Stepping into the Light

bg-quote1You are once again surrounded by a brilliant white light.

Allow the light to lead you away from your past and into this lifetime.

As the light dissipates you will slowly fade back into consciousness remembering all you have learned.

When I tell you to open your eyes you will return to the present,

feeling peaceful and refreshed.

Open your eyes.

As I signed into my account to write once again, I felt like I was waking up from a hypnotherapy session. Like I was finally coming back home, to a reality that I had left behind. A big shout-out to my friend listentothebabe, who has been like an umbilical cord to me, tying me to this world of words and stories. This subculture of writers, where we dream, and live, and move, and have our being. It feels good to be back among you, my fellow bloggers and readers.

While I was away, I have had time to examine different aspects about myself that had fallen asleep. This has been a rather interesting season for me, where my inner man has grown. I have stepped out of my comfort zone quite a bit and enjoyed every moment of it.

As part of a social experiment, I changed my complete look. I shaved off my face fuzz, cropped my hair and took on a more formal and corporate look. I must say that I have2014-03-07-batman legon’t had so much fun observing people in a long time. The people closest to me, still know me for the goofy geek that I am, but the rest of those interacting with me have suddenly changed their attitude towards me. I have instantaneously become almost intimidating. People who once classified me as the stereotypical “metal head/ comic book guy,” were completely disturbed that I had stepped out of the box that they had placed me in. Leading to a lot of interesting conversations, with people trying really hard to find a new box to fit me into. It almost felt like a computer screaming “this does not compute.” Each of these interactions have left me laughing on the inside, feeling almost eccentric.

There have been a few interesting developments in my life, which I will be sharing as and when I feel the need to. I have found a partner in crime, who’ll be cosplaying with me at comic con in December. I’m really looking forward to that. I’m still trying to decide what to go as. I have a few ideas but I’m still trying to zero in on something. If you have any interesting ideas, please feel free to share them with me. In all this wonderful day dreaming, a bird sang exclusively for me, and that by far has been the most precious moment of 2015. (You’re free to deduce anything you want to out of that.) 😉 I love speaking in riddles and metaphors.
I’ll leave you now with a challenge to step out of your comfort zone and push your boundaries. You never know what you may discover.

But The Memory Remains

I’m getting feelings I’m hiding too well
(Bury the horse shaped shell)
Something broke inside my stomach
I let the pieces lie just where they fell
(Being with you is hell)

Well, I know time reveals in hindsight
I can wrestle with the stormy night
Because your love lasts a lifetime
But I can see you through the snowblind

These lines are from two different songs that played back to back on my phone today. They kinda contrast each other, but they brought back a few memories. Memories that I try desperately, to keep locked away in the deep dark places of my mind. But for some reason all these emotions suddenly felt good. Well let’s see what this day has to offer.

If you know both these songs and listen to these bands then I like your taste in music. Bonus points if you find a reference to a third band in here. 😁

Avengers: Age of Ultron


I went into the theater with my fingers crossed, hoping that the movie wasn’t going to be a humongous let down. Like most people I know, I’ve been waiting for Avengers: Age of Ultron (AoU) for quite a while now. I was more excited about AoU than about Furious 7.  However with all the trailers that got released, I was starting to get a bit apprehensive about what to expect in the movie; and to make things worse a few acquaintances started giving me some bad reviews. Finally on Saturday I picked out my Iron Man tee got into a car with my brothers (’cause I live in a land beyond the horizon and the nearest IMax theater is a long drive away, through some really scenic routes) and set out to watch AoU. Thankfully it was yet another awesome, entertaining, popcorn crunching Marvel comic fest.

(Read the rest at your own risk, if you haven’t seen the movie yet. Spoilers! Spoilers everywhere!!!)

Joss Whedon didn’t disappoint at all. Right from the start, the movie is everything you’re expecting from Marvel and The Avengers. Lots of action, silly humour and the undercurrents that’s slowly ripping the team apart. It starts of with the team attacking a Hydra outpost, where Hydra has been conducting experiments on humans using Loki’s scepter. This is where the team encounters the Maximoff twins, Pietro and Wanda. The story picks up from there with the creation of Ultron and then later, the creation of Vision.

