Of Happiness and Optimism

There have been too many days which lacked the happiness factor in my life, and I often wondered why it was so difficult to find the joy which has been lost. It has never been my area of expertise. But I have found its opposite side with so much ease, and there has been absolutely no struggle associated with it. The absence of happiness is always present, and even when there is the most need. The reason was that there was no optimism, and the level of hope was so low!

Yes, being an optimist never came naturally to me, and it has been more about being a cynic all the time. Among them all, there was that November 28th which changed a few things. I was rather wandering around with no plans. Then there was something which came to me like music to the ears. It was the cry of a kitten from the canal in front of our house. From between the vegetation of the canal, a face looked up, and said the “meow” and again came up with another louder “meow”.

See who was waiting? Look at the smile there :D

See who was waiting? Look at the smile there as optimism works out for her 😀

Then I was like, this one is in the canal, and this was going to add to my sadness with this one going to die there. There was no way to bring it up as it was too steep all the way. That was another point of pessimism there, and then I saw it trying to climb up, trying again and again until almost reaching that point from where I could pull it up and take it home. Kittens are optimists aren’t they? I wondered if it could have done that as a pessimist.

We named her Simona and she has been a fighter. She gave a valuable lesson with her struggle to be up with us. From then, she has been a symbol of optimism in a never-ending manner. Simona, the symbol of perpetual optimism continues to be with us at home. She has been very good at providing some moments of happiness, becoming also the happiness factor of the family.

Let me in! Let me in...I want to sleep in that particular room too :D

I am an optimist kitty and I know clearly that I can get into that room 😉

The point was that what I have to do is to keep trying. Falling down has been another thing that came naturally to me, and the plan should have been to get up every time. Simona teaches so much, and the way she looks at you is optimism, and her knowledge that you will always be there to feed and look after her is the purest form of optimism. You can feel it in her eyes, and realize that you, the human is her best friend.

She needs her time with her humans, and she knows that they will always be there for her, whether to feed or to play with her, and to make sure that the necessary position on the lap is there for her. It is her optimism that we never want her to miss, as it is a contagious thing and she is a carrier of that beautiful factor. I have often wished that the optimism was a virus that could spread better.

She is Simona, or SI-MO in short, and she is our little cute optimism. Even as she has got bigger, everyday, she sits in front of the closed doors of the rooms of the house, letting us know that happiness as well as a positive approach towards life is not elusive. She has been proving that with each sunrise, making sure that the humans of the house never miss out on the joy of the beautiful day being shared with her. Yes, she tells us that the world is beautiful and better be optimistic about it and your own future!

The photos used for this blog post are the pictures of our kitten taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC W-310 during the time period between November 28th 2014 and February 28th 2015. This blog post was written as part of the Happy Hours campaign from Housing.com in association with Indiblogger. Do check this link for details: https://housing.com/lookup

TeNy

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A Season of Beginning

Throughout my life, I have searched for spring or even autumn and found summer, the kind that has been the cruelest of them all, with no hope for rejuvenation. Even now, the heat surely takes over, and this year is one of the hottest of them all, and my aim has been to eat three ice creams every day, but still not helping me that much. This temperature runs parallel to the heat that I have to face in life with a black hole of emptiness which keeps pulling me towards it.

The amount of heat has kept me without a desire to go out during day time, but then something happened; it is more of the discovery of a spring that could be eternal, without being bothered much by the other seasons. I had remained clueless, even as the decisions were ready to be made – I even had a problem about going out of summer, because I was never used to the spring. The closest to the spring that I ever reached was with the green trees of Union Christian College.

DSC00829

I have been trying to restrict the summer with a few movies, as I had gone to watch another one, a Malayalam movie called Saaradhi to another town, adding to the list of the places where I have watched a movie. After watching the flick, I wandered around the city aimlessly, looking for a place to have another tea. Then, my eyes stuck at an advertisement about a PSC coaching centre and I noted down the number.

I had given this a lot of thought that a little coaching can only do good, but couldn’t find the right place with the best timing. But when I had a cup of tea and made a call to the number, I could find the most appropriate timing at this place, for the early morning batch. It was not like magic was going to happen, but a new beginning was needed – just like the spring.

