Friday, 29 January 2016

Delirious Dilemma?


Blow it! No vacation trip to any special place. Just a boring vacation back at Grandpa and Grandma's place. 
Thirteen year-old Timmy and nine year-old Bobby loved it when the grandparents came visiting them in Mumbai, but they were not particularly happy about staying in the village at the old ancestral home. Nina assured them that their cousins, eleven year-old Rina and nine year-old Mili who lived nearby would be great company. All the same she felt guilty that they would be away gallivanting in Bali while the kids fussed and fumed in the quaint native home while driving the grandparents nuts!
Timmy and Bobby were soon in the old place "Sri-Niwas" and were welcomed with much gusto, hugs and smiles by the grandparents, Aunt Leela, Nina's sister and her husband Uncle Raave, Cheenu the old gardener and Bani the cook. Mili and Rina rushed in dumping their hastily packed bags near the door, eager to meet the boys. They had cajoled their parents to let them stay with the cousins. What a pandemonium it was with everyone chattering all at once!
"Grandpa what's the wi-fi password?" asked Timmy, "I have to show you the pictures of my car collections back home!"
"Sorry, sonny, no wi-fi or computer here. We do have TV but most of the local channels we receive here may be a bit boring for you," said Grandpa.
Timmy and Bobby's face fell, they couldn't believe it...no wi-fi for two whole weeks? Mom never warned them about this! Evil Momma, how could she just abandon them in this old place with no entertainment?! And drat those two wimpy girls, who always wanted to play Scrabble or Dumb Charades!
Grandma saw the wan faces and cheered them up saying,"Now who wants to taste these hot and crispy kachoris? They are fresh off  the stove. I bet they'll taste delicious with the imli chutney."
Sorrows forgotten the kids dashed into the kitchen to grab the delicious treats, gobbling them up ravenously.
The next morning they woke up early to the loud chirrup of birds and the cows mooing from the nearby sheds. After a refreshing bath they waited for the piping hot breakfast at the table. Timmy and Bobby made sure they gobbled up all the hot jalebis Bani had made, leaving behind only tiny scraps for the girls. Grandpa tut-tutted at the greedy boys and instructed Bani to make a fresh batch for the girls.
Breakfast done they were packed off to help Cheenu and Bani. Cheenu made the boys weed the garden and align the bricks in a perfect line on either side of the central cobbled path. The girls helped Bani pick the fresh okra and legumes from the kitchen garden. She made them pluck some of the beautiful flowers from the front garden and arrange them around the house in attractive bunches. 
After their chores the children were allowed to while away the rest of the morning till lunch doing whatever they fancied. They pored over old albums, Grandpa's huge collection of foreign coins and played board games. The boys beat the girls at all the games and laughed scornfully at them when the girls asked them what PSP meant.
Rina suggested they dig up some old story-books and spend some quiet-time reading. The books were kept crammed in an ancient trunk along with loads of forgotten nick-knacks. The girls got busy with lovely old fairy-tale books with whimsical pictures while the boys found a lot of action hero comics that had the most amazing caricatures, way better than the Japanese Mangas they were so crazy about back home.
In the stack of the action comics, Timmy found an old picture post-card. He was just about to put it back in the trunk when he saw something on the back side that caught his attention. He couldn't believe what he was seeing...

 
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How could this be? How could anyone know their names? Who was this? Where is 'here'? And today was 21st Dec'15! Timmy freaked out and excitedly called his brother and soon both were whispering in a corner. The girls tried to edge in and peek at the card but the boys wouldn't let them. But finally they realized they would have to let the girls in on the secret, they still didn't know where 'here' was!
The girls in turn shrieked and exclaimed when they saw the front and then the reverse of the card. 
They knew the place. It was on a hillock a little way away from the village, a large natural cave centuries old whose opening was nearly obscured by the dense untamed foliage and creepers.
The four decided to keep up the sinister appointment, wondering wildly who they would be meeting.
At 3.30 as they left home, Grandma idly mused, how come they were all together, they were at battle even today morning...ahh, kids!
They soon hiked up the hillock and reached the venue...it looked a bit different from the picture, but the girls insisted that this was the place. They waited with bathed breath a little way from the cave entrance peering through the tangled thorn bushes. They could see through the dark tunnel like cave, the semi-circular archway of light that shone at its other end. It was 4.10 and they were getting restless. Suddenly they saw a hazy figure at the other end, the figure waved. They felt weird but waved back too. Goosebumps all over, they crept out and stood erect, waiting cautiously for the stranger to appear fully in front of them. 
The stranger disappeared into the dark cave and eventually appeared in front of them with a wide smile and surprise on his face. 
It was Uncle Raave! He was puzzled to see the children here, and suddenly Rina and Mili burst out laughing! They were doubled up and clutching their tummies! Their father and the boys thought they had gone crazy. Finally Rina sobered and managed to control her mirth and explained that they had successfully pulled a prank on the uppity boys. They had found the blank postcard on their last visit to the grandparents. The image reminded them of this place where their father, a botanist, regularly came around this time to collect samples of rare plants at the other end of the cave. They had successfully forged old writing on the card and placed it in between the comics, where the boys were bound to find it! Served the boys right for acting so snobbish with them all the time!
The boys were still rather stunned! But they soon came around, sheepishly apologizing to the girls. Everyone had a good laugh, the girls especially, and they all turned to go back to go home. 
Suddenly someone called out, "I am here." 
The boys turned to see who was calling. There was someone at the end of the cave waving to them.
"Girls! Who is it now?" Timmy and Bobby chorused. The girls and their father who were walking ahead placidly looked puzzled, they hadn't heard anything, nor could they see anything when the boys pointed frantically to the cave!
It was 4.30 p.m.



