Dec 31, 2012

Scent of Love: My Entry for the Get Published Contest

Every individual, who is passing through the universal experience called Love, feels it differently. Most of the persons, who possess an average level of social intelligence, handle their love or romantic experiences in a very light manner; by taking it as something like an emotion-made plaything. Some take it as a necessity, as a means of rescue from loneliness or rejection. There are persons who love for personal benefits, financial advantages, etc., whereas certain matured ones seek none other than their future life partner in their first love.

But, a last group of lovers interpret their love experiences in a creative way. Love may be a source of artistic inspiration for many of them. They make up fancies around their loved ones. Their five senses contribute largely to their intelligence in weaving imaginations concerning their lovers. And in their imaginations, the backdrop will always be set in cloud nine.

The Theme

Coming to this story, the elements that form parts of it are regarding just one of the senses - the Nose - by which the protagonist experiences and identifies love with different smells. The story travels through the life of the protagonist from the time of his school days to his college days. He had love affairs, and in every affair, his imagination around the person of love interest was centered on certain smells.  His olfactory glands were in full function when he was in love. Certain smells could create memories and virtual presence of persons in whom he had found that divine attraction. Don’t think only smells could make him romantically activated! Even music also was capable enough to transform him into that dreamy youthful romantic guy. But the influence of what he felt through his nose was higher than what he felt through his ears, as far as his experiences with his crushes and lovers were concerned.

This story is about the psychological role of senses in human relationships. Sight is always the dominating sense. But, this story deals with effect of smells in the protagonist’s love life. 

What Makes This Story Real?

This story is largely based on the emotional experiences of the Blogger himself during his fragile and frail periods of adolescence. It is not an imaginary or improbable one. Though the characters do not resemble anyone in the surroundings of the Blogger, certain persons have directly influenced the Blogger in order to act as the primary model for the formation of the characters. Creative persons used to experience nostalgia, so anyone who reads this story will hopefully be unanimous about the nostalgic aspects of the story elements.

This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs fromYashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.


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Note: If you like the theme, and believe that I can weave a good story around it, please go to the below link, and cast your votes by clicking on the heart shape. Your votes may help me to publish this work into a book.

Link for voting: http://www.indiblogger.in/getpublished/idea/381/

Dec 29, 2012

5 Methods to Get Permanent Straight Hair

My hair and hair cutting experiences have become themes for posts in this blog many often. When I was little boy, I had very straight hair, almost golden colored, that used to fall on my forehead, in a disobedient manner. Though my parents and elder sister tried to set my hair with a side divide using a comb, they used to have often failed. So, they ultimately stopped combing my hair.

But while growing up, my hair slightly began to change its inherent nature. My hair used to become wavy, and if I let it grow more than usual for a boy, it displayed very intrinsic and complicated curls. Many often I used to think about the advantages of straight hair, just like the type of hair I had during my childhood days. Often I thought about making my curls straight using modern mechanical means. But, I never had attempted it, by going beyond the innocent day dreams of having straight hair.

Blogger with his curious curls
Smoothening using creams and medicines, straightening, ironing, etc are some of the modern methods to make straight hair out of curls or wavy ones. But, to my best knowledge, none of these methods would give you permanent straight hair. So, I used to think in a crazy manner about the various techniques by which we can possess permanent straight hair. Many of them are brilliant ideas, and so, you can choose the one among the following, which looks the most appropriate for you.

Experience goose-bumps. Have you ever noticed your hair on your body stand straight when you undergo extreme emotions, such as, fear, nostalgia, pleasure, euphoria, etc? Yes! Find the chemical that causes goose-bumps, and inject them to your hair follicles, so that you will always feel goose-bumps, and as a result, permanent straight hair.

Be a child once again. From my own life story, it is clear that, kids used to have straight hair. Going back to your childhood and remain a child forever is one of the best methods to have permanent straight hair.

Have a lifelong bath. When I bath, I used to notice my curls get straightened. Bathing is one of the rare occasions when I see the optimum length of my otherwise entangled, curled up, and knotted hair. So, keeping yourself under the shower lifelong is another method that I recommend to get permanent straight hair.

Blogger trying out his life long bath method 
Manipulate dictionary. This is one of the easiest methods to have permanent STRAIGHT hair. Take your dictionary; expand the meaning of the word 'straight' in your dictionary. Add terms such as,wavy, curly, frizzy, permed, etc as synonyms of the word 'straight'. Also go to the word 'curly' and its synonymous words, and give the word 'straight' as its meaning. Now you can freely tell anyone that you have straight hair. If someone expresses doubt, show your dictionary and you are the ultimate winner.

Goebbelsian Propaganda. This is also another effective method to get permanent straight hair. According to the belief of German Nazi Politician Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, if we repeat a lie thousand times it will become a truth. So, just tell everyone a thousand times that you have straight hair. You can propagate the same lie by sticking posters, by advertising in newspapers and televisions, by recording it in your on sound using a recorder, and by keeping it playing on to people who suspects you; so that they will eventually begin to believe that you are telling the truth, that you have permanent straight hair. 

Dec 27, 2012

How Enrique Inspired Me to Shave Everyday?

(Note: This post is fiction)

I never had a thought about asking my girlfriend regarding the possibility of a guest post in my blog, even though she was good writer, who had won several writing contests from her school days onwards. However, when I invited her attention to this, the girl was a bit hesitant.  

“Isn’t that a too open subject to write upon? Don’t you think so? “, was her first question, when she was shown the topic on which she had to write upon. The theme ’Shave or Crave’ and the description written along with that were capable enough to earn her disinterest to write. But, I will have to tell you that my talkative nature and argumentative abilities finally had won in changing her timid mindset into writing something for my blog.

