Saving the Idiot Box

Even though television has managed to become the big star of entertainment overtaking its predecessors like radio, the internet hasn’t really become the substitute of television – not completely, and not yet. Even though some channels come up with the most pathetic programmes, television continues to survive, as it has become part of life. But this television, which is more of an idiot box, will need better programmes to survive, and I am coming up with such an idea here to save it.

During this season of terrible serials showing pathetic humans who hate each other, what people need is a regular dose of goodness and kindness. In each and every popular television serial, there is too much foolishness in store, and so much of hate is in store, and the same thing repeats for so many episodes. To remove this abomination, there has to be light, as it is the only thing that can get rid of this highest level of darkness. So removing the pitch-black will require new and a lot better programmes.

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We need a new sunrise to make television better, by a long way!

The complete annihilation of the fake reality shows have to happen first, because on the ruins of the same, should the new programme be built. The ruins of such pathetic shows will make us remember how terrible these were, and it will serve as inspiration for new and better things. Reality shows and serials remain the big curse for the idiot box, and make sure that they remain the great idiot box. So, the new television programme which will replace these should just have good men and women; those who have made a difference.

There is no shortage of such people in India, and so running the show for an hour every day from Monday to Saturday won’t be a problem at all – we will only have more and more of such amazing people because there is such potential, as long as the whole new generation is not consumed by the evil of modernity in such a way that they are not lost forever. But in any situation, there will be one person or the other, making some difference, and we will be looking for such people to base our television shows on.

There are people who work for the poor without asking anything in return. The friends of the rich might not like them that much, and will brand them as having some other hidden agenda – they will abuse these people for their religion, caste or community, but it is the kind of people whom we should be focusing on. We should give absolutely no importance to the celebrities who feed on the blind affection and love of the common man – they are not heroes at all; the one who does his or her duty to fellow beings is the true hero.

We take any person who has worked for the upliftment of the poor – his or her religion and other details won’t matter, and the mistakes are of less significance, because that person is doing something which most of us won’t do. We are going through with our own lives and these people are doing something for the lives of others – it is a beautiful thing, which is why we will need an episode for one such person each and every day, except for maybe Sunday which can be left for the special programmes – ours is not special, but real and of daily life.

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We should go on a new path with television; take a big turn!

An hour a day for six days at a time between eight and nine will be appropriate tribute to these people who spend their time and energy for the others, as they are the real heroes. They should be seen at the representation of India in the right way, and not the selfish ones – no actor, actress, model, politician, businessman, cricketer or anyone else who keeps earning so much money and appreciation from the nation, but provides nothing in return deserve a chance. We need television shows on the real great people!

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 on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

TeNy

Charlie: Impact of the Djinn

If you have watched Charlie, you will know exactly what I am talking about. Charlie was one of the last movies to be released in 2015, as it arrived as the Christmas release and stole many hearts with its variety and a fairy-tale kind of adventure and love story. The one thing that everyone was expecting and could manage to be sure about was that it was going to be different, and that particular expectation was fulfilled with ease. But there was surely more to the movie than that.

Charlie tells the story of a girl named Tessa who runs away from home to escape marriage. During her stay at the new place, she finds a few things left behind by the earlier tenant named Charlie and becomes very much interested in him. So, she begins her journey to find this stranger who is often referred to be the others as the wind and the djinn. As a wanderer who is seen at many places, Tessa finds her work to be quite difficult, but decides not to stop searching for him no matter what happens.

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So, this impact created by the stranger becomes more like an attachment towards the unknown person who lives a free life and remains as mysterious as the djinn. Tessa finds out that a lot of people know him, but she ends up missing him all the time. Each and every time, she comes very close to finding him, but still remains not close enough. It is this search which never seems to end, that is depicted in Charlie. But as you would expect, there is the happy ending which brings the feel-good factor back.

Charlie, both as the character and the movie becomes the example of something that leaves a big impact on us. The protagonist whom we see in this movie is nothing less than a man who tries to make things better. He lives on his own terms and tries to do something good for the people around him just to see them smile. It is the kind of impact that he attempts to make while traveling around the world. A man of multiple skills, he is often nothing more than a fairy-tale character, so difficult to have an existence in reality.

Along with that attempt to do something good all the time, Charlie also makes enough impact on us to think about being different. At no point is Charlie is a man who lives according to the demands of the society. He is not the usual good man whom people are always praising; instead, most of the people consider him rather mental for being rather too much of a divergent identity. But despite his lifestyle being so strange to the common people, he is good, and the goodness is pure, not asking for anything in return.

