Sunday, 25 September 2016

Fantasy Land!

My heart does a hundred somersaults;
When it hears your loving voice.

Thousands of butterflies flutter in my stomach;
When you near me with that gentle smile.

Invisible wings grow on me and lift me off the ground;
When you touch me with tenderness.

Oh dear, you always elevate me to a fantasy land -
Where nothing but we exist!!!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

11-1 Dots




“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
― Mahatma Gandhi



PS: Because many people asked me what a Kolam is…
Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  

Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.


Monday, 19 September 2016

Iru Mugan

Cast
:
Vikram, Nayantara, Nithya Menen
Nassar, Thambi Ramaiah, Karunakaran, Riythvika
Director
:
Anand Shankar
Cinematographer
:
RD Rajasekhar
Music
:
Harris Jayaraj
Editor
:
Bhuvan Srinivasan
Producer
:
Thameens Films
Release Date
:
September 08, 2016
Length
:
2 Hours & 34 Minutes
Language
:
Tamizh

My Thoughts
Love (Vikram) lives in Malaysia and is a bad heart. He aims to attack India with his fierce composition called “Speed” inhaling which a human turns into monster for five minutes. Akhilan Vinod (Vikram again) is a former RAW agent from India who was suspended four years ago for his ruthless attitude. The reason for his heartless act is the death of his wife Meera (Nayathara), a professional hacker during an operation with Akhilan to capture Love. Everyone assumes that Love is killed. But, Love is alive! So, the RAW chief Malik (Nassar) unofficially appoints Akhilan with a junior RAW agent (Nithya Menen) to help them capture Love. Rest of the movie is about whether Akhilan successfully captures/kills Love and avenges the murderer of his wife.

The problem is not the plot. But, the loose screenplay and unconvincing cast (except for Vikram and Nayanthara). Nithya Menen as RAW agent Aayushi comes across as an emotional woman who is a little too plump (read unfit) for the role. Thambi Ramaiah as the joker Malaysian cop is used for infusing comedy into the story. Nassar and Riythvika is a talent wasted. The role of Nayathara is crucial, but limited. Thankfully, unlike other supporting casts, her character is not clichéd. Sigh! The burden of performance rests on Vikram who has effectively differentiated Love and Akhilan with stunning body language. He singlehandedly struggles and triumphs.

Further, there is no background on why Love is behaving in the way he is behaving. Therefore, as an audience, we don’t feel connected to such a strong villain. We feel as detached as we would feel while reading a brief news bulletin.

The editor could have made it crispier. The background music could have been less blaring. The songs could have been catchy. The cinematographer could have brought out the love between Akhilan and Meera colorfully. Love’s monologue post interval could have been more interesting and short. Iru Mugan is full of such ifs and buts. There is enough logic, but there are more clichés. The subject matter is not effectively conveyed. Hence, the movie looks like a never ending ordeal.

Watch Iru Mugan for Vikram.
His dedication and hard work never fails to awe us.
I am sure that he deserves a lot more than this.

Rating
2.5/5


Thursday, 15 September 2016

Happy Onam 2016 (Part II)

Onam is always special. It is an occasion to meet family and friends. It gives an excuse to get dressed up, eat lip-smacking sweets and watch newly released movies. This Onam was no different for me. The pookkalam (flower carpet) was only an added bonanza.

The colorful flowers spread happiness. I hope I like it...


Between, sharing some of the made by my family and friends. 






Enjoy people!
The flowers may wither, but let us not let humanity wither…

Happy Onam again! 

PS: Thanks for my family and friends for letting me share the pictures on my blog. No thank you would be enough!!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Happy Onam 2016 (Part I)



I stumbled upon this snap recently…
A Pookkalam that I had made for Onam 2011
An unbelievable 4 years before…
So I just thought of sharing this with you…
After all, it brought a smile in my face…
Brought back the memories of those times J
Happy Onam people!!!