Read other stories from Nina's World:



Disclaimer: All the characters in the above posts are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.



The alphabet for the week is D, and I have chosen Delirious Dilemma as the title for this little fiction.


BAR_WW_Badege 

Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Saturday, 23 January 2016

A Change of Heart




2016 - RESOLUTION 1. LOSE 15KGS

The taunting words, loomed large in front of her. What utter rubbish! What had she been thinking/drinking while putting that galling resolution on No.1? It put her off from going down the entire chart of ambitious and wannabe targets she had set for herself! It's just mid-Jan, a long way to go she consoled herself as she casually stood on the scales. What the devil! When, how, why were the scales showing a distinct +2kgs to her last reading? Disgusting, the way these Chinese dump the most unreliable contraptions in the Indian markets, Nina thought to herself; mentally pledging to stay off the scales till she avenged herself!
Pulling on her battered canvas walking shoes, she trudged down the stairs, 'This should account for atleast a 50mg weight loss,' motivating herself.

Walking was so relaxing, no wandering on the beaten paths for Nina. She loved traipsing on new routes, finding out which new shop had sprung on Jugnu street or which one had shut down on Manek road. But today she was dog-tired and had to go back home to rustle up something edible for the other inmates of the home - 1 husband - Nik, Son 1 - Timmy and Son 2 - Bobby. So the beaten track with a short-cut thrown in would have to do for today.

She let her mind wander to the day at work. Today the sleaze-ball a.k.a boss had pulled out yet another bummer from his crazy hat.



He seemed to be so full of these terribly tormenting ideas and plans for his employees, she wondered how he did it! Day after day, he came up with such improbable ways and gestures, improvising and adding finesse to old torture techniques. One had to hand it to him, he didn't lack creativity, no sir, he was blessed with oodles of it!

The latest persecution was an extension to the 'Improve Efficiency by proper Time Management' - an exercise the psycho had worked out. It mandated that all employees fill out in a register kept at all desks, an entry every time they left their work-stations for whatever reasons including time out, time in and reason for leaving one's desk! That included entries for lunch, peeing, pooping, smoking etc, etc. 'Every second counts!' was the maniac's new mantra!
Wasn't it bad enough that he'd installed CCTV cameras in common areas like the locker-room, the canteen and God-knows-where-else?!

Her face twisted into a vicious scowl as she thought about the pint-sized French-bearded rascal who had made it his life's mission to constantly rattle all his hapless employees! On the other hand, she was flummoxed by the guy's tenacity at his chosen task, what drove him to be so vigilant, wary, constantly aggressive and obnoxious?

Thoughtfully kicking a pebble here, crushing a dried leaf there, she pondered the workings of this offending maniacal brain.
Probably a victim of a troubled childhood, unloved by the parents for his diminutive ugly frame, bullied by his peers for his know-it-all attitude, punished by the tutors for his unimaginative answers and ignored by the fairer sex for all these reasons. Yes, that had to be it!
She'd psychically arrived at this illuminating fact; the poor man was just venting out vendetta that had been simmering within him for all these years! He probably felt the entire humanity was against him(which was possibly true).
Oh! The poor dear was a victim after all, and he nursed a wounded yet beautiful heart beneath that hard exterior (she couldn't exactly picture the halo around the prematurely-bald pate but tried to!)
All her goodness and a budding fountain of compassion erupted, and she hurried her steps back home, she was on a mission. She had to convey her findings to her fellow-sufferers at work and plan a strategy to bring out the 'inner gentle human' disguised in the cloak of a demon of a boss!