I was really looking forward to the introduction of the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff), and was slightly let down. The Maximoff twins are shown as Hydra experiments, whereas if you’ve read the comics or even seen X-Men: Days of Future Past, you’d know that the twins are Magneto’s kids and aren’t really lab rats, they’re mutants with some seriously badass powers. Avengers-Trailer-3-8_edited newHowever since Fox owns rights to these characters, Marvel films can’t actually call them mutants. Which is kinda lame. That being said Elizabeth Olsen was quite good as Wanda. Only now that she’s a Hydra experiment with powers from the mind stone (the infinity stone that was cradled in Loki’s scepter) she can manipulate the mind. Which is a fair enough transition, considering that her original chaos magic in a way is something like a mind whammy.Broken-Shield It’s interesting how Whedon has portrayed that at the core the team is fragile and can easily fall apart with a little mental manipulation. I particularly liked the vision Stark sees when Wanda messes with his mind. In his vision he clearly sees Captain America’s shield broken. Kinda like a teaser leading up to the next Captain America movie – Civil War. Wanda eventually goes from fighting against the avengers to joining the team, and there are some really interesting shots with her doing her thing. I’m excited about seeing more of her in Civil War. Pietro Maximoff on the other hand wasn’t given much character development. However that wasn’t really that bad a thing. Pietro has always been a douchebag most of the time, and he wasn’t any different in this movie too.

Avengers-Age-of-Ultron-art-Vision-Ultron_editedAoU had a lot of interesting moments, The creation of Ultron and Vision was seriously rad. Taking the whole clichéd formula of “Oh Crap! we created an AI that’s turned against us,” to a whole new level. Vision clearly has a part to play in the movies to come considering what makes him so special, is the infinity stone.

There were quite a few funny moments in the movie too. Where Caps shows that he’s still trying to get a hang of the fact that, the way we speak has changed since the ’40s. There’s an interesting moment when Thor gets a bit worried as Caps manages to slightly move Mjölnir (Thor’s Hammer). Further on the theater went wild when Vision managed to wield the hammer effortlessly. Also worth mentioning is Stan Lee’s signature cameo appearance. Where he challenges Thor and drinks some of his 1000 year old grog.

The movie is quite quick paced and explores every individual within the team and shows the team grouping together as a whole, to fight Ultron. The end interestingly doesn’t show Vision killing Ultron. Since Vision is on the side of life, and Ultron has so much more to offer as a super-villain. We might even get to see Adam Warlock and Phalanx driven by Ultron in the future.

The thing that most people seem to be complaining about is that AoU wasn’t as spectacular as the first Avengers movie, and that there isn’t any real continuity from where it left off. Well stop whining seriously!!! The continuity is perfect, you just have to see all the phase two movies to understand where the MCU is moving. And for extra kicks you could also try watching Agents of Shield and Daredevil. The thing is Marvel is not making a series of movies, they’re creating a saga of  epic proportions and everything ties up to the whole grand scheme of things. So if you are watching this as a stand alone Avengers movie you will not be able to appreciate it for what it is. If however you’re watching it as a comic book geek, then you will realize this is just one bit, in the humongous saga that’s all leading up to Infinity War. Tell me what you think about the movie and where the MCU is going in the comments below.

You can watch more How it Should Have Ended videos here.

Gobbledygook and Other Unintelligible Cawing

It’s somewhere between half passed April and quarter to May. Game of Thrones season 5 got leaked online, and it looks like it’s going way off the course that GRRM planned with the original series. Marvel has been pooping out way too many promos for Age of Ultron, which makes me wonder if there will be anything good left in the movie. These trailers are turning into spoilers, and somewhere deep inside that’s pissing me off. I’m still expectant and super stoked about the movie. I really don’t know why.  Netflix aired Daredevil, which is starting to look really promising, although I’m yet to see Matt Murdock really transform into the man without fear. And I’ve finally decided to get out of my unexplained hiatus.

First of all a big shout out to the girl who’s no babe in the woods, listentothebabe. She reminded me that I needed to get back to writing. Thanks a ton! Sometimes motivation comes from the most unexpected people.

These past few months have been very intense where I’ve been dished out sudden unexpected blows in the dark, and equally rewarded with blissful nights bathed in moonlight. It stared with my grandpa passing away and moving on to eternal life. He was a veteran sports scribe with the Indian Express. I thought I’d write about him, but for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I then got a promotion 11180127_10152875600663590_1585492250_nat work. Which was long awaited, quite surprising, and totally rad. It was one of the best birthday gifts that I received. Life finally seems to be easing out and getting under control. I’ve moved to a better office, with a not so awesome view. Uncle Ben took the liberty of adding his 2¢ (With great power…), I’m now overloaded with work, some days are really crazy and some days are like islands in the sun.

I got around to becoming a mild social butterfly. I met a few interesting people and learned a few interesting things. For all my geekiness, I never knew that there was something called a copyleft. Do you know what copyleft is?

