RIP: Simona the Kitty

I had been looking forward to post this one, but as most of my friends here are friends with me on Facebook or is in contact with one person or the other who is friends with me, I thought they knew. But the news about Simona’s death had to be told, at least for the people who don’t yet know about the same. It happened on a terrible night, when she jumped in front of a vehicle which was passing through the road in front of our gate. We have been missing her a lot, especially from a few days after the event; the absence was really felt!

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Here are a few of my favourite photos of her from the past which you might have seen in this blog; I have kept them separately…

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Simona shows her tongue in defiance of the latest food ban.

I declare this as my property. Nobody touches this :D

And also falling asleep in different ways.

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TeNy

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Birthday and the Conclave

March 12th is my birthday, and there are lots of facts which are related to this particular day. I have never been that much fond of celebrating this day, even though when the friends were there, it was kind of different – giving and taking those treats were essential things. It had become a tradition to celebrate the birthdays more than the rest of the celebrations. But things did change, and I was back to my normal situation, of not celebrating anything – celebrations did leave me, and I was a lot happy to skip them all.

But sometimes, the birthdays become more than just birthdays – it will have other memories and special things happening on the day which will make it the memorable day, but not directly related to being the day on which you were born. There is something special about this year’s birthday – it will be the first birthday of me on which I will be working; the first time on a birthday that actually have a job; it has a special status in that case, but there is something about the last year’s birthday too.

It is good to have an identity - we don't always get to have one.

The last year’s birthday had me at three different cities – in the morning, I was at Cochin, at noon, I was at Mumbai and in the evening, I was at Delhi – well, that was surely a different day for me. Usually, it was like, each and every day, I am either at home or at the theatre watching a movie. This one special advantage of not going directly to a city – well, I had so much to spare at that time, and so this kind of journey was not going to waste my time! The return was through Bangalore for some change.

That was what happened on March 12th last year, and then the big moments were to be on the next few days. It was about attending the India Today Conclave at Delhi, and it was what I was there for, even though visiting Delhi for the first time was also a priority. After winning the contest, I found myself at Taj Palace, and right there in the hall to listen to those eminent personalities. I also found my new friends there, my co-winners and delegates – Arvind Passey, Shoma Abhyankar, Shreya Das and Yogita Aggarwal.

One of those interesting things which I found about tea :D

When a day has Sachin Tendulkar in the beginning, you know how awesome it can become. There were people like Katrina Kaif, Lisay Haydon, Chetan Bhagat, our honourable central ministers and others on that wonderful first day. On the second day, there were Viswanathan Anand, Ranveer Singh, the ambassadors to India, Shobhaa De and the others, along with the Chief Ministers of a number of states – and when everything ends, you are not happy that it ended, but you can’t wait to travel through Delhi!

The memories stay so well that I often wonder if this is my birthday or the conclave anniversary; a few things are a lot meaningful than the rest, and it changes according to the person; for not everyone thinks the same about their own lives. Maybe I was never really going to think about it as my birthday and as the reminder of myself getting older; it was going to be remembered for my big journey rather than anything else. I didn’t think that much in that way at that time, but now I feel that it might have been the biggest moment of my life, and nothing bigger is to come; especially related to writing.

And there is the legend - notice the divine light that burns bright ;)

There are more facts about the same – I have never seen a Malayalam writer this close, but Chetan Bhagat was right there; I have never seen a Kerala cricketer close enough in my life, but I have seen and heard Sachin Tendulkar speaking in that hall; I have never seen a Malayalam movie star in my life, but I have seen and listened to Ranveer Singh, Katrina Kaif and Lisa Haydon – I consider that surprising, but it is something that I am a lot happy about. I guess that some things just happen in life, and there are others which will never occur.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me during the 2015 India Today Conclave at Delhi.

TeNy

Malayalam Movies: Fantastico List

Here I am going to write about those Malayalam movies from the last century which are my all-time favourites; in no particular order, but they are my most admired entertainers and they are fantastico!

Nadodikkattu (1987), Pattanapravesham (1988) and Akkare Akkare Akkare (1990)
Directors: Sathyan Anthikkad (1, 2) and Priyadarshan (3)
Cast: Mohanlal, Sreenivasan, Thilakan, Innocent

The best comedy trilogy is here in the form of these three movies which compete which each other to tell us which one has the best lines and provides the most fun. It tells the adventures of Dasan and Vjayan, two jobless people who become CIDs and solves the cases by luck. From the “B.Com First Class” and “Great professional killer Pavanayi” dialogues to the “both having the same kind of voice” and “corpse markings” in the second and later to the big questions about “who is Paul Barber and where is the crown?” along with the “Akira Kurosawa trying to kill mosquitos” in the final movie, this one is a full laugh riot as a trilogy. There is always the need to watch them all, as this is the true fantastico trilogy!


Manichitrathazhu (1993)
Director: Fazil
Cast: Mohanlal, Shobana, Suresh Gopi, Innocent

There is no questioning this movies which has been remade into Hindi (Bhool Bhulaiyaa), Kannada (Apthamitra), Tamil (Chandramukhi) and Bengali (Rajmohol), all versions making fine impact. The Tamil version was also dubbed into Telugu and itt even had a spin-off named Geethanjali, but it couldn’t do that well due to the very high expectations. It is still considered as one of the best psychological horror films around, and it even had some comedy scenes which are remembered a lot. Shobana’s performance won her the National Award as well as the State Award for Best Actress. Well, you should have watched one of the remakes, so you will know the story – and the original is the best!

Dhruvam (1993)
Director: Joshiy
Cast: Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Vikram, Jayaram

If you see the cast of this movie, you will know the potential without even realizing anything more about it. This is a top thriller which everyone needs to watch. The movies which is loaded with beautiful songs, emotional strength and thrilling moments, has its share of powerful dialogues too. In Vikram’s first Malayalam cinema, this one has the protagonist Narasimhan looking for revenge against a dangerous criminal and wanted terrorist called Haider, but is unable to get to him. What follows are the plans brought forward by the man to have his revenge and how the antagonist tries to keep himself away from justice as well as the revenge-seeking Narasimhan.

Commissioner (1994)
Director: Shaji Kailas
Cast: Suresh Gopi, Ratheesh, Shobana, Vijayaraghavan

Known for its powerful dialogues which became part of every stage program, inspiring another successful sequel named Bharath Chandran I.P.S. eleven years after its release, Commissioner is that movie which brought Suresh Gopi to the role of a righteous police officer, a character which he played in many more movies to come. If I remember it correctly, this is the movie which brought him to the next level of superstar, and in school, a lot of kids were imitating his one particular dialogue in that movie; or rather two of them. This was next big thing for Suresh Gopi – Shaji Kails combination after Ekalavyan.

Yodha (1992)
Director: Sangeeth Sivan
Cast: Mohanlal, Madhoo, Jagathy Sreekumar, Urvashi

The idea to dismiss this one was an entertainer won’t be the smartest of plans, because Yodha is one movie which has a good plot, and its comedy scenes as well as songs are more than just favourites – they are everywhere; they have been so for more than twenty years, and it is the kind of popularity that this movie has managed. I watched this one for the first time as kid, and even now my opinion about the movie remains the same. It is that kind of an impact that this one has made, for people of all generations, and of all ages. With the A.R. Rahman touch in the songs, this one has the Mohanlal-Jagathy comedy combination at its best, and it is great fun to watch.

