Superstitions Should Be Renamed Stupidstitions

“Keep on walking that road and I’ll follow, keep on calling my name I’ll be there
And if a mirror should break, it’s easy to take, cause deep down I know that you care
Well I’m not superstitious” – Europe

No I’m not superstitious in the least bit. Unless you count the fact that I always seem to put my socks on my left foot first and then the right foot all the time – it’s an unconscious thing but when I remember I change it! I can’t remember having superstitions as a child but it’s hard to remain without one in India. This land makes the superstitious people in the rest of the world hang their head in shame. We have superstitions about superstitions. And our elders did their best to encourage it! They feed you this shit and hope you carried it forward to the next generation. And if you didn’t, they’d step in and take over! I guess it goes hand in hand with being religious and overly religious people tend to have more superstitions. It’s like shit & urine, they just go well together.

My elders tried to make me & my cousins superstitious – “if you swing your legs, bad things happen to your uncles!” It didn’t work with me! If I happened to be pissed off with one or more of my uncles, I’d swing my legs like crazy! “Don’t open an umbrella inside the house, don’t whistle inside the house! Oh and the specially fucked up one – looking an idol or picture of God as soon as you open your eyes in the morning will bring good luck for that day – they didn’t bank on me being an atheist and rejecting that crap idea as soon as I turned 13! Accepting or giving things with the left hand – is it because we clean our asses with our left hand after we poop? Cause I always make sure to wash my hands thoroughly with a lot of soap or sanitizer! Oh – calling out someone by their name just as they are leaving the house! I had a member of my team at my previous office who would come back into the office, sit down, drink a little water and only then leave again if you called out her name as she was leaving the office! I am not kidding. Imagine how much fun I had calling her name multiple times in an evening just when she wants to leave for her home!

Oh yeah – a new bride walking into her husband’s house for the first time after marriage should step in with her right leg first! Cutting nails, hair-cutting, shaving or stitching cloth after sun set is a bad practice! I could on and on! If a black cat cross your path, it’s because it’s trying to get to the other side!! Nothing else. Oh I remember an uncle of mine getting eggs pelted at him and then having to do a few poojas to ward off the “evil effects”. A shower and shampoo would have done the trick in no time!

Anways, now that I am done with this post, let me jump up from my seat, turn around 3 times and yell “agogodadamamatata” as I do it, while the post is being published. Brings good luck

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RIP Patty Andrews (The Andrews Sisters)

Yesterday the last remaining Andrews sisters passed away. Patty Andrews, who was the youngest of the 3 singing sisters, died at the age of 95 in Northridge, California. The Andrews Sisters were a highly successful close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. The group consisted of three sisters: contralto LaVerne Sophia Andrews (July 6, 1911 – May 8, 1967), soprano Maxene Angelyn Andrews (January 3, 1916 – October 21, 1995), and mezzo-soprano Patricia Marie “Patty” Andrews (February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013). Throughout their long career, the sisters sold well over 75 million records (the last official count released by MCA Records in the mid-1970s).

Maxene, Patty, and LaVerne appeared in 17 Hollywood films. And that’s how I know them – among the 17 movies are the Abbott & Costello movies Buck Privates, In The Navy & Hold That Ghost (the ladies were signed with Universal Studios). I loved those movies and the girls singing in it.

To The Devil A Daughter

Holding the status as the last horror film that Hammer produced (until 2010’s Let Me In), and second-to-last film in any genre, 1976’s To The Devil A Daughter is based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Wheatley, and stars Richard Widmark, Christopher Lee, Honor Blackman, Nastassja Kinski and Denholm Elliott. However the finished product barely resembles the acutual novel. Wheatley disliked the film because the film did not follow his novel and found it obscene. Wheatley told Hammer Production that they were not to make another film from his novels ever again. It’s a movie that sufferred & languished for a few years until funding could be achieved.

