Jan 30, 2012

Paranormal Theories and a Movie on Fort Cochin

Today we had a conversation regarding ghosts. Not everyone believes in ghosts. Some believe they exist and are afraid of them especially in the dark. Some don’t believe in ghosts but still they have this particular fear of ghosts. I don’t know how many of such people would enter a huge desolated and isolated mansion with intermingling and hallucinating labyrinths and all, if it is said to be haunted at least as per the local beliefs. The morbid fear for ghosts is known as Phasmophobia according to the particular branch of Psychology that deals with phobias.

In my distant relationship, there was a Priest who was specialized in the studies regarding the connection of body, spirit and soul. With his knowledge and research in the field of paranormal activities and spirits, he initiated a healing method called ‘Psycho Religious Therapy’ to treat people with mental illness. Because of his ability to cure people, who were supposed to be possessed by ghosts and spirits, he used to be referred to by the nickname, ‘the Ghost Hunting Priest’. Though I hadn’t seen him when he was alive, the image that I got of him from photographs and from my relatives’ references is that of a very old priest with long silky beard and thick black framed spectacles, clad in a white long priestly rob. 

If you along with your friends happened to live in a building which has the reputation of that of a haunted place, how many of you would dare to live there? Suppose, someone had a mysterious and tragic death in one of the rooms of the building, and you and your friends are going to sleep in the same room (of course you are unaware of the bad reputation of the building), would anyone be alive when the next morning breaks out? According to the studies made by the ‘Ghost Hunter’, it is not necessary that any of you have a ghost sighting. Only if the emotional wavelength (I don’t know if my usage of the technical words here are correct. My apologies! But I feel you will get what I am trying to communicate) of the person who died in the room matches with someone who sleeps in that room, some paranormal experiences may happen, only to that person. That means, your friend might experience something queer in the night while you and others having a sound sleep. These all are rumours that I heard; I don’t know to what extend these studies are accurate. According to one of my previous colleague’s description, her friend woke up in the morning in a different room, though they both went to sleep last night in the same room. Yes, sleepwalking is a possible theory that would justify the queer affair in the night, but the next day, they both got scared happening to hear that the building that they slept in during the last night was of a haunted nature.

In Pictures:

Brown Lady of Raynham Hall: Most famous photograph of a ghost clicked by Captain Hubert C provand in 1936. 

My Movie about Fort Cochin

I invite your attention to the fact that this blog was started first in order to flaunt a video which I had created years back about a beach in Thiruvananthapuram. I wonder if I had told you about a wonderful destination located in the suburb of the Cochin city close to the sea. Yes, Fort Cochin! With my new still camera which provides HD video recording facilities, I visited the place during the weekend, and finally edited the visuals into a single video. This has been uploaded in YouTube. You may please watch it and tell me your comments – pluses and minuses. Instead of simply merging the video clippings into one video, I have tried some editing effects and animations, so that it would sync with the background music well. Apart from the usual sights like beaches, and buildings, you can see local boats, Chinese fishing nets, natives and foreign tourists in the video.

Jan 25, 2012

The Cross-eyed Classmate

With my overpowering laziness exerting a ban on my blog updates, I tried to write something which has the human emotion fear as its main theme. While chewing the idea over and over again, I do not exactly remember, what it was, that brought her thoughts to my mind.

Well, if I have a strong impulse to write about a girl like her, you people may ask, whether she is the most beautiful girl that I ever met. And the answer is a big No! But, making matters more complicated, if someone asks me to define beauty, the first of many examples that I am going to bring forward will be doubtlessly of this girl. 

Now, what makes this girl an example for the discussions about beauty? The answer is simple. Because she is not beautiful! Though she has good features with everything in good proportion, tarnishing her facial grace, there is a villain; her eyes. She is cross-eyed.

During my Journalism studentship days, she was undergoing a similar course parallelly in the same institute. Among many girls of the institute, the only one who could catch my attention was this lady with squint. Don’t think that without her strabismus, she could be treated as the prettiest of all. Even if her eyes were normal, and as pretty as they used to be in a normal girl, she could be treated as only an average looking girl with normal charms.

Contrary to any other girl that I met in the institute, what I noticed about this girl as striking was her confidence. Though remained most of the time silent – perhaps that could be one of her innate characteristics – she was very modest and at the same time dignified in her walk, postures, and all. Her dressing style and the apparels that she carried were the trendiest of the time.

I had fallen in love with this girl, though she never came to know about my silent admiration. We used to smile each other whenever we passed across, she in her usual modest silent manner, and I with my innate hesitation. I never approached this girl for at least a casual conversation, or in order to make some flirtatious remarks moving a step further. What prevented me from doing all these things was my inherent shyness. I was really afraid of the extreme conservative Kerala society that used to watch keenly every public interaction between a girl and boy, even if they were of the lightest and gentlest nature.

Many of my class mates of the institute have blogs now, and many of them are good readers also. I am really worried if anyone would sneak into Vanity Moments and come to know about my secret admiration towards their cross-eyed class mate. But going by the proverb, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, I am sure that there must be some persons who would agree that at least in some ways, she is beautiful. 

Jan 11, 2012

Through the Johari Window

With my six colleagues, forming a Septet, I had a quick jump through the Johari Window during some of the idle hours of one last week working day. Passing through the Johari Window was a very stimulating experience since it helped me a lot to be proud of my positives and to find and correct some of my faults as a social living animal, especially in a professional way. Taken by surprise, out of my narration on Johari Window,  please don’t tell me that you people all are going to come down to Cochin to see this window, which bears such a queer name, located in some of the weirdest corners of my office building. Because, Johari Window is the name given to a technique that helps individuals to understand their mental stability.

I am not going to explain this technique in detail, except telling that it is done using 56 parameters. These parameters are human attributes like able, happy, idealistic, helpful, etc. First you will be asked to pick five or six qualities that describe you best from the list of 56. Then your friends also will be asked to pick five or six qualities that they understand about you from the same list. Then the Johari Window is formed. It is a square with four segments formed by two perpendicular straight lines drawn within the box. Each of the four quadrants is called a Room. The first room, called the Arena has your characteristics known to you and to your friends. Going clockwise, the second quadrant, known as the Blind Spot is occupied by your characteristics noticed by your friends but unknown to you. The third quadrant is named Unknown, which has qualities picked by neither you nor by your friends. The last quadrant is called Façade, which has personal traits known to only you, but not known to friends in your circle.

My friend who initiated a Johari Window analysis among us, demonstrated an entirely different method. Each of us was given a white paper with two columns, titled Postives and Negatives. After writing our own name on the top of the paper, we were told to exchange the paper with the person at our right. Looking at the name written on the paper, we had to fill the columns of positives and negatives based on our knowledge about that person. So, after the papers complete a full circle, when your paper comes back to you, you will get an idea about what people think of you. So, that was our Johari Window experience.

Most of my friends pointed out my creative abilities, while one of them mentioning diplomacy as one of my positive attribute. He mentioned that my personality needed a fine tuning; and to that suggestion, I am completely in agreement. 

When I talked about Johari Window to another colleague, who did not belong to the Septet, I came to know about a different way of Johari analysis. According to what he learned, people could be classified into four different types based on their attitude. I am OK, You are OK, is the first type, I am OK, You are not OK is the second type, followed by I am not OK, You are OK and None of Us is OK. 

Created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, Johari Window is more suitable among peer groups. The Wikipedia entry to Johari Window has some more information about this method. If you want to experience it via online with the help of friends who know you well, you may use this tool. If you are open to criticism, a slightly tougher version, known as the Nohari Window is available here

After you test it, please share your results.

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