Ekalavyan (1993)
Director: Shaji Kailas
Cast: Suresh Gopi, Narendra Prasad, Geetha, Maathu

Suresh Gopi has one of his best police roles here, and Narendra Prasad comes in the role of one of the best antagonists played by him. Ekalavyan is often considered as one of the best police roles of Suresh Gopi, and the dialogues here are amazingly good. Suresh Gopi plays Madhavan, who goes on a mission to investigate into some murders and smuggling of narcotics in which a particular godman is involved. There are many things which will be brought to light, that can also deal with many influential businessmen, powerful politicians, and all. So, going through this investigation won’t be something that can be considered as a smooth one.

Spadikam (1995)
Director: Bhadran
Cast: Mohanlal, Thilakan, Urvashi, Spadikam George

Its main villain is known in real life by the name of the movie itself, and so there is no need to think twice about the impact created by this movie. It tells the story of a boy who has problems in Mathematics, but is good in other subjects; but his father who is a Maths teacher as well as the headmaster makes him fail in language exams; with this particular incident and frustrated of being compared to the students who are good in Maths, he leaves home only to return as a rowdy. The movie has the cult status, and I am sure that a lot of youngsters have faced the same problem in their lives, fighting the worst evil of all time, Mathematics. Mohanlal and Thilakan steals the show here.

The rest of the movies include Sandesham, Chamayam, Ramji Rao Speaking, Oru CBI Diary Kurippu, Irupatham Noottandu, Lelam, Rajavinte Makan, Kilukkam, Pathram, Crime File and many others during a golden age; they are all fantastico!

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

The South: Nilgiris

I have been wishing to travel again for a long time. It is one of those many things that I think about these days, and as I look back, I remember that it has really been a very long time. It has been so long that I have gone for a trip for the traveling purpose alone. But it doesn’t stop me from looking at those old photos of travel, and as you might have figured it out, I have so many of them. Well, I am going to need a hard disc to store them all soon – a separate one. As one journey provides thousands of photos, I have always felt that there would be the need. But here, I share ten photos of Ooty and Coonoor.

We stayed at Coonoor when we decided to get to Ooty. Well, I have been to Ooty only once and that journey actually came too late. I visited Ooty in the last few years, and I should be the last one in my friends circle to visit the hill station for the first time. Both of these places were nothing less than charming; I loved my stay at Coonoor and the tea there. The places to visit exist close enough both towns. Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris, and you will want to stop there too, along with being at those usual tourist destinations at Ooty. The photos shared here were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

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Meanwhile, I hope most of you haven’t missed Charlie.

TeNy

When Darkness Calls

Vampire Hamster: A strange creature has arrived, Sir Vampire Bat and Sir Vampire Owl. It just can’t wait to meet you and has told me that it is urgent.

Vampire Bat: Let it in, after checking for any magical devices in its possession which can cause harm to the vampire kind.

Vampire Owl: Don’t you think that we taking the role of Uncle Dracula when he is not here, is not really the right thing to do as he hasn’t named a temporary substitute?

Vampire Bat: Well, in that case, he should have named someone before choosing to watch some of those terrible Bollywood movies. As of now, we have to take control or the whole of the New Vampire World will fall into chaos. The werewolves, the Lich Queen and the dark elves are looking for this opportunity. The rest of the creatures including the orcs, high elves, goblins, dwarves and the wood elves are no different either.

Vampire Owl: We shall defend the vampire world, whatever be the cost. I am sure that we can’t trust that Werewolf Anger at all. Lich Queen is a bloody opportunist and we know that she wants to rule us.

Vampire Bat: Yes, it is exactly what I am talking about.

Vampire Owl: I would say that this is also a nice time to talk about it as the Vampire Crocodile has gone to study break-dance.

Vampire Bat: What? Is he seriously going to do that? He told me that he was going to the bathroom.

Vampire Owl: You know what kind of a person he is. He is always looking for opportunities to overtake his. He thinks that learning this strange art form of humans can make him more popular. It is not just the usual dance, because it has breaks; he once said!

The Creature: Greetings, vampire lords. I am from the Shadow World with a message from the Dark Overlord.

Vampire Owl: Speak, strange creature. I hope you bring good news.

The Creature: As the King of Kings, Dracula is hospitalized, we have decided to declare emergency in the borders, which means that you will have to pay tribute to the dark souls with one place of darkness for a month.

Vampire Owl: Is this really happening?

Vampire Bat: Yes, this declaration of emergency and the protection of the shadow creatures are needed to ensure that the vampire world remains safe from terrorist infiltration through the border areas.

The Creature: I shall return again next week to collect this month’s tribute, a place with darkness in its name.

Vampire Hamster: I don’t like this creature at all. Why do shadow creatures wander around the world of vampires which has no shadows or reflections?

Vampire Owl: Do you think that we can do it? Is there such a place with darkness in its name?

Vampire Bat: Yes, there is one; Andhakaranazhy – it is a beach, and the name means “The Darkness Lagoon” or “The Lagoon of Darkness”.

Vampire Owl: Fine, lets just go and explore that place then.

[Transforms a unicorn into a Honda Unicorn and leaves for Andhakaranazhy with chocolate chip cookies].

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You are arriving at Andhakaranazhy Beach. You are welcome here and be good.

Andhakaranazhy is located about twenty eight kilometres from Cochin if you take the usual route through the highway; the distance will be shorter with a few other smaller routes though, but they should be harder to find and travel through. The distance from Aleppey is around thirty four kilometres, which makes this location a nice choice from both sides of Kerala. The Cochin-Alleppey route is a nice route to travel, and there is also an Indian Coffee House at Aroor when coming from Cochin. When coming from the Aleppey side, the best option for food is the KTDC Restaurant on the way.

As you know already, there is a nice beach around here!

As you know already, there is a nice beach around here; take a walk around!

The journey from the Cochin side is through Vyttila, Maradu, Aroor and you have to take a right turn a few kilometres after you pass Thuravoor and when you go through Vayalar Railway Station, you know that you are traveling in the right direction. When you are coming from Perumbavoor, the total distance will be sixty one kilometres through thet Chithrapuzha route – people around the town can calculate accordingly. Coming from Aluva requires traveling fifty eight kilometres, and so those who are coming from places beyond that town needs to calculate based on this – it is the same distance from the Cochin International Airport.

Well, we are always fond of such wonderful sunsets, aren't we?

Well, we are always fond of such wonderful sunsets around here, aren’t we?

Those coming from Muvattupuzha side can take the Tripunithura route, and travelers from Kothamangalam side can follow the same path. The closest big town for Andhakaranazhy should be Cherthala, and it comes under the Pattanakkad Panchayath of Cherthala Taluk. If you have watched Aashiq Abu’s heavy nostalgia movie Idukki Gold, you will remember seeing this beach and the area around it. It is a beautiful place, and quite different from those usual beaches which you see around in Kerala. It is quite a neat place which is well-maintained, but will require more attention to develop it into something bigger.

