Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Lecture at 4…


I’ve always heard, seen and enjoyed works of students, those who had became creative during their most boring lectures, be it in the form of poems, articles, cartoons or caricatures. So i too, hoping to make a good article, took the pen in one of the most boring subjects ever. 

Its been more than an hour (its 5.05 PM now) since i had entered the hall and the interval was already over. All i had created were numerous “writes & cuts” in my book. Seemed like the “Writing During Boring Lectures -Theory” was not working for me. Those who had written, drawn or penned down poems could have had the advantage of a silent atmosphere, thanks to their sleeping friends, opposed to the noisy one here and let alone an article, i couldn't even find a suitable/interesting topic to think about. Now i understand why always teachers ask us to be silent in a class, so that we don't disturb those guys right at the back benches, escaping to their own world of wildness and fantasy.

But a look around at all those interesting characters in the classroom made me regret, not for entering this noisy class, but for not noticing the randomness of those people, and those random things they were doing. I’ve always heard that cinema fraternities should make more films on reality issues rather than regular melodramas and un-human action stunts and romancing around the trees. So i stopped thinking on what fantasy i should write about and started writing on those things i saw in my right, left , front and back.

So this is my Heat Transfer lecture (not that the subject is of any significance to this article ). I doubt that the 32 students (including me!) in the class could be those jobless ones who had nothing else to do. The topper in our class was seated in the front on the right side . He was like an island, all the seats around him were totally empty. There were 2 more guys in the 1st two rows, and they looked like listening to Sir, well.. let alone god know the truth..!! Then there were groups of students here and there, discussing and murmuring as if preparing for a group task. Discussing in lame voices, but as drops n drops of water collected together forms an ocean, these murmurs created a buzz all around, as if the humming of an approaching bunch of bees.

There are people reading books, those with headphones & iPod's, discussing the Oscars and the upcoming cricket tourney, discussing about how they felt like..when they killed that rat inside the test chamber at “environment control labs”. There were guys eating buns and biscuits and drinking flavored milks or juices. Thank god!! At least no one is smoking inside the hall. And then there is a lecturer at the front, negligent of the happenings in the class, was so busy with his lectures, as if delivering a lecture on the most interesting topic to the most interested & active students ever. The only positive is that, the freedom and an assurance of No-Attendance ensured no one was sleeping in the hall. If an education Inspector was on rounds, through the Verandahs, he might mistake this buzzing sound as those made by an active classroom, responding to the teachers questions, and could be really impressed, provided the doors stays shut and he stays outside!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When i learnt what “AWESOME” really means!!


IMG_4509At last i feel like I am doing some justice to the name of this blog. Yes! A Journey to the Unknown Spaces. I am attempting to write an account on a travelling experience. Don’t get me wrong by these big words like travelling experience and all, i am just going to talk about how it felt to go out and explore some new things on a relatively not-so-cold evening.There were hardly any clouds in the sky and as it neared the evening, the winds became light and all in all gave way to the most pleasant conditions to have an evening walk.

The campus have finally got back its life. The silent roads inside the campus a couple of days ago have suddenly disappeared and now there were these clattering sounds of suitcases rolling through the tarred roads, and the tak-tak sound of ball hitting the ground and baskets from the basketball court. All those Chinese who had gone home for vacations were back and they all seemed to have a fresh kind of energy. We were happy too, not because these guys are finally back, but for the warmth in the air.

IMG_4579Me and my friends started walking to the direction we have travelled the least and walked through those roads we have never been to. The air became more fresher and the roads emptier. The tall buildings started disappearing and there no longer were taxis in the road that could take us back to our university in case we were lost. The side of the road was unpaved, reminding us of most of the roads in Kerala. It was an area slightly in a higher altitude and we were like walking up and it was getting a bit more colder (thank god, there were no winds). There was a board intended for tourists and it had a description about the whole place in English with a detailed map too. We were walking through the road that goes to the top of (a tourist spot) Purple Mountain. It was quite far away and there was the this Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in the left side. So we deviated from the course and went into the mausoleum. There was a ticket counter in the front but none was there, and they would probably have said that visiting time is over, but luckily there were none and the way-in was open too. It was a double bonus because the place was so silent and lovely in the night and we didn't have to pay the entrance fee.  You almost wonder how you could find some silent places like this just kilometers away from the heart of one of the most biggest cities in China. We walked around and was impressed by the scenic beauty rather than the historic importance, which were discussed many a times on our Chinese Culture classes.

