More than One Label

As Gillette Venus and BlogAdda takes the one-dimensional labels out of women, and brings to light, those multitude of things that make them who they are, I would like to contribute with something about my cousin sister about whom I have always had pride, and who has always deserved more applause and love than anyone else. I have known her since my birth, and I am proud about the choices that she has made in her life.

She has been the good daughter in her family, helping her mother in all ways possible along with studying at the college. Her being a good sister was evident with her elder brother as well as with us cousin-brothers and sisters as she became a great role model to all of us, and her presence as the guiding light was there even when I was going through dark times. Still, there was no random advice, but help.

A very old photo of my cousin-sister and sister :D

A very old photo of my cousin-sister and sister 😀 Don’t tell my sis that I didn’t write on her 😛

She has been firm in her decisions, and powerful in her ideas, and the quality of compassion was something that she seemed to have had for a very long along with her time spent in prayers. Being a compassionate human being was never something of lower preference for her. She knew that her prayers had answers, and never hesitated or doubted, unlike a number of her cousins which included us.

So, when we went to Kolkata in 2011, meeting her again was a major reason for that journey, while not denying the everlasting love for the City of Joy. She had joined the congregation of Missionaries of Charity hoping to do something for the poor and the downtrodden. We went to a number of children’s homes, old-age homes and places like Home for the Dying and Mother House. Visiting Kolkata had a lot to do with visiting her, who had spare time now after years of joining the service.

A photo taken in 2011 - tomb of Mother Teresa at Mother House, Kolkata

A photo taken during the journey in 2011 – tomb of Mother Teresa at Mother House, Kolkata

When I was a child, I used to wonder why she had joined that Roman Catholic group of religious sisters which needed more sacrifice and a lot more of the vow for poverty than any other group of nuns. Even her relatives had wondered if she could have joined a local congregation of nuns and did well in that community. But now, I know that it was because she was ready for it and this was another role that she wanted to do not for herself or to the taste of the people who knew her, but for the society.

Compassion had been coming naturally to her, and helping people was something that she longed for. Almost each and every place which had children needing help, she was there, and anger was something that never found her. In my whole life, I have never found her angry. Not ready to make a choice, she chose to be educated, and also decided go the way she wanted to, and that was related to social service, no matter what the relatives had said. Salute to her for that decision.

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus

I thank BlogAdda and Gillette for the opportunity to write on this topic. I also take this opportunity to tag Moon, Najm, Anita  and Sucheta to share their awesome views on the topic. Click on this link to know more about it: http://blog.blogadda.com/2015/01/08/useyourand-break-free-with-gillette-venus-indian-women-bloggers. And please don’t forget to acknowledge me in your posts. Thank you. *All photos used in this blog post are mine only.

TeNy

The Choices of Life

Gillette Venus and BlogAdda want you to write about someone, a woman who made a journey from ‘OR’ to ‘AND’, the one who immediately comes to my mind is my mother. I would think that the same applies to many other people too, and I had always wanted to write something about her, and it is good to be given such an opportunity rather than keep thinking about it.

There are a few things that I have heard about her from her brothers and cousins. Among them, the most prominent one is about her double promotion in the school. It is something that I have not heard much about, but I know that only the best gets that. Another thing that I have known is that my grandparents wanted her to be a doctor as my grandfather himself was one. But yes, my mother always had better ideas.

That old wedding photo which serves as the "mandatory photo of the person" :D

That old wedding photo – half of it serves as the “mandatory photo of the person” 😀

Her first preference was always to get a job at a firm owned by the government, and for which she attended MA Sociology at Saint Teresa’s College, Cochin. Obviously, getting her married off was the need for her parents, especially as her sister was married off very early. But she made sure that she got a job right after her course making sure that it was not just an OR for her, but an AND – she was going to work and then get married.

It was not really the pattern to follow at that time among her relatives as there were not many working women among her close relatives, and neither would there be among my father’s family whom she was to marry after a few years. But she had chosen to be ahead of the age, and get that job at the Union Bank of India. That was her journey from OR to AND, not without difficulty, but with confidence.

