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

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Guidelines for a Holy Year

There has been a lot of talk related to the Holy Year of Mercy ever since Pope Francis declared the same. Well, these are not official guidelines relating to that, as I am not qualified for that. If you are asking about on what authority I am providing these, I would say that it is based on my vision on what I would want to do on a Holy Year. Yes, helping others is a major thing to do, but other than that, I have to add a few things that people can really do, especially if they respect Pope’s messages and call themselves Catholic. At least for an year, can you try these?

So, how do you get to the quality of mercy? Does that fly towards you and provide opportunities to be merciful? No, it doesn’t. You have to bring it to your life. Which are those parts of life where you can show that quality? I would say that the first one where it can be done is in the case of food. It is the Holy Year of Mercy, and do try to go vegetarian. I know that most of you will find that difficult and so lets just try to keep it as much vegetarian as possible. Obviously, it is not easy to keep being so during the functions.

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

Let the quality of mercy flow like a river throughout the Holy Year.

Showing mercy to the animals and birds is a nice thing indeed. That brings me back to the final word of the last paragraph – functions. Lets consider that you are going to be married this year. Why don’t you take the message of compassion right into you on this special day of your life? Can you spend less for these functions and use the money to provide at least one day’s food for the orphanages or old age homes which will make sure that your most important day will be remembered by people in need? Doesn’t it satisfy a good soul that his or her day goes on in the best way possible for those who are not having the happy days of life?

Do you need a fancy car which doesn’t belong to you on the wedding day, especially when everyone knows that it is not yours? If you have a car or a relative does, isn’t it better to use that one itself instead of spending some extra money for rent there? Do you need so many groomsmen and bridesmaids which your elders had declared not part of our culture? At least keep the number low! Do you need to spend so much money on the clothing when you are not going to use them again? Is it necessary to make a show when it is a function supposed to be a union of souls? Shouldn’t the priests be caring about this rather than coming up with that ridiculous compulsory pre-marital course? Why would you generalize people and not understand that individuals are not the same, and they won’t be needing a course on the exact same thing?

I would suggest providing pre-wedding classes instead of the pre-maritial thing to the vain people, especially the parents and relatives of the bride and groom. They are also in real need for mercy and compassion classes. Well, is this the kind of mercy that the church is going to witness and what the Holy Father had intended? And do you need so many types of food items being served to people? Different types of meat and fish – what is the point? Is this a program to have food or the function which has two people decide to be together each other? Why should the focus be so much on a dead chicken or goat on a plate rather than the bride and the groom? All these because you need to boast about it? If it is the case, get married every year. Maybe something can be done about the funerals too in the name of bloody vanity.

Marriages are made in heaven, they say. So, do we except the display of such signs of vanity there? It is not easy for vanity and mercy to co-exist. These days, I try to attend less number of marriages, because they are all just bloody show-off. I get those invitation cards and I feel nothing; there is no real feeling to attend. If you are having a certain function for the rich and too many of the poor and the subaltern are in the surroundings not having enough, your marriage will not be Holy Matrimony, but a strange thing which is everything except holy. People should get married because they want to; not to show it to the society.

A bridge on which you will drive your car. It is part of nature :D

Become the bridge, bringing the quality of mercy to the other side!

So, at least in the Holy Year, show some mercy, to your fellow human beings as well as those animals and birds around us. Lets waste less food, have more vegetarian items and show less vanity at a wedding. I am quite confident that too many people will find this one difficult; still there will be people who will display some signs of mercy here or there. But I say that if you want to make an impression, make the righteous impression, and not what the others tell you is right. If you want to spend money, spend it on the poor; those who are really in need of your quality of mercy. Be the brother and sister to the people in need, and be the personification of mercy. Also, take time to forgive more.

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

TeNy

The Thing About Relatives

There is something about relatives that we will never understand. Yes, there are those topics related to getting a job, finding oneself in matrimony and others, but this is more about being right and logical. Here are a certain examples of strange logic that I have found among them. The surprising thing that this logic is applied so much that I had to wonder if it is passed on to others through wind and water. Maybe it is a kind of infection, like what that zombie apocalypse brings as we have seen in Resident Evil and Warm Bodies.

