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

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

Three Simple Words

Vampire Bat: Okay, the first person to start this round is the Vampire Owl from my left side.

Vampire Owl: Oh! You mean to say that I have to say three of my favourite words right now.

Vampire Bat: Yes, it is how this whole thing works. This is also a game which we can play once in every week.

Vampire Owl: But I have no idea where to start. I have never been good with this type of ideas. I don’t play such games either.

Vampire Hamster: Let me say then, sir. I am ready to come up with mine. You will surely like them. There are vampires, zombies and undead as the three…..

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Vampire Bat: No! Your turn will come. Don’t talk now. I hate it when vampire apprentices try to intervene early.

Vampire Crocodile: I told you that this game is turn-based. Like the games Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic and Disciples: Sacred Lands. You are just not playing enough computer games.

Vampire Owl: Do you know how difficult this is for me. I could use a clue.

Vampire Bat: Okay, I will provide you with one myself. You can add this as the first letter on your list. Tea.

Vampire Owl: What? Tea? Why would that be so?

Vampire Bat: Well, tea has been part of our lives for quite a long time. You should have read all my tales related to tea. We have always had some good time with tea, and it is the one true elixir of life. It has defined my childhood with its taste, and I have had more tea than ice cream even as a kid. Just don’t tell Uncle Dracula because he will only talk about blood, but this is the truth.

Vampire Owl: That was some nice description. Tea should keep its greatness as the one grand drink. Now, I will require two more words. Here is my first word and the second of the series. Death.

Vampire Bat: Death, yes related to Lady Death, isn’t it? The one who has refused to see you for so long? I didn’t think that you would like to choose this one; otherwise I would have given a better clue earlier.

Vampire Owl: No, not directly. Yes, the Lady Death influence cannot be denied because she is always present everywhere. Even when she is not known to be with me, she is there; she is with us all. She knows us all and she can easily predict where most of our actions are leading us. Death does have an existence also without its personification.

Vampire Bat: You mean, as the great leveler, the one who brings equality to a world where everyone considers the other as inferior. There are not many problems that death cannot solve. What lies under the tombs shall always be the same.

Vampire Owl: Yes, and the talk about tombs bring me to the third word – Graveyard which is an extension of death. That makes it three; tea, death and graveyard. This should finish my role in this game.

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Vampire Bat: Yes, graveyard has had a special place for us throughout the history. I don’t see why can’t it become a favourite word. It has always been the place where things became better and there, all sufferings end. There is no better location which has given quality resting time.

Vampire Owl: It has also played a big role in the battles which were fought there, most of them being won by our kind. It has the record of being a lucky place for us, and it is approved by my zombie minions.

Vampire Bat: The zombies will surely find it the best word ever. But it is still not as powerful as death with all its glory. Graveyard needs death; more and more of it. May be the angel of death will bring more.

Vampire Owl: In the end, it all comes to death, the end of the story of lives, and it is undoubtedly the best word ever.

Vampire Bat: But for a lot of us, life is death and vice versa. Most of us never really live and we all die in the end. There are not many things which can equal living a dead man’s life with its melancholy.

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

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

TeNy

For the Restaurants

I have had a long history with the restaurants of my favourite towns, and I had already written about those five towns already. The restaurants at Aluva, Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam and Angamaly have been part of my life for quite a long time because they are part of the routes which I have traveled a lot. Yes, a good number of restaurants around the city of Cochin also got a big part to play in the same. Throughout my life, I have loved many restaurants and decided not to visit a few ever.

I have rarely hated any of the restaurants because I have always found one interesting item in one form or the other. Most of my favourite restaurants were vegetarian, with only a few exceptions in each town. I have already written about how much of an integral part of my life, Indian Coffee House has been. But talking about the restaurants, or at least most of them, there are a few things which I would like to see at all of them. I am sharing them here.

Try providing only the needed amount of curry: When there is only one person having food, I am surprised that there is so much of the curry being provided whether it is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. When I go outside with friends, if we are only two, we share one curry with the rice, Chappathi, Porotta, Appam or whatever we are having. This is the reason why I have some Dosa, Idli or Biriyani items which don’t require separate curry when I am alone. I am sure that I won’t be able to finish one full curry, but the restaurants can have the option of providing half-curry or sometimes even quarter-curry?

There Dal Fry which you see is usually enough for me and my friend :)

The Dal Fry which you see here with the roti is usually enough for me and my friend 🙂

Try not to make random assumptions: I have seen that many non-vegetarian restaurants bring Chicken Noodles, Chicken Fried Rice or Chicken Biriyani whenever we ask for Noodles, Fried Rice or Biriyani. This has happened to me on a number of occasions. There was a time when I had to chase the waiter to tell him that I actually meant Vegetable Biriyani only. This is really not fair. You can’t make me eat non-vegetarian just because the restaurant is non-vegetarian. I might have chosen this restaurant because of its location or due to the fact that someone who is with me wants to have non-vegetarian, and it needn’t be even chicken – it can be fish, mutton or anything else.

Make tea available at all times: Having anything cold might not be the right thing to do at all times, and so I would like to say, let there be tea! Yes, it has to be there all the time, from the moment the restaurant opens to the time when it closes. It has been a nice feature of restaurant chains like Indian Coffee House, but a lot of restaurants have failed to keep that property even as some combinations of bakeries and restaurants do manage the same. As the common man’s drink, tea should be available at all times, and at the cheapest possible price; it is rather a necessity.

Dosa means enough free sambhar, and tea at any time makes it better.

Dosa means enough free sambar, and tea at any time makes the situation a lot better.

Don’t hesitate to bring us the menu: Yes, please do bring that because even if you talk about what all are available in slower pace than that usual high-speed talk, we might not be able to follow that exactly as it is supposed to be. We might end up hearing something else, or may be you will just forget one name, and we won’t get that thing which we really want to have. It is really a loss on both sides, and lets keep things clear with the menu. Knowing the prices of all those things will also help. May be there can be a huge menu board on the wall like we usually see at the branches of Indian Coffee House – they are very useful.

Do have the restrooms for customers: Yes, this is very significant because when we are on the long drives, the presence of the same will only help to make sure that the customers make the visit. I have rarely been interested in visiting a restaurant without them, and hasn’t added them to my list of favourite restaurants. It is better to have them outside the restaurant too, or at least on the other side, quite far away from the kitchen. Some restaurants are really careful about the same, like the Carnival Food Court near Angamaly which maintains the cleanliness really well.

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

TeNy

Tea in a Coffee Shop

Vampire Owl: Just order anything from the list. This is my favourite coffee shop, and today it is my treat.

Vampire Bat: This is a very nice menu with interesting pictures. But I will just have a cup of tea. If I need anything else, I will ask for another cup of tea. Thank you.

Vampire Owl: A cup of tea again! Do you know that it is intellectually weird to have tea in a coffee shop?

Vampire Bat: I have never seen anything weird in having tea anywhere. I will have it in the cemetery, library, almirah, underground or at the world’s end. I have never had coffee at Indian Coffee House either. I have always had tea. So why bother?

Vampire Owl: Wait till I get the Great Vampire Guide Book from our library. I will find something related to this in that book. There has to be a provision to ban this.

