Happiness eh!

12 Aug

Secret to happiness – one of the most discussed and the most confused ideas in our lives. Besides, it also appears to be honored with wisdom of hundreds of experts around us, the ways used by some being so subtle that we don’t even notice. Ever tried the deodorant that gets you the prettiest lady? Or the fairness cream to bring out the best in you in just 14 days? May be the new Bajaj Avenger ad does it for you, freeing you from the world. These are the all-powerful tools, and are being used in every possible way to capitalize our hunger for perfection and happiness. Sly, isn’t it?
And I am neither a Psychology major nor an ‘expert’, but from my limited know-how I will try to make a point. The point is – maybe there is no secret. Let me try to put another perspective. Many real world phenomenons existing around us seem to repeat in cycles. Be it the short and long term debt cycles existing in markets or the cycles of ice ages and extinctions which have been repeating over the entire history of our planet. Similarly, our mind also seems to follow some cycles. One day you may feel like Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather; the other day you are as helpless as Devdas from umm.. Devdas. One day you feel confident and expressive, the other day you are shy and submissive. One day you are happy, the other day you are sad. Probably that is what life is and we are supposed to float in its crests and troughs alike. As Darwin rightfully proposed, we are not as powerful as we have been forced to believe. We are just another species of animal kingdom, which has not yet come to terms with the definitions of world it has created. Aren’t we the same as a deer scouting for food in a jungle – a helpless lot dependent on vagaries of nature?

-Anshuman

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An Obsenced Teen…

3 Feb

“No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they’re pretty, even if they aren’t ”
-Marilyn Monroe

But, she was pretty in her own ways, those kohl lined eyes perfected her even more. She was like a fresh dew drop which was curtly swiped away by the sun.  Her soul lurked through years for justice.  She was considered obscene, she was questioned. She was Aarushi, a teeming girl of fourteen, killed by her own parents.

Aarushi1PTI

Dated back to 2008, she was murdered brutally, along with the domestic help, Hemraj. The arrowhead of conviction was pointed to her parents. A case was slapped but this double murder mystery seemed a tough nut to crack. Piles of files and lies tried to obscure the case.

Lurking in the corridors of prejudice, she had to wait five long years for justice. November 2013, the benchmark judgement was made, her own parents were held guilty. Illustrations like honour killing, sudden provocation and what not was produced.
The fact that surprised me the most was how could a mother, how much stimulating the provocation might be, kill her own child. This act suits so well to the saying ‘ decisions taken in sheer intuitive impulse can be destructive’.

However, some believe that this fancy verdict story was yarned in to curtain the failure of the top investigation agencies to solve this sensitive case. The greatest irony that seems to me was how this entertainment-craved society wanted to turn the story into films and soap operas despite the fact that a young life was nipped in the bud……

One Fine Morning….

23 Oct

I usually like to go for cycling in the morning. So one Saturday morning, I decided to go for a short trip. I had not slept the night before but tiredness was the furthest thought from my mind. I left hostel while it was still dark, with everyone asleep. It was an awesome feeling, sort of scary in the dark but that cool breeze felt good, the air filled with the chirping of birds. I saw a broad and silent road ahead as I cycled on. I continued to take random paths for another 40-45 minutes. 

It was then that I saw a strange street. Although it was already morning, the fog made it hard to see the end of the street. It was as if it was still night at the other end. That got me a bit scared. I tried to ask one of the few workers, but they didn’t seem to hear me. Annoyed, I just decided to go on till the end and return.

But when I reached the end, I was terrified. It was as if the streets on the other side were exact mirror image of streets on this side. I could not stop myself from checking what it was. So, I paddled on for more than twenty minutes , but from what I remembered I was seeing exactly the same streets and houses, only submerged in darkness. Scared, I turned and retraced the path, looking for that street. But to my horror, I could not find it.

Another hour passed. I was incredibly tired now, sweating profusely. But a while later, I found a familiar street. I realized that my hostel was near, but the streets which were usually occupied by the students were deserted. Amazed, I paddled with all my strength towards my hostel. I ran to my room when I reached the hostel. I was tired. I had forgotten about the consistent darkness, I just had to sleep. I got into my room and jumped on my bed. My roommate wasn’t there. I felt strange, I decided to look into other rooms, but they were empty as well. I went to the washroom and stood in front of the mirror. There was nothing.

And now, it has been almost four months. I don’t sleep, or eat. I just roam the streets in darkness. If someone gets to read this, can they come looking for me? I hope we will be able to at least see each other, then maybe we can find a way out.