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Lets hope that Charlie‘s impact will stay on the society, and it won’t judge people on how they are leading their personal lives and the choices which they make with their life. There has never been a protagonist as free and divergent as Charlie, and I hope that the society understands that despite what people do with their own lives, they can be good people – it is not about money, assets and job, but about having the will to help others in need along with living life their way. It is a quality worth falling in love with, and it is worth calling for the djinn.

I would also like to dedicate this post to Kalpana, the actress who left us for the better world due to a heart attack. She plays a small, but memorable role in Charlie which has her character leaping into the sea to her death. She was one of the best known actresses who handled comedy, and she was an expert, a veteran in that field. There are so many movies of her which we will remember, and her combination with Jagathy Sreekumar has been simply among the best in comedy. The Malayalam movie industry will miss her, and there is nobody who can substitute her.

***I will leave you with my favourite song from the movie featuring Dulquer and Parvathy as Charlie and Tessa respectively. The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Charlie.

So, what I am telling you is that if the djinn is good, accept the creature; nowadays they should surely be using the free-will in a positive and more helpful manner than the humans. I think that vampires, zombies, ghosts – they are all doing it better than humans. So, do you like the video song?

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

TeNy

FPFS4: Halloween Night

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Vampire Owl: Why are we wearing the Halloween costumes? We are the vampire team and should automatically scary to the humans in our true forms.

Vampire Bat: It is how things should be. If we are not wearing those masks, this is no Halloween at all. Even Uncle Dracula is wearing a mask for this occasion. It is a human mask, and he has promised to shock us.

Vampire Owl: Shock is no enemy of the oldest of the vampire-kind. Wait! Is that the Vampire Crocodile? What a vicious mask he is wearing. It looks like taken right from a giant dangerous rat which can devour us all.

Vampire Bat: It is a mask of Jerry from the legendary cartoon of those humans which they call Tom and Jerry.

Vampire Owl: Well, it surely worked for me while staying inside the Halloween terms and conditions. The Jerry Mask should be made a compulsory part of each and every Halloween of these lands.

Vampire Crocodile: I have always been depressed by the evil deeds that the devilish mouse commit on the poor cat Tom. Even the Vampire Cat has acknowledged the same.

Vampire Bat: The second property, the mask of evil is acknowledged then. Let them be evil as well as scary.

Vampire Owl: I demand party after this.

Vampire Bat: The party is where there is the need for hope. We are doing this for charity. The finishing line is at two places, one at the nearby orphanage and the other at the home for the aged and the infirm run by the Sisters of the Destitute.

Vampire Crocodile: So, what is the plan?

Vampire Bat: We go to a door, knock on it, collect the money if given, or may be some old clothes, keep repeating the same, and take what we collect to the orphanage or the old age home. It is as simple as that. Uncle Dracula will come and lead the way.

Vampire Owl: Yes, we are like the cool vampire people doing some good things unlike the normal human beings.

Vampire Crocodile: Yes, it is cool. The others including the Vampire Cat, Vampire Alligator, Vampire Hamster, Vampire Crow, Vampire Raven and new apprentices will join, along with three werewolves from the Land of Anger. Lich Queen has also offered us two zombies from her kitchen team.

Vampire Bat: This has the goodness factor, and you are also going to enjoy these moments.

Vampire Owl: I had and still have that feeling that this was going to be awesome!

Uncle Dracula [entering the hall]: Let the Halloween begin!

I have been tagged by Maniparna to take part in the Five Photos Five Stories (FPFS) challenge. This challenge works like: You post pictures for five consecutive days (with possible discounts like sometimes changing to alternate days :D) and attach posts to it, fiction, poem or short write-up. It can be anything that suits your taste. I am also tagging my wonderful blogger friend, Tara on Day Four, as part of the challenge, and I will tag a new person on Day Five. 

***This writing is based on our own Halloween programme which was conducted on the Sunday closest to the October 31st in the years 2010 and 2011 bringing something innovative and inspiring hope. It was a voluntary charity drive organized by our youth club with permission from the residents association, and result was excellent. It had clearly exceeded our expectations. It happened only for two years as the club itself had ceased to exist because of people getting jobs further away and a few others getting married. May be it shouldn’t have stopped, but a continuation was never in my power even though I was the club secretary. We needed members, but there were not enough.

