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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. 😉

The illusion of reality.

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one” ~ Albert Einstein.
Are you literate? Well, if you’re reading this, of course you are. But are you educated? That’s a different ball game altogether now.

Are you a thinker? Or do you hoard information from all possible sources but don’t form an opinion from scratch?

Do you believe everything you come across on the internet? Or do you try to verify the sources before you share anything with others?

So, a friend does not scroll through Facebook each day. But when she does, she comes across something like this.

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Probably that is why she doesn’t scroll through Facebook every day.

Now you may just read this, make a joke or two, and toss it out of the window. And that is where the fault lies. Where we don’t really pay attention to the negativity that is seeping into us each moment, each hour, each day through posts like these. Each day, you might not have changed but at the end of a lot of days, well, you’ve changed enough to not be able to turn back!

India and Pakistan have been at war for more than six decades now. A cold, silent, unrelenting war which has affected us all so badly that it is unimaginable how we ever lived together peacefully. And, for however far my sight stretches, I don’t see this getting resolved soon – for reasons as apolitical as political. But this? It doesn’t even make sense.

Yes, Pakistan is known to be involved with terrorism. And the country’s government has made a fair amount of hullabaloo trying to deny things so plain and simple that the whole world can see through their lies now. But why on Earth would you define all Pakistanis as terrorists? And all Indians as hardworking, entrepreneurial, and diligent people? I know we have a fair share of Indians, who if born in the Middle Ages were worthy of being guillotined. (And before you start hating me, that’s the case with every nation!) Democracy saved such Indians.

Ignorant people who think defining Lashkar, Taliban, ISIS simply by calling them products of Pakistan (and surprisingly, corporate products of Pakistan) are not helping other ignorant people in understanding the real depths of the matter. Did you ever think why Lashkar or ISIS came up in the first place? Did you ever think how so many people are being brainwashed into joining ISIS or worse still, who’s funding them? Why aren’t all the ‘powerful, developed nations’ of the world coming together to bring development to the under-developed, terror struck, ravaged and assaulted countries? You think they don’t have the resources to do it? Or is it the drive? Did you ever think about the lives of all those Pakistanis who are in abject poverty and are abused not only by people of their own country but also the entire world? Did you ever think about all those Muslims, who by choice or birth, follow Islam but have never even hit their siblings? Have you ever thought of that man who grows a beard because he likes it but is stared down upon at security checks? All of this requires thinking. Where’s the fun in that, right?

Graciously Yours!

*If you think, this post is meant to incite hatred against any country, religion, community or even person, well the whole point of the post is lost on you. I’d probably call you literate then. Just sayin’!

**I have no problem with people using social media. And neither with people bashing terrorists for the wrong they’re doing. What I have a problem is with sharing posts without complete understanding of the situation and spreading hatred without even being aware of it. Every action we take has a consequence, however small your reach may be or however inconsequential the result may be. But somewhere, if not in someone else, in you something changes. Would you rather want that change to be positive or negative?

Edit : In other news from around the net, ISIS got trolled by Muslims around the world when it threatened USA and asked all fellow Muslims to show the world that they support ISIS’s cause. Check it out here! Thumbs up to those who showed ISIS their true place.

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?