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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Trance
Posted: January 29, 2021 at 12:01 pm
Armin van Buuren has published a playlist featuring the 1000 best trance songs ever made.
The Dutch DJ revealed an initial 950 tracks for his all-time A State Of Trance Top 1000 list earlier this month, prior to the 999th edition of his A State Of Trance weekly radio show.
Read this next: The 10 best early 90s trance tracks
After that episode ended at 10pm CET on January 14, a nonstop stream counting down to his anticipated 1000th episode began. The stream was presented by Armin van Buuren and ASOT co-host Ruben de Ronde and monthly resident Ferry Corsten, featuring mixes, exclusive interviews and fan videos.
The 1000th episode then began at 5pm CET on January 21 live from the A State Of Trance radio studio in Amsterdam, which ran through the final 50 tracks in the Top 1000.
The list ranks the most popular tracks played on ASOT, as voted for by the shows listener base. It features many classic producers such as Above & Beyond, Tisto, Paul van Dyk, Gareth Emery, BT, ATB, deadmau5, Sasha and Armin van Buuren himself.
Read this next: The 15 best mid-90s trance tracks
Topping the list was Armin van Buuren and Susanas collaboration Shivers, and Susanna joined him on the show to celebrate the moment.
The likes of Tistos Adagio For Strings, Ferry Corsten and Gouryellas Anahera and GAIAs Tuvan featured among the top 10.
The countdown stream and five hour long episode attracted more than 50 million people hailing from 121 countries, spread across more than 100 radio stations, YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and VK live streams.
Read this next: The 18 best vocal trance tracks
Armin van Buuren made an official anthem to commemorate the occasion called Turn The World Into A Dancefloor (ASOT 1000 Anthem).
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Listen to the Verses of Trance and Progressive EDM with Guido Hermans’ Exquisite Soundscape – Pro News Report
Posted: at 12:01 pm
The musical and rhythmic profanity in producer Guido Hermans soundscape is a streaming scope of blissful electronic dance music and its creative diversities.
Utrecht, Jan 25, 2021 (Issuewire.com)Music producerGuido Hermansis creating a soul-altering scope of contemporary electronic musical definitions with his interpretations of trance, progressive, techno, and chill-out music. The arena of underground EDM music finds an extensive platform to flourish and grow under the creative guidance of the artist. His song Labyrinth Renaissance Part 2 from his latest album, La Bella Vita creates immersive sorcery with the various undulations of rhythmic and tonal dynamics. As a lover of the underground dance scene since the mid-90s, he tried again to bring back the underground old-school sound to life with his new album La Bella Vita.
Although a contemporary artist, the audience finds him going back to EDM classics that render a textured, old-school style. The other song Rivendell Imladris from the same album also carries his prolific personality as it takes the listeners on a journey of musical diversity. The progressive and trance entail of the 90s scene complements in a contemporary arrangement in a way that renders creative and cultural blends. His soundscape bridges the gap between old and new structures although he sometimes likes to deviate towards a direction of strict new-age characteristics in his music.
Some of his songs that define the resurgence of his soundscape include Out Of Memory, At The End Of The Day (99 mix), Pandemic, Fate, Nostalgia, and Renaissance among many others.
Guido Hermans is currently tied up in the making of his upcoming EP which is set to release later in the year. Experience the creative and transcendental resurgence of old-school progressive, trance, techno, and house following his works on Spotify, Beatport, and Soundcloud right away.
Check out these tracks on Spotify:
Posted: at 12:01 pm
Nearing the one-year anniversary of Kobe Bryants passing, his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate and close friend in Pau Gasol took the courage to narrate his experience after hearing the tragic news.
You start getting in this trance where youre completely frozen, he said via ESPN. Youre just stuck in complete shock. You cant believe it. I still for days, weeks, I still didnt want to believe it.
Like many others, Gasol also had the belief that theLakers legend couldve found a way to get out of the accident. Unfortunately, reports eventually emerged that no one managed to make it out alive of the crashed helicopter.
You still thought that Kobe could have gotten out of that accident by his own feet and carried his daughter and if there were any other survivors with him to the hospital.
We had that perception of him as that strong, as that invincible. If someone could have survived it, it was him.
Although he was still in utter shock and disbelief, Gasol and his family didnt waste any time as they immediately packed their bags and headed to California to be around Kobes wife, Vanessa, and their children.