I made a few really interesting (flesh and blood, real people) friends. Wow I’ve still got some of my Gomez charm!!! I lost a few friends, something that I’ve still not fully understood or come to terms with. And I made a couple of frenemies. I also had to say farewell to one of my dearest buddies. She flew off to Saigon about two weeks back. (I realized I like the name Saigon more than Ho Chi Minh City.) On the bright side, this gives me a reason to go to Vietnam. I don’t think I would have ever considered visiting Vietnam otherwise.

If you know me then you’ll know that sports and I get along like Batman & The Joker. That being said, I’ve started playing badminton. I’m hilariously awkward at the game and you’ll probably pop a vein, or split your sides, or maybe even both, just watching me play. I kid you not, I look as stupid as all the three stooges put together when I play.

I tried Snapchat and found that it’s a really pointless app. I guess it’s cool if you’re a selfie ninja, or something. I’m not that much of a narcissist. I still use Snapchat though, because some of my friends use it to communicate with me, go figure. 😛

That pretty much sums up all that I’ve been up to. Tell me about your adventures, about all your stories  that I’ve missed. I’m really interested and would like to know.

Finally before I go, have you guys seen the new trailer for Star Wars – The Force Awakens? It was so epic, I had geekgasms all day. The ending shot with Solo and Chewie is the bomb.

#fourcomics – That got me into comics

Sometime last week Jim Zub came up with an epic idea; he started a hashtag on Twitter that’s gone wild ever since. DSC_0019Jim is an amazing comic artist, and I imagine while drawing something totally rad he got lost in a day dream. When suddenly his brain, high on nostalgia, came up with a crazy idea for a hashtag.  #fourcomics which raised a storm as wild as Juno in a matter of minutes. Inspired by that hashtag, I thought I’d share the four comics that got me into comics. So here are my four comics in somewhat of a chronological order. These are the books that took me down the rabbit hole to this amazing world of graphic novels and trade paperbacks.

The Amazing Spider-Man #5: I have always been a sucker for stories and story tellers ever since my brain was capable enough to imagine and simultaneously follow a simple thread of narration and reasoning. It was the summer of ’91. I was 7. I was at my grandpa’s house in Madras for the summer. Amazing-Spider-Man-5We were cooped up indoors since the ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had been assassinated a few days back, just outside the city. I remember I used to pester my aunt Esther to tell me stories. Eventually she ran out of yarns to spin and that’s when she got me my first comic book ever. It was a Spider-Man single. I really don’t remember much of the story. All I remember is that there was a hero named Spider-Man and there was a bad guy named Dr. Doom. The book played a big part in making me fall in love with the idea of superheroes. Considering that it was 1991 and we didn’t have easy access to a wide range of comic books back then, I’m guessing that it was the Amazing Spider-Man #5.

Cigars of the Pharaoh: I pretty much grew up reading comics thtintin-04-cigars-of-the-pharaoh-00a-fc1at really didn’t captivate me. Soon my mind wandered to greener pastures like the Cartoon Network, for my superhero fix. Then one summer my dad took me to his office. To keep me occupied he got me a copy of Cigars of the Pharaoh. I must say that even back then when I must have been 12, I was not a stranger to the adventures of  this young and adventurous investigative journalist. This however was the first time that I had ever held a printed copy of Tintin. Hergé showed me that there was more to comics than just superheroes and flimsy plots. A hero doesn’t need tights and superpowers. All he needs is a curious mind and a thrust for adventure.

The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book: Growing up in Badlapur I had bbe5fec7bd094dde829a5ffc1e6c7ff0very limited access to comics. Sometime late in my teens I managed to get my hands on this amazing collection of Calvin and Hobbes. Watterson took storytelling to a whole new level with the wild imaginations of a six year old. This is the spirit and essence of what comics are all about. It’s pure unadulterated fun. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading Calvin and Hobbes and I’d probably even gift it to my grandson when I’m Seventy.

Batman: Hush: This was the book that turned me into a complete comic book geek. Once I finished Hush I knew that there was no Batman_-_Hush_TPBgoing back. I had fallen too deep down the rabbit hole. I think when I first finished the book I started rereading it immediately all over again. If you ever think that, I’ve gone overboard with my obsession for comics and Batman. Then you’ll need to go back in time, about 12 or 13 years, and stop me from picking up this epic book at Dadar station. Hush is a combination of seriously gnarly art by Jim Lee with a deliciously complex story by Jeph Loeb. A true masterpiece. It is the perfect Batman story, without the weirdness of Adam West or George Clooney. Batman: Hush proves that DC is the boss and totally whoops Marvel’s heine.

There you go. These are the four comics that really got me into comics, and turned me into the geek that I am today. So what are the #fourcomics – that got you into comics?  Tell me about them; I’d really like to know.