If i were to describe the place in a single sentence i would say, “Its like the perfect place for you to take your love on a surprise date.” The place was totally silent, not that no body was there, but everyone enjoyed this silence. It was getting darker and the view of clear sky with the moon and the stars made it even more beautiful (it really looked like a planetarium). Each and everything i saw there made me regret for not carrying my camera. You had the moon secretly gazing at you between those leafless-trees. You had the reflection of those trees ,the moon and stars on a still man-made lake, which reminded me of the song “mele velli thinkal, thaazhe nilaa kaayal”. You could hear the sound of water falling over man made falls and then see the perfect view of lighted skyline at a distance. These are some of the rare incidents when you unknowingly chants “ awesome, awesome, awesome”.  After enjoying all these picturesque views, i want to continue my journey to find more of these unknown spaces…

Friday, March 12, 2010

An Ode to the Gods Own Country.

My Efforts to know Kerala more closely, both Statistically & Factually.

When India was divided into many, on the basis of native languages, a tiny strip at the very south, the one sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea , the one where the natives spoke this beautiful language Malayalam, a state was born. Kerala, on November 1st 1956. The same date which we celebrate as Kerala Piravi. At my school, we were not allowed to speak in any language other than Malayalam on that particular day, or you could be handed the Joker Card! (its customarily passed among the sub junior students, those who speak anything other than English at Sainik School Kzm,and the one who has hold of it after the lunch is punished by their house captain).Kerala_houseboat

The sight of the Sun hiding deep into the oceans at Kovalam beach, the sight of House boats afloat a picturesque Vembanad lake at Kumarakam, the sight of lowered fishing nets at Fort Cochin with a lazy sun slowly rising above the horizon at the Arabian Sea, the beautiful sight of tea plantations at the hill stations, are only some of those scenes that might leave a tourist “Awestruck”. In the year 1980, Kerala started its efforts to find revenue by promoting its tourism. By mid 1990’s Kerala had slowly become one of the first pick spots for tourists, both domestic & foreign. By 2007, Kerala had become the fastest growing tourist spot in the World. Kerala cuisine is well praised as one of the best in the world, known for their mouthwatering mix of spices. The festivals like Onam and Thrissur Pooram and local art forms like Theyyam, also had played a big role in taking Kerala way ahead in the tourism map of India. The competitive display of decorated umbrellas atop the ornate set of elephants between the two major temples at Thrissur and the amazing and thunderous display of fireworks that follow at the Thrissur Pooram are some of those things that are worth experiencing.

thrissur-pooramSince its incorporation as a state, Kerala has invested more on humane aspects and moral values and made sure each kid attended school with a pleasant smile at young ages, rather than clean the tables at hotels or carry bricks at factories.  As a result of those efforts, Kerala now has a society where people respect the moral values of each other. The fresher water bodies and cleaner environments ensured a relatively healthier population than most other states at the same time. The efforts to promote education has paid off well too, making the state cent percent literate. Its found that nearly 1 out of every 3 malayalees are capable of communicating two or more languages. This might not be a big thing for you, but it really is a big thing in a country were 1 out of 3 are still nearly illiterate. (India’s literacy rate as a whole is still hovering around 60% only). Kerala is also tightly knit together by a network of National & State Highways and a end-end railway network.

For a state, as small as Kerala, and with a population of around 3 crores, the kind success and prominence the Keralites have achieved in all the fields is quite phenomenal. Kerala is cited to have the best standards of living in India and when this is matched with the cent percent literacy rate, you got to call it the best Society. Malayalees have been among the top democrats in India. Many renowned writers, artists and top scientists also leave their traces to Kerala. This state has also produced some of the finest acting talents as well as the many of the top cinematographers, directors and other technicians known to Indian Cinema. Even after 25 years since her performance at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, PT Usha is considered as the “Queen of Indian Track & Field”. Keralites have gone on to win Oscar and the Booker Prizes, have been nominated for the Nobel Prize, have held the highest office in the Indian Democracy and has even raced to the top of the United Nations Organization.