-Anshuman Sharma

An Unholy Act

23 Oct

Guru govind dou khade, kaake lagu pau,
Bali hari guru aapne, govind diyo bataye

– a doha (couplet) by the famous saint Kabir Das of medieval India.

Here’s a simple explanation of the couplet- When Guru (teacher or master) and Govind (God) both are standing together, whose feet should I first touch. Kabir says to touch guru’s feet. This is because teacher is the one who shows us the path that lead to God. We need living masters to realize the eternal divinity.

Since time immemorial, India has always been a land of saints and preachers, with their own massive mass of followers too. It’s very fascinating to see how the devotees canonize their gurus.
(Mira Bai is often considered as an incarnation of Radha)

But the recent scenario depicts an utterly contrasting image. The ill deeds of Asharam Bapu, a spiritual saint, is a shocking news to the Holy land of India. This so-called saint is now behind the bars, accused of sexually assaulting a 16 year old girl, brought to him by her parents for exorcism. The case against this paedophile is further strengthened as two sisters voiced out for captivating and raping them for several years. This time the saint’s son, wife and daughter were also convicted.
The list of controversy doesn’t end here. Be it the utter criticism for making irrelevant comments on the 2012 Delhi gang rape victim or property disputes, this self-styled ‘Godman’ has always been able to sneak off. But, this time it seems tough as he has been tangled well by the grapevines of the mass and media.

Saint or a Sinner?

Saint or a Sinner?

Being a paragon of virtue, holy men are least likely to pertain in such unholy acts. Indulging in impiety, what seed of divinity this type of preachers will sow in us I strongly doubt? Gurus are meant to show the right path as mentioned by Kabir, when they themselves go astray who will bring them back?
When the sanctity of saints are questioned, the faith of innocent devotees are questioned too.
So, follow them or abandon them…….the choice is yours.

-Jayati Das

Review of ‘Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince’

21 Oct

Story:

Arjuna  is the immortal tale of one of India’s greatest heroes. These pages retell in riveting detail the story of the Pandava Warrior-Prince who has captured the imagination of millions across centuries. This is the intense and human story of his loves, friendship, ambitions, weaknesses and follies, as well as his untimely death and revival, his stint as a eunuch, and the innermost reaches of his thoughts.Told in a refreshingly modern and humourous style and set against the staggering backdrop of the Mahabharata. Arjuna’s  story appeals equally to the average, discerning reader and the scholar. It spans the epic journey from before his birth, when omens foretold his greatness, across the fabled, wondrous landscape that was his life.

Review:

Mythology….I can only imagine the amount of effort it would take to gather such an enormous amount of data and then compile it into a book. It’s one tough topic to write on. Another reason is that we are acquainted with the whole story, have read it in one form or another in our childhood, seen it in the television in passing. So there’s nothing new to expect as I took the book in my hands. This book however is different from the other mythology books that is present in today’s market. The author has successfully kept each piece interesting and knitted them to maintain a good flow. I especially liked the endings she gave to chapters, like:

Smiling grimly to himself, Arjuna envisioned the day he would crush his enemy. Little did he know then that he was thinking of taking the life of his own brother? One day he would find out, but only after he had translated his thoughts into action” or like this:

Soon Subhadra gave birth to a beautiful baby boy………..Blessed with the bright and cheery disposition as well as extraordinary good looks and talent, he spread happiness wherever he went……..But in those halcyon days, nobody knew that he would be snatched from their lives far too soon to enter into warrior’s heaven

Her skill as a narrator should be appreciated. The way she had maintained a good flow, connected the pieces is really nice. And the dialogues she used too has thoroughly brought out her characters- pride in Arjuna, diplomacy in Krishna or the goodness in Yudhisthira.

arjuna-saga-of-a-pandava-warrior-prince-400x400-imadgqfhrxh95s5n

 

However, her language is tepid at times, and repetitive. And most importantly, she should understand that just good word stock wouldn’t improve the writing. I am not telling this because she used lots and lots of non-colloquial words, I am telling this because the words didn’t fit in many of the places.

Besides this, the ending seemed rather hasty, and not appropriate. It started withJanamaya listening to the story of his ancestors, but ended with Arjuna falling down. I expected a conclusion, even a small one would have been comforting.

But, despite all these points, I would say that it’s a good one time read. Strongly recommended if you haven’t read ‘The Mahabharata’. And as for the author, thumbs up, great work as a debut. I surely hope there’s many more to come. And with her narration, I would like to read one of her own stories. I am sure it would turn out much better.

