Tag Archives: India

Have you ever written your own vows?

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“You are able to absorb all of life and make it beautiful as it goes through you. You’re like this prism that takes in light and turns it into all these beautiful colors.”

That’s a quote from Season 1 Episode 10 of the Netflix TV show Master Is None. A woman says these words to a man she’s marrying when it’s her turn to say her vows. That’s a really beautiful line. And that made me think of what kind of vows I would make to a woman I’m going to marry. Assuming I even get married. But if I do, I’d like to be prepared. I don’t want to wait till the night before the wedding and feel this massive pressure to come up with something incredibly romantic. That kind of procrastination was unhealthy enough in college and I want to move past that hectic life phase. I should at least come up with a first sentence for my vows so here it is:

My dear (insert girl’s name). You’re not just my dream girl, you’re my dream muse. Whenever I’m writing, you’re always there in my head – guiding me, inspiring me.

Hopefully that first sentence will provide the necessary spark to write more should I ever need to.

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Twist of Fate

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The determined woman huffs and puffs as she climbs the stairs. She’s been doing this for 15 minutes and it’ll be at least another 20 before she gets to the top. She hasn’t worked this hard since she was with her ex-husband. That lazy oaf never liked to move in bed, she always had to be on top – though he could never see her since his stomach was so big. She’s going higher and higher because there’s a fortune teller who lives up there. He is known as Bodo, and her friends are crazy about him. They say he is very good.

She knows it’s silly but she hopes Bodo will reassure her that her favorite character will not die in the next episode of a TV show she watches every afternoon. But she has graver matters to discuss with the famed seer. Her eldest child – a stupid boy trapped in a man’s body – has borrowed money from the wrong entity. (He takes after his father, her ex-husband). Her son thinks he’s borrowed from a friend, but in reality he’s taken a loan from the Devil himself. She’s afraid that if her son cannot pay back his debts, her jewelry will be taken away from her.

But she can’t help but think that she should’ve waited a little longer before seeing Bodo. Bodo has not kept well since his encounter with a mermaid. Perhaps he still needs more time to recover?

The mermaid fell in love with the captain of a passing ship, the captain promised to return for her one day, but she’d been waiting for years. When Bodo informed her that the captain had fallen in love with someone else, the mermaid snapped and attacked Bodo. But she came to her senses before killing him. After all, there is no sense in shooting the messenger.

The determined woman reaches the summit. She approaches the rustic looking tent and waits.

“Enter.”

Bodo’s voice is calm, deep, and soothing to the ears. She gently steps inside Bodo’s humble abode. He looks perfectly healthy.

“I have heard so much about you.” She begins quickly. “And I have so many things to-”

“I am sorry my child, but my powers are not what they once were.” Bodo sighs. “I fear it will take some time for me to return to full strength. My body may have recovered from the mermaid’s assault, but my mind is not yet at peace. Violence has shaken my soul.”

Apologies spill out of her mouth, if she had known she never would’ve come.

But Bodo holds up his hand and shuts his eyes, “You have taken great lengths to see me… so I shall see what I can see for you…” Bodo concentrates. “Your son… no… it can’t be…”

“What? What is it?” The woman asks anxiously.

“Your son… is in love with the captain who broke the mermaid’s heart. He and the captain have eloped.”

As the woman is making her way down, she can’t help but wish she never had children. That ungrateful son of hers. First he gets himself into debt. Then he dumps the responsibility of repaying the debt on her head. May her son and this captain sink to the bottom of the sea!

The Shower

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He’s showering after a traumatic day. His father was shot in a bakery. It was a robbery. Dad tried to be a hero. He drove his dad to the hospital. Ambulance was taking forever. The doctors said his dad will need surgery and that it would be a few hours before he’d be allowed to see his dad. His girlfriend suggested he go home and change out of his blood stained clothes. She went home with him. He got into the shower. That’s where he is now, wondering why today happened. The temperature of the water is just perfect, but his life was far from perfect even before his dad was shot, and now his life is so far from perfection that perfection seems like a dot from where he’s standing.

He hears the bathroom door open. Looks like his girlfriend is about the join him. It feels wrong that he’s about to get intimate with his girlfriend while his dad is at the hospital. But what else can he do? It’s in the doctors’ hands now. Or God’s if you ask his grandmother. The glass shower door is foggy so he can’t see her yet. He waits for her to slide open the shower door and join him. But then he hears a sound that he already heard earlier that day – a gunshot. And then he feels what his father felt earlier that day – the feeling of a bullet inside him. He falls, blood mixing with water.