But, she was not ready to take the pain of thinking in line with the theme and writing accordingly. Instead of that, she pulled out from her bag a thick book. I had seen her carrying that book with a blue cover and a red book-mark many often, but never had asked her about it. She introduced me this as her personal diary, and said, “honey, don’t open this now! Go home, open it and see what I had written on July 7th last year.“ 

The date she mentioned had some surprising effect in me. It was on this date, that we left our three days life together at a resort in Kodaikkanal. I tried to recollect what we had talked on those days. My strong memory power, which I am really boastful of, didn’t come to my rescue in making me remember our stubble and shave related talks. I went home and opened the diary and looked for her entry written on 7th July 2011. I can reproduce below what she had written:

7th July
Kodaikanal

“I am really happy that he understands me and my concerns pretty well. I feel very comfortable since he takes care of me in a very elderly responsible manner. Though I was a bit apprehensive about a pre-marital relationship like our wonderful three days, now I am really really happy that I have made a good choice regarding the person with whom I will have to live the whole life.

He claims his whiskers and mustache are too growth-less and thin to consider for regular shave. So, I had seen him wearing the goat-beard like whiskers for weeks without shaving. He thinks no one is cared about it. But, why did not he understand the irritation felt by a girl who is forced to be in contact with it every moment, especially since he is a person who is crazy about PDA?

My trick to make him shave once in every day has seen some results. I said him he looks like Enrique Iglesias a lot, especially after a total shave. I know he is a great fan of Enrique and his music, just like me.  After that, I noticed that he was keen on shaving everyday and that saved me from the irritation of his evening stubble during our life in Kodaikanal".

This post is a part of the 'Shave or Crave' movement in association with BlogAdda.com

Dec 22, 2012

What is Special with Black Dog Centenary?


"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea."

This is how one of the founders of Romanticism, S T Coleridge started his poetry, titled Kubla Khan, which is often regarded as one of the best examples of Romantic poetry. Coleridge was under the after effects of opium, when he had a vision, and he immediately started to write, so as to produce such a miraculous work called Kubla Khan.

Why I am telling this story? Because, Right now, what makes me write is the effect of a favorite Scotch Whiskey, Black Dog. Hence, point number one is that the Black Dog Scotch Whiskey can stir up the creativity in people.

So, that was the joke with which I wanted to open this article. But, still the topic is the same, and Black Dog has still that significance. Recently, I was gifted a bottle of a Black Dog Scotch Whiskey, by a team called Ginger Claps. Needless to say, just one sip of it made me fall in love with its aroma and taste. This special blend, which is a product of United Spirits Breweries has become my favorite drink. 

I will need to tell you a little bit of history behind the inception of this unique whiskey. The birth of Black Dog Scotch took place over 125 years ago when James MacKinlay of the second generation of the Leith Scotch Whiskey blending family launched the masterful whiskey by the name of Millard Black Dog. It is said that in the year 1883 Walter Millard, a Scot from the British East India Company came searching for the perfect Scotch and eventually discovered the great taste of this whiskey in these misty shores of Scotland. It is said that, Walter Millard named the whiskey Black Dog Scotch, in honour of his favourite salmon fishing fly used in the Spey and Tay rivers of Scotland since he was very fond of angling. 

Black Dog Scotch comes in four variants, namely, Centenary, De Luxe, Reserve, and Quintessence. I am going to reveal my experiences with Centenary. When talking about the Centenary variant, it has to be noted that this variant is blended to perfection with a multitude of malt spirits chosen from the various regions of Scotland. Black Dog Centenary is a rich and rare premium blended Scotch whiskey loaded with exceptional characters. Its particulars are as following.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Amber with golden highlights.

Blogger with Black Dog Centenary
Aroma: Matured wood, toasted malt, mild honey sweetness, delicate butterscotch bordering on cream, with floral nuances that emerges at the end.

Palate: Robust body, pronounced rich malt and oak and sherry sweetness, spreads warmly in the mouth like silent sea waves.

Finish: Balanced, long, intense and bright.

On a personal level, I found the smell of Black Dog something extra ordinary. It is very different from common whiskey products. As we smell it, our olfactory glands will prompt us to sense its smell more and more. That was a very unique experience comparing to my previous experiences with other brands of whiskeys. 

The taste is not going to burn you down, quite unlike other whiskey products. It will give you a soothing effect, and you will be having the same control over your nerves even after four or five pegs of it. But still you will be ’high’. How is it possible? Just taste it! You will know! And you will be an admirer of Black Dog Scotch Whiskey after that just like how I became one.

(Note: This is a sponsored post)

Dec 16, 2012

Spending with Bloggers, a Winey Evening

One thing that worried me much during my five years long blogging life was the absence of networking platforms for bloggers in Kerala. Bloggers who opt to write in Malayalam language have a huge fine-bound network here, but the bloggers who prefer a foreign language to express their ideas are very timid here in networking comparing to the other group.

But recently I have been invited along with a few Cochin bloggers for a meet, and you know, it wasn't a usual Blogger get-together, but was a wine tasting event, that too only for bloggers. The event was sponsored by Four Seasons group, and was organized by Ginger Claps, a social media marketing company. 

The event was hosted by Mr. Amit Chavan, who surprised us with his knowledge in wines, its varieties, history, uses, and all. Wine can be classified in many ways in different varieties. Based on its color, wines are prepared in red, rose and white variants. A different classification categorizes wines into still, sparkling and fortified. Wine can be dry, medium or sweet, according to a third classification.

There is something called Responsible Consumption, when the alcoholic attribute of wines is taken into consideration. World Health Organization sets some standards for men and women regarding wine consumption. The prescribed amount of wine consumption varies for men and women.  310 ml is suggested for men, while 230 ml is prescribed for women. This means, roughly 3 glasses and 2 glasses for men and women respectively.

Looking back to the history, previously wine production was prominent in Europe, (especially France) and some parts of Mediterranean, and hence the production from these areas is called Old World Wine. In contrast with this, the New World Wine refers to the production in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States, where wine production relatively claims very short history. 

Don’t think we were sitting all the time listening to Amit’s speech on wine varieties and the way we need to taste wine. Initially 'Chenin Blanc’, the white wine variety was served, and the way he demonstrated sipping it was funny. We were asked to create a smacking sound using our lips after taking the first sip. I don’t think any of the bloggers was successful in creating that sound. Red wine was served next. It was too unique with its peculiar name 'Shiraz’, but the taste of it did not come out as good as we expected. Many felt that white wine was better in taste than the red one, quite reverse to the impression we had in our mind automatically formed based on their colours. 