The movie starts with the excommunication of Father Michael Raymer (Lee) from the Catholic church, for acts of what they consider to be heresy. Raymer would state the iconic quote “Excommunication… It is not heresy, and I will not recant!” Years later we see him heading a church & community in Bavaria as it’s leader & head priest (obviously not sanctioned by the Catholic Church). Raymer sends Catherine, a young nun, to meet up with the girl’s  adoptive parents, George and Eveline De Grass to be put on a plane to London. She is to meet with her biological father Henry Beddows. Accompaning her on the flight is a bodyguard. Meanwhile in London, a disturned looking Henry goes to meet reknowened occult expert & novelist John Verney at the release of his latest book. Henry convinces Verney that he (Beddows) was once part of a Satanist (or, more properly, Astarothite) coven headed by Father Rayner, and that he was forced to pledge his daughter to the cult upon her birth. Raymer had caused this by using his powers to create a vision of Beddows wife, who had died on giving birth to Catherine, which communicated her desire to leave Catherine with the cult. Now that purpose is about to be effected, and Beddows has come down with a case of cold feet. As Verney is an expert on the occult, Beddows has reached out to him to rescue Catherine.

Troubled by what this stranger has told him Verney agrees & rushes over to the airport and introduces himself to Catherine as a friend of her father’s while her bodyguard is busy with a telephone call. Verney ushers young Catherine to his car drives off to his house. The bodyguard goes to Beddows’s residence to find out if he was involved but is shot in the abdomen by Henry. Meanwhile at Verney’s residence Catherin hallucinates during the night as a pregnant woman delivers a grotesque evil looking puppet creature (which I presume to be the essence of Astaroth) at the church by a woman, who dies immediately. The creature is flown to London. Verney has his publisher Anna Fountain and her boyfriend, David look after Catherine while he investigates about Astaroth. But Raymer reaches out with his powers and has Catherine escape from the house but she is caught by Verney who then slaps her when she goes into a hysteria. As Catherine then sleeps in her bed, Verney leaves his friends once again to look after her (why would he do that when they have proven to be inept the first time) and researches at the local church’s library. Catherine, once again under the spell of Raymer, gets up and kills Anna and slips away. A distraught David confronts Verney on his return and the two go to meet Beddows, who is cowering in a locked room. It is here that Beddows rehashes the story of how his wife died and him pledging his daughter to the cult & Raymer. The evil priest aims to turn Catherine into a physical vessel for Astaroth himself and initiate thereby the reign of the Devil on Earth! Verney & David head to the church to retrive his pledge but David is burned to ashes as Raymer’s impressieve black magic powers attacks them.

We are subjected to a Satanic ritual with some nudity and sexual activity going on, including two men who use a statue of Astaroth to simulate sex with the young Catherine while Raymer disrobes and has sex with another woman. And then the red, grotesque evil looking puppet creature enters Catherine through her vagina – in a bizzare reverse birth. Verney then sneaks up on Raymer in the location where the sacrifice of Catherine & birth of Astaroth is to take place and confronts the evil priest. In a rushed & unexplained manner, Raymer is destroyed and disappears and Verney carries a dazed Catherine away. HELLO? What about the grotesque evil looking puppet creature??? This movie disappoints and with it’s many gapping holes in it’s plot (the scriptwriter deviating from the novel does a piss poor job) and hence we have a totally unsatisfying story. Astaroth isn’t the devil, he is supposed to be Crowned Prince of Hell. He is a male figure named after the Canaanite goddess Ashtoreth – a blasphemous act by the Old Testament & Judeo-Christianity to undermine the Pagan gods & religions. 6 outta 10!

5 Minute Presentation To Schoolchildren

You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of schoolchildren on anything of your choice. What would you present?

Good morning boys & girls, I hope all of you are doing well today. I hope you will be kind enough to give me your patient & full attention. I won’t take much of your time but what I have to say is important. There is no god!

(20 second gap for that to sink in) All religions are false and based on myths and lies! (Further 20 second gap) The two major religions in the world at the moment, Christianity & Islam, were created by desert dwelling hypocrites who hated women and wanted to get rid of the pro-women & goddesses in the European Pagan religions. They both spread their religions with the use of force, violence and brutal killings. Most religious have some basic truths in them but nothing mind blowing or anything like that. None of the sightings of gods or angels, demons & ghosts are proven and no miracles exist either. None not even one religion has proven itself.