Vampire Bat: I am writing my own guide book. You can keep that old and outdated book for yourself. Even Uncle Dracula and the elder vampires don’t read that!

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Vampire Owl: So, you are not just the part-time writer; instead, you are officially a writer.

Vampire Bat: I was actually talking about writing the remaining pages of my life.

Vampire Owl: But why do you keep a broken pencil with you? I am sure that you can’t write with that.

Vampire Bat: It is part of my childhood collection. I used this pencil to play pencil fights with my friends.

Vampire Owl: I do not believe that. I know that there were only pen fights in school. I had a very heavy pen with me which I used to my advantage to win those fights. And I have a feeling that this is a magic pencil. It helps you to become a writer.

Vampire Bat: This is really a coffee shop, isn’t it? You make me feel that this is a bar.

Vampire Owl: Bars are banned. This could have been a beer and wine parlour, but this is a coffee shop.

Vampire Bat: You are still acting too strange. Do you have a problem that I got a broken pencil?

Vampire Owl: No! Not at all. You are the writer. But it reminds me of my childhood. One day, one of my classmates had a broken pencil. I had two pencils and still didn’t help him as I was a bad kid. This is a very emotional memory for me.

Vampire Bat: And then what happened?

Vampire Owl: Well, he still came first in the class without the pencil and I came second.

Vampire Bat: No wonder that it is very emotional moment for you.

Vampire Owl: Yes, and so I hate broken pencils, or all those pencils.

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Vampire Bat: Do you know why I actually keep looking at this broken pencil? It is more than just something from my long lost past.

Vampire Owl: Because it is broken and of no use, and then you realize that you don’t need a pencil which makes you extremely happy?

Vampire Bat: Absolutely not. I place it on the table as the symbol of my broken life. When my life gets better, the broken pencil will also be no longer broken.

Vampire Owl: Oh! That should be a writer thing.

Vampire Bat: Well, not exactly. I had this one with me for a very long time. I never really posted anything at that time.

Vampire Owl: So, it is just a Vampire Bat thing.

Vampire Bat: May be you can say that. But the fact remains that if you are even somewhat a writer, the broken pencil can easily be used as a symbol and a reflection of your life.

Vampire Owl: Just like I use my fangs. They are so bright and broken!

Vampire Bat: Lets not talk about the failed appointments with the dentists. Instead, we should finish the drinks.

Vampire Owl: Yes, it is time for the coffee shop to close. There is nothing to be done in life, but the shop has to close.

Vampire Bat: Death comes to us all, and life itself is a pencil waiting to be broken. But I hope not to leave this pencil broken for long. I am rather more concerned about this pencil than related to myself.

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

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

TeNy

ICH: Our True Lifeline

Whenever we have travelled around Kerala in a car or on a two-wheeler, there was always the need for a place to have tea at regular intervals, and there was surely the need to have food. We couldn’t have food from here and there, because nobody can say for sure how good it is, especially by the quality. You might see the best looking restaurants, but there no guarantee about the quality, especially when wandering through those areas were there are no friends to recommend the best places.

The oldest memory that I ever had of a restaurant which still exists, goes back to the Indian Coffee House, even though that branch at Perumbavoor no longer exists, with another branch opening about eight kilometres from there instead. At that time, I used to say that I wanted to visit an Indian Coffee House, and any of those branches would do, because they were all the same, and there was quality. I had already visited every branch in Ernakulam district long before I was a teenager.

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Indian Coffee House is spread all over Kerala, as it has the largest number of branches in the state. It has evolved into being the best choice of the Malayalis all around. It is fully owned by the employees of the restaurant chain as a co-operative society, with a committee elected for management. The biggest encouragement for starting this chain of restaurant goes to the popular communist leader of Kerala, A.K. Gopalan who was a leading social activist in the state. You can see his portrait at every branch of ICH.

With its fifty year anniversary celebrated in 2008, this group of restaurants having its headquarters at Thrissur has its most number of branches there itself, along with the same number at the capital city of Trivandrum. Considering the branches from Thrissur to Trivandrum, they have the same price everywhere. The northern version of Indian Coffee House from Palakkad to Kasargode is kind of different, even with the structure remaining the same. You can notice the difference on the logo itself.

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Even though the Indian Coffee House from Central Kerala to the South which covers eight of the fourteen districts has been more of the thing of concern for me, I have found the quality very good in both cases, as I have tried both. The Thrissur based ICH does have the Poori Masala factor available at all times, which was replaced by Idli, and that too only in the morning for the Northern based ICH. The choices were less in the latter case. For the former though, most of the things shown on the menu are available throughout the day.

Lets get back to the Thrissur based ICH completely which deals with the Travancore-Cochin area, and you can actually check the rates from their website itself. After it opened a branch at Aluva, it had become our regular place to have some tea. I was highly disappointed when the branch at Muvattupuzha was closed, and it is quite an addition to the earlier shock given by the closing of their restaurant at Perumbavoor. Well, now Perumbavoor surely needs one, but not at that earlier location which is too crowded.

I would say that the best branch opened is at the Angamaly Bus Station, which is a very nice choice of location, as the town now got three of them. I have the opinion that each and every bus station, railway station, theatre and mall should have one Indian Coffee House near enough. Also imagine having one near those pilgrim centres. They have the best people serving food in their trademark clothing, and having the fine quality food. With the low costs and tasting nice and exactly the same in each branch, ICH always scores.

***The images used in this blog post were taken during some of my visits to ICH.

With love for the ICH tea
TeNy

The Conclave Saga: Part I

Do you know that Kochi Biennale is going on and I didn’t attend it, but I am there for the Delhi Conclave? It is strange indeed, because it was so easy for me to go for that art exhibition which I admire and is close enough to my place. But life do provides one with enough twists, and I was there at Taj Palace Hotel at Delhi, and not at Cochin or its surroundings islands – not looking at art, but listening to some of the best of our nation. Thank you BlogAdda! – http://www.blogadda.com.

Lets get to the first day then. The highest point of day one was surely with the Master Blaster, and undoubtedly the biggest Hero of Our Times from our land, Sachin Tendulkar. There are only three cricketers whom I ever wanted to see, and with this programme, it is one down and two to go. You can make a guess who all the other two are, and with the first one, it is easy. He was indeed the reason why many people told me that they will shoot me if I don’t go to the Conclave.

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

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

It was amazing to hear from the legend, as he continued to thrive in his humble nature throughout the talk, and there was that moment when he gave tribute to Roger Federer as his favourite player and someone who has no replacement – as God’s gift. It is always a special feeling to listen to one legend giving credits to another. We already know that they are good friends with each other with a photo that we usually see on Facebook, but this is even more special.

With his hopes to see a better world supported by the philanthropy, the first big talk of “The World Remade” had finished. It was followed two talks related more to Politics about which I shall not talk about without being better informed about it. My relation to National Politics has been like a void; the knowledge about Kerala Politics should be a little more though. I am surely working on it with my PSC studies, and may be I can discuss about this topic in a good way later.

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

And then there is the legend – notice the divine light that burns bright 😉

One interesting topic in between the two political talks was about being educated with a degree, but not having a job. There is a dialogue from a Malayalam movie, CID Moosa which I wish to share here – in the flick, a character keeps saying, “It is about me, about me and me only” (translated from Malayalam). Yes, it was the feeling that I first got while listening to that talk. Rajiv Pratap Rudy made some valid points there, and the rest including Chetan Bhagat provided the audience with something to think about.

