May 25, 2011


Hi Guys,

Fear is an instinct that occurs when we feel there is danger nearby. All of us have fear for something or other. What varies is the degree of fear and the way we face it. Let me say about something that I fear the most.

It is none other than the Snakes. I have been living in the same home from my childhood days and the locality has developed a lot. In the earlier days, there used to be fewer houses and more thorn bushes. So, there used to lot of snakes around the place. I was fed up with the thought that all snakes are dangerous and snake bites lead to death.

Once when was 7 or 8 years old, I went to the terrace to take the clothes from the cloth lane. When I was climbing down the stairs, I heard the noise of some movement in dry neem leaves. I sensed that something was moving in the leaves. My small hands were full of clothes and they were nearly covering my face too. So, I was able to see nothing from that height. As I crossed half the way, I saw what was there and instantly screamed ‘Amma’.

It was a 6 foot long snake and it was lying on the dry leaves. My hands were trembling and I dropped some clothes. I never cared for the clothes and I never turned my eyes toward the snake. I just rushed inside my home. The snake too sensed the vibration and rushed to next home through the fence. I was looking through the window and I still remember the part of snake I saw. It was black-violet in colour. I knew what it means by ‘full of life’ then. The snake was magnificent and full of life. From then on Mom won’t send me to take clothes.

This incident happened quite early. I think it was during a summer vacation or some other holiday as I remember that I and my brother were playing. It was late afternoon and then someone came to pluck grasses from my home. He saw that there was a snake and informed us. We were just frightened and mom went and called some construction workers nearby. They came and tried chasing away the snake and the snake entered the bathroom pipe. So, they decided to attack the snake from the bathroom.

They asked me and my brother to move away from bedroom as it was a very long snake. They pulled the snake out of the pipe and closed the bedroom door and after some fight, they hit the snake. I still remember two people carrying the snake from bedroom. It was dark green in colour and it was also a big one. Blood was dropping all along the way and that day I knew... Snake blood is also red in color!

As I grew up, the number of houses in the locality started increasing, which meant that thorn bushes were decreasing and snakes had no place to hide. So the number of snakes I saw in the past 7-8 years was very less. For the past 2-3 years, we encountered no snakes, but due to the heavy monsoons this time, some snakes have come again.

Particularly in the last few days, some small snakes were frequently coming. Yesterday, there was a 2 foot long snake in the garden. The worst part was that it was crawling on the top of compound wall. All these days, I have never seen a snake climbing a wall. How did that snake do that? I was so frightened and searched Google for ‘wall climbing snakes’ and never got an exact answer. This has created new fears in me.

Hope that wall climbing snake doesn’t come again.

Happy Reading!!!

May 21, 2011

Things that Crossed my Way!

Hi Guys,

There were some corrupt files in my computer for the past few months. They were slowing down all the processes and hence I decided to set things right. I thought it will take lesser amount of time, when I sat yesterday evening. But when things seemed to be right, newer problems kept coming. Finally I set things right by today afternoon. I had to spend nearly 5 hours to right things. It was just frustrating.

Missing Beautiful Things
A few days ago when I started to college, I noted that a plant in my garden was full of flowers and it just looked stunning. It’s called as Idly Poo in Tamil and later learnt that it is called as Jungle Geranium in English. The flowers used to be in a bunch and it will be bright red in colour. Even one bunch of a flower will look beautiful and that day there were around 20-25 bunches and it appeared red all over the place. It was gorgeous. I have seen lot of flowers and still this one remains my favorite.

A whole view
A closer look
This plant has been in my house for a long time and I still remember my childhood days when I used to pluck the flowers to drink the sugary nectar. The taste will be wonderful and hence there will be honeybees around this plant. I have got many stings from those bees.

It also made me realize that in the quicker pace of life, we miss many small yet beautiful things.

Amazing Nat Geo
These days, I watch Nat Geo Amazing in National Geographic Channel. There are lot of interesting facts portrayed all over the program. The biggest advantage is that the time period Nat Geo takes to cover a fact is so less, that you can learn 4-5 things even if you watch for 10 minutes. It shows us a new perspective on lot of things. It covers Weird but True facts, slow motion videos, top 5 ratings on a certain things and simple principles behind complex things. Click here to go to the Nat Geo Amazing online channel.

Another program I watch is Mission Army. Nat Geo offers a chance for a common Indian to be on Indian Army. Though I’m not very much interested on the competition, I do watch the Indian Army facilities that are being showcased. The facilities are awesome, the training sessions are rigorous. Last week they were showing about Paratroopers, who are airborne soldiers who can handle any situation. Any one in army can apply for it and nearly 70% of them eliminated in the painstaking training. The training tests your mental ability and physical fitness.

A soldier was saying that he needed to run for 60 kms with all the bag and things. He was saying that after some time his legs were falling out and he was doubtful whether to continue or give up. He was saying that it was not a test for the physical fitness, but the mental ability. To be simple, they are very very brave people, because of whom we sleep comfortably each night.

