Cursed Beauties

Cursed Beauties

Beauty and woman are two terms which are often used together. In fact, women are usually expected to be beautiful just as men are expected to be strong. Whenever a woman falls to meet the society’s expectation of beauty she is not considered worthy of attention. In the earlier days, when women’s sole survival depended on getting married, beauty was very important. Though these conditions have changed in the current world, still, beauty is considered a “virtue” women should have.

In this regard, a woman who is beautiful is considered lucky. However, if you are too beautiful, well, that is not luck. Sure, beauty can bring you the husband you hope to have. However, that is if you have a say in which person you would like to marry. If not you have to go with the person who is capable of winning your family’s good wishes.

In history or rather in mythologies or folklore we always see women who were so beautiful that they became a some man’s desire and ended up having a very tragic fate. There are many such women, but let us focus on just two. One of the women is chosen from the Western culture while the other is chosen from the Eastern culture.

Helen of Troy

Helen is known as “the face that launched a thousand ships.” She was the daughter of Zeus and Leda, the Spartan queen at the time. Her beauty was very famous that there were a number of suitors willing to wed her. In the end, it was Menelaus who was chosen to wed the beauty. It is never mentioned Helen had any say in the matter. After the marriage while they were living as husband and wife, Paris entered into Helen’s life. The accounts about exactly what happened between Helen and Paris are dubious. Some say Paris raped and captured her. Some say they fell in love. It is never clearly explained. Somehow, Paris managed to take her to Troy. However, Menelaus came to war with Troy and ended up winning the war. What exactly happened to Helen after the war is also not definite as there are different accounts. Some say she lived well with her husband. Some say she died.

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Helen of Troy from the movie Troy (2004)

Queen Padmini/ Queen Padmavati

Padmini also known as Padmavati was a very beautiful princess. The Rajput ruler of Chittor, Ratan Sen, heard about her incomparable beauty from a talking parrot. He was able to win her hand after facing a lot of difficulties. As the story goes, she was in love with him too. The ruler of Delhi at the time, Alauddin Khalji, also heard about this beautiful queen. He wanted her for himself. Therefore, he laid siege to Chittor. His black heart did not care whether or not this married woman wanted to go with him. In the end, he was able to capture the fort. Ratan Sen was killed. However, before Alauddin could capture her Padmavati committed suicide by burning herself to death.

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Queen Padmavati from the movie Padmavati (2017)

Though there are different sources which say both of these women were only fictional characters, one thing is clear. It was their beauty which did not let them live a peaceful life. Helen never got a say in her life but was passed from man to man because they wanted to have her. Queen Padmavati at least got a chance to save herself from becoming a victim to a man she did not wish to be with. However, it does not make her luckier as she ended up killing herself for her honour.

Beauty will always be a problem, mostly for women, as long as people do not understand beauty as a transient thing. Even today there are women who face tragic situations because of their beauty. Beauty can be a blessing, but it can also be a curse for a woman.

 

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Praises, Insults and Social Media

Praises, Insults and Social Media

If someone tells you your dress is pretty or your car is awesome, will you feel happy? Of course, you will. If someone tells your shoes are pretty ugly and you are too fat, will you feel sad? Of course, you will. As humans our mind is set to be happy when receiving praises and be quite unhappy when receiving insults or hard criticism. The world around us has become a place where not just us as people but everything we own and everything we do as in terms of work even, are constantly under other people’s observation and are judged constantly.

The world which was full of such judgement has now started facing a critical situation as a result of the part social media plays. Social media does have a good side. It helps you connect with a lot of people and make them aware of what is going on in the world. However, most people use social media as a way of judging other people. We can easily like or retweet something we find good. We can also easily comment something nasty if we find something we do not like. Since people do not have to meet other people face to face to tell them how good or awful they are, social media has become a great place for those who cannot stop but judge other people.

As a result of this change in the way things operate, almost all of us have started to, sometimes consciously and most of the time unconsciously, see how good we are doing depending on the likes we receives for something we post on social media. However, this is not a good way to judge the good or bad of what we are doing especially when it comes to our work. For example, there are times when people who are actually doing great work for the good of mankind are not receiving enough exposure and help because they are not popular especially in social media while people who do nothing but post pictures of themselves all day long get millions of followers.

