Dream World

I think what the world needs to focus on in this century is eradicating poverty, homelessness, hunger, disease, thirst and pain. Imagine if we could spend all that unnecessary money that is spent on war efforts and armies and weapons and drones and ammo on things that matter. How about killing off all the illnesses that plagues us right now? What about people who can barely have a single meal in a day, forget about three square meals a day? How many people are living on the streets, under the bridge and in makeshift shelters and inadequate housing? And now the animals that we love, like cats and dogs that could use some food, homes and medical care.

I think we have enough money and resources to feed the world and create more opportunities to create more food, drink, housing, medicine and even comfort for every human on this planet. And if every family keeps atleast one dog and a cat as pets and provide them with comfortable homes that would be great. And let’s clean up our mess – the roads, the towns, the villages and cities and the sidewalks and the surrounding areas. Let’s make it a great place to live in. So picture this – you are riding on a very low maintenance & almost pollution free vehicle and passing the homes to your left and you see big, comfy homes with green grass on the front & the back, good furniture, good beds good rooms and plenty of food and drink for the occupying families. Dad, moms, kids playing ball with the family dog or dogs while the family cats sit on the side, half asleep.

You pass by bridges with no one living underneath it, no homeless on the street and no one begging because – well they are in offices or in their nice homes eating lunch with their family and/or friends and drinking nice clean water and/or other drinks and sitting comfortably on good furniture and then at night they sleep in comfortable beds warm and cozy. No one gets ill or if they do it’s as easy as taking a small shot to get rid of it. No one dies early or in pain and no one suffers. We get along with each other and no one cares if you think differently than they do. What a world to live in.

The Return Of A Favourite Watering Hole

So after all the hullabaloo and the closing down of several bars in the state, wanting to close down the beverage cos that the government itself had opened to sever the tipplers of Kerala, one section wanting to close down of the remaining bars and the threat that the banning of all alcoholic beverages might become a soon threat, things have slowly settled down and the drinkers in Kerala have either curbed down their drinking or still continued as if nothing happened. As for me, considering the fact that I haven’t been drinking for over 1.5 years anyway (except for 5 occasions) my drinking has undergone some change.

For one, I have only gone out to a bar twice to drink and both times I stopped at one beer each. The price of everything has gone up (due to the stupid government increasing the tax for said alcoholic beverages) and hence it isn’t very appealing to me. Also the bar that I went to on both occasions tends to price their wares much higher to keep out the riffraff. Last weekend I had a party that I attended and we drank a lot of beer and the rates were reasonable anyway. I will soon have drinks a little more frequent than usual and start getting some vodka, which I miss a lot, and enjoy a few drinks with friends and relatives.

I also learned last evening that one of my favourite bars, Velocity, which had to close down last year as they lost their license for not being a 3 star hotel rating has reopened – yes -as a bar & wine parlour which they were able to get the license for. The hotel that they are attached to isn’t that great but their food is ok and it is a great place to relax in. So my cousin and I will try and go there very soon and I will post some pics and blog about it as well.

One Close Call

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure the post includes this sentence: “I thought we’d never come back from that one.”

“I looked up from my book that I was reading at the bus stop to see if the bus towards Willington Street had come and yes – there it was pulling up to the curb. I picked up my bag, put my book inside it and walked up to the door and climbed in. I looked for a free seat somewhere towards the middle of the bus, which is usually where I prefer to sit when I am traveling in a bus. The bus was only bout 1/4th full and so there were plenty of free seats for me to choose from and yes, some in the middle section. I chose one next to the window and sat down, picking up my book from the shoulder bag and started to read once again as the bus left the station.

By the time we passed two stops down the road, the bus began to shake violently as if there was a problem with the engine. Everyone of the passengers were rattled by the shaking but I think most of thought it would pass without incident and that we would continue on our way back in peace. And yes it did stop and the bus started riding smoothly in a couple of minutes. We all went back to whatever we were doing before the rude interruption – me to my book, some to their laptops or mobile devices others to their newspapers or talking to their companion. However it started up again – and this time the shaking of the bus picked up intensity as we were coming down a steep hill! Things wouldn’t go too wrong, would they?

