All that I Have Needed

There is more than one thing that has been part of my world as an Indian, which has made my life different and special. I have grown up in a rather traditional environment, even though there was no real strictness regarding the same. It was a world which was influenced by more than one religion, and more than one language – there was the influence of more than one community, and more than one style of living here. We had more than one culture, but there was that unity in diversity, which helped us to follow what has been our way of living for a long time, that is for sure.

Among all those things, there is the skill to drive anywhere, and it is something that has been achieved by driving for so long on our roads, going on from the time when I was eighteen, to now our fourth car which is the first diesel car I have possessed. There is so much skill that you see on the road, that you feel prepared for any roads, anywhere. So many things happen on the roads, and there is also a certain amount of forgiveness that happen regarding the traffic on the roads. As long as you obey the traffic rules, you can use the skill that you have gained in this traffic as use it anywhere else, as we are not new to any kind of road.

Surviving with just gravy has been another skill which I have managed to possess in the last few decades. Who needs a side dish or curry when there is gravy, or maybe we can have food with just a little sugar. The simplicity in food has been something which this new generation which is looking for only taste, needs to understand. We just need the food to survive and live through our existence, and we do not live to eat. Wasting food has been considered a quality by many who has too much to spend, but for a developing country like India, food is precious, just like water which has been becoming scarce.

We have also been closer to tea than coffee which is rather the drink of the privileged. Going for the drink of the common man, there has been a better understanding of how to keep it close to the common man rather than to go for the elite class. Tea has always had that quality, which is why India had taken the decision to make it our national drink. We have always loved the drink too, and the tea shops have been the places where the common people gathered, from the towns to the villages, talking about various things, and understanding each other as well as the problems. I have had days surviving just on tea!

There is also this feeling that we have, that never goes. There seems to be some problem with this in the recent days with some people in a few places with low education, but otherwise we have found it easy to have more and more cultures and traditions here. I have always wished for more religions and communities around me despite the fact that we have three of the world’s major religions around. It is the culture of the other that is so fascinating for us, and unless everyone starts to feel nothing other than pure hate for the other, which seems to be a growing tendency, we are all proud of that unity in diversity, and the real Indians are only looking for more of such beautiful diversity.

The great kings from our past has been always in support of such diversity, which should be why there were so many settlements of people from far away. We have always been welcome to new things, and something to add to our already colourful culture – there was nothing against accepting new knowledge and improving our world. I am sure that some events might make people doubt the same – but that is not the case with India as a whole. The essence of this culture hasn’t been lost yet, and those who claim to protect it aren’t the ones who are the real Indians, for it is about those who live according to the same, and let others live too.

There is this mutual respect that has been practiced in the Indian culture from a long time ago, that has been part of our blood too. It is the one thing that will raise our status among the nations, along with that strong spiritual side. This spiritual capabilities has been misused, but in its true essence will go on to become stronger than ever, as hate and abuse has no real existence in our culture. We have always wished for happiness and peace all over the world, and it is where we shall return to. It is for the same that we keep trying, praying and hoping during these days.

Witness the celebration of India’s growing global influence with Lufthansa’s TVC; for it is certainly #MoreIndianThanYouThink.

TeNy

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Questions on a Sunny Day

It was on a sunny day that the ninety seventh human was allowed to get into the castle, something which was allowed only that many times through the history of the new and the old vampire worlds. Usually, the people allowed were someone who was good at one field or the other, this time, it was someone else, who had forced his way into this place, and so, none of the vampires happened to be happy about it. Still, they managed to deal with this person in the usual manner without exposing them to the sunlight directly.

Evil Human: Hi, inferior creatures, I am here, and I am going to praise my nation right now. So, listen to me as I go through it.

Vampire Bat: Why do you want to do that now?

Evil Human: It is what I do to make you understand my superiority in front of you lesser beings. I am going to sing our national anthem, and you have to stand up in respect for our culture and traditions which are the greatest in all world; otherwise, I will thrown you out of this castle like the useless dead people that you are.

Uncle Dracula: Enough of this. Tie him up.

[Vampires team up and tie up the man.]

Evil Human: This is an action against the greatest civilization, and the one true great nation of all time, which I condemn with the power that I possess due to our superiority over all those weak, pathetic…

Vampire Owl: This is rather unexpected. I have never even heard the Lich Queen or Mr. Werewolf Anger say this aloud in another territory.

Vampire Bat: One has to wonder how things happened to be like this. There should be some kind of control.

Uncle Dracula: This is quite natural, my friends. When a nation has so much of a great history, and the values that transcend what a common man can see, along with great development over the last few decades, uneducated fools like these will emerge.

Vampire Bat: It should be so depressing for a great nation to have people like this guy singing nonsense.