Author: Anuja Chandramouli

Publisher: Leadstart Publisher

Language: English

No. of Pages: 364

ISBN: 9381576394

EAN: 9789381576397

Lets Know Some Brands….

7 Oct

Olay

When the worlds longed for beauty, they started putting beauty in packages.
When beauty wanted nature, they mingled flowers and oils.
When beauty meant white, they blended milk and radiance.
When beauty wanted to live longer, they caused miracles.
And now, beauty says she wants to leave forever
.

According to the 2012 global report of the brandirectory, ranking the world’s most valuable brands, Olay has topped the directory followed by Avon and L’Oreal.

olay10

Lets know more about Olay India.

  • This P&G’s multi-billion dollar brand started in 1949 and was launched in India on 2007.
  •  A premium skin care anti ageing cream priced between Rs 2,200 and Rs 2,600 per pack, became one of the top-seller brands in the market.
  • On June 2010 the brand’s consumer targeted from ‘she’ to ‘he’
  • the most interesting events started during November 2010 when there was a flight between Hindustan Unilever’s Ponds and Olay when the former launched half a dozen of anti ageing products hence intensifying the supermarket.
  • Again on Nov 2010 the P&G was chosen to sponsor the next five Olympic Games.
  • On November 2011 P&G planned to manufacture products for Indian market locally diverging from its decade-old strategy of importing its goods just to emulate the cost efficiency of HUL.

The Olay India Website

http://www.olay.in/Pages/DefaultFlash.aspx

The website flicks with a big sideshow of its recent releases and the celebrity endorsements.

Indian actress Kajol Devgn has been endorsing this brand as a brand ambassador since Oct, 2009. She has been the face for several advertisements, particularly for the Olay Total Effects.

the website of Olay... a screenshot. http://www.olay.in/Pages/DefaultFlash.aspx

the website of Olay… a screenshot. http://www.olay.in/Pages/DefaultFlash.aspx

The recent celebrity endorsement by the Indian actress Madhuri Dixit is for Regenrist, an Olay’s anti aging product that visibly helps regenerate your skin’s appearance.

olay

The slide show continues with an option, giving the user the control to flip the sides. The upper part of the website had three secondary expandable titles; explore products, learn about your skin, and inside Olay. Explore Products deals with the promotion of it four major products in the Indian market.

various titles to explore.

various titles to explore.

It’s always the difference that counts for the best. Olay’s website is featured by some unique carry over options. One such example is the Olay for you. An option for extension is available at the corner of the page when you explore the products. This opens in a new window to give you a product that would best suit your skin type and tone.

olay

There is always much more than one can see and get from Olay. Entering India and selling standard products in a country where people hardly care about spending thousands on skin is not as easy as it seems. Winning the trust of India Women and then men, Olay has been one of the most trusted brands in the world of cosmetics and skin care.

But with commendations and patents it has accusations as well. The Fun Express will come with it in the next article.

HARRY POTTER AND THE ADVENT OF ANATHEMA

26 Aug

a href=”https://thefunexpress.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/harry-potter-purge.jpg”>harry-potter-purge

 Though it all ended so soon… it still dwells, the Hogwarts.

Occluding the last page of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, a weird manacle cripples our ecstatic escape to the witchcraft and wizardry world. My story involves only those substances and characters that are officially mentioned by J.K.Rowling thus making it very factual to the series and fictitious to the living world.

 

Prologue:

Minerva McGonagall, Department of Transfiguration who earlier served as the Head of Gryffindor, now the Headmistress of Hogwarts holds a colloquy with Horace E.F. Slughorn on the very day named Baffled Armageddon which is marked by the death of Lord Voldemort .Slughorn reveals an Apocalypse that astounds McGonagall. Harry Potter, Head of Auror Department is summoned to invoke the Order of Phoenix.

Part 1: 

(Headmistress’ Office, 7th floor, Hogwarts) When he woke up, he had no idea that the world had changed around him When he woke up, he had no idea that the world had changed around him

When he woke up, he had no idea that the world has changed around him. When he woke up, he had no idea that the world had changed around himAlbus Severus Potter runs to McGonagall after encountering unusual reveries at Hogwarts. She calms his nerves by mentioning to him that his dad also used to get such dreams during the inception of his magical mind. Aftermath herself being seized by the advent of something horrible she fidgets and she has no scholar explanations for these unfounded visions of Albus. 