So where do we come from if not god(s)? I realize that is what you must all be thinking (unless you were raised by atheists or agnostics). The correct answer is we don’t really have all the answers. I suggest you read up on Abiogenesis &  Evolution (which is proven through since it debunks creation myths of all religions, most religious fundamentalists will not want you to read it and even try to stop you) and that will help. Through science we know so much but we are not completely there yet. And maybe we never will before humanity is wiped out. The universe is full of mystery just waiting to be found out. That’s the beauty of it. It’s exciting not to know everything in advance and learn and explore as we go along. We have come so far but we have yet to even scratch the tip of the iceberg. All that we have is what we have made by observing, deducing, experimenting & learning. That is important. No matter how much you think you have learned, there is still a whole lot more. And that goes on.

Look at everyone around you, we are all one. Forget religion, caste, creed, colour of the skin, family background, social status, political differences, borders, money and the rest of the stuff that just divides us. Be kind to each other, let’s be friends. And don’t forget our friends in the animal kingdom too! Some of the need protecting. Others just need our love. Adopt a cat or a dog, maybe even one of each. Help the needy, help the sick and show kindness in all that you do. Above all, keep your eyes & ears open and learn, discover, explore and gain more knowledge. The universe is out there, waiting for us. Who knows, we might even find alien life on other worlds. And maybe we’ll learn the secret to this existence. Take care. Oh and watch Star Trek. There’s a vision we ought to try and achieve for ourselves.

Live long & prosper.

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Ottawa Senators Update, 28th Jan 2013

Time to take a look at the Ottawa Senators and the way their new season has been going. Well this half season since there was a lockout between the NHL & the NHLPA and therefore until a new deal could be agreed upon there were no games! Finally the shortened season started on January 19th and after 5 games played let’s look at the Senators, shall we?

On the 19th the Senators were in Winnipeg for the season opener with a 4-1 away win against the Jets who were celebrating their second season in the league after moving from Atlanta to Manitoba. Erik Karlsson had a goal and two assists as the Senators spoiled the Winnipeg Jets’ home opener and pleasing coach Paul McLean. Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris and Chris Neil scored Ottawa’s other goals. Dustin Byfuglien scored for the Jets. Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots for the Senators, while the Jets’ Ondrej Pavelec faced 37 shots in front of a sellout crowd of 15,004 at MTS Centre. Guillame Lantandrese made his debut for Ottawa. Two days later Kyle Turrisis was back and raring to go as he scored two goals, while Jim O’Brien and Jakob Silfverberg added two more as Ottawa beat the Florida Panthers 4-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 19,952 Monday night at Scotiabank Place. Turris now has three goals in two games, while Silfverberg’s goal was the first of his NHL career. 3 days later the Sens went to Florida and beat the Panthers 3-1. Anderson made 25 saves, and Chris Phillips and Erik Karlsson scored as the Senators improved to 3-0 while Jason Spezza added an empty netter.

The last two games haven’t gone their way at all though. Friday Jan 25th saw them go down to Tampa Bay 4-6. Eric Condra, Spezza, Karlsson & Turris scored and kept the Sens ahead 4 goals to 2 heading into the 3rd period but the Lightning struck back and won. And just last night they lost in a penalty shootout to the Pittsburgh Penguins which atleast sees them earn a point. Colin Greening had the lone goal for the Senators, who dropped to 3-1-1, cancelling the lead that James Neal had given the Pens. But the Pens came out victors in the shootout.

This leaves us 4th in the Eastern Conference with 7 points.

Helpless

Did I fall from the frying pan into the fire? They say history repeats itself. And I feel that I am one of those unfortunate sad saps that just had a deja vu of the worse kind. I had thought that I was past this situation but I find myself smack right in it again and it stings like a hard, open handed slap, from the rough hands of an ogre. I have no one to blame and this time I can’t even blame myself. Everything seemed to be going right and “this was a much more reputed place to be in and this kind of a situation will never arise here” – is what I naively thought to myself. Little did I know. I got a very small warning sign back in the first week of November, a much bigger one in December – which led me to think that things weren’t going right and watch out – but I still looked around me and said that these were just abberations, anomalies at best and that there wasn’t anything to be that worried about.