We are doing you a favour by coming to stay at your place: I actually heard this one first when I was a child. Then I heard it again and then again. There were people coming around because they had to attend a course from our place, or because they had to attend exams or try some job. But the logic here is that they were coming to look after me and some others were going to give company to the little me. I should have been very desperate for company according to these ideas, but I don’t remember much of being given company – oh there was someone, and that one was a bloody video game.

Some of these people might even remember this from a long time ago. Many years later, these people are going to say that he or she had stayed with you and took care of you. We won’t even remember and they will ask us to do something for them just because they stayed with us. Share my computer, share my internet and share my food, and this is going to be like doing a favour for me, right? Help should be unconditional. There are a few people with whom they can try the same thing – the aliens at Uranus, the zombies asleep in the graveyards, the dinosaurs at Jurassic Park and the sweet little crocodiles from Lake Placid.

When waterfalls are around, rocks become more of a thing of beauty, right?

Maybe the journeys are not that smooth – but people are often too intolerable!

We are doing you another favour by letting you stay at our place: Okay, this is somewhat true, especially when we make that choice to start from there to attend a function far away, or maybe even to attend exams. But I haven’t used any relatives’ place as base for such a thing. I have tried to avoid staying at any place because this is how some people are going to see things. I have been thinking why I should bother some relative by giving him or her trouble. Yes, there are people who really want us to stay, and I have stayed at a few places because the insisted, but generally that is not the case.

You should help us because you will need our help in the future: The great oracles of these lands! They never really lose their charm, do they? I wonder if they take oracles at Delphi nowadays too so that these people can be transported there. Their special powers are also forever because they had once predicted that I am not going to finish even my graduation; forget the post graduation. They are continuing to make such predictions, and I hear them being experts in the same. This prediction about me needing their help has been made long ago, and I don’t usually see them ready for help.

But I decided to provide help in return for a cup of tea; why should I help them because there is a chance that they might help me later? Isn’t helping our friends and relatives what we should do anyway? Still, I won’t be able to ask these people related to even those little things. What makes me wonder is why they can’t even give one share to a post of mine? I asked them to share my review of Charlie, and nothing happened. Yes, they have time only share the posts about whatever makes no sense along with those silly jokes.

As you look far far away, what is it that you see?

As you look far far away, what is it that you see other than conditional help?

You are to provide us some help because we are going to be rich: Some people are really going to touch the clouds in the next few years because they so. Some of them have already touched the clouds just because of being married and having job. Some of these people are already helping each other because they think that the other person is going to make it huge and earn a lot, along with marrying someone from a rich family. Such great expectations there – it is a shame that people are nice to others just because the other person is going to have a lot of money in the future!

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

TeNy

Akshaya Patra: Feed a Child

I was sitting here idle not doing anything good with my life, writing something or anything. It was on such a day that Akshaya Patra really caught my attention for the first time when Nandhini, my fellow blogger friend told me about what they have been doing, even though I do read a lot of information about NGOs and did go through some of their work earlier. I also received an e-mail about their work and I was determined to place a widget/banner of them on my blog and go through the service which they have been doing.

Established in 2000, Akshaya Patra is a non-profit organisation which runs school lunch programme across India. From its humble beginnings, as of now, they are working in ten different states, twenty four locations, ten thousand eight hundred and forty five schools and serving 1.4 million children of our nation. Akshaya Patra dedicates its inception and work to the inspiring resolve of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as the organization takes over the fine vision that “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”.

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Akshaya Patra currently provides freshly cooked meal to children on all school days. This mid-day meal programme has a long history and we remember the mid-day meal scheme being introduced in Kerala in 1984 – the first of its kind can be traced back to the Pre-Independence era, but it will never be enough, and requires more and more help each day. The states covered by Akshaya Patra are parts of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

With its headquarters at Bangalore, Akshaya Patra attempts to make sure that no child has to skip school in case of an absence of food. It is a great idea in an environment when the children needs to go past hunger and malnutrition to reach their goals, along with what all factors that the society puts them though. Every child needs to study, and for the same, he or she needs to be free from the most basic problem, which is hunger. Education is the right of all children, and this surely helps a lot. Akshaya Patra has also won the 14th Mother Teresa Award in the Best NGO Category of 2014.

