Count Fantastic-o-Dracul-a

Vampire Owl: Greetings, my dear vampire apprentices. I have just come back from the dead. Well, it is one of the advantages of being immortal; you never really die even when you forget the conditions of the immortality pact. As I am back again, we are going to have one of those special classes right now, and today’s subject is “Count Fantastic-o-Dracul-a”, and it is from a work which I have written along with the Vampire Bat who happens to be my co-author for many tales of vampirism. There will be the need to remember this for two papers, and so be careful because the class will determine how much you will score for the examinations. By the end of this class, you will surely get to understand how great the achievements of Uncle Dracula have been. Any questions?

Vampire Penguin: Sir, when is the break? Is it after half an hour?

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Vampire Owl: There will be no break and no more questions. Lets get back to the work. As you know, it is a great work, as I am the one who wrote it. It has been selected for the Vampire Booker Prize as well as the Vampire Academy Special Prize. It deals with the great vampire saga of Uncle Dracula, or Count Fantastico who skillfully created an illusion of death when stabbed through the heart by those miserable humans, and continued to serve the world.

Vampire Crocodile: They still think that Uncle Dracula is dead? How ridiculous!

Vampire Penguin: I believe that most of them think that he never really existed. Can you believe it?

Vampire Owl: There are rather too many things that the evil humans believe. They have manipulated the story of Dracula trying to buy a small amount of land with a house in a rich, capitalist neighbourhood and depicted him as a demon. In his story with himself as the hero, they have made him the villain. The true villain was always Abraham Van Helsing, and it was Jonathan Harker who is responsible for spreading all those rumours which lead to this villain being termed a hero. The only thing that Dracula tried to do is to save Lucy Westenra and Mina Murray who were controlled by these people. For this, they have destroyed the letters and diary entries written by Dracula which they managed to steal, and created their own versions.

Vampire Crow: This is quite depressing, you know.

Vampire Owl: Yes, but after creating that illusion of his death, Dracula thrived. He traveled all around the world, living most of his time in exile at the villages of different Asian nations, helping people and teaching them how to protect themselves from the evil like Abraham Van Helsing and his dangerous minions. They were the ones to call him Fantastico for the very first time. He taught them that they had to stand for their rights or all that they will have might be a knife or a stake through the heart this day or the other. He recruited his first disciple and the new master of dark arts, Vampire Bat during his visit to the South of India.

Vampire Penguin: So, the rumours were indeed true.

Vampire Owl: Yes, he also attained spiritual enlightenment during his travel through the Himalayas. The truth is that there is no mountain in the world which he hasn’t visited, and there is no river which he hasn’t crossed. He has been a true traveler on Earth, as he has provided the humans with information as well as wisdom during his journeys. He has also indirectly played a huge role in stopping the two world wars, especially the second. But the humans will never know it, and the ones who realize that will try to hide that information because Dracula will always be an outsider to them.

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Vampire Crow: I seriously don’t understand why the humans are so mean.

Vampire Crocodile: They have always done that; often appreciating people only according to the religion, caste, ethnicity and region. There is no universal brotherhood among them, and unlike us, they are not one – so they are surely not going to accept one of us as we are twice the outsiders.

Vampire Penguin: Yes, they only like me because I am white. Otherwise, they would have asked me to return after trying Fair and Lovely.

Vampire Crow: What? Why would you even say that now?

Vampire Owl: You just note these things down and think about how and why Uncle Dracula needs to be known as Count Fantastico, the man who has no match in his greatness. The better you understand his qualities, the more you can score in the examinations. I can provide you with an extra photostat versions so that you can deal with the one word questions better – there will be ten of them from outside the syllabus. The top scorer in this subject will get a special prize from Uncle Dracula himself. It is something called the Golden Medal of Imperial Blood.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie, Hotel, Transylvania.

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

TeNy

Horror Genre: Impact on Life

I have answered the questions about my favourite genres by adding something with the word “horror”. If you have been reading my blog, you might already know that I was always attracted to the genre of horror. It is also the genre which had the most impact on my life. Here are the results of the horror influence on my life, and it is why I need to watch more and more horror movies to keep recharging the impact!