I was wrong! I find myself in a very similar situation that I found myself to be in just a year and 2 months ago. Sure there are differences here but it’s like a different, extended version of a song which musically may sound quite different from the original but yes the lyrics are the same and the song still is bitter-sweet and melancholic. Money is always a tough topic and it’s awkward and makes you feel uncomfortable even thinking about it or discussing it. I find myself in such a situation, which I thought was well behind me.  January 2013 is 2011 October all over again, back with a bang and a ticket tape parade to boot. I find myself asking the same question that Bruce Willis’c character John McLean asked in the sequel to Die Hard, Die Hard 2 – “how can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?”

I hate this, I hate my situation, I hate the helplessness, I hate my life.

Some Good Old Tube H2O

Sometimes on a really hot evening all you need is some cold H2O to quench your thirst. And it’s great for you. I just wish that coffeeshops & cafes didn’t charge you ridiculous amounts like Rs.20 for a plastic tube of 600 ml capacity! They should be giving it free.

Arsenal 3 Brighton 2; FA Cup

Arsene Wenger rested some of his regulars in the FA Cup 4th round match against Brighton and almost paid the price for it. Theo Walcott’s deflected late winner settled a pulsating encounter and sent Arsenal into the FA Cup fifth round at the expense of battling Brighton. Gus Poyet’s Championship side demonstrated exactly why they are play-off contenders as they pushed Arsenal every inch of the way before finally being beaten by substitute Walcott’s strike five minutes from time. Arsenal led twice through Olivier Giroud but in a thunderous atmosphere Brighton bounced back and looked to have secured at least a replay with goals from Ashley Barnes and £2m Argentine striker Leonardo Ulloa on his debut. Arsene Wenger sent on Walcott and Jack Wilshere in the second half to give Arsenal extra thrust and control. And it was Walcott who answered his manager’s call with a volley from the edge of the area after Brighton goalkeeper Casper Ankergren punched a corner out to the edge of the area.

Arsenal’s visit drew a record crowd to The Amex – but they did not see Wilshere, Walcott and Santi Cazorla from the start as they were left on the bench. The Gunner swept to the other end to take the lead after 16 minutes, Giroud measuring a perfect left-foot finish high past Ankergren from 20 yards. To Brighton’s credit, they were not knocked out of their stride by the goal and applied pressure to Arsenal’s struggling left-back Andre Santos as he battled to contain the lively Will Buckley. Brighton, who had replaced injured captain Gordon Greer with Gary Dicker, drew level after 33 minutes as Barnes made amends for his earlier miss by beating Szczesny to David Lopez’s cross to head in.

Arsenal opened with greater intent after the restart, with Lukas Podolski striking the bar from a free-kick, but it proved to be a temporary reprieve as the dangerous Giroud showed held off Adam El-Abd to sweep a finish past Ankergren from close range after 56 minutes. In a thrilling game, Brighton once more showed their strength of character to draw level six minutes later. Arsenal’s slack defending left manager Wenger infuriated on the sidelines as Ulloa stooped to send a diving header past Szczesny from Barnes’s cross. And that’s when Walcott comes in.

Beer Types – Cascadian Dark Ale / Black IPA

There has been some controversy or fuss let’s say about the naming of this particular style of beer. The style is known by three different names; Black IPA, India Black Ale (IBA), or Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA). The name is faintly seditious, derived from the Republic of Cascadia, a fantasy country that would be carved out of Oregon, Washington and the province of British Columbia through seccession from the United States and Canada. RateBeer.com defines the style like this : An emerging beer style roughly defined as a beer with IPA-level hopping, relatively high alcohol and a distinct toasty dark malt character. Typically lacks the roastiness and body of a strong stout and is hoppier than a strong porter. Expressive dry-hopping is common. Also called India Dark Ale, India Black Ale, Cascadian Dark Ale, Dark IPA, and sometimes India Brown Ale.