We just booked a flight [to California], he said. We decided we needed to be there and we left. We didnt know if we were leaving for a week, two weeks or a month, but we needed to be there.
Gasol was one of the few players who were lucky enough to get to know Bryant on a deeper level. The two players spent six and a half years together with the Lakers and have won two-straight championships along the way.
Their bond eventually grew beyond mere teammates on the floor and even became close with each others families. As one of Bryants closest friends, Gasol simply knew that he had a responsibility to be around his former teammates family during those trying times.
We wanted to be close to Vanessa and the kids and be there, as Uncle Pau, for whatever they needed.
Pau Gasols presence around Kobe Bryants family only speaks volumes about the special bond that they have formed all throughout the years.
Originally posted here:
‘Daughters’ Heads Cracked Open, Father in Trance’: Andhra Police Reveal Shocking Details from Crime Spot – News18
Posted: at 12:01 pm
Shocking details have emerged in the brutal murder of two daughters, who were stabbed and bludgeoned to death by their parents on Sunday in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor district. The couple believed that their daughters could be brought back from the dead within hours.
When the police barged into the residence of N Purushottam Naidu and his wife Padmaja, they found the naked bodies of Sayidivya (22) and Alekhya (27) in a pool of blood. Their heads were bludgeoned with a blunt weapon and they were cracked open, Deputy Superintendent of Police Ravi Mohana Chary told The News Minute.
While a deep injury was found on Alekyas forehead, Sai Divyas body was drenched in blood in her bedroom, the police said.
The incident came to light on Sunday night when neighbours contacted the police after hearing torturous noises, loud screams and chants coming from Purushottams house.
The police reached the spot around 8pm on Sunday to find Sayidivya stabbed to death with a trishool (trident) and Alekhya was clubbed with dumbbells.
Meanwhile, Purushotham was found sitting in the living room on the couch. He looked like he was in a state of trance, DSP Chary said. Padmaja was sitting on the bed, looking at the wall. She did not seem to be aware of our presence, he revealed.
The heads of the daughters were cracked open.
The couple were followers of Mehar Baba, Sai Baba and Rajaneesh or Osho. They regularly used to visit Shirdi. They seem to be very spiritual. At the crime scene, we found a picture of Mehar Baba and the recent posts of Alekya on social media confirmed her spiritual inclination, Madanapalli Inspector M Srinivas told TNM.
While Padmaja is the correspondent and Principal of a corporate school in Chittoor, Purushotham is an associate professor from the Chemistry department in Government Degree College in Madanapalli. Their elder daughter Alekya was a student of the Indian Institute of Forest Management and Sai Divya was a BBA graduate pursuing a career in music.
As per the neighbours and colleagues, Purushothams family were deeply superstitious. The couple were highly accomplished academically.
The police said that when Padmaja was interrogated regarded the murders, she allegedly yelled at them for disrupting the ritual for resurrecting her dead daughters.
She said that we brought demons into the house when we opened the doors. She asked us to leave and come back the next day and witness the miracle that was about to happen in the house, where her daughters would come back to life, the DSP said.
"She said that there was evil inside her younger daughters head. So, she broke it open. It is hard to describe what we saw. It was difficult for us to understand," he said.
The couple had told the police they received signals from heaven and that theirs was a house of miracles. They told us that a miracle was about to happen which we had been spoiled by us entering the house. They told us that the morning after the magic that would occur would be spoken about by the whole world, the DSP said.
The family remained isolated ever since the pandemic set in. The domestic workers too were not allowed inside the house, he added.
The family had moved into their newly built house in the village of Sivanagar in August last year.
Posted: at 12:01 pm
Miami house legend and Juicy Music boss Robbie Rivera teams up with the brilliant LA-based artist Allen Wish to give the iconic track Girlfriend a facelift. This tune made massive waves when it was released back in 2003, filling the air space with lighthearted vibrations and flirty vocals from trance icon Justine Suissa who made everyone swoon.
Since its release, Girlfriend has become a remix target on multiple occasions, notably in 2008 from Robbie Rivera and then in 2013 from Frank Caro & Alemany. Here we are in 2021 and Allen Wish is the perfect choice when it comes to breathing new life into the track. Having previously touched up tunes from Bob Sinclar and Galantis, while also delivering originals like Setting Sun and Higher last year, hes proven he has the goods to get us grooving and knocked it out of the park with this new cut.