I was very much not immune to fear during my childhood and the early days of reading horror. But that was only for a very short time period, as things changed, and horror was not really about bringing fear anymore. It was not about being scared. The whole thing became the reflection of entertainment. It changed my love for fairy-tales into a world of dark fantasy, and my life became different; unlike being the same as that of other kids.

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Horror helped me to understand another important thing in life, which can be considered as the biggest impact that it has made on me. It made me realize that horror is just part of life. This dark side which forms an inevitable factor in human society, has to be embraced to accept that horror is real, and after that horror movies have been the path to knowing more of the truth in my case. Ghosts are real in one form or the other, and so is horror – I realized that with my relationship with horror genre.

Another realization came with the horror impact in the form of the thoughts about the presence of evil. I came to the acceptance that evil is part of our lives, and only by an extra dose of goodness that this evil can be kept away from our lives. The inherent evil in humans will come out at one moment or the other, and it is by understanding the nature of horror which has been created by evil or occuring naturally, can we be equipped enough to fight the battles.

There are horror movies which have told us that quick death is only an escape from pain and misery, as the world has too much of horror for a common person. Pain and suffering are just parts of the horror which are unleashed on us. The basic nature of the world itself is horror, as we look at those wars, terrorism and natural calamities. Easy death is rather a lucky thing, and considering the nature of the world around, death or the closeness to it can come in the form of horror and suffering.

Horror’s impact has also made me believe that ghosts are rather better. Humans are worse, and if we are to be killed, it is is better to have it done by the hands of some ghosts which are just tormented souls looking for revenge most of the time. Ghosts are not known to attack others of their own kind too, but it is not the case of humans. They have more evil inside, which is boosted by the materialistic world, and this means more horror from humans than the ghosts.

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I also provide you with some time to think about it. There are many genres from which you can choose your favourite. But is there a genre which is as close to life than horror? Can any other genre make that kind of an impact on life staying close to reality? I have found these genres like romance and science fiction as two big lies, both of these never really happening to the common man. But horror is everywhere – you will see something belonging to this genre everywhere, because it is that close to human nature; it is why you feel the impact better with horror.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the movies, The Cabin in the Woods and Your’e Next.

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

TeNy

Legend of Good People

The world is built on legends. We come across many of such kind. We hear something about King Arthur, Achilles, Lady Godiva, Robin Hood, Odysseus and many others throughout our lives. But there are times when I do wonder about whom the real legends should be created. It is not about people who does great things, but about people who convert little things into something that inspires us; to something that makes us feel good in this world which is surely not getting any better.

The goodness in this world needs to be talked about because it is becoming more of a myth about which stories will be made in future, and people of that age will only reply that such good deeds are not possible – for them, it will be all about profit, reputation and happiness will be a reflection of how much one has earned and what all luxuries someone can manage to possess. This is why we need these stories of goodness, and get the much needed inspiration as we go through this world of chaos.

Lets not travel to El Dorado or Atlantis, and lets not search for the Fountain of Youth, Elixir of Life or the Holy Grail, as we are looking for our people right here, between us, making difference like no other. I would like to talk about the same with Father Joy Ettuveettil, who runs Snehakoodu, the charitable trust for boys at the town of Aluva. He has been one of the most dedicated priests who have been involved in social work for a long time, and this particular home for the homeless has been a wonderful initiative.

We were hoping to make the season of Halloween special with a special initiative which included collecting money and old clothes, and this was the first place which came to our mind. Yes, the first meeting was a few years ago, but even last year, the children had sent us a Christmas greetings card as usual. I was going through those usual negative things which keep coming to the mind, and then this one returned to my mind, and it is part of those few moments of light which brightens the soul.

Our notices before the first and the second Halloweens.

A sample of our notices during the season of Halloween.

This brings one back to that eternal question – is it about building those megastructures, all those worship places for God when what matters is what you have done for your fellow human being without discriminating on the basis of the social status, religion, community and caste? As you take the Parable of the Good Samaritan from the Holy Bible, you will find that even when Samaritans and Jews generally despised each other, it is the Samaritan who helps the injured man when people from the same community don’t care; humanity in the end is just one big family.

