1986

What was your life like when you were ten years old?

Let’s 10 years old means August 2, 1986 to August 1, 1987. I was still living in Kuwait with dad and mom when I turned 10. That would be my final year living in that country before we moved to India for good. I had joined a new school, New Indian School, for the 5th grade and that was a different experience too. Because classes started at 12 pm and ended at 6 pm. Plus they segregated the girls and the boys – the girls came at 6am and were never in the same classes as the guys.

That was weird especially since I came from Carmel school for grades KG till the 4th grade where girls were a majority. In fact in the 4th grade, it was 6 boys versus 40 girls or something like that. From that to just other boys in the class was a bit strange but at that age, none of us cared. We talked about….stuff that boys at the age of 10 talk about (so far back that I can’t remember) and our fav tv shows and sports. The World Cup in Mexico was in 1986 and we were all mesmerized by Diego Maradonna.

I watched my fav cartoons and tv shows. I played football with my friends. At my building I would play board games and video games with my friends who lived there. We bought candy and soft drinks and collected comics. All the things a 10 year should be doing. Those were simpler and happier times.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF JULY WRITING PROMPTS at The SitsGirls

9 Things That I Despise

9 things you just can’t handle {gross things like ugly toes etc etc}

  1. Use of loudspeakers (especially religious and political stuff)
  2. Aviyal – which is a vegetarian dish that reminds me of puke
  3. Cockroaches – I see one I have to kill it
  4. Too much body hair, including mine. Shave that shit off!
  5. People being fake
  6. People being way too full of themselves. Self confidence is fine, but you aren’t that special
  7. Rap & hip-hop music
  8. Devotional songs – god is great and we are shit!
  9. Working overtime without getting paid for it

Prompt from Sweet Ideas : 50 Things To Blog About at FatMumSlim

Mid-Week Break – Diwali Holiday

So I had yesterday, off as it was being the day that the corporate HR selected as being Diwali for the state of Kerala. In most of the other states that the company has offices, the holiday is today – Thursday. Why is it different for Kerala? Who knows but what is important is that it is a mid-week day off which is great. Two days working, 1 day off then 2 more days of working before the weekend.

And I need this. My brain is ok but my body is not. I have a sprained back or rather side of my back and it hurts when I get up from bed. This has been going on for a few days now. Oddly enough it doesn’t hurt when I am sitting or standing but when I lie down and stretch and also when I get up from lying down. I woke up today and I am tired body and soul.

I woke up late yesterday and did not want to do much at all. I planned to go out for some dinner, maybe a pizza, but as my folks and aunt were going out to my sister’s place and having dinner there, I thought it was a good evening to stay in, order some fried chicken and drink a couple of vodkas. I needed that but I am still tired and hurting a bit.

The Tragically Hip & An Indian

I first heard about the Tragically Hip back in 2001. I was online in an internet cafe and chatting with a couple of Canadians about this and that. I do not remember either of them but I do remember that both of them suggested that I listen to The Hip. Now, the band hadn’t penetrated the Indian rock music crowd and hence I had never heard of them before that day. I remember one of these sites where you download limited individual mp3s from various bands so I checked out a few. And I played the song Ahead By A Century.

That was my introduction to The Hip, the voice of Gordon Downie who was like no other. My fav songs of band also includes Wheat Kings, Bobcageon, Courage, 38 Years Old, New Orleans and Problem Bears. He was a poet and a lyrical genius. He didn’t sing like most people did; it was like he was pouring emotions out instead – lamenting, screaming, thoughtful, sarcastically and otherwise. He could go softer like in Wheat Kings or Bobcageon. He was an activist and spokesperson for the indigenous people of Canada and for the environment. And he touched people with his music.

Goodbye Gord! We will keep listening to your music until our time is done. Peace.

RIP Gordon Downie

Canadian rock musician, writer, and occasional actor Gord Downie, who was the lead singer and lyricist for the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, passed away last night after a more than year-long battle with brain cancer. Canada mourns the loss of one of its most celebrated musicians, and the industry is undoubtedly poorer without him here. But before he passed Downie had the rare privilege to make peace with the inevitable and to wish the nation, and his millions of fans, goodbye. He undertook a sprawling farewell tour across Canada in the summer of 2016 that will be remembered as among the most important to grace the nation — an extraordinary gift bequeathed by a dying man to those who adored him.

