Emotional Ordeal

The other day I had gone to my maid’€™s place. People who have worked at my place have practically seen me grow. And for some odd reasons they are always fond of me and vice versa. So this vacation when I got back home and when I met her she could not stop smiling for 5 mins continuously .I was wondering if there was something on my face or was I looking weird. Asking her she said it was really really nice seeing me after long. So was the same. It was nice getting back home after 1 year precisely 10 months this time.

So yea I was talking about my visit to her place. So after couple of days she just asked me if I would visit her room. I was pretty glad and wanted to find out where does she stay. So one day after her work we went to her room. I do travel in public transports Safa tempo but avoid travelling in micro bus. So me and her got onto the micro bus and there was just one seat so she offered me the seat. I happily squeezed in between 2 guys with smelly socks. I think I was sitting half in the air. When I looked at her she was standing with that smiling face. I really like this thing about her.

We got off the tempo and started walking towards her room. Her kids as soon as they saw her ran towards her. They were dressed very untidily with that innocent look on their face were asking their mom who I was. I had gotten sweets for them and pencils. She took me to her room where her sister in law was studying. It was a one bedroom hall kitchen all in one. The place was all covered with black smoke in the wall and was very dark .I could not believe my eyes when I saw the stove right next to her bed. And the closet was in front of her bed. When I asked her how many people stayed in this place. She said 4 adults with 2 kids and some guests are there mostly all the time. I was taken by surprise. I said how do you manage to take care of everything with just you and your husband earnings? and what about your savings?Where do u sleep?? As long as my daughters are studying and my daily expenditure keeps rolling its enough for me. I was so touched by her thought that she being a helper and her husband being a security guard in some hospital knows the importance of education. She knows how will it help her kids to grow of they have an education, their future being so bright. And about her sleep she said there are times that we sleep under the cot.

She offered me coffee and omlettes to eat which I had to refuse as I had just eaten my lunch. I gave the kids the sweets. The younger daughter took it outside and gave it to all her friends and neighbours. I kept looking at her and thought What a big heart the kid has?? She finished the whole packet. I kept quiet and after a few conversations she showed me the place around. She told me how they have to fight everyday for filling a bucket of water. And there are days when the water does not come at all. Whenever we go out of our rooms we lock our rooms and then go out. She said we has to keep her things secured or else theres no one to blame. She told me that whenever I happen to go abroad for my further studies I should call her there and she will start earning and her family can have a happy life ahead.

After half an hour I bid them goodbye and started walking towards the main road. She insisted on coming along and seeing her, her daughter also followed. I sat on the tempo and waved them. My eyes were watery and I felt so helpless. From far away I could see the smile on her face. That’€™s when I learnt LIFE DOES NOT COME THAT EASY TO EVERYONE!! AND WHOM IT COMES SO EASY DO NOT VALUE IT.

Thumbs Up!

2Imagine being in 23 countries in less than 12 months, spending approximately 2.5 Euros each a day, waiting for a lift for as long as 6 hours in the South-West of France with a thumbs up (sadly you  aren’€™t lucky and have to sleep on the road for the night), getting a ride with anything that stops to give you a lift, which includes a boat in Senegal;  This is just some of  many exciting stories these two hitchhikers have to tell.

On her way to a festival, Lora Vasileva and her friends gave a lift to a stranger named Evgeni; who had been hitchhiking around his country Bulgaria since he was fifteen years old. Two weeks later, Lora joined him on a worldwide hitch-hiking trip and as spontaneous and unplanned a decision as it sounded then, now she knows for sure that the decision was one of the best she had ever made.

While on their hitch-hiking excursion around the world, I hosted them for two days in Kathmandu before they left for a trek to Everest Base Camp.

Why Hitch-Hiking?

Hitch-hiking has become a way of life for us. We want to hitch-hike all around the world- see every mountain and swim in every ocean. . We believe that hitch-hiking makes you open to everything and gradually makes you flexible enough to enjoy the differences  between yourself and the people and culture you interact with. It’€™s not just routine holiday travel. Its exploring your inner self and the places you go

What are the countries you have traveled so far?