The sea meets the backwaters, and the sands separate them.

The sea meets the backwaters here, and the sands separate them in style.

The crowd was there when we visited the place, but that was expected because it was the evening on a Sunday. We had some cardamom tea there, enjoying the view of the sunset. There are some good small shops all around to have some snacks. Even with the clouds threatening to bring the rain and also obstruct the view, we had some good time there on that day. The silhouettes of the trees were around, and the people looked very confident in playing with the waves; it can get rough though. There is that place where the sea joins the backwaters, and a lighthouse is also present there, catching our attention along with the other structures which are already built there.

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

TeNy

The Tea Photos

It is a lovely Friday even though my laptop’s display screen desired to commit suicide; I can’t access most of my saved material, and so I will share a few tea photos taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 to make sure that this day doesn’t go as a waste 😀 The movie of the day, My God was good though. All these photos shown here were taken at Munnar, Coonnoor and Ooty.

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Hope this inspires you to have more tea 😛

TeNy

Queen of the Arabian Sea

Kochi, or Cochin, known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is the city which has driven me forward throughout my life. Yes, we use both names for the city; Cochin and Kochi are used like we wish to! I have always lived less than fifty kilometres from the city, except when I had those trips which lasted not more than one or two months. I believe that this will also be the city which will drive me towards my desires and destinations in life. My mother’s place is located on the other side of the city and so I have traveled through Kochi a lot during my childhood, and later, the malls and multiplexes increased the number of city visits.

The fishing boats with the old bridge of Cochin on the background.

The fishing boats with the old bridge of Cochin on the background.

We used to love going on a drive through the city later in the night, and have food at some special places there. The traffic would be so less at that time. We enjoyed spending our time at the beaches as well as the Marine Drive during our early college life. During those times, there were multiplexes were only on waiting list as the malls were absent, and we frequented the local theatres and had fun there. We also had those historical tourist destinations of Fort Cochin making the place the one choice of antiquity – it was one design of Cochin for us, and now there is more of that design. We always considered Cochin as a city #madeofgreat.

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Cochin is an architectural beauty of great historical, religious and spiritual significance. You can also see the Jewish Synagogue which is considered as the oldest of its kind at this part of the world. The Mattancherry Palace will let you through another journey through the history of Kerala, surrounded by temples. There is also a beautiful Jain Temple. There is also the Dutch Cemetery. Saint Francis Church, the oldest European Church in India is also located at Fort Cochin. The Koonankurishu Church where the famous Coonan Cross Oath against the Portuguese domination took place among the native Christians of Kerala is located around Mattanchery area. You should also add Kumbalangy model tourism village to your journey as you have peace within the extended city!

Santa Cruz Basilica - a structure that you wouldn't want to miss.

Santa Cruz Basilica – a beautiful structure that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Meanwhile, the Kochi International Marina is the only marina in India. Pallipuram Fort built by the Portuguese is the oldest existing European fort in India; it was last owned by the Kingdom of Travancore. There is also the largest archaeological museum in Kerala, the Tripunithura Hill Palace. So many beaches are around from the Fort Cochin beach to the Puthuvype, Cherai and Munambam beaches. You see that there is history and there is the beauty of nature along with the newly arrived modernity – it is the right mixture in the design which you won’t fail to notice. Another nice mixture happens with the religious population which is like not many other cities can boast about.

Kochi has also been a city which has connected us friends coming from different suburbs, towns and villages around the place. Even now, it is where a lot of old friends arrive and we meet up there; the change in the design is with the malls though, with six malls around, and five of them having the multiplex option, Lulu being the largest mall in India. Connecting with the old friends over some food and movie has only managed to get things better. Kochi is well-connected to the towns around, and the bus option is easy, with the Kochi Metro Rail coming up, about to make things even more amazing.

Chinese fishing nets - always part of Cochin and its islands.

The Chinese fishing nets – always part of Cochin and all its islands.

Along with having connectivity through rail, air, water and the National Highway, Kochi’s location right at the centre of Kerala makes it easier for people from all around. The significance of Kochi has only been increasing at a steady rate throughout the the last few years. The Cochin International Airport is the largest and the busiest airport in Kerala it is also the fourth busiest airport in India according to the international passenger traffic recorded. It is also world’s first completely solar energy powered airport. Meanwhile, Cochin Port, has the largest container trans-shipment facility in India.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the home of Kerala Blasters and former home of Kochi Tuskers Kerala is one amazing place to spend some great time during a football match; you will see the love for football like nowhere else. There is one thing about which you can be more certain than many other things, and it is about the beauty of the backwaters of Kochi – it will be an instant hit going right into the soul, even more than those lovely beaches. Kochi also has some amazing food with a lot of variety, and it is up-to you to decide what drives you to connect with the grand design of Kochi. Maybe it can be the Kochi-Muziris Biennale with all the brilliant art on display?

A quote I found interesting during the Kochi Biennale :)

A quote which I found interesting during the Kochi Biennale visit 🙂

What about your favourite city? Is it also made of great things, driving you through its design and having a certain connection to your soul? http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

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

TeNy

On One Old Friend

We come across so many people throughout our lives, and most of them vanish from our memories leaving no trace. A few others come, stay and then go. Then there are others whom we want to stay, but they are never even close to being there. While, it is easy to forget people, there are a few who keep coming to the mind. There was one such friend whom I met again after sixteen years, but here, I am going to talk about someone whom I knew until eight years ago who is #madeofgreat.

I have had a number of such friends whom I met after so many years, but this one is special even though I haven’t met him after he moved from his home and ceased being my neighbour. It has been a long time, but he is going to be chosen here because he is not just #madeofgreat as I would write about it, as he has already proven it. He proved it once, twice and then again for the third time this year. So, no talk about #madeofgreat is complete for me without bringing something about him.

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He was my senior by a few years, and he studied the same course which I started, but never finished. I had to skip my course and choose another one while he completed his own. We used to play a number of computer games together, and he was always interested in finding new ways to solve the puzzles in the games – Prince of Persia and Need For Speed were the games of that time, but the former was the one which I have always seen him playing. He could always find a way through the puzzles then.

It was when I returned from the college in front of his house that I found him, and I was introduced into the game, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Not only was he good at finding a way, he was always looking to do something different. He had the ideas and he was always there to talk to others about doing things differently and that it was the right way. Most of us never really listened that much, but I knew that there was something in what he said. Even then, I was afraid to be branded different at that time.

One day, when I looked at his place, I found out that he had moved from there. I hadn’t seen him for a few days, and I realized that he had shifted home all of a sudden. Nobody really knew that he had shifted, and none of our mutual friends who were close to me had any idea. But years later, with a movie, I saw his name attached as the director. He had a name which was to be easily noticed, and his computer record was actually with me – so I knew that it was him and nobody else.

I went for the movie with one of our mutual friends who also hadn’t met the person for a very long time. We were actually surprised that he had such skills that we rarely noticed. The movie was a very nice debut for him as a director and it went on to become a hit, and that was only the beginning of his career which was only going to be better. I don’t know many other people who followed their passion and made it so big – he is indeed the person who is suitable for the tag #madeofgreat. I am sure that not a lot of people would have guessed and expected this, but he made his passion work so well.

