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

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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

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

That World Remade

I have often felt that my life needed to be remade with a time machine or just a random superpower to go back in time, but on a larger scale, it has never been just about my life. It has been about the world. There are too many things wrong with this world, and there is a certain disintegration happening around, no matter how hard the optimists try to deny it. The world is slowly, but steadily progressing towards an early chaos, and even though the human beings are mostly responsible for the same, it is our world as a whole that suffers.

A World Without the Walls: Our world stands divided. The first thing I wish to bring out a world remade is a land which is not separated by its strange and ridiculous walls. Nature has created its own barriers, but for maintaining the harmony, but why has humans created new ones? In a new world, there shall be no separation in the name of religion, caste, race, language or any other. It is the time to take down the wall and rebuild – actually, as soon as the walls are down, the need to rebuild will be a lot lesser.

No, you don't need to travel to space - the new world is right here.

No, you don’t need to travel to space this time – the new world is right here.

Where Mutual Respect is Evident: A world of mutual respect is the world of equality. It is only by considering the other person as significant and respectable as ourselves is the next step in my world remade. There is no exact other in the new world, but just another version of yourself that exists like a mirror image of one another. Despite the fact that everyone look different, each shall be the mirror images of one another reflected by the same acts of love that they do to one another.

Where Love Dismantles Hatred: The existence of mutual hatred is evident in our world, which shall be taken out from the root itself. An obliteration of the hatred should be an aim embedded in all human beings of the new world. Can we destroy something which has driven humanity forward throughout the ages in too many cases like the Nazi Holocaust of Jews and the Turkish Holocaust of the Armenians? May be with love in a new world where hatred has absolutely no place.

How good a world can you build as a creator? What all can it possess?

How good a world can you build as a creator? What all can it possess?

Where Knowledge is Power: In this new world, knowledge replaces the prevalent method of lying and cheating to get to the top. Knowing is the first step to understanding the truth, and ignorance has brought too much chaos in the current world. Some people have just been to reluctant to know. It will be knowledge that will take the centre stage and guide the new world to the light. It shall not be money or power, and it can never be the “special ability to degrade others for one’s own benefit”.

Where Opinion is Valuable: The new world will be further built on the opinions of the people after having its base. Opinions will play a big role in advancing the world to a future that it envisages through every drop of sweat this shed on making the situation better. Here, opinions will be heard, and there will be nobody blasting the heads off or abusing people who exercise their right to opinion. Here, freedom of speech will not be abuse, but valuable opinion with mutual respect.

I haven’t seen this as an easy task with a new world coming out of nowhere. Even if I am given the task of this creator or is made the one who rebuilds a world that goes down in chaos, it is up-to the humanity to make this continue to work. If everything goes fine, and after a few years of awesomeness that can bring certainty about this new world, I can exclaim with pride and happiness – “Here’s The World, Remade!”

I am participating in the #TheWorldRemade activity at BlogAdda in association with India Today #Conclave15
***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie, Jupiter Ascending, used only to support this piece of writing.

TeNy

Littering in the Moonlight

The vampires were having a tough discussion just outside the Dracula Castle, as the Vampire Bat, the Vampire Owl and the Vampire Snake were present with Uncle Dracula.

“No, not even in the moonlight, said Uncle Dracula. “You are not even supposed to litter in the sunlight, and then how can you litter in the awesome moonlight which is more precious to us vampires?” asked Dracula.

“But it was the Halloween moonlight with cool vampire people all around, and I was drunk. Really, really drunk” said the Vampire Snake.

“He is a snake with special venomous spit superpower. Even if he doesn’t throw waste around, how can you ask him not to spit?” asked the Vampire Owl.

“Because all of you have taken the pledge to keep the Dracula Castle and its premises clean. Being drunk is not an excuse. Nothing is an excuse” screamed Dracula.

“But the Mummy spat over that tree on the side of the road, and you don’t want to know what the local werewolves do. The ghosts of the living dead did something even worse” said the Vampire Snake.

lttr

“They do not belong to the vampire category, and won’t come under me. The Mummy is level three desert catgeory. They don’t even come inside the castle. Our current collaboration is with the zombies. Cleanliness begins at home. This is our vampire ancestral home. Do you understand the highly intellectual and vampirically superior words of unlimited wisdom which come out of my mouth?” yelled Dracula.