We traveled along Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Nepal and India. But this is just the start. The list will go on and on.

How did you manage to fund your expedition so far?

Well, we had saved some money from our jobs back in Bulgaria, which was enough to buy us food for a year. We searched for sponsors but it did not work out. But we do get some money through our friends who buy the photos we have taken. And (giggling), we also tried working in France. The job was to pick grapes for a vineyard but the language barrier took the job away before we got it.

 

So is the language barrier a big problem while you are hitchhiking around the world?

It is a problem, but apparently it’€™s not a big one. The primitive form of communication such as signs and expression is still helpful when it comes to traveling.  We were offered a lift from some Chinese people in Italy, and it was tremendously difficult to explain to them the simple fact that we were from Bulgaria. On the entire trip we were compelled to use sign language, which was quite confusing but funny at the same time.

Have you ever starved while hitch hiking?

(They look at each other and start talking in Bulgarian) In Switzerland, everything is very expensive. We couldn’€™t afford to eat anything good there. For a week, we had apples, raw food and seeds boiled in water. And it was only after we got to Germany that we actually had food by spending some money. Do you call that Starving? (I assumed that was a rhetorical question)

So any worst experiences other than that?

Yes. Osman ‘€“ a Rasta man, who invited us to stay at his house while we were in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, turned out to be a very bad person. He convinced us to leave our backpacks in his room for the night, while we slept in our tent on his terrace. The next morning, when we went to get our visas to Burkina Faso, we found out that all our money was missing. After that, we learnt not to trust anyone blindly and we are more careful now. However, we are happy for everything we’€™ve been through, because without the hard moments we cannot appreciate the happy ones.

Do you miss your family and friends back home?

Lora- I left everyone and everything and started living on the road. Whenever I call my mom, she wants me to come back home. But I have to go on. I need to finish what I have started. I do miss them a lot.

Evgeni – I miss them but not as much as Lora. I lived away from them even when I was in Bulgaria and maybe that’€™s why i don’€™t miss them so much.

So you only hitch hike on vehicles?

The main element of hitch hiking is to stop a vehicle, wave hands and smile (with a thumbs up). As simple as that sounds, it requires a lot of patience. We hitchhike in any vehicle that stops. We avoid aeroplanes and trains but on rare occasions when we have no other choice, we have to pay to travel.

How did you find Nepal different from the countries you have traveled so far?

We came to Nepal straight from Africa so the differences in culture did stun us for a moment. The first thing we really enjoyed was the Nepali food and of course the beautiful snow clad mountains. Nepal’€™s atmosphere is filled with an incredible amount of happiness, freedom and greenery. The people are really friendly and always helping us. We didn’€™t have to face a language barrier since almost everyone here can speak a little  English. Even the villagers can communicate to us easily. Nepal is really special for us! It’€™s one of the places that will be hard to say goodbye to and we surely will come back again.

What are your further plans?

We will be traveling around India for six months. We have yet to decide our destination after that. We celebrated our first anniversary of traveling around the world on 19th August. We are running out of money so we need to find more jobs on the way.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Since the first King Kong movie in 1933, many ape movies have made their mark on the silver screen. But with each and every movie, they have advanced in terms of technology and the magical experience they can provide. From monkey masks to actors playing in a motion-capture monkey, ape movies have come a long way. So, for the movie’€™s astounding visual effects and the applaudable story, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is definitely one of the best movies of the year.

The movie is set in San Francisco in the near future. The film opens at Gen Sys; a genetic therapy phamaceutical company, where a geneticist Will Rodman (James Franco) has been using apes for tests in developing a drug which could cure Alzheimer’€™s. He is desparate for the drug because his father Charles (John Lithgow) suffers from it. Will also has adopted a chimp named Caesar, who gets orphaned when his genetically enhanced mother gets killed after running wild at his lab.

