of the same name, the movie takes one back to the world of a twelve year old criminal mastermind. A much known book here is not something that we have followed much at this part of the world, even though it has been well known. The movie becomes an opportunity to get back to this. A thriller fairy tale and the conflict between good and evil never gets old. The whole setup leading to the movie does look good. Now, it is to be seen how well the movie turn out to be – it also needs to be seen if this is released here.

6. Spiral and Run: We also need the regular dose of horror movies and thrillers, and these two seem to come up with some of it. Both movies seem to have something grand in store, with very much sinister secrets out there. It seems that we will know very less about these, but sometimes, it is the beauty of the same. Lets have more of similar movies, as long as they release here – we are surely going to have a rush of movies as the theatres come back to life next month, and we can hope that these would also join in between all the rush which has been happening.

***All the images used on this blog post were taken from the official Facebook pages of the movies and the actors or actresses performing in them.

**And belated happy birthday to me.

<— Click here to go to the previous post.

TeNy

Gateway to a New World

It has never really been out of fashion to go abroad to find a job, or to continue studies, and Kerala has had a glorious past related to it. We have such a huge number of friends and relatives abroad, and most of them have settled down there, or are planning to do the same. I have many of them who are living mostly in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The difference is that those who are in Americas or Europe have not much of a plan to return to India, developing new roots in a new world.

Rootlessness might be the be the one problem that a lot of people might face during their new adventures abroad, and we have noticed the same in many novels and poems. In a new world, one can easily feel like an outsider – the barrier in the form of cultural differences can be quite natural. Being far away from one’s support network, and getting to be part of an unfamiliar world will be more than just a simple challenge. There will be the questions about what all actions are socially accepted, and food will surely mean confusion.

We all have our own journeys to make, far away, and settle down.

We will be more or less like insects or water bugs floating over rivers, with no roots. It will surely be different for everyone, and some people can adjust to this new world better and faster. But to get to that at a later point of time, passport validities, visa applications, country regulations, university and job acceptances along with others will be on our way. We will need to save a lot of money too, and that would depend on the country that we are planning to choose for our future.

Well, we have always known that studying or working abroad comes up with many problems, beginning with passport problems and English tests. Compared to some of the Indian languages and many others, English might be easier, but the non-native speakers can easily have problems as they try to get deeper into it. The problem that we have here is that most of us never really enjoyed our English during our childhood in schools, and our syllabus has had so many limitations. As English is a language that we don’t regularly use, it doesn’t help much either.

Pearson India will make sure that at least one step is smooth. PTE Academic is the world’s leading computer-based English test which is quick, flexible and secure. A three hour test session will be enough, with results available in five business days. There are PTE academic test centres located in more than fifty countries worldwide. In India, there are test centres at Kolkata, Ludhiana, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Nagpur. The centre at Coimbatore makes it easy for the aspirants from Kerala, making one say #DefinitelyPTE.

It also has a shortened and simplified test process. The three part test assesses speaking, listening, reading and writing efficiently. There will be questions related to answering short questions and essays, summarizing spoken texts, selecting the missing words, reading aloud, repeating said sentences, highlighting incorrect words, re-ordering written paragraphs, summarizing written texts and more. When a score alignment with other tests like IELTS and TOEFL are commonly attempted, PTE Academic is easier to check.

PTE Academic, as an English Language Test, is accepted by thousands of organizations all around the world, including popular institutions such as Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Liverpool, Durham University, University of Sydney, University of Manchester, University of Glasgow and Imperial College London – the names that say #DefinitelyPTE is rather more. The list of universities accepting the same, is only growing as each year passes. Instead of going for the regular options, one can safely say #DefinitelyPTE, and choose it as the right English Test. There is also the PTE Preparation Course which can be of help, with fine practice.

Check here for the English Language Test from PTE Academic.

TeNy

Some Fun with Studies

English in India has never felt more necessary than that last few years. Even though the regional languages are also having their influence with the support of state governments, coming up with new ways to promote them, trying to make sure that they are doing well, English has been increasing its hold on the students as well as the parents. Hindi also has its say, but it is English that is having an even bigger say in the nation as a whole at one point or the other, as it is having all around the world. With an influence that only gets better, learning the basics of English has been a need, more than a desire these days.