It was a great opportunity for me to meet and spend quality time with some of the heard and unheard Cochin bloggers. Time passed quickly with Nevin, Shrijith, Ousu, Santhosh, Jamie, Liz, Shalet, Anisha, Brian, Debs and others, in the chic ambiance of the AVA Lounge of Hotel Dream in Cochin. We all had some wonderful memorable moments getting to know each other and sharing the individual blogging habits. Never knew that Cochin has such a wonderful pack of creative bloggers. Before leaving, Amit gifted each of us a bottle of Four Season’s white wine variety, Chenin Blanc. Now, that is what I have to preserve for the coming Christmas.

Thank You Ginger Claps for organizing such a wonderful event!!

Nov 30, 2012

A Brotherly Influence

After a somewhat moderately long period of total forgetfulness, the memories about him struck me again. He had a great influence on my life so far, on the way I think and on the way I behave. I will not introduce him to you as my role model, or anything of that glorified sort. But, it is true that he had a unique charming method to attract anyone to his charisma. Everyone who met him became his friend or follower the next day, because of his conversational abilities with which he used to attain the leadership of any group that he happened to became a member.

I know I have told you enough about my Trivandrum life. This blog had its origin during my time there. But stories about him I hadn't written, of which the reason I am also unaware of. He was living next to my room at a place; a place, which was very rural, but close to some business areas, where he was doing a job, and I had just initiated my career. Though, at first he was slightly indifferent to me, partially owing to the simpleton image I used to create in everyone’s mind, he even apologized for underestimating me, later when he found me as a capable one.

We became friends despite of the difference in our ages. Even though he had a great superiority over me in experience, and knowledge, he took me as his trustworthy, and treated me equally. We pretended several times as brothers, both in public and in private; and enacted scenes in a very sincere manner as if we were family members. I don't deny that he used to exploit such occasions to put commands on my head, supported by the elder brother role he played. 

Some days we together went to a bar in the city at night times. We traveled on bus leaving our vehicles at our apartment. His sense of taste in liqueurs was commendable. We used to occupy a table positioned at the centre of the bar and spoke each other joyfully and playfully in the spirit of the drink that we consumed. We used to have fried fish as accompaniment, encouraged by his knowledge in cocktail accompaniments. It was in his presence and with his encouragement, I learned to shed my inhibition and started to speak to everyone.

He used to share with me about his business plans, and about the plans that he had in my mind regarding his dream home. He drove with me on weekends to some different places located close to the city, where he had bought some acres of land in order to do merchandising. Last time when I saw him before leaving Trivandrum, he was in the process of achieving his dreams one by one.

Oct 25, 2012

Elementary Lessons in Politics

I had my first lessons in Politics at some point in the highly-prone-to-learning days of my (probably everyone’s) life. It happened when I was living the life of a primary school kid – a little bigger than a toddler – who used to undertake that universal journey from home to school and back every day, wearing knickers and backpacks, and carrying a water bottle, in search of knowledge and experiences, though unwillingly, but in some days enthusiastically, and in some other days being pushed, pulled, pinched and dragged by his furious, yet responsible elder sister.


This is the story of my third standard. I guess learning was not happening as fast as the same is being happened among the present, highly sophisticated young generation. Politics was never heard of. But we were outgrown enough to learn longer rhymes, bigger stories, more complex alphabets, and more complicated Maths, though were far inferior than today’s kids who learn the language of C and C++ even from the kindergarten level.  


The school was going very smooth. Our class was made of both girls and boys, and in the conservative way, both these crucial segments of humanity were made sit in two different seating rows. That gave each one of us greater freedom to mingle within our own respective segment. Boys became more friends. Similarly girls. I invite your attention to the boys section. Probably I can better tell the stories happened among boys, right? I happened to notice schisms in the tight pack of our friendship. Though was not influential to our daily activities in any way, the boys became parts of two different groups headed by two boys, L and S (the names are kept hidden in order to prevent them from gaining free fame). 

I still don’t understand the reason for this fragmentation. Perhaps the instinctive behavior, which is more transparent among the kids than the matured ones, might have prompted us to show more affinity to the one who looked friendlier from the individual point of view. I was comparatively inactive, as far as this mock politics was concerned, so I happened to live the life of a NAM country (Non Aligned Movement), like India in the international politics during the WWII. Some other boys also were there who lived a groupless life like mine, but we didn’t have a common policy; there we differed from the international policy of the NAM countries.

When I gradually happened to understand the stronger bonds created between the members of each group, I also realized the importance of becoming a part of a group. I knew that I was missing the adventures that the strong members of each group were passing through. I was also not considered for the special gifts and food items each of the group members used to share within the group. I didn’t need a second thought of joining the class politics. My immediate affinity was towards the group headed by L. L and his friends welcomed me to their group happily. 

But after becoming a member of L group also, I was inactive in terms of class politics. I used to keep a healthy relationship with the other group members also. Always L group was stronger in terms of headcount and talent. When my group members noticed my free-mindedness, they decided to keep me as a reserve member. I was not taken seriously in the joint interactions within the group.

Most often the S group remained a one member gang, only sometimes accompanied by one or more accomplices. Quitting a group and joining the other one was very common. I also had a single experience of quitting L group and joining S. It was when L denied a favour to which I asked him, and I immediately joined S group, proving my capability to create changes in politics. Following me, more dissatisfied members from the L group also jumped to the S side, giving hard blows to L group and its leadership. That was the only time, when S group surpassed the L group in terms of headcount. But my alignment with S group remained only for two days, and the third day I rejoined L group. After that L was keen on taking me also seriously, and I also decided to be an active member of L group.

You need to keep in mind that there was not any fight between the groups. No wars, only cold war; that was the situation. By the end of the academic year, S also became a part of L group, and the groups were dismissed afterwards. 

The lessons I learned from the class politics:
  • Everywhere in humanity, there are groups; two of them are most likely to be prominent.
  • Right or Left, you always will have to be part of a group. Having no sides will not take you anywhere.
  • Quit a group and join the other, if you feel that you are being sidelined. That will help you to get acceptance in your home group.
I think these rules are applicable everywhere in Politics.