Ive been a fan of Robbies career for a long time. Weve been in touch, sending music and back and forth, and one day I thought Ill like to rework one of his biggest tracks. I initially proposed to Robbie we reimagine Back To Zero, but after having a chat with him, we ended up reimagining Girlfriend instead. The vocal already had that feeling of nostalgia deep down and I loved that, we just followed that feeling and added more depth to it.
The new version of Girlfriend soars us to the moon right out of the gate. There is a deep simmer felt between the sexy vocal and future-forward instrumental detail that fuels anticipation for the rest of the track. What I love is how the journey builds and teases. Each and every profound sound wave pulls me in a little bit more and by the time the final cosmic siren makes its appearance, I realize that I have been holding my breath the entire time. I am on the edge of my seat, totally engrossed in the out of body experience. And now, its your turn to feel the vibe!
I am very excited to bring back this beautiful song I produced when my hair was not white! Justine Suissas sweet vocals always bring a smile to fans when I play the original. This new remix with Allen Wish is just so good! New arrangement and synth sounds take the tune to the next level and I cant wait to get new fans with this remix.
Check out an exclusive premiere of Robbie Rivera and Allen Wishs remix of Girlfriend ahead of its release on January 29 via Ultra Records, and let us know what you think in the comment section!
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Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | SoundCloud
Maria first fell in love with electronic music in the early 2000's when she heard a little tune called "Satisfaction" by Benny Benassi. Since then she has dived headfirst into the scene and has become wildly passionate about the trance, techno, and tech house genres. Festival's like EDC, Dreamstate, and Dirtybird Campout hold the key to her soul and dance music will always and forever be a major part of her life.
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Posted: at 12:01 pm
When Sollys Tavern comes out of hibernation in March, the reliable U Street NW watering hole will split up its space to make room for a clubby venue called DNA Lounge. Even though the new business isnt open yet, its already in a dispute with a well-known San Francisco club of the same name over its use of the moniker.
This week, the original DNA Lounge a once-popular nightlife fixture in San Franciscos SoMa neighborhood thats been open since 1985 took legal action against its alleged East Coast copycat. A lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter to Sollys owner John Solomon and his landlord on Wednesday, January 27.
Solomon decided to cut costs by reducing the size of Sollys to its original 2006 layout, which includes its first-floor bar, upstairs area, and a popular patio that hugs the corner of 11th and U Street NW. In 2012, Sollys expanded across the first floor into the old Madjet restaurant, which will now be filled out by the new lounge.
Although D.C.s incoming DNA Lounge is registered to a different address than Sollys, Solomon still got stuck with the cease-and-desist letter.
The thing that pissed me off about it is their first response in the middle of a pandemic is to lawyer up, and theyre lawyering up against the wrong person, Solomon says. The landlord and myself are the only two on it. [DNA] has nothing to do with [our] business.
DNA Lounge comes from first-time restaurateur Yetnayet Enyew, whos building a 30-person space with its own entrance, upstairs dance floor, DJ, and a menu of a light American finger foods at 1102 U Street NW.
When reached by phone last month, Enyew told Eater he was aware of the DNA Lounge located 3,000 miles away, but said registering for a duplicate business name is fair game in another state.
A lot of [businesses in] different states have the same names, says Enyew, citing a Cloud Lounge that exists in both D.C. and Virginia. He says he simply landed on the name DNA Lounge because its short and nice and catchy.
But when DNA Lounges ABRA application went live in December, its San Francisco counterpart wasted no time voicing its frustration. There is only one DNA Lounge, and it has been in San Francisco since 1985. Whoever these ankle-biters trying to trade on our name are, they can fuck all the way off, read a tweet from a verified account for DNA Lounge.
DNA Lounge is arguably the birthplace of San Franciscos early house and trance music scenes, counting Prince as a regular partier there. In the 1990s, the club briefly changed hands to SNL comedian Rob Schneider, and then again during the dot-com boom to Jamie Zawinski, an early programmer for Netscape who helped develop the Mozilla Firefox browser. DNA doubles as a New York-style pizza shop that has maintained takeout and delivery during the pandemic.
Following its Twitter rant, Eater reached Devon Dossett, a manager for DNA Lounge in San Francisco who confirmed the business was in the early stages of taking legal action against the alleged infringement on its name.
We own the trademark to the name, Dossett told Eater, adding, We are on 11th Street, and so are they.