The question was asked about the need for dignity of labour. Why is one job superior to other, is a question that becomes extremely relevant considering the current scenario. Well, how can we expect that to happen in a world when the parents want their children to be engineers or doctors? I have been listening to this for eternity. An engineer is an engineer and a doctor is a doctor. Then who am I? Did I drop out of the ninth circle of hell with my MA English according to the society? Do I need to add something before my name to improve my quality instead of being a good person?

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

It is good to have an identity – we don’t always get to have one.

I pondered about it for a lot of time over tea, and I had to have a lot of it because it was extremely cold inside the room, and I have already written about my reaction to cold. I was born in March, which is one of the hottest months of Kerala, and I am more inclined towards heat than cold. We grew up playing cricket and football at mid-noon and not bothering about any globe of fire over our heads. This is also one of my reasons to be addicted to tea rather than any of those colder drinks.

I remember seeing “chawal” somewhere on the list of food, and I only recalled my lack of Hindi vocabulary despite studying Hindi in school and scoring well in the subject. The word actually meant “death” in Malayalam, just like “chor” meant rice in Malayalam. I just looked at a few other names, which I won’t be sharing here, but what I surely want to share is something about Lisa Haydon.

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

One of those interesting things which I found about tea 😀

My admiration for this lady increased a lot after this talk. Yes, her name reminds me of my second favourite Australian cricketer of all time, but that is not the point here. She was there to share the idea that we are more than what wear, and a person is not his or her dress. Even as she might have surely meant it more about women, it is something that has a bigger scope – the judgment made based on one’s clothing is rather too much to handle.

The talk about the future followed, which included a few things about the future of science and technology, and the one about 3D printing was more interesting than the others. The temperature inside the hall was getting lower, and the well-known soul guru Deepak Chopra did come with some interesting points, but the talk was too long and not always there making the point, I would say. There were a few things taken from his talk for sure.

You can avoid and forget many things, but not the lovely tea!

You can avoid and forget many things, but not the lovely tea!

Then came the afternoon session that we were waiting for, and it was “The Kat with Nine Lives” – Katrina Kaif. Yes, she is among my favourites of Bollywood. I was impressed by the way in which she answered almost every question, especially those related to her personal life. But what makes me wonder is why are people so interested in the personal lives of the celebrities, and what the relevance of these questions are, especially on a stage like this.

May be it was meant to add the comic relief, but we were never going through a tragedy like in the case of a Porter scene in Macbeth or like the situation which demanded something like a grave-digger scene in Hamlet. Well, my best guess is that a lot of fans who will watch this programme on the television or internet might want such questions. It was indeed funny and enjoyable, and I would like to applaud Katrina for the way in which she dealt with those questions.

The talk about the India-Pakistan friendship which followed had some good thoughts to take home too. The first thing that came to my mind when listening to the same was about the Malayalam movie, Picket 43 starring Prithviraj Sukumaran (My take on the movie: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/picket-43). I recommend that movie too. Yes, we need our neighbours to be our friends, but we are still left with that question if it is possible.

The crossfire stuff related to elections which are won on the internet gave some interesting points too, even though I have been completely unaware of such things behind the that election about which I only read on the newspapers. The talk about Afghanistan was an interesting addition which ended the day’s programs with a hope for peace in the nation which has been suffering. #Conclave15

***And thanks to my blogger friends there: Shoma Abhyankar, Arvind Passey, Yogita Aggarwal and Shreya Das – yes, there is the Part 2 with the final day; this has gone too long already 🙂

TeNy

TVB: The Grand Award

Aditya Sinha (http://facetsofadienglish.blogspot.in) has nominated me for an award, the third of this kind – Thanks a lot for nominating me for ‘The Versatile Blogger Award’ (http://facetsofadienglish.blogspot.in/2015/02/the-versatile-blogger-award_6.html). This comes from a blogger who is a lot versatile himself. Do check and see the poem he has come up with, on the nomination; he has also made some nice points about blogging 🙂

Now as The Versatile Blogger Award rule says:

  • Display the award on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 blogs
  • Link your nominee’s blogs and let them know

Seven Facts about me:

1. I have studied in total five schools.
2. I have always hated Mathematics.
3. Physics was my second biggest enemy at school.
4. I feared Chemistry, but it did me no wrong in the end.
5. I have been on a flight which caught fire.
6. Every morning, I hope to get a Flipkart voucher 😀
7. I feel the need for Yorkshire Tea today 😀

The Fifteen  Nominations:

Ulkar (http://moviemovesme.com)
Jackson (http://moviemanjackson.wordpress.com)
Josna (http://josna.wordpress.com)
Samjoth (https://samjothsashidharan.wordpress.com)
Razia (http://noorsrecipes.com/2015/01/03/mooli-paratha)
Heila (http://heilablog.com)
Aneesh (http://gangsofedathua.wordpress.com)
Nishant (http://www.cheontheroad.com)
Fenil (http://www.fenilandbollywood.com)
Himanshu (https://ourindia.wordpress.com)
Ratnakar (https://historyunderyourfeet.wordpress.com)
Rohit (http://www.rohitontheroad.blogspot.in)
Sujata (http://sujatasharmas.blogspot.com)
Reji (http://www.digitaldimensions4u.com)
Ajay (http://ajthedad.blogspot.in)

Thanks and Congratulations…

The Monsoon Delight

There was always something about the monsoon season of Kerala. I have shared some of the photos of the season now and then either on Facebook or on one of my blogs. Monsoon and the love for rain goes a long way back through the memories. It used to be something not that much loved when beginning on the same day on which the schools re-opened. But that was never what the monsoon was really about. Monsoon was a delight, and the season was special.

It has the special power of rejuvenation, and along with growing those beautiful thoughts to full strength, the emotional side is easily awakened. It has been what monsoon could manage during its favourite months of glory. When you look at the rain drops, it is more like a shower of memories rather than the water that is drained away from the higher realms. It is the choice of the God of Rain, and the direct effect is on our feelings more than the Earth eagerly awaiting the drops.

So to these memories that come down during the monsoon, on a day of full showers in June 2065, I shall sit at the balcony, remembering the day which I proposed in 2015 – a day which is yet to come looking at the situation from this portion of the timeline. It would be another rainy day, not of monsoon, but of the summer showers, giving the life to nature and all hopes which were gone down in the dust and heat that had replaced the less effective winter which had died a slow death.

The proposal there has to take place during the rain. With love in each drop of rain, I would have to wait for the time when she arrives. What is it that the the beauty of rain cannot be, other than a beautiful setting which can summon an even bigger moment of eternal beauty, which can be remembered forever? I would wait for her in the rain, on the Honda Dio, as she would come from a distance with the blue umbrella. There would be thunder and lightning in the sky, but none like those in my heart.

There are seeds that need water, and can love be one of them? After having tea from the nearby tea shop, I shall wait, in hope to have another glass of tea, and may be have the elixir of life with her for a lot of other occasions. There is no need for background music, because the songs of rain are far more advanced and enjoyable than any other, and the visuals of thunder in the sky can claim more brilliance than any other thing of visual splendour.