Oct 7, 2012

Blogger Behind Bars

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 32; the thirty-second edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is 'An Untold Story'
“You promised me that you would tell me a story today!”

“Aha, did I promise something like that? And what story was that? ”

“You said it was an untold story. A story of embarrassment that happened in your life, as you said.”

“Don’t misunderstand me! When I say a story, don’t expect a fiction. Instead of anything dramatic, you can find only the real life narration, and don’t wait for any suspense in the end.”

“It’s okey! By long term affiliation with your posts, I learned to read them without waiting for suspense”

“But you know I am very much ashamed to tell this story. Though this incidence happened some years back during my time at Thiruvananthapuram, I still find it difficult to share. And the second thing that prevents me from telling this story is that people may feel irritated when finding that the incident had nothing awe inspiring.”

“This is your problem. You start with long introduction making people expect something great”

“Ah ok, I am not extending my claptrap. So, here is the suspense. Did I say you that I was jailed for a day?”

“You were jailed? You haven’t told me that. What crime you committed?”

“Apparently I had committed no crime. But I had done something against certain rules imposed by the police during that period to suppress a public agitation”

“Tell me more?”

“Well, I was staying at Trivandrum with two friends on the second floor of a house. At that time, a teenage girl, who was an engineering student committed suicide by jumping from a big residential building in the city. Don’t think that her tragic action was over any failed love relationship. On the contrary, her decision to put a full stop to her life was due to her poor parents’ inability to pay for the huge fee of her engineering studies. As she was coming from a financially backward family, her parents decided to discontinue her studies. She was insulted by the management for several times, for delaying the payment. Distressed by all these thoughts the girl decided to commit suicide, and the way she found to do that was such a terrible one.”

“Oh, that was tragic. But tell me, how did you get arrested in this case? Did you know that girl?”

“No! I did not know that girl. I also came to know about her death through newspapers. Agitated by a poor girl’s death in such a circumstance, many student political organizations, especially the leftist ones called for strikes, and educational institutions had to stop functioning indefinitely. To put an end to this situation, the police declared curfew in the city. Gatherings of three or more students were banned, especially after 9 O clock in the evening”

“Ah, now the picture is getting clear. I think I can guess the events that lead to your imprisonment.”

“Let me complete the story. On that particular night, as usual, we three friends went to sleep in our apartment. I guess I had told you some stories of my smoking experiences. Anyway, at that time I was a smoker, though I quit it a few years before from now. I was unable to sleep that night, and when the time was around mid night, I intensely wanted to smoke. I knew that half a kilometer away, there was a shop which used to function round the clock. I thought about walking till there and buy a pack of cigarettes.”

“And there was this thing called Curfew, right?”

“Yes, but I forgot that. Even if I remembered it, I don’t think I would stop going out. I got up, and I could hear my friends snoring. Without letting them wake, I unbolted the door and went out by keeping the door ajar. I walked to the shop hastily. On reaching the shop, I saw a road side fast food centre was still functioning there. I bought a half packet of cigarettes, and strode back by lighting one of them.”

“On the way back the police caught you right?”

“I walked back slowly, by smoking the cigarette, enjoying the admixture of calmness and darkness. Suddenly, I heard the sound of police jeep crawling behind, like the ugly, calm sound made by a predator when it aims at its prey by creeping behind a hiding. I began to tremble, and I threw away my cigarette, knowing that if they happened to notice it, that could be a reason for them to charge me. Without turning back I walked swiftly, but I heard the sound of the police jeep stopping beside me. An officer stepped out from the front, and questioned me in an arrogant harsh voice,

“Where you are going at this hour?” he asked.

With a trembling low voice I said, “Sir, I was hungry so I thought of eating something at the nearby shop.”

“Ah, you were hungry? And what did you eat?”, he asked.

Remembering the egg omelets being made at the fast food centre, I said “Sir I had one half boiled bull’s-eye egg”

“Bull’s-eye! At this time! Where is your identity card?”, he asked scornfully.

I had none of them with me. He asked me to get into the back side of the jeep. I pleaded him, but he didn't let me go. From the smell of his breathe, I knew that he was drunk. He even raised his knee against my stomach pretending the action of kicking to threaten me. Another officer who was driving the vehicle, calmly asked me to obey him, and he assured me that no harm would be done. I got into the vehicle, and when it took momentum, I threw away the remaining cigarettes with its packet, though I was worried of doing that. Even if the travel was on a police jeep, it was enjoyable. I could see the trees at the road side moving away into more darkness. Finally, the police jeep reached the station. The inspector asked me to remain there.”

“They put you in the prison?”

“No, though initially I told you I was jailed, they hadn’t done that. There was a wooden bench in the front room. They asked me to sit there. They said I can go back only when any of my friends or responsible person comes and produces my identity card. Since it was mid night, they prevented me from calling any one; instead, they asked me to remain in the station.”

“The next day you called your friends?”

“Yeah! When my friends woke up in the morning, they found me missing and the door was half open. They thought for some time, and one of them realized that I could be in the police station only, considering the political situation of that time. And he even guessed the particular station correctly where I could have been taken” 

“Ah, he must be a brilliant one!”

“Meanwhile, I called one of my class mates using the phone at the station, and informed him about my pathetic situation. He initially disbelieved me. But when I kept on telling it, he decided to visit our apartment, before believing me. He reached at my friends, and prior to asking about me, the brilliant roommate informed him that I was caught by police.”

“Oh!”

“For them, it was a funny experience. They both laughed first. Without wasting time, they both came to the station on his bike. You can’t imagine the relief and the humiliation I had on seeing both of them in the morning.” 

“Then what happened?”

“Then what more? I was released and was permitted to go with my friends. They even advised me to not loiter around during such odd hours of the night.”

“That’s it?”

“Yes! I told you! Don’t expect anything dramatic or thrilling at the end. This was how it ended.”

“Oh! I thought you were going to tell me how you helped the police to find something valuable with your one night stay there. Or at least I thought you would reveal me something odd that you noticed at the station.”