I think we learn the most from imperfect relationships - things like forgiveness and compassion.


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Disclaimer: All the characters in the above posts are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.

Read other tales from Nina's World:

1. Sunday - Happy Day

2. Delirious Dilemma 

 


This post was written for B-A-R #WordyWednesday #3, Sentence Prompt. 


Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Monday, 18 January 2016

Sunday - Happy Day



6.30 a.m: A bright and cheerful Sunday morning. Nina squinted at the bedside clock and stretched herself luxuriously on the bed, wishing her body clock wouldn't be so earnest in its chore of awakening her at the same hour everyday; unmindful of Sacred-Sleep-Sundays! How wonderful to snuggle right under the covers, for at least the next couple of hours before she decided to actually pull herself out of her warm cocoon. Her mind went to the wonderful article she had read the previous night on how to de-stress, unclutter, unplug and unwind your life; just what she planned to do, starting today!
 

Already she was feeling light-hearted at the thought that both her cook and maid were taking the day off. That would give her jangled nerves a respite from their relentless pottering, clanging and clashing about in the pretext of helping her housekeep!
Ahh, the happy days that are called Sundays! 



6.45 a.m: Ting-Tong. Nikhil/Nik was not showing the slightest indication of even being alive; he always slept like the dead. This had scared her in the initial months post-marriage, but now after fourteen years she was well-used to it. Cursing whoever was ringing the bell at this unearthly hour on a Sunday, she went to answer it. 
It was the building watchman. A young man not more than twenty years of age, newly recruited, clean shaven and bright-eyed, began eagerly,"Madam, there will be no water supply today. Whatever little is stored in the overhead tank will last...err...till it lasts." He saluted smartly and went on his boy scout errand of awakening sleeping bodies to a wonderful Sunday surprise!
She actually kind of pitied the guy his duty, one that he was so fervently carrying out, but one that was sure to break his spirit by the time he finished all the floors of the building. Already she could hear her irate neighbor (who on a normal weekday woke up not before 9.00 a.m and one of these days, she would have to find out where he worked!) screaming at the poor hapless lad for ringing the bell so early....Was there a fire, any emergency, if not, how dare he wake him up!

6.50: She went back to the bed and tried to find her cozy nook, tossing and turning till she realized the futility of it! Might as well get up and fill the buckets. Never know when the overhead storage water might run out. 

7.15: Buckets filled, drinking water bottles filled, she headed for the door to pick up the newspaper and milk. Both were lying at the doorstep - only the newspaper was steeped in a puddle of milk that had seeped out of a torn milk-packet! Another resounding set of curses was directed at the milk-delivery boy. Wait till she caught hold of that little rascal, who was part-elfin she believed; the speed with which he moved, belied his human origins. Nothing irritated her more than cleaning up and here she was doing precisely that, this early on a Sunday.
Dumping the papers in the bin, she mopped the floor and chucked the washcloth in the bin too - remembering the nauseating smell of curdled milk that permeated the washcloth and the whole kitchen the last time she wiped down boiled over milk with it, despite several rinses!

7.45: Now for some coffee, she thought placidly, putting away the cleaning travails behind her. The coffee jar was empty.  Nik made the coffee every morning and she vaguely remembered him mentioning something about buying coffee...well, obviously he hadn't! No, she would not grit her teeth. 
This was a perfectly good day to start on that big bunch of flavored green tea sachets that one of her freakishly health-conscious friends had gotten her from her recent trip to Bangkok. 


Okay now she had to choose between Lemon-Honey, Mint-Ginger, Mango-Passion fruit, Peach-Apricot....hmm, sounded delicious! Reading the instructions she proceeded to microwave a mug of water and simmered the Peach-Apricot Green Tea bag for precisely a minute in the hot water. She decided another minute in the water would be better to extract all the goodness out of the bags. "This is so easy, must make this a habit with Nik too," she said to herself , imagining a healthy future spent sipping hot mugs of the rejuvenating, miracle potion! She sniffed delicately, smelling the promised Peaches and Apricots, and proceeded to savor the sublime health nectar. The bitterness hit her first, but she ignored it, braving her second, third sips....it still tasted bitter. Okay no big deal, she thought to herself as she forced the remaining dregs of the wretched concoction down her throat! Now she knew why all health freaks swore by this brew, because it is a known fact that anything healthy had to qualify the basic taste parameter - of not being palatable!
Ahh....nothing like bitter hot water - Peach and Apricot flavored to start the day, right?