It did, the bus started weaving and swerving as the driver lost control of the wheel and it looked like we were going to crash against another vehicle or hit people on the road or maybe even hit the wall of a building once we reached the ground level. Several of us lost our seating and some fell down on to the floor of the bus as we jerked in our seats. Screams were heard and one young child even cried as it’s mother tried to pacify it. We almost crashed against a large truck but at that time the engine failed and we rolled to a stop as the driver regained control of the bus and stepped on the brakes. It was almost pindrop silence as the bus finally stopped near the side of the road, 2 feet away from a large drop into a ravine. That was close. I thought we’d never come back from that one and I was sure that we’d fall into the ravine or crash badly and perhaps I and some of my passengers and the driver would die in that bus. But we didn’t and we survived in one piece.”

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Undo

If you could un-invent something, what would it be? Discuss why, potential repercussions, or a possible alternative.

Religion! All of them shitty little immature fucking ones. Which is almost all of it. Get rid of the clergy and them holier-than-thou morons and fuckwads. Get rid of centuries of torture, war, strife, people taking advantage of people and lots of money being wasted on imaginary beings.

Just imagine the destruction we could have avoided and the scientific & technological advances we could had if those shitty religions hadn’t held us back. We would surely be exploring some of the galaxy by now and by that I mean common man actually going into space and more people walking on alien surfaces. Who knows, we could be colonizing planets by now! And meeting alien races from other solar systems and making friends with them.

And not to mention cured diseases, gotten rid of hunger & thirst and most diseases. Also housing for all the homeless.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Five For Life

You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?

  1. Pizza
  2. tandoori chicken
  3. pork sandwiches
  4. shawarma
  5. bacon

It isn’t easy to pick just 5 of them but I guess I will be happy with this list and if I can only choose from them then so be it. So go on then, exile me to a private island.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Arsenal 2 Middlesbrough 0

FA Cup holders Arsenal produced an assured display to reach the quarter-finals and end Middlesbrough’s impressive run in the competition. Striker Olivier Giroud scored twice within two first-half minutes to wrap up the win for the Gunners, who in reality should have had another 2 or 3 more goals for the domination they showed. Gabriel Paulista makes Arsenal debut in a match that saw Giroud score his 9th & 10 goals this injury layoff marred season. Santi Cazorla split the away side’s defence with a through ball for Kieran Gibbs, who squared for Olivier Giroud to steer home the opener. Giroud added a second with a delightful volley at Boro’s near post after slack defending from a corner. Spanish striker Kike headed against the post late on but Boro created little.

Arsenal, who ended a nine-year trophy drought by winning the FA Cup last season, move into the draw for the last eight as one of five Premier League teams, with League One Preston hosting Manchester United on Monday evening. New Gunners signing Gabriel Paulista made his debut at centre-back but had little to do as the home side dominated. Albert Adomah’s shot, Middlesbrough’s first on target, was comfortably saved by Wojciech Szczesny in the 39th minute. Cazorla and Gibbs combined for the opener, setting up Giroud whose first-time strike with his left foot went under Meijas. Just two minutes later Giroud doubled his tally with a beautifully controlled volley at the near post after defender George Friend allowed the Frenchman to escape at Alexis Sanchez’s corner.

Middlesbrough managed to shore up their defence in the second half but they remained toothless in attack. Kike’s injury-time header was the only time they threatened to score. And they would have been more heavily beaten had it not been for goalie Mejias, who produced some fine saves.

RIP Steve Montador

I Former NHL player Steven Montador was found dead inside his Mississauga home early Sunday morning, according to Peel Regional Police. Police said a female friend woke up at 2 a.m. to find Montador deceased. She contacted police and he was pronounced dead just after 2:30 a.m. at his residence. “Foul play is not suspected, pending the outcome of an autopsy,” said Const. Fiona Thivierge, a Peel police spokesperson. At this time, Thivierge said, the incident is being treated as a sudden death investigation, not a criminal investigation.