“Man, I am not a story teller. I can tell you only real life experiences. If you had thought of me as a suspense writer, you are wrong.”

“Oh you are disappointing me!”

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: The Solitary Writer and Someone is Special, Participation Count: 02

Oct 2, 2012

Santhosh Pandit's Psychology: Idiot or Intelligent?

Santhosh Pandit – Vile, Wicked, or Virtuoso?
Writing about a person like Santhosh Pandit had never occurred to my mind as a serious thought. Seeing him the first time in those viral videos, which were released simultaneously with the wave created by Rebecca Black in YouTube, I too joined the laugh riot ignited by whoever saw them. Frankly, I am of a different opinion regarding Rebecca Black and her infamous Friday lyrics. Perhaps being not native English, I couldn't find any problem with her singing or with the lyrics of her music video that earned her huge notoriety overnight. Instead, I kept on playing the video admiring the young artiste’s beauty time and again, and had even tended to hum her song and to learn the lyrics by heart.

But, the case of Santhosh Pandit was different. Rebecca is a little girl, so her age can be considered as a relaxation factor. On the contrary, Santhosh Pandit is an adult, and every such disgusting performance from a matured guy would bring mockery from the audience. And exactly that was what happened. Pandit is being abused verbally in the internet, but with no change in the attitude of this sensational film maker.

Santhosh Pandit. Courtesy: http://www.indianmoviecorner.com/
To get a complete picture of Santhosh Pandit, you need to know the long history of Malayalam film industry. It is better if you have some information about the influence that the Malayalam cinema from 1995 to 2010 made upon the minds of an average Kerala film-goer. But time and space are very limited, so, here is a short intro for the person about whom we are talking about. Santhosh Pandit is a Kerala based Indian film person, who considers himself as a virtuoso, despite of the bad reputation he earned as an actor, director and singer. His life fell into a different track of defame when a video in which he and a school going girl dancing to a song composed, penned and sung by him, was posted in the internet. The video was strongly criticized for its lack of professionalism, and profoundness of immaturity. Comments with derogatory terms posted in thousands, and everyone thought he would be quiet within moments, despite of the initial popularity his video gained.

But that was where Pandit started. He announced that the song in the internet was just a song sequence from a film that he was currently making. The public shocked hearing the new announcement. Is something more awful coming on the way? Yes, Pandit retreated; his film titled Krishnanum Radhayum (Krishna and Radha) was under production, in which he was handling all the major departments except camera. He was the lead actor, director, script writer, producer, singer, lyricist, composer, costumer, choreographer, and was handling upto 18 departments. Within days, Santhosh Pandit became a celebrity (is there any other term to call people who become famous through negative publicity?)

As promised, Pandit’s film was released in a few of the low class theaters in Kerala. But in some centers, Krishnanum Radhyaum was screened in Government theaters. Almost all of the shows ran with houseful boards. The young wild audience abused him and his way of singing with scornful words whenever his face appeared in the screen. (I watched this film only very recently, via online. It was a difficult task to concentrate on the film for two and a half hours owing to its amateurish way of making and acting, though the story has something thought provoking to offer).
Rebecca Black in her Friday music video

As per Google Trends, at a point of time, Pandit was the second most searched name in Google, preceded only by Facebook. He was interviewed by media several times, around 150 times, within a time span that does not exceed 12 months. An achievement that not any super stars in our vicinity can claim. The interviews and chat shows in TV channels with Santhosh Pandit invited huge mass attention. Everywhere he appeared in his deviated kind of dressing style.

In talk shows he was criticized strongly. But his confidence was greater than anyone had estimated. Till now, no one could beat him in interviews. To every question raised by journalists, film critics, film students and college students, housewives, lecturers, and common man, he reacted in the same way, in a style that is found only in a maverick like him, an idiotic, funny, and enraged Pandit style. He furiously asked everyone to watch his film first. Some so called intelligentsia admitted in talk shows that they were not able to understand him. They said, either he is a genius, who knows how to sell himself, how to generate money through the negative publicity, or he is a dumb man, a fool who does not know the basics of film making. 

Santhosh Pandit’s way reminds me of Don Quixote of La Mancha, the fictitious Spaniard created by Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote, an impoverished gentleman, who inspired from the heroes and adventures portrayed in the Romantic fiction of his time, set out on a journey in the wrong assumption that he was devoted to make changes in the world. With an accomplice, and an aged horse that he considers as a war horse, he traveled so many places, and met with failure in all his attempts. The event of Quixote’s fight with windmills that he believed to be ferocious giants is a sparkling chapter in world classics. Likewise, Santhosh Pandit is inspired from contemporary Malayalam cinema. He took inspiration from the super hero kind of characters being played by Malayalam Superstars Mammootty, Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi, and copies that inspiration to his real life. He pretends to be one like them, and even calls himself a superstar. But there are critics who term himself as an inevitable factor in Malayalam cinema industry, who appeared when the cinema here was in a demolishing state. 
Don Quixote battling with Windmills as seen in http://www.mainlesson.com

Santhosh Pandit is now being treated as a foreseeable shock to the bad tendencies in Malayalam cinema. Many people who followed the track of Santhosh Pandit met with failure, that itself speaks about his inevitability. Spiritual organizations like Art of Living Foundation tells people to think and behave like Santhosh Pandit, since only people with a free state of mind can be like him. That is true! All the time the public abuses him and criticizes him, he is enjoying his celebrity status. There are instances when people asked him to not act or sing, instead he could do direction or music composition (By the way, I like the music Santhosh Pandit has given to certain songs). I have one word to them. You can criticize any artiste or his works. But you have no right to ask that person to not act or not sing. Because it is his moral right. You don’t need to appreciate him or permit him to perform in your work. You don’t need to give attention to him. But, you have no right to ask him to keep quiet. Because everyone has the right to live on this earth and do whatever they wish. The beauty of life lies in such small small factors, I believe. 

Sep 24, 2012

To the Person Behind the Blogger

Dear person behind the blogger,

This letter might look a little awkward since the addressee and the author are seemingly the same person. You have been present in this virtual communication space for a long time. You have written over a hundred posts, of which some are found by me also as readable ones, and I don’t hide the truth that I do take time to read some of your posts over and over again simply for the reading cathartic pleasure. 