In D.C., Sollys identifies with an 11th Street address, and DNA Lounge is registered on U Street NW. Solomon says he was unable to reach DNAs lawyer to clarify that hes not involved.
Enyew, who hails from the retail world, said the pandemic helped him secure his dream address.
Ive always wanted to do it but it was very hard to find a location, especially this kind of location on U Street, he says. Right now because of COVID-19 there are a lot of open spaces.
Enyews first Instagram post for his incoming club shows off a sign design that integrates a hookah logo in the name:
Sollys, which has had a BYO-food policy in the past, took a stab at service earlier in the pandemic with hot dogs and special menus from next-door wine garden Lulus. Solomon decided to temporarily close because operating in the winter was too costly.
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Posted: at 12:01 pm
Stock crime jailed murder robbery Image Credit: i stock
Hyderabad: A mother in Andhra Pradesh who battered her two daughters to death has now claimed to be Hindu deity Shiva and that COVID-19 came from her body particles.
The police are now planning to move the woman and her husband to a bigger hospital in Tirupati.
A local court in Madanpalle remanded the couple Assistant Professor in Chemistry V Purushottam Naidu and his wife and school principal V Padmaja - to 14-day judicial custody and were lodged in local sub-jail. When the parents, who were arrested by the police after the brutal murder of their daughters 27-year-old Alekhya and 22-year-old Sai Divya in Mandanapalle town of Chittoor district, on Sunday night were produced before the judge, the woman continued to behave like she was in trance blabbering incoherent sentences.
Police found the battered and bloodied bodies of the two girls lying in a pool of blood in their home. Police found several tell-tale marks of religious rituals in the house suggesting that the double murder was related to some superstitious beliefs. The heads of the girls were half tonsured and there were marks of vermillion on them. There were small silver pots in their mouths. Police say the two girls were naked when they were killed but were later draped in red sarees.
Police investigating the case say the daughters were murdered under some superstitious belief that they would be reborn in a new and better age.
Before being produced in the court when the couple were taken to the government hospital in Madanapalle, Padmaja refused to undergo any coronavirus test. I am Lord Shiva. Coronavirus came from my body particles. Not from China. I wont undergo any test, she shouted at the team of doctors and nurses. When a police official counselled her to give a swab test, she shouted back, Who are you to advise me. She also claimed that COVID-19 would go away in March on its own. When her husband tried to intervene she pushed him away. You are not my husband, she declared.
Later medical staff collected the sample forcibly and she was shifted to court.
Purushottam Naidu, on the other hand, cooperated with the authorities in undergoing the coronavirus test.
In the sub-jail both the husband and wife refused to eat anything as if observing a fast.
Police officials said that the woman continued to be under some trance or delusion and they were now planning to shift her to a hospital in Tirupati town for further examination and treatment.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Ravi Manohara Chari said that the police had approached the court for permission to take her to Tirupati hospital.
Dr. Radhikha, a psychiatrist in Madanapalle hospital, told the media that the mental and psychological condition of the parents was not good. But they can come out of the trance if treated properly.
Police have booked a murder case against the couple under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code naming the father and mother as first and second accused.
The police team was going through CCTV footage of the past week to establish the goings on at the place leading to the incident. Police say that the two girls were battered to death by the mother using a trident and dumbbells.
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Posted: at 12:01 pm
The Spirit Worlds Comforting Trance
Rooted in the 1840s, Spiritualism was the belief that those who have passed on have the ability to communicate to the ones they left behind. The movement continued to grow well into the new century, with the Civil War being the height of its popularity in 1897. Historians place the phenomenal growth of Spiritualism with middle and upper-class families, desperate for word on their sons whereabouts during the years of fighting the Civil War. These mothers and families turned to the comforting trance mediums provided in speaking to the spirit world.
Mary Toddsdraw to Spiritualismcame following the loss of Abe and Marys second son, Willie. Born from the sudden onset of typhoid fever, Mary was so broken up by the boys passing, she spent nearly a month in bed. With the encouragement of close friends, she began visiting those who dabbled in the ways of Spiritualism. Within weeks, Mary was proclaiming to friends and family that their son, Willie, was indeed visiting her on a regular basis. Word of Marys experiences burned across the war-torn country like wildfire. Families desperate for any information about missing soldiers began following Mary Todds lead and turned to the spirit world for answers, as well.
