Buds & Mother India

Two incidents from around the year 1997 comes to my mind. The first one I was with a friend of mine and we were walking down the road after classes at NIIT and were waiting for a bus. Suddenly my friend started flicking his ear and told me that something like a tiny insect had flown into it and it was irritating his ear. So we cross the street and went to a small store – where you get snacks, some groceries, soft drinks and tea/coffee.

He asked the guy at the counter for some “buds” (meaning cotton buds to clean his ear) and the guy turns around and gets something from a shelf behind and asks “Is this to for here or do you want me to wrap it for you?” and my friend replies “No, it’s for my ear as I want to clear our something that went in!” And the guy at the counter stops in his tracks, dumbfounded, holding two bread buns in his hands -cause that’s what he had heard, buns instead of buds, and he was wondering what kind of person would shove a bun into his ear!

The second incident must have happened a few months later; a cousin & I had traveled by bus from our ancestral home in Mattancherry to Aluva where our uncle lives. We were there to take his car and drive it back to Mattancherry as another uncle wanted to borrow it for a few days. So we drove the car back and joining us was another cousin from the house in Aluva. On the way we stopped for a bite to eat and a soft drink and my older cousin wanted to buy smokes too. So we stopped at a small shop by the road side and ordered some snacks.

One cousin wanted a 7up and the other wanted a Pepsi and I told the boy, about 13-14 years old at the counter that I wanted a Mirinda. On hearing this the boy looked stunned and then went to consult with his father, the owner of the store. The dad came up to the counter and asked me “What did you want to drink?” and I repeated “I want a Mirinda”. The owner then laughed and said “Oh, ok, coming right up” and went back smacked his son on the head and said “He said Mirinda not Mother India!” My cousins and I were laughing at that for a long time!

Ouija

From the age of 9 or 10 I have been fascinated by the Ouija board. I remember seeing it in a semi-horror tv film (it was prominent in the film but the killer wasn’t supernatural) and boom – instant like! At the age of 19 me and some friend tried to make our own ouija board. That died in an hour or so! Anyways, Ouija is a 2014 supernatural horror film directed by Stiles White and co-written by White and Juliet Snowden. The film stars Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith and Bianca A. Santos with Lin Shaye.

The movie is predictable; two friends Laine & Debbie, played with this Oija board that Debbie happen to find in the attic of her house. Years later as high school students Debbie, is using the board on her own and clearly disturbed by something, she burns the board and planchette in the fireplace. Acting all withdrawn she then cancels going out with Laine to join other friends and stays home alone. At night Debbie investigates noise upstairs and goes into her room and finds – the board intact and lying on her bed. She looks through the planchett and her eyes turn white and then she hangs herself. The next morning Laine is with her boyfriend at a diner where their friend Isabelle works when she gets the call from her parents that Debbie is dead.

After the funeral Debbie’s grief-stricken parents leave town and keep the keys with Laine who promises to look after the place. Also Laine’s dad, a single parent leaves for a trip so Debbie & her younger sister Sarah are alone at home (though Nona stays close by). While at the house with Trevor Laine finds the board and calls Isabelle, Sarah & Debbie’s boyfriend Pete to hold a seance at their friend’s house at night. Yeah, we got rid of the grown ups so now the kids can play! So using the Ouija board they make contact with a spirit called D who they think is Debbie but have to leave when the power goes out. The 5 of them later experience weird sightings and strange sensation of being watched & followed and find “Hi Friend” notes. So they go back again to the house and contact the spirit – D is not Debbie but D Z, aka Doris Zander. Laine looks through the planchette and finds a young girl with her mouth stitched who is running away from her mother’s spirit. Doris warns the group about her mother and the 5 teens run away, only for Isabelle to be killed while she is in her bathroom. Doing research on the house Laine finds out that years before Debbie’s family lived there, the house was the home of a young girl named Doris Zander who’s mother claimed was missing. Doris had a sister named Pauline, who is still alive, but who is in a mental institution for killing her mother.

