‘Ding-Dong’… Ring a Bell?

It is very rare that I talk about my Post Graduation days in the University. There are several reasons. If I have to be brutally honest, I’d say the main reason was that it didn’t go according to my plans. No! That was too gentle; it was a major fuck up. Well, I enjoyed a lot and grabbed a few things and learned a few lessons that shaped me into what(ever) I am today.

This post is specifically about how it all began. 2006. 1st semester. I was pushed on a topic to talk about, for an English Language course. Now, before I talk about the course instructor, I want to admit that I was not up to mark too. In fact, I was too confused with the new surroundings as I wanted to go for something else. Anyway, the topic was Early Theories on the Origins of Language. It was funny. They’re these: The Bow Wow Theory, The Pooh Pooh Theory, The Ding-Dong Theory, The Yo-He-Ho Theory, The Ta-Ta Theory and the La-La Theory. Before you think “Seriously???” let me tell you that these theories are discussed in Language classes all around the galaxy. Or so say expert Linguists. Remember that these are early theories from the time the Catholic Church refused to accept that the Earth was round. And, these were put into place just to stop people from making fantastic stories about the Origin of Language. It is said that in 1866, when the Paris Linguistic Society was founded, their bylaws included a ban on any discussions/speculations over the topic ‘How Languages Originated?’.

So, there I was, with a funny topic that had stuff like ‘Pooh-Pooh’ and ‘Ding-Dong’. I went to the library and collected some information. I had read about these during my Bachelors. Still I felt weird about looking at the sweet female classmates on their faces and say things like ‘Ding-Dong!’ I mean, I have done some weird things in my life but this was a whole new level. It was too late to learn some yoga technique to control myself from bursting out laughing.

That is when my roommate appeared with a solution. ‘Let’s have a drink.’ He said. I readily agreed. I have the notes in my hand. I just had to read it out. What’s the harm in having a beer or two? We went out and had some beer. One. Two. Three. Haywards. Haywards, again. After that it ran out, so Kingfisher. Kingfisher, again. While coming back, we met the Pork. Pork (nickname given by me and my roommate to a guy who gave us our first weed!) was delighted to see us walking like two drunken walruses. He gave us weed. So, we decided to go to the hostel terrace and tried it out. That night had two moons and countless meteors. By the time roosters started announcing the morning, we were capable of creating meteors by a simple swish of our forefingers.

My phone alarm rang and went dead. Then, the reminder came; ‘Seminar at 9.00 AM.’

I got up and panicked. Or that’s what I thought. T, my roommate, says that I just stayed where I was and howled. Anyway, he and the Philosopher (another character, who used to philosophize and spiritualize everything and personally cherished a good porn anytime of the day!) carried me back to the room. I was put on some new clothes of T’s selection. His fashion sense matched that of the most stylish Neanderthal. I was kept behind a bicycle and door-delivered at my class. I struggled and wriggled inside and then in no time, I found myself at the Podium, facing a class full of girls with some male faces sticking out here and there. At this point, it’d be nice of me to say that I did my Bachelors in a men’s college; one of those Catholic anomalies still existing in Kerala. My father, taking into consideration my exploits in Politics, decided to get me admission in St. Berchman’s College as it was the only college where student organizations were banned. That it did not have girls were just an add-on! So, suddenly, I was doing something that I hadn’t done in almost half a decade; being the centre of attention of a bunch of girls! The fact that I was pissed and stoned suddenly did not matter at all.

I even did not realize that I was standing there with only two pages out of the nine pages of information I had written down the previous day. But, there was no time to worry about that. I was beginning to worry about the fact that I could read only the headlines. So, I began, like Ron Burgundy stoned, to read out stuff like ‘Pooh-Pooh’ and ‘Ding-Dong’ and TA-TA’ with no connection or whatsoever. It seems I even attempted to write on the green board but I could barely move away from the podium. Anyway, it was a disaster and started me off on a bad relationship with our course instructor, who got very bad ideas about me. I cannot blame her for that. She was prejudiced about me. We never got along well.