In April of 1863, President Lincoln hosted a sance in the red room of the White House. Included in the sance were Mary Todd, two cabinet members, a medium named Charles E. Shockle, and Boston Gazette reporter, Prior Melton. Throughout the session, Lincoln called upon the spirits to help guide him in political matters. Afterward, Melton reported the proceedings to the people of Boston and the world.
Questions about the sances validity began circulating almost immediately. Modern-day historians confirm that no medium by the name of Charles E. Shockle appeared in any of the leading Spiritualism publications of the day, leading many to speculate that the Gazette made up a good portion of the story. However, the White House, to this day, does not deny that the sance occurred. As a result, historians hypothesize that perhaps the sance was a publicity stunt to show the president in a more everyday man light.
While this particular sance was more than likely presented to the public as a mere show, Mary Todd would go on to hire medium Nettie Colburn Maynard to sit and talk with the President in December of 1862. Maynard spent over an hour with the troubled President, as he asked the spirits whether or not he should sign and enact the Emancipation Proclamation.
Spiritualism soon became a lifelong following for Mary Todd. Several years after Lincoln was assassinated, Mary Todd visited infamous spirit photographer, William Mumler. Mumler was well known for capturing spirits floating around loved ones on film. He found much success in Boston, and later in New York, until he was arrested, and later prosecuted, on fraud charges based on the photographs he was producing. Despite her full knowledge of the charges, Mary Todd continued to visit the charlatan in disguise, of course. So, it was in full surprise for Todd when the photo presented to her by Mumler, showed her deceased husband, keeping a watchful eye over his distraught spouse.
Mary Todd Lincoln with the ghost of her husband, in an image taken by spirit photographer William H. Mumler. Mumlers photos are now considered hoaxes.
As years passed Robert Lincoln, firstborn to Abe and Mary, became increasingly concerned about his mothers behavior. So much so that, in 1875, Robert committed his mother to an asylum against her wishes. His concern was less over her mental well-being and more for the amount of the familys fortune she had squandered visiting Spiritualists.
Most historians doubt that Lincoln himself actually followed the Spiritualism movement to any great degree. Many believed it was a way for him to avoid placating not only a distraught spouse but a mourning nation, as well. The President is quoted as saying A simple faith in God is good enough for me, and beyond that, I do not concern myself very much
By Jesse Gormley, contributor for Ripleys.com
FIND AN ATTRACTION NEAR YOU
Source: The Lincolns Brought Spiritualism And Seances To The White House
by Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Originally posted here:
Posted: at 12:01 pm
Sree Vijayanayagam offering prayers before carrying the paal kudam to fulfil a Thaipusam vow in Penang last year.
A Sree Vijayanayagam of Penang is devastated.
The human resources consultant had been faithfully fulfilling his vow to Lord Muruga by carrying the kavadi, and later the paal kudam (milk-filled pot), while in a trance on Thaipusam day every year for the past 47 years.
This year, he was unable to do so because of the movement control order aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.
However, just as in all previous years, a cobra slithered by and looked at him during the period that he was fasting prior to Thaipusam day.
Tapah-born Sree Vijayanayagam, 71, started carrying the kavadi in 1973 to fulfil a vow made by his sister.
You see, he tells me, I was in upper six then at Anderson Secondary School, Ipoh, and very sickly. I had bronchial asthma and later doctors told me I had pneumonia.
When the STPM exam arrived, he was already sick and in hospital. Fortunately, the Ipoh General Hospital is a very short distance from his school and so a friend fetched Sree Vijayanayagam from the hospital to the school to sit for the first two papers on different days. By the time he had to sit for the third paper, he was discharged.
In 1972 my elder sister vowed that if I was cured, I would carry the kavadi for three years. I agreed with this. Miraculously, soon after, I didnt have any breathing problems. So, the following year, I carried the kavadi to the Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple in Ipoh.
After carrying the kavadi for three years, he said he felt an intense desire to continue doing so and even when he moved to Penang, he returned to Ipoh to fulfil his vow, piercing his cheeks and tongue.
However, from 1983 he decided to do it in Penang and switched to carrying the paal kudam but still with his tongue pierced with a skewer in the shape of the spear-like weapon of Muruga, the vel, which represents intellectual discernment with which one is to take up the battle of life.
Every year, the moment the prayers start, Ill go into a trance. The trance comes easily to me, says Sree Vijayanagam.