Well, it has to come right out of the heart, or else it wouldn’t feel right. But I would expect the rain to help me on this. There have been many occasions when the rain has inspired me – it has ruined many outdoor games and travel plans, but has never been short of inspiration. So, it is my privilege to propose just after the next thunder strikes, and with that I would have said those words which I have never said before, even for fun. What will the rain say about that?

Yes, love has all the power to be a rewarding feeling, and rain has always been a rewarding factor – that is one strong and worthy combination. It brings back the best of the memories which will be set on fire again during 2065, exactly fifty years after the day of this proposal. Love is often like a river that runs wild, but so are memories, and there is no need to teach rain about the quality of being wild. May the rain inspire more love stories than any other and let it purify each instance of romance. Lets Blog and believe in #SoundOfLove.

I am participating in the #SoundOfLove activity atBlogAdda in association with Bluestone

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

My Halloween Valentine

Even as it has been quite a long time since I had a crush and good times have gone and disappeared too quickly, I would like to use this opportunity provided by Closeup’s Cupid Games to make an attempt on how I would propose to my crush on a Valentine’s day. A certain amount of weirdness is present in this blog post as expected, and I hope my readers can forgive it as they have done for my many other posts 😀

The time would be late afternoon, around seven or seven thirty. It would be on the Badminton court which has been one of my favourite and the luckiest places, and there would be her, waiting for a game. I have always been more impressed by her shuttle skills rather than anything else. Being a jobless person, I should be the first one there, but I am also the lazier one. The others are those with even a lesser amount of punctuality; being usually late and that makes it perfect and clear that I can be there at the right time.

closeup (1)

I am not with the strength that I used to be, and the teenage energy was lost some time ago, with only a few things left that bring me forward. But she was different, and so was I – the people of the Badminton court. She was never like the other girls around, and it had nothing to do with the looks. I have been pretty much weird myself, and therefore I thought it was going to be good for me, and my idea also was supposed to be strange.

I am getting older and friends are getting married; the fact is that I am feeling much older than I am due to these wedding invitations. I know that the number of people asking me to get married will keep increasing that I might soon be forced to put my face on a matrimony site, and start drinking tea at many houses with girls who were unlucky enough to have their profiles on the same matrimony sites. Drinking tea might be the only positive thing about that. Meanwhile, this was a girl whom I had known for around fifteen and half years.

closeup (2)

So, with not much time to waste before getting even older as the single young man, I would go with my Ghostface mask and ask her to have a cup of tea with me, and offer to drink tea with her forever, like the vampires do with their nicely brushed teeth and fangs calling for eternal life. Halloween is my favourite celebration and it has been a connecting link for us. So I wouldn’t think that she can disagree to that. Neither would she doubt the quality of my mask.

We would go for tea in the Chevrolet Beat or on the Honda Dio to the nearest restaurant, and would have that cup of tea. She would also need a Masala Dosa, and as I shall be well-prepared for the same with the wallet. We were never known to be the more talkative ones, and with another cup of tea, I would ask her to begin drinking tea at my home as soon as possible, as more waiting meant more complications, with both of us not getting any younger.

***The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook Page of Closeup, only meant to support this work. This blog post at The Tea Cerebrations is for the Happy Hours Campaign from Closeup in association with Indiblogger. It is written as a part of Closeup’s Cupid Games. Check the following link for more details about these interesting games from them as the Valentine’s Day approaches quickly – keep calm and participate in the games of love: http://cupidgames.closeup.in/

TeNy

A Hat-trick in Inspiration

This is the time for The Very Inspiring Award, for the third time for The Tea Cerebrations, and we should be having a lot of tea on the hat-trick occasion in huge cups 😀

Inspiring Blogger Award

I was nominated by Rekha (http://rekhaaa.wordpress.com) this time, and the fact remains that it was me who was more inspired 😉 Thanks to her for making this three in a row, something that usually needs a penalty in the case of football 😀 (http://rekhaaa.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/1338/)

The rules:
1. Display the award logo
2.  Link back to the person who nominated you
3.  State 7 things about yourself
4.  Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

The seven things about me:
1. I believe that I am living in the wrong time period and require a time machine.
2. I don’t feel that the end of the world is a bad thing, because there is equality in death.
3. I support Asterix for the President of Earth 😀
4. I affirm Honda’s superiority in engine 😀
5. I have bad teeth, and even had awesome root canal.
6. My favourite ice cream is of Blackcurrant flavour, followed by Orange and Pineapple.
7. I hope that one day, I will be the old gamer again 😉

The Fifteen nominated: 
1. Dan (http://dtmmr.com)
2. Pallavi (http://palulife.blogspot.sg)
3. Ananya (http://www.ananyatales.com)
4. Sakshi (http://www.sakshinanda.com)
5. Sandhya (https://indfused.wordpress.com)
6. Kokila (http://sunshineandblueclouds.blogspot.in)
7. Prathi (http://prathi-pat.blogspot.com)
8. Ritesh (http://riteshmokasana.wordpress.com)
9. Kamila (http://spicyroad.com)
10. Rohit (http://www.rohitthebest.blogspot.in)
11. Razia (http://noorsrecipes.com)
12. Mohan (http://advocatemmmohanaksharaalu.wordpress.com)
13. Gaurab (http://www.processingcreativity.com)
14. Saru (http://www.sarusinghal.com)
15. Svetlana (http://maverickbird.com)

Have a great year and drink more tea 😀

Tea Cerebration 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper vampires with the aid of zombie minions and the little goblins prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. I would like to thank Maniparna for being the biggest commenter on my blog which started this year, with about fifty more than everyone else and Namrata for being the very first commenter on The Tea Cerebrations 🙂 Also thanks to the others who have supported me, especially those in The Hall of Fame and all who have given a comment or a like for this blog so far 🙂 You can also spend some time to read the movie year in review at Movies of the SoulHappy New Year, everyone – keep being awesome and drink a lot more tea 😀

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,800 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Special Destination

There is one special destination which I have already mentioned on my travel blog – Travel Diaries: Of this world and beyond (http://theviator.wordpress.com), but has traveled to the same location in more detail again. I had also shared only one photo at that time, and so I would take this occasion to talk about that place again, this time related to our second journey. All the photos shared in this blog post are from the two big journeys to the place, taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

Such water-bodies are common on the way to our place.

Such water-bodies are common on the way to our place; take some time to look.

The destination is Ilaveezhapoonjira, the beautiful place with a name which people from outside Kerala will struggle to pronounce. It is a tourist destination which hasn’t been that explored and therefore stays beyond the boundaries of modernity. There will be not much crowd in this area, which mostly only has the youth among the visitors, as there is a good amount of journey on foot or by the juggling jeep to the top.

We are going among the hills this time.

We are going among the hills this time, away from the modern barbarians.

We had started our journey quite early on that day, and it is a perfect road until Thodupuzha from where the Vagamon route was also quite good. But from that moment you take the turn to the road going for this place, you are introduced to the smaller road which goes up, having enough potholes and curves to make you mad, especially if another vehicle comes from the other side. In the case of an early morning visit, there is not going to be anything coming down from Ilaveezhapoonjira though.

