Monday, May 01, 2006

ESP (The Sixth Sense, Part 2)

ESP (ExtraSensory Perception) is most commonly called the "sixth sense". It is sensory information that an individual receives which comes beyond the ordinary five senses sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. It can provide the individual with information of the present, past, and future; as it seems to originate in a second, or alternate reality.

There are theories concerning individuals who possess ESP and how they acquired this ability. One theory holds that some people such as seers, prophets and diviners were bore with the gift, which was inherited by their relatives. Another theory hold that it is a primordial sense which has decreased in populations as their cultures advanced. Still another theory claims ESP is a supersense, which evolves in the nervous system.
That was just for your reading pleasure. Am in no way trying to claim my 15minutes of fame by saying I have a sixth sense and I can see the future. No. But like I mentioned in my previous post, I believe that the ESP, or sixth sense, is a part of everyone whether they like it or not. It is a normal part of the human psyche and not abnormal or reserved for special or gifted persons. Psychical research does support the theory that everyone is born with ESP capability, though some may possess more than others. Most people have experienced at least one ESP experience in their lives. Maybe many of us just don't give it a second thought, or just dismiss it saying, "I think I have had a deja vu of this!"

Think about it.

Anyway, here I continue to share a few more of my past experiences, 'coz they have always made me wonder.

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From 1993, fast forward to 1997-98, when I was undergoing industrial training in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu, India). I used to stay with my friend in a room provided by the company we worked for, and our lives used to be real boring unless we go out and watch a movie or spend time with other friends during the weekends. Every weekend we made it a point to meet another friend of ours who used to stay with his dad in another part of the city, and then all 3 of us together watch a movie. If that guy's dad went visiting the rest of the family back in their native land, we used to stay over for the weekend and all three of us used to have some fun.

One day, it so happened that we were totally bored and found ourselves with no options but to go stay at out friend's place, even if his dad's there. We took the bus and went all the way, and after getting down, we were walking to his place just talking. I suddenly felt something was weird and not right. I felt we won't be able to stay over at this guy's place and will have to go back to our room. I turned to my friend and told him so. He casually asked what could happen that we cannot be staying over there. And my reply was, "What if his mom and sisters have come from native?" My friend was cool and he told me not to worry 'coz that situation was very unlikely. Why would all of them come here all of a sudden anyway?

So we walked and reached our friend's house. We went up and knocked at the door. And what do we see? The door is opened by his mother!! I was so dumbfounded that I was speechless for a while. When I got back to my senses I realized that the whole family was present there having decided to enjoy the weekend together. Well, we just spent some time there with them and later went back to our room for the night.

There were two other incidents of "having a hunch", where I was meant to take a decision. In one I lost while the other saved our lives maybe.

The first one was when I had to leave my sick dog…a bitch (in the proper sense of the word) alone at home and go somewhere for a day. My mom and sister were with my grandparents and my dad and I were to join them. But my little pet, which I loved so much, was sick and she wasn't moving around much. I was worried about her and told my mom so when she called. But mom said it's alright and there's no need to worry as we would be back home the very next day, just a matter of few hours and she will be fine. I couldn't be sure though and thought of taking her along with us instead of leaving her all alone with no care, but later decided not to, 'coz I didn't want her to suffer due to the travel. So I left her with a cozy little mattress and food and water, hoping she would be fine, and went to my granny's place. But all the while I was really worried about something.

Next morning we left from there and on our way back just dropped in at my aunt's place. A few minutes after we reached there, my aunt's phone rang and the call was for my mom. I was suddenly gripped by this terrible fear something I didn't know. My mom took the phone and as she spoke I saw her face change too. Yup, our little bitch was dead, left all alone when she needed us most. I knew it was gonna happen, but I ignored it. And I had never been as sad in my life as I was that day.

The other one was when I had to go book tickets for my cousins and myself when 4 of us planned to go to our native together from Bangalore. At the ticket counter, the guy gave me tickets on the driver's side of the bus, somewhere in the rear half. That's never a safe place to sit when you travel long distance, coz buses and trucks from the opposite direction will be just ripping past you. One mistake and you could be the victim of a freak accident. I lost a friend in one such. He died coz he was in the wrong seat, and a truck from the opposite side suddenly lost control and hit the bus, exactly where he was seated. Ever since, I haven't really enjoyed traveling sitting on the driver's side of the bus. But sometimes, I don't bother much and just go with what's available.