On the day she retired, the rain never stopped for more than a few minutes :D

On the day she retired, even the rain never stopped for more than a few minutes 😀

She could follow her heart at that time period, and remains an inspiration for me when I struggle to follow mine. I am surprised at so many so called “achieving aunties” who think only about money twenty four hours a day, and I am glad to have a mother who acknowledges my right to study more, and also my privilege to stay single until I get settled in my way. There are always those relatives who are not ready to agree and pass on the judgments, and there is always one person who knows better; my mother. Now she has just retired after thirty seven years of service at the bank, after balancing her work and family life so well.

And then when it is the time to honour and celebrate the women in my life, there is just one who stands above the rest. Yes, there are not many other women who would let me share their stories and give me permission to put their photos on a blog too 😀 I had my difficulties in getting this photo too, but this was the better option as she didn’t want any of her newer photos to be used. Yes, this is also one of my favourite photos of my parents 😛

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus

I thank BlogAdda and Gillette for the opportunity to write on this topic. I acknowledge the tag of Ranjini for this blog post from http://rangelz.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/and-is-given-for-a-reason-use-it/. I also take this opportunity to tag Vartika, Tara, Namrata and Sagarika to share their awesome views on the topic. Click on this link to know more about it: http://blog.blogadda.com/2015/01/08/useyourand-break-free-with-gillette-venus-indian-women-bloggers. And don’t forget to acknowledge me in your posts. Thank you. *The photos used in this blog post are mine.

TeNy

Tomorrow Rarely Dies

*This story features the major characters from the two movies John Wick and Hitman (one of the most admired video games of all time, and one of those games which had me very interested in it for years – I might still give it another try). The two assassins here are John Wick a.k.a. “The Boogeyman” and “Agent Codename 47” from the respective movies. The story takes place after the movie John Wick, and also after the movie Hitman even as nothing much of his past is mentioned in this tale. 

John Wick wandered around with his newly found companion dog. He had finished the revenge on the Russian mobsters and was now spending his time in peace in the memories of his dead wife and that lost puppy. His new home was away from the city, in the countryside with his house surrounded by nothing, but trees.

Shave John Wick. Being Boogeyman doesn't need a beard.

Shave at some point of time, John Wick. Being Boogeyman doesn’t need a beard.

All of a sudden, a gunshot was heard. He felt something touch his hair on the way and as he looked at where it was headed, he saw a bullet mark on the tree on his left. He quickly took his gun from the pocket and started shooting without any stop in between.

A clean shaven face emerged from behind the trees and took one shot which hit John on the shoulders. He recognized the face. “Agent 47” he said. “Damn you assassins. Can’t you stop it now. Everyone is dead because I killed them. It has been a long time, and there is nobody to pay you for my head. It is so difficult being a retired asssassin” complained John.

“You are mistaken. I don’t do this for money. I do this for fun. You were killing people just in the name of a dog, and therefore am I not better? I do this as my special Christmas entertainment. I am a predator and I am trained for it. That old man might have died, but the offer was never closed and it still stands. I am doing this job free of cost, and I also miss Miss Perkins. This might even inspire another video game and a movie franchise like Alien vs Predator. Hitman vs Boogeyman; sounds fair” said Agent 47.

Agent 47 meant business as he always did. I doubt if anyone can find an occasion when he faltered. As John tried to make another attempt, Agent 47 retaliated with another shot which hit him on the other shoulder, making it almost impossible for him to target. John rolled away with his injured shoulders and made it into his house with Agent 47 waiting outside with his favourite weapon, AMT Hardballer.

“Is there space for a well groomed face in your house? I have never seen you under my bed. Aren’t you the one afraid of razors, Mr. Boogeyman?” Agent 47 asked loudly.