There are times when we want to do something good and we can’t because the situation doesn’t work in our favour. The opportunities to contribute rarely comes when we are looking for them. I was myself looking forward to see Akshaya Patra in Kerala, but it turns out that it isn’t there. Maybe it is because Kerala has its mid-day meal programme working well, and there are other places where the need is more and it is urgent. So, it is not that easy to do anything with Akshaya Patra staying right here, but in the case of the online option present, there is no such limitation.

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There is the option to donate online through this link and it takes just Rs 750/- to feed a child during an year with Akshaya Patra. The children in need can use all the support that we can provide, and there is no small amount. Spreading the idea through the social media profiles is another fine act because not many things match spreading the word through Facebook and Twitter. We bloggers and website owners can also help by putting a banner/widget of Akshaya Patra and spread awareness that way.

You can see samples of the widgets on this blog as well as at my other blog, Movies of the Soul. As most of us are not able to change the code due to being hosted at WordPress.com, we can use the widgets on the sidebars – nobody can predict the what can bring the chance, a blog post, a widget or a banner! It will only take a small space among the rest of the things on display. Together, we have the chance to make a difference, an opportunity that may not always be there. So, lets use it right now, as nobody knows what tomorrow might bring.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Akshaya Patra

TeNy

Question of a Million

There is one question which has been commonly asked during talks – What if you had a million dollars? Before converting into rupees, that didn’t provide me that shock which was needed. Well, one million dollars was equal to 65,369,500 rupees when I last looked, and that is an amount which I am sure that I will never earn by myself in my whole life. It is not just the money that I won’t have, it is also more than all the money that I will need. So, this weekend’s WOW topic had me in some doubt. Well, the solution comes in many ways for the extra money that you will have.

Well, whoever you ask if there is the need for money, I am sure that the answer will be yes, even in the case of the top level millionaires. There is a little bit of a journey which has to be done around the world, and that is all for which the money needs to be spent. It has to cover Eastern Europe, especially Romania, as I had mentioned in my earlier post. There are also those historical cities like Rome, Venice, Barcelona, Milan, Berlin, Florence, Lisbon and Paris with all those amazing architecture. The other continents actually don’t have that much for me to travel through, except for a few places and that too the cheaper ones to wander around.

And then there was the Lighthouse Beach at Kovalam.

You need the beacon of light on this one; after all it will be the season of doubts.

This actually means that I will be left with something to talk about after finishing the journeys. The number of places to visit will only get lesser in number if things get repetitive, leaving me with more in the bank. Back home, the need for another house, four-wheeler and two-wheeler are not there as I am satisfied with what all is there already. What I have as of now is good. Trying to get more and more will only make me not liking myself that much. Too much luxury will only make me not the person that I have been. Most of us already have more than what we really need.

I am also not a person who believes in changing according to new fashion, and so the already existing clothes will be there for an eternity; I never judged people by their clothes much and never really cared what people thought about they way I dressed. It just needs to fair and decent; nothing more. A person is to be judged by good he or she is, and not by the grand clothing, and so there is no expense coming up there for me. My journey to different parts of the world is to be quick and will have almost no shopping with minimum food, and so there will be more left in the bank.

A few years ago, we used to have a Halloween program, and we collected what we could from the homes around our place and donated the same to a number of charity homes. The youth had decided to turn the night which was looked upon in a negative way into something positive. The response was nice, and one of the recipients we considered was a boys’ home called Snehakkoodu at Aluva. Unlike the other places which had the support of a lot of patrons, this at that time seemed to be a place which could use a lot of help.

Is there a sign of relief among the dark clouds?

Be the light in the darkness; be the colour among the black and white!

The place would be my first home to provide a donation, and I am sure that it will be a very useful act for them. It is all about helping the people in need rather than anything else, and they were in need at that time. Sadly, after we moved from Aluva, I haven’t been there much, and I would like to leave quite something from the amount for them. There is also the Home for the Aged and the Infirm, a few kilometres from Aluva, and I also wish to leave an amount for the old and sick people there.