“Yes, listen to Uncle Dracula. If he raises his blood pressure too much at this age, we might have no uncle, and I might inherit this castle. I will end up being so rich and may be construct a tennis court on the front right corner and the statue of myself holding a tea cup on the left side” added the Vampire Bat.

“What? Wait, no. I am not raising my blood pressure. I am just asking this new vampire apprentice whom you brought from that local tea shop to behave and be a good citizen rather than being a Great Litterburg” said Dracula.

“But I promise not to litter again” said the Vampire Snake.

“See, he is a good vampire apprentice” added the Vampire Bat.

“Or I shall feed him to the snakes in the pond” threatened Dracula.

“But he is the Vampire Snake. What is the point in putting him with normal snakes?” asked the Vampire Owl.

“Oh, yes. I meant the crocodiles. Those little crocodiles that I have like the early villains of cinema. I will throw him to the crocodile pound and clap once, laughing loudly like an awesome villain. Damn, I am really getting old; my memory is failing me” Dracula made it clear.

“Thank you, great old vampire lord” said the Vampire Snake while taking a bow.

“See, this is why I bite people. Always use the trash can. Littering is bad. By doing such things, you are working against the environment as well as your nation. And for the sake of each and every living vampire, please don’t spit” advised Dracula.

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“As if he doesn’t already have enough reasons” murmered the Vampire Owl.

“I have heard that he is going to act in a commerical against drinking and smoking, plus supporting care for stray dogs by making them join the werewolves. He is into social causes now” whispered the Vampire Bat.

“We were never the real villains, right?” asked the Vampire Owl.

“Why? No, never. We are not even remotely evil; just see these litterbugs and the rest of the minions of the real dark world. Uncle Dracula can’t even fly around in the invisible mode these days with people leople littering from their vehicles” added the Vampire Bat.

“We vampires realize this. When will the humans understand the same?” wondered the Vampire Owl.

This blog post at The Tea Cerebrations is for the Happy Hours Campaign from The Times of India in association with Indiblogger. It is written as a part of TOI’s “The Great Indian”, a humorous initiative for a better India; this time on “The Great Indian Litterbug” who considers littering as a birth right – the kind of people that we see almost everywhere in India. Please check the following link for further details of this funny and thought-provoking campaign: http://greatindian.timesofindia.com/

*The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook Page of The Great Indian, meant to support this work.

TeNy

Let the Predator Hunt

In 1987, Major Alan Schaefer a.k.a. Dutch killed someone wearing highly advanced weapons, and whom they called the Predator. It is not something for which we can conduct an anniversary gathering every year, but Arnold Schwarzenegger needed to kill that one, because otherwise the movie would not have gone on to become a huge hit and later come in the all-time favourite list of many movie fans. Predator is one of the best movies of Arnold, no doubt about that, but the question is about the predicament of the Predator, the name that was so ruthlessly presented by the movie makers.

Predators are known for hunting of other species and collecting their heads as trophies. But in that case, they are not so different from the humans who collect animal heads after hunting them. It is only normal to feel that the Predators see humans as the mankind sees the other species. After all, Predators belong to an advanced species with better scientific equipments and a superior technology. As the name suggests in another way, a Predator predates, and thus there is another reason to assert its superiority as what came and thrived before humans.

You can't escape the eyes of the Predator (pic from Predator FB page)

You can’t escape the eyes of the Predator (pic from Predator FB page)

Unlike the Predators, the humans are even interesting in hurting their own kind and enjoy a lot from their suffering. If it was just another sport for the Predators, it becomes a case of sadomasochism for the humans who love each and every moment of inclicting pain upon their own kind, both physical and psychological. It is a certain kind of personal pleasure and happiness which they take out of it. Meanwhile, Predators only attack when the enemy is good enough for them, usually as part of a bigger cause. They follow a honorable path, and never see the need to deviate from the same.

There are not many people in the world who can prove to be better than Predators in quality. The hunt for fame and money becomes a man a Predator sooner or later. In this never-ending hunt for more, as they are never satisfied, means that the world has its own Predators already. Predators had honour in their dealings. Do humans have any? As they keep on trying to take others down along with going up the ladder, there is no doubt about the fact that humans can thrive well in another planet which has an alien species exhibiting goodness, on which they can feed and spread hatred.