Uncle Dracula: Well, India has come so far into the modern world while maintaining its own powerful ideologies, values and culture which have contributed to the success of so many great people from the nation. It is the same reason why there is unity in diversity like nowhere else.

Vampire Owl: I was going to feed this guy to my zombie minions, but I am afraid that his extreme right-wing nonsense will poison their brains or what is left of them. They are all good people eating brain biriyani and having some graveyard fun, you know.

Uncle Dracula: It is only due to him not taking the essence of being an Indian, not taking the best of the great civilization right into him, and he seems to have been brainwashed into hating others rather than supporting his own nation and people. I have heard that uneducated humans fall into this too easily, and here we see the same proven with ease.

Vampire Bat: It is a case of shame that nothing can be done about it.

Vampire Owl: I am sure that politicians are also contributing to this. Such beliefs are what cause world wars.

Uncle Dracula: There is enough in Indian culture to be righteous and still gain success, but some people are just going on abusing others or choosing the wrong path to achieve success, and some dumb people think that it is all about religion, but the truth is that it is about politics – if there is no religion, there will always be caste, language, race and even celebrity worship among the others causing trouble. The only way out is to embrace the true essence of Indian culture, which has been all about truth, love, peace and non-violence.

Vampire Bat: May the essence get to be more powerful than the existence of people like him.

Vampire Owl: May righteousness prevail now, and towards the eternity that we look forward to.

Vampire Bat: My vampire friends, the human world has too many nations which consider themselves and their culture superior to the others. Only when the superiority is proven by their own actions of kindness and love rather than the rest of the things, that their world can be a better place. It is not by wealth and certainly not by fame, as there is that ancient Indian way of thinking that includes “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”, calling for happiness and peace not just to oneself, but to the whole world. When the world becomes a better place, happiness automatically comes back to you.

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

Witness the celebration of India’s growing global influence in Lufthansa’s TVC; for it is #MoreIndianThanYouThink.

TeNy

One Fairy-tale to Write

I watched as she opened that blank notebook, and I sat beside her under that zapota tree. It was the time after tea, and we had the river flowing by our side. She kept looking at each page of the book until she reached the back cover.

“There is nothing in this book. There is not even a single word or page number” she told me.

“Of course there is nothing. It is not supposed to have anything. A blank notebook was all that was supposed to be there” I replied.

“It should have what we need, right? Shouldn’t it be about our future? At least it should have something about our present life, don’t you think?” she asked me.

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“No, it will have what we make of it, with our lives. We begin from here, and what we have will be our memories for flashback” I told her.

“What about our fairy-tale? We were creating the best of them all, weren’t we?” she asked.

“We write it down in this book. The pages begin where the prince gets his princess” I replied.

“And when the princess gets her prince. You know how important it has been for her” she added.

“Yes, when the two protagonists get each other” I said.

“I believe you were writing a Cinderella story. I now know that the princess is going to get her prince sooner than she expected – you need to complete that one” she said.

“I have come to the end of it, which is a new beginning” I told her.

“My fairy-tale intends to be a long one, and I can see that. This one book won’t be enough to contain even one percent of it” she remarked.

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“I felt that on the 24th of July, and then again on the 24th of August. We will write them in our souls and bigger books” I told her.

“I have written a lot in my soul already, and I am sure that it has already been read by the one who matters the most. You know how deep the letters go into my heart and soul. So, are we watching that sunset?” she asked.

“Yes we are. It is why we are here” I replied.

We walked to the rock at the end of the cliff and saw the sun disappear behind the hills. I took out a pen and started writing on the first page of the book while she looked with a smile that was more beautiful than the sunset.

“What are you talking about? This is not in line with your usual posts. Who is this lady? I know that you are not engaged or married yet. I feel that there is something fishy” said the Vampire Owl.

“Soon, Mr. Owl, very soon, everything shall be revealed. There is no big mystery here, but a few things unknown for now” replied the Vampire Bat.

“You are keeping secrets from the vampire community, Mr. Bat. And I consider that to be a very dangerous trend that threatens our brotherhood. It even causes trouble for the thread that binds us” remarked the Vampire Owl.

“Well, you will know, soon enough. It is quite simple a thing, and tomorrow is the seventeenth, a big day” added the Vampire Bat as he disappeared into the darkness beyond the woods.

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

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

TeNy

Battle of Ten Vampires

The Great Vampire Library used to record almost all battles which the vampire kind had fought with the werewolves, zombies, dark elves, goblins, orcs, wood elves, satyrs, centaurs and high elves, but there was one battle which they fought among themselves. This particular battle was never recorded in any of the books, and so the gargoyles who guarded them never spread those stories among the masses of vampires. There was no word spoken about it inside or outside the vampire realm, but the vampires knew; at least all who fought or were witness to the battles.