When the guy at the counter offered me those seats, I didn't wanna ask him for a change and thought will settle for it, coz that was a festive season and getting tickets itself was a problem. But then something told me I should ask for seats on the other side. Even though I hesitated at first, I went ahead and asked him. He checked and finally I was able to get seats for all of us on the other side of the bus. It so happened that the bus we took met with an accident just about an hour before it reached the destination. Another bus coming from the opposite direction slammed into our bus right in the rear half of it, on the driver's side of course. It was a bad hit and a major part of our bus was ripped off. Many were injured, including us, though we escaped with minor ones. But a mother and daughter lost their lives in the accident. I later realized that they had occupied the seats somewhere where the guy had originally offered us.

Our luck was somebody else's bad luck. be concluded in next...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Sixth Sense

Everyone is aware of his or her five basic senses, seeing, feeling, smelling, hearing and tasting. What everyone is not so well aware of is their sixth sense, that sense of otherworldliness, a connection to something more and greater than their physical senses are able to perceive. This is the entrance to the world of the unseen encounter, the unheard communication, the unfelt touch of someone from the spiritual world trying to make a connection with someone in the physical body.
Everybody's heard of the sixth sense and stories surrounding it. So many movies have been made with the theme like the boy who saw dead people as in M. Night Shyamalan's movie The Sixth Sense, or the man who saw the tomorrow as in Iyyer, The Great, an old Malayalam movie. But have you ever had a hunch, an instinct or an intuition? Some experts claim that such hunches might actually foretell the future. Others aren't so sure. Here's a story I found on the net.

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Alex was cleaning his double-action, six-shot revolver in preparation for a bunting trip later in the month. In this pistol, when the trigger is pulled the hammer is cocked, the cylinder revolves, and the hammer falls on the next chamber, all in one smooth motion. For safety's sake, Alex normally kept five bullets in the revolver, with the hammer resting on the sixth, empty chamber.

Before cleaning the gun, he later said, he removed the five bullets and set them aside. When finished cleaning, he began to put the bullets back in the cylinder. When he arrived at the fifth and final bullet, he suddenly got a distinct sense of dread. It had something to do with that bullet.

Alex was bothered about the odd feeling because nothing like it had ever happened to him before. He decided to trust his gut, so he put the bullet aside and positioned the pistol's hammer as usual over the sixth chamber. The chamber next to it, which normally held the fifth bullet, was now also empty.

Two weeks later, Alex was at a hunting lodge with his fiancee and her parents. That evening, unexpectedly, a violent argument broke out between the parents. Alex tried to calm them down, but the father, in an insane rage, grabbed Alex's gun, which had been in a drawer, and pointed it at his wife.

Alex tried to intervene by jumping between the gun and the woman, but he was too late -- the trigger was already being pulled. For a horrifying split second, Alex know that he was about to get shot at point-blank range. But instead of a sudden, gruesome death, the pistol went "click." The cylinder had revolved to an empty chamber -- the very chamber that would have contained the fifth bullet if Alex had not set it aside two weeks earlier.
Had Alex actually predicted the future, or was this just an extraordinary coincidence? Does a sixth sense really exist? It’s been a hot topic with researchers for a long time.

Am not sure about it either, but I did have these strange hunches and intuitions in the past, and not just once, but quite a number of times that I remember at least. Let me share a few here.

Long back, when I was a kid, I remember telling my sister one day that she's gonna fall down and hurt herself that day. She didn't take it seriously, but it turned out that she did actually fall and hurt herself that same day. I don't know what impact that really had on my sister back then but she thought that I did "predict" the future. But that wasn't any sixth sense. It was just a coincidence. But later, years later, in October 1993 if I remember right, something happened which really shook me.

Back then I was in senior secondary school, and it was a crucial year for me. But more than the textbooks and classes, I was interested in music, movies and the stars. With my pocket money, I used to buy many magazines and books that otherwise my parents wouldn't let me have 'coz they were worried about me losing my grip on the studies. These magazines I used to keep them in my room, inside a shelf, hidden amongst the many books and papers. Then one day we all went on a 4-day trip from the school. We had all the fun and were back to our hometown by about dinnertime on the 4th day. As I said bye to my friends and walked home, I suddenly had this weird feeling inside. It was a kind of intuition, that my mother has taken my absence as a right time to clean up my room and shelf and that she had found out my little secret, the magazines hidden under the books. I was really scared that moment. It wasn't a big deal actually. It wasn't like they were some "forbidden" books. But I was still scared. I reached home and my parents were having dinner. I spoke to them for a few minutes and went to my room to freshen up. The first thing I noticed was, my room was indeed cleaned. I rushed to shelf and checked inside. Yup, my moms actually cleaned it up, and guess what; all those magazines and books that I had kept from them were missing!