Laine visits Pauline who says that their mother was experimenting with contacting spirits and believed that evil ones were trying to speak through Doris and hence had her mouth stitched shut and killed her and left the body in an underground chamber of the house. Pauline feared for her life and hence killed her mother in return. The four friends head to the basement of the house and find Doris’ decaying body and free her by cutting the stitches. Doris vanquishes her mother and her spirit is freed. Thinking it to be over the group go back home but Doris is the actual evil spirit and she kills Pete. Laine confronts Pauline who was in league with her evil sister and is happy that she is now free. Laine’s grandmother advices the kids to burn Doris’s body and the board but Trevor is killed before that can happen. Doris’s spirit attacks Laine and has Sarah restrained but with help from Debbie’s spirit, Laine is able to burn Doris’s body and the board in the furnace which destroys Doris’ spirit. The two sisters return home, only for Laine to find the planchette waiting for her in her room.

Predictable & stale with just a couple of jump scares, double twists that everyone and their grandmother can see coming from a mile away. I don’t hate it but there’s nothing really good or memorable about this film 6 outta 10!

Would You Ever Have Plastic surgery?

Considering the fact that I am quite overweight and would want to take care of first and foremost and yeah I am balding so yes a hair fixing is also in order, what other alteration would I opt for if I had the cash and was guaranteed that it would go off without a hitch?

I would opt to have plastic surgery on my nose. I hate my nose it’s so stupid looking. I also have a problem with a deviated septum and hence I can only breathe through one nostril so it would actually also be a wise choice to get that fixed. But other than that I feel that at some point in time I screwed up my nose. Probably during my late teens to early 20 when, bogged constantly by blocked noses and cold, I used to use Vicks inhalers quite a lot to unblock it. I think I just abused that thing left, right and center and hence my nose got bigger. Also there’s this bumpy fat tip of the nose which I’d like to get reduced off.

So shape it, make it more reasonable and not change it in any other way. Yeah, I would do that! And perhaps I should.

Trio No: 4

Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must include a speeding car, a phone call, and a crisp, bright morning. (Wildcard: you can swap any of the above for a good joke.)

There I was watching the sun rise from my balcony as I sipped my first cup of coffee in the morning. No indications of the kind of day that I was going to have. I showered and shaved and got dressed and stepped out into the crisp, bright morning – the kind of morning that was sunny and yet it was so fresh and cool breezes flowing throughout the day that the air felt just like champagne. Ah, drink in that freshness.

As I was walking on by to do my errands for the day – go to the bank, collect some money and then perhaps do some shopping and then find some nice bistro to have a leisurely lunch, I notice a bright red sports car that just speed past me. Two minutes later, it passed me again from the opposite direction, the unseen driver slowing down briefly near me (as if to take a good look at me) before speeding off again. “One of my fans” I laughed to no one in particular and went to the bank. My wallet fat with cash I walked to the nearby mall and did my shopping. I came out, a few bags in my hands when my phone rang. I could only hear breathing for about 30 seconds and then a woman’s voice said “They’re coming for you. Be careful!” before it got cut off.

I didn’t know what to think of it and was about to walk to get some lunch when the red car screeched in front of me and the passenger side swung open as if for me to enter. I looked inside to see a woman in jeans and a leather jacket brandishing a gun with a large silencer in my direction and motioning for me to get into the car. “Co-operate if you value your life” and so I got and the doors closed as she drove us off as fast as possible. To where, I could only guess!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Life Is Too Short…

Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.

…life it as per the wishes of other people”. How did I come to that conclusion? Idiots, idiots everywhere who say that they want to live for somoneelse – be it their spouse, kids or parents or large extended familly.

When you know you have only one life to live, live it the way that you want to not the way someone else wants it to be. They have their lives, you have yours. Fuck it, it’s not like reality is like some video game when you have a bunch of lives and you can gain a few more if you collect a few things. No, it’s just one. We are lucky to have been born in our era one which has the most choices and possibilities so far. Maybe the future is even better but the past sure wasn’t. So you want to do something that excites you, go do it. As long as you are not harming anyone, including yourself. And forget what society thinks.