8.00 a.m: She decided to share the healthy vibe with Nik right away, after all he deserved it in return for not buying the coffee!
But before she could venture on her evil plan, the door bell rang.

 

8.05 a.m: Ting-Tong. Car-cleaning guy asking for the key, to clean the inside of the car (more like listening to music on the car radio while rifling through the glove compartment, in the comfort of AC!)

8.07 a.m: Ting-Tong. Car-cleaning guy again, "Madam, wrong key!"

8.10 a.m: Ting-Tong. Garbage Man. Normal weekday timing inconsistent, but Sundays 8.10 a.m he would ring the bell without fail on the dot, irrespective of whether she kept the garbage out in anticipation, the previous night itself! 

8.15 a.m: Ting-Tong. The untraceable prodigal Iron-Man a.k.a Istriwalla or clothes-presser landed up diligently today. Nina struggled with two large bags stuffed with clothes for ironing, giving him a baleful look that bounced off him harmlessly; after all he was just doing his duty, right?! Grrr...

8.20 a.m: Ting-Tong. Neighbor to ask, "Isn't the maid coming in today?"

Nina decided to sit by the door, just in case she needed to open the door for anyone/everyone who planned to check out their bell today. It was her lucky day; she would be saved from answering a couple of door-bells by her maids, thankfully on leave today!
She was thrilled by her own decision to sit by the door in waiting, when it promptly rang again!

8.30 a.m: Tring-Tring. She briskly opened the door. But realized it was the phone this time. The same neighbor had called to say,"Didn't want to disturb you again, but did you know, there is going to be no water supply today?"

By now, Nina decided to entertain herself, guessing who would call or ring next and what could be the probability of both happening simultaneously, and was contemplating how to handle that. 

8.35 a.m: Ting-Tong. "This will be the Newspaper bill guy for sure," she thought to herself as she opened the door. She was right and she surprised the man with a jubilant smile as she went to get her purse to pay him.

8.40 a.m: Beep-Beep. Her mobile rang and while she was hunting for it, Tring-Tring, the landline rang too. Priorities, priorities...landline calls are pretty much dud calls from Pest Control Services or some thing similar. So ignoring the landline's boring drone, she scurried to attend to the plaintive cries of her mobile. Ah, there it was lying on the kitchen shelf. An unknown number? She hurried to receive it, "Madam, do you have Water Purifying RO system in your hou...?" She abruptly cut the call and wondered in dismay, who could have been desperate enough to call on her landline phone....what if it had been an emergency call from someone close?

8.45 a.m: Ting-Tong. Car-cleaner to return the key.

8.45-9.00 a.m: Nina called the near and dear ones to check they hadn't tried reaching her on the landline.

9.00 a.m: "Hey, wakie, wakie, wakie," she managed to chirrup between gritting teeth, drawing the curtains aside and letting the bright sunlight stream right onto the bed. 
Well, of course it took a lot more than just a million door bells, phone calls, gentle cooing and bright sunlight to wake up that big old log of wood, didn't it! 
Yes, some music would be good, she thought, as she selected from the cacophonic rock and metal CD's the kids listened to! And it was a good thing, the audio system they had purchased at the electronics sale last month would get some airing too. 
Why wouldn't the damn thing play? She tried ejecting the CD, but the system wouldn't throw it out; must be a motor malfunction; she astutely guessed. The best known solution for such malfunctions is of course, light tapping, as she proceeded to rhythmically do, which soon changed to vigorous thumping - but the stubborn system still yielded nothing. 
Now Nina was pretty possessive by nature, how dare someone take away something of hers and refuse to give it back!
She got her trusty knife and kitchen-pincers - her personal solution to the screw-driver and pliers which of course they possessed; but were lost in safe-keeping!
With the delicacy and patience of a bomb-squad expert, she managed to pry her precious CD out of the deep trenches of the greedy audio-CD eating machine.

9.30 a.m: "Yayyy!!", she cried out jubilantly, finally rousing the sleeping God and the Demi-Gods too with her loud whoops!
"Hey, what are you up to you crazy woman?," Nik called out crankily looking at Nina and then at the clock!
"Mom, I think I have fever", called out her older one Timmy. "Mommy, I think he just gave it to me too," whined Bobby her younger one.
Nina was dumb-founded, fever on a Sunday morning seemed so improbable didn't it? But bolstering herself she went to check on the boys all the same! Yes, Tim did seem a little warm and flushed. But Bobby was absolutely fine! The little imp was a born actor; trying to wriggle out of tests that would start tomorrow!
She worried and fussed over Tim, fluffing his pillows, tucking his covers closer around him.