When the dark clouds arrive, trees are ready with silhouette.

When the dark clouds arrive and show their strength, trees are ready with silhouettes.

Once you reach the first part of the top, there is a small tea stall kind of setup which was not open when we went there. But it surely deserves a mention as this is “the tea cerebrations” blog. May be it will be there again on another day when we go there. There is also something which looks like a resort, but is seemingly abandoned; looks good enough to nicely blend with nature. The wind is usually strong there, making the tall grass bow down, as the sphere of air takes control here.

The fog takes over and makes a big impact at times.

The fog takes over and makes a big impact at times, improving the view even more.

There is also that fog that comes through and makes a big impact, as the vision is minimal when it makes its presence felt. On that day, there was rain too, but by the time we reached the top, it had a more clear version of the site, even as not that good enough to make a great impression on our ordinary cameras. Yes, you will get some awesome photos if you take someone with a big camera, or you can persuade a rich guy to buy an awesome camera and take him with you. By the time we returned, it had felt so good with the wonderful climate.

When you reach the top-most point, you find this.

When you reach the top-most point, you find this place and then you take out the camera.

Ilaveezhapoonjira is one of our favourite destinations, followed only by Thommankuthu and Bhoothathankettu, both being far behind in popularity in our circle. As it is not stormed by the visitors and never does it lack in being a thing of dazzling beauty, we would choose Ilaveezhapoonjira any day for just another random trip away from the modern barbarian world which tries to devour us like spiders of the movie Enemy (http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/enemy/).

What you see when you have a look down from there.

What you see when you have a look down from there. I needed a better camera here.

This place might not find a place in your list of tourist attractions as it is not a popular desination suggested for people from outside Kerala. The rest should be aware of this place, especially those from the Central Travancore area as well as Ernakulam and Trichur districts. It is located around twenty kilometres from the town of Thodupuzha and about double the distance from Muvattupuzha – a distance of around twenty more will take you to Perumbavoor. Do add this to your list.

TeNy

How I Met my Kitten

It was last month that I wrote about the cat that used to visit our home. Zeezee (https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/zeezee-the-oracle/) was there for not more time, as she seemed weak on one day and refused to eat anything. But she was also reluctant to make anyone touch, and was ready with her claws to keep everyone away. One day, she just went missing. There has been no sign of her for weeks, and it was depressing. It was certain that she was not coming back. But God surely knows how to bring surprises and fill the void at the right moment.*All photos used in this blog post were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

November 28th was quite a big day. It had the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Penguins of Madagascar here. But no, those were not the big things on the day. I returned home in the evening after watching two Malayalam movies, Mathai Kuzhappakkaranalla and Angels back to back, and after parking my Honda Dio, went back to close the gate to listen to a meow sound. I looked near the wall and beyond the gate to find nothing there. I even looked inside the walls of the neighbours to find nothing. *Clue: Note the movie name: Angels 😀

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

See who was waiting in the canal to be rescued? Look at the smile there 😀

Then I looked into the canal to see a cute face looking up and crying. It was a little kitten mostly white in colour. It increased the volume of the cries after seeing me. The situation seemed that it was abandoned there and had nowhere to go as the nature had created walls all around it in a canal which was not cleaned for quite a long time. It was also that part of the canal which had seen more snakes than most of the other similar places in the area. It was scared, and it wanted a way out. But the problem was that it had absolutely no idea about what to do, and it was too small and not used to be alone.

I shall hide behind this globe of domination and try to be cool.

I shall hide behind this blue globe of domination and try to be cool and awesome.

I wondered how to get it out of there. There was no way for me to get in there. The presence of the snakes was evident, and the path down was steep. I could only jump down there and stay with it. The only way that I could get it up was to go down there, get caught in the canal and call fireforce to help. Nobody really bothered about a kitten being caught in the canal in a busy world. It was certain to die there, but that was of no significance for anybody. We were new to the place and didn’t know anyone who could help.

Come on people, I can score better goals with my ping-pong ball.

Come on humans of the ISL, I can score better goals with my ping-pong ball.

Then the miracle happened. I was looking at the mobile phone and wondering who could help, only to get no idea about it. All of a sudden, the kitten started increasing its voice and started trying to come to me by climbing up all by itself. It fell down twice, but the third time, it came almost all the way up and when it was almost there, I pulled it up and took it home. I understood that this one was a fighter, and it was destined to come to our home and it is by fate that we are bound. There is no better relationship than what is brought together by the power of destiny.

Can I play football with you? Can I? ;)

Can I play a game of football with you? Can we do the Ping-pong ISL please? 😉

It spent the rest of time on my right leg and quickly had the tea that I shared from my cup. I was surprised about how happy it seemed. Then it slowly went into an area which was to become its personal area, and started taking a nap to wake up to the smell of fish. It knew where its home really is, and it is where the heart stays now. This is the story of the beautiful kitten that came home and stayed. But this is surely not the end of this story, and it goes on and on.

I should be super-cat. I just hit him and he seems dead :P

I didn’t do it. This is a clear case of suicide. He was always a suicidal toy 😛

After thinking about it, I decided to name it not after Agnieszka Radwanska, but after Simona Halep, because my parents voted against the shock which was that name which couldn’t be pronounced. Simona was going to be interesting because the “SI” sound always had its attention, and we could call her SI-MO in short. Now Simona’s special needs include appam, pan-cake, a ping-pong ball, a pen and a place on the lap – that special place being the only thing that can stop her from playing unless she is tired. She was Simona of the Canal, and now she is Simona the Lionhearted 😉

British History? If I eat it, can I graduate in both English and History?

British History? If I eat it, can I graduate in both English and History? How’s the taste?

TeNy

The College Days at UCC

This post is my entry for ‘My College Diary’ contest held by travel blog My Yatra Diary in collaboration with Collegedunia.com

There are not many memories that give me a better feeling than my days at Union Christian College, Aluva – where I attended for my MA English. I have been to other educational institutions for a longer period of time, but there was nothing like being in this college which had the most interesting days of my life. It was like each and every day was special, and had something new for me. I have always been a lazy person who hesitated to go for the classes, but everything changed and I came out of there as a different person.

I was always there to witness the first rays of the sun.

I was always there to witness the beautiful rays of the sun, very early.

There is something about learning English Literature in one of the oldest and the most reputed colleges in Kerala. With a green campus full of trees and having a number of old buildings of antique value which takes us to world beyond the busy traffic right outside the gate, being at UC College is a privilege that I never thought I would have, and for the same, I would like to thank God as I could get the admission by merit itself without any trouble, and that is one miracle that stays on my list forever.

UCC on a rainy day while reading romantic poetry!

UCC on a rainy day while reading romantic poetry! Nostalgia strikes!

We had our classes right on the block on the back side of the oldest building around, surrounded by trees and having a shortcut to the canteen. The first thing we notice there being the lines from Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind, “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”, I entered the classroom with doubts about what was next in my life. I was quite late for post-graduation, as I had changed my graduation to Literature after having my way with Computer Application.