If you take the field of arts and literature, with the birth of social media certain people have found their voice and become authors or poets due to social media. However, not all of them are truly talented. This is a sad situation because talent does not come with a picture or a post you make by using a few choice words and some interesting hashtags. Talent is something people are usually born with. The really talented people spend years and years honing their skills. It is sad to see them not finding their way on to the platform they should be standing because they are not popular in social media.

There is one thing to remember. People are always going to judge what you do or say or even how you look, even without social media. With social media these judgement are going to come your way quite fast and with ease. If you are using social media to voice your opinions or showcase your talent, you will have to continue to face this. However, if you are doing something with great dedication, do not let the less number of likes or comments on your posts dishearten you. At the same time, do not let a large number of likes or comments think you are doing everything in the right manner. If this is something related to your passion, always get the help of mentors and find your path in life. Remember, though social media is a good place to connect with people and voice your opinion, you should not let your life get dictated by social media.

 

Calvin… (or Life 2017)

Calvin… (or Life 2017)

(This is what I felt after watching the movie Life (2017). I am trying to be as vague as possible but it could contain some spoilers. If you do not want to have even a minor spoiler, DON’T read!)

Dreadful Calvin,

The first five or ten minutes of your story made me worry if I was putting my time into watching a story which did not deserve my time. Then, you decided to keep things interesting and then onward I was glued to my chair and watching the screen anxiously afraid to take my eyes off for the fear of losing the sight of you creeping by one of the humans.

I still wonder whether you were so good with Hugh (played by Ariyon Bakare) at first because you actually do have a tender side to your soul or was that merely fooling the stupid humans? As for me, I did not trust you from the first moment I saw you. Well, you proved me and most of the crew on the International Space Station right. It did not help that your shape reminded me of a starfish and that in turn reminded me of Patrick from SpongeBob who always annoyed me as a kid.

Then, you went ahead and did an unforgivable thing to Rory (played by Ryan Reynolds – how dare you do that to Ryan Reynolds’ character?). He was acting out of humanity to look after his friends and you sly, evil creature used that to your benefit. I will accept you are a great opponent and has more to offer than meets the eye. If the humans had been a little inhuman at that moment and decided to not send Rory to get Hugh back to safety and to keep the lab locked down, triumph would have been theirs. However, if that was the case the story would not have been this intriguing.

The water related airlock scene with the Commander (played by Olga Dihovichnaya) was a really painful scene to watch. It was even more painful as she was the only person who mouthed the fears I was having about your rapid growth.

As the movie progressed your creepiness increased. By the end of the movie, or rather from the first time you were showing your aggressive side I was thinking may be only Martian life form we can trust is John Jones (J’onn J’onzz). David (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) and Miranda (played by Rebecca Ferguson) fights against you until the very end. They add a lot of an emotional value to your story.

Watching the volume of your body increasing with every shot added to the fear you created. Though your story may remind people of other stories about creatures like you, I think there is originality there. I also think how your story unfolds is actually quite good.

What happened to you in the end? I think that will be question everyone will have in their mind after watching your story. I do not think we will get a chance to see you telling it to us. We will rather have to imagine it ourselves.

By the way, no thanks for making the name Calvin a synonym for fear and creepiness.

Let’s hope we never meet!

(This is one of the best movies of 2017 for me. If you have not already watched it and you enjoy science fiction and thriller movies, I encourage you to watch this.)

 

 

 

My Wonder Woman

My Wonder Woman

Remember growing up? The little and helpless childhood, stubborn and rebellious teenage and then somewhat more intelligent and sane adulthood. Life is more like a play where different acts come on stage at one time or another. If you are currently in the act of adulthood, then, most of you must have gone through some tough and bitter experiences which have let you at least have a glimpse about the truth of life.

Life is not an eternal journey. It is quite temporary. In this journey, we meet so many people who would not even lift a finger to help us, but there are always going to be those few people who will offer the most help to us, even when they are not strong themselves. My mother for me has always been one of those who help me unconditionally.

In her life, she started to pursue a career when she was only 19 years old. That first job gave her financial independence and also brought her and my father together. At 25 my mother got married. They did not have a grand wedding or a huge comfortable married life from the very beginning. They had to fight to create a world of their own as they were the only ones helping themselves. Though my father was a really good man I know every progress we have made as a family has always been because of my mother.