9.45 a.m: She went to the kitchen to fetch some medicine for the fever and wondered whether the Doc would start Timmy on an antibiotic course. "Okay, some milk first for the kids," she said to herself as she opened the fridge. Now, why did something look out of place in here? Ahhh! Now she'd got it! That greedy little Timmy had raided the entire half-kg cake kept in there on his midnight snacking spree...no wonder the fever of gluttony!  

10.00 a.m: A tray with special Mango-Passion fruit green tea for Nick, a bitter fenugreek (she debated whether to serve the green tea instead) potion for the little pig and chocolate milk for Bobby was ready on the dining table. "Hey, sleepyheads! Gather up, rise and shine, you too Timmy...I know what you did last night!" 
Sheepishly clutching his tummy, Timmy came out while Bobby followed looking convincingly hunched and sick! "Ah! What a wonderfully dedicated actor he is; not giving up the act so easily, are we?," Nina thought to herself. "Ahem, I think Bobby is seriously unwell, Bobby let the chocolate milk be, I'll get you some of grandma's potion, same as Timmy and you'll be perfectly well again," she announced. Bobby sat up straight at once and burst out laughing, "Mummy, I fooled you, didn't I? Wasn't I really good? Fooled you, fooled you," he chanted as he hurriedly darted to grab his milk!
"Nik dear, stop searching for the paper, it's in the bin, soaked in milk, don't ask! Do come and dunk yourself in this lovely mug of Mango-Passion Fruit green tea, really exotic I tell you!" looking invitingly over the steaming mug."Why no coffee....," he tapered off guiltily at the look Nina gave him. "And by the way folks, you all better rush through your toilettes, water supply is limited today, may go off anytime, hurry up!" 
Nina looked over to see Nik poring over some old newspaper with the same intensity he would bestow a new one! How exasperating! But then she remembered the flavored potion and went over to his side, giving him a generous peck on his cheek, ruffling his hair and handing him the mug with a sweet smile, "Your new healthy morning fix dearest!" as she moved on to attend to the Sunday special cooking.
"Hey, you kids get a move on, remember the last time we had a water problem? We had to go over to snooty Aunt Leila's under the pretext of visiting her, just to use her washroom! You want to do that again?" She saw the boys gesticulating signs of strangulation and gagging but ignored them as she continued, "I don't mind, plus she makes the most out-of-this-world sticky, mushy, taste-free pasta on every Sunday; what say, we drop in for that too?"
That threat worked magic like no other, the two boys dashed to the washroom, while Nina mulled the contents of her fridge for a Brunch fix. 

10.30 a.m: Sunday brunch...hmm something special yet not too painstaking. 
Well dash it all, the water supply was about to stop, she'd had a horrible morning so far, she deserved a break to try out her de-stress, unplug, unwind strategy too! Yes, decided! Time to run through the flyer compendium and order food in! 
"Happy Days are here again, thumbs up, thumbs up," she happily hummed!



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Read other tales from Nina's World:


1. A Change of Heart

2. Delirious Dilemma? 
 


Disclaimer: All the characters in the above posts are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.




This post was written in response to a #WritePrompt #Happy days from @Blogchatter - a wonderful platform for bloggers from every genre, that encourages, motivates and educates on everything blogging!




Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Are You Being Entertained?



On your Entertainment Buffet platter: Pickled, Unimaginative, Stilted, Regressive and Regurgitated creations designed to stifle you! (Yawn)

Unbelievable! Do they think they are catering to imbeciles here? What kind of nincompoops watch these kind of serials? I do believe the media at large, be it small screen soaps, large screen films or print media, unanimously perceive the average Indian to be of  low intellect and probably incapable of any maturity! 
I am limiting my rants here to the small screen and theater - for the present!
At an exponential rate the quality and content of Indian media productions are going down. We are being fed watered down, mashed and easy to digest stuff; rather like baby food, with no thought to palate or intelligence of consumers.
On the other hand, we have visually/technically improved content, things that make you feel you have advanced! Yes, hi-tech fight sequences and digital special effects, for enhanced audio-visual experiences are in. But what about the content...aren't they even going to spend a fraction of the effort, thought and time on that?

When I watch my favorite serials like Sherlock, Grey's Anatomy, Friends, Game of Thrones, Castle, Desperate Housewives, Whose Line Is it Anyway, even reruns - one thing strikes me! Each dialogue that each character delivers has a punch to it; every scene counts; there is some serious thought going into the making of these serials. 
 