As we help people in need, there are many around us who are not in that much of good situations as we are. There are our own friends, relatives and neighbours who live around us, and they will also be in need at times, for which some of the money could be kept in reserve to provide for them. We also owe something to them, irrespective of religion, caste and status. It is our duty as an Indian not to discriminate by divisions, and to help our fellow countrymen, the people whom we see each and every day and are in need.

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 only.

TeNy

What Needs to be Remade

How much do we help of a person in need? Ranjith Sankar’s directorial debut talks about the same in the form the 2009 movie Passenger. He has brought the genre of social thrillers to full power into cinema, and he continued the same into the less efficient Arjunan Sakshi starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Ann Augustine. Even though that movie also brought a picture of the society and criticized the system from the government to the police and the other people in charge, and reiterated the common man’s need to take the responsibility for the society, it was nothing like Passenger.

He had also shown the problems faced by someone who wanted to start a new business venture in Kerala with Punyalan Agarbattis and a different perspective in Molly Aunty Rocks!. But each and every time we watch Passenger, we realize that none of them can be a match to this debut movie from the same director. It was there on television on the day before yesterday too, and one has to wonder how it manages to be so fresh even after being watched so many times. I have watched it more than twenty times myself, and it was the big reason why I watched Arjunan Sakshi on the first day itself.

In the life of modernity, what is it that we can do for the society?

In the life of modernity and tall concrete, what is it that we can do for the society?

The story has Sathyanathan (Sreenivasan), a common man who works in a private company as the major protagonist. He is one of those simple people who goes to work in the city and comes back to his place in the regular passenger train. He finds happiness in the simple things like the local temple festivals, talking about news with the friends and having a few cups of tea. There is nothing special going on in his uncomplicated, predictable life which goes on and on, as he follows the machanical procedure. But as he is the last among his friends to get to down, one day, he falls asleep and misses the station near his place.

On the day on which he falls asleep, he wakes up to find that he was sleeping for so long, and asks another person Nandan Menon (Dileep) about the present situation. After a few moments of humorous conversations, they get down at the Guruvayur railway station and separates. But as Nandan is suddenly kidnapped by a group of goons in a car, Sathyanathan wishes to help, but is caught in a situation in which he can do nothing. He decides to travel to the man’s place inform his people about the same. But it is about more than what meets the eye, as he is a lawyer fighting a case against the home minister, and his wife is a leading journalist looking into the same case.

The journey of life continues, but at the end, what do we earn?

The journey of life continues, but as we reach that end, what do we earn?

There are no songs in this movie, and there are no stereotypes either. But life of the common man caught in a strange situation is brought to light here in a realistic manner. There is nothing spectacular done by the protagonist, but simple acts, as he goes on to make a difference without trying to be the superhero. There is a certain amount of simplicity in the portrayal of the character by Sreenivasan as he perfectly fits the role of a common man, something which might not have been the case with a superstar added. It is the kind of role which suits him without anything special added to it.

Dileep also plays a role which has no heroism, despite the character consistently trying to bring a change in the society while fighting the powerful politicians and businessmen in a legal way. Meanwhile, Mamta Mohandas has played the role of a determined journalist hoping to bring change in the society, with a lot of strength. Jagathy Sreekumar plays the man who wants to hold on to the political power in any manner possible, and Nedumudi Venu plays the character who is a reluctant helper and he turns the man who realizes his duty as the story gets tougher and things get to the next level. I would love to have Irrfan Khan or Naseeruddin Shah in the lead.

Passenger is a movie which should have been remade in many other languages, and not something like Bodyguard. With its situations, Passenger asks a question to the common audience about why one should help a fellow human being when there is a chance. It asks the common man to understand that one simple help might mean many things, and may be this helping hand can bring a big change in the society. May be someone will think that he or she is not capable of that change, but it is the sincere attempt that makes all the difference in the end because none of us know what results it can bring despite we being the weaker ones. It needs go further like the original Drishyam to be remade like Drishyam in Bollywood.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me at Aluva (Alwaye) on my Sony Cybershot Camera.