The afterlife is also just a theory so don’t bet on that stuff being true. Live for this life, the only one that we are guaranteed to have. Everything & anything else is bonus!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Updated : Mozilla Firefox 33.1

My system automatically upgraded to the new version, 33.1, of Mozilla Firefox. It has three new features:

Use Forget to cover your tracks or escape from sites you don’t trust

Remove browsing history from your computer
Erase website information after the fact
Add it above for quick, easy access

DuckDuckGo lets you search anonymously

Get great results with no tracking
Make it (or any other) your default
Find what you’re looking for, your way

Private Browsing: Our original privacy tool

Keep history and other info off your computer
Browse without recording where you’ve been
So others using your computer can’t see it

I’ve had some problems with Firefox for the past year or so and it has caused major problems with my laptop. So much so that I only use this browser for blogging, searching images & some news articles and my email (no Youtube or Flash heavy stuff). I hope this is a drastic improvement on previous versions.

Arsenal 1 Swansea 2

In yet another dismal showing, which has made the club look like also-rans and wannabes who are stuck in a rut, Arsenal lost away at Swansea 1-2. Once again defensive tactics were questioned and once again the midfield looks weak and porous. Swansea came from behind with two late goals to claim a memorable win over Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium. Arsenal took the lead when Alexis Sanchez finished from close range after an excellent run and pass from Danny Welbeck. It was the Chilean’s sixth goal in his last four league games as he continues his run of good form. But a stunning Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick and a fine header from substitute Bafetimbi Gomis sealed Swansea’s victory. The win sees Garry Monk’s men leapfrog the Gunners into fifth place in the Premier League table.

For Arsene Wenger’s side, meanwhile, defeat caps a miserable week after their Champions League collapse against Anderlecht on Tuesday, in which they threw away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3. There were some nervy moments from the Gunners’ defenders, with Calum Chambers surviving a Swansea penalty appeal after appearing to shove Wilfried Bony to the ground inside the area. Clear scoring opportunities were at a premium in the first half as two slick but congested midfields cancelled each other out. Arsenal did not manage a shot on target until a minute before half time, as Welbeck combined well with Sanchez before his effort was palmed away by former Gunner Lukasz Fabianski. Arsenal seemed in control at this point but, within 15 minutes, the match was completely transformed. Swansea were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal after Kieran Gibbs was booked for fouling the hosts’ debutant Modou Barrow.

Sigurdsson then compounded Gibbs’ punishment as he curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Arsenal barely had time to register the blow of Sigurdsson’s leveller by the time Swansea took the lead less than three minutes later. Montero, who had given Chambers a torrid afternoon on Swansea’s left wing, floated in an inviting cross for Gomis, who nodded the ball beyond a static Szczesny and into the bottom corner. Defensive woes, defensive woes, defensive woes – the club looks like a facsimile of it’s old self and if Wenger continues in this manner, we will miss out on a Champions League spot. I hope then that the axe will fall.

Message About A Coronation

Someone’s left you a voicemail message, but all you can make out are the last words: “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Who is it from, and what is this about?

So I have a call that I couldn’t attend and the caller has left me this simple message “I’m sorry, I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Well the call is from a woman, one I met several years ago while I was on holiday in a hill station. I was still only 20 years old and in the 18 years that have passed I have almost forgotten her name and what she looked like – but not quite! I still have a faint recollection of this woman in a sweater and jeans walking towards the horses that were for rent to go around the gardens and estates of the hill station. I glanced at her and she glanced at me and before you knew it we were talking and introducing ourselves. A cup of coffee turned into two cups and then dinner at one of the fine restaurants in the area.

During the next 10 days (the duration of my holiday) we spent most of the time talking and taking in the sights but mostly wanting to spend time with each other. She told me very little about herself other than a few likes and dislikes and the feeling of loneliness that she had been feeling. On her last day, she asked me to pack up a picnic basket and said she wanted to go on a boa ride. While we had lunch in the middle of the lake, she confessed that she was a princess of a small European nation and that the moment she got back home, the preparations would begin for her arranged marriage to a prince of another small nation. She had no say in the matter and she wanted this time we had together as her only feelings of true love. That night before she had to leave, we made love in my room and spend the night listening to the rain.