The shower door slides open and a masked man looks down on him and says, “Like father, like son.”

Mountain Girls That Trek To School Every Day

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Meet Radhika and Yashoda – two sisters who live in a remote village in the Himalayas. It takes them 2-3 hours to get to school depending on the weather. That might not sound like a big deal, lots of people all over the world have long commutes. Well, Radhika and Yashoda don’t have access to any kind of convenient transportation for most of their journey. To get an education, these two teenagers must literally trek to school. They must trek through a forest where wild animals can appear out of nowhere, especially in the morning. They once saw a wild bear and have been scared ever since.

After two hours of trekking, they have to cross a fast moving river. There’s no bridge (it was destroyed due to floods a few years ago) so they have to get into a small metal trolley suspended by a cable. Quite daunting as there’s gushing water below and the trolley must be operated manually by pulling a rope. It takes a lot of strength, especially when it rains because when the rope is wet it’s harder to pull. People have fallen into this river. People have lost fingers by accidentally touching the overhead cable (and the trolley has many sharp edges).

Not only do these brave girls worry about their safety, they also worry about getting their clothes dirty. Their hands get dirty enough from opering the trolley but they don’t want their nice white trousers to get stained. Oh but before they even get to the river, they have to trek for two hours as I mentioned, and the footpath (where they trek) is filled with loose stones. They have to be careful not to fall and hurt their hands, because they won’t be able to operate the trolley or be able to write properly in school.

Yashoda wants to become a police officer. Radhika wants to be a teacher and teach all the kids in her village. They don’t want to get married in their teens like their mother and aunts did, and do housework all their lives. That’s why they trek to school every day. After they cross the river, they wait for a taxi to take them to school. And they don’t have to wait till the next day to do this all over again – they have to go through the same perilous journey while going home from school. Their parents worry about their daughters’ safety every single day and are not at peace until their daughters return home in the evening.

On the upside the mountain scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. During the monsoons they see many tiny waterfalls while traversing through the forest. In the winter when the leaves are falling from trees, it looks like nature has laid out a red carpet to welcome somebody important (Those are Yashoda’s words). And the girls can even drink water that’s made its way down from the mountains – water that is actually pure and fresh unlike the crap bottled water companies sell.

They’ve asked their father to rent a room closer to school but he tells them he can’t afford it. Some teachers scold the girls for being late and tell them that they should live closer to the school if they are serious about their studies. But those teachers are seriously blind if they can’t see how dedicated these girls are. Not many kids would be able to do what Radhika and Yashoda are doing.

Childhood vs Adulthood

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Ever wonder what it would be like to grow up in the 1960s? I was watching Jerry Before Seinfeld on Netflix and the comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld talked about what his childhood was like during this time. Apparently society was a lot more chilled out. Parents didn’t care about things like grades, hell they didn’t even know where the school was located, and they were totally cool if their kids had a 100% sugar diet (lucky charms/frosted flakes for breakfast, ice cream for lunch, and cake for dinner). Half the time a parent would have no idea where their kids were whereas today’s parent pays so much attention to their kid its as if the kid is under a microscope.

I’m sure Jerry Seinfeld was exaggerating a little… I think!

But compare it to how kids are raised today. And ask yourself what you’d prefer – parents that micromanage or parents that let you breathe a little?

I also really liked what Jerry said about adulthood:

“Adulthood is the ability to be totally bored and remain standing.”

Context: When Jerry was a kid, his mother wouldn’t leave him alone at home when she had to go out because he was too young. So she’d take him wherever she was going, like the bank or the wallpaper store. Unsurprisingly, the boredom was too much for Jerry the kid to handle and he would just feel an overwhelming urge to lie down flat when his mom took him to places like these. Makes sense, lying down (and just going to sleep) helps you relax and forget about the boring place you’re currently in.

That quote speaks to me because being an adult can sometimes be a chore. I totally wish I could randomly lie down anytime anywhere (when  I get frustrated or bored).