Now you know where I parked my car :D

Now you know where I parked my car 😀 Loved parking it – was more like hiding it 😉

1. The Strangers’ Paradise: I entered this place, which was the paradise of strangers, a world which had students who had taken graduation from different colleges. There were eighteen including two of us boys, a number which decreased to thirteen by the final year. Most of them didn’t know each other, and what made me feel better was that nobody knew me at all. Being a stranger among strangers was fair, the right point to make an introduction. I could make the right impression, but still I ended up being just me, and thinking about it, that was the best thing that I did there – being myself.

That visual from our first year classroom and nearby.

That visual from our first year classroom and nearby; almost made me jump at times.

2. The Strength of Tea: The first thing I asked after getting there was about the canteen. Yes, the toilet and the library are significant, but there was the need for tea. Ever since finding the place, I was a regular visitor there, even meeting the teachers further there. It is the place which tells us that our teachers are awesome, over a cup of tea. We know our friends better at the canteen with the tea, and meet a lot more people there. We might still not know them directly, but it is a certainty that if we see them somewhere outside the college or on Facebook, we know who they are. I used to jump out of the classroom for the same reason, having a cup of tea between the hours.

Those steps under the chapel: a usual place.

Those steps under the chapel: a usual place, no matter what the time.

3. The Literary Power: The power of the library was clear right from the beginning, and I was clear about it before joining the college. We were blessed with a very old library which had a very good collection of literary works, but nothing new though. I used to make some frequent visits to library in the beginning, a habit which I somewhat abandoned as I could get the e-books in an easier way. But then, there was the idea of helping others to get the book – with canteen so close to the library, how could I not choose to go to the library? Cutlet and tea with books – a fair choice.

Those library cards on the final day of college.

Those library cards on the final day of college – one last look as I left.

4. Seminars of the World: A habit which soon developed was to go for literature based seminars at different colleges. Even as there were some of us going in the beginning, soon there was the practice of going together or staying at home so that there would be no class. But soon, some of the studious girls would develop the practice of going to the college to listen to the lectures based on syllabus, and I had to go alone or in smaller groups. But we got the attendance, and the classes rarely mattered to me as I had enough material to go through. The journeys on a Chevrolet Beat also started with these, making my car a regular visitor to the college.

A little more of the natural beauty to make you miss the place more.

A little more of the natural beauty to make you miss the place more.

5. Change of Perspective: The first few months had us taking down lecture notes as well as those which are provided to us. Then the situation changes to just writing down some random things, pretending to write and finally ends up not writing anything at all. Yes, there are the studious girls who got to write them, but we are people of the last bench. We know that it is not by what is taught in the classes that we are redeemed when the examinations arrive. We know that we have to read, and not accepting whatever is taught in a class; that is about having one’s own perspective.

Another beautiful, rainy day on the campus inspiring poetry.

Another beautiful, rainy day on the campus inspiring poetry.

6. The Quiz Surprise: Even as the things were going okay, nothing really made an impact like this surprise. There was the inter-college quiz competition for which I was told to go, just because there was the shortage of willing people; that was a nice journey, with two teams of us participating in the same, and myself and my partner winning the second prize. That was quite a turning point, with myself going to more of the competitions, with different partners – that was the beginning of the next phase which came only in the final year. I admired the department for the support here, and those who accompanied me for the competitions.

A screenshot from the college website at that time.

A screenshot from the UC college website at that time.

7. Political Extravaganza: Politics was banned for the first year I joined there as there were some bad incidents. But it came back with full power in the next year, with the Communist students wing SFI gaining most of the seats and the other Communist wing AISF coming so close. Congress’ KSU came right down and BJP’s ABVP managed one seat. It was not the result that caught my attention though, because it was the campaigning which has the beauty about it. There were thos nice artworks to support the parties as well as some cultural stuff. Who can forget those strikes which gave us more freedom?

A photo from the day before the election.

A photo from the day before the election.

8. Before Final Destination: Then came the season of trouble; the time for the final exams followed by the time dedicated for the thesis. There were lot of turbulence out there, especially concerning the studious girls, worried about the marks as well as how their thesis will look for others; but the rest of us were pretty sure that they will score high as usual and were just making a scene to bother us – that ended well. Among this maddening crowd, the thesis progressed fine,, and I am glad to say that I enjoyed working on my topic, and the support from the English Department was splendid.

Those final days of thesis; had to be the techie again.

Those final days of thesis; had to be the techie again and be the helping hand.

If I have the opportunity to go through all these, I would be glad to – it is that kind of a feeling that this college has left me with. It is not that I have never thought about it, and taking another post graduation in History would have been a perfect choice. But considering the fact that the syllabus has changed and so has the new generation, I would just end up being an outdated man, not old enough and yet not working well with the younger generation. So, I shall happily hold on to these memories which remain special for me.

A few things the elections brought for the college.

A few things the elections brought for the college; the area near the canteen.

Five bloggers I tag here are NamrataManiparna, KokilaRohit  and Nishi. I wish them best of luck 🙂
I also thank Sagarika for the tag 🙂 and My Yatra Diary for this opportunity.
*All the photos used here were taken on my former phone – Samsung Star Duos.

TeNy

Chucky’s Tea Party

*All pictures used in this blog are from the official Chucky and Annabelle pages on Facebook. No dolls were murdered and no spirits defamed during this conversation which happened at the Grand Chucky Tea Party.

“So this is your idea of a grand tea party? There are only two of us” said Annabelle as she stared at the collection of tea pots.

“A few more were supposed to be here. But there was a tragedy” said Chucky as he juggled with the tea cups.

“What happened?” asked a concerned Annabelle.

“It is about Uncle Dracula. He is going through a stage of depression. The whole team is there at the hospital” said Chucky.

“What? How come nobody told me? What happened to him?” screamed Annabelle.

“It happened on this Halloween. He was trying to scare a family, but that didn’t turn out as he wanted. It is actually quite ridiculous. The people who knew about it were asked not to talk about it” said Chucky looking up.

“Can you please try not to look on the ceiling fan in a dramatic way while telling sad stories? After all, you are supposed to be a serial killer” said Annabelle was she stared at him.

Chucky and Annabelle: A match made in the spirit world :D

Chucky and Annabelle: A doll match made in the spirit world 😀

“Yes, but this is rather scary stuff. Uncle Dracula was living as a paying guest with a family somewhere in India after he got tired of the Eastern European climate. He was hoping that he could scare the people in that house on this Halloween and leave for a new place”.

“I would think that he managed to haunt the house enough to inspire a movie. He is good at that. It is him and his minions that disguise themselves as ghosts and haunt houses regularly” remarked Annabelle.

“The family consisted of the old man and his wife, their son and his wife, and their two little children, a boy and a girl. The son was a doctor and his wife an engineer. The old couple had spent almost all their family inheritance and savings just to make his son a doctor, and then to marry him off to the daughter of one of the richest families of the land, or rather the family offered to buy the guy with such a large amount of money that the son immediately accepted. The son was well-educated, but wasn’t taught about how to be a good guy”.

“Dowry? Buying the groom? It still happens among the humans? In this century?” asked a shocked Annabelle.

“Yes, it does. The marriage lead to the domination of the new woman at the house who despised the old couple and began to create problems with them. Everyday, she created a new problem and kept telling her husband to send them to the old age home. He was blinded by her money and beauty and couldn’t resist much. This Halloween was the day on which he was sending them to the old age home”.

