Posts Tagged ‘earth’

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So I came across an excellent movie the other day. Can’t believe I had missed it for so long. The concept just blew me away.

The flick titled ‘Another Earth’ directed by Mike Cahill saw one of the most creative artist-cum-writers Brit Marling in its lead. She plays a girl with a terrible past, trying really hard for forgiveness, except her repentance is incessantly screwing things up. Okay so, I would try to avoid spoilers for the sake of movie-buffs.

The event that happens at the very beginning of the flick is so sad and tragic, that it is impossible for her to get it out of her system. She keeps thinking about it every single day. The pain is so depressing, and quite apparent on her countenance, it instantly makes you empathize with her. It is as if she has lost her purpose in the mundane. She is so bent on undoing what has occurred that she is willing to do anything. The irony lies in the fact that there is an opportunity right there, staring down at her from a distance, in the form of another Earth.

The beautiful planet which resembles Earth in every aspect is forever there in the movie, making people wonder a lot of ifs and whats. People in the movie call it Earth 2. It piques the interest of Brit owing to those possibilities and what-ifs she has been beating herself about. It could be another dimension. It could be another possibility of her life’s events.

So, basically there are two stories running simultaneously. Both interrelated because of the tragic event that compels Brit to behold Earth 2 as a chance to absolve herself. She plays her character so subtly that it makes you read all those thoughts that are running through her head at every moment, throughout the flick.

There are some brilliant quotes in the movie that make you ponder.

Within our lifetimes, we’ve marveled as biologists have managed to look at ever smaller and smaller things. And astronomers have looked further and further into the dark night sky, back in time and out in space. But maybe the most mysterious of all is neither the small nor the large: it’s us, up close. Could we even recognize ourselves, and if we did, would we know ourselves? What would we say to ourselves? What would we learn from ourselves? What would we really like to see if we could stand outside ourselves and look at us?

The moment when everyone finds out the planet is an exact mirror image of our Earth fills your head with bazillion questions. (So long spoilers!) What would probably blow your mind is the fact that there is an exact ‘you’ who was born, where you were born, who has lived, where you have lived and who might be wondering the exact same questions on finding out about you. Nobody knows the answers to what lies yonder. Yet everybody is curious for answers because everyone is living stories they would want to live differently.

Just when you are about to feel Brit’s penitence is falling into place, the movie ends at a surreal juncture. The climax makes you wonder. You would end up with so many questions and probably with solutions too.

The most important thing is that the flick makes you brood over the quintessential question:  What if you come across yourself one day? What would you say to yourself? Won’t you just go running down on yourself and hug yourself first, and say ‘you love you’? (Just throwing it out there…go easy on yourself!)

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So we witnessed heaven on Earth. Yes we did. All twelve of us.

We stormed to Coorg, also popularly known as Kodagu district, located in Karnataka. The place they call the Scotland of India. Why do they do that? Who does that?

One of the best things about bike riding is that you have your say, not to mention your will and your way. You can stop anywhere. You can drive crazy. You can test your partner’s guts. You can test ‘your’ guts. You can leave the everlasting roads behind you. You can run ’em over. You can pee fire. No wait that is over-exaggeration.

We sped off in the wee hours and drove incessantly for 5 hours to reach Coorg and by incessantly, I mean with a lot of pit stops. You can’t expect a bike rider to drive non-stop. You can’t overlook loo, now can you? 😛

Roads were empty while we made sure to fill them with our swiftness. All twelve of us sped into the blue, unacquainted with the roads, yet with a thing for destiny. We rode like Ghost-riders only with lesser flames and more flesh.

I defied ‘time’ a couple of times when I decided to test the upper limits of my ride’s speedometer. I went into a trance I was unaware of. For the first time in my life, my eyes literally cried tears of joy and the wind bears testimony to the fact.

We stopped for a refuel, not that our bikes needed it, for we took care of the issue right at the inception, but for our bodies, that became instantly parched when we saw a drinks bar on the way.

We resumed our sojourn once our tanker was 25% full. Roads were bountiful except for 2-3 places where we were forced to defy a sloth. During the later part of our journey we realized we were sort of riding on a mountain, though the exhilaration got the better of us and we reached in no time. We were hungry like hell and exhausted like heaven(….Whaaaaaaaat?) So we feasted or rather hogged on food in a restaurant I am willing to forget.