This is why every religion needs good leaders who don’t discriminate, and make sure that the needs of the common man is given the highest priority. We need leaders who try to do what they can to make sure that all our fellow human beings are provided the basic needs. The big festivals and more additions to the worship places can wait. We need good men and women who care for people just like they care for God and the places which are meant for him. We need religious heads who are people of God and men, not businessmen, and not those who make hate speech against others.

This is the same reason why we need initiatives like Snehakoodu, and Father Joy has done an amazing job in keeping the charity work going for the destitute and the homeless, as well as the other children in trouble. He has built this charitable organization from nothing, and it is a place which will require the donations. If you are planning to help, please go forward with that, as Snehakoodu is one of those charitable trusts where I visited so many times, and I have myself found it to be a very noble venture. Yes, goodness has its presence, we all have the chance to be part of it.

Btw, have you checked this link which serves as the mouthpiece of the youth as you take your time for the positive side and #SpreadTheVibe with stories of inspiration?: http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/

TeNy

Lights of the Night

“We shouldn’t have decided to start the journey at night. A better option was to start early morning, may be around five thirty or six thirty” she told him.

“It is easier to reach there before midnight. The traffic will be less, and as we usually sleep after midnight, this is not going to be a problem. We will reach the destination before midnight easily. The total distance we have to travel is around one hundred and seventy five kilometres, and according to my plans, we are going to be there as expected” he replied.

“But it is very dark out there. Whatever remains of the street lights are not working and the road has just enough width for two cars. We are traveling towards a mountainous area and there is rain outside. Can you see much in this fog?” she asked.

Darkness spreads. But how fast can that happen?

Darkness spreads. What lies beyond those which the human eyes can catch?

“I don’t understand why you are so worried. I have traveled through such areas throughout my life, and I have driven so much through the dangerous areas. I have driven even through those places where there remained almost no trace of road. You should just take your mobile and log in to Facebook and check a few status updates instead of being tensed. Or may be you can talk to one of your friends on Whatsapp” he said with confidence.

“The rain is only getting stronger, and so is the wind. I think there is complete power failure in the area. There is no light anywhere. I think that this area doesn’t have houses or shops too. We shouldn’t have taken the shortcut; the direct route had more width, better quality roads and some shops and houses. This is like a deserted world. I think that you have discovered the road less traveled and it has created all the problems” she continued.

“Still, I have saved so much of fuel by traveling through this route. Is it so difficult for you to use Facebook or Whatsapp?” he asked her.

“There is no range here, and you are asking me to check Facebook and Whatsapp. Do you even know if we are going in the right direction? There hasn’t been a signboard for the last one hour. The only vehicles that we have seen are some trucks, most of them carrying timber” she said in a worried tone.

“I believe that we have traveled about a quarter of the total distance. The journey was slower than expected because of the rain and the curves on the road. But as soon as the rain is over and a few more kilometers pass, we can go at a higher speed and once we can continuously travel at the desired pace, the destination will feel closer” he assured her.

“This is the last time I am coming with you on a drive. I am going to remember this big mistake for a long time. Next time, I shall choose one of those AC low floor buses or at least take a taxi” she complained.

Suddenly, an SUV appeared from the corner in high speed with its high intensity lights falling right into his eyes along with all those extra lights which were added to the front side of the vehicle. Blinded by the lights and trying to avoid the SUV from coming too close to the car, he took a left which brought the vehicle to the edge which was slippery due to the rain. The SUV vanished from the sight as it took the next turn while the car found it in the air until the people of a neighbourhood under the hill heard a huge noise. They got out of their houses to find the local vegetarian restaurant without its roof and on fire.

“It is the restaurant. There will be no Special Masala Dosa for a few days” one of the men was heard saying.

The rain had stopped and the dark clouds were slowly moving away. The moon had returned from under the clouds. On the top of the hill, two people were having tea. One of them, a lady was wearing black and the man was was wearing a combination of black and red. They finished the tea and looked down to see the fire.

So, let the dark clouds leave and get to the destination I am talking about.

So there is a lot of beauty there, but death has power over everything else.