PS: Because many people asked me what a Kolam is…
Kolam refers to intricate patterns drawn both free handedly and by joining dots. These can be widely seen in the Southern part of India. Women draw this early morning, preferably before Sunrise after cleaning the courtyard. Earlier rice powder was used – it was a means to feed ants and small insects. However, these days, stone powder and even chalk is used. If such powders are used, it is called Pudi Kolam. Sometimes, brick powder will be used as outline on auspicious days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If rice powder is mixed in water and similar patterns are drawn, it is called Maavu/Maa Kolam. In West Bengal, it is called Alpona. In North India, people used rice/stone powders for the outline and fill the patterns with colors. This is called Rangoli.

It is believed that Kolam brings prosperity. It is drawn for almost all the auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals. When someone dies in the household, the family don’t draw any kolam for a year.  

Children in small towns learn the art of making kolam at a very young age. In fact, a girl who knows to draw impeccable and intricate kolam is a pride for the entire family and the village she stays. However, owing to modernization, city life and apartment culture, this art is soon dying.


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Inner Light

She looked at the sun;
So did I!

It was sunrise for her;
Sunset for me!

That night I didn’t wait for a new dawn.
I was tired of waiting.
I just switched on the light
And smiled at my reflection on the mirror.
I looked the same – in the sunlight and the artificial light
My eyes had the same twinkle
My smile looked no different
That night, I realized something
I am the same person regardless of the source of light
I just had to redirect the flow of thoughts
And change my mind.
I smiled again, this time concentrating only on myself;
For nothing else matters.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Basavanagudi/Dodda Ganeshana Gudi



Basavanagudi located in Bangalore India is famous for the Bull Temple. In the local language Kannada, “Basava” means bull and “gudi” means temple. The temple contains a monolith statue of the Bull (Nandhi), the vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva.


Built in the Dravidian style of architecture, it is amongst the oldest temples of the city. Also, it is one of the the biggest temple to Nandi in the world. The idol of Nandi Bull, measures 4.5 m in height and 6.5 m in length. The bull also has a small iron plate on its head. As per the tradition, this plate prevents the bull from growing.


According to the legend, a bull used to consume and destroy all the groundnuts and peanuts cultivated in this area. To appease that bull, a temple was built and soon, the bull stopped damaging the crop. Soon, the farmers of Basavanagudi organized a Groundnut Fair (Kadalekai Parase), near the temple and celebrated. This fair continues till date and is attended by the people of Bangalore in large numbers.


Dodda Ganesha Temple at Basavanagudi was constructed by Kempegowda In Kannada “dhodda” means big. It is said that Kempe Gowda once found a big rock and felt that it looked like Lord Ganesha.  The Ganapathi idol in this temple is about 18ft height-16ft width and is one of the biggest idol in Karnataka state.
   





PS: Happy Ganesha Chathurthi people!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Better Tomorrow

Let yesterday be a dream
Let's wake up today;
For a better tomorrow

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Patteeswaram

Thenupuriswarar Temple in the village of Patteeswaram (Tamil Nadu, India) is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva. It is located 6 km away from Kumbakonam.



Patteeswaram is named after the daughter of the divine cow Kamadhenu - Patti, who is said to have worshipped the lord there



According to the legend, Tirugnana Sambandar had gone to the Shiva temple in Thirusattimutram and proceeded towards Patteeswaram. Since Sambandar could not go inside the temple, Lord Shiva ordered Nandi to shift position so that view of the altar from outside. And in the temple, it can be noted that the Nandhi is not in its usual straight line with the Shiva Linga. 



It is said that Lord Rama was relieved from the Sayagathi dosha for killing Vali.



And Goddess Durga is in her most beautiful and enigmatic form. Her face is serene and any devotee would get mesmerized by Her.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Let me Fly!

Every night, I lie down and miss Locomente. I miss those crazy days when I used to write something-anything every day. Those were the days when I was able to dream, think and express them through words. I wonder why I don’t write anything anymore. Is it writer’s block – a convenient excuse? Or laziness – a bitter truth? Or of course, my indifference – the stark reality?