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They are the kind of stuff, that keep you thirsting for more, be it reruns or seasons! Thought-provoking memorable/cult dialogues, superb performances and yes of course, content that is different, eclectic even!

And then I watch...no, no...accidentally forced to watch when the remote refuses to respond....serials like Balika Vadhu where the only challenge I have is in deducing, how come Dadisa still exists? Then off course the rigors of Sasural Simar Ka and similar serials empathizing the travails and emotional atyachaar of imagined Indian households! You can get your kicks on regressive thinking watching Udaan, dumb down and dull your senses watching Chidiya Ghar!
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I am sure the makers of such soaps are well-meaning individuals, who started off pretty sensibly, but somewhere down the line, the story/plot, the cast, the production everything went deranged and haywire! That said, there will be a supply for such serials, only if there is a demand for them - ponder that!
Of newer serials, I optimistically started watching Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat
Well, a promising serial that has turned out to be yet another 'Saas-Bahu-Saga' in mythological disguise! 

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Poor King Bindusara and his council of Ministers along with the able Chanakya are all relegated to resolving disputes and plots between the queens and their maids, the queens and their creepy Greek 'Saas', and many more such permutations, leaving audiences to wonder, when does this emotionally overburdened king find time to administer his empire, and will Ashoka ever grow up to play out the role history attributes him with?

Then there are reminders of some intelligent, sensible, fun watches: Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma and ancient serials like Bharat Ek Khoj, Nukkad, Wagle ki Duniya, Malgudi Days, Tamas, Yeh Jo he Zindagi, Buniyaad etc
It seems the makers of such serials have become an extinct species.

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At this point, I do believe it is justifiable to argue that at the time that these brilliant serials were televised, the TV only had a single channel! Youngsters will go ballistic and take umbrage to such reminiscing - but sorry kids, it is the sad truth that you missed all the great stuff on television!
A case of content dilution and intense competition has taken over channels: Which channel telecasts worse serials! TRP is a fanciful technical name given to bizzare observations plonked down by zombied TV addicts employed by God-knows-what organizations!

And don't even get me started on entertainment for kids! Aarrghh...absolutely horrendous! Every time I watch that little notification from Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) running on these channels, I have this mad urge to pour out my woes in lengthy posts with choice words regarding the quality of almost everything that is broadcast!

Whatever happened to good ol' Tom and Jerry, Bugs and Daffy, Barney and Friends, The Sesame Street, Bob The Builder, Adorable Noddy and Friends and several other harmless, entertaining and child-friendly programs...tell me, tell me, tell me...I am sure a whole brood of parents of this Nation want to know: Where have these wonderful programs disappeared and why?

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Why are Children's channels so keen on telecasting serials intending to dumb down our kids? Is this some kind of international (Chinese/Japanese) conspiracy to sabotage young Indian minds prohibiting exposure to anything good and worthwhile? 

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The said good old cartoons and kids' shows have been replaced with absolutely abominable stuff, that is neither entertaining, nor visually or mentally stimulating! Add to this fact, that these horrors are repeatedly telecast, so that you are forced to watch them! 
There is nothing good on any of the channels congruently, all are riddled with equally redundant and mind-numbing programs! 
It has to be a planned mutiny, to downgrade Indian intellect!

Of late, I have rather taken to the theater, after finding little or nothing interesting to hold my attention on the large screen. Even here, there is such a disparity in the quality and content of productions between Indian and Western productions! 
Agreed the Western productions charge a bomb for the tickets, but the slick quality, the incredible performances, the creativity, the experience all make it worth your while. 
On the other hand, Indian theater boasts of plays starring big stars who deign to 'come-down' to theater to...err...fulfill their creative urges (read: quick pocket-money, to keep up social visibility in between scant Bollywood offers) are actually so full of themselves, riding on past laurels to carry them through poorly prepared performances! 
The standard of the set props, the research gone into the developing the whole script, the overall hard work and finesse put in to have perfect synchronization comes through very significantly on a live stage performance. 
All of which is sadly and terribly lacking in Indian productions. I am trying not to be biased or trivializing here, but it does test one's patience and endurance when you have to watch bizarre bloopers with slapstick vulgar comedy in the name of entertainment. Even seemingly interesting plots fall flat, when the director takes pains to explain every nuance of the plot to the deemed intellectually-challenged audiences!