I decided to work hard for the PSC exams, going for a coaching in the early morning, just some distance from home, inspiring a journey of about twenty one kilometres. A coaching in the early morning was the best option, as it was sure to bring the freshness of the spring and there is cool climate which gives a boost, not like the winter cold, but with a certain lowering of temperature that gives a nice feeling.

I personally feel that the mornings are the best time to study, and it brings out the spring inside you to make the brain work better. I have always chosen to wake up early in the case of examinations, and it has mostly worked for me, unless I never really had any sleep due to the pressure and ended up with less sense in the examination hall.

I hope this also works for me, and helps me better with the future tests. I have been caught with a deep struggle with Mathematics for a long time, and I can surely feel the loss of many other things which I had learnt at school level. I can feel time running about, and I do feel worried that if there is no lasting spring this time, there might be no other. I need the season of rejuvenation in a world that has had so much less of spring.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

***The first image was taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W-310.

TeNy

Unconditional Asus Love

Asus Zenfone 5 has been my dream phone for quite a long time. This would be the third gadget from Asus I will be using if I could get to finally attain my love, the Asus Zenfone. For so many months, I have spent my time staring at her on various online shopping websites without saying a word. I have been a stalker of this phone for too long, and on this Valentine’s Day, I choose to tell her that she is my valentine.

Vampire Owl: But dude, she is just a phone. I mean, “it” is a phone. Choose the lady in the advertisement instead. That girl on the poster is a beauty too.

Never mind the Vampire Owl. He has been very jealous because he can’t use a phone without scratching it. It is in his blood to scratch. He never really owns a phone right now. He is a very sad owl and a depressed vampire. But I have got my Valentine on this wonderful day, and she is a Zenfone. Why is she my Valentine? Well, there are too many reasons for the same. I can give you five of them with ease.

1. The Beauty: There is some connection between love and beauty as far as the poets are concerned, and I choose to go through that connection with my future Zenfone. Among the mobile phones, I have considered Zenfone as the fairest of them all, and it doesn’t mean the one who doesn’t cheat with a line call during Badminton – but the most beautiful of them all. A Zenfone in red is so much of a joy to watch. It is not comparable to Kate Upton in red, but still too beautiful.

2. The Gaming Partner: I have always wanted a Valentine who could play games with me, and I have found one with Asus Zenfone. I feel that an amazing gaming experience awaits me with the phone, and I already have a small list of games ready, which I wish to expand once she becomes my Valentine. We shall play more games together than any immortal has played with his lovers. The games will keep us youthful for long. We might even come up with a gamer anthem.

3. The Honeymoon: I see that if I can make the Zenfone mine on this Valentine’s Day, I have a chance to fly to Singapore with her for honeymoon, and all the expenses will be covered by her only. Zenfone already has a honeymoon ready, and if still there is any doubt in my mind whether to propose to the wonderful phone, I have to ponder more on my thought procedures than anything else. Yes, I have been to Singapore and I love that place – another opportunity, this time with the loved one is only fair.

zens

4. That Energy: I cannot question her energy either, as Zenfone has that long battery backup and performance which might surprise me, even with the clear knowledge about the same. Who wouldn’t want a valentine with so much of energy? After all, she would always have the power to light up my life. I might loss my powers, but she won’t. She will remain better than me – it is something that I shall cherish.

5. And Simplicity: ZenUI is intelligent and simple – who wouldn’t like a smart girl who has absolutely no vanity and talks with such simplicity? Zenfone is such a lovely character – never boasting about her skills and always keeping things simple; not falling into the Devil’s favourite sin. Lucifer might be very unhappy with that, but let him be so, because he should have a lot of free time at hell. Pride has no role in her heart. She is worth every word of love that you say for her.

This blog post is part of the Happy Hours campaign from Indiblogger in association with Asus India.

***The image used in this blog post is from the Happy Hours campaign page.

TeNy

The Introvert Opinion

Malayalam movie industry had two inspirational movies in the earlier part both the years 2014 and 2015. But the fact remains that Mili hasn’t got the attention that the movie How Old Are You had, and the reason is mostly the presence of Manju Warrier in that movie, as one of the best and the most popular actresses in the industry had returned to the big screen after such a long time. Some people who had an easy path in life won’t be able to digest the problems of Mili either with their lack of empathy and having no consideration for others. But there are a number of reasons why Mili rises and stands much above How Old Are You.

