Thursday, 30 March 2017

Yet Another Sunset


As I always say…
Sunsets never fail to entice me!!!

“When the sun is setting, leave whatever you are doing and watch it.”

― Mehmet Murat ildan

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Some Lines Please


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, 19 March 2017

Lonely Journey

I have come so far alone...
I will go further…
Until the very last breath

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Let me Go!

U never let me go when I wanted to go...

And now u let me go..

But I don't want to..



Saturday, 11 March 2017

Extreme Emotions

I am pulled –
Between two extreme emotions.
One that wants me to stay with you.
Another wants me to walk away from you.

In this constant push and pull,
What I want goes unseen; unheard.
Like a lifeless puppet,
I keep moving…

But until,
The thread called “my life” breaks!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Harbor


“To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.”

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Awaiting Miracle...

I am that lone tree
In the midst of vast field
Surrounded by nothingness.

How I wish…
That there was someone else
Like me; or someone different from me.

My fate is bad.
I am just a lone tree
Waiting for some miracle

PS: Inspired by Pablo Neruda's poem

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Lumbini Gardend - Bangalore

Lumbini Gardens - A perfect getaway in Bangalore…  

Dr. Rajkumar there... Huttidhare Kannada naadalli huttabekku

“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”
― William Shakespeare


A surreal experience in the middle of traffic and the related chaos!

This place is named after Lumbini of Nepal dedicated to Lord Buddha. And, I saw a serene looking Budha in the middle of trees. In a way, I was feeling the same in the midst of manmade lake!

Man made both the building and the pool... But the joy of seeing the pool was more overwhelming!

An eco-friendly boating park... With man made wave pool

Cz sunsets never fail to entice me!

A place that have something to offer to everyone across different age groups!

Floating restaurant... A perfect place to celebrate with families and friends!

I don’t know why... But this reminded me of the building next to the London bridge!


I have a question... Behavior guideline only for the unmarried? Married couple can kiss and hug? And get away doing anything mentioned in the list above?

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

மடப்பெண்

அன்று கண்ட கனவுகள்
என்று நிஜன்மாகுமென்று
என்றென்றும் காத்துக்கிதந்தேன்

மடப்பெண்ணன்றோ நான்!

அவை கனவுகள் அல்ல
மணலில் எழுதிய கவிதைகள் என்று
புரிந்து கொள்ளவில்லை.

அலைகள் அடித்தது
தன்னுடன் என் வன்ணக்கனவுகளை
வாரிச்சென்றது.

கண்களில் நீர் நிறைந்துவழிந்தது
ஆனால் அதுவும் வாழக்கை எனும் கடலில்ச்சேர்ந்து
காணாமல் போனது

இருந்தும்
உன்னோடு சேர்ந்ததுபோல் தோன்றியது!

Translation
I was waiting forever…
Wondering when would my dreams…
Would come true!

Such a foolish I am!

Those were not dreams
But poems written on sand!
I never realized.

Waves came…
Took away those colorful dreams;
With it.

Tears welled up in my eyes
But they also disappeared
In the ocean called life.

Yet
I felt like they have joined you!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Standing on an Apple Box: The Story of a Girl among the Stars

Details of the Book
No. of Pages   : 184 pages
ISBN               : 9352641752 (ISBN13: 97893526417)
Language        : English


From the book blurb
Director, dancer, goodwill advocate for the United Nations: Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush is so much more than the daughter of a legendary actor, or the wife of southern cinema's biggest star. Growing up in Bangalore and then Madras, in a household that resolutely kept out any hint of her father's superstardom, she was a quiet, introverted child whose greatest pleasure was a visit to Marina Beach and an occasional meal out. It was not cinema but law that became a preoccupation when she started thinking about college and career - but fate, and her mother, had other plans for her. Aishwaryaa writes with disarming honesty about life as Rajinikanth's daughter, of falling in love and raising two boys with Dhanush, of fighting her own demons and finding satisfaction in a career of her choice. She reflects on the many roles a woman has to juggle at home and outside - in her case, under the watchful gaze of cameras and celebrity-watchers. Intensely personal, but also inspirational, Aishwaryaa's memoir is an unusually frank insight into growing up in cinema-land. A playful meditation on the joys and difficulties of being a woman in this age, Standing on an Apple Box is as much a celebration of individual fulfilment as it is of family.


Author
Aishwaryaa R. Dhanush is a film director and a start-up entrepreneur. She is the daughter of the legendary actor Rajinikanth and is married to Dhanush, also one of India’s best-known actors. She is the mother of two boys. She lives in Chennai, India. Aishwaryaa is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer (recognized by the state government for the same in 2009), a voracious reader and a passionate writer. In August 2016, she was appointed as UN Women’s Advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment in India. Standing on an Apple Box is her first book.