It is here that Nihar Naturals Shanti Amla comes to the picture with its Pathshala Funwala initiative that provides the option of good and smarter education everywhere, making it more accessible, and without discrimination, also possessing a special charm. It is more than just a need during these times, especially in those remote places far away from those cities and towns. But it is not just that, which Pathshala Funwala makes sure about, as they provide a unique toll free number, 8055667788 to help children who have no chance, but really wishes to learn English language.

A long time ago, when I was a child, I wasn’t that good at English either. My interest in the subject came only in the later high school, when I had a good teacher, Miss. Aleyamma Varghese, who happens to be one of the best teachers I ever had – she also went on to become the headmistress of the school later. Your desire to learn a language, especially a language which is not spoken widely among your people, only comes to us when we have good teachers, and Nihar Shanti Amla’s Pathshala Funwala’s toll free number becomes the right teacher, giving children the tips.

Yes, you can have the child sit in a classroom if there is such an option available. But you can be certain that this option could be rather better. Children want some fun to go with learning, and if the studies can connect with them really well, it will feel simple and a lot interesting. It is one way to make sure that they don’t forget the lessons that easily – during our times, they had the rod, they made us stand outside the classroom, they came up with those impositions which increased in number and they even asked us to bring our parents, especially father to meet the class teacher; but those times were different.

I know a number of people who make the excuses for not learning English, as their learning process was just too boring and forced upon them – never did they want to learn the language because they didn’t need to, and never really had to speak in English. Right after they get out of the school or college, they just let the language, along with its literature vanish into thin air. There is the exception of having Hollywood movies which you will feel the need to watch, but most of the movies are about visual extravaganze – at least those which gets wide release in India belong to that category and got less to contribute to the language.

Well, English is a lot of fun. Sooner or later, more and more people will realize that and work accordingly. So, it is up-to all children, including that child you know, who is not getting access to good English education, or even education as a whole, to get back to the track. It is a fast moving world, and we don’t want any child to be falling behind because he or she, or the father or mother never really knew that there was another option. We need them to know, and we need them to move forward, and not sink in the muddy place which is always there to take people in there instead of letting them fly.

The Tea Cerebration(s) recommend you to share this special service to the needy ones who can get the best out of this simple and fun way of learning the language. It is for us to be part of a change, which could make a difference in our world. When you can make a cause work, it is something that adds to your list of virtuous deeds rather than to that resume which you send to make a few thousands of money every month. In making the world around us better, starting with the children, we have the right thing to do for a group of future citizens who are capable of more than they seem to be. So, do keep the number in mind – 8055667788

I am blogging about Pathshala Funwala by Nihar Shanti Amla Oil in association with BlogAdda.

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

The Twist of Fate

It was a long time ago that I had this doubt in choosing between English and History for graduation. The problem was that I liked both of the subjects almost equally, and couldn’t figure out a choice between them. I was also not confident about choosing between these two also because I was a very doubtful person, and wondered which of these would do me good and which one won’t be that good for me. There was not going to be much difference in the studies for me, but there was going to be certain change in the results.

I used to read both English Literature and History works, and so that was going to be a problem. So, I decided to ask a few people. The result was all on one side though, in favour of English. I tried tossing a coin, and even that showed English. Only the time spent in the games Age of Empires, Rise of Nations, Civilization and Caesar had me with another ideas. People were all so much in favour of English that I wondered why they hadn’t recommended Humanities to me for Plus Two. Still, I was closer to one of my two favourite courses then.

And then there was the Lighthouse Beach at Kovalam.

We need lighthouses in our lives to show where to go without hitting the rocks.

I was still going to tell these people when I joined and where, because letting too many people know things was the reason behind most of my problems. So, I called my friend who was studying outside Kerala, and as many of the others and almost every friend whom I had from school or neighbourhood, he was also going through Engineering. If he wasn’t going through that course, that would have been a surprise, because I have had the title of being the only one strange non-Engineer, non-Doctor person.

He told me to go on with English because he knew that I wrote something which none of my friends wanted to read or understand. I felt that it was a fair suggestion because I had often wondered what I wrote about and why. Choosing English could give me a better direction at that time. There was the need to read more and direct my writings better. So, choosing English was the right thing to do, and History could happen on another day. So, the friend went back to the procedure of collecting supplementary exams, and I made clear about the choice again.