Now, he is a well-known film director in the Malayalam movie industry, and has big hits under his name. I shall not name him though, as that would make people feel that I am inclined towards giving good opinions about his movies; but that is a wrong idea. I have never rated his movies that high or with prejudice – I have only given them as much as the experience has pushed me to provide and not based on who directed or acted in then. Well, I don’t even know if he will recognize me as of now, after so many years.

And here is a question: “What do you think of Tata Motors association with Lionel Messi?”

For more details about #madeofgreat, visit http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

TeNy

Discovering Greatness

Life is a complex thing; for it has too many people, and we forget most of them. The society will brand some people as undeniably #madeofgreat, but we needn’t always agree. We have our choices because the same person might not make that much of an impact in our lives. The one who is #madeofgreat is the kind of person who will leave the lasting impression on us rather than for everyone else. It is not related to what anyone else thinks, but linked with how we see it.

Greatness is measured by many things, but I am going to consider this one right from the heart. Going back in time, there was one person who has been a long time inspiration for me. The story goes right back to the early days of school, that feeling carrying over to the college and it is still there. We don’t always get along, and the differences are many, but the impression was made early and it stayed. Do not inform my sister about this though, because I intend to keep this secret from her not revealing that she is #madeofgreat.

I have always been trailing throughout my life, trying to catch up with her achievements. She always had more trophies and came up first in school while my rank has varied from one to eight with consistency only in being second in the class, which was the more regular position for me. But my mother was never really surprised about it, and she once told me that my sister achieved this much by working hard while what I have achieved is because I am more intelligent, and I trail because I am lazy one with hard work never being my fortress.

Here is the vision which you should have very often to make life feel better.

I was rather too lazy to climb the mountains. Never really made that effort.

Yes, as I spent my time playing cricket with a little football and wandering around on the bicycle, she worked hard with the studies. Her hard work inspired me a lot, but I was sure that I might work hard, but not that much in the studies. She also participated in dance programs and drama to win prizes while the closest I came in school was to become the fourth swordbearer of a king in a drama, and I worked hard to let everyone know that I was in the school drama.

The twist came when she decided to leave home to become a nun. Nobody really liked that decision, but she was not backing away from it. I wondered when I could make such strong decisions; I actually found it difficult to make the decision to play a slow full-toss on the leg-side or the off-side – my decision making has always been like that. I have never been really sure about things, but this decision taken by her would inspire me to make many strong decisions later, even though there has been nothing this big in my entire life so far.

I used to keep my problems alive until some solution came up; at times, I even celebrated my problems. But she was always someone who found her own solutions to problems and discovered her own path – she was the problem solver of Mathematics while I lived with language and literature; I had declared Mathematics my immortal nemesis and so decided to keep that impression away from my likes. My plans were different, and the ideas get wings whenever the impression made by her grand decision comes to my mind.

The lasting impression of decision making never really ended there, as she became an M.Com graduate, cleared NET, did Phd and works as a lecturer in a reputed government aided college. She went through a clear path, and with the special super power of hard work, made it to the safe side. I delayed it, but did become the post-graduate – her achievements have left the lasting impression, and so maybe I will also get through some of these. My hope has been that delay doesn’t always mean denial, and one day I will also be #madeofgreat.

And here is a question: “What do you think of Tata Motors association with Lionel Messi?”

For more details about #madeofgreat, visit http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

TeNy

The Lasting Impression

As we wander through the happy and sad corners of our mortal lives, there are many people who contribute in one way or the other. The number of such people will be very large, but there will be only a few people whose memories will last forever. It is a rare thing to find someone who is #madeofgreat, because not many people can belong to that category with ease. But some people and the memories about them are forever, and they will always be with us in one way or the other.

There was one such person, and he is also the first person who came to my mind when I first saw the hashtag and idea #madeofgreat. It is about that person who became the earliest brother figure, as he was one person whom I knew right from the earliest times as far as my memories go. Thinking about the elder brotherly figures, I can’t remember many who are not among my relatives, but when he comes to the mind, the strongest of my memories are right there, and they remain as strong as they have ever been.

This is my 400th post on this blog posted on the 493rd day of its existence, and I dedicate this one to that person who has been an inspiration to me for a very long time – Jean Mathew. I have mentioned him on a few of my posts on this blog earlier. He was the most hardworking and the smartest person I have ever known. He used to be my advisor for everything related to technology and I always took his advice whether I wanted to buy a new mobile, laptop, desktop or digital camera; he was an expert in such matters.

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

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

During my Plus Two times with the Science-Computer branch, he was of great help, and he was a genius in matters related to technology. If I know something about computer, and related to the interest that I had in the same, I am always indebted to him. He was there to give the much needed advice during my early childhood entry into the world of computers. He was also my gaming guru, and I have always thought that he was the most intelligent and the one great expertise related to computers.

He was one person who was #madeofgreat, and I never had a doubt related to the same. He did prove the same when all odds were against him. He did fight hard throughout his life. It was while in the United States in 2008, working for IBS, that he was diagnosed with brain tumour. But facing the disease and going through the treatment with a positive outlook which I never had, he survived and managed to get better. His optimistic approach to life and belief in God had a positive influence on me too during those times.

There were some good times, but the disease showed signs of a relapse in 2011, and facing the tumour once again with a positive frame of mind, he left us for the better world on the third of March, 2013. He never complained, and he never lost hope. As he had gone for eternal sleep, I wondered how there will be no other person who was #madeofgreat like he lived his life, working hard, without complaints and always with hope and trust in this world as well as the other. His positive outlook has always made us closer to optimism.

There are stars which twinkle on the sky, and there are people #madeofgreat, like him, who will shine and twinkle in our minds forever. His amazing collection of brilliant photography and Bible Verses, both combined together, brought us hope, and he still comes to the mind and I often check his Facebook profile and blogs for those pictures and quotes. Times change and life moves forward, but a few things remain and a fewer number of people stay in our minds for eternity.

Cropped from his photo collections with inspirational Bible Versions.

Cropped from his photo collections with inspirational Bible verses.

And here is a question: “What do you think of Tata Motors association with Lionel Messi?”

For more details about #madeofgreat, visit http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

TeNy

Photos from the Past

On this day which has me looking at the memories again, I will bring a few photos which reminds of a few things which I really miss these days. Some of them are clearly not going to come back, and the rest also might not return, and so I will post these pictures and keep thinking about it. We are planning to include a Vampire Butterfly for creating a Butterfly Effect and do what happened in the movie with the same name, but until then, we will keep this on the list of nostalgia.

1. The Random Search: There was always this random search as part of the continuous journeys. But it has completely disappeared right now. On the following image, you can see where we reached during one of our journeys with navigation using a printed map. It was the time when I had no internet connection on my mobile phone and there was also no Google Maps. Well, there was such a time, and it is good to remember.