The thing that lets Kerala down as a state to some extends is their politics and the law and order systems. The political games and evils of corruption are well known, even to the kids. Kerala government lacks the ability to accomplish the projects at all,  even if not at the expected time. People are least interested in Politics and they have almost zero faith in their law and order system. People are afraid to report a theft to the police because they might ask you for more, than what you actually lost. Its this impression, the public has about their politicians and their law and order. It has to change,for the good, not by words, but they have to prove us wrong by their actions. Yes!! They have to prove that the politicians and the law and order section are trustworthy too and they can implement changes too. As i said, it should not come from their mouths, but from their actions. In a country like ours, where a player turns into a  national Hero by just the virtue of a  100 or a 5-wicket howl in a cricket match, the politicians must understand that if they stay and act honestly to take the country forward rather than fill their own pockets, their names will be hailed by the nation in the times to come.

Kerala has a near perfect mix of climatic conditions, the lovely lakes and the beautiful hill stations and the warm beaches and one of the most loving & hospitable locals. If the responsible leaders of the state govern the state with utmost honesty and pride, Kerala can be your answer to a Heaven down in this Earth. Kerala, The Gods Own Country.

Santhosh George Kulangara, a renowned malayalee,  who has travelled all around the globe is now chasing his dream and is all set to travel to space as the 1st Indian Space Tourist. Let there be opportunities for not only all Keralites but all the Indians and all human beings to achieve even the craziest of their dreams!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Twitter: A Bridge to the fantasy


Social sites like Twitter, Orkut, Facebook not only helps you find your old mates and be in touch with those far away friends of yours, but also gives you amble opportunities to meet up with new people, whom you could never have met, but for this wonderful invention called “Internet”.

I logged into Twitter as always and saw a new dude in my followers list. This guy was so busy following the Johar’s  Khan’s & the Kapoor’s of Indian Cinema and almost ignored my tweet. This reminded me of my own Twitter-time.

Shashi Tharoor and his saga with the twitter have been in news’s for some time now and that provoked me to enter the Twitter-land myself. So a couple of weeks back may be??.... Or even closer?? Ok, some time back I signed into Twitter. The familiar method to find people in all the social websites made things easier for me and I found Mr. Tharoor’s profile in no time. The better thing about twitter was that, if I was attempting to find him in Orkut or Facebook, the other famous social sites known to Indians, I would have encountered millions of his fan groups and communities and fake profiles before the original one. But Twitter has Verified accounts of these public figures making it easier for us to find them.

So I wrote something in his space and went through his world famous tweets. And in the right side I saw a bunch of recognizable images. Those were the guys Mr. Tharoor was following. There were quite some like Karan Johar, Lalit Modi and so on. So I clicked on Karan’s picture and went through to his profile and was overwhelmed to see the whole of Bollywood in his following list. So I opened each and everyone’s profile and followed everyone and spent hours reading their tweets. Even I made tweets to each and every one of them, claiming to be their biggest fan and dying to personally handshake with them and so on. I even posted my blog links on Karan’s space hoping he will like it and even ask me “Naveen, can you script my next movie, please?” (Hahaha!). It was so overwhelming and I felt in the same league as those guys were, hearing them speak seeing them talk to their co-workers.

I was so excited coming back to Twitter a couple of hours later, imagining how Shahrukh would have thanked me for my compliments on My Name is Khan and how Karan would have reacted after reading my blog. but …

But you understand that ironically, even though they  are at your mouse clicks, they are as far away from you as they ever could be. The world of fantasy can never be reciprocated in the reality and it will be tough for those of you, who takes these stars too seriously at heart and when you feel your mad love and admiration for these stars have gone un-noticed.

So today when I found my new follower running behind the Khan’s n Johar’s n Kapoor’s, I tweeted on his profile “ aliyaa, avaru thirichu ninaku reply cheyyaan ponilla..!!” (dude, they are not going to reply to all these tweets ).

Twitter might seem like a bridge, that connects the common man like me and him and you, to those big celebrities. A bridge that has no end. Inspired by the sight of a stranger, who have been following Shreya Ghoshal for a long time now with all the sincerity, but only to see him/her left alone in the middle of a never ending bridge.