TeNy

Real Neat Blog Award

I have been nominated for a blog award, the first of its kind that Tea Cerebration(s) has received; the Real Neat Blog Award, from Amreen.

Here is her post on the same: https://painttheworldwithwords.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/the-real-neat-blog-award/

Thank You Amreen 🙂

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The answer to the seven questions she asked:

What do you blog about?
A lot of things. Mostly movies, travel and fiction.
What inspired you to blog?
It was mostly loneliness.
Your Favorite Book/Quote/Poem?
“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield” – Ulysses.
If you had a chance to keep another name, what would it be?
Dracula. I would like that. Or even Frankenstein.
Your Favorite Author?
Lord Tennyson. I like my name.
What’s your favorite sport?
Tennis on television. For a game on court, Badminton.
Your tips on blogging?
Just think and write. No need for anything else.

The rules of the award:

  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
  • Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
  • Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc).

I nominate the following bloggers:

Maniparna
Namrata
Moon
Tara
Raja

My seven questions to them:

  1. Which is your favourite movie?
  2. Which is your favourite song?
  3. Choose your favourite vampire?
  4. Which is your most visited blog post?
  5. Your Favorite tennis player?
  6. Which browser do you use the most?
  7. Which is your most commented blog post?

Congratulations and drink tea 🙂

TeNy

Bloggers and Friends

I have written about a number of bloggers who have been very helpful and have managed to be a lot inspirational during my time in the blogging world. Actually, I have only shared three names with my previous three posts, and I have a lot more of them to talk about. So, I will share five other names and their blogs here, and then I will be left with one more post to write about the rest of my blogger friends. I am actually working on another big list, but now I am sharing something about five people who have inspired me.

#1. I managed to find Raja Reviews and its owner Raja Saravanan at a time when I was wandering around the blogging world aimlessly, or rather it was me and Movies of the Soul which was found. Among the first few friends from the blogging community, he has been a big technical help for my blogging situation, and continues to be so. Buying a domain for Movies of the Soul actually meant about an hour of talk on the phone. He has introduced me to his new place for movie lovers, Flixpack, which you might want to have a look at.

#2. Anoop is another person for whom I need to share some space here. Tranquil Yet Alive is another one of those blogs which go quite some way back in my blogging timeline. He is also my favourite Kerala traveler and I hope to accompany him on a trip. He is the second most frequent commenter on this blog as well as Movies of the Soul. He has been here, and also there, most of the time being the first one to comment on a post. His comments have been a frequent inspiration for me to write more, and the Vampire Bat and the Vampire Owl have acknowledged the same.

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#3. A Few Handpicked Things in Life from Ranjini is the closest available blog to any of my blogs. That would be a total of 23.9km as the distance between the locations of the blogs, and those two towns of Kerala. I have taken some extra interest for Game of Thrones from her, and did manage to watch all the five episodes; that inspiration also worked very well and I have accepted her GoT guidance. I am particularly interested in her new 100 Happy Days writings, and she is also the one with the fifth most comments on this blog and the sixth on Movies of the Soul.

#4. Shweta and her blog Sunshine and Zephyr have been another strong source of inspiration for me. I have loved to read her posts about Iceland more than the rest, and there were a number of quote-related posts which have recently caught my attention, through which she has shared quotes from her upcoming novel – she has also been there at my blog with comments, the earliest going back to the time when I had just started writing here. She has also left me with the Sunshine Award just recently as you might have noticed earlier.

#5. Harsha might be the first Indian blogger to have visited and commented on my blog regularly. All Resource Updates might be the first Indian blog which I had followed, and it started at a time when I did nothing at any place which boosted my blogging and had almost no contact with other Indian bloggers. He let me know that I really need to get my blog accepted at these websites to make things work better. Even though he has been less active on his blog for some time, he has been more active as of now.

The list is incomplete as expected; there are many names which I would love to add, and more of them to come in the final post of this series. There are many bloggers from outside India too, but this activity is limited to Indian bloggers, and so I have kept this blog post in this way. I take this opportunity to appreciate the help and motivation which have been provided by these five bloggers. Thank you all for the support, and #YouMakeMeWIN!