It was the battle for the remote control of the television. It goes back to those years when television was first introduced in the vampire world which used dark magic to sneak into the cable television and bring the channels before that. This battle, which is often referred to as “Battle of Ten Vampires” in secret, had no blood involved, but there surely was the use of vampire powers for the possession of that one special weapon, the remote control. But the vampires were too ashamed to speak about such a meaningless battle.

The battle has actually turned more meaningless, with Tata Sky providing the option to record, transfer and carry the favourite movies and TV shows with the users. The Vampire Owl who created more problems than anybody else, really wanted to watch that match between Manchester United and Liverpool, but the Vampire Bat prevented the same by taking control of the remote control to watch US Open. It was the beginning of that battle which could have been prevented by Tata Sky+ Transfer, and it is still possible with the use of a time machine.

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The battle had wide spread destruction inside the room because the vampire apprentices had decided to join. Vampire Hamster wasn’t sure what he wanted to watch and so kept changing the channel. Vampire Crocodile went on biting everyone around hoping to get control of the remote control and Vampire Alligator joined from another side. Vampire Crow used its connection with the dead to summon a few undead and Vampire Raven contacted the other world directly through the portal. With Vampire Cat joining in, Vampire Panda and Vampire Penguin contributed heavily to the chaos.

With Kung Fu Panda on Star Movies, Vampire Panda had no option but to go berserk, and was stopped by Vampire Penguin who wanted to watch Happy Feet. With Vampire Cat’s desire to watch Puss in Boots gone awry Vampire Crow decided to sneak in and put on The Crow on HBO, but that was thwarted by Vampire Crocodile who managed to put the National Geographic Channel. Vampire Alligator tried to defend the Discovery Channel, but the Vampire Raven sneaked in. With the undead minions joining, and the sofas, tables and chairs thrown around, the television barely survived.

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Nowadays, things have calmed down and are getting more peaceful with #TATASkyTransfer being available, providing the customers with the option to watch the shows whenever we want to, with the programs stored in the devices in pockets. The shows can not only be watched in one of the rooms on one’s phone, laptop or tablet, but also while on a journey which might be too long. This surely seems like a better option than the internet download because things are rather more direct.

Now, there are wars to be fought outside, and it will be very good for the vampire community to have the internal problems solved. It is something that #TATASkyTransfer can bring everywhere and make sure that the fight for the remote is not there. The battle to watch a cricket, football or tennis match during the time of the television serials is something of epic proportions and there is the need for bring Tata Sky+ Transfer to save the day in most of the cases. So, this becomes a choice for peace and non-violence. Check here for more details about the same here: http://www.tatasky.com/transfer/

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Tata Sky, and are used to support this post.

TeNy

Diversity has its Unity

Do check Lufthansa TVC

There is something about pride being the Devil’s favourite sin. But what Mephistopheles hopes to thrive on as per the instructions of Lucifer is rather that pride that a man or woman has on oneself and that selfishness which boosts vanity; it is what the Devil always roots for in man among the Seven Deadly Sins. It is from the lack of care for the other that the pride arises, and it has made man fall beneath the abyss, just like Christopher Marlowe had shown us with the example of Doctor Faustus in a tragic story of human devastation.

With a population that goes above a hundred crores and having a wonderfully diverse culture, an outsider will always have the tendency to think that India is not one – but that is not true. We are one, and this unity among ourselves is rather boosted by the diversity that is there. We actually love the customs of others and respect it, and there lies the pride which extends to the one who is seemingly outside one’s culture, but still part of one’s own extended family. There are exceptions, but considering our population, they are very few. It is a strong message for the outside world.

Sameeksha @kalady, promoting inter-religious harmony (taken on Sony DSC-W180)

Sameeksha @Kalady, promoting inter-religious harmony (taken on Sony DSC-W180)

Here comes the question of being proud, yet again. Yes, we have the right to be proud about our nation, and it is entirely different from being proud of oneself boosting that vanity. This right to be proud is something that we gain by doing something for the nation and keeping its traditions alive rather than something that comes up only when Indian cricket team wins the World Cup or as the means to abuse people from other countries. You are part of a nation by birth, which is rather the accident and you earn the right to be part of the nation when you do what is good for your country. Here, we can see that it includes people who are different from oneself, coming from different cultures.

I remember what I was told when I was a child – that India is a lot like Europe, but we have always had people who had chosen to stay close to each other despite having different languages, religions, cultures and traditions. It is something that would have been entirely difficult at the early times, but has been managed since 1947. We have been one nation of different people who have respected and celebrated our differences like no other nation. It is a message that India has for the world, to respect the other, and it is a message that India should always carry. It is that message that the majority of Indians have had with them.

Lufthansa does portray the Indian side as they could, but the fact remains that India is not just the land of Bollywood, Namaste and one kind of food. India has strong movie industries in the South, with Tamil movies having a huge fan following (I remember seeing the posters of Anniyan at parts of Malaysia), and there are Malayalam movies always coming up with the intellectually superior stuff plus there are also the strong Telugu and Kannada movie industries. Cinema of West Bengal always had my attention, and the film-making occurs in rather too many languages for someone from another nation.