I can understand that sometimes you feel very dry without having any genuine topics to write upon. I know that hurts a lot. But, the way you pick incidents from the dust-coated folder of memories in your brain, and polish them with your pseudo perfectionist’s touch is appreciable. Some of those memories are nice to read, especially the child hood stories, and your memories on certain girls, and the way you narrate your desire to have them as your girl friends. But frankly, some of such memories and the narratives on them are really ugly. I hope at least from now onwards, you would give more dedication to sorting those memories in order to pick the correct one for this blog.

But, I have some questions to you. I know who you are! But tell me who am I? Am I just your Doppleganger, the ghostly double? Or just a dummy for you to show off? You always use me to glorify yourself. You create an image that is me; you call it Tomz in a narcissistic way, and write hiding behind the safe shades of that image. You remember, there are so many persons who expressed disbelief on the revelation of you as the blogger behind this blog. To cite an example, didn’t that girl once tell you that you don’t look like a blogger? Another one who knew you personally also had exhibited her helplessness on identifying you with the writer as presented in this blog. Could she have taken you and me as two distinct persons? She pleaded, didn’t she?

There are some more close friends you have, who have expressed their irritation over your habit of scrutinizing everything around for topics. You don’t know how much irritating and nauseating is that for others. They say something very personal to you, and the next day it becomes a post in your blog with your valor playing as the background theme. How cunningly you establish yourself as a humble and simple guy gaining applauds from all of your sincere and innocent readers? And you have a great explanation for your self-devotion – that your blog’s name explains it all, that you have explained it in the sub heading, and that you are maintaining a boastful blog. How irksome is that? You should understand that your self-glorification through the blog only will bring head ache. You don’t know you are actually itching your close ones and your trust worthy friends. 

I also know some of your fraudulence. You often use your blog against those who criticize you in real life. I am not citing any example, or posting the links in which you did that. Though apparently you might not tarnish someone openly, but some of your tricky words are hurting to the real persons whom you have presented as characters in your posts. You are doing it purposefully, though you pretend that you did not do anything wrong. But I know, you are doing it intentionally to hurt them, sometimes with the comic portrayal of them, and some other times by rejecting them soullessly.  And those who support you are well portrayed with a bright halo around their heads. I don’t have a better phrase than 'virtual nepotism’ to name your attitude.

I am not criticizing you very much. Not because I am afraid of you. I am not worried that you would desert me, and would put on another image. Because, I know, now your online reputation is based completely on my image. You and I have become inseparable ones. Now there is no you, or no me. Only an admixture of us is present. Neither of us can survive in this virtual world without the mutual support. I know this fact and I also know that you too are completely aware of this. 

We both know that we are the same. So I don’t think I would do emotional vomiting here more on this issue. I hope I will see a better you from the next post onwards, so that you can breathe freedom on losing your image. If you present the real you through me, you might not get so many frowns from your friends, and you will never need to face the 'you a blogger? ’ kind of questioning stares any more.

Sincerely yours,
Tomz

This post is part of the contest A letter to yourself.. on WriteUpCafe.com

Sep 18, 2012

Melbourne in a Day Dream

That day, while checking the internet on my laptop by lying on my couch in a comfortable position, I happened to visit the official website of Melbourne tourism. My earlier stints in the field of tourism journalism often make me wander through tourism websites inadvertently. Though I don’t usually stick to a particular website for more than five minutes, this was something different. Melbourne has a great touch of elegance; it has everything that a travel enthusiast needs – be it, sports, arts, beaches, or locales and activities that attract a family holidaymaker.

Thinking about it over and over again, I saw the images and the letters in the website gradually withering away. Initially I imagined my pupils sinking in a deep ocean, but that was actually happening metaphorically; my eyes were closing; I was sure that I was going to sleep. 

Hot Air Balloons over Melbourne
In the sleep I saw a dream, and I don’t know, to what extend Freudian theories on sleeps and dreams are correct. May be since I was thinking about such a wonderful heavenly place Melbourne, in my dream Melbourne appeared with its heavenly charm in its fullness. 

The dream started with something like a wind, which was formed by the letters on the webpage I was checking. I was being carried by that wind through the beautiful sky, and I wished that if I had never been woken up from that sleep, since I knew that I was dreaming. 

Suddenly I heard someone saying in my ear, it's your time to visit Melbourne NOW!! The voice was very close to my ear, so I heard it clearly. I looked down and saw I was floating on a cloud on top of the Australian continent. Knowing my wish I guess, the heavy wind lightened its grip, and I was being descended little by little, slowly along with the cloud by which I was being carried.
Federation Square

While coming down, I saw the sea side city Melbourne becoming bigger and bigger below. Along the frothing coastline, I saw humans move like tiny tots. Around me, there were a lot of huge balloons carrying people floating in the air. As I guessed, they were all visitors relishing the lovely aerial sights of Melbourne on floating balloons. 

I saw a vast area in green colour spread on a circular area below, which I identified immediately as the Melbourne Cricket Ground. As someone belonging to a country like India which breathes Cricket, I always wanted to visit this stadium at least once. But as I said before, I knew that I was dreaming.

Many sky scrapers of Melbourne city were coming closer. The buildings constructed in the Victorian Era looked much more Gothic in style comparing to the modern buildings. A vast area called the Federation Square and its sandstone buildings looked grand from the top view. The Crown Casino and the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre also attracted my sudden attention. Among other attractions those drew my attention; Melbourne Zoo, Queen Victoria Market and St Pauls Cathedral were included.
National Sports Museum

Melbourne annually hosts a film festival, the famous MIFF, which is the short form for Melbourne International Film Festival. Though this is not the usual time of the festival, seeing films at the festival and meeting world renowned film makers remained as just a mere dream.

I slowly landed in the Melbourne city on the shores of Yarra River. I could see the Federation Square and the Crown Casino at a distance. My forward go was very easy, as the cloud under my feet was helpful enough to make me move through the grounds effortlessly. The cloud jumped when it met hindrances.