In the early years in Penang, his wife and two daughters would accompany him up the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, better known as the Waterfall Hilltop Temple. His daughters did it until they left for further studies in Australia.
Does he feel pain when the skewer is thrust through his tongue? No, not at all, comes the reply. I dont even realise they have pierced my tongue. There is no pain and no blood. After I remove the vel from my tongue, I can immediately eat and swallow food.
Since kavadi carrying is about building discipline and overcoming pain so that one is better prepared to face lifes challenges, I ask him how he prepares for it.
Initially, he says, he would fast and observe the discipline required for a month but later he shortened it to 15 days.
For 15 days, Sree Vijayanayagam has milk and fruits for breakfast and dinner and rice for lunch. Everything is vegetarian.
He sleeps on a mat on the floor; he doesnt shave, smoke, drink liquor or have negative thoughts about himself or others; he doesnt get angry or upset or have any negative emotion; and he tries to keep his mind on Muruga.
Has carrying the kavadi and paal kudam helped? Yes, he says. I find that obstacles in my path, whether regarding work or anything else, easily disappear.
He cites the time he was group senior general manager for human resources and corporate communications for Leader Universal Holdings Bhd and had to handle thousands of workers at plants in Malaysia, China, India, Cambodia and the Philippines and how he would somehow be able to negotiate even the worst cases.
In the Philippines, it was tough to handle the union and some of the workers carried guns and would threaten me. But through it all, by the grace of Muruga I managed. Even locally at the Tikam Batu plant in Kedah, when I had to dismiss a worker or two, some of the workers would come with parangs.
More importantly, I feel I have become more spiritual. I have a strong sixth sense now and am able to see things that others may not. I feel a sense of peace, especially during the 15 days when I observe the Thaipusam discipline.
He then mentions something uncanny that has been happening since he began carrying the kavadi: every year without fail, he would see a cobra.
Once a year, I have been seeing a cobra and it always happens during the period that I fast just before Thaipusam. I dont know what to make of it. Some say it is a bad omen but others say it is a good omen as Muruga has a snake with Him.
In every depiction of the image of Lord Muruga, there is a peacock and a cobra.
The cobra, an important symbol in Hindu tradition, is also associated with Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti. In meditation, it represents the coiled up sacred energy at the bottom of the spine which has to be raised to attain enlightenment.
During the first year of his fast, Sree Vijayanayagam would visit the Kallumalai temple every evening for the 30 days and then hop over to a Murugan shrine ensconced in a cave a short distance away.
One day, while he was lighting a piece of camphor before the deity in the cave, he spotted a cobra and, shrieking, fled.
His scream attracted the shrines caretaker who rushed up to assure Sree Vijayanayagam that the cobra was always in the area and that it had never harmed anyone. Still, he was scared.
Over the next few days, he noted the cobra spreading its hood, looking in his direction and then slithering away, and slowly his fear began dissipating.
When he moved to Penang, he was astounded to see a cobra every year too whether near bushes or in drains. And every time it would be during the period of his Thaipusam fast. Each time too, the cobra would spread its hood, look in his direction and move away.
Strangely, he would never see a cobra at any other time.
In 2010, he became anxious when no cobra made an appearance. It was already Thaipusam eve and I hadnt seen any cobra. I was on leave that day but had to go to the plant of BCM Electronics at the Kulim High Tech Park where I was then working, to settle some urgent matter.
After settling it, I was walking around the plant when a cobra suddenly popped out of a drain. It then went on its way and I mine.
What about this year, I asked. This year, on the fifth day of my fast, I spotted a cobra in the drain in front of my house. I no longer fear the cobra as I know it will not harm me.
From young I have had an affinity with Muruga, who is my ista devata (chosen deity). That is why I was depressed and upset when it was announced that due to the MCO, the Thaipusam celebration had been cancelled and that I would not be able to carry the paal kudam as I have done these 47 years. I still am.
But there was one saving grace. Sree Vijayanayagam was so disturbed by the prospect of not being able to fulfil his annual obligation that he went to a nearby Murugan temple on Thaipusam eve to enquire if they would accept a pot of milk to be used to perform the ritual prayers for the deity inside.
The priest, feeling compassion, told him to leave the milk at the gate of the temple early in the morning and thats exactly what Sree Vijayanayagam did yesterday. In fact, he left milk at two temples.
Well, at least I was able to do that, although Im still not satisfied.