"The Shining" Chucky - he knows what you are cooking :D

“The Shining” Chucky – he knows exactly what you are cooking 😀

“Evil humans. Can’t they at least learn from how well we care for our own, especially the old and weaker spirits? Shameless people. We will beat them up when they become spirits, but I wonder if they do have a soul” added Annabelle.

“It was the day of Halloween, and Uncle Dracula jumped upon them with all his glory, and couldn’t stand the tears of the old couple and how they were treated by even their grandchildren on the day were to be packed off to the old age home. Uncle saw the devil in them; it was like seeing Mephistopheles on a bad horn and hair day, and he fainted. He was taken to the Dead Man’s Vampire Infirmary where the Vampire Bat and the Vampire Owl has gone to make sure that he is fine; they should have reached by now. The rest are on their way to see him from different parts of the world. He should be okay; Igor is a well-trained doctor, and he has Victor Frankenstein’s notes to aid him”.

“These humans are demonic creatures aren’t they? It is difficult to watch even what they do to their own. And they make movies on us an portray us as evil, just because we are dolls and have souls. I hope he doesn’t read newspapers daily, its further injurious to the soul” said a frightened Annabelle.

“And then they will ask for the freedom to be such idiots. The only thing that the new generation will fight for is not according to the priority – they claim to stand and try to achieve stupid things, but is it what society needs the most? For the same, they will get rid of their values and integrity. They are selling their souls to the devil with such ease, aren’t they? Parents land at old age homes, and children are abandoned enough to create a worse next generation. Do you know that the humans are coming back to this house today?” asked Chucky.

“What? Then why did you plan this program here? Are you out of your little doll mind? asked a tensed Annabelle.

“I don’t know. Nobody is coming, and I thought it would be romantic to have tea with you alone in a house haunted by humans. It was to be an adventure for the life time” explained Chucky.

The tears that used to be Annabelle's blood - romantic stuff :P

The tears that used to be Annabelle’s blood – cute romantic stuff 😛

“Seriously? No wonder humans make dumb movies on you” remarked Annabelle who walked out.

“Humans, the scourge of Earth” added Chucky while running after Annabelle.

“You know nothing, Chucky” Annabelle was screaming.

“Who am I? Jon Snow?” Chucky wondered while running.

*Meanwhile, the Vampire Cat delivered the message that Uncle Dracula is alright and is drinking Blood Shake with tablets while having potato chips. The Vampire Bat and the Vampire Owl have gone to the multiplex.

TeNy

Bedroom, Kitchen and Tea

I would not consider my life complete without a laptop, my books and the tea close enough to each other and to me, ready for a taste whenever I need them to. It was more of a basic need than just one of those few things which I wanted a lot. Due to the same, this new room which I have managed to convert into something different is very important to me. This hybrid which I have come up with, is one of the few things that I wanted a lot; the bedroom – kitchen combination. Note that this blog itself has tea as its central idea 😀

We moved to our new place just about one and half months ago, and there was the question about which room I wanted among the four with locks. As the ones below was best suited for the parents, I was left with the two on the second floor. One of them was a complete bedroom with cupboards and the other one was the former kitchen used by the tenants. Now, you can easily guess which one I had chosen.

Half bedroom and study, half kitchen - how it works

Half bedroom and study, half kitchen – how it works

Yes, I managed to choose the kitchen without much difficulties. It was the larger room because it was created from the open terrace space which was closed and made into the kitchen a few years ago. There was a lot of space there, and was undoubtedly the largest room in the house after our main hall. I am sure that not many people appreciated that choice though, because it was after all, a kitchen.

Just a view of the room from another angle

Just a view of the room from another angle

Many people did wonder if I live in a kitchen, but I have gone a long way beyond that question. There is the bed, a big almirah made of wood, the writing desk, a drawer unit, a steel stand, two chairs and a few other things which became part of the room. The cupboards of the kitchen were left as it were, only replacing those parts which had become old, with the new parts which looked the same.

People had asked me to destroy the cuboards and the kitchen sink, but I had said no. Why destroy something which can be so positively used? It is easy to destroy something, but a lot of effort would be needed to build something. It is a lovely kitchen, almost as good as our rebuilt one on the ground floor, at least in the looks. It would be a shame to destroy the useful stuff when so many people in our country can just hope for a home.

The types of tea that I am testing these days :D

The types of tea that I am testing these days 😀

So, I decided to divide my room, with the area from the sink to that end as my personal kitchen and from this end to the beginning of the sink as my study and bedroom. There is not really much cooking going on there though, as there is just the electric kettle which I use to make tea and enough hot water to drink. There are a few biscuits, tapioca chips, milk peda, potato chips, banana chips and similar stuff to have with tea, and thats all – but I am open for more in future.

My former room - had it painted in my favourite colours

My former room – had it painted in my favourite colours

I have made maximum use of the cupboards by putting books in the top ones and clothes and miscellaneous iteams in the ones below. The room at our earlier apartment was supposed to be just the regular bedroom, smaller and not able to take everything in. But this one has turned into a perfect room for me. I am self-sufficient with water, tea, books and the internet. What more do you need? May be I will invite the cat in and a few plants – lets see 😀

*All photos were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310.

TeNy

Reaper and his Messengers

For the Mad Hatter Day 😀
There has been very few things which had provoked my thoughts other than those ideas about death, and it was a prominent part of my life for a long time along with those vampires, zombies and ghosts. Four years earlier than where we stand now on the sands of time, there was an incident which made it stronger. It was during our journey to Colombo through Chennai as part of a Ramayana Tour arranged by Riya Travels; it was a beautiful experience, but before there was any experience, there was the presence of Sir Death, the smartest hero and villain I have ever known – the available information about the same is shared as it is:

On 25 July 2010, Kingfisher Airlines Flight IT 2482, bound to Chennai, detected smoke in its cargo hold, due to chemical reactions happened in a chemical consignment cargo for a laboratory. Leakage from ten packets of boric acid powder and two 100 ml. bottles of liquid detergent where packed in a single consignment, resulted in the chemical reactions, causing smoke which triggered attention of ground staff. It was found that, there was security lapse among the cargo security staff to allow such a consignment reach the aircraft’s cargo hold. There were 36 passengers and 3 crew members on-board. The consignment was taken off and the flight was cleared to take-off.

The messenger of death with its tombstones (Pic from The Crow's FB page)

The messenger of death with its tombstones (Pic from The Crow’s FB page)

That deals with our flight. There was no delay with the smoke as nothing was there after the airplane had taken off. The smoke came too early for Death to take over. May be there was too much to handle upstairs to take me, or may be Death needed more people when crashing one flight. The ways of Death are indeed strange, for it vanishes even when there is the need for its presence and comes when it should have stayed in its abode. One has to wonder if Emily Dickinson was ready for her suitor when he arrived, as she already let us know about the uncertainty with the same due to her being too busy.

So, without earning Death’s displeasure, I shall call him the Grim Reaper, the name that we usually associate with him – or the Angel of Eternal Sleep should also be nice, I would think. I would mostly go with Miss Dickinson there with her good depiction of her suitor, as long as the one passing to the other world is me. On such an occasion, he is indeed a gentleman, and I would respect his choice and the duty to take me away. But there shall be no such respect when he sneaks in to take my loved ones, and in that case, neither he or his messengers are welcome here.