Return of Birds
A few months back, in my Enjoying Nature post, I mentioned about the arrival of migratory birds. These days I can see those birds return to their home. They travel as a flock of 5-7 birds and generally they are in V shape. Seeing them reminds me of Determination. They fly over 1000s of miles in the hope of finding a new shelter and then returns back home when summer sets in here. They repeat it every year to make sure that they survive.

That’s it for now.

Happy Reading!!!

May 14, 2011

Ghost Stories

Hi Guys,

Ghost movies have never awestruck me, though some of those movies have been bizarre comedies.

Last week I went to my friend Siva’s home and he asked, ‘Karthick, say me some good horror movies that you have seen’. I said him some of the movies involving serial killers or fantastical creatures. He said, ‘No, no! I’m not asking about those movies. I’m asking about ghost movies. Movies in which ghost really appear and frighten’. I said that I have not seen any movie in which ghost appear and in most cases either ghost takes another person’s body or it is invisible and even those movies are great humour stuffs.

He replied, ‘What is this? Even in our Tamil movies, ghosts wear white sarees and come. You are saying there are no such movies in Hollywood. It’s amusing’. I said that there may be some and added that I left watching ghost movies long time back as they have never impressed me. I expect ghost movies to frighten us to the core and none has done so. Siva too accepted and said that he was expecting one such movie and is able to find none.

Few months back I saw a movie called ‘They Wait’ and it ended to be a frustrating one. Particularly the climax was the best comic scene. As the heroine breaks the wall of a building, piles of human bones will fall out and the bones will pull the villain groups inside the wall. I don’t know how they think of such stories.

These days I have completely lost my interest in watching ghost movies as most of the movies have monotonous stories. Either a ghost enters the body of a small boy or ghost’s surface in a home to take revenge or someone moves to a new home and ghost chases them throughout the movie or a new born baby is a ghost. Of the movies I have seen, the one which impressed me a lot was ‘The Grudge’. I watched the original Japanese version and it was a good one.

I don’t like ghost movies, but hearing or reading ghost stories is different. I still remember my childhood days in which my brother used to tell me ghost stories very rarely. The spot would be perfect. He used to say it only during night time, when there is a power cut. I don’t remember any of those stories he said, but I remember that I won’t be able to sleep properly that night.

Imagination is the biggest advantage in hearing or reading stories. Watching a movie diminishes the perspective of imagination. Hearing a story will take you to the spot of the story and it will bring the ghost right in front of you. Even a small sound around you creates troubles (read my Ghost Paper post).

After saying all these things, readers may ask whether I believe in ghosts and my answer is NO. The main reason is ‘I haven’t seen one’.

Happy Reading!!!

May 7, 2011

The Invisible Man (1933)

Director: James Whale

Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan

Genre: Sci-Fi

Outline: A Scientist discovers a way of becoming invisible and it turns him crazy

Rating: 3.5/5

This movie was taken in the 1930s when there was little technology to take Sci-Fi movies and yet James Whale has fashioned a wonderful movie. It is loosely based on H.G. Well’s novel named the same.

A mysterious man (Claude Rains) enclosed with bandages and eyes covered with dark glasses takes a room in a remote inn in England during winter. He requests complete privacy and when the innkeeper’s wife disturbs him he attacks her and the innkeeper. When the police arrive he removes all his dresses and become invisible. People think he is a ghost and police officials say that it is a story.

A Scene from the movie
He returns back to his partner Dr Kemp (William Harrigan) and asks Kemp to assist him in doing murders and stealing money. Kemp is shaken and the Invisible Man continues to shock people. Kemp somehow manages to call their mentor Dr Cranley and his daughter Flora (Gloria Stuart), who is Claude’s fiancée. Flora tries to persuade him, but he refuses to hear her. Kemp also calls the police. Police surround the building and yet he escapes. Before evading he meets Kemp and promises to murder him by 10 pm the next day.

Kemp consults with the police and they formulate a master plan. Does the Invisible man murder Kemp? Do the police arrest the Invisible Man? Watch the movie to know the rest.

The movie lasts for a little more than an hour. It’s such a short movie and yet impresses the viewers. It is really astonishing to think how they took the invisible scenes way back in 1933.

Happy Reading!!!

May 6, 2011

Back to the Future - Trilogy (1985-1990)

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

Genre: Sci-Fi

Outline: A Scientist invents a Time Machine and all goes wrong for him and his young companion.

Rating: 4/5

Few imaginary things like UFO, Aliens and Super Power always fascinate people and many movies have come based on these things. Time Machine is yet another captivating thing and it’s a wonder that many movies have not been based on this. Back to The Future is one of the rare movies which involve the concept of Time Travel.