(No12- Grimmauld place, Headquarters of order of phoenix, London)

A soul that fears death never gets salvation, he was Thanatophobic. We don’t have any trace of the Dark Lord becoming a specter so what happened to his soul ‘complete redemption or partial preservation’? Dark Lord was not a predator rather omnipotent so if we do not have any trace of existence of his soul does that really mean he has completely left the physical world? What are the fundamentals of a living Horcrux? What if the soul has transferred from Nagini? What if during all these years he has been trying to have a come back to the physical world again? Did Albus really have a dream only?” Hermione propounds.

“Secrecies should be broken and the Ministry of Magic should be informed about the dream, Professor Hermione’s predictions and more over about the Apocalypse. The Order of Phoenix should start finding inventories having doubtful existence of Lord Voldemort ‘s soul remaining”, Harry Potter says.

Part 2:

Harry Potter persuades Albus to draw whatever he has dreamt. “Riddle house, it is. The hand of glory (dark art) in his dreams further signifies that there lies something that still has remains of Voldemort. I should make my visit there with Professor Ron. Meanwhile you keep Hogwarts sound”, Harry says to Hermione.

 

(Room of requirement, 7th floor, Hogwarts)

In the intervening period magical objects started evanescing form the Hogwarts Treasure. Deluminator vanished and Foe-glass was witnessed broken by Mrs. Granger. Furthermore she found a note written “Belongs to the author” inside the treasure. The gradual cease of Marauder’s Map confirmed the resuscitation of the Dark Lord. “Hogwarts is no safer. We need dementors to shield us”, Hermione’s soliloquy.

(Riddle house, Little Hangleton, England)

Ron says, “Why someone wants us to be in this damped, derelict and deserted manor house? Why Albus dreamt the things and places that we know? Was he made to dream so? We should return to Hogwarts”. Meanwhile Harry goes inside and sees a broken window. Peeping through it he sees a very attractive girl looking towards him from the bushes outside and she suddenly vanishes. Clicking her face Harry runs through the bushes but couldn’t muster any trace of her.

 

 

Part3:

(Hogwarts restricted section, library, 3rd floor)

Harry rustles, “the only thing I remember was her face. She was beautiful. She seemed someone from the past, from very earlier time. It felt as if she was in search of something or someone in the reverse side of the window. She must be somewhere there in these books.” At the mean time Hermione sees a very rare portrait of the residents of Hangleton .The portrait had a women looking at Tom Riddle Sr. She is startled and asks, “Can you confirm her?” Harry replies, “Yes! She is the women I saw”. Hermione, “She is dead. She is Merope Gaunt, the mother of Lord Voldemort. It’s very easy for a mother to sense the revival of his son back to the physical world. She was there to see Tom Marvolo Riddle”.

(Headquarters of Ministry of Magic, Whitehall, Central London)

Arthur Weasley passes licit defense to Hogwarts against Dark power.  Troops are sent to thirteen other suspicious places including Malfoy mansion. Harry goes to that section of the ministry which had stored in it, memories of people earlier but was destroyed. “I will find it somewhere, somehow and someday. Just hope it is not too late then”, Harry says.

Part 4:

(Death Eaters have kept something with them long before Baffled Armageddon. The Horcrux Nagini’s egg, into which the soul got transferred before she died, was under a magical spell and a deathly curse since then. No one knew about it except Lucius Malfoy, who had again led a way to bring him back to the physical world.)

 

Narcissa Malfoy lights the Deluminator. Knights of Walpurgis arrive with the prime objective of creating an order to eliminate the Muggle-born wizards and to invade into the wizardry world again. Peter says, “Relying on his excellent camouflage to escape, what we have preserved throughout these years, now it’s going to be a legacy. We are almost ready to acquire racial supremacy. Our brigade Anathema will soon welcome him.”Lucius Malfoy makes his move to Merope Gaunt’s grave, guffaws, keeps his wand on it and says, “The tomb secures in it a very sacred womb. The curse and spells we have been enchanting all these years have made it efficient enough to become gravid. With a return within thirteen years he was able to destroy half of Phoenix and this time our Lord is to revive after twenty years. With Anathema I can see our victory very close and a deadly end for muggle-borns”.         

Part 5:

(Auror Headquarters, level two, Ministry Of Magic)

Harry is held with varied thoughts. He has to now ensure complete security for Hogwarts and drop the upcoming quidditch. Now he repents somehow for destroying the Elder Wand because if the Dark Lord returns then no other wand is available which has intact in it, the courage to kill him. He deliberates; Leaving Lucius alive even after having so many chances to cause him into death was a blunder slip. Again if Voldemort returns it won’t be possible to control him without the Deathly Hallows. All that Harry is left with are the Invisibility Clock, Gryffindor sword and with courage that goes unparallel stringing impeccable precision.

 

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