Friday, 17 November 2017

Kalpathy Theru 2017

Kalpathy Theru (Car Festival/Ratholsavam) took place between 8th and 16th of November, 2017. It is one of the most famous and very old festival celebrated in the town. 

The event begins with flag hoisting in all these 4 temples.

The streets of Kalpathy, beautifully lit… Kalpathy theru is an emotion and an event which the natives look forward to year after year. The real beauty lies in the fact that it is celebrated by everyone in Palakkad surpassing the religious diversity.


The beauty of the theru lies in it’s simplicity and the wonderful streamers made of white-paper, called netti maalai in Tamizh.

The car festival is celebrated in 4 temples, spread across 4 different aggraharam/villages in Palakkad – Kalpathy, Mandakkarai, Old Kalpathy and Chathapuram. 

The theru is made of wood and has intricate wooden work. 

It resembles to the theru in Kumbakonam and Tanjavur of Tamil Nadu because the natives of the Kalpathy are said to have migrated from those places a few 100 years ago.


Lord Ganesha of Mandakkarai– on Day 4 of the ratholsavam

Lord Viswanathaswamy of Kalpathy – on Day 4 of the ratholsavam

Lord Krishna of Old Kalpathy– on Day 4 of the ratholsavam 

Lord Ganesha of Chathapuram – on Day 5 of the ratholsavam

Lord Krishna of Old Kalpathy– on Day 5 of the ratholsavam

Lord Viswanathaswamy of Kalpathy – on Day 5 of the ratholsavam

Lord Ganesha of Mandakkarai– on Day 5 of the ratholsavam

Each day the God will be seated in different Vaahanam (vehicle) and goes around 5 adjacent agraharam

This is one of my personal favorite. Lord Krishna of Old Kalpathy decked up as Mohini. I loved this even better this time because of the beautiful candy pink sari!


 The ever handsome and majestic Lord Ganesha of Mandakkarai

It is also a time for family get together and reunions with old friends

A lot of shops come up and it’s also shopping time.

Some of the must-buys includes glass bangles, kumkum, puffed rice and vessels made of stones. 


No festival in Kerala would be complete without Panchavaadhyam.

Kalpathy is declared as a heritage village by the Government and it is famous for music lovers. This year, the stage was adorned by many vocalists and instrumentalists including Sudha Raghunath.


PS: I heartily thank my friends for generously sharing pictures because I couldn’t be a part of the celebration this year. Thanks again for also letting me share this. This post would not have been possible without you – my amma, Nidhun and Prasad J



Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Trapped!

T
rapped within the constraints of the dustbin, the little teddy bear wished that his playmate doesn’t thrown the child within himself. It hoped that his playmate preserved his inner child and the childlike enthusiasm forever!


PS: Happy Children’s Day people. Never feel old. Stay young at heart always! J


Friday, 10 November 2017

The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (Book #1)

Details of the Book
Original Title : Confessions of a Shopaholic
No. of Pages   : 368 pages
ISBN               : 0440241413 (ISBN13: 9780440241416)
Language        : English

From the book blurb
Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it—not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read. She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something… just a little something.

Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.

Author
Madeleine Wickham (born 12 December 1969) is a bestselling British author under her pseudonym, Sophie Kinsella. Educated at New College, Oxford, she worked as a financial journalist before turning to fiction. She is best known for writing a popular series of chick-lit novels. The Shopaholic novels series focuses on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her own finances. The books follows her life from when her credit card debt first become overwhelming ("The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic") to the latest book on being married and having a child ("Shopaholic & Baby"). Throughout the entire series, her obsession with shopping and the complications that imparts on her life are central themes.


What I think
I say, there are three types of people in this world:
·         People who shop only necessities; if and only if it is necessary
·         People who enjoy shopping and spend time in the activity; not necessarily money. They know their limits and always stick to the budget.
·         People who LOVE shopping and SPEND money on shopping - shopaholics.