So, for a change, tonight, I decided to let the thoughts flow through my words. I didn’t switch off the lights to drift into vacuum. Instead, I turned on my laptop and forced to write. That’s the beauty about habits. A gentle nudge – tada! You are back on the track!

Isn’t is funny how something so dear to you gets estranged over a period of time? Is that the essence of evolution? Or is it the mere question of what next! We humans have a tendency to eternally search for something we don’t have. Often, we are unhappy with what we have; something we have lovingly built over time. The quest is never ending and generally frustrating.

For many days, words were my identity. Eventually, I let the camera lens weave magic. Off late, I wanted to create something in canvas. Thus, life moves on. New things will come and old passion remains as sweet memories. But, is letting go so easy? Is moving on as simple as it sounds? Is change the only underlying certainty?

I have only questions and more questions. Most of them answered with another question. The endless loop coils and suffocates me. “Don’t think so much”, says an inner voice. But hey! Who has ever cared about that voice? As usual, it goes unheard.

Tonight, I decided that I will start again. With new vigor and passion. After all, every new day is a new promise. It is a new opportunity to rewrite the sentence called our life and choices differently. Chuck the past. Forget the apprehensions about future. Because as we know, this moment is all we have. To end in a filmy style, “Kal Ho Na Ho”. Who knows if there is a tomorrow? So, let me not procrastinate anymore. Let me not feed slow poison to my dreams and murder it in the name of routine life. Let me not cripple myself by injuring my wings. Let me fly high!!!!

PS: This is my 1500th post... Way to go before I sleep!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Me & Me!

What do I have in life?
Other than me and me.
The need to have others is never ending…
But, who is there for me?

Other than me and me!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Anjuna Beach

The beautiful and serene Anjuna beach…

On a pleasant Goan morning!



The Saturday flea market near the Anjuna beach is a heaven for shopaholics. It opens around late evening and would be open till dawn. The shops sell almost everything… from cheap to designer clothes… beaded jewelry to silver ones… Beautiful items for home décor which includes furniture to paintings…
Then, bags, shoes, and what not… 



Of course, Goa being Goa, alcohol is also available!



If you are on Goa on a Saturday, don’t miss this place. Carry a lot of cash (cards are not accepted) and bargain well.

Happy Shopping!


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A Moonlit Night!


My mother says that as a child, I used to cry when the sunsets and darkness engulfs. I uses to be scared of the gradual darkness and repeatedly ask when it would be morning again. To console me, my parents used to take me out and show me the moon and the stars. She says that I used to smile and become happy.

When I painted this one, this little story was reverberating in my ears. And I saw myself in that little girl who is gazing at the crescent moon.

And of course, this cute quote by ― N.D. Wilson (Leepike Ridge) also…
“The moon was up, painting the world silver, making things look just a little more alive.”


Friday, 5 August 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Details of the Book
No. of Pages   : 330 Pages
ISBN               : 0751565350 (ISBN13: 9780751565355)
Language        : English

From the book blurb
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


Author
J .K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling is the author of the seven Harry Potter novels, which have sold over 450 million copies and have been translated into 79 languages, and three companion books originally published for charity. She is also the author of The Casual Vacancy, a novel for adults published in 2012, and, under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, is the author of the Cormoran Strike crime series.

John tiffany
John Tiffany directed “Once” for which he was the recipient of multiple awards both in the West End and on Broadway. Tiffany was Associate Director of the National Theatre of Scotland from 2005 to 2012, and was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University in the 2010-2011 academic year.

Jack Thorne
Jack Thorne writes for theatre, film, television and radio.