For newbies, if you happen to accidentally drop by to the Indian Scotland, I’d recommend a couple of places. I am listing them down so you remember yourself eventually.

  • Iruppu Falls
  • Igguthappa Temple
  • Cauvery river
  • Dubare Elephant Camp
  • Abbey Falls
  • Unchalli Falls
  • Brahmagiri Hill
  • Raja’s Seat
  • Omkareshwara Temple
  • Shri Shringeri Shankar Math
  • Golden Temple

The first place that we crashed was Abbey Falls, Madikeri. So what we felt duped when we realized those falls looked puny in front of some other falls on this planet. Yet it was something natural, and I love nature. I can’t criticize its creation. Besides the place added up to a couple of great shots that we are going to cherish forever.

Exhausted we were after 150 kms of journey, we looked for a place to crash. The night was young. We celebrated Coorg with Blender’s Pride in our throats. The same night I realized I had never laughed that much with Scotch in my veins. The temperature in Coorg is said to fall below 4 and so we snuggled up in our beds after gorging up on a beastly dinner. Yep in the morning we realized the legends were true as the biting cold bit us blatantly.

When the dawn broke we hied on our bikes to visit several other spots we had heard much about. The first one was Raja’s Seat. The spot allowed us to look down the vale. The beauty of the dale was unmatched. We kept marveling at the scenic beauty for a while. When there are twelve guys together, you just can’t stop fun from happening. Raja’s Seat called for some excellent and funny moments and we made sure that our cameras remembered them.

Next thing on our map was Dubare Elephant Camp, where we river rafted. We wore life belts to ensure life. Out of the blue, someone played a prank and pulled one down into the water. The next thing we knew, all of us were floating in the water like frogs. Except two or three, nobody knew how to swim. We spent hours in water at the mercy of our life belts.

Boy we were happy! Hadn’t we stepped (rather hurled) into the water, we would have never really enjoyed the place. While our experts taught us how to swim, some of the guys like me, thought they had mastered it for a while. We kept saying that jumping into the water made our day. Our life belts made sure that we saw another. We were pulled back into the raft by our disgruntled oarsman. While we were returning we saw Elephants (that explained the name) dropping deuces and bathing (earlier ignored because of the fun we were having). Our oarsman played a prank when we were about to reach our extraction point. He pretended to hit an imaginary snake in our raft. Boy everyone jumped into the knee-deep water without caring for their lives (er….I mean they cared, that’s why they jumped in the first place) injuring themselves like anything, while I understood the prank and took the oarsman’s side and laughed at my friends. Soon I was punished, when I stepped into the water as something pierced my feet. Bearing injuries has become my hobby now. I bled in pain with the incision. Still I stood up, dusted off, and picked up my ride to satiate the adventure in me.

Next thing in our carte was a temple. We rode like ghost-riders once again when we realized we needed to wrap up the adventure quickly. We reached ‘The Golden Temple’ at around half past noon. It was a Buddhist temple. Smitten, we swayed into the serenity, while three Lords stared down at us in surprise. Three huge golden Buddhas wondered what we were doing in Coorg, while we marveled at all their gold. Their effigies looked beautiful. What surprised me more was the tranquility the place offered. Walls were painted with stories of Buddhism. They told a story we weren’t interested in. However the pictures of various descendants and Lords of the religion beatified us beyond limit.

We had to wrap up quickly as we were running short on time. So we had our lunch right after we came out of the temple. Our eyes, which had turned all golden by now, adjusted themselves to the gold that sun offered.

We took out our beasts and decided to make a retreat. Now this was the best part of the journey. We knew the roads were going down. We knew that we were on a mountain. We switched off our engines at once, when we reached the inception point of the steep. It felt so exhilarating and so beautiful, my words fail to describe it. Roads would always turn left or right. All we had to do was follow it. All six bikes moved silently. I reminded my friends of the part in Tokyo Drift, where 5-6 cars go drifting on roads on a mountain. The only difference was we weren’t drifting and of course we weren’t driving cars. Then again we couldn’t have possibly felt heaven breezing through our skins.