You don't mess with Agent 47 - look at the confidence of having shaved :D

You don’t mess with Agent 47 – look at the confidence of having shaved 😀

John took his Gillette Fusion razor and started shaving, as gunshots were firing on the outside. Agent 47 was breaking in. But John had shaven now, gaining his confidence and has put his assassin’s suit on, as he is ready as he loaded his Heckler & Koch P30. With the bullets having only scratched him and having taken painkillers, he is back to doing what he did the best, as the fiery Boogeyman. The real battle starts now as the assassins in suits, separated only by the hairstyle and the colour of the ties, stood behind two pillars.

*Moral of the story: Shave for the best, and do your job with confidence.

*The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of John Wick and Hitman: Agent 47 movies of 2014 and 2015 respectively. I’m tagging some of my blogger friends for the same activity: SuchetaAda, Anita and Mahesh. Please don’t forget to mention that you were referred by me in your post.

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette.

Here are the themes for your blog post-
Topics for Men:

Opportunities – Stories or instances where you missed out on an opportunity because of a ungroomed look.
Luck or Confidence? Will you leave your fate in the hands of destiny or will you step up and say yes to a well- groomed face to be at your best everyday? #WillYouShave?
Topics for Ladies:
An instance when a stubble came in the way of a man’s chance to make a good impression.
An instance when a well groomed look ensured that they struck gold on an opportunity given to them.

TeNy

The Day of the Wizard

*This post has the characters from the story of “Mayavi” from the children’s book Balarama owned by the Malayala Manorama Group. I am taking this opportunity to bring back those memories, and at the same time participate in the #WillYouShave activity.

The dark wizard Kuttusan sat there on the side of the river. His hopes of capturing the Mayavi the little devil were all gone now. He looked into the river and saw his face for the nth time and wondered what he had to do to change the situation. He had considered him the Indian Dumbledore as well as Gandalf, just with a little more of the dark shades – but he was failing, even after knowing the bling bling spell. Why? He wondered.

“Yo, kuttusan uncle. I have heard that you got problems” said a man dressed in red.

“Who are you? Dressed in red? Are you the new pilot of our magic spear?” Kuttusan wondered.

“I am Doctor Shave. I have come with a solution to your problems” he said.

The grand team of three, with mega plans being prepared.

The grand team of three, with mega plans being prepared in the renovated dark cave.

“No, we don’t need doctors here. We get healed by magical powers, especially the tlatiluco spell of healing. There is no cure for baldness though, as you can see from my head. Are you from a hair fixing company? I would like that”.

“No, I am talking about your only problem. Mayavi. The one and only Mayavi”.

“What? How do you know? What about it?” Kuttusan asked.

“Everyone in Kerala knows about that. I used to read it as a kid, but it is only now that I understood the right way to do it. Please listen to my advice”.

“Yes, tell me. I am listening”.

“You have to shave” said Doctor Shave.

“What? Why should I do that? This is the symbol of great wizards. Haven’t you watched Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter? Why would you even have that name? Doctor Shave? Dinkan was a better name” screamed Kuttusan.

“Forget my name as it has no point. There is a lot of negativity going around your beard. Haven’t you seen Mayavi? He never grows a beard. All men should shave”.

“Even Luttappi doesn’t grow a beard. What is the use?” Kuttusan asked.

“That is another case. To be successful, you need the minimum use of brain” explained Doctor Shave.

“So, what do you suggest?” Kuttusan asked again.

“This is Gillette Mach3 razor, preferred by Doctor Shave” said the man as he gave it to Kuttusan.

As Doctor Shave left after giving Kuttusan the razor, he finished the shaving process in a few minutes. He felt fresh and ready to begin his adventure. His only real friends in the world and the essential partners in crime, Luttappi and Dakini were shocked to see the new appearance of Kuttusan. But the great wizard said “let’s go! spear power!” as they started their journey on the magic spear to capture the one little devil who had always escaped them.

On the magic spear - the photo after shaving not available :D

On the magic spear – the photo after shaving not available due to security reasons 😀

But on seeing Mayavi resting from a distance, Kuttusan understood the point, which was that there was no real point in what he was doing. He realized that his dark side had become part of his beard as he never shaved for hundreds of years. There was a curse that had passed down to him from generations ago. It had the power of pure evil being passed down to the upcoming generation, something that had awaken when the kid turns youth and grows the beard which was never shaved. Well, now it was broken.