Well, as the book’s name suggests, Rebecca Bloomwood aka Becky is a shopaholic. She buys stuffs that she doesn’t need, will not be used and cannot be afforded.  She is obsessed with sales, discounts and freebies. She is crazy about shopping and Sophie Kinsella’s The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic, first in the Shopaholic series, is all about how Becky’s life is affected because of her addiction!

To begin with, the cover page is catchy and apt. It gives a sneak peek into Becky’s life. The book blurb sets the expectations. The narrative flows with rehearsed ease, often making us laugh aloud. Characters like Suz, Luke, Becky’s parents and neighbors, bank manager among many others are also well established.

Becky as a character is funny and has a lot of sense of humor. Her thoughts are often quirky and mostly crazy. As a result, the fun moments seems to be a natural part of the story, rather than enforced. Certain expressions like an excited “really!” and a dreamy “People will call me the girl in …” are sure to become a part of our day to day conversation style.

Becky’s addiction to shop and the related descriptions become boring and redundant because of the book’s volume. It would have been more gripping and unputdownable if it was at least a hundred pages lesser!

In short, the book is a must read for all the three types of people I have mentioned above because it is a fun-read - a perfect excuse to be cocooned within the warmth of one’s home and have a good hearty laugh!

Enjoy shopping with Becky!

Rating
4/5

Some words that stole my heart
·     Shopping is actually very similar to farming a field. You can't keep buying the same thing, you have to have a bit of variety. Otherwise you get bored and stop enjoying yourself.
·      I love new clothes. If everyone could just wear new clothes every day, I reckon depression wouldn’t exist anymore.
·      Cut Back or Make More Money
·     So I buy it. The most perfect little cardigan in the world. People will call me the Girl in the Gray Cardigan. I’ll be able to live in it. Really, it’s an investment.
·    If a man doesn’t fit, you can’t exchange him seven days later for a gorgeous cashmere sweater.



Tuesday, 7 November 2017

A New Beginning...

There was an awkward pause.
Then, eyes danced around in anticipation of a perfect escape.
Yet heart was beating faster than ever with the explicit wish to be trapped.
A subtle shy smile creaked in her face, adding colors to her cheeks.
She took his spoon and savored the ice cream.

A lifelong affair to share almost everything thus began...!

Saturday, 4 November 2017

I Love Music




“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”
Maya Angelou

Monday, 30 October 2017

Togetherness

They conquered several destinations…
And aimed for several more…
In an endless mirage hunt.
Never did they realize;
They were not destined to conquer
But only believe in equality
And respect others’ beliefs

Saturday, 28 October 2017

A Crazy Quote!


Through a friend, I came to know about an app named “Your Quotes”. It has a similar layout like Instagram which allows you to upload images and use tags. You may follow others and be followed. Of course, like and comment on the posts. The difference between Your Quotes and Instagram is that in the former are supposed to share tiny write-ups and in Instagram, well as we all know, photographs!! I have to tell you that this is a great source of inspiration because everyday prompts are shared too. Try it. And share your thoughts!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Six Years as Locomente!!!

There is nothing more enlightening than self-introspection, they say. I am still not sure how true or important that is. However, when I sat down and read all the posts that I have posted on October 26th over last five years, I think it makes sense. What’s the big deal about that date; this date? Well, my little baby blog turns six today!

I was reading what I have written on this special date over the years and realized that so much has changed. I have started writing and less. I spend less time with my baby. Does that mean I think less or observe less? Certainly not. I would rather say that I have become lazy over the years, apart from getting writer’s block every now and then. Long stories are replaced with micro-fictions. So are poems and haikus. But, my paintings have added more colors to my otherwise dull and dark life.