We knelt down at every turn. It felt like we were playing MotoGP. The speedometer crossed 80 at times, and the engines never buzzed. We overtook many cars and buses involuntarily. We were in a trance. All we needed to do was tilt the handle and of course be careful at the turnings. For almost around 20 kms our engines never purred because of the slope. Boy we saved a lot of fuel!

Eventually we reached our destination. It was as if someone had switched off the light. We were back and yet we were there. We had witnessed paradise on earth. We kept talking about how good our experience was. We kept reckoning, had we taken a cab or a van to the place we wouldn’t have really enjoyed it all.

The scorching sun made sure we got our tans. I got mine, a distinctive one. People laughed at me for days and called me a freak. (Well that’s over-exaggeration having its toll again)

Sometimes I wish to be on those roads again. I relive those moments of eternity every now and then. I wish that trance to succumb me at times. The experience brought me into tears, just like that Avril Lavigne’s lyrics, ‘It’s so beautiful that it makes me wanna cry’.

We wished we had more time on our hands. We would have explored more of Coorg. We left out a couple of great places we had written in our menu. Hope that future brings me to this place again and I get to cover it all. Yet somewhere deep down I know, it wouldn’t match the fun and joy, all twelve of us had while riding our bikes and scaling unacquainted, unknown yet magical parts of Coorg.

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I ended up watching an awesome episode of ‘How the universe works‘ on Discovery Science yesterday. (Don’t judge me just yet! I was only flipping by) There were a bunch of astronomers trying to explain things, we don’t comprehend. (Hasn’t it always been like that?) They would try to simulate scenarios picked up by their droid in space, here on earth, of course, with caution. They seemed like really important people, doing some serious stuff. I must say, I was fascinated beyond limit.

Something about ‘the accidental occurrence of water, due to collision with distant asteroids, causing life to flourish’, was the gist of their discussion and it certainly did dilate my eyes. Eventually while giving closure  the narrator raised a series of unanswered questions, that would forever pound us in the head.

Is there any other planet out there, just like Earth, a planet that retains fitting amount of water and atmosphere enough to sustain life? If earth was created by chance, due to the collision of watery asteroids (that explains water occurrence) and ember-rock caused by sun (that explains the rocky surface) and a proper orbital placement, what are the odds of another Earth, getting created in a similar fashion?

When we give a sneak-peek to the rest of the planets of our solar system, we realize that we are located at an apposite distance from a star, capable enough to obtain enough heat and light to sustain life. Appending to that is Earth’s magnetic field that deflects harmful solar winds coming straight from the unforgiving star. Then there is the ozone layer acting as an aegis. It doesn’t look like chance at all. But the big question that permeates here is, if there is someone supreme, how did ‘His world’ came into existence?

There are zillions of planets out there revolving around gazillions of stars. The possibility of another life form lies in billions of such planets. How great would it be to encounter people from another planet! What if they turn out to be even dumber than we are? What if they are really cool? Do we really visit their world when we dream? Whoa that’s a new one! Yeah, I ponder off sometimes.

I am glad we are able to scale new horizons. People are willing to look for answers. They have the zeal to do so. The zest to end a loop with a reply. With our ability to go inquisitive, we have always groped for answers in the dark. With sci-fi movies, novels, illustrations, comics and thoughts we have always tried to move a step closer towards the unknown and someone or something has permitted it altogether. A great example is the flick Prometheus which managed to prod us deep. It made us think. We would never really rest until our reasoning contents our curiosity.

I feel grateful to be a part of this earth and would always be grateful for it for the rest of my life, as meaning it imparted to my dead life. Easy there, Homer!

We don’t bother sometimes because we are engrossed in our mundane life. We like it here. Cool. Calm. No worries of what’s yonder. But like a great man once said:

You didn’t raise the question. So I didn’t bother look!

Well that great man is me. Oops. Busted.

The show was strangely magnetic. I ended up with goose bumps after watching their awesome CGI work. What Saturn and Jupiter consisted of in reality and what caused Saturn to don its ring on the hip instead of its ring finger, were depicted magnificently.  What elated me more were the assertions made by these guys. They are the ‘Zens’ in real life. They would never stop looking. They would always end up with answers. As the show reached its eventuality, they affirmed and reassured us remarking, mankind would definitely find that other planet, somewhere in the future.

I guess then we would have a neighbor, whom we would bother all the time.  😛