Thursday, October 29, 2009

Succubus and Incubus

Succubus: A female demon supposed to descend upon and have sexual intercourse with a man while he sleeps.

In medieval legend, a 'succubus' is a female demon which comes to men, especially monks, in their dreams to seduce them and have sexual intercourse with them, drawing energy from the men to sustain themselves, often until the point of exhaustion or death. This legend was an explanation for the phenomena of wet dreams and sleep paralysis.

Incubus: An evil spirit supposed to descend upon and have sexual intercourse with women as they sleep.

It is a lascivious male demon said to possess mortal women as they sleep and to be responsible for the birth of demons, witches, and deformed children. According to one legend the incubus and his female counterpart, the succubus, were fallen angels. The belief in these demons was especially prevalent in the Middle Ages, and stories of assaults by incubi were not uncommon. There are similar spirits in many cultures. In current usage, incubus means a person or thing that oppresses, such as a nightmare.

The perceived origin of these demons, is said to be as an excuse, for women to have been cheating on their husbands. Saying that they were raped by a demon during the night. Back in those times, this was very well believable. If the woman got pregnant, she would still blame it on the Incubus.

More information for curious readers...

In medieval lore, a succubus was a female spirit that would lay with men to steal their seed: it was given as an explanation of night arousal and wet dreams. It was also paired with the incubus, the male form, sometimes transforming between the two forms to pass along the stolen seed to unknowing women.

In the fifteenth century, the succubus and the male demon, the counterpart incubus (which takes the form of a man, to seduce women), were associated with witchcraft, and witches were assumed to have intercourse with demons.

The Test: Victor Hugo relates that in the Channel Islands Satan himself -- tempted more than elsewhere by the beauty of the women, doubtless -- sometimes plays at incubus, greatly to the inconvenience and alarm of the good dames who wish to be loyal to their marriage vows, generally speaking. A certain lady applied to the parish priest to learn how they might, in the dark, distinguish the hardy intruder from their husbands. The holy man said they must feel his brow for horns; but Hugo is ungallant enough to hint a doubt of the efficacy of the test.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pehla Nasha

Its a movie I saw as a kid and loved it even then, despite it being a super flop! And today I came across the name somewhere and it revived all those memories. I also used to dream about something like this...falling hopelessly for a dangerous seductive woman and all the action-adventure-thrill that follows!

It was only much later that I got to know that it was a remake of a Hollywood flick 'Body Double'. I guess it was a daring debut film for Ashutosh Gowarikar, and the movie was far better than his latest 'What's your Rashi?'. It had a weird star cast too - Deepak Tijori (his first movie as a male lead), Raveena Tandon (looking hot in all her saari dances) and Pooja Bhatt.

Maybe I would get a CD for this one and see it again. Who knows what would happen then...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

naam, name...

Odissa is now Odisha and Oriya is Odia (cabinet approved, pending Parliament approval).

Last 10 years have been eventful with politicians insisting that its important to go back to the roots and change names to original ones. Maybe this all was spurred by Bombay being renamed to Mumbai, followed to Madras (to Chennai) and Calcutta (to Kolkota). Bangalore also joined these big cities and rechristened itself Bengaluru.

One of the cities which can soon join the above could be Ahmedabad. It could very well be called Karnavati in future.

Renaming doesn't just end at cities, but extends to crosses, roads, buildings. Hence VT (Victoria Terminus) becomes CST (Chhtrapati Shivaji Terminus), Connaught Place turns to Rajiv Chowk and so on. The fact there was no Railways when Shivaji ruled and no Rajiv when Lutyens designed the Connaught Place is, of course, immaterial.

I do give the impression that I am against renaming these relics of the past. But that's not the concern, the concern is who decides whats right in these cases. Somehow I feel, despite the fact that politicians are elected democratically, they are not exactly the best people to decide on name changes. And what if some people want the name to be changed, while some are against it. The obvious answer would be to let the elected representatives decide...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Xie Caiping

Xie Caiping is known as "mama san" of one of Chongqing's notorious triads. Xie is accused of operating gambling dens, drug trafficking, giving and collecting bribes and terrorizing people, including policemen who had tried to investigate her illicit activities.