CDAs have a unique flavor profile that you can’t duplicate merely by mixing a stout and an IPA. Brewers prefer such hop varieties as Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo, aromatic American strains with flavors often likened to grapefruit, lemon or orange. Hopping rates are often greater than in normal IPAs, and dry-hopping – adding hops during the fermentation or later – is a common practice. Brewers, however, usually avoid the heavily roasted grains that give stouts their coffeelike and burned-toast flavors. Instead, they rely heavily on de-bitterized malts such as Carafa, in which the husk has been removed from the barley kernels to provide a smoother, less acrid flavor.

Apperance is usually deep brown to black with ruby highlights. Head varies from white to tan/khaki. Mouthfeel is light to medium, hop bitterness and tannins from roast malts combine to create a dry mouthfeel. Flavour is a balance between citrus like and spicy Northwest hop flavor, bitterness, caramel and roast, chocolate, or Carafa type malts. This darker ale goes well with hearty fare such as hamburgers, sausages, stews, smoked fish, lamb, beef and game as well as other numerous foods such as fried seafood and highly spiced cuisine.

Picttured here is the popular & highly rated Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale from the Flying Monkeys brewery in Barrie, Canada. Also popular are the Howe Sound Gathering Storm, Deschutes Hop In The Dark & Garrison’s Black IPA.

Banning Movies Due To Religious Sentiments

The idiots are at it again. The religious righteousness with their holier than thou attitude and their fragile egos & sensibilities in India have filed cases against two movies in India, both from the South. They have their knickers in a twist!

Romans a Malayalam comedy & thriller movie that was released less than 10 days ago and is about two jailbirds, con artists and thieves, who escape while being transported to a jail. They end up in a village at the Kerala – Tamil Nadu border, where they are mistaken for a pair of priests expected at the local monastery. The duo masquerade as priests, and reopen a church which has been closed for years, thereby winning over the villagers who mistake them to be priest sent from Roman (hence the title). A series of events that take place after their arrival bring about a change in their outlook towards life and society. For those of you who have seen the 1989 Robert De Niro & Sean Penn movie We’re No Angels – it’s basically the same plot. Even as the movie is running successfully and getting mostly positive reviews, a court  case has been made against the duo by the First Class magistrate of the Changanassery for showing the Catholic priesthood under bad light. The court has asked the police to register a case against these lead actors , the movie director Boban Samuel , producer Arun Ghosh and Bijoy Chandran and script writer Y V Rajesh   and investigate whether the writ presented by Adv Boban Thekkel complaining  about the movie holds any ground.

Across the border into Tamil Nadu, megastar Indian actor/producer/director for the past few decades & noted atheist Kamal Hassan, who has in the past made movies that were anti-theist in nature, has drawn flack from the muslim community for the content of his latest movie Vishwaroopam. due to persistent allegations made by Islamic organizations including the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham have protested against the film, which they say ‘shows Islam and muslims in a bad light’. The release of the movie in Tamil Nadu has been pushed back to after January 28th, during which the ruling high court judge will have a special screening and then rule on the basis of the case against it. Some other places have delayed the screening of the film. However the film continues to run in theatres in Kerala despite protests from a section of Muslim organisations and there were some disruptions in certain parts of the state. This just makes me want to see this film and I just might break my 17 year fast of not having watched a single Tamil language movie from end to end!

500-word Prequel To The Story Of Your Life

Write a 500-word prequel to the story of your life:

My parents got married in 1968 in the traditional arranged marriage style that was predominant during those years (and is still the preferred way for most Indian families). My mom is from Mattancherry (which is old Cochin) and my dad is from Irinjalakoda, a small town in the neighbouring district of Thrissur. After both families agreed and my dad & mom met and agreed to the wedding, they got married and soon my mom would join my dad in Kuwait city, Kuwait where he had been living & working for the past 7-8 years. When they got got married my dad was 29 and my mom was 19, a 10 year gap which was quite common in those days. My dad was working in the National bank of Kuwait and my mom was a housewife. They lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment in a 4 story building in the neighbourhood of Darwaza – 1 living room, 1 bathroom, 1 bedroom, 1 bedroom/dining room & tiny kitchen. They started their family life and would spend some of the evenings with the other young families, most of the same state as ours, living in the same building.