The next morning I woke up to find her gone and a check at her hotel let me know that she had already left via flight back to her nation along with her entourage. I went back to my home and my life, knowing that I would never see her or ever hear from her again. But I know what she called me for – 18 years have passed and her daughter, a princess, is being inaugurated as the rightful queen of her nation. This is because her mother, my one time lover, is ill and cannot continue on as queen, and with the king having been dead for 10 years only the daughter is left. And that 18 year old girl looks a lot like me! I gotta go and head to that nation – my kid is being crowned as queen!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Typing Words Of Wisdom, Let It Be

A restaurant that removed your favorite item from the menu, a bad cover of a great song… Write a post about something that should’ve been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?

Quite a lot of things. Ok, let’s run down some of them. This is not a complete list by any means but these are the ones that I can think of at this moment.

Reboots / remakes in general; while I agree that some of them are necessary and worthwhile and at time far superior than the original, a lot of the reboots & remakes are redundant and shameful. The 2012 remake of Total Recall for example; whatever the fuck was that done for? More recently I watched the reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – was not half as good as the original. Horror movie franchises have this habit of being rebooted after a few movies down the road – Halloween, The Hills Have Eyes, Friday The 13th & Nightmare On Elm Street are examples. The last two did not go down well with fans at all and there is a 50-50 divide on Halloween. In some ways I see why the producers think it is necessary but unless you are going to do a good job, it’s better left alone.

Tv shows, especially Science Fiction have had similar routes. Battlestar Galactica (you can read my views on that in the BSG section of this blog), V & Star Trek have had some tinkering in the form. BSG was a huge success when they deviated from the more kid friendly and lighter tone of the late 70s original to come up with a more dire, gritty and relevant to our times version. And although V had good intentions and in some ways were superior, in the end it faltered but I still see where they were going. Star Trek – well most of us Trekkies would argue that it is neither a remake or a reboot but it is a different timeline in the same universe – started well in the 2009 movie but the second movie was a bit of a rehash really. And we have a new BSG movie, which is said to go back to the 70s original story as well as reboots of Stargate coming up.

I’m all for reboots or remakes if done in the right spirit with a respect and a nod to the original and yet having your own ideas, nay your own good ideas. Songs are good examples; most of them are done because the artists loves the original song and is a fan of the artist who originally wrote & sang it. Unlike say when most pop, rnb & rap artists covers a rock song just to make a hit and make more money. And you can tell who is sincerely paying tribute and who isn’t.  In the latter cases just let it be!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

A Million Ways To Die In The West

From director & writer Seth MacFarlane comes a western comedy-romance film titled A Million Ways To Die In The West. Written and produced by Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild and starring MacFarlane himself, the film also features an ensemble cast including Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, and Liam Neeson. There are cameos by Gilbert Gottfried, Ryan Reynolds, Ewan McGregor & Jamie Foxx with Patrick Stewart lending his voice as well.

It’s 1882 in the wild west town of Old Stump, Arizona and sheep farmer Albert Stark manages to talk himself out of a duel by promising to sell a couple of his sheep and compensate the angry gunslinger who’s property was damaged by them. Albert’s girlfriend Louise, who says she needs to be by herself for a while but she soon shacks up with the mustached & rich businessman Foy. Albert tells his best friend Edward and his prostitute girlfriend Ruth that there is nothing left for him in Old Stump and he is planning to go to San Francisco. Meanwhile infamous outlaw Clinch Leatherwood heads near the town and kills an old man for his old. Clinch sends his wife Anna, who wants out, along with one of his henchmen Lewis to lay low in town as the rest of the continue their looting ways. Anna takes in the old man’s dog and goes into town with Lewis, pretending to be siblings looking to setup a farm.