Mili is more realistic: Among the two movies, Mili is the more realistic one, as our heroine remains the same, and she only does what any person can do. But How Old Are You brings too much into the scene, including the Indian President, a huge vegetable garden and the quick change of the protagonist for almost no real reason. There is even a lady who abuses a security personnel for just doing his job – wonder what is the goodness there. Mili is full of goodness, and has had better and more realistic turning points. Mili thrives on its simplicity, and thanks to the same, almost everyone can relate with her.

milii (1)

Mili has a better protagonist: Another advantage of Mili is the presence of a protagonist with which almost everyone can relate. She is someone who had problems since her childhood while How Old Are You has a heroine who was always super and has lived her married life pretending to be what she is not. She had ability and she was a pretender for which she deserves no applause. She had a good government job and still she had chosen to be not her. Mili Nair is not the same, as she could never find herself, and she had actually struggled a lot – had no job, hope or love.

Mili is straight to the point: As How Old Are You deviates from making its point on too many occasions, Mili is always there and never goes behind in making its point. Mili is a voice for the introverts, children as well as for the women. It can also be used for motivation by most of the subaltern, unlike How Old Are You which is limited in its scope and yet tries too many things just because it has a veteran actress playing the major role. Mili is life, and Mili belongs to the heart and soul.

milii (2)

Mili has to succeed for the introverts and those children who were forced to compete and were considered good for nothing just because they couldn’t live up-to the expectations. It is a voice for hope for the future. It will help to raise a better generation of children who are taught to be good instead of being achievers in one way or the other. This better development of a future generation and the youth is the gift of this movie towards the society. It will help the greedy people to realize that money isn’t everything, and it is more about goodness than anything else.

I have been blessed with many relatives who boast about their sons and daughters just because they are studying in a reputed university or are earning so much with their jobs. The sad thing about the same is that they try to degrade the others along with doing the same. They think that everyone else is useless. It is okay to say good things about people, but why would they want to degrade others? Ask Mili Nair, and ask every other kid who has been forced to be someone else and couldn’t. Mili is one of those children who had to suffer due to the third rate demands of the society. Mili is future, and Mili is hope.

mili (3)

About the relatives, it took me about twenty years to get the evil out of my life and somehow manage to get their violent ways away, deciding on my life. They still bother me at times with their boasting, but I know their true colours now. Mili Nair was actually faster – and she did that so well. May be children who watch Mili can plan their lives better and the new age parents can be better guardians as well as friends to their children. Isn’t that a much needed thing in the current world where relationships begin to make no sense?

As William Wordsworth had mentioned in his poem My Heart Leaps Up or The Rainbow, “The Child is father of the Man”, and it is reiterated in this movie – lets understand our children better and not blame them for their lack of skills, which is why Mili is so significant. ***All the images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook page of Mili the movie (https://www.facebook.com/milimovieofficial). Read my full review: (https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/mili)

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

Strongest of Memories

This is something that I thought I should share on another day which would be considered more as the day of bigger relevance, but I don’t see any reason why I should delay this. To be frank, I think that I should have posted this one a long time ago. The one below is a poem which I had written on the demise of Jean Mathew, one of the earliest elderly brother figures I ever had; and to think more about it, I can’t remember any other. We had lost him to brain tumour on the third of March 2013.

He should be the most hardworking person I have ever known. Even at the worst of times, he was known for his faith, belief and hope, with a courage to face whatever comes next. He was active at http://jeanmathew.blogspot.in/ and http://photoshealingwords.blogspot.in/ during the toughest of times. The poem below has been shared before in his memories collected in a book form, but never online, and so I thought I would share this here too. This is no In Memoriam, Thyrsis, Adonais or Lycidas, but just what I could come up with at that time. May be I can come up with something better on another day.

The memories go back to the 1990s
It was to Malampuzha that our first big trip
Happened like never before, with bliss
And I stood there with Jean chettan in front of
A structure which was India’s map in grass
And there was our first photo taken together.

One of our earliest photos, scanned from the old collection

One of our earliest photos, scanned from the old collection of memories.

And just in a few years, during that sojourn
At Palai, among the first few computer games
Which I ever knew, one of them named Paperboy
Along with some random Tetris and Racing stuff
And then at Vagamon, still one of our best photos
With the wind, Jean chettan and myself.