The cloud took me through National Sports Museum, the awe inspiring Eureka Skydeck, the haunting Old Melbourne Gaol Crime and  Justice Experience, Melbourne Aquarium, and so many other places, about which I had been just reading a few seconds before I fell into this sleep. I also had a tasteful journey through wineries, craft breweries, and so many dining centres which all were offering Melbourne’s typical and traditional culinary delicacies.
Falls Creek Skiing

In the end, I happened to visit the Falls Creek, where I watched tourists engaged in skiing. I also wanted to try skiing. So, I slowly jumped from the comfort of the carrying cloud and tried to put on the skis. But, I was tumbled down, because of inexperience, and was slidden through the sloppy mist-clad hill sides for sometime before deposited on the base of the mountain.

I suddenly woke up, and realized vividly that it was another one of my lucid dreams. Anyway visiting Melbourne was fun and heavenly, even though it was in a dream. I wanted to visit the destinations that I saw one more time, and this time it won’t be in a dream, but in real.

(This is a Fiction written for the Indiblogger Contest organized in association with Melbourne Tourism.)

Image Courtesy: http://www.visitmelbourne.com/in

Sep 5, 2012

Hundred

Without any predetermined objectives having set, by occasionally putting smiles on its readers lips, by making them sad or angry sometimes, by giving a spark of inspiration that usually starts from their spines at times, and most often killing them with boring topics, Vanity Moments today manages to give birth to its hundredth post finally, helping its author breathe out a long restrained sigh of relief.

As the author, this post is very special to me regardless of the plain subject that it deals with. I took a long time to climb up this high, roughly a little more than five years, but at the same time I know so many fellow bloggers who reached this magical number and beyond that in a very short span of time. What I have in mind towards them is sheer admiration for their prolificness and the ability to write flawlessly and fluently.  

Most often I tried to do justice to my policy to write based on actual incidents, and not fiction. This queer writing policy is not because of hatred for fiction, but owing to the inability to use imagination in a productive manner. This inability had obviously prompted me most often to absorb elements for my posts from what I see, what I hear and what I experience in my surroundings. And many times I have been criticized by my close ones for approaching everything with a Blogger’s hawk’s eye that is thirsty of plots. 

Thankfully I remember some fellow bloggers who have been with me in the process of maturing. I remember everyone from the initial stage of my blogging who took the pain of reading my posts and comment what they felt about it. Priyanka, who used to poke me with her posts periodically through mails, had given me the initial idea of blogging. But I came here not with the aim to become a blogger. My real purpose was to find a platform to promote a short documentary which I made featuring a Beach in Kerala. So, on 2007 July 24, my first post was published with the video, but without a write up (the write up was added later). 

I have to specially thank NRI Girl for encouraging me and for having the patience to listen to what I said as part of an interview series she conducted. Walk2Write, the awesome nature blogger from Florida here needs a special mention of gratitude for helping me to reach this far with her encouraging words. She courageously calls me her favorite Indian Blogger, and that is something I consider as a recognition. 

I thankfully remember my fellow bloggers for their continuing support especially Ramesh for waking me up during periods of inaction, Britta for her whole hearted way of appreciations, Bikram for his witty remarks, Rekha for being a model blogger, Meera for her kind concerns, Rachna and Jzt4Me for pointing out even the minor factors, Ankita for being very friendly, Jyothi and Joe for their occasional but continuing visits, Joms for his sincerity, Poornima and Sayuj for becoming my characters, Irfan, Harish, and Petty Witter for  their support and encouragement, and so on. Being very close to my heart in my real life, X-N-Tric and Sony remained very loyal to my writings. Thank you guys, I am proud to have you both in my posts as characters. I also thank Stephen, for motivating me to come up with better posts even though he is very new to my network. 

I know there are a lot more bloggers and readers who deserve unfathomable gratitude from me. You have the freedom to slap on my face, knock on my head, and hit on my back, if you did not find your name among this list. I have many silent readers as well who read my posts and say frankly what they feel in personal. But I think, to mention them all, I need to keep a separate post. 

Thanking you all once again.  Seeking your support further. 

Sep 2, 2012

Strangers on a Train

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 31; the thirty-first edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is 'Strangers in the Night'
The title is directly lifted from the 1951 Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. But that does not matter. This post is not going to be another review of one of the finest films of the master craftsman. ‘Strangers on a Train’ features the same elements of a usual Hitchcockian flick, viz, wrong accusation, macabre, and similar things. The film does not give any significance to trains as a whole, apart from its all-catchy presence in the name, and its visual presence in the opening scenes in order to create a platform for the two antagonists to meet. But, my post has train and train journey as the main theme.  

It was a Christmas season, the Yuletide was about to begin, the climate was chilly, and frozen drops of water perching on leave tops in the morning was becoming a common sight. I was in Trivandrum, so I began to pack up my things little by little to go home for a weeklong emotional hibernation. But my plans suddenly changed when my sister rang up and asked me to stay with her family for Christmas. That could be another good idea, I thought, because she had her children, my little nieces, with them the Christmas wouldn’t have made another usual stagnation phase for me. 

I booked my train tickets, to and fro. To reach her home, I had to travel the entire Kerala, since if Trivandrum is the southernmost district, her family was settled at the northernmost one. One night long sleep on train would take me to her home, and the return trip also would take another night long journey. I booked my tickets so that I would reach there on the morning of the day prior to Christmas, and after departing from her home on the noon of the day following Christmas, I could have reached my workplace in the early morning hours of the next day. 

On the day of the journey, with my travel bag, I reached the railway station on an auto rickshaw. Just like in every time, I had to argue with the rickshaw driver, that is another story. On the train, I did not find any difficulty in spotting my berth, and since the twilight had already been evanescing away, I thought about sleeping. I put alarm on my cell phone for 6:30 in the morning. My berth was the lowest one, closest to the door. I was sure that I was not going to sleep tight, since I had this problem of sleeplessness if bedded on a different place. 

The train was moving fast, tearing away the dark, blowing its horn majestically, along with its symmetric, harmonious jerks. Though the noise irritated my ears, with its frequent contact with the ear drum, it began to feel like lullabies. 