Downie was born in the small town of Amherstview, Ontario, in the early months of 1964. He attended high school in nearby Kingston, where he was the lead singer of a punk-rock group called The Slinks. Downie’s classmates, Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker, had a band of their own at the time, called The Rodents, and the three admired one another’s taste and sound. At a certain point they decided to abandon the nearly obsolete punk scene and form a rock band together. They called it The Tragically Hip.The Hip honed their style in small clubs around the city. By the time they graduated Kingston Collegiate and enrolled in University — Downey elected to study film at Queens — their live show, consisting mainly of covers of bar-band staples, had become popular enough locally that they were performing nearly every weekend.

With the Hip, he released 14 studio albums, two live albums, one EP, and 54 singles. Nine of their albums have reached No. 1 on the Canadian charts. They have received numerous Canadian music awards, including 16 Juno Awards. He released five solo albums: Coke Machine Glow (2001), Battle of the Nudes (2003), The Grand Bounce (2010), And the Conquering Sun with The Sadies (2014) and Secret Path (2016).

The Tragically Hip announced on their website on 24 May 2016 that Downie had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. Doctors at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre confirmed the same day that it was a glioblastoma, which had responded favourably to radiation and chemotherapy treatment but was not curable. Downie toured with the band in summer 2016 to support Man Machine Poem, the band’s 14th studio album. The tour’s final concert was held at the Rogers K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ontario on 20 August 2016 and was broadcast and streamed live by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on television, radio and internet. It was viewed by an estimated 11.7 million people. His wife, herself a cancer survivour who separated from him a while ago, and he have 4 kids.

You Can Tell A Lie

How Comfortable Are You With Lying?

It depends. Sometimes you lie because it’s the safe thing to do and you want to avoid a long talk, discussion, debate or argument. That’s ok depending on what the thing is – if it’s something that has caused hurt or can cause hurt or worse to anyone, including yourself, then I do not think it is good to lie.

When it’s something much smaller and you just want to be left alone then it’s ok to lie. When someone asks you something that you do not wish to debate or talk about and it’s none of their business then it’s ok to lie. I do it all the time. Because people are nosy and if I want them to stop, rather than saying something rude, I lie so that they will stop asking nosy questions.

Do not lie if it’s gonna cause someone pain and it leads to other stuff that you do not want them or yourself to go through.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Blade Runner

Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. The script was written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples. It is a loose adaptation of the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

Set in a dystopian Los Angeles circa 2019 (just two years away) the story depicts a future in which synthetic humans known as replicants are bioengineered by the powerful Tyrell Corporation to work on off-world colonies.  When a fugitive group of replicants led by Roy Batty (Hauer) escape back to Earth, burnt-out Los Angeles cop Rick Deckard(Ford) reluctantly accepts one last assignment to hunt them down. During his investigations, Deckard meets Rachael (Young), an advanced replicant who causes him to question his mission. The film questions what it means to be human and the quest for life and also thematically enfolding the philosophy of religion and moral implications of human mastery of genetic engineering in the context of classical Greek drama and hubris – and also in a way a take off from Frankenstein.

It shows humans as being less empathetic, cold and impersonal, while the replicants appear to show compassion and concern for one another – the test to find out if one is a replicant is an empathy test, with a number of its questions focused on the treatment of animals. The quest for the rebel replicants to seek out their father,  Eldon Tyrell , in a quest to gain more life than the 4 years that the lifespan for their Nexus 6 has, ends in tragedy – all of the replicants die. Roy Batty, the leader of the rebels demands more life from Tyrell and the latter tells him that it is impossible; the replicant confesses his “sins” to his maker and upon getting praise for his advanced design and accomplishments, he then kisses his maker and kills him.

Then there is Rachel, a replicant who does not know that she is artificial and thinks she is human. Tyrell has her programmed with false memories so she thinks she is a human but later has suspicions and approaches Deckard, who starts to fall in love with her and she reciprocates. Deckard kills two of the rebel replicants and saved by Rachel before one can kill him. After his fight with Roy in the rain at the end of the movie, Deckard leaves to find Rachel and leaves the city apparently to hide out and live with her. I am surprised about Roy – he has no problem in killing the others but he saves Deckard though he attacks him. When the latter is about to fall from the roof, Roy catches him and pulls him up and then dies.

While a commentary on humanity, the film asks you the question : was Deckard a human or replicant? Deckard’s unicorn-dream sequence, inserted into the Director’s Cut and concomitant with Gaff’s parting gift of an origami unicorn, is seen by many as showing that Deckard is a replicant—because Gaff could have accessed Deckard’s implanted memories. The interpretation that Deckard is a replicant is challenged by others who believe the unicorn imagery shows that the characters, whether human or replicant, share the same dreams and recognize their affinity, or that the absence of a decisive answer is crucial to the film’s main theme.