And that is not everything about photos though
As he captured the best moments of the world
Freezing time and space for us all to behold
And each snap by Jean chettan brought thoughts
With Bible verses gracefully attached to them
Those lambent snaps added further sunshine.

Cropped from his photo collections with inspirational Bible Versions.

Cropped from his photo collections with inspirational Bible Versions.

I still remember how much of hardwork
Jean chettan put into everything he did
And whenever I see any photo of those
Which were fallen autumn leaves or that
Which fell from the sky as pure white snow
I feel the radiance of what he captured.

Even as I shall never be able to show the same
Undisputed courage and strength in adversity
Or be that much hardworking as Jean chettan ever
His self-evident faith and optimism has done
A lot and has given strength to more than one soul
And left me further vivified in my own beliefs.

TeNy

The Need for Cleanliness

We ask for many things in this world. Isn’t cleanliness among them? My hope is that it will be a basic requirement soon, and people will get to realize the same. During my earlier visit to Singapore, I did wonder if India can one day have the same cleanliness. I wondered about what they had that India didn’t. I have found the state of Kerala cleaner as a whole, but never really steady in its cleanliness, especially these days as waste is indeed being thrown on the side of the roads. All photos used here were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310 except for the one mentioned otherwise.

What is it that a beautiful country needs? It is not the tourist attractions, because nature and history has already provided the same as long as they are not vandalized. What every nation needs is cleanliness, as it is very important for the health and hygiene of the citizens of the nations as well as the visitors. Without good sanitation, we can’t say that we are good hosts and follow the policy of “Athithi Devo Bhava”. Yes, some people might think that we are awesome hosts just because there is a phrase about it, but the real fact is that we have to work on it.

Is it fair towards the animals? I don't think so.

Is it fair towards the animals? I don’t think so.

The first thing that can come to some people might be to act that they should try to create a show for the others, acting as if trying to clean, just because it is the trend. No, you are not doing any favour to the nation by doing so. The first thing to do is to keep your house and premises clean, and then your neighbourhood area. It is how the whole thing should begin. Haven’t we all heard about the saying “charity begins at home”? Well, so does the health and hygiene – we can’t make the society any better without changing ourselves, can we?

Our responsibility to our nation begins at home. Whatever we do at home is significant, even as not many people are aware of what we do in our room or on the backside of our house. It is what we practice at home that we take to the world outside. It is our actions between our own that is reflected even when we are outside and nobody is looking. Yes, this has to start with oneself, and not with a bigger group. If you walk around a broom and keep your house untidy, you are to blame despite what show you can come up with in the public.

Kitty caught in what humans litter (taken on my Galaxy Duos)

Kitty caught in what humans litter (taken on my Galaxy Duos)

We have polluted our world, made it terrible for many creatures of nature, and it is all because we don’t care much. With that pollution, we have spread diseases, and these begin when we don’t care about waste disposal. Check all those rivers; are they any cleaner than they used to be? So much waste has been thrown into the rivers, and it is almost impossible to drink directly from there days or even clean. Even the holy rivers are not spared. This proves that clean India doesn’t mean that we should dispose our waste anywhere.

Yes, we have people who get rid of their waste by throwing it to the properties of others. We also have those who put their waste anywhere when nobody is looking. They are no lesser evil than those big industries which pollute our air as well as water, some of them even directly causing deadly diseases to humans and killing off a lot of creatures and plants. It is a need to raise our voice against these practices, but only when we keep cleanliness in our own home that we are worthy of the same, and it is what we should strive for.

This should be applicable everywhere, but why is that we need signs?

This should be applicable everywhere, but why is that we need signs?

This blog post is written in relation to Dettol NDTV Banega Swachh India campaign in association with Indiblogger, and it is a much needed move towards a better India. Please check http://swachhindia.ndtv.com/ for more details, and lets contribute to making and keeping our nation clean not as something which we are forced to do, but as a part of our lives as a duty towards our nation and the fellow countrymen.

This initiative is a program to address the rising need of hygiene and sanitation in India. It will try to create awareness about the same, and will also work for construction and maintenance of toilets. The brand ambassador is none other than Big B – Amitabh Bachchan. NDTV Dettol – Banega Swachh India bus is supposed to cover about four hundred villages across eight Indian states – Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, MP and Maharashtra. With the same, they will create awareness around hygiene and sanitation through a number of ways which can connect the best with the common man.