I’m blogging for #YouMakeMeWIN to honour a blogger who has influenced me and deserves to be nominated at WIN15.

***The image used in this blog post is also taken from the WIN15 activity from BlogAdda. #YouMakeMeWIN

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

The Versatile Season

versatile- blogger award, award for blogging,  blogger award

I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Moon Roy (http://footlooseforever.com/2015/02/04/versatile-blogger-award-it-feels-great-to-be-appreciated/).

Yes, I say again as she has told her readers, that it is a wonderful feeling to be appreciated for the efforts. She has been a good support and an awesome presence on my blog too. Her blog (http://footlooseforever.com/) has always been a place worth visiting for me too. A big thanks to her 🙂

The rules for the award:

  • Display the award on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 blogs
  • Link your nominee’s blogs

The seven facts about myself:

  1. I have fallen in love with the never-ending running games on Android.
  2. The first city I visited outside Kerala was Kolkata.
  3. The first nation I traveled abroad was Singapore.
  4. I have done zero exercise in the last few months; feels like I never even moved 😀
  5. I am waiting for someone to gift me tea packets just because I can 😀
  6. I haven’t traveled away from home for a distance more than seventy five kilometres for about six months now, and that is a new thing.
  7. Free Simona the Kitty Fact: Simona now spends most of the time hugging human legs 😀

The fifteen blogs I choose:

  1. Anoop (http://anooppillaiz.wordpress.com)
  2. Simon (http://simonsayswatchthis.wordpress.com)
  3. Ananya (http://www.ananyatales.com)
  4. Alok (https://singhalalok.wordpress.com)
  5. Mary (http://marythelittlewriter.wordpress.com)
  6. Najm (http://angellicfrenzy.blogspot.in)
  7. Sreesha (http://petrchorandclouds.blogspot.com)
  8. Shibu (http://shibumathewn15.wordpress.com)
  9. Umashankar (http://uspandey.com)
  10. Raja (http://rajareviews.com)
  11. Rohit (http://rohitthebest.blogspot.com)
  12. Shrinidhi (http://www.enidhi.net)
  13. Mirna (http://mirnamorgan62.wordpress.com)
  14. Christy (http://poeticparfait.com)
  15. Sakshi (http://www.sakshinanda.com)

Enjoy blogging. Thank you!

First of the Awards

I am glad to announce a first time for this blog: Jay Shah (http://thoughtburps.wordpress.com/) has nominated my blog for  Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Yes, there have been a long list of awards for my other blog Movies of the Soul (http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/blog-awards/) and also a few for my Travel Diaries, but this is the first one for this blog.

Well, this is an award about inspiration, and I am glad that even if I rarely get inspired myself, I still ended up being an inspiring blogger 😀 That should make this award more significant than most of the other awards though 😉 Here is the post concerning the same: (http://thoughtburps.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/so-glad-to-receive-very-inspiring-blogger-award/)

There is also a first in everything, which is why I chose to publish this one as a post rather than as the page like I used to do with the awards for my other blogs. Thank you Jay, for the nomination; you have a very inspiring blog right there 🙂

Here, I have to mention seven things about myself:

  • I have always believed more in death than in life, and I hope for a better world after death.
  • I am now at a new level of tea addiction which you might not want to know about 😉
  • I don’t usually trust people. It has never been my kind of thing; may be I can get a superpower for that.
  • I hate crowds. I would prefer to be left alone or with just a few people, because it feels better.
  • I don’t believe much in winning. I rarely give much value to it. Doing your part well is the better thing.
  • I have become a cricket hater from cricket lover, and the credit for the same goes directly to BCCI as it is now, and I thank them for saving lot of my time.
  • I am a jobless person with not much hope for getting to work in this birth or the next – not even in inferno or purgatario.