But the story is less about Will or his father as much as it is about Caesar who emerges as the hero. He is not a mere chimp, he is a child; a very bright one indeed. He isn’€™t just doing acrobatic jumps in his attic playroom or hanging on to cords and swinging on the ceiling lamp of the kitchen, he is actually reaching for destiny higher than a cookie jar.

Andy Serkis playing the monkey in motion capture, gives life to the creature. The time travel from youth to maturity is presented in a beautiful sequence, where he climbs the tops of the highest tree in Muir Woods as a young chimp and then is shown staring across the San Francisco bay, fully grown.

As a matured ape, he is agressive, but his first act of violence is in defense to his ‘€œgrandfather’€. That is when the real action that we oh-so waited for begins. Caesar attacks the neighbour after he sees him threatening Charles for accidentally wrecking his car. For that, he gets sent to an animal shelter, where he is ill-treated by the warden and a sadistic guard. Among all the other brawn chimps, Caesar knows better, so he makes an escape and filches a supply of the wonder drug and gives it the chimps, an orangutan and a gorilla. He liberates the others, playing the Alpha, leading them to revolt against the human opressors.

Will’€™s ambition to improve life through science is questionable. Frieda Pinto, playing his girlfriend is the one who raises the most questions. While revolting, there are times when the apes stop short of harming their opressors, making us feel as if the chimps are more humane than human themselves. The story is about revolt, a question mark on science and so much more. Everyone can have his or her own interpretation to how the story runs but if  that isn’€™t what you’€™re looking for, it is still a joy ride.

The performances by the actors are fine. Pinto stays in her role as the vet and Will’€™s girlfriend, but there is nothing more special than that. Director Rupert Wyatt has taken a big leap with this movie after his 2008 debut ‘€œThe Escapist’€. The movie is a technical landmark and Serkis as Caesar has a huge part in making it happen. In fact, he might even put on a challenge for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to give him an Oscar, even though he is never seen on screen.

The movie is fantastic and every scene grabs your attention. It can put you in your seats, and without a muscle moving make every inch of you twist and turn. The movie is a triumph of spectacle; a must watch.

Rage of Angels – Sidney Sheldon

One of my all time favorites among Sidney Sheldon’€™s novels is, ‘€œRage of Angels’€, a real page-turner by the master storyteller. Published in 1980, it was adapted into a miniseries in 1983 which was followed by the sequel ‘€œRage of Angels: The Story Continues’€ (1986).

The story is based on the lives of three main protagonists: Jennifer Parker, a young assistant district attorney, with big ambitions. Michael Moretti, the would-be successor of the Mafia in America, on her first case and Adam Warner, her future love interest and lawyer who later on gains huge success in politics. Read about their lives as Jennifer finally achieves her dream of becoming a prominent lawyer, Michael runs the family and Adam sets on his journey towards the White House. The story evolves around the many twists and turns that make Sheldon’€™s novels so compelling.
Sheldon’€™s novels are said to resemble parts of the author’€™s real life, and this one is no exception. It’€™s a complete package of love, passion, power, struggle, and scandal. Jennifer symbolizes strength, determination, feminism and vulnerability. Michael, coming from a troubled past, has to go through a lot and finally reigns as king of the mob-world. Adam, on the other hand, has to make the choice between what he wants and what is expected of him. The characters have their own stories and Sheldon keeps all of them moving at the same pace, which creates many a good cliffhanger in the story. You will definitely get drawn into a fictional world.

I remember the time when I read it, after each chapter I would think just one more chapter now, and before I knew it, I had completed the whole book! The characters of the story seem so realistic; you can feel their emotions. To prove that even further, here is another fun fact. Sheldon says in his autobiography that women wrote to him saying they had become lawyers because they admired Jennifer so much. I was enthralled by the way the cases and their handling were described. At first, I had thought that all the courtroom descriptions would be boring for someone like me who doesn’€™t know a thing about law. However, now I can say that those were the best parts.

Rage of angels is definitely a thrilling adventure and the kind of story that you won’€™t be able to get out of your head. It all combines together to deliver a masterpiece, for me, Rage of Angels is definitely a book worth reading over and over again. You just can’€™t put it down!