Well, these are but rants off my hat, that are provoked especially when I anguish seeing the youth or Gen Y ohhing-ahhing at what fun the latest show of V!r D@$, The XXX Laugh Factory, the @!B was! 
Limited imagination, lowered expectations and no exposure to good content is what our next gen is destined for! 
Yes, one does get into that sentimental, senile, generation gap, but honestly I still believe in entertainment that has subtle humor rather than one that thrives on mockery, that still believes in challenging and stimulating the intrigue and intelligence of the viewers!
Any takers for this kind of stuff?

Do share your views/rants on the current entertainment scene...



The views expressed here are wholly and solely my own! 
They do not mean to intentionally discredit or credit any of the specific serials or channels mentioned here!

This post got picked to feature in the Spicy Saturday picks @blogadda:

http://blog.blogadda.com/2016/01/16/spicy-saturday-picks-january-16-2016-indian-blog-posts-indian-bloggers




              Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Monday, 11 January 2016

Pondering a Pensieve Purchase




Can I order a Pensieve online I wonder! My jumbled thoughts and memories are over-crammed to explosive limits I am sure.

How wonderful to let go of some undesirable memories - that resounding trip and fall on flat terrain, in plain-view of a large audience! The trivial faux-pas incidents of youth that matured into, well, mature faux-pas and blunders of the decade!

Or hold on to some unforgettable moments of pure ecstasy like winning a prize at a surprise event, the serene bliss of a holiday, the blush of the first date, ohhh….so many happy moments that I would like to transfer into the Pensieve to rewind and watch over and over to savor and relish those treasured moments!

On second thoughts, why not transfer all that accumulated junk memory – that bit of conversation overheard in the train, that truly ridiculous evening spent waiting for someone who never showed up, that absolute disaster I read some zillion years ago…..all that unwanted trivia that has somehow made it to the elusive low capacity permanent storage chamber of my brain!

These chambers of long-term storage could instead be used to retain some vital pieces of information and knowledge that are otherwise fugacious, within moments of being absorbed into my consciousness! Or maybe I could do a smart thing, get a portable Pensieve, carry it with me at all times, so that, as soon as I catch up on some really relevant stuff, I transfer it to this amazing receptacle and retrieve it when required..…ahhh, I am getting better and better at outsourcing my activities to improve my productivity!
But I do believe the old grey cells up there, would be glad for the help! What with dealing with information overload one day and total deprivation of any activity besides sending customary motor signals, that too involuntarily to perform day-today activities! No, these guys need something to challenge them; the Pensieve could be their competition, to egg them on to do their job better!

Yes, these grey chaps need to be shaken up and high time they learned to respect my wishes better. When I feed them with info I consider important to me, they give it the ‘here-now, gone-tomorrow’ kind of treatment in the pretext of storing it. Well, they better be ready for some stern dealing!
Take this instance – One fine day, I very wisely kept my favorite ring in a new satin pouch I found in my things, and told myself (take note: upper-storey guys) this is a nice safe place to keep it, so that I wouldn’t have to search for it amongst other trifles! Well, these jokers promptly shoved this vital memory way away from my reach. The next time I wanted to wear my ring, I hadn't a clue where I had 'safely' kept it! I turned all my drawers inside-out, searching my regular hideouts, all in vain. That memory just refused to spark!  It took me about six months to open that little pouch by chance while looking for something else, of course…..to find my long-lost treasure!


Yes, a Pensieve to be ordered, mind you I am writing this down, can’t trust the you-know-who’s up there!


P.S: Remember to order a wand and spell manual as well!


Do you have any such items in your wishlist? Do share with me!






This post was written for #SaturdayWordPlay13: Fugacious
Fugacious (adj) : tending to disappear; fleeting
#SaturdayWordPlay - A weekly word prompt series started by my #blogbuddy Aditi Kaushiva. 





Copyright © 2016 KALA RAVI

Sunday, 3 January 2016

The Liebster Award


This is one post that I took some time getting around to! I am not too comfortable discussing myself....feels narcissistic! 


Having said that, I must say, I was exceptionally thrilled and kicked that my lovely blogger friend Shantala chose me for this award. Thank you so much Shantala, this is really so nice of you!


What is The Liebster Award?


Liebster Award is passed around the blogging community to people whose blogs you enjoy and who are relatively new to blogging.


Rules:


If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award, and you choose to accept it, you have to write a blog post about the same, in which you-

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Display the award on your blog.
  3. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Answer 11 questions about yourself (asked by the person who nominated you).
  5. Nominate 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, and create a new list of questions for the nominees to answer.