Cheers to http://swachhindia.ndtv.com/.
TeNy

Attempt for a Clean India

We are all proud Indians, and our national awareness and patriotism reaches new heights when Indian cricket team wins the World Cup or during some other international event. We are extremely happy if an Indian somehow makes to the next round of a big tennis tournament or wins a medal in any of the games. But do we have the same feeling concerning cleanliness? Do we find a clean India as something to be proud of? Shouldnt we consider it the more significant thing and not abusing the players from other countries?

Our new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi also came up with a request for the same, as the new government seems to have their attention on cleanliness. There are advertisements all around the movie theatres and multiplxes concerning the same, asking us to respect and follow the path set by the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi. They have raised their voice through the media and made things clear. It has actually made a lot of people aware of the need to the same. But have most of us changed, or is it limited to a few people or practiced only when camera is rolling?

Kitty caught in what humans litter (taken on my Galaxy Duos)

Kitty caught in what humans’ litter (Photo taken on my Samsung Galaxy Duos)

People still throw their waste on the road, and even relieves themselves in the open, leading to the spread of diseases through mosquitoes and rats. A lot of big cities are facing this problem in a bigger way. One has to wonder why people are so careless about it. There are big garbage collections on the side of the major roads and nobody cares? Isn’t that one of the most depressing things a fast developing nation can have? Are we not better than this? Than why does this happen? The bigger question is about why nobody is saying anything about it?

We have the tendency to avoid a few things which don’t directly affect us, especially if we don’t consider them as a big deal. We might look at the world around us and try to adjust with the lack of cleanliness rather than doing something with it. We are determined to make adjustments to the situations. But things are surely changing. #AbMontuBolega is a campaign for the same reason, and it reminds us that it has been a long time since the need has arisen for the common man to come up and do something about it. One can try raising his or her voice, and see what happens.

Not among the cleaner beaches, right? (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

Not among the cleaner beaches, right? (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

We have the right to do so, as much as concerning any other thing. Cleaning and maintaining that cleanliness have been a thing of problem for our nation. We haven’t been known to be among the cleaner countries in the world. There exists a lot of foreigners as well as NRIs who have complained about the same. But no right step has been taken. People become more and more aware of the same, but don’t care to do anything about it, because we adjust too much. We need to keep calm and speak about it like Montu at the website http://www.abmontubolega.com/.

So, next time when we see some garbage, let’s make sure that we make an impact. Let it be certain that we don’t drop garbage on the streets, and also try to do a certain amount of cleaning by ourselves. If we see someone doing that, there is the need to raise our voice and talk to them about it. If there is a real bad situation concerning the waste disposal, it is our duty to inform the authorities and make sure that they take the right action concerning it. Our nation needs collective efforts and one or two people can begin to make a difference.

Every place needs to make sure about the trash (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

Every place needs to make sure about trash (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

This blog post was written in association with #AbMontuBolega campaign from Strepsils in association with Indiblogger. The campaign asks us to raise our voice against the lack of cleanliness, and deal with everything dirty, as there are places which needs our attention. It is only if we raise our voice that the desired results are achieved. Please do check the website http://www.abmontubolega.com/, as well as Strepsils on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/StrepsilsIndia) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/StrepsilsIndia) for further details.

TeNy

Past, Present and Health

We all have memories of our childhood, but mine actually started much later, but among those days which are part of the big memory train, are those early days of school and what followed the same. I was considered as a child for a pretty long time, and therefore I haven’t really kept the exact border for the moment which I ceased being a child, and that should indeed be debatable. All the pictures that I share below are scanned from my old photographs.

Among the things that I can remember from those days include a number of calcium tablets, and a few tablets for immunity, but there was always Dabur Chyawanprash which took the centre stage on a lot of occasions. I used to run away from anything which was said to be good for health, but this one did have an interesting taste at that time, even though I did ask for one chocolate after having the same just because it had become a routine for me.

I was pretty good at smiling those days :D

I was pretty good at smiling those days 😀

The need for some extra immunity rises from the fact that these days, there is rarely the time for children at the hands of parents who both would be working, quite in contrast to that idea of having the mother always being present for the child. Yes, things have changed radically, and the need to improve the child’s immunity and protect him or her from illness now has more requirements, and parents might not be able to do the same.