Kadamattom, a mix of different myths - the passage to underworld (taken on Nokia N95)

Kadamattom, a mix of different myths – the passage to underworld (taken on Nokia N95)

And in the case of namaste, there can also be namaskaram, vanakkam, namaskar and many others changing throughout the nation. At the same time, the diversity of food is rather mouth-watering, and not something to worry about. This existence and the respect for diversity is something that India can give to the rest of the world. There is the message of peaceful co-existence and harmony is something that some part of the world does seem to agree with and some other parts need to check and think about. Everywhere in the world, we see wars over small disputes and nations wishing to divide themselves on the basis of something or anything just increasing the number of world nations further, and we wonder why it is so hard to live with people who are different.

There are not many things as beautiful as having a diversity among people. It certainly supports love and care for those who belong to different races. Some people would feel that diversity is a curse and having the same kind of people who think alike will support unity further. But that is clearly not the point as far as you can go through India. There will always be one reason or the other for people who want to hate and divide. In India, it is the diversity that is the beauty which powers the unity, and when we realize that and love the other, it is the message that we pass on to the world, and it is what it needs as turbulence is always waiting for a chance. This example that India has set surely has made some impact already, and it is undeniable.

*The above photos were all taken by me. This blog post was written in relation to the “More Indian than you think” contest from Lufthansa India in association with Indiblogger. Please do visit the link below for further details about the same:
http://bit.ly/MITYTIndiblogger

TeNy

Of Apes and Humans

Returning after watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and its messages for the present humanity – the species which is seeking violence and justifying the same with the distant past, and every group calling for blood just because the other religion or community not considered to be human, a post was a necessity. This is a shame that the modern world has brought upon itself makes them stoop to a level lower than animals. The movie gives the viewers certain lessons, and its relevance to the present world is higher than its contribution to the flick itself.

1. Violence is the dominant nature and need: It is seen that humans and apes do see each other as threats just because they are both different. It is the same problem that haunts humans who fight each other. Yes, people want everyone else to be like them, and there lies the problem. Even as war can’t be justified by any means, this hatred is boosted by people who fight each other in the social media and post fake images which completely nullifies their cause. The violence on the field is reflected even on the virtual world, and death of people from other groups is a necessity for some.

Teach something, but learn more from the apes (photo from movie's official FB page)

Teach something, but learn more from the apes (photo from movie’s official FB page)

2. Peace is just temporary relief: Humans are without the ability to forgive and forget and therefore there will be no eternal peace; Ceasar acknowledges this by the end of the movie. People always have many genocides to justify what they are doing now, and it is a shame that they have to bring things which happened in the medieval era to give the feeling of rightful revenge to their evil deeds. The world has changed and they need to get out of their distant past and learn to be good to others in the present. Only then there will be everlasting peace.

3. There is evil in every group: It is only with such sadness and disappointment that Caesar acknowledge that it is his own people who are responsible for this plight while it was humans whom he expected to start the war. The presence of good among evil gives hope, but this evil which spreads among the good people is rather terrible. There is the indoctrination that one group or the other is bad and deserves to be killed, and this spread like wildfire, faster than anything which is not so evil. The enemy might change, but there is a possibility that there is always one.

4. Apes are among humans: The indoctrinated humans form the new generation apes. They only support their own people and hope for the people of other religion or community to die. Those who are not violent enough to do it on the streets do it on the social networking sites becoming a spamming device themselves, aping others sharing the photos put by them without even knowing that it is a fake image or an something that works against themselves thus making the whole process invalid. Some others choose to abuse a person as a part of the aping, and attempts to do so because someone else did the same earlier.

5. The need for individuality: The apes resemble the humans who lack individual ideas and they think that it is always about them without even choosing to have an identity. They depend on some random person who share some ideas. People believe others to such an extent that they think that Steven Spielberg killed a dinosaur, and so how can they not believe anything else? If the same thing is given a racial, religious or caste colour, the whole thing will be easier to believe because some people only consider their group as human, and they think as our human leader says “they are just animals”.

Co-existence. Do the humans even know what it means? (photo from movie's official FB page)

Co-existence. Do the humans even know what it means? (photo from movie’s official FB page)

In the end, the only one who suffer will be the common man. Nobody really cares about the bloody politics which is bringing every act of war. There is only the need for co-existence, and for that, the change should be made at the root level, with the next generation being taught the values. But there is nothing to be done, as they have already left the children to find evil in their own way. The next generation is sure to bring a lot of hatred to this world, unless we guide the younger ones. Lets not be like the apes, and lets not be like the warmongers or the brainwashed supporters of violence.

TeNy.