11 random facts about me:

  1. I have this knack for complicating the simplest of details by over-thinking it.
  2. I get paranoid about shadows and every creak in the dark.
  3. I love painting and sketching, though I don't seem to be finding much time for it.
  4. I loathe diet food, not a fan of exercise, but still aspire to be fit and svelte....yeah, go figure!
  5. Are we still at 5? A fact....this is tough!
  6. I love reading humor, classics but I am partial to fantasy fiction, especially love spending more time browsing the Children's/ Teen's section in bookstores!
  7. I am a great cook when I want to be, which is seldom.
  8. I love surprises and even more than that, I love surprising people!
  9. I am wary of making friends too fast, and yet I am surprised at how easily people warm up to me.
  10. I love revamping, redecorating, rearranging the decor of my place, often bewildering my family....where did this go, how did this one come here?!
  11. Phew!! I have a very strong gut feeling/sixth sense when it comes to first time impressions. Even though I may choose to change my opinion later, invariably the gut feeling always turns out to be right...pah! Know-it-all-me!

My Answers to Shantala's questions:

1.Why did you start blogging?
It was pure chance that I started blogging. One fine day, I found myself typing an overlong message on WhatsApp and rather enjoying it! That was when a blogpost on FB caught my eye, and well that's how I decided to pour my thoughts into my own blogsite!

2. How did you come up with your blog name?
My blog name 'Relax-N-Rave' describes exactly my modus operandi for blogging!
 
3. Is blogging everything you expected it to be? Or is it different from what you imagined?
Like I said, it was pure chance and a stroke of luck that I entered into the world of blogging. I had zero expectations from this world, being mostly ignorant on the subject. My entire outlook and perspective changed once #Blogchatter entered into the picture. An eye-opener, a learning and enriching experience it has been for me. It has opened the gates to a whole new world, that I knew not existed, of like-minded, creative individuals, here to help, encourage and motivate me at each step.


4. What is the one thing you wish you knew before you started to blog?
Honestly, I am glad I knew nothing, a clean slate is more receptive and open to new thoughts than one jaded with bias and knowledge overload!

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would that be? 
Is nothing, too egoistic or vain an answer? I guess so! If I had to change something about myself, it would be to improve my focus on physical conversations. I have an absurd tendency to tune off such communications, acknowledging with mechanical 'I know', 'You bet' and 'I swear' responses that work perfectly in most situations, without me having a clue of the track the conversation is taking! Talks about Attention Deficit in kids, makes me self-conscious!
 
6. What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?
What the hell were you thinking when you signed up for a four year degree course in Pharmacy?!
 
7. What is your biggest obsession?
 I am obsessed with the idea of not getting enough sleep, strange though it may sound. Only fellow-poor-sleepers will appreciate what I am saying!

8. What is your most prized possession?
That would be my stationery-pouch. It contains the most incredible assortment of writing pens - Rotrings and Lamy, calligraphy nibs, brushes, all types of pencils from hard to extra soft, erases, blades, markers, a tiny stapler, cello-tapes, cotton swabs, blotting paper......and God knows what-not!
 
9. Which blogger would you like to meet in person?
That is a tough question! Well, several actually! Firstly, the first friend I made in this new world, a dear friend and a lovely person, Shantala Nayak (who nominated me) I would love to meet Richa Singh of the #Blogchatter fame (by the time I finished drafting this one...I managed to meet her in person!), all my friends from #Blogbuddy and so many more inspiring bloggers I follow and read everyday!


10. Which post of yours is your personal favourite? (Please share the link with us)

I think my first post on the Bai-Saga is my personal favorite, the link to this post:
Of Bais Gone By (ASaga) - Part 1

11. What one piece of advice would you give new writers/ bloggers?
Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! Be free with your thoughts, honest writing with good language will always work. Learn to experiment with your writing style, be open and receptive to advice from your peers and seniors. Enjoy the journey, the destination will happen anyway!


My Nomination:
I nominate my blogger friends Rohan Kachalia, Ramya, Rohan Sonalkar and Simardeep 

And here are my questions for them:

1. What was your motivation to start your own blog?
2. Do you like reading? Do share your favorite authors.
3. Have you found your niche in blogging?
4. Which bloggers inspire you?
5. If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
6. What are the five absolute must-have possessions in your everyday-life?
 7. How important is friendship to you?
8. What is your favorite holiday destination?
9. What is your biggest strength?
10. Can you share your favorite post, and tell us why it is your favorite?
11. What are the aspects that draw you to read a particular blog?

Once again, thanks dear Shantala.
And all the very best to my dear new Nominees for the Liebster Award!
Stay blessed!

Love,
Kala