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Surviving the horrors!

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Coming up is a survival guide if you are being forced to sit through a horror film on the 70 mm film on cinema screens. For those of you bold and brave people out there who stepped into the halls knowing your dreams might not be as pleasant in the nights to come, I have put together a list of life hacks to, well, make life simpler. Isn’t that what life hacks do? Also, I have specifically picked up cinema halls because at home, you have a way out that is not 100 metres away shining in bright red reading ‘EXIT’, devilishly grinning at you while you sit crouched in fear as people scream and shout for their lives on the screen. Not that I was sitting crouched in fear. Anyway, let’s get to the point.

And the point is, or the points are:

  • Help comes from above:

Have you ever noted what the ceiling of a cinema hall looks like? When we go to museums, temples, mosques, churches, palaces or even when in the open, we look ceiling-wards or skyward to opine about the place. But why not a movie theatre? Well, for starters, obviously because you don’t go to admire the interiors of the theatre but the quality of their audio and visual. I get it. But you should try looking up too, you know? I did and I ended up counting 13 rows and 24 columns of tiles. At least. While the film was playing. It was difficult counting with the play of light on the ceiling. So rest assured, I spent a good amount of time not looking at the screen, while Annabelle Creations was being played.

  • Friend in need:

Always, and I am telling you this very seriously, always go with someone who’s worse than you at watching horror films, who screams at the drop of a hat or well, knife here, who jumps at every turn the protagonist takes, who bites their nails or digs them into the neighbour’s arm! That way the limelight is on them and their rather audible gasps and you leave unscathed from being the butt of jokes in your friend circle!

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  • Know-it-alls aren’t shy:

Keep your eyes closed if you want, but your ears open. There will always be one of those know-it-alls in the audience who will try to predict out loud what happens next and sometimes they’re correct too, being experts having watched way too many horror films over the years. That way you’re prepared for what all might happen next and your heart doesn’t jump into your throat at times odd and even.

  • Scope how you cope:

What’s your coping mechanism when fear settles in? Fight or flight? Well, reality check. Here, both won’t work. You can neither fight or flight. So what could work? Laughter! I picked up random scenes and separated them from the context – voila, the comments were such that my friend was in splits while the rest of the hall was intensely silent. One such chain of thought : Talking to myself, Tune out the audio, girl. That is what is scaring you. Tune out… Tune out… Auto tune… Shirley Sethia. And friend is in spilts. Google ‘auto tune and Shirley Sethia’. You’ll know what I mean.

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  • Phone a friend:

And if nothing else works, then whip out your phone, dim screen brightness, make sure it is on silent and start browsing through the multiple apps which have reduced our attention span, narrowed our world view while expanding our reach worldwide, update your interests on FaceBook, add a few snapchats in the dark, use some Instagram filters. Or like me, SMS (yes, it still exists) another friend sitting three seats away who was complaining about the film being boring! Boring would be the last thing I would call the film. I wonder what he’s made of.

These are my life hacks. What are yours?

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Want more life hacks? Tell me the topic in your mind and I’ll work on it for you. 😉

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Flowers over birds.

Recently, I went to an undisclosed location (the mystery is alluring) where we can safely say that birds and flowers can be found in abundance among other things (and it was no bird park. Duh.).

From the blog : 1000 words or less. This blogger clicks fascinating pictures!

From the instagram of the blogger over at The Uncertainty Principle.
From the instagram of the blogger over at The Uncertainty Principle.

I have never fully appreciated the patience exuded by photographers who click bird pictures. Until I tried to capture their shots, of course! Birds are such elusive creatures! It seems as if they know that the shutter is going to close in on them and they just have to ruin the frame! So while my friend went on trying to capture birds, I stuck to the flowers. Well, for one they’re colourful and many. And secondly, THEY DON’T RUIN THE SHOT BY FLYING AWAY!!

Tucked safely within.
Tucked safely within.

Windmill much?
Windmill much?

Who said three is a crowd?
Who said three is a crowd?

Fallen but not lost.
Fallen but not lost.

So what if I can't capture birds? Bird's nest, it is.
So what if I can’t capture birds? Bird’s nest, it is.

Which reminds me that I have a bird shot from an earlier trip! Well, technically not so much because these birds don’t really fly away. But. Yeah. Whatever.