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Posted: at 12:01 pm
The first season of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is almost over. Ive learned so much in a short time, including the etiquette of what not to say at your friends husbands Top Golf birthday party and why its rude to tell your friend that she smells like hospital. These invaluable life lessons will be on hiatus soon, but until then, we have this seasons penultimate episode. The show starts right where we left off last week with an increasingly hellish girls weekend in Las Vegas. It may be the most straightforward episode yet, but the plot goes in some appealingly weird directions in 40 minutes.
After the group split up for the afternoon, the Housewives are getting ready to enjoy their first night together. Jenwho has, in a total diva move, brought several members of the Shah Squad with heris keeping her makeup team busy. Heather and Whitney meet up, and Heather is eager to dish about Whitneys afternoon with Meredith and Lisa. Whitney is excited both by the sports car she drove and the fact that all three women reconciled after Top Golfgate. Heather then shares the bad news: when she and Jen went shopping together last episode, Jen said that she is still angry at Whitney about the party. Heather warns Whitney about Jens grudge, and both are confused because they thought this issue was resolved.
Meredith and Lisa, who of course came together, arrive first at the private dining room for dinner. Enjoying a martini called the porn star, they both agree that the car racing afternoon went well. Lisa says she and Whitney have a clean slate, 100% and both expect the rest of the weekend to be drama-free. Then Jen, who has different plans, arrives in her newly bought Versace outfit. While Meredith and Lisa are happy to share Whitneys apologies, Jen isnt buying it. Even though she believes Whitneys apology was sincere, she wants more accountability, and she especially wants to know if either Whitney or Meredith and Lisa are lying. (In the multi-episode saga of this fight, there has been surprisingly little information about who actually said what about Jen.) When Meredith and Lisa explain that they have forgiven Whitney and the bad blood is squashed, Jen gets defensive, starts yelling and accuses both of them of choosing Whitney and Marys side over hers. Meredith is not having this and she walks out, saying, in her signature drawl, Im not engaging in this. This is nonsense. No one tells me who to be friends with. As we all learned a few weeks ago, if theres anything Meredith is NOT going to do, its engage.
As Lisa tries to de-escalate, Whitney and Heather come in at the absolute wrong (or, for us, perfect) time. Jen is in the middle of staging her own dramatic exit, and when Heather asks whats wrong, Jen pushes her and hits her hand away. The gesture is much less effective when Jen immediately comes back to get her purse, but this does give her the opportunity to hurl more expletives at Whitney. Heather tries to defend her cousin; Lisa, for whatever reason, wants Jen to stay and Whitney mostly seems shellshocked. An emotional Jen then leaves with her bodyguard, because for some reason Jen has a bodyguard. After trying to mediate, Lisa talks it over with Whitney and Heather. At risk of overexplaining the obvious, Lisa says that Jen isnt over the birthday party blowupor the problems it caused in her marriage. Whitney doesnt know what else she can do to mend the situation after apologizing: Am I supposed to send a flash mob or a singing telegram? Whitney then recounts Jens own backbiting. Jen allegedly showed photos of Merediths secret boyfriend to Heather, and she also tried to stoke tensions between Whitney and Lisa. All three women are shaken and increasingly upset with JenLisa says Im not okay with the master manipulation tactics.
Back in her room, Jen drunk calls Sharieff and tearfully complains that nobody is sticking up for her. Considering the couples earlier fights about Jens drinking and temper, this cant end well for either of them. The other four women convene in Whitneys suite. Meredith and Whitney hug like they just survived a bombing and then they discuss Jens increasingly aggressive behavior. During their shopping spree, Jen told Heather, I would drown [Whitney] in the lake behind her house if she wasnt your friend. So theres that. Whitney doubles down on her initial claim from several weeks ago: she tells Meredith that Jen was trying to drop bombs in my lap to get me to say bad things about you and your marriage. Fed up with the constant speculation, Meredith finally explains the situation. Apparently, she and Seth have been separated for longer than anyone knew, and she did see other people during their time apart. This is news to everyone, including Lisa. She is visibly hurt that her best friend never shared this part of her life with her, but Meredith is protective of her privacy to the end. (Well, as protective as you can be while a camera crew films your worst moments to share on national television.) All four women agree on one thing: Jen is out of line. It always comes down to loyalty from the one person whos least loyal, Lisa observes, but Heather is still adamant on keeping the friendship, even when Jen is being toxic.