At a station, a family including men, women, and kids boarded on my compartment. I was actually on a nap, when I was woken up by their talks. The kids asked something disappointingly and disputatiously to their father, and he tried to answer them though not in a pleasing manner. He was in an attempt to find their berths by using the light from a small torch. One of the berths booked by them was mine, and my nearest berths also were booked by them. They asked me for my ticket, when I produced mine, they were silent. They decided to wait till the examiner comes. I was feeling sleepy, but the family members were talking each other anxiously, which disturbed my peace. 

When the examiner showed up in his batman’s coat, they complained at him. The examiner checked their tickets thoroughly, and told them that they had booked their berths for the day before. They all were got astounded. What could have happened? I thought. The train reaches on the station where they boarded at around 12 O’clock in night. For Railways the time will be 00:00, so starts the next day. Without knowing this, they might have booked tickets for the day before, and the person at the ticket counter might have issued tickets for the wrong day without fully understanding their requirement. 

The Examiner was trying to convince them what could have gone wrong. Now what? The examiner asked them to pay charge from the train’s starting point to end point (I am not sure) as penalty, and also he checked his list to know which berths would become vacant next. But to get some berths freed, they needed to have waited for some more hours. 

I was watching the entire actions through my half opened eyes. The whole compartment was dark except the corridor which was lit partially where the entire family found their resort in the night. Seeing my eyes watching them, one woman shed her inhibition, and sat on my berth close to my feet. She asked me about my destination, though passively; and when I replied the name of the place where I needed to go, she exhaled deeply, possibly thinking about the distance they needed to travel to get at least one seat vacant. She asked to me very politely out of humiliation that whether she could have sat on my berth. I replied affirmatively, but I guessed that sympathy might have been more hurting. 

I noticed that they stopped talking each other, and was resting by leaning on the tin walls of the corridor. While lying thinking about the family head’s helpless state on launching his family in such a situation, I saw the images of them gradually submerging in thin air, on the backdrop of the pale light coming from the corridor.

The next morning I was woken up by the alarm from my cell phone. The compartment was not packed then like the night before. The strangers in the night were nowhere near to be seen. I got ready, and after an hour I was welcomed by my sister’s father-in-law at the station. 

After spending Christmas with them, I boarded the noon train the next day of Christmas. At the station, I happened to meet the same family whom I met on the night train; yes the strangers in the night. Though they couldn’t identify me, (since I was lying in the dark, when I saw them on the train) I introduced myself at them. They were happy to see me, and narrated what happened then. But when the train trumpeted about its imminent departure by blowing the sharp horn, stopping the conversation, I joined the pace of the moving train.
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: The Solitary Writer, Participation Count: 01

Sep 1, 2012

Soaked in Many Ways



(This is my unofficial 100th post. Officially 98th, since two of my posts are kept hidden)

‘What do you think of when you hear the words Soak No More?’

Well, when I read the question for the first time, I was totally clueless without any genuine thought occurring in my mind. Later, reading it one more time, something very curious popped up in my mind and now I am laughing at it over and over again, on a silly joke emerged out because of a phrase in my native tongue, which meant almost the term ‘Soak No More’.

You ask me what it was. But, don’t curse me if this joke was not as much enjoyable to you as I felt it. The fun of jokes differs from cultures to cultures and from languages to languages. Well, I am not going to make your curiosity level raise to more heights over a reasonless joke. It was related to a teacher who was very friendly with her students. When she seemed as if she was not going to be towed down to some of the demands put forward by her students, something related to a pleasure trip or so, the students began to flatter her with sweetened words, and she retorted calmly, 

‘‘Darlings, which soap are you trying now to soak me in? I know your plays! Don’t soak more! ’’

I don’t know how many of you have completely grasped the fun element. In Malayalam language, to apply soap means in an informal sense, to flatter for some purpose. So finding her students doing the same, she trapped them all with that tit-for-tat kind of verbal retort.

Now what comes next to my mind when reading the phrase one more time carefully is my own life as a bachelor. As a bachelor who lives by his own in a city, I have to do entire household activities including washing my clothes. 

I don’t afford the pain of washing my clothes every day. Instead, just like any other lazy bachelor, I too keep them on a corner as a heap, so that by the end of week a mountain of dresses would be formed there. The heap of dresses waiting to be drenched is a sufficient reason for my calm on weekends to get spoiled. If by chance, I miss my washing activity on a given weekend, the next Sunday what waits for me in the corner of my room is a much bigger mountain. In such situations, Surf products often act as the only refuge. Nowadays I used to resort to the service of the laundry people who function close to my door step. But one of the disadvantages of their service is that they take much time to return the dresses. They often cite the reason of cloudy atmosphere, rain, and lack of employees for my dresses getting delayed after cleansing.

The laundry man has recently appointed a new chap there. He is a jovial character, and the sad part is that most often his joviality is enjoyable for him only. His way of talking, treating customers, and doing services have invited a lot of criticism from their potential clients. I have seen him many times involved in heated arguments with his busy customers, by pointing out the same reasons for not returning the clothes within the agreed time. Once, I also lose my temper at him over failing to do his service in a proper manner while returning my clothes. I remember my voice was so loud at that time, and even the neighboring shop owners popped out their heads through the windows to know from where the harsh voice was coming. Last weekend, when I went to him to give my clothes, he was on phone talking to someone. Like me, there were some more customers waiting for him to finish his telephone conversation, but he gave only the least notice to us. From the way he talked over the phone, I guessed that it might have been his girlfriend; whom he had been trying to soak in his love coated sweet words. 

I was a frequent cigarette smoker till some three years back. My long term readers know how much pain I suffered to quit the habit. At that time, the rain and cigarette smokes together could create an ecstatic experience. Whenever there poured rain, I put on my over coat, and accelerated my bike by completely soaking wet in rain towards a wayside shop where cigarettes were sold. I wonder now, how immature I was at that time to feel it as a heavenly experience to be covered in smoke while it was raining. Frankly, now I don’t find it as an interesting experience to be soaked in smoke like that. Smoke No More!

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