Of course I had to answer a lot of questions to my mom after that but what really shook me was the fact that I actually "saw" it coming. I should have dismissed it as just a coincidence, but I couldn't. I mean, I was coming back from 4 days of fun with friends and there was no reason why I should have suddenly been worrying about my mom finding out my secret which, to begin with, wasn't as serious as having killed somebody and buried the body in my backyard.

I couldn't dismiss it that easily. I sat and let my mind wander, as usual. I tried to remember if something similar had happened any time earlier in my life. The only incident I could remember, other than my sister hurting herself, was something that took place a few years earlier when celebrating a festival with all my cousins. That day we were all having a great time bursting crackers and enjoying fireworks. In between, one of my cousins was trying to light a flowerpot - that conical stuff which shoots up fire like a fountain. It wouldn't light up even after repeated tries. So she left it. After sometime I saw her going to give it another try. I suddenly sensed danger there and told her not to do it. I told her it's gonna explode instead of just shooting the fire up. She just gave me a blunt look, which ideally would have translated to "Such a coward". I let her go. She went ahead with her intentions, sat down and tried to get it work. And then - the flowerpot exploded. It wasn't a big one, and so it sounded just like a small cracker. My cousin sat there, stunned. Everybody ran to her and asked her if she was hurt. She said no, she was just fine. Minutes later, she was missing and I found her sitting in her room, with tears in her eyes. She had indeed burnt her hand.

Could that have been a hunch that told the future, or just another coincidence? I had dismissed it back then as a case of me being more sensible than my cousin but now it seemed like it was kind of a sixth sense that was telling me what's gonna happen. I discussed these incidents with a friend of mine and he too had some stories to tell me. So I started believing that the sixth sense or whatever that is, is a part of everyone whether or not they like it. It is a normal part of the human psyche and not abnormal or reserved for special or gifted persons.

…to be continued…

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Of 4 Great Movies!

This year so far, quite a few good movies have come out, which is quite refreshing. I was so bugged watching the same old mindless actions and movies heavily loaded with sfx just for the heck of it. Being an animation and vfx enthusiast, I shouldn't be saying that, but then, I hate movies badly made or movies with bad sfx. And I never enjoy movies with flying cars and ships, tall ultra modern structures and high-tech robots as cab drivers and stuff…the stories set in 2500AD or whenever. I have never watched any of the Star Wars movies. Every time I say that, my friends look at me like am crazy. A movie buff, a guy who loves animations and sfx, and never seen the ultimate out of this world movie, Star Wars?

Nope. I haven't. And that's kind of the reason why I haven't seen it too. Out of this world. Somehow, I don't enjoy them. Star Wars, Fifth Element, Total Recall, Minority Report… many more I guess. The few I liked are The Matrix (especially the first part) and Terminator (maybe coz it's set in our times, though the machines come from 2035) trilogy. A movie like Mask of Zorro, which hardly had any CG works and one like Pirates of the Caribbean, which used CG skills so seamlessly that the movie still had the classic feel to it, is always so welcome in my heart.

Ok, let me get to the movies I saw recently.

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First it's Rang De Basanti, which is targeted at the young generation. It's a film about awakening; about standing up for ones beliefs.

A young English filmmaker comes to India to make a film on the Indian revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and their contemporaries and their fight for freedom from the British rule. But due to lack of funds, she decides to recruit students from Delhi University to act in her documentary. She thus meets and befriends a group of youngsters. These youngsters could be anyone of us today and their lives mirror the kind of lives the youth of today lead - namely a self centered and materialistic existence where ideas like patriotism and making a change are strictly the stuff history books are made of. As the story moves on, it turns out that more than just telling the world about the efforts of the young revolutionaries and the enormity of their contribution to the freedom movement in India, Sue's documentary makes these youngsters stop and stare at themselves for being the actual descendants of these great men and never recognizing and celebrating their courage and spirit. The tagline, A Generation Awakens is so aptly chosen for this movie. It's a highly inspiring and very thought provoking movie. But I certainly wouldn't agree that it's the best. A lot of flaws did exist. Many veteran actors were cast just for namesake and that was a total waste of talent. But it was a wholesome entertainer, with some great music (the song Roo-ba-roo is beautiful) and good performances by the young actors.

