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!!

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