They became part of the community, a Kerala community of expats living & working in the tiny Arabian Gulf country of Kuwait, trying to make money and save and send some home to their families. With they rest they lived a quiet & peaceful life, not really having much of anything else. My mom’s older brother had also migrated to Kuwait and he & his wife lived just a few minutes away. My mom became pregnant and just as she was about to complete 6 months of pregnancy, she moved back to India, and to her parent’s home to have her first child born in the same town as her family (as is the tradition amongst Hindu famileis). My parent’s first child, my sister Sherine was born on May 8th, 1970 in Mattancherry. My dad had had taken leave from his job to be there for my sister’s birth. After a few months, my mother took my sister and rejoined my dad back in Kuwait and the young family started to settle down. Sherine was one of the first generation of Indian expat babies to grow up in our building. The other kids in the building were her close friends and they would all go to the same kindergarten and to the same school. The family of 3 spent evenings in front of the tv watching cartoons until young Sherine slept and then my parents would watch Hindi & Malayalam movies on VHS, reminiscing of the land they had left behind to work & living for a few years in Kuwait.

Weekend evenings were spent outside with my uncle & aunt, who doted on my sister. The 5 of them would go for movies, go to the beach, have lunch or restaurant at one of the restaurants in the city or go for long drives in my uncle’s car. 6 years passed and my mom was pregnant with my parents’ second child – and that’s where the story takes the turn, people! Cause that’s where I come in

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Working From Home Options

Working from home – do most people prefer this arrangement? In a lot of jobs you find the employees given the option and opting for the choice to work from their homes either all the time or a few days in a month. And by these I mean normal jobs which are done in an office and then later given the option to work from home. With a telephone/cellphone connection, a desktop or laptop & a reasonably fast internet connection being the only criteria that you need to do the work from home.

Among my friends, relatives and online friends – I know of about 10 people who work from home all the time and around 8 who work from home a few days a month. Like my cousin who lives in Aluva and who has worked from his house from 2008 onwards – his employers are in the US and they don’t have offices in India. All their Indian based employees work from home, converse through internet chat, Skype, G-chat, their own online chat option and occasionally on the phone. He has a wife, a young daughter & his mom living in the same house. Plus recently he also got a Rottweiler puppy (about 1.5 years old) – total distraction! But he has set a nice comfortable routine which works out well for him and daughter, wife & mom get plenty of quality time. Oh puppy does too! Whereas I have a friend from my school days and he says it didn’t work out once he & his wife had kids. They already had two dogs who demand attention all the time, meaning he got distracted way too much. He now works in an office.

Now on the other end, I have a close friend who works for a huge MNC and they have given her, and several other employees depending on their profile, the option to work from home 2 out of 5 days a week. In fact they even encourage this behaviour! I think rather than working all the time from home, I would like this option that my friend has. It seems like the best compromise. I personally would miss the banter, the jokes, the coffee breaks, the long lunches and leaving the office in groups. I wouldn’t mind working from home on occasion, maybe on certain days if the option is provided but not always.

The Golden Room By Irving Wallace

Here’s a book I have read a few times and re-read today (it’s a small book) – The Golden Room by Irving Wallace. Published in 1988, two years before his dead, is about a brothel & the people involved with it and set in 1903’s Chicago. Minna & Aida Lester, two sisters and divorcees, change their last name to Everleigh and open up the fanciest, most popular & most famous brothel in the world, and maintain a dignified presence in the eyes of the people who like them. All their girls were hand picked for their beauty and were trained in the art of seduction. They were told to learn to talk, sit, appreciate art and culture and make an interesting conversation with the patrons. In the 3 storied mansion house that they converted into the Everleigh club in Chicago, there is a restaurant, offices, a large library and several rooms decorated with the finest & most luxurious style in different themes. They charge the most but you get the most for your money and the girls are best and they also get paid more.