The film was a critical favourite but didn’t make money at the bo – it only made $33.8 million off a $28 million budget but has since become a cult favourite and considered a scifi classic. In the year after its release, the film won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, and in 1993 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. I give it an 8 outta 10!

Movie Theatre Fuel

What three snacks do you always get at the movie theater?

What do you usually get? I always go for the classics – especially since last year (remember, I stopped going to movie theatres from 2005-2016). That’s popcorn and Coke/Pepsi. The popcorn options in Cinepolis and Lulu;s PVR are the same – classic salted, cheese and caramel. I love the flavoured kind so I usually go for either cheese or caramel.

Cinepolis (though they are closed at the moment due to building violations in the mall that they are located in) has a deal with Coke, so when I go there I get Coke. Lulu PVR has Pepsi so I usually get a Pepsi there. There are other soft drinks, cold frappes and coffees too but this what I usually get to drink there and I usually go with the medium size and once in a while I take large.

The third one is obviously candy. Chocolate balls or bars of any kind, though it has been ages since I have bought one in. I would also say that nachos are another option. They offer nachos with dips like salsa and others at these two multiplexes. There are sandwiches and other stuff as well.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR MARCH at The SitsGirls

The Orville : Episodes 3 & 4

It’s been a while but I am finally back to my review of the episodes from The Orville. Episode number 3 is one of my fav scifi episodes of all time. It is just wonderful the way they spun the story.

When Dr. Finn refuses Bortus and Klyden’s request to have their daughter undergo sex reassignment surgery, which is standard practice for Moclans on the very rare occasions when a female is born, the parents petition Mercer to order the procedure. Mercer refuses, as he (and the rest of the crew) object to performing such a procedure on a healthy infant, so Bortus and Klyden arrange to have the procedure performed on a Moclan vessel. Gordon and John change Bortus’s mind by showing him Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but Klyden still wants to proceed, revealing that he was born female.

The case is arbitrated on the Moclan planet, Moclus, where Grayson represents Bortus; she casts doubt on the idea of male superiority by demonstrating that Alara is physically strong and Gordon is stupid. Ed locates a female Moclan of advanced years, Heveena, who testifies that she lived a happy and fulfilling life in seclusion, and reveals that under the pseudonym “Gondus Elden”, she has become an esteemed novelist on Moclus. But Klyden and the tribunal are unconvinced, and the baby undergoes the surgery. Despite their disagreement, Bortus and Klyden are committed to one another and to giving their son, Topa, a good life.

Talk about a deep subject in the midst of the comedy. This is scifi tv at it’s best, using a futuristic setting to talk about humanity’s issues which are happening now and have happened before and will probably still continue. The way it ended, sad for me, was brilliant – if the Moclan had come to the decision to not have the baby undergo the sex change operation to turn it into a male, it would have been cheesy and predictable. The ending was touching and realistic. Very good writing. This episode is a perfect 10 for me, considering that the show is basically a spoof.

The Orville encounters a huge, 2000-year-old derelict ship drifting into a star. Mercer, Grayson, Kitan, Finn, and Isaac enter, discovering an artificial biosphere and a civilization of 3 million who worship an entity called Dorahl, and do not know they are on a ship. Grayson is held prisoner by their theocratic dictator Hamelac, who imposes a death penalty on “Reformers” who believe anything exists beyond the known world. While Bortus takes the Orville to save a colony ship from a Krill attack, Grayson’s crewmates rescue her and lead a group of Reformers to the alien ship’s bridge.

An ancient recording from Captain Jahavus Dorahl (a surprise cameo by Liam Nesson) reveals that it was a generation ship disabled by an ion storm. Isaac initiates repairs and opens the hull’s window, enabling the populace to see stars for the first time, moving even Hamelac. Mercer makes arrangements for the Union to train the people to operate their ship. Meanwhile, Klyden is frustrated that Bortus’s duties leave him little time for family.

This type of storyline has been done before in Star Trek yet the context is still done well. No doubt a dig at totalitarian regimes, religious dogma and societies unwilling to change, this is also Scifi at it’s best. And they kept the comedy to a lesser degree in an episode in which Alara is seriously injured and in which Kelly is captured and tortured. The Liam Neeson appareance threw up for a loop. Expecting more such surprises and oh we are getting a hot super star in the next episode. A 7 outta 10 for me.