What I think
Harry Potter is back! He is forty years old, married to Ginny Weasley, father of three children (James, Albus and Lily) and works at the Ministry of Magic. Nineteen years has passed since we last heard about him. Over these years, Harry has become more insecure about relationships. He constantly fears the loss of loved ones. He is fighting an everyday battle to let go the past and make peace with the present. In this constant struggle, his son Albus who feels unloved and unworthy to be a son of the celebrated Boy Who Lived. He believes that his father’s glory lurks like a shadow around him. His misery is further accelerated when the Sorting Hat announces that he belongs to Slytherin. He isolates himself from everyone, hates the magical world and hates his “Potter” identity even more. His only solace is Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius who is also struggling with his own problems – estranged father, dead mother and a disturbing rumor.   

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, 8th instalment in the Harry Potter series, beautifully deals with complex relationships – between friends, father-son and past-present-future.  It also hints the importance of parenting and also letting go. It is a story of growing up and facing the reality as it is. It rightly hints that with great power comes great responsibility and such responsibilities could be both overwhelming and stressful.

On one hand, Ron’s funny one-liners will make you laugh and the moments between Hermione and Ron is funnier. Hogwarts continue to fascinate us and Sorting Hat still holds its charm. On the other, the friendship between Albus and Scorpious reminds of Harry, Ron and Hermione.  

The book is presented in a play format; so it is mostly dialogs. It lacks the vivid descriptions of the magical world that we are used to.  However, thanks to the prequels in which we have seen JK Rowling building that surreal world with her words. Now, we know that magical world like our own.

It is largely based on the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But, there is not a single second that could be boring and redundant.  In fact, this is more gripping and filled with many unexpected twists and turn. At the end, I can assure that we would close the book with the hope to read another one soon. I don’t think we could ever have enough of Harry Potter and his magical world!

In short, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an assured page turner.

Time to get engrossed in the magical world again…
Be ready to get spellbound…

Don’t miss this one!

Rating
4.5/5

Monday, 1 August 2016

Kabali Da!

Being an ardent fan of the superstar, I pre-booked my tickets and watched Kabali on the first day of its release. Okay, not the first show though. Yes, I was proud. Happy! As if, I did the right thing. Since then, I have been creating slots to post the review. But, I just couldn’t. Every day, I used to stare at the blank MS-Word. To be frank, I don’t think that I have ever been hit by a writer’s block of such magnitude. Of course, I am not trying to say that Kabali left me speechless or something. In fact, I had mixed emotions about it. The movie buff in me wanted to give a 4+ rating. But, the fanatic fan in me was fighting to make it 2 or lesser.

Was Kabali a bad movie? No, not all. The story was different – more an emotional drama than a gangster movie. It dealt with relationships and the constant fight between personal and professional life that any of us generally face.

Then, why was I struggling?

I belong to that generation whose first movie in the theater has been Rajinikanth’s – Veera to be precise. I still remember how I danced to the songs and laughed at the ridiculed expressions of the actor. Next was Basha. Should I even say anything about this film? It pushed the actor’s image beyond the imaginable. The star himself had once said that Basha is his favorite movie.

Over the years, I watched movies like Thillu Mullu (impeccable comic timing), Aarilirundhu Arbadhuvarai (awesome acting), Moondru Mudichu (hideously villainous), Padaiyappa (heroism and punch dialogs), Nettri Kan (unconventional story) and many more! The common element in all his movies has been his “style”. Be it the way he walks, sits or even turns! The way he ruffles his hair or the stylish way of putting the cigarette between his lips. His charisma has always blared – “Idheppidi irukku?”As audience, we loved him for that. He was what we were not. He was what we wished we were.

Off-screen, his simplicity awed us. He came across in simple clothes and never really cared about his baldness. He was a representative of millions of us and taught us to be comfortable in our skin. We wanted to be like him. At the same time, we were secretly happy that he was like us. The air of mystery always followed him and we have always been proud of him. We used to wait years together to watch him again on the big screen. We wanted him to tickle our funny bones, looked forward for meaningful punch dialogs and wanted to get lost in his style and charisma.

