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.

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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.

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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.

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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

The Effect of Mass Effect

There are times when you remember those lessons from teachers, and among them, there were games, about which I had written earlier. Along with Age of Empires‘ lessons in history, Age of Mythology‘s myth related classes and Tomb Raider‘s attempt to improve my puzzle solving skills to which Prince of Persia also contributed, there was always Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 Arena to teach how to control anger by helping us blow a computer bot’s head off and shout “Head Shot”. But among these games, what Mass Effect taught was more of an endless collection of things. Here are a few.

Spare some time to look at the world of Mass Effect - gaming can wait :D

Spare some time to look at the beautiful world of Mass Effect – gaming can wait 😀

1. It is a big, strange world, and there is the need for tolerance: You take control of SSV Normandy, a powerful spaceship as Commander Shepard, with missions and a chance to meet different species of aliens along with completing the objectives. It is not so different from being in our own world except for the appearances of the aliens and all the shooting that can happen at anytime. We are all aliens on Earth as these people are when travelling through different parts of the galaxy. Every species is different, but we can get along with most of them with some tolerance.

Isn't this the best time to travel to Mercury? Or should we wait for Santa Claus? :D

Isn’t this the best time to travel to Mercury? Or should we wait for Santa Claus? 😀

2. Exploration is a must and without it, there is a void: The game’s vast universe is something to be explored. There are some strange planets, and we don’t know what awaits us there. The only thing that we can confirm is about the nature of the elements there. After we get there, there is the chance to get lost in the beauty of the detail there. There are times when creatures come out of nowhere, and the sand serpent kind of things might be common. We face the dangers of the world there as we struggle with the competition in the society in the world outside gaming. It is only then that we get better.

Another planet to explore, and a vehicle which suits the same.

Here is another planet to explore, and a vehicle which suits the terrains of these worlds.

3. Choices make big impact, not just for you, but for many others: There are many choices that we have to make in this game. Not only our actions, but also our words make a difference. It can make a hostile drop his gun, one of our allies turn against us or a friend shoot us. It can lead to the death of one of our soldiers, and there are times when we have to choose a life over the other, or the life of someone over the mission. The game is full of choices, and I had never played a game which had made me choose so much and also suffer the consequences in a few more minutes of play. Not so different from real life, is it?

Make the choice. Meanwhile, note the point from Ashley :D

Make the choice. Meanwhile, note the point from Ashley Williams who speaks the truth 😀

4. There is always something more than what meets the eye: Mass Effect does have a twisted story, and a lot of effort has been put in there to make sure that it doesn’t end up as just another shooter with guns and blood making the rules. Even as things would eventually lead to an alien race called The Reapers who would come and harvest the developed life as they always did, there are lots of twists concerning the same, and our protagonist has to fight more than just the harbingers or the final agents of Armageddon.

An ancient civilization devastated. But it should still have a few surprises.

An ancient civilization devastated. But it should still have a few surprises for our captain.

5. Settle your differences before it is too late: Mass Effect is a game that thrives on relationships. There is friendship as well as the romantic relationship that blossoms for the protagonist, and displeasure is another side of the same. Just like in the game, we are aware of a possible end of the world considering the recent terrorist attacks and acts of hatred – so it becomes our duty to be tolerant of others, and hope for a better future. There was something more about this, but by memory is a little faded.

You are already in the battle. Better before death than in afterlife.

You are already in the middle of a big battle. Better before death than later in afterlife.

I have never played another game like Mass Effect. Most of you have watched Interstellar, but this game which came in 2007 had a lot of space exploration elements. It is one of those rare games that give so much choice. There is the movie on the same, which is a work in progress – it is going to be huge. There is already an animated movie Mass Effect: Paragon Lost, and two sequels to the game. Do you know that Mass Effect 2 is considered one of the greatest games of all time? I have a lot less idea about Mass Effect 3, but all three games were received with a lot of acclaim.

Oh no! This is not where I parked my spaceship, or is it? :D

Oh no! This is not that area of the galaxy where I parked my fantastic spaceship, or is it? 😀

*All images used in this blog post are the screenshots of my game-play from Mass Effect.

TeNy