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2. The Legend of Kochi Tuskers Kerala: I will always miss Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the IPL. The games at Cochin were so much fun. I watched three matches of the IPL with seven different people. Out of the three, they only won one and that was against Kolkata Knight Riders. But it was good at that time. Nowadays, thinking about IPL itself gives a shock. Well, the past and the present are not even close in this case.

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3. The Kochi Biennale Memories: There was that time when I visited Biennale four times during one season, and then there was the return of the Kochi Biennale two years which had me not visiting at all. I felt strange about it, but still couldn’t visit the program at all. Well, this is not the end, but for some reason, I doubt if I would visit it again. May be I am just doubting for no reason – may be there is a chance.

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4. The Missing Ceylon Tea: During my visit to Sri Lanka, I bought a lot of packets of Ceylon Tea and distributed them among my friends. Well, what weighed more than the most of the other things during my return were those packets of tea. It is that tea world that I miss a lot! Yes, I have been to other places with a lot of tea after that, but nothing matched the tea at Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka.

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5. The Cricket of the Past: I will define my lost love for cricket with just one picture. This was there at the Oberon Mall during the last Cricket World Cup, and despite not caring about cricket much these days, I wanted to think about some cricket. Yes, it was part of nostalgia, and this past will no longer come back. Considering the state of cricket these days, may be it is good to forget them all completely.

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6. The Great Halloween Night: We have always loved those Halloween nights, because it was the time to get those costumes related to horror, get some collection and donate them to the poor. Yes, it was how our youth club used to work – not much during the other festivals or days of significance, but full power for the Halloween. Those were the funnier days, and we are glad that the horror was not contaminated 😛

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***All photos used in this blog post were taken by me only.

TeNy

UCC: Random Thoughts

It has been two years. Time has moved fast, and I still remain where I was by the end of July 2013. I was going through the final stages of my project on vampire as a cultural construct at that time, and after two years, the vampires remain, or rather the ghosts of the vampires, and the new ones have also joined my imaginations. After two years, nothing really has happened with my life except for the fact that the distance has increased considerably; distance not just to one thing, but to many.

I am away from my college, the students and teachers, further than ever. We have moved from Aluva to the present location, which means myself and the college no longer shares the same town. Even after leaving Union Christian College, I used to wander around the place, having tea at the nearby restaurants and bakeries. I was close enough, and I had a few visits after I left officially. There were a few friends visited and the teachers were also there. The distance from my home to college remained three kilometres at that time.

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Now, it has all changed though. With the distance, the world itself has broken away into two, one from the past and the other of the present which is a void. My only hope remains that my former classmates will call me for their weddings. I do suspect that some of the girls might be already married and I never knew. I hope that the food at those functions was not that good; otherwise I will be very disappointed. Well, I guess that I was pretty much expendable and the time had arrived to use that particular characteristic – I feel that now.

Everyone has evolved into something else, and there are no assignments, seminars or projects to talk about or to be of help. So, there is more chance of my mobile number being scrapped, and someone can always say that it was the mobile which was lost or changed. They are more practical and I am a wanderer in the thoughts which won’t have any significance for a normal person these days. May be I can use that “former intellectual” tag and use it on my name plate, hanging it on the gate of my house as a memory.

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UC College has surely made me a better person, and I have talked about it on my earlier post. But the depressing thing was that it was too short a period of time for me. There were also enough strikes to make it even shorter. I feel it even more after watching the college in the movie Premam. But I would still not doubt the fact that it was the right time for me to study there. I did feel that the forces present there at that time were custom made for me, including the students and the faculty.

When you feel that a place has made you a better person, and now you have no connection with the same, it should feel terrible, or at least for me, it does. I know that as we consider the expected model of the college days, mine wouldn’t count as interesting. It is not worthy of being an entertaining collection of two years for humanity. I haven’t had a huge friend circle, and without those quiz programs, I would have been mostly unknown in my department too. But I was glad with what I had, and the books.

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I enjoyed watching the rain which made the college which is close to nature even more beautiful, joining my favourite lecturers for a cup of tea or having onion vada with one of those faces which I knew. I loved to go to the library and collect those vampire-related works, and I loved where I parked my car. I won’t say that it was about having fun, and for the same reason, it was closer to my heart. I have enjoyed loneliness with a book under the tree and keeping on ordering for more tea at the canteen while working on my vampire thesis. And now there is no connection. My previous post, The College Days at UCC which was a contest winner, had a more optimistic side, but it has been some time!

***The photos were taken by me at UC College; there are no surprises there.

TeNy

And then the Big Hug

This is father’s day and the need to hug dad is here. So before we go deep into the hug, there is the need to remember those reasons for which the same has to be done. I have come up with my own collection of things. It might not be something which can be related to, for most of my readers, but I am going to stay with this list of six things before the big hug happens on the father’s day.

The Sympathy: It is quite a lot, even though not that much for me. Simona the Kitty knows his sympathy and tries to make a cute fact to take advantage of it, but kitchen and the food was never anywhere near being his department. I have got a little bit of that from him even though mutual sympathy was never in the cards. But a good number of local people did get the selective sympathy effect.

The History: The knowledge of history has been nicely passed on. There has been a lot of talk about history as well as politics, which did define my path for the future, even though some relatives managed to interfere and divert my road to the future. Still, the history which was learned earlier has remained in my mind, and has helped me to make sure that I took my second degree in History only.

The Curiosity: He thinks that I always have problems, and due to the same, he keeps checking. One day, he looked at my grammar sentence which said “I do not sleep at night” as part of my grammar studies, and without checking the rest of the available information on tenses, he decided to take action based on my sleeplessness. That grand curiosity had given me some special attention, even though not that much of a fair one.

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The Self-righteousness: This one has been there all the time, and on display. Well, it has helped me to remain a good person, because I knew that there was no other way to make an impression, because the genius tag of the childhood was fast disappearing and had almost gone by the time I got admission for the Science-Computer group for Plus Two. So, I had to be the good person while the others were to be the achievers. That helped me to not go into the wilderness of evil.

The Disbelief: Yes, I have inherited the same disbelief, even though I haven’t got that ability to trust relatives or old friends who speak sweet. I have been careful with people, and it has helped me not to jump into any pits of hopelessness. As time progressed, I have turned out to be more of a non-believer in people than anyone I know about. I might have been a bigger loser if Ihad believed in people, but I have turned out to be a lesser one with this special skill that I inherited.

The Preferences: His love for the engineers and doctors have meant that I learnt to love those people who were different, and I decided to get rid of all Science and Mathematics because I realized that my right place was not with them. I belonged with the creative thinkers and not those people who worked only on logic. I realized that I should be human first and that matters. Well, most of my relatives don’t think so as they are always after counting the money in job or in marriage – but I understood 😀 #HugYourDad

This father’s day, I am expressing my love towards my dad by participating in the #HugYourDad activity at BlogAdda in association with Vicks.

***The image used in this blog post is from the page of activity itself.

TeNy

Presence and Absence of Hug

The season of the mother’s day is over, and this is time period calls for the other parent. As time has passed after the day for the loving mother, one can recollect that it was one of the more popular times of contests and there was a lot of sharing related to mother on Facebook and Twitter. It is certain that a lot of hugs were received by mothers all around the world. A hug is the best gift you can give your dad too on this father’s day.