The tension has gone down slightly the next morning, but everyone still has the Jen blowup on their minds. Naturally, Lisa decides to video call Mary and explain the situation. Even though Mary isnt on the trip, shes staying busy in Utah! Before Lisa calls, she asks Charlinda to put a bin by her bed so she can step up into it (?) and is fascinated by the way her phone rings (??) As Lisa informs Mary about their disastrous night, Mary can barely contain her schadenfreude. She is not even a little surprised that Jen ruined the trip, especially after she warned every other Housewife about Jen from the beginning. If you choose not to listen, whatever happens to you you deserve it, Mary says in a confessional, though she restrains herself on the phone call. While feeling relieved that she opted out of the trip, Mary once again cautions Lisa: How do you understand crazy? she asks.
Back in Las Vegas, Whitney has a new surprise for the rest of the cast. Whitneys track record with surprises is mixed at best, but Lisa and Meredith are committed to their newly strengthened friendship and follow Whitneys lead as event planner. Heather is late because, another surprise, shes talking to Jen. The others thought Jen had left early, but at least one member of her large traveling entourage convinced her to stay. Though Heather still wants to maintain her friendship with Jen, she is not happy after last night, and she even calls Jen a crazed monster in a confessional. Jen is much calmer, but she still feels hurt and wants to know the truth behind the gossip and backbiting. She isnt taking responsibility for the night before, including pushing Heather, and Heather offers some tough love. Theres no reason to defend it or debate it with me, she says: Jens temper gets in the way of explaining her emotions or learning the truth of swirling allegations.
Without Heather or Jen, Whitney, Lisa and Meredith arrive at a mysterious mansion in the suburbs. They are greeted by a housekeeper and Kimberly Friedmutter, a hypnotist. Whitney is a fan of her book Subconscious Power, which, considering Whitneys ties to an MLM, checks out. (Scams and wishful thinking die hard.) Side note: if anybody EVER interrupts my vacation and surprises me with a trip to a hypnotherapist, no bitch will leave with their chakras aligned. Lisa and Meredith are kinder than me, and they are gracious despite the fear in their eyes. Whitney wants the women to find their inner voice, and I want to find Kimberlys interior designer, who really leans into an aesthetic best described as Intro to World Religions meets fever dream greenhouse. (Who am I kidding? These decorations are all Kimberly.) Kimberly leads the women in meditation and then says trance state is the bomb, which leaves my psyche as far from a trance state as humanly possible. The three have barely had a chance to close their eyes when the doorbell rings. In walks Heather withsurprise!Jen. Even Merediths third eye is shooting daggers. The energy just completely shifted in here, Meredith says. I think Kimberly needs a much bigger crystal. With all of the women present, Kimberly leads a group meditation exercise where the women imagine holding different kinds of balls. (In her confessional, Whitney does not miss the single entendre.) Jen cannot even pretend to take this seriously, which I honestly respect.
When the group moves to the therapy couch, Kimberly observes a lot of damage either individually or in the group. (You dont need to be a bestselling celebrity hypnotist to notice this.) Kimberly encourages the group to share their feelings. No one is backing down from their opinions, and soon everyone is talking in circles. Jen rambles about loyalty for the umpteenth time, and Meredith finally confronts Jen about the negative innuendos about my marriage. Jen may have the biggest temper tantrums and Marys passive-aggression is inspired in its insanity, but Merediths quiet rage might be the scariest of all. Jen doesnt exactly admit to the accusation, but weve already seen her gossip about Meredith on camera anyway and she apologizes.
Kimberly pivots to a new game: trust or not trust. Taking cues from the meanest girl at a middle school slumber party, she asks each Housewife to raise their hands if they dont trust another member of the group. She may be a dubious psychologist, but I am totally on board with Kimberly as a reality show plot engine. Every other woman raises their hand when Jen is mentioned. Mostly in retaliation, Jen says she doesnt trust Heather. Heather, who truly has been a reliable friend to Jen, is angry. (Cue the montage of Heather following and comforting Jen after every party meltdown.) Even Heather has her limitsshe calls Jen a really shitty friend. Though she has been unanimously called out, Jen still defends her reactions as completely justified. The episode ends in this tense stalemate. Next week is the finale, and the cast will finally leave Las Vegas and hopefully wrap up some of this seasons increasingly tangled plot lines. If its even close to as weird as this episode, Ill be satisfied.
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