Aamir Khan who almost passes well as a college student even in his 40s yet again after DCH, plays DJ who passed out five years back but still wants to be a part of the University because he doesn't think there's much out there in the real world to look forward to; Siddharth of Boys fame plays Karan, a cold and silent character, the son of an industrialist played by Anupam Kher; Kunal Kapoor, quite a looker, plays Aslam, a middle class Muslim boy who is a poet, philosopher and guide to his friends; Sharman Joshi plays Sukhi, the group's baby, innocent, vulnerable and with a weakness for only one thing - girls; Atul Kulkarni is Laxman Pandey, the fundamentalist in the group, and the only one who still believes that politics can make the world a better place and Soha Ali Khan plays Sonia - the sole girl in the group, engaged to Ajay, the dashing airforce pilot, payed by Madhavan. Overall, a good movie. Enjoyable. And it carries a message, which is just great considering the amount of junk our movie industry churns out every year.

Another movie I enjoyed is the John Abraham - Nana Patekar starrer Taxi 9211, the story line for which is "inspired" by the Samuel L Jackson - Ben Affleck thriller Changing Lanes (2002). It's said that director Luthria has only taken inspiration from the film and not copied it blatantly. I did find some scenes to be carbon copies however. Anyways, the casting is great and direction and the performance by the actors are excellent. This is the first movie I liked John Abraham's acting in. And Nana Patekar, even though in his usual short tempered role, was great 'coz in this he wasn't the person who gives long speeches and hard hitting dialogues. He was just a short tempered taxi driver who lies to his wife that he's an insurance agent. John is an irresponsible rich business man. An accident involving the two builds the whole story. And the two stubborn men try destroying each other's lives but end up destroying their own. Well, almost. It's been done pretty well, and the chemistry between the two actors did the movie real good. And this movie has a pretty good message too. I enjoyed it more than Rang De Basanti, to be frank.

A movie that's making news now is Being Cyrus, an English movie from India. I watched it on video, but the copy was too bad to even understand the dialogues well, let alone enjoy it. But from the li'l I did see and understand, I could tell you it's a very well made movie with a dark storyline and great performances by the entire cast. Just a handful of them but doing a great job. It's more like watching a play in a theatre.

The only English movie I watched recently and liked is, Crash. I wanted to watch Brokeback Mountain, but I missed it at the cinema. Will watch it for sure on DVD even though I hate gays ;o) Anyways, Crash is movie about rasicm in all its complexities. Here's the synopsis of the movie.

A Brentwood housewife and her DA husband. A Persian store owner. Two police detectives who are also lovers. A black television director and his wife. A Mexican locksmith. Two car-jackers. A rookie cop. A middle-aged Korean couple...

They all live in Los Angeles. And in the next 36 hours, they will all collide...

I won't try to explain the storyline or what exactly it is about, 'coz I think it's a movie you gotta watch and feel it. It's a film that challenges audiences to question their own prejudices.

A few lines from the movie that I really loved :
"Live your life at the point of impact."
"Moving at the speed of life, we are bound to collide with each other."
"You think you know who you are. You have no idea."

A movie well done. Do watch it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bush Batter!

Just wanted to share this here.

Somebody mailed me this link sometime back and ever since I have been addicted to it. Whoever created it, which I guess is a guy named Dan from whose site it comes, must really hate George and this I say is the best way anybody who hates the guy can take their frustrations out.

Check it out.

Just drag the guy around and drop him and do whatever you want.

I warn you though. It's quite scary how much you start enjoying this "torture game" ;)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Rambles and Mumbles

Been a long time. 2 months and 3 days to be more precise. And I've been too busy and then too bugged and soon too frustrated to be in mood to jot anything. I still am a li'l aloof and so have no idea what to write about. But then I thought I'll just do the ramblings and mumblings on a text file rather than in my mind, so that I have something to post at least. Well, here I go. Get bugged. Feel frustrated. Kill yourself. I don't care. And thanx in advance for not blaming me for it :)

I posted last on my birthday. So lemme start with that. My birthday.

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It wasn't something great, but it was a nice one. All my friends and cousins and uncles and aunts wished me, by phone or by sms. Oh, don't be of the impression that I have loads of them though. Just a few good friends and relatives. In fact, more of my girlfriend's friends wished me than my own old friends. Funny, eh? But that's how it's been always. My friends never remember my birthday. Even in school, I used to wish all my friends for their birthdays…and send them cards etc. And they used to be like.. "Wow! You remembered!" That was good enough to make me happy. I never cared if they did the same to me. I was more excited when I used to get cards from unexpected sources. Like the one I got from Parry's, the toffee company who had conducted some game once and I had participated. They sent me a sweet li'l card on my following birthday, which totally made my day!