During these days, I wonder about the decisions, but choosing English hasn’t really bothered me at all, even as I couldn’t find a job after that; it is just that the route doesn’t make me sad. It is something that I had wanted and with both the BA as well as the MA, I have never really felt any big trouble during the course. Even now, I find happiness in being MA English graduate rather than any other, and this also meant that I could study in the one college where I always wanted to study. It was the right choice; may be History would have done just okay, but the choice was still fine.

Darkness spreads. But how fast can that happen?

Choices do make things happen – what if we take that wrong turn instead?

But I did take my second degree in History too, and so it wasn’t really a loss even there. In the end, it was about which degree to come first and which one to follow. With nothing lost in the end, the #SachchiAdvice worked better because the language had given me more power, and I could use a good amount of this acquired strength while writing for the History exams too. History had also come as one of the extra subjects to study for the English graduation. So everything was related.

Nowadays, when I wonder what I should have done different or what I could have chosen in another way, this choice doesn’t come to the list of bad decisions, and it happens to be the #SachchiAdvice which has made things work. There is always the need for some confirmation related to the decisions from people we trust, and I haven’t been that good in making decisions. But here, the decision was the kind which still inspires me to write. I feel that if I was not MA English, I wouldn’t have even started a blog at WordPress.

I am participating in the #SachchiAdvice Contest by MaxLife in Association with BlogAdda.

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

TeNy

UCC: Random Thoughts

It has been two years. Time has moved fast, and I still remain where I was by the end of July 2013. I was going through the final stages of my project on vampire as a cultural construct at that time, and after two years, the vampires remain, or rather the ghosts of the vampires, and the new ones have also joined my imaginations. After two years, nothing really has happened with my life except for the fact that the distance has increased considerably; distance not just to one thing, but to many.

I am away from my college, the students and teachers, further than ever. We have moved from Aluva to the present location, which means myself and the college no longer shares the same town. Even after leaving Union Christian College, I used to wander around the place, having tea at the nearby restaurants and bakeries. I was close enough, and I had a few visits after I left officially. There were a few friends visited and the teachers were also there. The distance from my home to college remained three kilometres at that time.

Photo0137

Now, it has all changed though. With the distance, the world itself has broken away into two, one from the past and the other of the present which is a void. My only hope remains that my former classmates will call me for their weddings. I do suspect that some of the girls might be already married and I never knew. I hope that the food at those functions was not that good; otherwise I will be very disappointed. Well, I guess that I was pretty much expendable and the time had arrived to use that particular characteristic – I feel that now.

Everyone has evolved into something else, and there are no assignments, seminars or projects to talk about or to be of help. So, there is more chance of my mobile number being scrapped, and someone can always say that it was the mobile which was lost or changed. They are more practical and I am a wanderer in the thoughts which won’t have any significance for a normal person these days. May be I can use that “former intellectual” tag and use it on my name plate, hanging it on the gate of my house as a memory.

Photo0163

UC College has surely made me a better person, and I have talked about it on my earlier post. But the depressing thing was that it was too short a period of time for me. There were also enough strikes to make it even shorter. I feel it even more after watching the college in the movie Premam. But I would still not doubt the fact that it was the right time for me to study there. I did feel that the forces present there at that time were custom made for me, including the students and the faculty.

When you feel that a place has made you a better person, and now you have no connection with the same, it should feel terrible, or at least for me, it does. I know that as we consider the expected model of the college days, mine wouldn’t count as interesting. It is not worthy of being an entertaining collection of two years for humanity. I haven’t had a huge friend circle, and without those quiz programs, I would have been mostly unknown in my department too. But I was glad with what I had, and the books.

Photo0178

I enjoyed watching the rain which made the college which is close to nature even more beautiful, joining my favourite lecturers for a cup of tea or having onion vada with one of those faces which I knew. I loved to go to the library and collect those vampire-related works, and I loved where I parked my car. I won’t say that it was about having fun, and for the same reason, it was closer to my heart. I have enjoyed loneliness with a book under the tree and keeping on ordering for more tea at the canteen while working on my vampire thesis. And now there is no connection. My previous post, The College Days at UCC which was a contest winner, had a more optimistic side, but it has been some time!

***The photos were taken by me at UC College; there are no surprises there.

TeNy