It was not like it was all my fault. She knew shit about Language Teaching. Her classes on ‘Phonetic Transcription’ were the worst torture I had to go through. I WAS good at Transcribing. I was taught that art pretty well by Prof. A.J.T. back in S.B. There were a bunch of us in that class who could transcribe any English word better than an Englishman. This woman’s classes made me ‘undo’ whatever I was taught by one of the best teachers I’ve ever known. I was mercilessly thrown into a pit of confusion when it came to this art I once cherished. I never tried it again.

 

 

Orca (1977) – A Tribute to Richard Harris

This is Richard Harris time for me. I have decided to watch and collect the movies of the late legendary Irish actor. Until recently, I never considered giving him or Richard Burton any importance that they deserved. So, I’m in this phase where I’m watching only Richard Harris’ films. Two days ago, I came across this amazing film called Orca (1977). I want my post to be about it.

The Poster of Orca (1977)

The Poster of Orca (1977)

Richard Harris plays the role of Captain Nolan, who hunts big marine animals to supply to the aquariums and institutes. During one of his exploits he comes across a marine scientist Rachel, played by Charlotte Rampling, who researches on Killer Whales. Captain Nolan gets interested in Orcas (Greek for Killer Whale) and try to catch one. Unfortunately, he tries to harpoon a killer whale in a group and ends up capturing its female mate which delivers a half-grown fetus. Captain Nolan and the crew gets troubled by the sight. The male Orca, which witnesses his mate’s death, attacks the boat on its way back to the harbour, to get the captured Orca back. A crew member dies while trying to release the captured and wounded Orca back into the Ocean. However, the female Orca dies from the wound and male Orca starts attacking the harbour, to take revenge upon Captain Nolan. The rest of the movie is about how Captain Nolan is made to take a decision on whether to go out into the sea and face his challenger, the Killer Whale.

Richard Harris as Captain Nolan, along with the captured female Orca. A scene from the Film

Richard Harris as Captain Nolan, along with the captured female Orca.
A scene from the Film

I was reading up on the movie and felt a bit dull to know that it was often being compared to Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975). How much ever I try, I simply can’t bring the two movies together. Jaws features a man-eating great White Shark wreaking havoc in a coastal town where a Sheriff decides to hunt it down. What is the similarity between the two movies other than the man-versus-marine animal scenario? I personally think Orca is better because it features an intelligent animal and not a mindless beast like a Shark that doesn’t know (or care) what it eats. A Killer Whale, as it is said in the movie, is a social animal, just like us humans. They are known to have emotions and not entirely dependent on instincts. A shark on the other hand, is just an organic existence with a lot more teeth, that too sharp! There is no myth or legend about a Shark; except that it eats and that it can be eaten, if killed. But, if you start researching on Killer Whales, there’s no end to the number of myths and legends that surround this animal, right from the ancient times. There are American Indian legends to Greco-Roman myths to stories in Indian Languages. Orca, the film, have pretty much summed up the mythical as well biological data of this peculiar animal in the words of Dr. Rachel Bedford,

“You’re planning to capture and sell a fellow creature! He’s like you – he has worm blood, he breathes air, he’s a mammal, but with intelligence!

The struggle of Roy Scheider to catch a toothy Shark is nowhere near the moral and personal struggle of Captain Nolan, who knows he has committed a sin to that animal by killing its mate and child. Richard Harris grows on you as the film progresses. From a cheeky, careless hunter whose only interest is to pay off the mortgage on his boat to a self-realizing, self-pitying man, filled with remorse, Harris demonstrates how a character should be evolved.

Captain Nolan waits at the dock, hoping to look the Orca 'in the eye' to ask 'what he wants.'

Captain Nolan waits at the dock, hoping to look the Orca ‘in the eye’ to ask ‘what he wants.’

Captain Nolan, stands at the watch tower of his ship, while the Orca leads him into the Cold Ocean, in to his territory

Captain Nolan, stands at the watch tower of his ship, while the Orca leads him into the Cold Ocean, in to his territory

Richard Harris as Captain Nolan listening to the Sonar, to his enemy, the male Orca, while trying to follow it into the deep sea.

Richard Harris as Captain Nolan listening to the Sonar, to his enemy, the male Orca, while trying to follow it into the deep sea.

It is said that Richard Harris used to get terribly angry when any comparison was made between Jaws and Orca. He walked out of an interview, abused a film critic and punched a fellow traveller in the face whenever parallels were made between these two movies. I read about these incidents before watching the film. Now that I have watched it, I know why Harris, a legend by himself and at the same time one of the most impulsive and raw humans ever walked on the planet, did all that.