By the time I was born, they had managed to get some money together and build a home for us. So, they were able to say good bye to living in rented places. When my older sister was born my mother had some help from a friend who was living with them at that time. Therefore, she could keep her job and look after the child too. However, when I was born, there was no one who was going to help to look after me. My father’s mother had already passed away, so there was no help from that side. At that moment, my mother chose me over her career. She never complained she had to give up her job and bore her responsibility as a mother of two daughters very well.

As if life wanted to reward her once more when I was somewhat older she got a chance to become a government employee. Until retiring quite recently she was doing her job to the country. Every time I talk about my mother I can be really proud. I know she has always been an exceptional human being with so much love, compassion and patience. She has never been rebelling on the roads demanding for women’s rights, but she has always made sure her two daughters could live a more unrestrained life than her or her generation. Well, my father helped her with that goal. Together they are the best parents especially for a girl living in an Asian country can have.

My mother has always been there for me. She has been making sacrifices for me ever since I was born. She is the reason I have so much courage to find my way out of any maze that blocks my path. She is the reason I will know to be patient and also not to lose hope. She is the one who has taught me we are the ones who make our own lives, our own legacies. That is why she will be my wonder woman till I take my final breath on this Earth. Thank you, amma, for everything you have done for me!

TV Shows That Took Me By Surprise

TV Shows That Took Me By Surprise

Like many of the others I too enjoy watching a good TV show when I have time. What I look for in a TV show is mainly entertainment and a good plot. I cannot be happy with a story which has multiple plot holes.

Since I do not have much time to spare to watch TV shows I am very picky about my choices. However, once in a while, there have been TV shows which have proven to be better than I expected and took me by surprise. They were able to make me their fan.

Teen Wolf

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Up to Teen Wolf every werewolf story I had seen was too much blood and gore. So, naturally, my notion of Teen Wolf was that it was also one of those werewolf stories where there is only blood and gore and no plot. However, when I got to see the first episode of the story, I was truly surprised. Sure, there was blood, but there was also a real story. There is Stiles and his all the sarcastic lines and I love them. Jeff Davis has managed to tell this serious story about a teenager, Scott McCall who gets turned into a werewolf since he was bitten by one in the woods. The story shows how he adjusts to the new life with the help of his best friend Stiles and the unusual wolf pack he creates as the story grows. There is always some interesting supernatural enemy to face. The storytelling is amazing. It also contains one of the best death scenes I have seen on a movie or a TV show which was put there because the actress who played the part wanted to quit the show to try new things. However, that death does not seemed forced in any way and it does not harm the story in anyway too. So, it was a perfect part to a really good story.

iZombie

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Like with the werewolf stories I was not that interested in watching a zombie story. Normally, all the zombies you see generally on any kind of story has a lifestyle of mindlessly looking for brains and killing people. However, iZombie is the first time I have seen a zombie keeping her urges under control and trying to figure out what is going on. Liv Moore, the protagonist of the story, gets infected with a zombie virus. However, once she turns into a living dead creature she wants to never kill a person to eat brains, but she knows without brains she would degenerate. She finds a job at a coroner’s office, so she gets a natural supply of brains without killing anyone. Since eating brains gives her a chance to have visions about the person whose brain she ate, she starts helping to solve murders. Every episode offers Liv to be a different character as she gets the qualities of the brain she ate until that power lasts. So, you get to see a different story every day. It is actually quite fun. The zombie problem in the story is what keeps each episode connected.

Jane the Virgin

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When I heard the name Jane the Virgin and saw some clips of it I was first convinced it was going to be too much of a soap opera for my taste. However, since the drama kept coming my way as I got to see many pictures of it and people talking about it, I wanted to give it a try. So, I watched the first episode and then got hooked. Jane Villanueva is a wonderful character who faces everything that happens to her with a lot of courage. She wants to stay a virgin until she marries and ends up getting artificially inseminated. The story deals with what happens from there and how she and everyone connected to her life reacts to that problem. Unlike most of the other shows I watch this show talks about normal people and problems that can happen in a normal life. It takes you from laughing at something to crying your eyes out the next moment. In season 03, there was couple of episodes which were really emotional that I could not help crying. They presented the story of a very special character in those episodes and Jane’s own emotions with regard to that character in such a good way that I had to cry with Jane.

In my eyes, none of these stories can be known as bad ones because they provide entertainment and a good story. They are actually a few shows I enjoy the most at the moment.