It was the realization that made him ask Luttappi to turn around and go back despite the questions from Dakini. There was no need to capture a little good devil anymore. There were the real devils who needed some real kicking. A good Kuttusan was going to be really terrible for the bad guys. From a distance, Doctor Shave turned into the immortal witch Wraglersterenzul, who had put the spell on the family, and had decided to end the torture. With a smile on her face, she entered the wagon driven by her magic unicorn, and started travelling towards the end of the rainbow where her leprechaun friend awaited with a cup of tea.

*Moral of the story: Shave for the best, and the rest is history.

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette.

I’m accepting and acknowledging the tag of Ranjini through this post.

*The images used in this blog post are from manoramaonline.com which has a section for Balarama’s comic strips including Mayavi. I’m tagging some of my blogger friends for the same activity: Harsha, Somali, Amit and Jay. Please don’t forget to mention that you were referred by me in your post.

Here are the themes for your blog post-
Topics for Men:
Opportunities – Stories or instances where you missed out on an opportunity because of a ungroomed look.
Luck or Confidence? Will you leave your fate in the hands of destiny or will you step up and say yes to a well- groomed face to be at your best everyday? #WillYouShave?
Topics for Ladies:
An instance when a stubble came in the way of a man’s chance to make a good impression.
An instance when a well groomed look ensured that they struck gold on an opportunity given to them.

TeNy

Annabelle’s Own Choice

It is important to be well groomed and nicely shaven, no matter what opportunity we are looking for. It doesn’t mean that it a must, but it is surely a bonus, something that we can’t ignore. There is the advantage of looking better and tidy, and it is impossible to deny it. There might be that important day in your life, which comes to you all of a sudden, and it is the best to shave and be ready for it. Lets take the case of the following story, which includes the famous dolls/toys/action figures (Annabelle, Chucky, Snow Job, Outback and Sentinel Prime).

Swayamvara, that age old practice of choosing one’s own husband from among a goup of suitors, was given to a girl of marriageable age, long ago in Ancient India. It might have disappeared from its own land, but it has managed to thrive in another world, just like Christianity and Buddhism manages to thrive far away from its birthplace, rather than at home. This world is not something that all of you might approve of, but its existence is a reality.

The tears that used to be Annabelle's blood - romantic stuff :P

The tears that used to be Annabelle’s blood – romantic stuff 😛

It was Annabelle’s day. The doll had prepared for the big day, as she prepared for the big function, and the most important day of her life. A lot of dolls were to arrive at her place, and most of them were from far away lands, beyond the oceans, and even from beyond the dark woods and the valley of death. A big feast was arranged for the day, and Annabelle had decided that she would surely choose someone this time.

The dolls had arrived much earlier than they were supposed to, and Annabelle slowly made her way in the middle. She stopped for a second, looked to the right, and immediately put the garland on the neck on one doll without spending much time looking at anybody else’s faces. It was so quick that almost everyone was stunned. The music started and the swayamvara was declared finished. The selected person was Chucky!

Chucky and Annabelle: A match made in the spirit world :D

Chucky and Annabelle: A match made in the spirit world 😀

“I knew she loved me. I knew she loved me” yelled a happy Chucky as he was throwing knives at statues.

“What the hell?” asked Outback, the G.I. Joe. “I am a real American Hero and a Joe. A soldier here, and she chooses the serial killer? What is wrong with her”?

“I am a Sergeant and even I am not chosen, damn it” said Snow Job, his friend and the other Joe who had arrived with lots of hope. “I understand that she is also possessed, but a serial killer is too low for anyone”.

“Even my robotic self was not chosen. I am evil too. Why was I not chosen? We could have taken over the world, my dear Annabelle. I had even made a plan with the Great Vampire Owl about the same. Three time winner of the best robotic beard and I still lose here” said a disappointed Sentinel Prime.

“I win, I win” screamed Chucky as he cut the head of two statues there.