Here are the fifteen blogs I’d like to nominate:

  1. Maniparna (http://maniparna5002.wordpress.com)
  2. Namrata (http://namratakumari.blogspot.in)
  3. Gowtham (http://snapometer.blogspot.in)
  4. Kokila (http://sunshineandblueclouds.blogspot.in)
  5. Anita (http://anitaexplorer.com)
  6. Raja (http://rajareviews.com)
  7. Najm (http://angellicfrenzy.blogspot.in)
  8. Tara (http://crimsonapril.wordpress.com)
  9. Shaun (http://beyondboredom.wordpress.com)
  10. Sagarika (http://123sag.wordpress.com)
  11. Vartika (http://vartikaforu.wordpress.com)
  12. Shabab (http://vbothransh.wordpress.com)
  13. Vandana (http://vanduchoudhary.blogspot.in)
  14. Sucheta (http://suchetabiswas.wordpress.com)
  15. Ranjini (http://rangelz.wordpress.com)

Do share the award, and also try to:

  • Display the award on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • State seven things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers, linking to them.

Keep Blogging. May this New Year bring awesome results for you. Welcome 2015 🙂

Dauntless in Love and Care

I have had very few vacation trips as a kid compared to some of my friends who have traveled a lot. But as time passed, I understood the significance of having a memorable vacation journey which would refresh the mind of any normal person. Among the trips I had during childhood, there were Kolkata, Chennai, Goa, Bangalore and Mangalore which I remember. But I am ready to make sure that my child would have more vacations, and all of them shall be better than what I have had in my entire life. *I am sharing two photos of childhood here, the first one taken at Kolkata and the second one at home with my cousin brother.

I was going through an initiative from Club Mahindra at http://membership.clubmahindra.com/TeddyTravelogues/index.html about travelogues written by children. It reminded me of thinking about myself and how I would go on holidays with my child. The first thing I want to ensure is that I remain dauntless, so that my child would know that I will always be there for him, whenever he feels a certain amount of fear about anything. There is this feeling of insecurity that children feel while going on journeys, and I remember having felt the same on so many occasions. This insecurity is like a big mole on a face, as it affects the beauty of the vacation, and the significance of the journey itself is reduced.

From one of my first vacations ever, to Kolkata - a photo found and scanned.

From one of my first vacations ever, at Kolkata – a photo discovered in the album and scanned.

The fear that children feel outside their home in quite natural, and the current world, we have to be very careful – these are not the best times for the children to grow up either. So, I would make sure that I shall be the friend to him and be the friend that I rarely had during my own childhood. I have to correct the mistakes from my earlier generation, and it is my duty to make sure that he enjoys, and it is a privilege to make sure that I also enjoy the little things that he does.

Even as I strive to make things happen here, another nice thing I would like to add is another person of his own age to give him company. I would choose a family friend who has kids of the same age to accompany us on the journey so that they can nicely contribute to the fun. Otherwise, I will find a relative with a child of the same age. I have been aware of the disadvantages of being a lone child, and I shall never let that happen to my kid, and it is a promise that I have to make to myself.

An old photo with my cousin brother. Never be the lonely child.

An old photo with my cousin brother. Never be the lonely child in a busy universe of chaos.

Well, what is a vacation when the child is not happy? My mother always used to tell me to be happy, or it affects her and destroys the whole purpose of the vacation as it was always about me. She always wanted me to order what I wanted in a restaurant and would have the same thing. This is what I would do, especially when we all have the same thing for food, it is the first step to letting him make decisions during a vacation – his ideas need to be valued. I have had almost no say in even my early education, and I know the pain.

I would let my child explore the world with curiosity, but I will always keep an eye on him, making sure that his vacation universe goes perfectly, and looking at things in the way in which he sees things – it is a perspective that I would enjoy. It will be the best case of happiness for me to see my child enjoying a vacation which I had arranged. It makes my world special. When he loves the journey, my soul takes a leap forward, and it is what we should strive for when choosing a vacation. Let us remember the fact that every step that we make will also teach him something – so lets plan it well to make it a learning experience as well as an entertaining one.

This entry is my submission for the latest Happy Hours Campaign from Indiblogger in association with Club Mahindra’s Teddy Travelogues. I don’t think that Club Mahindra Holidays, a part of the Mahindra Group needs any introduction for any of us Indians. They are among the most commonly mentioned names in their field. For further details about the Teddy Travelogues from them, please spare some time to check http://membership.clubmahindra.com/TeddyTravelogues/index.html

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