Sometimes, I think I lack clarity. Most of the times I wish I spend more time in romancing words, shunning the cynicism and laziness. These two feelings are a bane for a writer as much as they are for anyone. They do not let you do what you want, suffocating you with stories and thoughts that you wish to share. That’s when such special days play a vital role. They make you sit back and ponder. They force you to wear those thinking hats, peer through the spectacles and not stare at the vacuum but articulate. They remind you what you used to be and inspire you to give it another chance. Life is all about chances, isn’t it? The risks taken and mistakes made would be more memorable than the safe and laid back choices made. The light at the end of the tunnel and the smile that touched your soul would be remembered as a result of which the terrifying dark alley and the salty tears which kissed your cheeks would be deleted. Mind you, it’s a Shift+Delete!

Some people say that I live in the past. Many of us do, don’t we? Because it gives an opportunity to be creative and develop what-if scenarios. I am one among the many who likes to do that too. And who doesn’t like to rewrite or restart. They sound more positive than accepting failures and heartbreaks. It is an experience; a lesson taught. And present is all about evaluating them and consciously deciding to not repeat them in future. I might be a proud mother of Locomente. But, I am no saint. I have made mistakes. But, I carry them as scars which I am not ashamed of. I am proud of them because even the tantalizing moon is not perfect. No one is! Perfection is subjective; an illusion.

The last six years has been a learning ground for me. I have erred. I have been lame and even redundant. They taught me to laugh at myself and insisted that I can be a better person. At the same time, it has changed the way people look at me. Some people think that Locomente is my biography though I used to remind them that I have a personal journal for that. I tell them that if someone writes purely out of personal experiences, Agatha Christie should be serial killer and JK Rowling must be flying around on a broomstick. If that’s the case, what’s role of creativity and fantasy. But honestly, I don’t care anymore. I have realized that people comment, no matter what. Problem is we care for their comments and design our lives to get the best comments from them. Think about it – if not why “comment” plays a key role in all the social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even blog! There is always other side to the coin; good and bad coexist. Smartness lies in recognizing the grey area and accepting it.

More than once I have poetically explained how peace might feel like – “when silence speaks”. Sometimes, silence urges us to listen to details and understand the nuances otherwise lost in blaring noise. Most of the times, it could be so addictive that we might forget how sound could be. And that’s what has happened with me, I guess. I still love to romance words. But, it has become a private affair than a PDA. Do I detest PDA? NO. I love that. And that’s why I am letting my thoughts flow through my fingers and tap on the right alphabets although I know how incoherent I sound. After all, I know that all is fair in love and war. And I am in a war with myself wherein I force my thoughts to express my love for words.

Anyways, I have digressed a lot. That’s what happens when kids start growing up. After a point, we don’t know whether we should give due regard to their age or remain in a constant struggle to accept the fact that they are growing up with individual identity. I know that Locomente has an identity of its own - as a writer, dreamer and reviewer. I think I should not try to shrink that image; if not add more dimensions to it.

As a final note, when I was silent and unsure, whenever I came out of my shell and wrote something, my dear friends, you read; you commented. It means everything to me. Thanks for that. I dedicate this post to all of you who have spent their valuable time in not only reading but also commenting. You motivate me. You inspire me. THANK YOU again. Looking forward for at least a forever with you...

And… how can I not say this?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOCOMENTE!!!
6 years as Locomente… 2193 days… 1598 posts… 139 followers… 495k page views…
You mean a lot to me. You let me fly and remember that I don’t take you for granted.

As I always say, “miles to go before I sleep”!

Happy reading…
With love,
Locomente J

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Swing


Life is so similar to a swing…
Sometimes it feels like we are in the top of the world…
And sometimes as if we would fall in anytime soon!


Friday, 20 October 2017

Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev

Details of the Book

No. of Pages   : 248 pages
ISBN               : 9386228386 (ISBN13: 9789386228383)
Language        : English

From the book blurb
From selling chawanprash on a bicycle and teaching yoga to small groups of people in the late 1990s, today Baba Ramdev is a media mogul who can shake governments. He sits at the top of a multi-billion-dollar consumer goods empire that sells everything from swadeshi jeans to ghee and has taken the yoga revolution down to small-town India. This is his story.

Author
Priyanka Pathak-Narain is a journalist who covered religion and business for the newspaper Mint for several years.