This is where something like Dabur Chyawanprash would come into the picture. It has also happened in my case, and I didn’t have that much of a healthy childhood. Born to working parents, and with a father who is always working at one or the other corner of the nation, not really there when you needed him the most, and the mother struggling to handle two pesky kids (I was still the less mischievous one, even as irritating enough), it was never going to be easy to get the right nutrients to the kids.

Maintaining one’s health is extremely important, and there is no need for any text book to talk about the same. When a child gets sick, it destroys the flow of daily life and the problem takes over the whole household. The children can always be asked not to go outside to play or venture out when the climate could get bad, but the question is about why can’t there be the thought about increasing the child’s immunity rather than stopping him or her from enjoying life before getting stuck with a boring life that is to follow?

Still, one of the more dangerous kids around, of course :D

Still, one of the more dangerous kids around, of course 😀

Here comes Dabur Chyawanprash again with its offer of a better immunity. There is no time for the parents to see what all the children eat and drink, and they often let them have food from outside – but how can one be sure about what they are provided with in the canteens and restaurants with their friends or relatives? Even yesterday, there existed the news about a number of restaurants given notice for supplying old food – and most of the times, these people are repeat violators and we don’t even realize that. There is nothing that we can do about that.

Despite our hope for an immune India, the world around us won’t get any better, and the choices we would have can only get worse. Due to the same, it is only a very good option to choose something like Dabur Chyawanprash. After all, what we want is the best for the kids, and what is better than giving them protection, that supply of immunity which they need, and what parents have the duty to provide them? Let’s hope for the better days and healthier children on this wonderful festival of lights, and keep the faith alive.

*This post is specifically written for the Indi Happy Hours campaign, A HEALTHY CHILD MAKES A HAPPY HOME! Thanks to Dabur India and IndiBlogger for the opportunity. For more details, please visit the link below:
https://www.liveveda.com/daburchyawanprash/

TeNy

The Virus of Cynicism

It is indeed a universe of chaos, where there are more doubts and uncertainties than the world has ever dreamt of. We live in a world which seems to be governed by the Lord of the Flies and not by any ring, magic wand or a talking lion. In the human world which is intrinsically bad and inherently evil, there is still goodness, and even as I am surprised that there is at least a little bit of the same, there is such an existence, and a more significant thing is that a lot of people believe in the same.

There have been certain incidents which have lead me to feel that may be people can actually trust each other in this world. It is not that people are regularly breaking my trust – I am a cynic, because I have seen so many people going through the selfish path; yes, we all might choose such a road at some point of time, but when we see that so often and as the only path that some people travel through with no chance of even one wrong turn that makes them differ, cynicism takes over.

The humans are grown in a world of chaos, aren't they? (Pic from The Matrix official FB page)

The humans are grown in a world of chaos, aren’t they? (Pic from The Matrix official FB page)

There are a few occasions when I wondered how people can afford to trust others so much in a world where people are judged by their money and achievements. The first one was when a random person who didn’t know Malayalam, English or Hindi trusted me to lead him to the bus station and into the right bus. I traveled with him and made sure that he was going towards the right destination. Sticking to my cynical self, I would have never even thought about asking a stranger, and might go around asking at least three people before getting into a bus, plus I would ask and confirm if he or she is hundred percent sure about it.

The second one was when a random elderly person asked me for help to withdraw his money from an ATM machine. But in my case, I wouldn’t trust any person to be even near me when I am using it. I keep checking my surroundings if there is some possible thief waiting somewhere, and if I can’t withdraw the money, I would just drop all the plans. So, as soon as his job seemed to be done, I rushed out of there without waiting for a thank you, because I was a cynic and will never approve his idea as to trusting the stranger. I was actually afraid that someone else might not do it rightly for him.

Then there is the case of people borrowing books from me, and it is not that much of a different case, as there are people who haven’t given them back to me and hence the case justified. So, when I give them books, nowadays I believe that I won’t get them back, and so if they return them, it is just a bonus. There is no difference in the case of CDs and DVDs. I have wondered which is that point where there comes the part from where we can begin trusting people. Yes, I do trust my good friends, but that trust doesn’t come from nowhere, but rises from situations and after a lot of time.