The film also has a beautiful soundtrack, especially in the opening scene where two Orcas are shown swimming around in a serene Ocean habitat. The cinematography is awesome and visual effects, nostalgic, taking you back to the typical 1970s’ favourite techniques of super imposition and colouring. IMDB has given it a rating of 5.5, as if someone like Richard Harris would give a damn. As a movie buff, I don’t.

Richard Harris movie festival will continue until I finish watching all that there’s to watch of his filmography. That means there is more of this type posts coming. Watch the movie if you can.

Landed on a Comet! Now what???

Things have happened which we thought before as unimaginable. A spacecraft of the European Space Agency has landed on a comet. Philae, the spacecraft, landed on Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, after minor glitches and major suspense. European Space Agency and the world’s ignited minds are celebrating this as a next step (of course, after the invention of Apple iPhone and George Bush’s War on Terror) in the progress of mankind.
13philae-master1050-v2We have seen it in Armageddon (1998), Bruce Willis try and get a team of drillers on a comet that was on its way to hit earth. That the team included the likes of Steve Buscemi, is something that I can’t get over even now. (The moment I saw him in the movie, I knew he was gonna behave erratically, later!)

Anyway, humans have got a washing-machine size spacecraft on an unstable comet which is flying at high speed to swing around the sun and go far and deep into the Space. Another Star Trek movie can be expected on this later, right? Remember the first one? It is by far one of my favourite Star Trek films. The 1979 Star Trek: the Motion Picture, where Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise discover a magnetic cloud approaching Earth! In the centre of the cloud, Spock (who takes a long, boring spacewalk which took half the film’s time!) discovers a ‘consciousness’ and attempts a telepathic connection with it. Well, he gets knocked out and Kirk takes a spacewalk to get Spock back.

Spock taking a Spacewalk in a thruster. Viewers are subjected to a good half an hour of Leonard Nemoy's always-old face and cold eyes staring at them while a bunch of white fluorescent circles turn behind him as to make it look like he is moving forwards. The way it happened, I fainted and fell on my face after five minutes of watching it!

Spock taking a Spacewalk in a thruster. Viewers are subjected to a good half an hour of Leonard Nemoy’s always-old face and cold eyes staring at them while a bunch of white fluorescent circles turn behind him as to make it look like he is moving forwards. The way it happened, I fainted and fell on my face after five minutes of watching it!

This ‘consciousness’ terms itself V’Ger. It lacks emotion although I’m doubtful it can beat Spock at that. Anyway, at the end of the movie, Kirk, Spock and Decker figures out that V’Ger is nothing other than ‘Voyager 6’ (There’s no Voyager 6, by the way, only 1 and 2, both of them are going in to the Interstellar!!!), a 20th Century space probe by NASA which was found by an alien race and re-designed to be sent back to its creator race, finding and gathering information about everything on its way. That is a really fucked up thing to do, whoever did it. In 1979, the filmmakers may have thought NASA will just keep on sending spacecrafts into the deep space, numbering it 1, 2, 3, 4…etc. But NASA shut down the programme after sending Voyager 2.

Now let’s imagine our Philae doing the same thing. ESA already thinks that Philae will go out of commission in two years when it cannot gather energy from the Sun, as the comet will carry it out of Sun’s range. So, this spacecraft will sit on the Comet and ride peacefully into the Interstellar. There, some funny alien race will intercept this comet and find that there’s some junk on it which vaguely looks like their sex toy or something. They’ll study it and figure that there’s a race out there somewhere, which specializes in sending stuff out of their planet! To them, humans might look like a screwed-up kid who pastes chewing gum on cars that run past him! ‘Let’s giv’em something to think about, lads!’ their Senior Scientist will say. ‘Let’s show them we are more advanced and fucked up! Let’s giv’em a nice space kick right up their Interstellar arse!’ He will walk the line of young alien scientists, working to make our Philae more interesting. Then, one fine alien morning, they will shoot it out of their stratosphere towards our Earth!

‘I sure do hope this little son of a bitch will tell them there are big fuckers out here and we are not to be messed with. What do they think, sending us sex-toys through sky? Audacious assholes!’ Their President will say.