What I think
As the title, “standing on an apple box”, the book is all about the onlooker’s perspective of cinema industry as well as lives of stars star kids and their family. The interesting aspect is that the onlooker is an insider too. Of course, not any random insider, but Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush.

When I came to know about the book (which was through the Bangalore Lit Fest), I was more driven to the author’s name than anything else. I didn’t care what the book was all about. In fact, more than the author, her surnames grabbed my attention. Rajinikanth – the reigning superstar and Dhanush - the uncrowned prince. In fact both these stars have something in common – their humble beginning and the raise to superstardom through dedication and hard work. After all, being a movie buff myself, I know that their journeys has never been easy. But, I wanted to know what it would be like for Aishwaryaa who is born to the superstar and hence could easily be tagged as the “born star”.

Interestingly, the book is about just that – what it means to be a star kid and wife. The difficulties faced to shed the imposed stardom, shedding the shadows of a famous father and husband thereby bringing individual identity into the limelight.

The book is not chronologically ordered. It shuttles between Aishwaryaa – the daughter, wife, mother, director and social worker. However, it always retains Aishwaryaa – the person! She describes how her grandparents instilled moral values and ethics into her system. She extensively narrates how protective her mother is and what a submissive daughter she had been; rather helplessly submissive she had been. She also adds some instances involving her father which only reinstates what an epitome of simplicity he is! The author, wherever possible, has elaborated how ridiculous star kids’ life could be due to constant media attention and of course, owing to the simple reason that movie stars are celebrated like Gods!

The USP of the book is the simplicity and honesty. The author has not touched any controversial limits; neither has she revealed anything new about herself or her family. Yet, the narrative sounds so personal that we almost get a glimpse of her life with her family. Although she has included a few instances from her father’s life, it is limited.  I wish there were more. Also, the contradicting lifestyle in which the author and her husband were brought up is highlighted. But, I wish we could know more about how they fell in love!

In short, as readers or as fans, we would know nothing new. Yet, we feel connected to the author’s world for those 2-3 hours we spend with the book. As the name rightly suggest, we become the onlooker standing on an apple box. But, we get to see only the camera. And the camera has only the motions captured by the director.


Rating
3/5


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Don’t Leave Me Now...

Oh my dear…
My sunshine… my eternal dream…

I have let you go many times…
But not today, my love. Not now.

Because my heart breaks every time you leave…
And I end up looking for those scattered pieces…

When my heart is fixed and the wounds are healed…
It wanders back to you so that you could break it again…

Secretly, I think I enjoy the game and the pain…
Maybe you also know that. Is that why you always leave with a smile?

Oh my dear…  Don’t leave me.
Not today. Not now.

Let me freeze this moment in my mind…
Don’t leave me, my love. Not now.

I promise, I will let you go…
And let the broken heart be broken for at least this lifetime…

So that the healed heart would not come back running after you…
And I don’t have to see you leave again…

My sunshine… my dream…
Don’t leave me.  Not today. Not now.


 PS: Inspired by Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Na Karo song!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Zentangles (Flowers)


If you feel like putting mehandhi and get no hands...
Or if you feel like making an alpona and don’t find a courtyard...
Worry not!

Take a black pen and white paper... Do zentangles!!!😁

Monday, 6 February 2017

Bogan

Cast
:
Jayam Ravi, Arvind Swamy, Hansika Motwani
Nagendra Prasad, Akshara Gowda, Varun
Nasser, Ponvannan, Naren
Director
:
Lakshman
Cinematographer
:
Soundararajan
Music
:
D. Imman
Editor
:
Anthony
Producer
:
Prabhu Devan Studios
Release Date
:
February 03, 2017
Length
:
2 Hours and 29 Minutes
Language
:
Tamizh

My Thoughts
Director Lakshman of Romeo Juliet fame, is back with a fantasy thriller Bogan. The movie is based on body swapping where there is a thin line that differentiates the protagonist and the antagonist. The story is different and so is its treatment. There are several twists and turns which will entertain the audience and also keep them glued to their seats.
Bogan is the 3rd movie in which Jayam Ravi & Hansika are the lead actors. As usual, they come across as a striking pair. So does the duo Jayam Ravi and Arvind Swamy. They have truly lived up to the inevitable expectation after Thani Oruvan. Actors like Ponvannan and Nasser are great talented that is wasted.