The next evening Lewis gets into a fight in the saloon and in the ensuing fight much property is destroyed. Albert saves Anna from falling  brawlers and they hit it off. The two of them smoke a joint and begin a friendship. The next day at a fair Foy challenges Albert to a shooting contest and the latter is is defeated, but Anna steps up and defeats Foy. Foy insults Albert who angrily challenges Foy to a duel in a week’s time. Anna spends the next few days teaching Albert how to shoot better and he improves a bit. At a formal dance, after Foy manages to insult Albert again, Anna slips some laxative drug into Foy’s drink before they leave. As Albert & Anna share more bonding moments they kiss at the end of the night, which is seen by Lewis who had escaped from jail by beating the sheriff. The next morning Foy is tired and unable to stand properly and has to shit into two hats right in front of the crowd. Albert decides that Louise isn’t worth the fight and forfeits the duel. However Lewis has told Clinch about seeing a man kissing Anna and the bandits come into the bar and demand that that man who kissed Anna show himself by the next day at noon and kills a man as a warning. The bandits head out and Clinch proceeds to have sex with Anna in a secluded spot but she knocks him out with a rock and leaves him on the grass with a flower sticking in his ass.

Anna finds Albert at his family farm preparing to leave and he confronts her for not telling him she was married and that to to the most notorious outlaw around. She tells him that this life of being an outlaw’s wife wasn’t what she wanted and that she rally loves Albert. Clinch and his men reach the farm and apprehend Anna but Albert escapes by first hiding among his sheep and the jumping onto a train with his horse. Deep in the desert he is captured by natives who prepare to burn him at the stake but he pleads for his life in their language which the chief likes and hence they release him. They give him a bowl of peyote, which sends him flashing back to his birth and through traumatic events of his childhood before making him realize that he loves Anna. At noon he shows up in town to face Clinch and shoots first, wounding Clinch with a snake venom lace bullet which kills the man – before Albert could finish telling his clever plan. Anna breaks loose from the outlaws who are taken in by the law. Louise attempts to win back Albert, but he rejects her and instead enters a relationship with Anna. Albert also receives a bounty for killing Clinch and uses the money to buy more sheep.

Funny as hell with a lot of raunchy humour, dirty jokes, sex jokes and fart and poop stuff and lots of physical comedy too. I can understand that not everyone will like this kind of humour in a film as it’s a film that does not appeal to all audiences. Hence on a budget of $40 million it only made about twice that much, which is considered a moderate success. I however enjoyed every bit of it, farts and all. 8 outta 10! I will enjoy this film a few times over the next years.

Blog Post From A Pet Dog

Yesterday, your pet/baby/inanimate object could read your post. Today, they can write back (thanks for the suggestion, lifelessons!). Write a post from their point of view (or just pick any non-verbal creature/object).

Ok to keep it simple, I’m going to choose just the pet, a dog, for the “something” that can write back and communicate back to us. So this post, from the next paragraph onwards is from the point of view of a loving dog, just a dog in general and not a particular dog!

Dear hooman, thanks to this new found ability to write back to you in language that is clearly understandable to you, I am going to tell you a few things. I hope you know that the day you came to pick me out, from a litter of 9 of my brothers & sisters (who were all equally good & cute and adorable) was the proudest achievement of my life. I don’t know what made you pick me (perhaps I gave you the ole puppy eyes) but chose me you did and I am so happy that you did. Although I miss my doggie mom & doggie dad and all my brothers and sisters, I knew you needed me and I had a job to do. So I was happy to come with you, in a box on the back seat of your car as you drove me to your home. When we reached home I was a bit nervous and scared but you carried me in lovingly and I knew that this was my home too – you had blankets, a dog bed, toys and other goodies for me. I explored and I sniffed and I smelled the placed out – yes, I am home!

I am sorry for all the mess I made as you toilet trained me. It is hard especially when I can’t understand most of what you said. But we worked in out in the end didn’t we? I have stuck to my designated peeing & pooping area and have never strayed from it. Unless you count that morning 2 years ago or that Christmas with your in-laws visiting. That wasn’t exactly my fault. And while we are on the subject, I am truly sorry for territory marking the first Christmas tree that I saw in your house. How was I to know that it was for decoration purposes? But since then I have been a good dog and I have always tried to be clean. Thank you for the back yard and the leaves in the fall – playing in it is one of my favourite pass times. Also thanks for the treats. By the way, you are welcome for the time you used me as the rig bearer for the proposal of my mistress – I’m glad to have helped you too become an official couple. And another big moment was when I was included as your unofficial best man at the wedding. Lovely cake by the way.