‘Aye Aye, Sir.’ Their Senior Scientist will reply.

By the time it reaches back to us, I just hope we will be ready with the stuff they show us in the Sci Fi movies; space warp, time-jump, beaming etc.

What’s Wrong in Kissing – II. Reply to Hate-Mails.

Writing about the Kiss of Love was a good experience. Even more overwhelming was the response I got. Besides a 100+ share on Facebook and Twitter, I got hatemails too. I opened up my email the other day to see three emails with no subjects. Now, that says something about the sender, right? Anyway, I don’t have any policy that stops me from reading such mails so I decided to sit and grace them with my attention. They all (amazingly, all three) started in a nice and cordial manner but soon started getting very abusive. Typical! I won’t bother pasting them here but I will surely show you some samples.

Mail 1

“How dare you insult my culture?”

“You go and Kiss your mother, you fucker!”

“@@#&*@#” (That was Hindi for motherfucker).

“You don’t know what India has”. (Now, that’s new!)
Mail 2

“India is my mother. You insulted her.”

“You have not a Hindu. You have no culture. So don’t dare talk about Hindus.”

“We will kill you like Pig.”

“You are freedom to kiss. You Kiss. You sex. You fuck. Why telling others to fuck. Fuck off.”

“You Tamil idiot! I am Indian. You don’t talk about Hindus. India is good culture. You go to Sri Lanka.”

 

Mail 3

“What is your problem? Why kiss in public? Its not culture.”

“We beat ass when kiss in public park.”

“We don’t tell West to come to India. India won’t go to West.”

“Girls are not wear jeans. Only Salwar.”

“You are dog. We are men. That is difference. If you write this, against India and us, we will burn you. Dog.”

“Why? You kiss your girlfriend, mother and everybody else. No bring such things to India. We don’t kiss in India.”

So, these are the ‘highlights’ of the hate-mails I received. I should confess that it made an amazing read. I don’t generally like getting abused but the struggle of ignorant fools to ‘abuse’ me looked very amusing. I chose not to reply to any of those mails. I chose to use my blog to reply to them.

 

Dear Mailer 1,

I did not insult your culture. I merely pointed out that you are ignorant of what could be termed as ‘Culture’. And, let me tell you that I do kiss my mother; upon my arrival at home for vacation and when it is time for me to leave, I do kiss the one who gave birth to me. But I can see that you lack a good mother which is probably the reason behind such blatant aggression and ignorance. I surely won’t be able to list out what all India has but I know for a fact that India, unfortunately, has total idiots like you. Your I.P address shows that you’re from Maharashtra. Jai Maharashtra.

 

Dear Mailer 2,

India is probably your mother but I did not insult her. I surely don’t have Hindu. Do you? How is it? How much was the price for 1 KG? Where did you buy it? Please mention that in the next hate-mail. I have no culture either. Sorry bro.

You will kill me like Pig? Have you ever killed a Pig before? Ever seen any living thing, other than dogs and mosquitoes, getting killed?

Yes. I are freedom to Kiss. I do Kiss. I do fuck, but I don’t think that is any of your business. Anyway, that is why I have something called a healthy mind and life. Maybe you should also try it for a change. But I certainly do not force others into er… what you would call ‘fuck’. Fuck Off to you too. Really!

Now, Sir, your last comment was just awesome. You have no idea how much I laughed about it. I laughed maniacally after a long time. I guffawed in such a way that I knocked a nice cup of hot coffee all over my shorts (almost ruining my chance to have a healthy sexual life, I should say!) and sandals. I am from the South, but not Tamil. And the last I checked, Tamil Nadu was a part of India too. So, if you’re Indian, my dear, that makes us brothers. Although not intellectually, at least in sharing what Nehru would call a ‘collective destiny’. You do know Nehru, right? He was the First captain of the Indian Cricket Team! And, Tamils did not come from Sri Lanka. Neither do they go there. Tamils (in India) isn’t very fond of Lankans, from what I understand. But then, you surely have no clue what I am talking about.

 

 

Dear Mailer 3,

You beat ass when kiss in public? How do you do that? I have seen Gorillas pounding their chest as a kinda war cry or a warning. Is it something like that? Does it hurt when you beat your ass when kiss in public? One more question, is your girlfriend (or boyfriend) okay with you beating your ass when kissing her (him) in public?