"The Shining" Chucky - he knows what you are cooking :D

“The Shining” Chucky – he knows what you are cooking 😀

“Seriously, this is the best groom you could get?” asked Outback.

“At least, tell us why” said Snow Job.

“Why not? See how well-groomed Chucky is. He is clean shaven and see how well his face looks. He is so cute right after the shave” explained Annabelle.

“Somebody get me a transformer razor” screamed Sentinel Prime as he ran outside.

Moral of the story: Always choose to shave, worry not about the rest.

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette.

*All pictures used in this blog post are from the official Chucky and Annabelle pages on Facebook. I’m tagging some of my blogger friends for the same activity: Ananya, Shabab, Ranjini and Najm. Please don’t forget to mention that you were referred by me in your post.

Here are the themes for your blog post-
Topics for Men:
Opportunities – Stories or instances where you missed out on an opportunity because of a ungroomed look.
Luck or Confidence? Will you leave your fate in the hands of destiny or will you step up and say yes to a well- groomed face to be at your best everyday? #WillYouShave?
Topics for Ladies:
An instance when a stubble came in the way of a man’s chance to make a good impression.
An instance when a well groomed look ensured that they struck gold on an opportunity given to them.

TeNy

The Shaving Question

Some people might wonder why, but I remember that my first shave was when I was studying for plus one, and it was in the month of August or September, which I remember because it was just around the festival of Onam, during which the holidays had me going to the ancestral lands and the houses of relatives. One would wonder if it was another holiday, but no, I remember the pookkalam and those celebrities wishing Happy Onam on television during those days.

Why did I start shaving? I would say that it was mainly because I felt that I would look better that way. I haven’t been that much without confidence about most things, but it surely looked like a good idea at that time. It was also to be a confidence booster at that time, especially when there were things that I needed to overcome, and this was to make it better. This was something that I should do, and I made sure about it.

shave (1)

Until then, it was more like “let it grow” until I had chosen to say “let it go”, and there was the day on which I shaved, and then had the confidence to say no. I was forced to choosen the Commerce group for plus two, but that was not really working for me. I changed from Commerce-Mathematics to Commerce-Computer, and that didn’t do the trick. I had realized that the problem was with the school.

I had to get out of that place, but as usual my uncles didn’t want that and they were keeping on telling my father not to allow anything like that. On that day on which I had shaved, and that time I had the courage to say that I was not going to that place any more, not because it was a bad choice to make, but as it was a terrible choice for someone like me who never fit in there. I could tell him that I have another school in mind, even as classes had started there too.

shave (2)

Such mistakes kept happening in my life, but this decision that I made on that day on which I shaved was a big twist in my life. I could make more of such decisions, even as my timing has not always been correct and I have been prone to mistakes for a long time. There are many days that people remember, and I choose to bring this one day back to my mind – the day on which I shaved.

Still, even on these days, the shaved days prove to be better for me. There is nothing like having a groomed face. I have had my days without shaving and keeping my hair long, but those were the worst days of my life, and they are behind me. I would choose not to make the mistake of not shaving and not cutting hair again. That is not the best option, and I learnt it, but well.

shave ()

Moral of the Story: The answer to the shaving question is a big yes. You don’t need to leave your future in the hands of fate or destiny, as one can take it forward with confidence – what you need is a Gillette razor. #WillYouShave? I suggest you choose to do that, because the world moves forward too fast, and you need confidence, and there is also the requirement to make an impression.

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette.

The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook page of Gillette India. I’m tagging some of my blogger friends for the same activity: Shibu, Anoop, Tara and Kiran.
Please don’t forget to mention that you were referred by me in your post.

Here are the themes for your blog post-
Topics for Men:
Opportunities – Stories or instances where you missed out on an opportunity because of a ungroomed look.
Luck or Confidence? Will you leave your fate in the hands of destiny or will you step up and say yes to a well- groomed face to be at your best everyday? #WillYouShave?
Topics for Ladies:
An instance when a stubble came in the way of a man’s chance to make a good impression.
An instance when a well groomed look ensured that they struck gold on an opportunity given to them.
More details at: http://willyoushave.blogadda.com/

TeNy

To Shave or Not to Shave

[No vampires were harmed while writing this story] [All images used here are from Gillette India’s official Facebook Page].