What I think
Indians are crazy about cricket, movies, politics and godmen. When a godman like Baba Ramdev chooses media and politics to convey his ideologies, people could only be convinced and influenced easily. And this mindset of people explains the rise of someone like Baba Ramdev. He is doubtlessly shrewd and has specific goals. He understands people’s sentiments and knows how to rightly influence. He is in fact a phenomenon who took yoga to the living room of commoners and made them believe that it is doable. He is a magician who made people believe that healthy living is not as complex as it is projected; neither is it an expensive affair. His exercises are often simple and easy to practice, often targeting housewives and older generation. And well, he rose to further stardom when he joined hands with Anna Hazare. The saffron cloth, yoga tips and some political stunt for a cause that was more emotional than anything for Indians made him famous. It also resulted in better turnover to his business. Today, he is a business tycoon. But who is Baba Ramdev? How did he become what he is today? These are some of the inevitable questions in our head. Priyanka Pathak-Narain’s Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev may have not have answers to these questions, but it surely takes us through Baba Ramdev’s life through the eyes of those who have known him over years.

Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev is more like a summary of investigation journalism report than biography. It makes us aware of his empire and introduces us to those who belong to his shielded inner circle. His early years are vague and so are the descriptions of his present lifestyle. This only adds more mystery to his enigmatic personality. However, it succeeds in establishing that Baba Ramdev is a leader and visionary. More than a godman, he has the characteristics of a tycoon – shrewd and diplomatic. Priyanka Pathak-Narain has ensured that the book is a compulsive page-turner and keeps us hooked to the details although the incidents narrated are vague and inconclusive. Of course, she wins because she has presented the facts as facts and has not taken any sides.

In short, this book would have been another account of Baba Ramdev’s life if the injunction order was not passed against the sale of the book. In no time, it seemed like a forbidden fruit which we wanted to taste. And what a taste the book had! Bitter and sour most of the times. There are so many shocking revelations (I don’t want to be a spoil sport!) which will surely make us feel uneasy. In a way, it further assures that politics could be dirty and business is nothing but a game of politics!

Go for it! It will give some perspectives – A MUST READ J

Rating
3.5/5

PS: As you would know, it is not sold in anywhere. But we can always find our sources. Thankfully I got this book from a friend who had purchased it before the injunction order was passed! Lucky me, I guess. And thank you my friend for letting me borrow it J

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Bottle Painting (Dreams come true!)


Today is Diwali – the festival of lights!
I hope we would be celebrating it noise-free and in an environmentally friendly manner. 
I am!

And I don’t think there would be better day than today to share my bottle painting.
This was my dream and like most dreams, this also came true J


Happy Diwali!!!! J

Monday, 16 October 2017

This one for you!

Raman was an employee in a small shop that handles old newspapers, magazines, books, plastics and glasses. His daily job was to categorically segregate the bundles of wastes, pack it and transport it to a dealer in city nearby. He lived in a very small town where everyone knew each other by name and farming was the major source of livelihood. Raman’s employer was also the landlord and he worked there part time. In his free time, he would go through the old magazines, books and newspapers. Most of the times, buildings and landscapes used to awe him. Sometimes, he would cut a picture and take it back home to his 6 years old son, Gokul. Gokul would look at the picture too and sketch it in his notebook.

“Appa, this one is for you”, he would say and gift it to his father. Raman would swell with pride looking at the perfect sketch made by his son.

Years pass by. Raman’s biggest treasure is the pencil sketches of his son, safely secured in an old iron trunk. Gokul secures a distinction in his tenth standard and gets a scholarship to study Science in a renowned Government school in the city nearby. He becomes hero among his classmates due to ability to draw beautifully. He gets valuable gifts for helping them in updating their practical books. One day, he gets a pack of watercolors. Gokul tries to color his sketch, but fails. He feels bad. But, with the help of some friends who let him explore internet, Gokul learns how to play with colors. Soon, his friends start gifting him paints and canvas in return to drawing pictures in their practical books.