“I feel for these common people, but I can’t do anything about it. See, I try to have a certain number of souls to finish the month meeting the requirements, but these just add to them and provide me some extra souls. These road accidents caused by bright and high intensity lights give me those souls who were never supposed to come to me so early. It is disappointing that they die. I think about not taking their souls, but I do some mercy killing because I can’t stand their pain” Lady Death said.

“It is the common problem with these humans. They can’t dim the lights and make it better for the other drivers. They only think about themselves. This is why we vampires don’t drive at night. Vampire Bat always talks about this. About seventy five percent of the people never dim the lights even if we warn them using the horn. Unless there is a camera to catch these people, and a restriction against using the extra high intensity lights, these accidents can’t be prevented. But when the rich people use all the high intensity lights in the world, who can stop them in the human world which is governed by money alone?” Dracula asked.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me.

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

TeNy

Guards in Shining Armour

The Vampire Team was asked by Uncle Dracula to provide protection to the fairy godmother. She was threatened by the Draconian Reptile Order and the Dark Warlords after her long speech about being calm and tolerant. Her act of turning a frog into a snake was also considered a case of blasphemy by the former, and as an act of war cry by the latter. Three were selected to guard and prevent any kind of terrorist act.

Vampire Hamster: The bell is ringing. I think we should go because it is the time to disperse. But wait! Actually, why were we here?

Vampire Bat: We are here for guard duty. There are no bells here. The noise is from the Bleeding Neck Vampire LP School.

Vampire Hamster: The awesome BNVLPS where people get one A+ score free with a B+ score? Wow! Can I get an admission? This might be late by an eternity, but still?

Vampire Owl: Didn’t he know this before from the vampire study classes? We should have asked for the Vampire Crocodile instead. This memory-free apprentice is getting into my nerves.

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Vampire Bat: He didn’t want to come when he knew that we were watching Lake Placid. He finds the movie very disturbing and anti-crocodile; there is a petition already sent to the Supernatural League to find a way to ban it confiscate all DVDs.

Vampire Owl: But it is supposed to a cool movie. We are watching Lake Placid? When?

Vampire Bat: When you were asleep during guard duty, and our apprentice here had forgotten about the same.

Vampire Hamster: Excuse me sir, but I think that there is a human coming this way.

Vampire Owl: Humans are here? All hope in this fantasy world is also lost! What happened to the respect for other creative dimensions and the limits of exploration?

Vampire Bat: May be he is just lost. The portals between dimensions are rather messy these days. A few days ago, we even had potato people coming through. We will just ask him to spare some blood for lunch and let him go.

Vampire Hamster: Halt, human! In the name of Count…count – whatever was the name and full title; in the name of the lord of all vampires, stop right there!

Stranger: But I really want to see my fairy godmother. Why are you standing in front of her door? Who are you people who are blocking the devotees? Are you her disciples?

Vampire Bat: First of all, don’t call her your fairy godmother and she takes no devotees. She is no property of any human. And second thing, we are not disciples; we are assigned to protect the fairy godmother from all kinds of evil presence, which includes you.

Vampire Hamster: Now I understand why we are here. All hail the fairy godmother! Do we get paid in Milkybars?

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Vampire Owl: I think about him writing a PSC or NET exam in the other world. Well, this person has some explaining to do. Why is he actually here? He is not supposed to be running around through our world.

Stranger: I am here to see the fairy godmother as I have said already. I am here to see her so that I can change my world. My wife also wanted to come here and wish her on the mother’s day. But sadly, she had to visit my mother on mother’s day because the old lady was insisting on the same. So, I am here to seek the blessings of the fairy godmother so that my life will get better, and I will be like Cinderella and we will have a lot of wealth with easy life. She is more like the goddess and mother of everyone.

Vampire Bat: So you think that you could escape from your responsibilities towards your own mother and instead call a lady who does magic as “mother”? Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds? May be not that much in your world, but here?

Stranger: But I love the fairy godmother. There is no other mother for me.

Vampire Owl: I think that he should be impaled on this spear and we can use him as an exhibit – the grand old Dracula model.

Vampire Hamster: Excuse me gentlemen, but what is a spear? Isn’t this a lance that we are holding?