The settings were all complete for the Great Bloody Day of the Vampires. All arrangements were already done by the Vampire Bat, the Vampire Owl and the vampire apprentices. Vampire Crocodile was in charge of saying the welcome speech and the Vampire Cat with the vote of thanks. There was an unlimited supply of noodles and blood shake arranged by the Vampire Kung-fu Panda Catering service. The Vampire Cat was busy making sure everything was at the right places.

“Surprise! I am here early” screamed Dracula.

“Who are you? What do you want? What business do you have here?” asked the Vampire Owl.

Dracula was in doubt. It was the first time he seemed unknown in the vampire community. No other vampire had ever asked him that question; not even Louis de Pointe du Lac or Lestat de Lioncourt. A lot of them knew him from even a kilometre away; such was the impact created by him.

How many reasons do you need to shave with a Gillette?

How many reasons do you need to shave with a Gillette?

“I am your uncle, the great, legendary Dracula” said Dracula.

“No, you are not Dracula. You are just a caveman in a Halloween costume” said the Vampire Crocodile.

“No, I am your most awesome Uncle Dracula. See my fangs?” Dracula said as he showed his teeth.

“No, our uncle is a bloody old man with the looks of a handsome young man. You look like you were wandering in the Carpathians and has now come here to take a free shower” said the Vampire Owl.

“I am Dracula, because my name is Dracula”.

“Yes, you might be a Dracula, but not the Dracula. You were named after our great uncle and teacher?” asked the Vampire Cat.

“What is wrong with you people? This is just the first time that I haven’t shaved”.

Lets learn something from the Wall here.

Lets learn something from the Wall here.

“No, Dracula never had the facial hair. Human turned Vampires never have that. You are a fake” remarked Vampire Owl.

“I never had the facial hair because I always shaved, you idiots” yelled an angry Dracula.

“We are not accepting that. We don’t see the vampire gentleman in there. It is too risky to let another person into this secret celebrations” said the Vampire Bat.

“See, this is my visiting card; it says Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, Member of the House of Drăculești, Full time Vampire and part time Count, The Vampire Castle”.

“Anyone can make such a card. Do you have an id?” asked the Vampire Bat.

“What id? I don’t need an id. I am the greatest vampire of all time. Why do I need an id?” asked an aggressive Dracula.

“We need to approve you if you are to enter here. So, go and get your id”.

“But it will take me hours to go back there and by then it will be too late. Do you have a razor?” asked a worried Dracula.

Roger Federer. Awesomeness, Class and Gillette.

Roger Federer. Awesomeness, Class and Gillette.

“No, we don’t keep razors here, because we don’t need that. Now, please leave as we wait for our one true uncle with absolutely no hair on his face” said the Vampire Owl.

“Yes, you shall not have any of my noodles with the special ingredient unless you prove that you are the one” yelled the Vampire Kung-fu Panda from a distance.

“What kind of idiots have I trained? I should have trained a coconut tree and it would have done better than these guys” murmured Dracula as he returned to the castle.

*Moral of the story from Count Dracula: Always shave or lose a significant moment or two.

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity
at BlogAdda in association with Gillette.
I’m accepting and acknowledging the tag of Maniparna through this post. I’m tagging a few of my blogger friends for the same activity: Namrata, Rohit, Vartika and Sagarika

Please don’t forget to mention that you were referred by me in your post.

Topics for Girls:
An instance when a stubble came in the way of a man’s chance to make a good impression.
An instance when a well groomed look ensured that they struck gold on an opportunity given to them.
Topics for Guys:
Missed chances- Stories or instances where you missed out on an opportunity because of a non-shaven face.
Luck or Confidence?- Will you leave your fate in the hands of destiny or will you step up and say yes to a well-groomed face to be at your best everyday? #WillYouShave.

TeNy