It is one’s duty to be thankful to the parents, and every religion has a provision for being respectful and loving towards parents – no matter how much the world has advanced, and up-to what extent the modernity, competition and the brutality of science and technology have taken over, the relationship remains the same in its core. Indian culture has had a great place for the same, and it remains one of the most beautiful things.

There would be many reasons for hugging one’s father, and I am sure that there will be some in my life too even if not too many, but the one big reason about which I want to talk about here is of a lot of significance. The reason is actually the absence of the result itself. It is simple – there was never a hug, not one which I can remember about. It is a case of the complete absence of the hug. It is the prolonged absence of something which creates the desire for that thing, right? So it is the lack of presence of the hug.

Yes, it was missing and no notice could find it. I used to search for it a lot during my childhood days, but neve really found it. Mom had tried a lot to find it for me, but as time passed, I have refused its strength all together; I kept saying, no hugs and not touching. I apologize to Munna Bhai on this – there have been no “Jadoo Ki Jhappi”; no magic there. Circuit might not like that either, but that is the truth.

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As I grew up, I used to wonder why people hug, until I watched Munnabhai MBBS. It became further clear at that time, but that never really explained why I should give anybody a hug. I have remained hug-free even though I haven’t really boasted about that. I have often wondered how I would have managed not to hug if I had ever been a tennis player – it would have been declared an act of shame and also disrespectful to fellow players by some fans.

Well, dad has been hug-free for quite a long time too, and that is a relief. If he was hugging someone else, that would made me wonder why I didn’t do that yet. I wanted to do a hug when I get a job, but that doesn’t seem to be happening in this birth. I wanted to do that on the day of my wedding, but that seems to be too far away a thing in life. Then there is the father’s day which remains the last hope.

A hug will be a nice option for this father’s day, especially for us jobless people who are in no position to buy something for the parents. Yes, there is hope in those contest wins, but we can’t really have the vanity to think that we will win them all, right? Not even with the First Come First Serve basis with such a slow and miserable internet connection. I would say that a hug is a nice option for me – and there is also some variety associated with it 😀 #HugYourDad

This father’s day, I am expressing my love towards my dad by participating in the #HugYourDad activity at BlogAdda in association with Vicks.

***The image used in this blog post is from the page of activity itself.

TeNy

Choice of the Heart

Most of the times, there is more than one choice in our life; and it matters how those decisions are taken. All the time, the self-proclaimed people keeps asking us to take decisions from the mind instead of the heart. It has always been the brain who got more attention, and in the end, we wonder if the right decision was taken when it involved the brain – if the heart could have done better? Isn’t the brain getting too much attention in a word which needs more empathy an compassion?

It has never been easy to listen to the heart in our society which looks only for the winners. There have been better times for the heart in the later stages of my life, but not during those earlier times when I was at school. Yes, the first graduation course was also a decision of the mind which had to be changed, but the school days were not so different either. There was no option to choose from the heart – none of us had the choice; no man or woman had a real choice at that time.

When you see such clouds on the sky, good things can happen to you :P

The brain asks you to aim for the skies, but what does the heart say?

Yes, there were men who made the choice, but I don’t consider them as my role-models. As far as my little universe was considered, none of them were part of the same. All my friends as well as myself were caught in this option to make no real choice. We were forced to join a random graduation related to the IT field which was at its full power during that time, even though things were beginning to somewhat come down by the time the course was finishing.

Therefore, the decision to join BCA was made out of the mind, because it was the perfect and absolutely sane decision at that time. Everyone else had been spending time looking for those engineering colleges, and doing BCA meant that less money was to be spent and still with an MCA added to the degree, I could be none less than an engineer and also a post-graduate, thus one step forward. Yes, I had qualified in the Kerala Engineering Entrance Examinations of that time just with my guess work, but BCA and MCA combination seemed better.

The rays of the sun welcomed me almost everyday.

It was the season of darkness; but things change when the heart takes over.

It was never the time of the heart. Such times had no place for the heart, because the aim of the society was to make an engineer out of even zombies. Each and every parent wanted to say that the son or daughter was studying for engineering. It hasn’t changed much even now, and the coconut trees are complaining that there are more engineers than them, leading to a change in demographics which can be dangerous to the relationship between humans and the trees of the state.

I never had good times with BCA, unless you want to mention sleeping in the classes and never going to the college for days as “good times”. This meant that the brain was rather the selfish and the greedy one, making choices out of having no real choice, and calling it a bloody choice even without an existence. Brain had kept telling that this is still awesome, and you could go on saying to the people that you are doing BCA, thus making everyone happy. But the heart had other ideas.

On one of those rainy days, supported by the beauty and serenity of the monsoon, I decided to end this from the bottom of my heart. There was no point in it, and the same was supported by my mother. Even though the majority was still against this decision and wanted to go with the mind, once again taking my choice out of me, I decided against listening to the same people who stopped my heart from making decisions. I made the decision to quit BCA and take a graduation in BA English and Literature – that felt awesome and it was a dil ki deal!

I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdealactivity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.

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

TeNy

Through the Sands of Time

Every now and then, what has come between my heart and my mind has been a few great judgments. Some people, both men and women have the notion that men can do whatever they want and they are not judged. But it is a third-rate judgment in itself. We are all chosen to do what the society tells us to. There is nothing that I hate more than the generalization, and it is a disgusting attack on a person’s individuality – this statement itself is a judgment.

I have been a Literature student, and have read something from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract: “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains“. It is not in my power to say who is in chains of stainless steel and who is in the chain of rusting iron, because the situation is not the same everywhere. But one thing I am sure about is that I have been judged throughout my life, and I have seen the same as a perfect example of why the bloody judgment about being judged is not limited to a gender.

Every thought about Aluva takes you back the River Periyar for no reason :D

In a grand universe in which the man is so minute, society makes a mockery of him.

This calls for a flashback, and the sands of time has been reset to that period when I was going to do my thesis for MA English. I have already written about the seasons of judgment when I decided to halt my BCA and also when I started pursuing English Literature. Here is another one, as the season of judgment has been something like an eternal, hot summer. The strength of the same has never ceased to amaze me.

I have a pretty good list of judges, and there was one who came home and asked me about the thesis I was doing. It was his right to ask about the same because he hadn’t read English or any literature for such a long time. I told him that I was doing something on vampire and related culture based on a number of Gothic horror works which featured vampires, and was using some traditional beliefs to support the same.

And everything finishes with the silver lining of the great vampire thesis.

Despite not scoring the top marks, this thesis is a bonus to my individuality.

Actually, there was absolutely no need to explain it in detail, and things got kind of worse. The doubt was like why would somebody do a thesis on vampires which are like the demons which are evil? I was surprised that there were too many people asking the same question after that. I had the extreme privilege of being not the good person that I was supposed to be, and that came out of nowhere.

With all my lecturers at college providing full support, didn’t I have the right to do thesis on whatever topic I wanted? How is it that a part of my studies determine if I was good or evil? I have had the free advice to change the topic and do something on Bard of Avon or my namesake who had enough works for a big project, and that was normal. May be if the focus was at least not on the blood-sucking, it was still better.