Born in Vancouver, the 35-year-old began his NHL career with the Calgary Flames in 2001-02. He went on to play defence for a number of NHL teams including the Carolina Panthers, Boston Bruins, Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks. He last played in the NHL during 2011-12 season for Chicago and suffered a season-ending concussion. He went on to play for the American Hockey League’s Rockford Icedogs the next year before moving to the Kontinental Hockey League for the 2013-14 season. On June 28, 2013, the Blackhawks announced Montador would be bought out making him a free agent during the off season.

He won the 2000–01 AHL Calder Cup with the Saint John Flames. In 10 NHL seasons, Montador compiled 33 goals and 98 assists for 131 points and 807 penalty minutes.

RIP Steve Montador (December 21, 1979 – February 15, 2015)

Rio

I must admit that I do tend to avoid animated films at times (I dunno why, I end u liking them a lot when I do eventually see them) and this one was no exception. 2011’s Rio is an American 3D computer-animated musical adventure-comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Carlos Saldanha.

The film features the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, and Jake T. Austin. The film was also a box office success, grossing over $143 million in the United States and $484 million worldwide. The film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song “Real in Rio”.

Blu is a young Spix Macaw hatchling who was smuggled out of Brazil along with several other birds. In Moose Lake, Minnesota his crate falls off the truck it was being delivered in and is found by a little girl named Linda Gunderson. Linda raises Blu as her pet and keeps him by her side all the time and 15 years later he has a place of honour in the bookstore that she manages. Blu is highly domesticated but unable to fly as he was snatched away at a very young age. One day Brazilian ornithologist Túlio Monteiro comes to the store and invites Linda & Blu to go to Rio de Janerio with him as Blu is the last male of his species and it is imperative that he mates with a female Spix to ensure that the species continues. Linda accepts and they fly to Rio, where Blu meets and befriends a Red-crested Cardinal named Pedro and his Yellow Canary friend Nico. At the aviary Blu meets Jewel a fiercely independent female Spix Macaw who wishes to be free in the wilderness.

At night the bird are captured by Fernando, an orphaned street boy and a tough looking & scarred Cockatoo named Nigel, who are both working for a group of smugglers led by Marcel. Marcel wants to sell the birds on the black market and make a lot of money. Nigel seems to dislike all “pretty birds” as he once was a famous star but his role on a television program had been ruined by one, while Fernando seems to have second thoughts. Blu manages to escape with Jewel and they make their way to the jungle. Fernando meets Linda and Túlio and helps them find the birds, while Blu and Jewel meet Rafael, a Toco Toucan, who offers to take them to his bulldog friend, Luiz, to remove their leg chain. He attempts to teach Blu how to fly, before they meet up with Pedro and Nico.

Nigel hires some marmosets to help capture Blu & Jewel who are taken by Pedro and Nico to a Rio-style dance party, where they perform a duet and begin to fall in love. When the marmosets attempt to capture them, a fight ensues after which the 5 birds escape on a train. Fernando, who has met up with Linda and Túlio, takes them to the smugglers’ hideout, where they discover that the birds have already been moved out. Meanwhile, Blu and the others meet Luiz, who releases the chain holding Blu and Jewel. After the two get into a heated argument, they decide to go their separate ways. Pedro & Nico witness Nigel capturing Jewel and inform Blu & Rafel who rush to the carnival to rescue her. As Linda and Túlio pose as dancers in blue macaw costumes to enter the carnival, Nigel captures Blu and the group.