Watford 2 Arsenal 1

Arsene Wenger bemoaned a “scandalous decision” to award Watford a penalty as Arsenal squandered a lead to lose 2-1 in injury time at Vicarage Road. The Gunners led through Per Mertesacker’s header but the Hornets equalised when Troy Deeney converted from the spot after Hector Bellerin was adjudged to have fouled Richarlison. Substitute Deeney’s strike with 19 minutes left set the scene for a stirring Watford finish, with Tom Cleverley converting in the closing seconds to send Watford fourth. “I would say it was not a penalty,” said Arsenal manager Wenger. “It came at a moment in the game where it was absolutely important for Watford. No penalty, no goal.”

Silva’s side have now scored in the 90th minute or beyond in three consecutive games, as a second-half revival sealed their first home win of an impressive start to the campaign. Without the rested Alexis Sanchez the Gunners lacked the cutting edge to capitalise on a string of chances, with substitute Mesut Ozil – also benched after his World Cup qualifying exertions for Germany in the week – guilty of one glaring miss. While Wenger complained about the penalty, Arsenal fans might be more concerned with the evidence that their side remain so defensively vulnerable. Granted they had to ask injury-troubled elder statesman Mertesacker to replace his sidelined compatriot Shkodran Mustafi, but that was not solely to blame.

For 45 minutes at least the 33-year-old German was commanding on his first top-flight start since April 2016. But worryingly for Arsenal in this contest, they faced only three shots on target and conceded twice. Wenger had readied Jack Wilshire from the bench but brought on another defender, Rob Holding, to cling onto a point. It wasn’t enough. Not for the first time his defence switched off under pressure, leaving Cleverley unmarked to smash in the late heart-breaker. Injuries can’t be helped. Organisation and remaining calm under pressure are another thing.

Sex And A Young Boy Named Roshan

How Did You Learn About Sex?

I will be honest. I learned about sex and the female form when I was 12 years old. A guy who joined my school and my class in 7th grade and who was about a year older than me and most of my other friends, showed us how to smoke and while we were smoking during the recess period, he also showed us a nudie magazine that he had brought to school with him.

That was the first time that I can ever remember ever seeing images of a woman naked. This was new territory for me to explore. I learned about the wonderful world of breasts and asses and sexy looking women with their vaginas on display. This was exciting and what was that weird feeling growing hard between my legs? A few of us ogled over the images and discussed what we saw and knew (which was very little) and in our minds we dreamed. I would never look at women the same way again.

This would lead to me watching my first few soft porn films with some friends and also getting my first nude film. This was pre-internet ofcourse so it was hard to sneak it in. But yeah the fascnination still continues to this day all these years later.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Bedtime Rituals

What does bedtime look like at your house?

Bedtime is usually between 11pm and midnight in my place. My parents will try and stay up till midnight if they can and find some program on tv that they can watch until sleep is too hard to fight against. Mom wakes up by 6 am so she doesn’t plan to stay up beyond midnight. Dad too wake up by 6:30 am or 7 so he too sleeps by 11.

We all have our little routines; mom makes sure everything in the kitchen is closed or in the fridge or in the cupboards before she switches off the lights. Dad gets his thick sheets and special mattress which is good for his back and locks the door to the balcony before he turns in. I make sure that I take a leak and get my bottle of water filled from the kitchen before I retire back to my room.

I always like to watch some tv show or movie before I go to sleep. When I do an evening shift – like a 5:30 pm to 2:30 am or a 6:30 pm to 3:30 am – then after I reach home and get into my room, change my clothes (or rather, strip naked as I sleep in the nude) and get in between the sheets, I usually like to watch a couple of episode of a comedy show. Frasier is what I am watch now and as I am going to be done soon, I will probably watch Friends or Corner Gas next. And then it’s off to sleep!

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF OCTOBER WRITING PROMPTS from at The SitsGirls

Roshie Tells You To Relax!

Does Your Life Leave You Enough Time to Relax?

I guess I do get enough time. Like for example I plan to do nothing all weekend but sit back and relax. I got some snacks and I will ofcourse have lots of coffee. Perhaps a little vodka with Sprite might be in the works.

I will watch and catch up on new shows that have had their latest season’s 1st or 2nd episodes released in the last week or two. I may have not have even noticed that they were out and hence I missed them.

Other than that, I plan to listen to some music and sleep as much as I can. I will watch a movie or two. I will blog and I will watch Youtube videos. I will lie back in bed. I will relax.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Food Review #191

The Chicken Maharaja Junior Mac – the single patty version of the Chicken Maharaja Mac – is nice flame grilled chicken patty with the usual sauces, jalepenos, cheese and onions. The chicken wings or McWings are pretty good too. Both are an 8 outta 10!