I think you are doing a great favor to the world by not telling the West to come to India. Imagine what unimaginable horrors would happen if such a thing happens. What if the West actually listens to you and decides to come to India? I don’t think the world is ready for a sudden shift in the tectonic plates. The whole of West moving towards South Asia and finally merging with it! What a catastrophe could that be! Please don’t tell the West to come and please don’t let India go to West.

Okay! Okay! Girls are not wear jeans. They are only wear Salwar! I are only Jeans. I are a man. Can I are wear jeans? Thank you. Thank you. You are truly wonderful. (Oops! I just used are in a wrong place!)

Excuse me, was that a death threat? Oooooo! I’m so scared.

I kiss my girlfriend. I already mentioned that, didn’t I? I also kiss my mother. I mentioned that too, right? Not everybody else. What do you think of me? Some Yoga-Baba? To kiss each and everyone around and bless them? I didn’t bring it to India from somewhere. I just did it here. Oh! No one kisses in India? Then I’m the first one to do so. :D

 

Anyway, it seems I have irritated some ignorant desert monkeys who rallies at wherever someone puts up something saffron or green or blue. I don’t give a damn! As long as you guys fight in the name of a religion or a god or some nonsense like that, I will treat you like shit. Keep your beliefs in your pocket and don’t come interfering in mine. You have no right to decide someone else’s personal freedom. Just understand that simple lesson and if you do, you can start considering yourself as a progressive homosapien. Until you do, I hardly see any difference between you and a wild monkey!

What’s Wrong in Kissing?

Nobody ever kissed in India. Then why now? No one had sex, either. C’mon. What’s this hullaballoo about ‘kissing in public’? Yesterday, I read about/watched how protestors in my University were arguing that ‘kissing in public’ is against Indian culture. To bring the argument (hopefully) to a peaceful line, let me ask one question.

“What (in the bloody hell) is Indian Culture?”

kiss-of-love-protest.jpg.image.784.410

I know. I know. I’m asking a difficult question. No one, I mean, no one can answer that question. Because there’s no clear definition to what Indian Culture is. Sanghis will start mentioning ‘Vedas & Upanishads’ or ‘Ramayana and the Mahabharata’ as an answer to this question. None of these texts say what Indian Culture is. They are just products of an evolving population, their imaginations and their encounter with another race. What Right-Wing people can actually do is point out what is against a culture. If you cannot define what belongs to a culture, how in the name of Odin’s Eye can you say what doesn’t belong to a culture?

My cousin, a known Sanghi and an ‘Indian culture enthusiast’ (with whom I had an argument two days ago when we were watching the Police chasing couples across Marine Drive in Kochi) started by saying ‘going to temple.’ He was definitely talking about Hindu culture. Not Indian. That says that he believes only a Hindu can be Indian. I asked him. ‘What about non-Hindu Indians? Are they allowed inside Temples?’ He glared at me. Long time ago, when both of us were developing socio-political consciousness, I used to poke him into arguments about Culture and India. He would fall for my tricks and start getting agitated, spitting and swearing, soon falling into a fit of non-sensical, spoon-fed stupidity. I remember one particular incident in which I told him that most temples in India were once something else; a small fort or a Buddhist vihara or a Buddhist hospital. He erupted into a murderous rage and started cursing me. His is a lost case. His father, a good man and a retired teacher who excels in Farming, once told me, ‘I don’t take him serious. I’m worried about the girl he marries. What will that child have to go through to live with him is something beyond my imagination.’

ac70f07e-2e9a-49d4-b66d-1d34e6250f2dWallpaper2

Coming back to Kissing… what can possibly be someone’s problem if a couple is kissing in public is beyond my I.Q. Nobody has a problem when eve-teasing happens in public. No one responds. When accidents happen, people hesitate to take the victims to hospitals. When a girl holds a boy’s hands, or walk too close to him…. When a boy wraps his hands around the waist of his girl or touch her face… Floooooop! Everyone’s eyes pop open and start bulging out with CULTURE written in block letters on their eyeballs. Personally, I don’t think twice if I feel like pulling my girlfriend close to me or when I have to wrap my hands around her waist. Anyone coming to me with CULTURE will get a black eye! But the question is why do we have to generate hostility for a simple act of love? Isn’t ‘Freedom of (fuckin’) Expression’ part of our Constitutional Right? And, as far as I know, Dr. Ambedkar hasn’t written anything about ‘Kissing in Public’ in that gorgeous book called ‘The Constitution of India’. I asked a couple of lawyer friends too. They also said there is nothing significant about it in the Indian Penal Code.