But I had enough of this nonsense, and I had changed too many things in my life for others. So, I decided to stay judged for this one; I had to be judged for working with blood-suckers rather than a huge tree which stood alone in the middle of a beautiful meadow or a lovely maiden who waited for her lover, and there was always the dumb fiction. The mind still said that this one won’t fetch me a high score as it was about “the vampire”, but heart told me to go on.

I didn’t score that high in the end, and the right decision was indeed to change this topic which the normal people never liked. But I didn’t want the right decision, because I wanted to be judged for making the choice. This judgment was to be my personal bliss. I finally got that, and was never happier, because I was extremely good at what I did, and despite some people not liking it, I enjoyed every bit of reading about the vampires. This is where I followed my heart, and I had chosen not to score high marks, because I study to know; I do this with all my heart to read more and more – this was a true dil ki deal! I felt good, and I felt like a vampire who inherited a lovely castle from Count Dracula.

“I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdealactivity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.”

***The two photos used in this blog post were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 camera.

TeNy

A Big Change to Life

There is always the need for a bold step which ends up changing our lives for the good or the bad. It is often powered by fate or by ourselves. Almost everyone should have such an incident which changes one’s life in such a big way that the later years become defined by that moment. For a good, well-thought decision, the decision can rarely be negative, and it can do wonders to our lives. Here is a story of my life that I share here: #StartANewLife.

It happened when I was submitting the application for MA English at Union Christian College, Aluva. Almost everyone I know told me that it was impossible to get an admission at that college for someone like me with very less number of seats left after all the reservation procedure and the quota ends. It was like making an effort which was not going to bear any fruit. It was going to be a useless procedure to apply directly through the website.

The other option was provided by the same people. It was to look for the management seat as the only right and possible option in their eyes. People said that it is near impossible, but I had hope, with the feeling that I can get admission by myself. I haven’t had much of an opinion about myself at that time and neither did most of the people around me. I thought that may be this could be a first, to change that opinion, because the change had to start somewhere.

I was provided many options with possible recommendations by many people. But I decided to move on with the direct path, the Centralized Allotment Procedure. I hoped that I could move out of those large number of tags by joining the course in this particular college by merit. UC College still remains one of the most prestigious and the most well-known colleges in Kerala, and it was also close to my home.

Then, on that day when I felt more respect to Mahathma Gandhi University that any other day, there was the trial allotment displayed, and with the choice of course and college given, I understood that there was a big chance of getting admission in any of the colleges in my district, as for admission to MA English, the score for the English languages was added extra along with the total score. UC College was there for me join.

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That was a twist, and it happened after I took the decision to go for the direct admission rather than just the management seat. Yes, there were discussions, and there was the idea that a regular seat was impossible, but I stuck to the usual procedure and tried directly despite people telling me not to. Most of the people didn’t believe that I actually got the admission on merit, for some time.

With the successful admission on merit, I was able to leave my past behind. I understood that I was good enough, and my decision to choose English over the other subjects was working well. I had a very good time at the college, managed to win inter-college competitions, scored well for seminars, did assignments nicely and finished with good marks in the final exams. This could still have happened even if I had joined in the management quota, but not with this much confidence and smoothness, that is for sure. All of these were made possible because I could take the step to choose direct entry, and I am glad that it happened in the best way.

Housing.com also loves changes, a good change, moving forward: https://housing.com/

***The image used in this blog post is from Housing.com home page. You have just read about my memory on the idea – #StartANewLife.

TeNy

Making that One Decision

The memories go to those diabolical moments a few years back, and there I was caught in a giant web which had more than huge spider supplying dilemma creating a series of more and more complex webs. There was the need to make a choice, but I couldn’t go on with it. My decision making ability had hit some new lows right there, making me wonder if the correct decision could ever be made me with the presence of perpetual doubts which never seemed to end.

It was the time when I was turning into full-time cynic from a part-time doubter. I was caught within the web of BCA which I neither liked or was ever interested in. I never really studied and went to the college very rarely. Even during the classes, I spent too much time on the sleepy side, never really making an attempt to understand anything. It seemed to be an bottomless pit of nothingness where I was staying for almost no reason, and the number of webs were only growing, only to make things worse.

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Life was going on and on like nothing really mattered. It was to go on in a never-ending manner in which I was to fail, collect back-papers and keep writing the exams to make it a nice five year plan. I could still not be persuaded to study better. Each and everyday, I would get on my Honda Unicorn or TATA Indica and go all the way to the college travelling those thirteen kilometres for almost no real reason. I even had no good friends and there was absolutely no point of that journey.

One day, when I was doing nothing as usual, and wasting my time as if time and tide waited for me at the bus station, my mother asked me if I really wanted to do this. She added that she should have asked the same question before I joined the course as suggested by some uncles, but that wouldn’t have mattered because her opinion wouldn’t have been of any value. She said that this was the time for me to make a stand.

It was not like I had never made a stand, but I have had the same opinion as my mother, that whatever stand I take, it is not going to change anything in a positive manner. I have had my choices of school, but my opinions were never taken into consideration. The points by some of the relatives and fake friends always made more impact in the decision making at our home. Even for Plus Two, I had wished to take the Humanities group, but I had scored too much to go for what they called the “inferior group”.

So when she said that I should make a decision on this, I didn’t want to do anything other than to stop this ridiculous course which made no sense to me, and with so much less teaching going on and nobody in the class really studying, this was going to bring nothing positive. I decided to end this procedure of a course which was going nowhere. I decided to go to the Mahatma Gandhi University and cancel this course which I did, even as most of my relatives were completely against the idea and wanted me to go on studying this forever until I pass.

I joined BA English after that, and with most of my friends of BCA still trying to clear the exams, she told me that it was the best stand that I had ever taken, and it is the first major positive decision of a great value that I had ever made. It is because of her words of encouragement and support that she had provided, that I was able to change my graduation which had a great influence on my post-graduation, making me want to be that PG graduate rather than go with the flow and reach somewhere not really fitting in.

***The image used in this blog post is from HDFC’s IndiBlogger Campaign Page. The blog post was written as part of the Happy Hours Campaign from HDFC Life in association with IndiBlogger. They have surely managed to come up with one of the best advertisements for their product as you have seen in the video above. Do find some time to check: http://www.hdfclife.com/

TeNy

Tribute to the Teachers

My time at the Union Christian College was very good, and each of the lecturers at the English Department has played a big role in defining me – it is something that I can never forget. I have already written about my days at the college (https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/the-college-days-at-ucc/) which won a contest too, and I might come with a detailed tribute later. But for now, I would like to remember those teachers who defined my earlier days of studies at the school level. My memories about that time period remains less clear, but it is worth a try.

Among my favourite teachers, there are two who helped me with my English. One is Aleyamma teacher who was my all-time favourite teacher – I would give her credit for myself scoring very high in English for my tenth board exams. She was strict with her class, and always hesitated to give marks, and the best one could score for the English paper if it was evaluated by her – it was around eighty two out of hundred and sometimes nobody scored an eighty; not really inspiring the students to choose English as the favourite subject, but her level of teaching and valuation compared to the others was clear when the scores reached near cent percent for the board exams while the students who scored high in the local test papers and examinations got low marks.