As Marcel takes the birds in a plane, Blu destroys his cage using a fire extinguisher and releases the other captive birds. However, Nigel attacks the macaws, injuring Jewel. Blu sends Nigel flying into the plane’s engine using the fire extinguisher, causing the plane to fall. Jewel falls out of the plane’s open cargo hatch towards the ocean. Jumping out of the plane to rescue her, Blu finally discovers that he is able to fly and carries her to Linda and Túlio for help. Later, they adopt Fernando and organize a sanctuary to protect the jungle from smugglers. Blu and Jewel eventually raise three children together, and celebrate with their friends. Meanwhile, Nigel (who actually survived the plane accident) is ridiculed for his loss of feathers, and the smugglers are sent to jail.

It’s a fun and feel good film as most of these animated comedy/romantic films are. I like the storyline and the actors did a great job with their voices. 8 outta 10!

Valentine’s Day Family Party

We had a large gathering of my family members last evening. It was paid for by my uncle & aunt who had flew in from the UK and one of their sons. It was held in my dad’s old stomping grounds – or should I say our old stomping grounds – Cochin Suburban Club in Thrikkakara and we had a small hall/conference style room for the evening. The organization was done by a couple of my cousins and my sister.

The evening had a bunch of snacks – from french fries to peanuts to beef fry, fried chicken (which was mostly bones) and delicious cheese omelets & honey fried potatoes. The older folks had whiskey to keep them going but my cousins and I stuck to beer for some reason and I think one too many beers as I have a pounding headache this morning. But it was worth it! I haven’t had much to drink in the last year and a half and it showed.

I had fun meeting a bunch of my cousins, aunts & uncles after such a long time. We had fun and we had a great time. This group pic is of me, my cousins, my dad, my mom, uncles & aunts.

What Things Did You Create When You Were a Child?

What Things Did You Create When You Were a Child?

I really can’t remember much of things I did as a child, I mean other than watch tv and play with my friends. I do remember that I liked to draw a lot. And colour stuff. Yeah, I was a drawer and I filled many, many blank books with my drawings and doodles but that all stopped by the time I was 13-14. Then I started to draw nudes of the hot women I met, imagining what they would look like naked in front of me :D

But yeah I was a kid who drew a lot, I had a bunch of colour pencils and even water colours and stuff but I never took lessons. My mom and a couple of my aunts wanted me to get lessons in an art institute but that wasn’t for me. That would never have appealed to me at that age but I do wish that I took some lessons. I lost interest by the time I became a teenager and just stopped drawing all of a sudden. I dunno why though!

I also remember trying to make some statue stuff thingy. It comes in a powdered form and you have a rubber stuff like a mold and you add the water and the powder inside the mold thingy and allow it to rest and dry out in a warm place for a few hours and when you remove the mold the powder hardens and forms a statue in the shape of the mold. That had disastrous and comical results and created much mess in my room. So yes you could say I created a lot of mess.

Best Invention Since Sliced Bread?

Most of us have heard the saying, “That’s the best thing since sliced bread!” What do you think is actually the best thing since sliced bread?

Hmmm, sliced bread :) Well maybe not the normal bread but I just had a Subway sandwich that had this Parmesan oregano bread roll and man oh man was it delicious.

Well I think that a lot of things that have been invented since then are better than slice bread. Wait – did pizza come before sliced bread? I would think not and then I guess food wise maybe that saying is true. Because just think – if there weren’t any sliced bread, we might have have had any of these awesome sandwiches that we take for granted these days. Oh my lord, the horror! The Horror!

So yeah, go sliced bread. Buy a pack today.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

On My Own, Like Roshan Boy

Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood.

There are quite a few things that does that to me. Tastes, smell, music/songs – movies or tv shows too. I think I have mentioned that one of my earliest tv shows always takes me back to ages 4-7 and the innocence of that age. And that show is Battlestar Galactica and even now listening to that theme music, makes me smile and even tear up a little. Because I want to be that young again and I miss those days of being carefree and happy and having no problems in life and the way that show filled me up with happiness. Same for some other shows like Knight Rider, The A-Team and others of that era but BSG is the only one that I keep watching again.

Some songs too make it easy for me to slip into a trance and go back in time to my childhood. I think I shall share one such song from the 80s.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

What Was I Doing Back In 2000?

Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

Just found a Re. 2 coin from 2000. That was the year I turned 24 – ah, 24. That is a wonderful age to be, right? But for me I was a lost person at the age of 24. Having completed a 6 month course on e-commerce, which took a year to finish because of the institute having financial issues. Once that was done I worked as manager of a small internet cafe for a while, about a year I think,  but it didn’t really give me anything more than pocket money.

That was a tough time. It was an easy going life certainly, no work pressure and no hassles but ofcourse no money to spend on the niceities. No drinking money at all. I am surprised that I stuck with it for a year. My life was going to open the internet cafe at 9am and be there till about 7 or 8 when one of the owners would come and relieve me and I would go back home and watch tv until I fell asleep. I do cherish the memories of that place but overall I think it was a wasteful time for me.

Thinking back I think it was something I just had to go through and I learned some lessons from that time. I wish I had started a serious career back then but I can’t go back in time and change things can I?

Prompt from the Daily Post at Wordpres.com.

Arsenal 2 Leicester City 1

Arsenal moved into the Premier League top four with a win that left bottom club Leicester City five points adrift of safety. Mesut Ozil whipped in a corner for Laurent Koscielny to tap in from close range and later saw a shot saved, allowing Theo Walcott to volley home. But the Foxes rallied as Andrej Kramaric scored a first goal in English football with a low second-half shot. He was also denied late on by keeper David Ospina as the Gunners held on.

Leicester boss Pearson deployed a rarely used back five to frustrate Arsenal and while his side threatened until the final whistle, the Gunners’ quality in the final third – not least from Ozil, who completed 88% of his passes – was telling. The German – making his 50th start – created an early opening for Walcott, saw a poked shot tipped wide and from the resulting corner, delivered for Koscielny to score his third goal of the season. The French defender had ample space to side-foot in, ensuring Pearson’s side remain on just four clean sheets this season – a league low. Alexis Sanchez – back after a hamstring injury – had shots blocked but when Ozil found the target from range, Mark Schwarzer parried and Walcott swept home a crisp first-time volley from 12 yards across the keeper. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger lost substitute Aaron Ramsey to injury after just nine minutes of his introduction as they stuttered through the second period and Kramaric will rue his chance to deliver the point his side’s endeavour arguably deserved.

He squeezed a shot through bodies and low into the net to give Leicester some hope and when sent clear late on by the impressive Riyad Mahrez – who went close four times on the night – could only chip into the hands of Ospina. The win sees Arsenal leapfrog Manchester United into 4th place while Tottenham slips to 6th after their loss to Liverpool.

Goodbye To A Wonderful Lady

Yesterday one of our family friend, who my parents have known since the early 70s and who I have known from the time I was born. Today was the funeral of this wonderful lady who had to suffer so much before her untimely death. She & her husband lived in the apartment opposite my family’s and has seen the birth of my sister as well as mine. I grew up with her kids, who – the daughter is a year older than me and the son is 2 years younger than me – were my close friends until the age of 11. The last time I saw either of them was over 20 years ago, though I think I have been to the girl’s wedding but cannot be sure (which would have been around the age of 25-26).

The last time I met this woman was back in the early 2000 I think, while I was doing a marketing job and I wanted to see her husband about having his business featured on this internet portal that my employers were promoting. I spent about an hour at their house during tea time and talked to them. I haven’t seen either of them since and have not seen this lady suffer through her illness. She lost her eyesight slowly and then her ability to move and even swallow food. She needed to be put on IV to feed her and then later they had to pump food & nutrients straight into her stomach. She stopped recieving people as her  health went from bad to worse and later didn’t want anyone other than her immediate family to be near her.

After years of this state she finally breathed her last as she slept and now she is no longer suffering. Her family and friends will miss her tremendously even though they will be grateful that she no longer is a victim of her illness. She will be remembered and thought of as fondly as she deserves to be. It’s a travesty that good people, nay wonderful people like her, have to go through what she went through. Life is just not fair. She leaves behind her husband, daughter, son and grandchild.