[Everybody stares at Vampire Hamster for a moment].

Stranger: I think I should come back later. Just tell her that I am a big fan of her – like a pure, high level devotee. I will be back to seek blessings from her. We have local spiritual and religious people like the fairy godmother back in our world. We love her!

Vampire Owl: Can you believe that? Who would he leave his own mother for some strange and unknown lady who does random magic?

Vampire Bat: I have known the extremities of being strange. I have seen too much hatred and equality to come up with a better judgment of humanity.

Vampire Hamster: So this is why we bite people?

Vampire Bat: I guess this adds to the long list of reasons.

Vampire Owl: Yes, cut the reason number twenty seven from the list and add this instead.

Vampire Hamster: Point noted, sir.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie, Hotel Transylvania.

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

TeNy

The Unsent Letter

Vampire Owl: My dear vampire apprentices, in this class, it is my honour and great privilege to read this letter which was written by the Vampire Bat to Uncle Dracula when he was a little fang-less one, but was never sent. This comes as a part of the second semester Part IV paper twenty four. There will be annotation questions coming from this one. So, please listen carefully.

Dear Dracula Uncle,

I have read and understood how badly the humans have written about you or have shown on the big screen and made your kind the monsters when they were the actual monsters. It is sad and depressing that you made the wrong decision to shift from Romania. The world has too many racists among them who can’t approve of someone who is classified as “the other” with them. You were too kindhearted and simple, and never knew about that.

The only thing that you ever wanted was to shift from your very old castle and at the same time, go to a place which was known to be civilized. But you were unaware of the ways of the modern humans as you remained dead for so long, and the dirt told you no stories. You were new to this world after your resurrection and even Igor was a confused man. You picked the wrong assistant and that was another mistake.

The Vampire Cat is the first witness to this letter.

The Vampire Cat is the first witness to this letter, and even tried to eat it.

But when you reached the so called civilized, you understood that “being civilized” is not achieved by money and random education. It requires true knowledge and wisdom and a certain amount of empathy for the fellow creatures. But human beings never had that and couldn’t adjust to your basic sympathetic nature. You tried to help Lucy Westenra, but as she was an aristocrat and you were an outsider, they made up a story that she was ill due to your bite when the truth was that she was already ill.

The man behind her problem was Dr. John Seward, who was very depressed that Lucy turned him down and decided to marry Arthur. He was slowly but steadily making Lucy sick and was also looking to make his patient Renfield feel as if some big evil was coming – he knew that you could understand the major reason behind her illness with your special powers as he had known about you from some gypsies from Eastern Europe.

Then he called for this man called Abraham Van Helsing, a Dutch doctor who had taken fake degrees from different universities, and was trying to make a name for himself. He was known to murder poor people and brand them as vampires, collecting big bounty from the rich ones. He also treated many people for vampirism, when there was no presence of such disease in them. A wolf attack was also attributed to you, at a time when the group of werewolves were just going on biting people for no reason.

Ezhilampala where the Vampire Bat used to reside.

Ezhilampala where the Vampire Bat used to reside and he even learned its scientific name.

Then there were the Harkers – Jonathan Harker and Mina Harker, earlier Mina Murray. They were big liars and as this man had described about the Dracula Castle to this lady, she wanted it as a wedding gift. You were a Count by name only, and used to be basically just a farmer who led many socialist movements at your land, and the authorities never really liked you either. So they teamed up with the Harkers to create such a story which depicted you as pure evil.

I know that they tried to end you, but as we all know, a vampire can be defeated, but cannot be destroyed as long as we have our team. I shall find you with the help of my vampire friends and resurrect you again, as we know the secret of your eternal youth. We shall undo the wrong that has been done to you, and let the humans know who their real enemies are. They are corruption, misogyny, racism, casteism and religious intolerance. You shall be back and we will find a way for getting the humanity out of its inherent evil.

With bloody love,
The Vampire Bat.
Tree Branch No. 3, Ezhilampala (Alstonia scholaris), Somewhere near the Athirappilly Waterfalls, Kerala, India.

***All the photos used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

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TeNy