Humans: A Creation or a Mistake?

Humans: A Creation or a Mistake?

Every day we get up from a good night’s sleep. Sometimes the sleep can be only a couple of hours since we had to stay late for some purpose. From the moment we wake up we start following a certain pattern. For most of us this is dressing up the best we can and using the best perfume so we can create a really good impression on anyone we meet as we work at an office. Then, we are off to work where we spend the whole day and come home knackered. A few hours of talking with the family, watching TV, eating something and again it is time to crawl under the blanket and fall asleep. Though this may not be the life all of us spend we are all used to some variation of the same daily schedule.

However, once in a while when our mind desperately needs something more to do, something exciting to do outside of this routine, we will find some kind of an activity which seems interesting to us. Watching movies is one of the best modes of entertainment. That is how I found the movie which made me rethink about our whole existence.

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In 2012, I came across a movie called “Prometheus.” Most of you must have watched it too and with the sequel of it (Alien: Covenant) coming to the theaters in May 2017 you must have all at least heard about the movie. What left me baffled was not the great CGI or the story or the fact that we were finally going to find out how Xenomorphs were created. It was simply the question about who created us, the humans?

From an early age, ever since I started learning about all the space expeditions and about the universe I have always believed we cannot be alone in this universe. With all those planets  in the universe having at least one other alien species is something that can happen. Well, I am not expecting those aliens to be as vicious as the Xenomorphs or as really attractive as Superman.

One of the theories about how life began in Earth has always been that we were created by some alien cells which somehow came to be on Earth. That is a possibility. If that is the case then our roots link us to another kind of creatures in the universe. However, we have always only thought about how humans were created. Never have we actually questioned about what made that creation possible.

If we were actually created because it happened as a part of a natural order that is fine. However, Prometheus made me ask the question what if we were actually deliberately created by another alien species like the Engineers in Prometheus? And what if we were actually a mistake in their part? A creation that was never supposed to be, a creation which made them unhappy?

This thought that we could actually be a mistake done by another alien race left me in despair at the end of the movie. Even the possibility of that happening was really not a good feeling. And though the movie is fiction, the question posed about human existence, how it began and why it began has now become a problem I will always think about. In time, we may find the real answer for this question. Then, again, we may never find the answer too.

A Broken Heart

A Broken Heart

Once when you have all grown up, or not that grown up, you will look for love in a stranger’s heart. The lucky ones will find the right person or at least come out of the experience of love unscathed while the unlucky ones will fall for the wrong one. The experience of the unlucky ones will be really bad if they had really fallen for the wrong one because that kind of love does not last. In no time, they will be left alone while the person they thought was their whole world walks away from them, looking for someone better.

So, now that the love they searched for so much has turned into an unbearable pain the ones with the broken hearts will try to survive. They will feel as if someone had put a spike through their hearts; they will feel as if they are the fry in the boiling oil of anger and defeat. If you are one of these unlucky ones, you have an important decision to make at that very moment. You can decide to let this broken heart destroy you or make you stronger.

If you do decide to make your broken heart the weapon, the power that helps you rise in the world you have made the right decision. There is simply nothing more powerful than a broken heart. Give yourself some time to heal, to get all the venom of a bad relationship out. However, this time out cannot last years. Once you have let go of at least the most toxic feelings and regained some level of peace and harmony focus on what you want to do with your life.

If you are still studying continue that. If you are looking for a job concentrate more on that. Whatever you are doing keep doing that without letting the pain and sadness drown you. Do not let someone who has left your life already destroy it too. If you keep doing something good with your life and reach your goals you will be one who enjoys it. You do not have to be the most successful person in the world to find happiness again. You just have to do something good with you life. You have to become the person who can stand on their own two feet and help those around.

If you use the pain and grief in your broken heart as fuel for reaching these life goals, there will come a time when you can giggle or chuckle like you used to, a time when you start seeing the beauty of the world and even the people. When you reach that time of your life future will no longer be opaque with unbearable pain. You will know where your life is headed. Then, if you want to, you can let your heart fall in love again. However, be careful about the person you trust with your heart this time.

If you have ever been one of the unlucky ones who has seen the abyss of no hope because of a broken heart, remember, a broken heart becomes your undoing, the end of your life only if you want to, because there is always the chance of using it as a weapon to help propel your life  in the right direction.