In this film, just like Thani Oruvan, Arvind Swamy is the show stealer. The ease with which he carries off the character and the way he has handled the transition marks him yet again as a good actor. And, Jayam Ravi is only trying to match the steps with Mr. Swamy, thereby turning out to be a little confused, especially after the transition. Hansika has nothing much to do except to dance and do the glamor bit. She shines with her impeccable comic timing.

The movie is fast paced – thanks to the editor. Cinematographer has presented the film vibrantly and the fresh/young feeling we had while watching Romeo Juliet continues. D. Imman’s opening song Damaalu Dumeelu uses the latest dubsmash craze, giving the mass opening to the hero. Senthoora is not only sounds brilliant but also captured mesmerizingly. Having said that, songs like Koodu Vitty Koodu (b-o-g-a-n) and Vaaraai Vaarai hinders the flow of the film. In fact, they simply elongate the film.

Bogan is backed by a novel idea, stellar performances, interesting twists and turns, mesmerizing visuals and a great background score. However, it seems to be too long, redundant and tedious.
In short, it is a kind of movie that could be watched with family – a rare treat.
So, watch it once and forget the flaws!

Rating
2.5/5


Sunday, 5 February 2017

Mango Kolam


Mango design is my favorite…

Be it in kolam or mehandhi…!!!


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.


Thursday, 2 February 2017

Sky - The Only Truth

Nights are always dark. But that night was a little too dark for it was a no moon night. It looked like the stars had gone for a vacation too. She wanted to gaze at the sky and be lost in thoughts. But the emptiness and the obvious darkness made her feel a little lonesome. But she shrugged away those thoughts. 

"Think something positive. The universe is listening", she urged herself. 

But, nothingness and cynicism had become a way of her life. She didn't know any other way. She had seen many people come and go like the passing clouds. They had briefly stayed in some beautiful forms only to be disintegrated from her world. 

"But I don't want to be a victim of time", she told herself. 

She wanted to forget the sun and the moon. Or the numerous clouds and stars. After all, she was the sky - the truth. That thought made her smile. 

Sky is the most underrated truth of the universe. The sun might set and the moon might be a suffered of mood swings. The stars might go unseen and the clouds might meander. Even the mother earth might lose her patience. But the sky never falls down. That momentary realization gave her the much needed peace. 

She braced herself for the new life that was waiting for her...

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Good-bye

Silence had stopped speaking. There was nothing unsaid either.
So she thought it's better to be away from his estranged eyes; and from the reality!
Therefore, she let him go by gathering all the crumpled pieces of her dignity.
She whispered a "good-bye" to him; but within herself...
It was end of something special, she knew...
But also a new beginning, said a little voice!

Sunday, 22 January 2017

An Unsuitable Boy

Details of the Book
No. of Pages   : 352 pages
ISBN               : 067008753X (ISBN13: 9780670087532)
Language        : English 

From the book blurb
Karan Johar is synonymous with success, panache, quick wit, and outspokenness, which sometimes inadvertently creates controversy and makes headlines. KJo, as he is popularly called, has been a much-loved Bollywood film director, producer, actor, and discoverer of new talent. With his flagship Dharma Production, he has constantly challenged the norms, written and rewritten rules, and set trends. But who is the man behind the icon that we all know? Baring all for the first time in his autobiography, An Unsuitable Boy, KJo reminisces about his childhood, the influence of his Sindhi mother and Punjabi father, obsession with Bollywood, foray into films, friendships with Aditya Chopra, SRK and Kajol, his love life, the AIB Roast, and much more. In his trademark frank style, he talks about the ever-changing face of Indian cinema, challenges and learnings, as well as friendships and rivalries in the industry. Honest, heart-warming and insightful, An Unsuitable Boy is both the story of the life of an exceptional film-maker at the peak of his powers and of an equally extraordinary human being who shows you how to survive and succeed in life.


Author
KARAN JOHAR is one of the leading directors, producers and writers in the Hindi film industry. He is the son of a much-respected film producer Yash Johar who set up Dharma Productions in 1976. Karan took over his father s legacy following his death in 2004. Over the years he has built Dharma into a powerful influential and flourishing entity. Karan began his tryst with filmdom in 1995 as an assistant to filmmaker Aditya Chopra on the sets of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge 1995. Subsequently Karan made his debut as director with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai 1998 which went on to become a blockbuster. He has directed six major films and produced over twenty all starring some of the biggest names in Bollywood. He recently made his first appearance as actor in Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet in 2015.



What I think
I didn’t think twice when I pre-ordered the book. After all, I am an ardent fan of Karan Johar – the director, producer and TV host. I have watched all his movies at least four times (I say four because I have watched Ae Dil Hai Mushkil only four times as of now).  