Just reminding myself that I used to win prizes, even at state level :D

Just reminding myself that I used to win some big prizes, even at state level 😀

I have had the opportunity to stand outside the class during her classes, but that only inspired me to work harder – from the way she managed the classes, it was all so clear to me. I tried to read more and make things work better, and I wished she had taught me English for a longer period of time. No longer being in her classes was the biggest miss for me after the tenth standard. Joseph sir who gave me tutions for English also provided the same, and he played a big role in making the English language and grammar interesting. As long as he taught me, I never had any doubt about which subject to study more than the others. But all subjects other than English were made so boring in comparison.

Another love for a subject goes to History, and the credit for that goes to Laila teacher who could come up with least boring History class that I have ever known. She had a special style of saying “Mao Tse-tung” and “Chiang Kai-shek” which made sure that the Chinese Revolution was never forgotten. I remember that I had once topped History for the first time and she was like “what took you so long?”. I could score high for the subject during the board exams too, and I was actually blessed with the certain fact that she was the one who taught me History throughout high school, a memory that I cherish. I don’t even remember seeing her in anger when teaching or dealing with matters of the class.

Then there was Uma teacher, who made the subject of Geography have any value. She also used to teach some English when there was the need, and I did feel that she made her points so clear with the class. If I have something of the subject remaining inside my brain, it is because she make me relate well with that subject which was never among my stronger areas. It is the base for Geography that she had provided, just like that base for History and English which were established. I managed to do fine with the subject for the tenth board exams, and make Social Science look nice in totality.

A portion of the scanned image - favourite teachers are third from left and first from right.

A portion of the scanned image – favourite teachers are third from left and first from right.

Then there was Martin sir who made an impression for my Plus Two, but the major problem there was that, as a Mathematics teacher, he came too late to make a big impact – there was no love left for me with Maths, and even for the Science subject, the lack of good teachers during the earlier periods of schooling deprived me of any love for those subjects. My favourite subjects were formed due to the presence of some good teachers during the school days, and they were English, History and Geography – those were the three subjects which made me interested due to having the best teachers, the four whom I salute, and my respect for the fifth who tried so hard to make my Maths better, but couldn’t 😀

This blog post is inspired by Sucheta’s writing (https://suchetabiswas.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/we-the-people-and-the-teachers-we-have), and reminds me that I should have carried over the inspiration and knowledge which were provided by these teachers. But unfortunately, I did lose most of it for some time, and could only partially gain a part of it back. It was rather a near-impossible task because of my certain inabilities. ***The images used in this blog post are scanned and cropped photos from my distant past – the schooldays.

TeNy

Aluvaite Food Memories

After spending about fifteen years as an Aluvaite, there have been a number of hang-out places which have been among our favourites. Here are ten of them at Aluva (Alwaye) which were frequently visited by us. The status remains as of the last year of leaving the place. The choices haven’t changed much, but a number of new locations were added to the list. Here are the Aluvaite food memories 😀

1. Anna Gowri Restaurant: The Vegetarian side of the Mahnami Heritage Hotel has been our favourite choice for Masala Dosa for years, a practice which we started with a cup of tea a few days after its inauguration. It is close to two churches, and therefore it is easier to go for the mass and have food from there. There is also a lot of parking space even as the place is in the centre of the town. The rates are also good, and the location is quite beautiful. (http://www.mahnamihotels.in)

Mahnami and Anna-Gowri Restaurant at Aluva - on a rainy day.

Mahnami and Anna-Gowri Restaurants at Aluva – on a nice rainy day of Masala Dosa.

2. Surya Restaurant: We have always been big fans of this restaurant, and this has been our first choice for non-vegetarian food anyday, and the best place for any kind of treat or random get-together. What we had here was always Chilli Beef though, and the list of people whom I have introduced to that awesome curry are rather uncountable. It is always Ghee Rice/Fried Rice/Porotta/Chappathi with Chilli Beef with Gravy. This might be a little bit expensive for some, but totally worth it due to the taste.

3. Navya Bake Shop: Even as this place came late, it has often made one wonder why this was not at Aluva for such a long time. Aluvaites needed a bakery which made no compromise in taste, and finally it has been delivered (there was already an existence outside the town though). There are some incredibly awesome cakes available here, and this also my first choice for Puffs and Cutlet anywhere near Aluva; as Ceecee is to Angamaly. (http://www.navyabakers.com)

A shot of one side of the town from the top - the building-greenery combination ;)

A shot of the less crowded side of town from the top – the building-greenery combination 😉

4. Indian Coffee House: This is a place which needs no introduction. It is the biggest and the most trust-worthy restaurant chain in Kerala, and even as the branch at Aluva has got no car parking, we can always adjust. It is near the railway station as well as the KSRTC bus station which means easy access. Go through Aluva’s Sub Jail Road for this one. The best thing is that Poori Masala an tea are available throughout the day, and the cutlets here are speciality, especially the vegetarian one. (http://indiancoffeehouse.com)

5. Shenoy’s Restaurant: This is my most visited place for food, and I have known this place since school days. Located between the Pulinchode Junction and the Aluva Market, this restaurant has been part of my life, and the one place from where I had more food than most of the other places. It had a major role in improving my interest in Ghee Roast as well as Paneer Butter Masala. The best title should be “my first favourite vegetarian restaurant ever”.

6. Cho-Chote: This is the place where I had my first milk shake, and as far as I can remember, it was Strawberry flavour. It has remained a popular shake destination for years, and especially when we were thinking about some ideas for some random skit, we would have a shake, especially when the quota of tea gets over. There was so much of choice available here, and this one which was opposite the Saint Xavier’s College remained the first option for the same.

Every thought about Aluva takes you back the River Periyar for no reason :D

Every thought about Aluva town takes you back to the River Periyar for no reason 😀

7 + 8. Annalakshmi Restaurant and Kammath’s Inn: These remain parts of my food extravaganza related to the Union Christian College. Even as the former started later, the extension of the time at the college was there to be taken. Both these vegetarian restaurants had me interested in the Onion Oothappam and the Ghee Roast respectively. The Vegetable Biriyani was strong at both places too.

9 + 10. Annapoorna Restaurant and Grand Restaurant: These are two of the earliest restaurants I have known at Aluva. Here, the first one is vegetarian and the second non-vegetarian. The former has me always choosing Poori Masala an the latter has me going for the Beef Biriyani or Chicken Biriyani both being very good there. These two used to be the typical vegetarian and non-vegetarian restaurants choice for a long time.

A few special mentions are also needed for the special tea and marble cake at Home Bakers, the nice milk shake at Aluva Bake House, fine idiyappam at Al-Falah Restaurant, that Ghee Roast at Swami’s Restaurant, fruit shake time at MKS and the first few days at the KR Bakers. There are also a number of my favourite restaurants and bakeries which did close down, including Taal Restaurant, Thompson Bakery and Surabhi Restaurant. I am writing this blog post when I am very hungry, thank You 😀 All photos used here are mine as usual 😉

TeNy