Posts Tagged ‘snake’

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I happened to come across an interesting list on IMDB, wherein people shared how customary, goofy, yet slightly terrifying movies used to scare them as a kid. How some unique features of some character played horror-games into their brains and how when they grew up, they laughed it off. This brought something from my childhood to the front page too.

I remember the time, when I used to be dead scared, owing to a stop-animation series they showed on TV. The show was called ‘Bump in the Night’. It aired on an Indian channel DD Metro (believe me that was the only interesting channel they had back in the days), right after I would complete my homework. I became a great fan of animation, ever since I laid eyes on one. They aired a bunch of cartoons at dusk. My brother and I, animation’s biggest fans, would make sure, we didn’t miss a single episode the channel aired. We would sit in utter silence and amazement, as the shows appeared one by one on the Idiot Box. It was our time. Nobody messed with us then. Primarily, because we would always sit right after we were done with our homework. Right, mommy?

The concept of stop-animation was entirely new to me. I didn’t know there was something like that until ‘Bump in the Night’ bumped into my life. The show was about little monsters that lived under the bed of a small boy. They would come to life in the dead of the night. It was a fun show actually. Comedy. I don’t know what but something back then made it look formidable to me. I was so scared of the character Squishington. Her droopy eyes would scare the shit out of me. The fact that she had everything drooly on her body, made me hate her even more. I started imagining if these characters were alive and living under my bed too. The fact that Squishington owned the toilet made me scared to go to the loo. Even though she was one of the better looking monsters amongst the other ugly ones, I would always be horrified, and peek through my fingers to see her talk, politely.

I would often ask my brother, “Why are they like this?” But I would never show that I was literally pale.

It was only recently, when I happened to see one of the episodes from the show again. All the characters look so funny now. The show was hilarious for kids. I, on the other hand, peed my pants, watching them fool around on the screen.

While at it, there were some other things that scared the bajesus out of me. I remember the first time I saw Chucky. Boy! I was afraid of that toy. I stopped loving dolls ever since.

Ron Weasley wouldn’t have the slightest idea that a fellow fan, facing the screen was even more afraid of those spiders in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets than he was. That snake, in the end, nearly killed me and believe me, there was no 3D back then. I am sure it bit me. Oh Wait! Those were my teeth on my fingers.

Even some of those dreadful episodes from Courage the Cowardly Dog would slap horror, every now and then, into my terrified brain. Some of the minacious batman villains from the animated series like Scarecrow, the Man-Bat from On Leather Wings and Mad Hatter, (this reminds me, I was more scared to read Alice in Wonderland than intrigued) ushered in terror, whilst I grew up watching my superhero.

Bats, ever since I watched the movie as a kid, something told me bats aren’t at all mushy mushy. The precise reason, the trepidation still lasts.

One time I watched Coraline and revisited my childhood, back when horror and thrill used to be BFFs. Yeah I know. What a wimp! Totally!

I wouldn’t go to my school because I was afraid that an eagle, (actually a bunch of them packed around my pathway everyday), might take me off my bicycle just like a ‘Sindbad the Sailor’ show manifested in an episode. I am pretty sure they were plotting against me. That boy on the red bicycle. One day! One day!

There is a reason I am afraid of lizards. Primarily, because they used to be dinosaurs once. And when they come pretty close to you, they beat all odds. And Grasshoppers! I am sure they are concocting something up every single second. And BTW, who asked them to be so big?

All those days are in the past now. Today, when I watch them, I don’t feel even a tinge of horror in my guts. I can walk in the dark. My brain is prepared. Miracles are a myth. I realize that unwanted imagination is a bitch.

Today, I am a grown up and not afraid of anything. Today…….Don’t you even think about attacking me cockroach!

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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 have always been fascinated by games. Leisure enthralls me. It’s my fuel. Keeps me going. I can’t imagine a life without entertainment. Wait! I can. It is the 100th dimension. Ummm…….Yeah not so good.

Everything about games fascinates me. Games were my first love after all. Earlier when ‘MS-DOS‘ used to be the Godfather, I remember discovering ‘Nibbles‘ in my computer. It was really something then, which anyone would now brand as just another snake game. Now if a gamer is told that there are a couple of keys to control the protagonist, he sees only one. Soon I became a champ. That was the first visual indoor game I ever encountered in my life and I left no stone unturned to reach the final stage of the game.

That was there, alongside ‘Gorillas‘, the first artillery game I ever played. Two gorillas would go bananas over their explosive bananas which they used to throw at each other. They would stand at different buildings (guess that was to avoid them from clobbering each other). Pretty great concept huh! Those concepts went on to develop much better games in the long run. ‘Pocket Tanks‘ is a fully fledged example of that.

I encountered ‘Pac-Man‘ at almost the same time. I went nuts over the game. I would sneak up at night to show those bloody ghosts who the real boss was. I distinctly remember me and my uncle playing till 4 am in the morning bent on carrying Pac-Man’s legend to the next level.

The next best thing that popped up in my life was ‘The Paper Boy‘ which defeated the purpose of every other game in my life. I would play that with my brother all the time. Floppies used to hover hither and thither for more games. Soon I was introduced to ‘The Prince of Persia‘. Speechless. I spent a major part of my life trying to finish that game. ‘Chess‘ made sense at a young age and I found the game immensely intelligent. It made me feel intelligent. It is fun. So I never actually stopped playing it.

The first time I saw ‘Mario’ on a video game, I heard music playing in the background. It was magical. I knew in my heart at once that I gotta play this. Soon I made sure of that. Battle City, Galaxian, Duck Hunt and Hongan’s Alley soon followed. I would always be fond of Battle City though. It happens to be the favorite of a lot of people in my life. Guess I will never run short of the ‘second player’.

The sojourn after that was even more magical. With games like ‘Hitman‘ and ‘Delta Force‘, I stepped into the world of third and first person shooting game. I would play anything with a gun. It was also the time when music started making sense to me. Jesper Kyd touched that note with his composition and became a hit almost at once. My ears adulate him to date.

With an introduction to games like ‘Call of Duty‘ and ‘Medal of Honor‘, knowledge about guns and grenades thrived. I was even introduced to Command and Conquer games, which I at once got a liking toward. ‘Red Alert‘ happens to be the first strategic game I got acquainted with. Soon ‘Age of Empires‘, ‘Age of Mythology‘ followed. ‘Rise of Nations‘ is currently brandishing my computer wall. Games like ‘Freedom Fighter‘ and ‘Desert Storm‘ were some of the best games I ever encountered meanwhile.

Assassin’s Creed‘, however, changed the way I used to think. I am smitten by the concept, theme and, of course, the music. ‘Batman Arkham Asylum‘ and ‘Battlefield Bad Company‘ were some of the finest games I ever came across during that time. Franchises of Company of heroes, Virtua Tennis, Cricket, Fifa, Raw, Smackdown, Shank, Call of Juarez, Just Cause, GTA and NFS are still being profoundly revered by me. They will always stay close to my heart, in my hard disk.

I am glad that they are there. They give me company all the time. They never let me down, never let me be alone. They’d never let me go because I love them so much. All I care about is the control. Just let me have it and I will teleport myself to a different dimension altogether.

With technology galloping using all four hooves, I am surprised at how realistic games are becoming today. It is surreal how small games used to be, and how big they have gradually become. Small yet significant games have bowed out now and have paved way for realism.

I have played them all. Makes me feel old. But when I look at the journey ahead, I know there is a lot to come. Oh! Wait and tag along it gets more real than this.