Poe and his plutonic black bird (Pic from The Raven's FB page)

Poe and his plutonic black bird (Pic from The Raven’s FB page)

Talking about his messengers, let the due respect be paid to them, the crows and the ravens; from being the sacred creatures of Apollo, the legends have grown. We had Edgar Allan Poe depicting it with all its mystery in his poem as he asks the raven to return to the underworld of Pluto/Hades. It is an enchanting creature of the shadow world and darkness there, and its chant “nevermore” is rather the mocking of human hopelessness on the face of death, and only the dark creature knows the master of death. It is as if it knew what awaited the man in the depths of Tartarus, and it is a bird of wisdom which knows how meaningless man’s vain puruits are.

There was the 1994 movie based on the crow and its ability to bring the soul back to the body as it acted as the messenger to the other world. Acting as the link between two worlds, this crow should be Grim Reaper’s favourite. The leading actor, Brandon Bruce Lee had also died during the shooting of this movie adapted from comics. The feeling of watching that movie was something dark and beautiful, and leaves us with the desire for a reboot. It is like looking at the black bird and feeling that it is no longer the same creature any more. May be I need such a bird as a pet as much Grim Reaper needs his scythe.

Alice and her world of wonders (Pic from Alice in Wonderland FB page)

Alice and her world of wonders (Pic from Alice in Wonderland FB page)

This is part of my own celebration of the Mad Hatter Day on October sixth which I enjoy as the un-birthday on which twenty one cups of tea and a certain dose of madness are to be added. Let me ask you then, why wouldn’t a raven be not a writing desk? Well, what if our tables were ravens? What if they acted like a portal and had the entrance to the other world? My dear Jabberwocky, I do wonder, how you make perfect sense to me; there is no vorpal blade that remains in the modern world, and can you grin like a sweet little Cheshire Cat as you show me the way out of my thoughts? It is a bloody frabjous day, even for the jubjub birds. Happy Mad Hatter Day, everyone 😀

TeNy

UC as in You See and MGU

One year has passed after completing that voyage from a student to a former student at Union Christian College, Alwaye (UCC). It was rather an expedition for the cause of being an UCean which started with the Mahatma Gandhi University’s Centralized Allotment Process, something which made sure that I would get the admission, something which would have not been possible with a normal procedure and without Divine intervention. There haven’t been many of my friends who admire MG University and its way of operations, but I do; for even as I admit that I did suffer with its Off Campus Department working with that Distance Education, the rest has actually worked so well for me. I might need to complain about my total percentage like everyone else, but I am mostly a pessimist and a cynic who lacks focus, so no complaints about it from my side.

The first rays of a UC morning (taken on my GT-B7722)

The first rays of a UC morning (taken on my GT-B7722)

MGU’s CAP procedure made sure that I had the admission through a straight path, and there was something else about it, and it is about the out of syllabus questions that it comes up with. Yes, it once came up with the question who is Mrs Norris; the answer being the pet cat of Argus Filch, the caretaker of Hogwarts – I love when they come up with such questions, which I can proudly answer just because of a random reading or movie watching habit instead of studying those books which are forced on us. I didn’t remember the owner’s name, but the other details including its petrification in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were clear in the mind. I have always hoped for them to ask some purely Gothic horror question out of syllabus, they never did though.

Whatever is closest to the tree of life :D (GT-B7722)

Whatever is closest to the tree of life 😀 (GT-B7722)

MGU, you are an intellectual beauty, and what you did with a lot of out of syllabus questions was to make the students think and read more literature making the library of some use. I know that a lot of students might despise the same, but I don’t. I admire what came up there even as nobody there might have really wanted that to happen. What English Literature students need are those out of syllabus questions, because you can’t restrict the post graduation in Literature to a few books, for it is a vast subject and questions has to come in such a way that the best readers get the better score instead of those who just memorize for the examinations. It would have even prepared us better for the NET exams. I shall choose to be a pariah rather than not support an out of syllabus question paper for MA English. I would say “add a little more history to it too”.

We are now not unlike this tree (GT-B7722)

We are now not unlike this tree (GT-B7722)

Being a UCean is a prestige, and it might not be something that one realizes when he or she is already studying there. We take our wonderful situation as granted, and a few months later, we realize that we should have considered it with that reverence that it actually deserved. But we are lost within such trivial matters that are so inconsequential that the fact rarely come up in our minds. We are lost not in the fog, but the haar of the coast, being caught in the imaginary British Literary Isles. But out reminiscences of our days at the college come up later, and that happens with such strength that it is impossible to resist, and with that strength comes unbelievable durability of the memories. We were all the riders to the sea, and now we are the fallens angels of that lost paradise, except for those who had chosen to turn Faustus and sell their souls to Mephistopheles.

Nature is happiness, it has always been (GT-B7722)

Nature is happiness, it has always been (GT-B7722)

When the life turns rather nugatory, that black hole which has been created in this busy world of chaos, turns on you and make you realize about its supernatural ability of preventing escape, and the first thing that it reminds you about, is that beautiful free world that you left behind, an year ago – the end of them all came in August 2013, even as the results came in December last year. There is no longer a free world, as the constraints stretch its arms towards you and works as dementors, feeding off the happiness and bringing out that mighty despair which converts itself to the mighy gladiator which has finally found a worthy amphitheatre. At that moment, UCC comes back to you, and the need to be a student again becomes stronger than ever. It was not just good being a student, it was awesome.

And then you give that building one last look (GT-B7722)

And then you give that building one last look (GT-B7722)

There is the morning light that you see at the college as you become one of the first students to set your foot on the college land every single day, and the meaning of the light becomes poetry when you are no longer that student. There is the evening sun which shines with its strange light going through the branches covered by green, reflecting on my Chevrolet Beat, a vision that inspires immortality. Then there is the tree under which you sit and read some random novel you take from the reading room or the library becomes the history book that you lost in the war that was to follow, randomly collecting the daily battles which are never won by any side. All the tea that you had from that canteen between the class hours is that memory which asks to be awakened – but you can’t go for tea from the class room if there is no class any more, right? How can one have the opportunity to be absent when there is no class? My absence is of no value any more, and makes me doubt my own existence.

Finally, the sun sets on thee and thy car (GT-B7722)

Finally, the sun sets on thee and thy car (GT-B7722)

UCC was the perfect place for me to be. It was always supposed to be so. But what does it take to realize the same? Not just some wrong decisions, but also two years of being there along with a few more months of pondering over it. But the question remains if it would have been any better if this worked more like school and I could just fail to stay in the same class for longer, for I would like to think that the time period between 2011 and 2013 was almost perfect for my existence there, and a few years early or just a little bit later might have taken the beauty out of it. Some things come late, and there is certainly a time for everything – some of them working well and the others working terrible, but all of them should come to an end, that ragnorak which happened and I never gave it the significane it deserved – damned be those pettifogging things which intervened.

I miss the tea at the canteen, parking the Chevrolet Beat under that huge tree, the quiz competitions and the English Department plus all the bloody green trees and even the grass. Above all, I miss literature in all its glory, and I lack inspiration with all its opulence, for I can no longer visualize Valhalla or Avalon 😦

TeNy