If you have watched The Cabin in the Woods, you will know that the end of the movie was about total extinction, which is not really a bad thing, and the end of one species will only make way for another, and it could possibly be a better one as it might have known about the mistakes created by the former. The Predators could have actually brought that, restricting humans to their world of challenges and adventurous entertainment. But they decided to choose the higher path and rise above the humans, and for that, there is the need to be thankful to them.

Keep Calm & support the Predator (pic from AVP: Evolution FB page)

Keep Calm & support the Predator (pic from AVP: Evolution FB page)

Meanwhile, the miserable humans will continue to fight each other over small things which are not of importance. There are many things that they can do, but they would choose to hold on to the so called ambition and push the other down, and ridicule those who haven’t reached close to their achievements. Humanity doesn’t love its own people, and co-existence is difficult, or rather one of the most impossible things in the history of the planet. There will always be many reasons to hate each other. There will also be new reasons coming up. They conduct rallies and demonstration for ridiculous reasons, and for the real needs, there is none.

People blame religion, but no, the mankind will always find some new reason to kill one other. Blaming religion is the dumbest thing that one can do, as there will be a new ideology coming up every time to replace religion and spread hatred. There will be politics, race, caste, death of some so called important person, cricket matches, football rivalry and finally more reasons which has no meaning. Now, can we blame Predator if he is killing a few people on the screen. No, he is not even scary compared to the humans. I would say we welcome him to our world. If we can kill each other, why not let the Predator do his job in a decent way? May be he will keep our heads as trophies, and we will be popular among aliens.

TeNy

In Search of a Soul

Based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, the movie I, Frankenstein continues the journey of the monster which was created in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. It does tell something about the background story which can be seen as a small introduction. The book has been among my favourite horror stories of all time, having an opportunity to read it during my childhood. Along with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, there was something about this novel which came second in my list at that time. So, a continuation of the tale of this monster was going to be intriguing.

The question about how good the movie is, might bring some discussions, but the major question about this work is not about its quality, but about one thing – the soul. It has Aaron Eckhart as the Frankenstein’s monster which wanders around the world we know without a soul. He has survived all the changes that the world had undergone and spends his time in loneliness. But he gets caught in a battle between the gargoyles appointed by the Archangels and the demons who are hoping to take over Earth.

Know the Frankenstein Monster, the man in search of a soul in the land of vainglory. He is Adam Frankenstein, the first monster created on Earth, the demonic paradise.

The soulless monster, Adam Frankenstein (Photo from movie's FB page)

The soulless monster, Adam Frankenstein (Photo from movie’s FB page)

The soulless creature becomes the centre of attraction because the demon Naberius, one of the original fallen angels, plan to use the procedure which was used to create this monster to re-animate a number of corpses without souls and use them as containers for the souls of millions in hell, unleashing an army of demons which will finally be able to walk on Earth and cause chaos. You remember the plan which was brought by Mammon and Balthazar in the movie Constantine and by Blackheart and his minions in the movie Ghost Rider.

It was quite easy to identify that the creature made my re-animating a dead body had no soul. But the interesting thing is that by his good deeds, he finally does grow a soul. Still, the question remains about the people of our present world. Do they have a soul? A conscience which makes them do good unconditionally in a world dominated by money where only the winners have honour and approval forcing one to shed goodness? The fact that a monster gained the same in a movie might not be consoling for many, as most of the current world lacks the abilitiy to be the container of a good soul.

Our monster does kill the wife of his creator in a few moments of anger and frustration, but the new generation does much worse. Their brutality to the people around them is not just related to some murder, but in their daily words and action as part of a long procedure which they consistently force upon their own species without any remorse. It is more like a river of anger and hatred flowing without restrictions on a monsoon. The anger at Maria Sharapova has subsided, but we do see a lot more every day, and the reality is much worse outside.

The creature was closer to the dead than the living, caught between two dimensions, of life and death, and yet manages to find life and the humanity worth his time and care. It was a creature without identity, and no conscience at all, until it became the “he”, changing his ideas about himself to more of a common hope for salvation, becoming part of all that he has known, from gargoyles to humans. He is still the equivalent of what we would call a zombie, but like in the movie Warm Bodies, he has something in him, and here it is more than just a heartbeat and a brain.