Well, that was a long time ago when Internet and websites were a distant dream. Today, to be frank, I get most of the birthday wishes from the umpteen websites I have registered with. They don't make me feel special 'coz I know, unlike the one somebody at Parry's sent me, it's an auto-generated e-card and lacks any human emotional value.

Anyway, this year, the company where I work also celebrated my birthday, making me cut a yummy cake and smearing my face with some and giving me a small gift etc. Then when I went home, my sweetheart gave me a tiny party too...with just the 2 of us. It was a really sweet one and is something I always look forward to :) Then I went to my aunt's place and they made me cut yet another cake and had dinner there and hogged on a lot of ice cream for dessert too.

Well, that was my birthday. A simple and nice day.

At work however, things have been a mixture of feelings. I have been going through a lot of pressure and some fun and quite a lot of irritations and frustrations. Am into designs and stuff, and so my job is a lot more pleasant than the coding and programming team here. Well, for me at least, it is. I enjoy the work when deadlines are set. Keeps me engaged the whole time, with no time for worries. That's the only way I can keep my mind from wandering into the unwanted territories. So I enjoyed those days at work. But once I finished those works, a lot of stuff came up which were highly irritating. And something the company was to do for us in February, is still pending. So I have been pushed into the frustration zone and there I still linger. Not a pretty sight, I tell you.

Ok, forget that. Now what else happened in the 2 months and 3 days? Ummm... well, after a long wait, I got a new phone. A Sony Ericsson K750i. Quite a gadget. A cool 2MP camera with loads of options, just like a regular digicam, a cool mp3 player that comes with my favorite MegaBass option from Sony (it's become a replacement for my Creative Nomad MuVo, which by itself is a cool gismo), a good FM tuner and a great, superfast processor which renders 3D games damn nice. Wanted a Nokia as am too used to them, but then nothing was available that could beat the K750i for its image and sound quality. Oh yeah, am a gadget freak and am pretty happy with the one I got :)

I watched a few movies too which I really enjoyed. Will write about them in the next post. And you can read it if you haven't killed yourself by the end of this. Ha! Ha!! (snort! snort!)

In the last 10 days, my parents were with me and it was their 30th wedding anniversary on the 4th of April. So, as a celebration, we planned a short trip with a few friends and relatives to Coorg, a district at the Karnataka-Kerala border. It's known for its incomparable scenic beauty, lush green valleys, coffee plantations, teak wood forests & majestic mountain ranges. It was a nice trip, in a group of 9. The climate there has however changed a lot now which I presume is inevitable considering the global warming. And the roads of course were horrible too and that left everybody too tired for much walks and treks. The trip could have been better, but still it was a good one and is one I made after a real long time. A much needed break from this city pollution and traffic.

Talking of this city, those who have known Bangalore a few years earlier, would be crying inside now to see its plight. This place has changed so much. I remember how pleasant the days used to be here back in 1999. Throughout the day, throughout the year, we used to wear a jacket and go out. I still have many jackets I bought back then, now rendered useless. The place has become so horribly hot and polluted that during weekends we prefer to stay at home rather than get burnt alive outside. The temperatures that used to vary from 14C to 27C now swing between 19C and 37C. The sales of air conditioners, coolers, fans and refrigerators were never this huge here. People are switching to whites, lights and cottons from the ever-fashionable denims and corporate dressings. The daily travel to work and back is like a test of patience and self-control. While reaching the office on time is the greatest achievement of the day, finding a parking space for the vehicle on a weekend is that of the whole week. The once green garden city is now the city of a lot lesser trees; and never-ending traffic jams, flyover constructions, potholes and road repairs and corrupted politicians, government employees and cops. And even with all these bottlenecks, the cost of living here is soaring sky-high. Shopping malls just pop up like mushrooms.

I once had a dream of settling down in Bangalore, but now, am not so sure. Don't blame me for that. Am allergic to heat...and dust...and pollution...and crowded places ...and...irritating people...

Oh, shuddup!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Growing Older!

Damn! How time flies when you don't want it to.

Today, am officially a year older!
And am fishing for wishes...heehee.

Yeah! It's... like we used to say once... my "Happy Birthday".
Just entered the last year of my 20s... Gosh! That does make me feel like a fossil.

Not very keen about celebrating b'days...err...I mean, my b'days. Not 'coz I don't want to, but I usually don't have anybody around me that time. But yes, I get calls from all the people I really care about, and in the last 4 years, I've had the one person with me to make it special.

Well, I guess that's a lot more than I could ask for :)

Oh well...