Part 1
The movie starts with the boring life of teenager Marty Mcfly (Michael J. Fox) at Hill Valley, California in 1985. One night he goes to visit Dr Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), who is a scientist and is nicknamed Doc. Doc shows Marty a car, which he says is the Time Machine when the speed is greater than 88 mph. Doc, plans to go back to the year 1955, but is shot down by the terrorists. Marty escapes from the terrorists by using the car and he is transported to 1955.

The Time Machine and the Panel
The car needs 1.21 GW of power and is fuelled by plutonium. The car runs out of fuel and so Marty is trapped in 1955 as there is no plutonium then. He meets the young Doc and the young Doc plans to transport Marty back to 1985, by using the power that is going to be generated by a lightning a few days later. Meanwhile, Marty accidentally disturbs the event in which his parents were supposed to meet. So, his own existence becomes a question. He needs to correct things within a week and Doc must do things right to conduct the electricity. He also needs to warn Doc about the terrorists and Doc doesn’t want to hear even a bit about future.

Part 2
All happens perfectly and due to a letter left by Marty, Doc comes to know about the terrorists and uses Metal Jacket to protect himself. In the second part of the trilogy, Doc and Marty travel to the year 2015 to save Marty’s son from arrest. This is an interesting part, as we are shown interesting gadgets from the future. Now we are nearing 2015 and so many of those gadgets are exaggerated, though few things like Video Conferencing, Multiple TV Channels have become true. Marty loses the car for some time as Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson), a bad guy steals the car.

Imaginary world in 2015- Flying Skateboards
Back in 1985, Marty and Doc find bizarre things as Biff has changed the past, by giving a future Almanac to his younger self. So Marty and Doc travel back to 1955 and set things right. Here they need to be careful as there is another version of them there. Before returning to future, the Time Machine (with Doc inside) is struck by lighting and is trapped in 1885. At the end of the second part, Marty receives a letter from Doc written in 1885 explaining things.

Part 3
In the third part, Marty travels back to 1885 with the help of the 1955 Doc and finds out the real Doc. The fuel tank is damaged and the only way to come back is by engaging the car with the steam engine train. They schedule it on a particular day and Marty meets trouble in the form of Buford ‘Mad Dog’ Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson), a local gangster. Buford schedules a duel on the same day and meanwhile Doc also falls in love with a local girl and doesn’t want to go back to the future. All these converge at the climax which is a stunning sequence of events.

Doc and Marty in 1885
The first part, released in 1985 was not intended to be a trilogy. Four years later when they released the second part, they decided that the movie will conclude in the third part which was released in 1990. The Screenplay is amazing. A small change in the past disturbs the events in the future. Doc saves a girl from falling into a valley in 1885 and Marty realizes that the valley was named after that girl. As she is saved there will be a different name.

The trilogy earned name for both Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Michael J. Fox as an energetic teenager impressed all. Christophe Lloyd with his super facial expressions, flowing white hair and ever glowing eyes captures the viewers. A must watch movie for Sci-Fi fans and if you aren’t one, watch this movie and you will become one.

Happy Reading!!!

May 2, 2011

Hazards of Chlorinated Water!

Hi Guys,

The taste of Chlorine in water means safety to many people across India. It is quite shocking to know that it doesn’t mean safety, but danger.

Chlorine has been dissolved in the water in order to destroy harmful pathogens in the water. It has been the best economical method to purify large quantity of water. For decades chlorine dissolved water has been the saviour against cholera and various other water borne diseases. Government officials have found this as the best possible way to protect people from infection.

When Chlorine is mixed with water, it forms trichlorophosphate (TCP) and the trihalomethane group (THMs) which includes chloroform and other chlorine by-products. This means that the drinking water we get includes harmful by products of chlorine. What can these products do?

According to research, chlorine and its byproducts, trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) are very harmful carcinogens that can increase the risks of bladder, kidney and rectal cancer. In USA, it has been proved that the chances of getting Bladder Cancer increases if you drink chlorinated water.

Another research from Norway, Canada and the United States has linked chlorine in drinking water to increased birth defects, still-births and now spina bifida (incomplete formation of vertebrae and spinal cords).

US Council of Environmental Quality says that, ’Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine’.

World Health Organization (WHO) has also published an article on Chlorine in Water. In the article it is said that higher chlorine levels in water lead to increase in Cholesterol levels as Chlorine and Calcium in water somehow react with lipid levels. Again WHO says that chlorinated water increases the chances of Bladder Cancer. It says that the allowable level is 5 mg/l and at that level we can taste chlorine in water, so we can never know whether it’s below the safety level or not. Read the whole article at

In a site I found these words, ‘Apply your common sense. Would you pour chlorinated water in your fish tank? All the fishes will die, won’t they?’

Before buying a Water Purifier, make sure that the water purifier does not use harmful chemicals and it removes the dangerous substances present in water. You can read an article on Water Purifiers written by Bejon Mishra, a social activist.

Happy Reading!!!

P.S: This post has been written for the ‘Crusade against Chlorine’ in Indiblogger.