I have been with you for a few years and I will be with you till the day that I die. Thank you for loving me, you & the Mrs. mean the world to me. I will gladly stay awake throughout much of each night to keep a watchful eye for things while my family sleeps. But that means that I will be sleepy during the day, especially in the afternoon. But if you want to go for a walk or play fetch the ball – just say the word and I will be there. I miss you when you are at work so hurry home.

P.S – thanks for sneaking me that big slice of pizza! I love cheese even though it makes me fart!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Burger King Launches In India This Sunday

US based global hambuger/fast food restaurant chain giants Burger King will be launching in India this Sunday (9-11-2014) when they opens their doors at noon , on November 9 at New Delhi’s Select City Walk mall. And they found the most original way to launch by cashing in on three crazes of young India – pre-ordering, online shopping and fast food – by having some customers order their burgers, fries and drink via ebay. 1,200 Indians have already pre-ordered the chicken, mutton or veg versions of its signature Whopper sandwich for 128 rupees (just over $2) each. Just like other fast food chains, beef is not on the menu!

According to eBay, 540 chicken, 380 mutton and 240 vegetarian ‘Whoppers’ have been sold. Burger King India on Thursday said that there will be a separate queue for customers who ordered their burgers online through eBay. Florida based Burger King is the world’s second largest burger chain, after McDonald’s, with over 13,000 stores in 79 countries but is making a late entry into India where rivals like McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Subway are already well entrenched (atleast in major cities). For instance, category rival McDonald’s has been in India for nearly two decades. Burger King chain plans to have a dozen outlets across the country in the coming months. In keeping with religious sentiments of India’s majority Hindus, beef is off the menu and so is pork which is shunned by Muslims (damn it). Like its rivals, Burger King will Indianize its menu to include items like Paneer King Melt, its sandwich filled with local cottage cheese.

After Delhi, Mumbai will be up next and you can be sure that Bangalore, Chennai, Calcutta and Hyderabad will be on the radar in the coming months. Their plan is to to open a few hundred stores here over the next ten years. I hope my city is on the list sooner rather than later. And though I can understand “no beef” why not offer pork / bacon as an option? Don’t eat it if you don’t want to!

If Only They Could Talk

Someone or something you can’t communicate with through writing (a baby, a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for one day only. What do you tell them?

Hello computer, display all data that I ask for? So who wouldn’t like the kind of computer that you see on Star Trek (especially TNG & Voyager) enhanced ofcourse with larger screens, colour and most importantly our interwebs! And ofcourse if it had the power and capabilities of those computers. That would  be awesome. But other than that, what other someone or something would I choose to communicate with that just for today.

Animals. I don’t have a pet currently but I have had pets and I wish I could have properly communicated with them. I know they understand some things but you know properly understand the words that you say. Like “don’t poop or pee here, just tell me or come to me when you need to go and I’ll let you out”. Or “don’t eat that, don’t sit here or don’t drink outta the toilet bowl or be careful those things are dangerous and do not run out on the streets as a vehicle can hit you and you’d get hurt bad. Or stop chasing that cat/bird and come here I want a hug” or “are you ill, tell me if you are feeling better or where does it hurt?” You could explain things to them so that they stay safe and healthy and live hurt free for a long time. You want them to be safe and happy.

Other than pets and computers I guess historical buildings and places could communicate with us and tell us exactly what happened and in some instances confirms what happened or rectify the distorted details and tell us what actually took place all those centuries ago. We could find ourselves having to rethink a lot of things about humanity that way because I’m there has been a lot of embellishment of the “facts” that are there in certain books (know what I’m saying) and extra-ordinary claims about extra-ordinary things. Hmm, yeah that oughta be good!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.