The protest that happened was not to grant any new rights to kiss in public. It was against the moral policing of the people in the name of Culture. A bunch of people who can’t even define what Culture is, goes around protecting it! What can be funnier than this? Well, that’s what’s happening here and we are all victims of that.

The Right-Wing Sanghis just contribute a lot to it through their abundant stupidity. ‘Kissing’ is bad. ‘Sex’ is bad! Sometimes I wonder how India became the second most populated country in the planet if these two were bad according to all the religions here. What? Are you guys telling me that ‘Sexual-Intercourse’ never happened? Is there any method of Yoga that’d enable us to ‘procreate’ without sexual intercourse?

(Those who have problems understanding the word ‘intercourse’, please look up in the internet. Please be warned that the application of that word in to humans results in to a lot of kisses happening!)

Sometimes I laugh a lot when someone start quoting the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as examples of how one should live their life. Just translate these stories into plain, understandable language. Then take a look; see how many rapes and abductions and unimaginable horrors are happening.

Still, I wonder. How do these guys make love? Do they? Do they kiss? Do they make out? If they have to make little assholes, how do they do it? They go to fertility clinics? So that they can do it without touching their female partner ever? These are some questions that I seek answers to when I see these idiotic ‘Protectors of Culture’ make an appearance.

If only they had the chance to ‘have a good fuck’, they’d probably understand the futility of all this non-sense that they have been doing for a while.

P.S: I can only imagine the response of those B.J.P. MLA’s in Karnataka who watched porn in their tablets while the assembly was in session.

Inside my Skull

Paint. Colours.
Thrown all over the Wall.
Violent Brush Strokes.
And dim light.
Blood red borders
the canvas
and fire-spitting dragons
take shape.
A drop of dew falls off
a leaf
and gets captured in a
Spiders’ Web.
Bruises form and bleed.
Images move.
Cartoons laugh in the
Corner
and makes the Viewers Think.
(If they can!)
Confused?
Welcome to my Skull.
Feel free to punch the Walls.
When you are bored of it,
Just leave.
Please don’t look at the floor.

Back to N.S.S

N.S.S. College, Pandalam

N.S.S. College, Pandalam

NSS College, Pandalam, hosts a lot of my childhood memories. As a four year old, I used to run uncontrollably through the corridors of this great institution, along with two other mates of mine. We were the privileged lot because our fathers taught in the NSS College. I can recall that our adventures ended rather abruptly in one evening when we destroyed a giant whale tooth, placed carefully in front of the Zoology lab. Apparently, it was the pride of that lab, given by some old professor who worked in the Indian Ocean, half of his life, studying the flora and fauna of it.

This institution was set up in 1950 by M. Padmanabhan, the renowned leader of the Nair community in Kerala. I have heard many stories about this great man. Ever since its setting up, someone from my family were either part of the student community or faculty in NSS College. My grandmother still has fond memories of this college where she did her BSc. My father taught in this college for years and my Uncle was a student here and now, a Professor in the same department that my father headed at some point of time. So, in several ways, NSS College has a place in my heart that I cannot give to any other institution, even though I never was a student here. In 2009 and in 2011, I was made to take classes to M.A English students here. I obliged both times because it was impossible to resist the guys who used to pamper me as a child.

So, it was with great pleasure that I accepted my Uncle’s invitation to attend a seminar hosted by the Department of Malayalam. The seminar was on films and literature and was named ‘Kottaka’ (the old Malayalam word for ‘talkies/cinema’) by my Uncle.

Film Director Blessy talking to students.