One day, his teacher stumbles upon one of his painting books and gets awestruck by its sheer brilliance shining with perfection. As she turned the pages she saw the serenity of Taj Mahal, colorful lanes of Venice, bustling roads of London with the Big Ben in the background, the majestic Tanjavur Brihadeeswhwarar Temple and many more. There were vivid landscapes too which were nothing less than a photograph. And the mighty looking Indian Gods and Goddesses. She calls Gokul and asks where he learnt them. He says he learnt it from his father. An astounded teacher meets the father. Soon she understands that he had only shared the photographs to his son. But, the son recreated them with pencils and colors. She realizes that the father taught his son to dream, beyond the limitations of the border and economic constraints. She organizes an exhibition in the school and invites media attention. His paintings and fame go viral due to the social media. People across the world start appreciating his painting. He starts making a lot of money. He feels at the top of the world because his passion was bringing fortune to him.

“Appa, this one is for you”, he walks to his father with an envelope in his hand. His father opens it and doesn’t really understand what it is. He looks perplexed and confused at the same time because he had thought it would be another painting which he could cherish in his old iron trunk. Gokul smiles and says, “appa this the flight tickets to the world tour. We are going to see all those places whose pictures you have been bringing to me”. Raman’s eyes well up. He hugs the boy and thanks the almighty as his eyes wander across the home until it rests on the photograph of his wife.


Monday, 9 October 2017

Mugulu Nage

Cast
:
Golden Star Ganesh
Apoorva Arora, Nikitha Narayan, Ashika Ranganath, Amulya
Director
:
Yogaraj Bhat
Cinematographer
:
Sugnan
Music
:
V Harikrishna
Editor
:
Sachin
Producer
:
S. S. Films, Golden Movies, Yogaraj Cinemas
Release Date
:
September 01, 2017
Length
:
2 hours and 37 minutes
Language
:
Kannada

My Thoughts
Pulkesh (Ganesh) is a happy-go-lucky man who is intelligent and sweet natured. But, he is born with a problem (according to parents) and which is considered to be not a problem at all by the doctor (Ananth Nag). Pulkesh doesn’t cry; he can’t cry. Mugulu Nage is about can anything make Pulkesh cry! If yes, what could that be? Well, it is no spoiler alert that the only thing that could make Pulkesh cry is a heartbreak! So, his heart is broken more than once and the reasons are familial or personal.

When director Yogaraj and actor Ganesh come together, they bring a breath of fresh air with them which would brush us with happy-smiley feeling. Mugulu Nage is burdened with these expectations from the audience and struggles to deliver the promises made through past ventures. There is feel-goodness, both comical and emotional moments as well as stunningly shot songs. Well, the songs are not that great. The characters are well essayed that everyone from his college professor to the driver leaves their mark. Ganesh as Pulkesh is effortless and has tried his best to bring conviction to his character. But, the screenplay is often less convincing and out of place. As a result, they seem to be more forceful than natural. Of course, the movie is 157 minutes long. This only makes the movie sloppier and never ending. Editor sir, we missed you!

There are four ladies in the film - Apoorva Arora as Chaaru, Nikitha Narayan as Siri, Ashika Ranganath as Vaishali and Amulya in guest appearance. And there is something very similar in the characterization of these women – they all know what they want in life. They are bold and don’t shy away from voicing out their opinions. At the same time they portray different shades of love. Chaaru is charming and starry eyed; so mesmerized in the magic of first love that makes her see world under the light of togetherness. Siri is independent and places herself before anyone. And, Vaishali is so selfless that she derives happiness through the smiles of others.

In short, the movie is a delight to watch – thanks to the cinematographer. Go for it to feel the lightheartedness that would make you feel good. Having said that, with a running time of 157 minutes, the movie could seem to be never ending!  

Rating
2.5/5

Friday, 6 October 2017

Dancing to the Melody of Life



“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
― Osho


Sunday, 24 September 2017

Incomplete

I feel incomplete without you…
Because you can sing
And make my heart dance!!