One of the best video games I’ve played

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Let’s talk about Injustice 2 – A fighting video game for PS4. You can fight with DC characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. etc. I always had a dream as a kid (a kid that loved doing karate) – to become a world fighting champion. That didn’t quite work out, injuries and a lack of discipline were my downfall. But at least I can play Injustice 2 and whoop some ass. I won’t lie, I’m still going through a huge learning curve, I only just started playing and I am by no means a natural, but it’s all about improving with the passage of time. That’s what life is about isn’t it? Getting better everyday, learning new things, meeting new people, reaching new HEIGHTS.

One of the playable characters is Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s son. Guess who Damian’s mother is? Talia al Ghul! Which makes his grandfather none other than Ra’s al Ghul, the leader of the League of Assassins/Shadows. In the Injustice story, Damian believes that violent criminals deserve no mercy and must be put down. This obviously goes against Batman’s no killing policy. But Damian is awesome, he fights with a sword and staff.

Now here’s what the Injustice story is all about (it takes place in an alternate universe): Joker orchestrates an elaborate scheme to trick Superman into murdering Lois. Lois is pregnant with Superman’s son. Lois is Superman’s wife and the love of his life. Superman is drugged into thinking that Lois is Doomsday (a giant monster) and proceeds to pulverize a pregnant woman. Oh and then Joker nukes Metropolis.

Superman understandably snaps. While Batman is interrogating Joker after Joker’s horrific crimes, Superman smashes through the wall and into the interrogation room. He grabs the Joker by the collar and slams Joker against the wall. Joker laughs and calls Superman big, dumb and gullible. Superman proceeds to literally rip Joker’s heart out. Then Superman forms a Regime to take over the planet and form a one world government. He becomes a ruthless dictator that has no tolerance for violent criminals. Damian Wayne is his right hand man. Wonder Woman also joins the Regime.

I was alright with Superman until he did a number of things that were too cruel – like deciding that that best way to put down rebels (like Batman) from overthrowing his Regime would be to nuke two entire cities (filled with countless innocent people) to make an example out of them. One of those cities was Metropolis, a city that was already nuked. That’s just wrong. Thankfully Superman’s insane plan failed. Also from a story point of view, it’s also wrong because it makes it too easy to side against Superman.

I think it would’ve made for a more interesting story to give Superman redeeming qualities. I think killing Joker was necessary for the good of humanity. Keeping Joker alive is risking the safety of countless innocent people. I was hoping from this point on Superman would’ve become a little like The Punisher, only killing violent criminals who deserve it. I was hoping that Superman’s Regime would’ve been shown to have positive traits as well – like making the world a safer place because violent criminals are put down. Sadly that wasn’t the case. Instead Superman became a complete madman.

Injustice 2 is not just an incredible fighting game, it has a very compelling story. Learn more here.

Get ready for Geomythology 101!

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Geomythology is the real geological event behind a myth or legend. Of course some myths and legends are entirely fictional but others are based on real historical/geological events. Let’s begin with Teonimanu, a former island of the Solomon Islands that somehow disappeared. Here’s the fun version, or the myth, behind Teonimanu’s disappearance: A cuckolded husband’s wife went to live on Teonimanu with her new lover. The cuckolded husband, humiliated and thirsty for revenge, purchased a wave curse. Yes, a wave curse.

He travelled to Teonimanu on his canoe. Four waves were attached to the front of his canoe and four more on the rear. Once the cuckolded husband reached the island, he planted two taro plants, and then fled to another island. On the day the leaves sprouted, the onslaught began. The cuckolded husband watched in satisfaction as eight powerful waves demolished the island of Teonimanu.

So that’s what I read online but it still leaves a few questions. Were those eight waves that destroyed Teonimanu the same as the ones that were attached to the canoe? Where was the canoe while the Taro plants were growing, on the island of Teonimanu or on the island the cuckolded husband had fled to?

Here’s what I think happened: the canoe was docked near the island the cuckolded husband had fled to. The eight waves were still attached to that canoe. When the Taro plants grew, the waves were “activated”, and they began to surge to towards the island of Teonimanu, gaining momentum and growing bigger like a snowball going down a mountain. And then the waves hit Teonimanu with unrelenting force, destroying the island completely.

So yeah, that’s one version of what happened. What actually happened: a sea-floor earthquake caused Teonimanu to sink. The island was teetering on the edge of a steep undersea slope, so once the tremors shook the foundations, a large landslide carried Teonimanu underwater. Feels like a let-down after hearing the myth right? You can learn more about geomythology here.