In Chongqing, police operations started in June, leading to the arrest of over 4,800 suspected gangsters and the confiscation of 1,700 illegal firearms. Investigations led to many city officials, including police officers. They include Wen Qiang, Xie Caiping's brother-in-law, who is now accused of colluding with gangsters. Xie Caiping's profanity-laced testimony drew a rebuke from the judge last week, but delighted the public, which reveled in tales in the local media that she kept 16 lovers.

Chongqing became the world's largest city in 1997 when the central government, by administrative edict, incorporated a huge area adjacent to the city into what is now the Chongqing municipality.

References: bbc, telegraph, wikipedia...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Trip back home...

Perched up on top of a high chair in dull green saree with pale golden border, and red wall serving as background, she was a perfect motherly figure. Looking at her smiling face, I immediately felt welcomed in the household – a simple home with just the basic necessities. A Ganesha fresco is what I saw first as I entered the living room. It was apparently made on the occasion of her son Rajesh’s wedding a few years back, he now has a young daughter as well. Rajesh is also a political worker; I couldn’t exactly make out his political affiliation, but I somehow assumed that it would be either Shiv Sena or the MNS. Its weird how I could assume something like this so easily, rather disappointing I would way.

The grand-daughter continued playing with her neighbourhood friend, while Bhavin chatted with aai and I looked at the wooden utensils and other broken toys of the kid. I liked the setting, it was new but still relaxing. And it was quite there, except for an occasional dog bark, or a neighbourood dog playing, or the utensils in the kitchen.

The day passed off like this, we also followed it smoothly. Partly climbed up the hill behind the village, saw the village school (where Bhavin studied and his dad taught), saw kids playing Cricket (what else!) and a nice wholesome lunch. Most were almost surprised that I didn't eat mutton for Sunday lunch, and so a special vegetarian meal for prepared for me. I also looked most of out place (long hair and odd clothes), and drew some stares from the other villagers. Even Bhavin looked like an outsider.

A week later I was in my hometown Nainital and still looked like an outsider, my language more refined, my mannerisms alien and my stamina limited. Almost like a tourist at home.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I am happy

It was cool and it was dark.
After a long tiring day,
It was time to enjoy the walk, the sea, the breeze.
The sea hitting dark rocks, and a lot of happiness around me.
And I was happy too, and almost content...

The wine finished slowly,
I saw the sun set and darkness set in.
The salty sea breeze, keeping me awake for a long night ahead,
I could hear stories, and I could even see some of them.

The walk to the cafe, the numerous coffees to keep myself awake,
With a pen constantly filling pages and a companion almost sleeping,
I was happy, and I was content.
Not thinking about the next day, I wished the night to just go on.

The nap in the park bench, the long walk back to where we started,
Getting lost again and again and still finding our way,
Reaching hours in advance,
And again sitting again with a sleepy companion.
I looked at her and yes I was happy,
There was nothing like being that moment.
Sitting on the floor, quietly leaning against the wall,
Watching the world pass by, while I waited for the sun to finally rise.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Bai Clan (TBC)

This is how the family history/ tree goes/ grows.

There is Bhaben. We have no clue why she is called that, apparently we (i.e. Bhavin and me) are the only ones who call her that. Bhaben has a daughter Hetal (pronounced Hettal), who works in the house downstairs (and at times at our place as well). Hettal is good decent girl and works well. Bhaben also has a competitor, known as Ramilaben 2 (the original Ramilaben gives food dabba for dinner). Ramilaben is afraid of Bhaben but has a mobile and so is reachable most of the time. So she is our 'Pasand No. 1'! Now, Ramilaben 2 has many kids and we are still rather unsure of the exact numbers. We at least know of three - two daughters and a son. The elder daughter is Sheetal (or Sittal, as she calls herself) and the younger one is Rekha (or Rekkhha).

Sittal is a warm girl and thinks of every girl who visits us as our spouses! I find this exceptionally funny. And she also has some weird characteristics which are a little difficult to describe here. Her sister Rekkhha is quite and extremely quick with work. In fact, they are all very quick.

We always knew they all these women (and some men) were related, but the connections were often vague in our heads. Here is how it works. Hettal is Sittal's mausi and hence Ramilaben 2 is Hettal's cousin. Sittal and Rekkhha still remain sisters, but Ramilaben becomes Bhaben's niece (or something on those lines). And obviously Hettal is still Bhaben's daughter.

More updates in TBC as and when we learn something new about the Clan.
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