Then, movies like Baba, Kuselan, Kochadiayan and Linga happened. These movies failed us. We blamed the director, script and everything under the sun. We felt betrayed.

Recently, Kabali also happened. We know that the Pa. Ranjith is a capable director. After all, we had liked his Aattakkathi and Madras. We have liked the raw tunes of Santosh Narayanan. But, we went for Kabali for the superstar. We were not bothered about the complexity or the depth of story. Screenplay or the technical aspects were only secondary. We wanted to see our superstar in action. And the movie just disappointed us because that expectation was not met at all. The actor didn’t make us laugh, he didn’t say any punch dialogs, he didn’t dance or do any sort of things that he has been doing recently. He just came across as an emotional man (like any of us), fighting his own demons and living his life. He repeatedly uttered “Magizhchi” and disappointed us.

At the end of it, I felt bad myself. A fan has to accept the actor holistically. He should not restrict his hero within the constraints of expectations set by his past performances. Rajinikanth would still be doing negative roles, if he didn’t take that bold step to do heroism. If he didn’t try his hand on comedy, we would never have laughed. Hero-worship is one thing. But, letting the hero explore is a completely different thing. As long as we get to watch some meaningful film, nothing should matter. I don’t want to spoil the suspense, but ask yourself – could the climax have been any better? If Naayagan could be celebrated and acclaimed, why not this? Kabali is a movie in which Rajinikanth is an actor. It is not a movie customized for the actor. Why are we stuck in the superstar’s image and failing to see the actor within him?

Just to conclude, if Amitabh Bachchan was a part of the stereotypical films only, we would never have got a Black, Paa or even the recent Wazir.

Let’s not stereotype our superstar. Let him act his age. Let him be!

PS: I liked Kabali! 4 stars for it!! Thumbs up for the unconventional end.
PPS: Rajini sir, you are the star. We love you and that’s all!


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Great Grand Masti

Cast
:
Vivek Oberoi, Ritesh Deshmukh, Aftab Shivdasani, Urvashi Rautela
Director
:
Indra Kumar
Cinematographer
:
Nigam Bomzan
Music
:
Sanjeev Darshan, Shaarib & Toshi, Shaan
Editor
:
Sanjay Sankla
Producer
:
Balaji Motion Pictures
Maruti International
Release Date
:
July 15, 2016
Length
:
2 Hours & 7 Minutes
Language
:
Hindi

My Thoughts
Meeth, Amar and Prem are desperate husbands who are in look out for some masti in their otherwise boring and monotonous lives. They are married and yet live like bachelors. For Meeth (Vivek Oberoi), his wife’s twin brother is the problem, for Amar (Ritesh Deshmukh), his mother in law and for Prem (Aftab Shivdasani), his sister in law. As usual, Prem comes up with an idea - to go to Amar’s haveli where they plan to try some luck with some village bombshells. However, they end up encountering a sexed up ghost Raghini (Urvashi Rautela). The rest of the movie deals with whether the threesome choose to have masti with the ghost!

Well, as a genre, horror is in vogue these days. And this installment of masti uses it very well. Like its predecessor, the base plot continues to be unchanged – desperate husbands, homely wives and a sexy siren. However, unlike the other two, the songs are not very good. The loose script is often saved by Ritesh’s unbelievable comic timings and brilliant reactions.  Usha Nadkarni as Amar’s mother in law is a sure show stealer! And, Antakshari Baba (Sanjay Mishra) makes you laugh every time he is around. Double meaning is added to the famous movie dialogs and songs which is funny. Of course, there are some disgusting scenes which would make you cringe in the seat and a few others which would really take you to a laugh riot. Having said that, there are some dull moments and the climax turns out to be too preachy.

Masti series is famous for its adult comedy. This time they have mixed horror into it. Overall, it’s a onetime watch; a time pass. But then, like Grand Masti (2013), this also is nowhere near Masti (2004).

In short, go for it to enjoy Ritesh’s impeccable comic timing!

Rating
2.5/5