Only if controlling the idea could be done through dreams (Photo from The Inception FB page)

Only if controlling the idea could be done through dreams (Photo from The Inception FB page)

The same has been the case with me since childhood; when I was a kid studying in around the fourth standard, I gave a friend a video game, and when it was asked back, his mother asked “Why did you give it to him? It is why this has happened”. There marks the beginning of my cynicism. I have still trusted too many people unconditionally in my life, but more incidents have lead to the spreading of this idea about trust like a virus, and it has been growing inside me, not allowing me to trust people in general. I don’t believe that people have good intentions in general, and that idea is something which had a slow growth inside me.

But it has helped me to be more careful and not to expect much from people. If a break of trust happens, I will always be ready for it, and there will be no complaints from my side, and that much I can be sure about. I don’t have much hope or expectations, but I am more than just willing to do my job with sincerity while keeping my expectations low. We should do what we have to, and bad things will happen, but lets go on with what we do. We just can’t make people trustworthy, or be good. It is not within our power. It has helped me to try and be more sincere to others, as the world might not be.

TeNy

The Path to Redemption

2009 saw the release of Solomon Kane, telling the tale of the rise of a hero, a protagonist who was different from the rest, and even his motives having a separate cause behind them. It has James Purefoy has the protagonist, a former mercenery seeking redemption. It came up with a great atmosphere, which was not scary, but still haunting, and its use of the elements like plague, demons, sorcery and swordfights without overdoing anything, is worth mentioning. It was one of those movies which came instantly into my favourites list.

Our hero is Solomon Kane, a ruthless man who has massacred innocents in war, and one day, captures a castle in North Africa where his men are taken away by demons from the mirror around, and he comes face to face against the Devil’s Reaper who is there to take his soul to hell for the terrible things he had done. But he rejects the fate that is put in front of him and jumps out into the sea to begin a life in hope for redemption.

You don't mess with Solomon Kane (Pic from movie's FB page)

You don’t mess with Solomon Kane (Pic from movie’s FB page)

He comes to believe that his hope for salvation will be attained by pacifism. But that would change when he is provided asylum by a family which is later slaughtered, and the young daughter of the family is taken by an evil sorcerer. There comes the alternate path for redemption, and we see that he says “There are many paths to redemption, not all of them peaceful”. From there, he travels a different path, not something that is unknown to him, but something that was there to be taken.

The world itself reflects the state of the protagonist’s mind. There is wasteland all around, with not much hope left for anyone. There is evil running through the world and goodness is rare to find. Demons ravage the world and the angels are nowhere to be found. Well, not that much different from the present world, but in the case of this movie world, it was clearly visible – in this century, even demons can act as angels really well and any possible angel is mistaken as a demon.

The name itself reminds us of two people, and we see the contrast there – the wise king who was Solomon, and the cursed human whom Cain ended up becoming, after slaying his sibling. These two personalities seem to exist in him, and it was only upto him to decide which one he had chosen to become. James Purefoy is a lot like the poor man’s Hugh Jackman, and here he is, like Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing – and that helps. Do look out for the yound Rachel Hurd-Wood as Meredith Crowthorn, the same person who played Sibyl Vane in 2009’s Dorian Gray, another character of innocence.

“If I kill you, I am bound for hell. It is a price I shall gladly pay” – this is what Solomon Kane would eventually come up with. The movie has no clear presence of God or the Devil, as there are only messengers to those beyond Earth. Devil himself chooses to send the Reaper rather than bringing himself or his trusted minions to Solomon Kane. Even the redemption of our protagonist is a story which seems to be never-ending, and only a few sequels can bring it to the finishing line. There is a lot left for humans to accomplish on Earth by themselves, and for the same, we might need help, but not new human gods.

Behold evil in all its glory (Pic from aceshowbiz)

Behold evil in all its glory (Pic from aceshowbiz)

Solomon Kane’s message is to react to the evil rather than let it thrive. It asks to act for the righteous and on the side of goodness rather than checking such things and thus seek redemption for the wrong that has been done. Even for the worst, there is the hope for redemption, even during the worst of times. The movie’s message remains strong as it has a strong protagonist played by a wonderful actor, and the atmosphere of the movie keeps the viewers interested in it. I loved the rain that kept pouring. This is a movie I choose to recommend highly. It deserves to be watched – for Solomon Kane didn’t get a release at this part of the world.

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