Film Director Blessy talking to students

He was the co-ordinator of the Seminar and demanded a paper from me. I was busy with my own thesis which is quite unrelated to the topic of the seminar but I jumped at the offer just to be part of something that NSS College was conducting. For me, it was not just going back. It was going back with a bang! I wanted it to be the best ever; an experience that I could keep in a corner of my mind, to be cherished forever. I was not going to let anything come between this seminar and me. I selected the topic ‘Magical Realism in Malayalam ‘New-Generation’ Movies’ and began working on it. After sulking and sweating a lot in the library and in the reading rooms of University of Hyderabad, I came up with a solid 15 page paper. It was not exactly a piece of cake but I wouldn’t pretend that it was difficult. I selected three movies and the objective was to differentiate between ‘Magical Realism’ and ‘Fantasy’. From all the reviews I read of movies from all over the world, I have come to the conclusion that more than 60% of the (re)viewers confuse Magical Realism to Fantasy and vice versa. I wanted to prove through the simplest methods possible that both are different and that ‘Magical Realism’ was NOT a ‘genre’.

Director, Lyricist and Screenplay Writer Mr. Sreekumaran Thampi conversing with the Students and the Faculty.

Director, Lyricist and Screenplay Writer Mr. Sreekumaran Thampi conversing with the Students and the Faculty.

The three day seminar was a delight. It was inaugurated by acclaimed film director Blessy and was blessed with giants like Sreekumaran Thampi and Sunny Joseph, a noted Cinematographer. Notable film critic C.S. Venketeswaran’s class was one of the most amazing classes I have ever attended in any seminars related to this topic.

Notable film critic, Mr. C.S. Venkateswaran's conversation with the students.

Notable film critic, Mr. C.S. Venkateswaran’s conversation with the students.

Cinematographer Sunny Joseph's scintillating talk on the Techniques of Cinematography

Cinematographer Sunny Joseph’s scintillating talk on the Techniques of Cinematography

Another thing that overwhelmed me was the ‘welcome’ I got from the College, the faculty and the student community. I rode the hill up as nobody but I drove down the third day as someone recognized by everyone above that hill. I was given a very warm welcome by my Father’s former colleagues and students and was made comfortable the moment I reached. I was thrust into quite a few bear-hugs when introduced as ‘Kurup Sir’s Son.’ Several old teachers referred to me as ‘the greatest problem-maker that they have ever seen.’ During the process I also unearthed some stories about myself from my kindergarten days; locking the security guard in the water-tower (the poor man stayed there for a whole night!), jumping from a high ground to a car parked below (it was the Premier Padmini of a much dreaded Principal and I dented the top of it) etc.

This is me presenting a paper, while my uncle, Prof. R. Rajesh looks on to see if I am the end of the legacy they all built in a 100 years!

This is me presenting a paper, while my uncle, Prof. R. Rajesh looks on to see if I am the end of the legacy they all built in a 100 years!

My presentation went along well with many other research scholars from other Universities. It was good listening to many papers; ‘Occultism in Movies’, ‘Feminism’, ‘Violence and Sex’ etc. The Department of Malayalam has already started working on bringing out a book containing selected papers. I am looking forward to see my work as a published one.

P.S: It is because of these incidents that I have been away from blogging for a while. I have so many of my favourite bloggers to catch up to. Love you all.

  • ‘a very excited’ Manu

Journeys.

Manu Kurup:

Thought this might be worth reblogging.

Originally posted on Manu Kurup's Blog:

I have had a few journeys, recently. Even though escapism might seem to be the root cause of all the journeys, mine is always an opportunity to take more and more photos. Much to the annoyance of fellow travelers, I sometimes spent an unbelievable amount of time photographing things. Some people express their annoyance by uttering radical theories of self… like they are not satisfied by looking through the viewfinder and the journey is only worth it when you enjoy the beauty of nature through your own eyes… so on and so forth. Not me! I do both… I am not a shutterbug who clicks away things into the memory of my camera. I also do write about them if feel like it later, which requires me to look at things carefully.

Recently, I  find myself much more addicted to Black and white photos than earlier. When I wanted…

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Rainbow

train (1 of 8)

 

Sunshine

You are that
little ray of Sunshine
that threads through the
reluctantly open Window
to shoo away the morning birds.

You are the Sunshine
that breaks my Sleepiness
in the most beautiful way, energetic,
enigmatic and Enthusiastic.
I will keep my windows open.

Monsoon

I’m the Monsoon
That terrifies the land
from a distance, Clouds the Sun,
Roars my arrival and cools the Earth.

Yet, Once I let my emotions fall,
I let the Sunshine seep through me
to make rainbows.
I’m the Violent Violin of Gods.