The beauty & the beast one step closer to the soul (Photo from movie's FB page)

The beauty & the beast one step closer to the soul (Photo from movie’s FB page)

Our creature understands his higher purpose and elevates himself to something beyond the selfishness that he had earlier gathered. He understands that despite what he has gone through, it is not in his power to deny God’s will or to deny himself his own right to do good, as he himself was created by a creation of God, thus becoming God’s own, in an indirect manner. He is thus Adam, the first of his kind, and unique, yet part of the universe and its plans. As they say in the movie “You’re only a monster if you behave like one” – so do most of the humans of our time deserve a soul more than a monster?

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

This is Dogville

Dogville gives you an order, and that order is to talk about it which can’t be avoided. The effect of knowing about its mere existence is that you have to feel and talk about it. Dogville is that cute town in the middle of nowhere, where people are supposed to be simple and good. It is that place where civilization has less effect and therefore it should be beyond the evils of modernity. But William Golding’s Lord of the Flies has already taught us about the danger of the same, but this one has some distant contact with people and therefore that problem is not directly visible.

Dogville is a 2003 movie which has Nicole Kidman as the central character of Grace who runs away from gangsters and is provided asylum in Dogville. They do demand things in return, and even as it begins as some physical labour, things get worse and she is turned into a slave. It is not a bloody violent movie, but is still disturbing in many ways, and it strikes a poisonous arrow right at the heart of the innate goodness which is supposed to exist in all human beings. Once we are poisoned with that arrow, it will grow in us, not like an idea in the mind, but like a stake in the heart. I will share just four areas of that infestation.

Grace (Nicole Kidman) among the apples, a shot which stays in the minds of the viewers.

Grace (Nicole Kidman) among the apples, a shot which stays in the minds of the viewers.

1. Inherent evil in man: The innate goodness in man is replaced by the inherent evil which goes back to centuries while leaving a mark on the way as time flies. This evil can spring out of anywhere, whenever the situation is appropriate. As the Overlord (game character) would say, “evil always finds a way”. This tendency to sin which stems from the idea of original sin is something from which humans can never really escape. It is easy for humans to fall into the abyss of temptation, and it has even happened to saints. The same can be said about the townfolks’ treatment of Grace.

2. Contempt for outsiders: Here, Grace was not one of them and therefore an outsider who was to be treated differently. They can’t show that directly, but there is always the fear of the unknown, and it develops into hatred up-to an extent. These people will never be accepted into the group, but are often considered as an appendage who can be thrown out or even abused. The beginning should be from denying some basic human rights. We can see that certain people in some religions and castes do talk in the same way and only caring for their own people. Such people are just another version of these inhabitants of the town.

3. Biblical connection: The name of our heroine Grace, which can be seen as “the grace of God” is rather the person sent to that world to help them as they give refuge to her, as she does prove herself more than just useful in their daily life. But she would be tortured and abused just because she was not one of them, and there were enough reasons created by random thoughts just to mistreat her. In the end, she will be called back, but she will be willing to offer them another chance, but not for long as another Sodom and Gomorrah awaited.

4. Democracy’s limits: The town depends on votes, and this might be the best form of government. But if their supposed leader could choose by himself, wouldn’t it have been better for Grace? Everyone is so much powered by their own selfishness, and instead of thinking for the common good or about the damsel in distress, they choose wrong. The evil people can always outnumber the good and devastate the purpose of democracy. The people who are lesser in number will never get their rights, even if their demands are justified.

The outsider in chains, as the society turns more and more against the other.

The outsider in chains, as the society turns more and more against the other.

Dogville can be your religion, caste, creed or community. It can be your land, and when you mistreat someone in your world for being an outsider, you are only strengthening that presence of inherent evil. It is okay to fear and take precautions as we know the story of “the camel and the arab” and there will some people ready to do the same to us, but that won’t give the right to hate. There are two things I am sure about; I have never loved a performance from Nicole Kidman like this, and there is no movie that has kept me thinking like Dogville. But be warned that this is not a movie for entertainment.

TeNy.