***The image used in this blog post is also part of the pre-programme preparations, taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310. The Ghostface mask from the movie Scream is my own special mask for the programme, and the rest included Werewolves, Vampires, Zombies and a number of others including my personal favourites, the Hellboy and the Wolf-man. It was a programme from the youth, and so even in the absence of masks, we managed with all the horror that we could come up with 😀 May be you can try this some day – there will be people who won’t like this, but they are sure to be in a minority 😉

TeNy

What Remains of Christmas

*I would like to begin this post with a statutory warning which has been issued by Uncle Dracula in association with the whole vampire community and a message from Simona the Lionhearted. She asks everyone to wear your helmets during this Christmas, and not to drink too much that you might end up forgetting your helmet, as it is not too different from forgetting the significance of your head. Simona loves her helmet and prefers to save herself inside it, a lesson for all the humans to learn. Use your helmet, no matter what 😀

Simona likes helmets and chooses to save herself. Do you? :D

Simona likes helmets and chooses to save herself from those possible injuries. Do you? 😀

Now, what can I say about Christmas? I doubt its existence as the big thing that it used to be. It still exists for me because it needs to. There is the loss of power of celebration that I associate with a number of festivals, and I can do the same with Christmas. I haven’t really seen a Christmas carol for ages. But no, this is not a festival that you can let go that easily. Unlike the others, this one keeps coming back, and the best reason for the same may be the time of the festival. May be there should have been full power snow here – that should have worked a lot better.

Christmas has had its charms during the childhood days. There was Santa Claus, and there was hope; even as nobody really gave me the presents; none of those self-proclaimed loving uncles or aunties – not even the big cousin-brothers, when I have seen my dad giving to the relatives, and a lot of my friends receiving from their uncles. Nobody even gave me five rupees to buy black tea. But I still believed at that time, because others did receive, and I thought Santa Claus might give something to me directly.

Every year of not receiving anything, the level of that hope comes down. Now, we are left with the absence of Santa Claus as well as that hope. As it is said in the end of the movie, The Polar Express, “At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe”.

The Christmas Crib there - prepared it again after more than fifteen years.

The Christmas Crib there – prepared it again after more than fifteen years for no reason.

We were all dreamers, but when we grow up and choose not to believe – I live in my doubts, created from the chaos that is in my mind. I have been that close to disbelief that I could never believe in anything anymore. Christmas had its magic, but it seems to be disappearing, just like all the traditions and those celebrations that we had. Who wants magic in the world of science, right? Who wants tradition when without it one can be free evil and do anything and everything? Then there are the saviours of traditions who rarely makes sense. There will always be non-believers who choose religion for material benefits.

We are left with people who celebrate the festivals for showing off, or for some random personal benefit. Everyone wishes to show the money power and the Merry Christmas is no longer merry. The only thing that comes with a certainty is its reverse, Remy Martin – people take this as another occasion to drink along with the hundreds that they have ever year, and it passes. Santa Claus gets stuck in the chimney with his reindeer sent to the slaughterhouse and nobody will care – thank God that Mahabali comes from the underworld; he only have to save himself from the pot-holes taking him back to his abode. We have gone on to become a selfish group of people, and every festival has gone on to reflect the same.

The star for Christmas - put it once again after a long time just because I could.

The star for Christmas – put it once again after a long time just because I could.

We have reduced faith in God and it has reflected in our love and care for people. The hatred that we see everyday is just too high. Some people think that it can be solved by converting people into one religion. They are as responsible for this as much as those without faith. We are being thrown into a world of mutual hatred, and it is getting only worse. Whatever happens, the fact remains that we are influenced by more than one religion in our life time, and we don’t belong to just one. Why would Santa want to come and receive the news about Peshawar? Why isn’t there the chance for every child to celebrate Christmas and get the presents? Isn’t there at least a chance for them to live?

We need all the customs and traditions, and we need each and every world religion with all those good things that they teach. The world needs all its beliefs because humanity was shaped by them. We need people to explore each of them, and understand the basic message of love. Lets do something good on this Christmas, and not publish it on Facebook. That would be a good idea. It will bring back a part of the magic of Christmas; lets give it to someone else who is in need. Lets do it irrespective of religion, and let no one take away our right to be good to people, not considering their backgrounds.

I shall keep my doubts, but all of you have a wonderful Christmas nevertheless 🙂

The decorations for the crib are from
I. Trinity Supermarket, Keezhilam
II. Pittappillil Stores, Kuruppampady
*Just mentioning because they proved effective and substantial in making the crib, something I did after a break of fifteen years or so.

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