However all is not going too well for them; newly re-elected major Harrison, who gets financial backing from rich meat-packer businessman Armbruster, wows to clean up the city and close down all the gambling houses and whorehouses, starting with the biggest one – The Everleigh Club! To make matters worse, Minna & Aida’s older brother has sent his son Bruce & daughter Cathleen to Chicago for 2 weeks and to live with his sisters – until Cathleen’s marriage to Alan, son of Armbruster! The sister sent away most of the 30 girls on a paid holiday to various hotels in the city, keeping only 6 girls to play as hostesses and pretend that they only run a fancy restaurant for the benefit of young Bruce & Cathleen. One of the girls who remains back is Karen, who is really Mayor Harrison’s secretary and who has come to work in the club as their newest prostitute in order to get enough evidence for the mayor to shut down the club once & for all. The virgin Karen has to pretend to be experienced and fools Minna into hiring her as a replacement for one of the girls who has gone missing. Only Karen didn’t expect to admire the sisters and also fall in love with Bruce.

Bruce is asked by Armbruster to marry his daughter and thereby be welcomed into his business that could see him clear off his family debt but the young lad has eyes only for Karen and stakes his earnings on a horse to win the local derby, which it does. Add to the mix is the new doctor for the ladies of the club – a maniacal Dr. Holmes revels in winning over the young prostitutes, luring them to his huge house, where he has sex with them and then gasses them, chops off the dead bodies into pieces and then burns their remains. When Armbruster unknowingly gets his son to the club for dinner and a woman (as a rite of initiation) he finds out the truth about Cathleen’s family and calls off the wedding. With enough proof seen first hand and his bill, Armbruster provides the evidence for Mayor Harrison to close the club and arrest the sisters. However a visiting German prince, who wants to spend time at the club makes Harrison change his mind and he and Armbruster begs the sisters to reopen the club; which they do, provided the wedding of Cathleen and Alan takes place. However Dr. Holmes has trapped Cathleen & Karen in his house; will Alan & Bruce be in time to stop his killing them? Read the book. A good read 7 outta 10!

No Power, No Power

The power was out for a long time today. Apparently it was in the paper (not in the Indian Express which is what I read but it was mentioned in the Malayalam Manoram which I do not read) that there would be electrical work being done and hence from 11:30 am – 5pm we had no power at home (ofcourse we also had the 30 minutes power cut in the morning at 7am). Oh I guess I should also let non-Malayalees (or even just non-Indians) know that here in Kerala we have a 60 minute power cut scheduled for us on a weekly basis i.e same time every day for a week. The 60 minutes is split into two so 30 minutes in the morning between 6am and 10am and another 30 minutes in the evening between 6pm and 10:30pm. This ofcourse is because India still depends almost solely on the hydro electric projects (there are 2 diesel power plants and a solitary wind power plant but that’s it) and when the rains fail to supply us with enough water for the dams, we get power cuts to regulate the power supply until the next monsoon is done.

Oh and Kerala gets it’s power from the Kerala State Electricity Board (otherwise knows as incompetent doofus dinkus assholes corporation board). So we have the 30 minute scheduled power cut in the morning at 7am as it is supposed to be this week and then it goes out at 11:30 am and comes back at 5 pm. And then it goes out at 6pm for a few more minutes and instead of 9:30pm as it scheduled for this week, the evening power cut goes out at 8pm! Fuckers at KSEB doing as they please! For once I would like to go to their office and cut their power without prior information! Bastards!

Quoth The Raven, `Nevermore’

My favourite poem of all time is the uber gothic & uber awesome ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allen Poe. Why? because it’s awesome! It’s a narrative style poem  published in January 1845, noted for it’s musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven’s mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow fall into madness. The lover, possibly a student, is lamenting the death of his lover Lenore. After the raven raps at the man’s door and then his window, it is let in and perches on a bust of Pallas. To the questions that the man puts to it, the raven only answers ‘Nevermore”.

The raven has long been considered a bird of ill omen and of interest to creators of myths and legends. The lover puts questions about whether the raven was sent to him as a sign by god or angels to forget Lenore, if the raven is evil or a prophet,  whether he will be reunited with Lenore in heaven and finally comes to the conclusion that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “Nevermore”. Please play the video below which is a narration of The Raven by Sir Christopher Lee.

And watch a recording off a tv of the Simpson’s Halloween special on The Raven. Narration here is by James Earl Jones.

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