Hah! It's not impossible. Though improbable.
Hah! It’s not impossible. Though improbable.

Graciously Yours!

Pictures Courtesy : 

1000 words or less. (Brilliant photographer, I tell you.)

Prateek (@pk9692) from The Uncertainty Principle.

The Drop.

The old man had been unwell for more than a couple of days now. The fever wasn’t breaking. He wasn’t worried about himself though. He was worried about his garden. He’d newly planted Canna Lilies in them. They were Madam’s favourite. He would have instructed his helper how to care for them well but the helper was on leave. Either ways, he wasn’t too keen on his helper’s work.

This evening, he’d tried walking out to the garden but he barely managed to reach the door of his own room. The doctor had been called. He prescribed some medicines and assured it wasn’t anything to worry about. The old man chided the cook, “I told you so.”

It hadn’t rained for a week now. It was unusually hot. If it didn’t rain soon, his garden would start wilting. In a long time, he wished his helper was here. Or at least the rains were. Either wish seemed far from being realized.

His son was around the same age as his helper. Every time he saw his helper, it reminded him of his son; a reminder that wasn’t happy or heart-stopping, a reminder that was melancholic and heartbreaking. His son was a charm with plants, but didn’t see the charm in them. “I want to do something bigger,” he used to say.

But the old man didn’t know anything bigger. Sure enough, there were bigger businesses he knew about, like the one Sir and Madam were doing. But at the end of the day, even they would come and admire his work. “What was bigger then?”, he thought. Even after his son had started working in another city, he stayed back with Sir and Madam. They loved his work and he used to love working for them. They’d given him a place to stay in their servants quarters.

After the doctor left, he tried sitting up to look at what he could of his gardens. It was dim now post dusk and his feeble eyes didn’t help either. He spent his evening alternately watching the blades of the fan rotate and dozing.

Night fell early and in spite of having slept almost all day, he slept like a log through the night too. He awoke well after the Sun had risen. He was rolling in sweat and blankets. The fever had broken. He turned towards the window and there were drops of water clinging onto the grills of the window.


Picture Courtesy : @main_samay_hoon on Instagram.
Picture Courtesy : @main_samay_hoon on Instagram.

Hopeful, he went up to the window. It wasn’t an easy walk but far less painful than yesterday. Indeed, they were water droplets. As he stood in the pool of water below his window, his eyes saw moist and glistening grass outside his window. The flowers were gleaming and waving at him in the morning breeze. He was ecstatic. The God loved His work too!

Graciously Yours!

Nepal Quake Aftershocks.

25th April, 2015 : The day man-made aftershocks won over natural aftershocks.

Two back to back tremors in Calcutta around noon today brought us all out of our buildings onto the roads. For a while, we were all dazed and then after necessary precautions went back to work.

I spent the next hour calling and texting people to ensure they were safe.

Then I came home and checked the news and read all I could about possible aftermaths of the quake.

After a long day, when I finally surfed through social media, I realized I had missed out on the most important task to be done after such an incident!

I forgot to update my Facebook status about how, why, where, when I felt and survived the quake! I forgot to share my survival strategies. I forgot to tell people via my Instagram account how the Calcutta skies looked pre and post storm today.

I realized I wasn’t cool enough like this guy who updated his status as “Feeling tremors. Earthquake?”. He was asked by a friend as to why he was updating his Facebook status instead of running down towards safety. His reply? “I am too lazy to run down 10 floors.” He should thank his stars the tremors felt in Calcutta were not destructive enough. Or else his laziness would have made him pay the final price. Very, very cool. I could never be him, try as much as I may.

Oh and do you know it’s also ‘Happy Earthquake Day’? Another status informed me this. People around me are so intelligent! I wonder where they get their brains from.

These are just two gems out of the countless sparkling stones lying around!

I had so many things to do. And instead all I did was feel gut-wrenchingly sad about all those people who lost their lives, saw their lives fall apart within seconds, are still trying to locate their loved ones, have been stranded and are waiting for help, are looking for the gleam of hope through the mount of rubble, are seeing the might of the Earth first hand. Where’s the proof that I did feel this? Where’s the evidence on the internet about it? I guess this is my evidence.

I did it. I did what all of us so calmly do these days. I just reduced the loss of countless lives to a few dozens of words.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : How will our souls ever rest in peace?