Disclaimer: I have pledged to the words that I will not be biased as I review it. The fan in me is shunned in the dark as I type this!

To begin with, the title will surely draw reader’s attention. After all, most of us would have read or else would have Vikram Seth’s bulky A Suitable Boy in their reading shelf. Karan Johar’s sexual orientation is one of the most talked about aspect. The title in a way hints that it could end all the speculations around it. Does the book actually answer that? Well, I don’t want to give away anything! The cover page has Karan Johar himself with twinkling eyes and the pout. And bang! We instantly connect to the book in the same way we connect to his movies.

The book thoughtfully describes how KJo’s childhood has been. His never ending appetite, emotional turmoil of being single child and low self-confidence is extensively discussed. As we flip through those pages, it walkthroughs us the glitz and glamour of Bollywood, many friendships that were made and few that were lost. It also describes what inspired the director to write the stories which eventually turned out to be blockbusters. It takes the reader a step closer to him and to the opulence which had always seemed to be surreal. The emotional element and the honesty keeps the reader engrossed to the book. The author also talks about why Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan are the superstars that they are.

The book is more on speculation because the author has chosen not be open about his sexual orientation. But more interesting themes like relationships with parents, peers and actors are mentioned. This makes the book more valuable than anything.


Should you read it?
Yes… If you like KJo’s works, admire him for being multi-facet or have a good fun-time watching his show Kofee with Karan. This book will surely take you one step closer to the person that he is.  It will also give a glimpse what probably inspired him to make the movies he made. And of course, it unapologetically calls out that life of people in the glamor industry need not be so glamorous and colorful as we presume.

Over all, like we do watching his movies, we would laugh, empathize and feel good.
Go for it!

Rating
4/5

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Perfect Circle!

My last kolam of 2016..
When I started, I had some other design in mind... 
With lots of errors and uncertainty, this is how it turned out to be !!!

Hope you liked it

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.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Opposites Attract?

"Adi, we both are so different. I'm not sure how this is going to work out", I had asked Aditya several years before.

"Come on Shradha you know opposite attracts", he had winked.

It was still a time when he was madly in love with me and I was uncertain about accepting the proposal. After several months of relentless coaxing, I accepted his love. Rather, I confessed that I have always been in love with him. I thought that it was just a beginning of an amazing togetherness and I was excited too because my life looked crystal clear; the certainty factor often overwhelming me.

Years passed. Seasons changed. Mobile phones came and they were even replaced by smartphones. We migrated from STD calls and moved towards video calls. We also moved on from a time when photograph of a loved one was cherished like a priceless treasure; apart from hiding it from parents, siblings, friends and even a random stranger. And we smoothly transitioned to the current scenario where photograph is just a DP away!

When everything around us changed, one thing remained constant between us - we continued to remain opposites!

Eventually, when our worlds drifted apart. I struggled to move on. But, he easily held another girl's hand and happily refreshed his life.

"Everything happens for a reason Shradha", Adi had remarked before leaving forever.
"If that's the case, why did we even meet Adi", I had reasoned.

"Past is past. You can't undo anything or drown in an ocean of regret. So better accept the reality and look forward", he preached.

I was in no mood to understand his philosophy. At the same time I didn't want to drown in any ocean of regret. After all, I knew that I shall always cherish the times spent with him. Maybe I always knew that our relationship would not have the "happily ever after" tag attached to it. Maybe that's why I had asked him how things could work out between us because I felt we were poles apart. I am emotional, he is practical. When I used to plan for the future, he used to live for the moment.

I wish I was like him too.


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

A Resolution to Forget

This year I shall forget him, she wrote in her diary. 
And she sighed when she noted that the first page of last year's diary had the same lines.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Annual Cake Show 2016

One of the events in Bangalore during December is the cake exhibition. This year it was displayed at the St. Josephs Indian High School, near UB City and was organized by the by National Consumer Fair (NCF).

I was super excited because the last time I saw the cake show was at least two decades before, as a child holding my mother’s hand. I also remember that the show-stopper for that year was the Velankanni church.

The London Bridge - Show Stopper for the year

My favorite... A House!

Tanjore Painting

Pharaoh

Queen

101 Dalmatian 

For the Ladies...

India's National Bird

Deep under the sea

Aladdin & the flying carpet

Let's go on a drive?

When the worlds of man and woman comes gets married

Let's play chess

Tower Cake

Jack and the Beanstalk

Assortments
PS: Cake Show 2016-17 was from 16th December 2016 to 1st January 2017 between 11AM and 9PM.
PPS: I was hoping to get an opportunity to buy/taste different varieties of cakes. But, I was disappointed. Did not find any!