Friday, January 22, 2010

Movies of the week

I am not much of a Mel Gibson fan. He is too much of a hunk. I detest period war films. They have a predictable storyline and tame ending.
After ‘Saving Private Ryan’ this a war movie I loved. It’s nowhere compared to SPR and the ending is tame. The reason of my liking is difficult to tell but may be it’s because of a family melodrama mixed in to the war.
It’s about a widower pulled into the American War of Independence. He was well-known for his exploits in French-Indian war. He painfully watches his son join the army, the second being killed and forces the youngest of his sons to kill the enemies to save their captured elder brother.
I was filled with a swell of emotion on seeing the name of Heath Ledger rolling into the screen during opening credits. Truly, the world has lost a great actor. The director too surprised me, Ronald Emmerich. I never expected him to do a non sci-fi movie.
The good thing is movie is not filled up with fight scenes unlike the ones in its genre. But the length could have been shortened. I don’t think I would have had enough patience for it if I was in a movie hall.
The Paradine Case:
This is the third Hitchcock movie I am watching after ‘Blackmail’ and ‘The Rope’. He has moved into my all time favorites (along with Kubrick, Anurag Kashyap, Padmarajan, Nolan etc). I bet even in this age no one can make as a good thriller as Alfred Hitchcock.
Hitchcock’s trump card is his casting. He gets a bunch of good looking artistes and they do act fabulously too. The screenplay is very tight and there is no single unwanted scene. The fabulous camera angles builds up to your tension and thrill. Most of his films concentrate on the well to do class, their deceptions, infedility, egos and mannerisms. In short the film is short, crispy and tasty.
Ividam Swargamanu: (Malayalam roughly translated to This is heaven)
I am really hesitant to invest my time and money to watch Malayalam movies onscreen. There is a good chance that film may not live up to it’s hype. But the movie despite all the negative publicity is moving on to become on of the first success of 2010.
So sacrificing my weekend siesta I went for the movie and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s really risky these days to make a 3 hour long movie. But still Roshan pulled it off. And he has pulled out three blockbusters continuously from his hat and moved into the Hirani league. He does films which has got good stuff in it. He gets the best in industry to write the scripts. He is one among the rare ones today who gives the needed respect to scripts.
One of the plus points of the movie is Mohan Lal acted with great restraint, with no punch dialogues or other acts of heroism. Well until the closing sequences the protagonist is a defeated man. The other specialty is the movie turned out to be an assembly of yesteryear greats. So there is some genuine comical sequences executed with perfect skill and timing.
The theme was very much relevant with real estate sharks eating up the farmlands in the name of development. The hypocrisy of Mallus in terms of morality, love and culture is very well portrayed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Spelling Bee....

Hey anyone checked if you remember your spellings.
I did and found out that I am dissmal. Thanks to AutoCorrect in MS Word, we neednt remember everything.So guys check out the link below and test your spellings. Do post me the scores too.

The Twitter Spelling Test

Created by Oatmeal

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Inn God's Own Country

A warm climate, warm bath and a warm meal have brought me back to my writing desk.
The beginningA couple of days before efore the New year my Telugu friend asks me, ‘Dude, what is the plans for new year?’ Everyone around were planning something. Most of the guys would be out boozing heavily.
‘Nothing’, I replied. I guess I have trapped myself.
These guys having spent two years in ‘God’s own country’ have not ventured out of our office locales. It turned out that there is only one unwilling Mallu to make arrangements- that was me.
I was too ashamed to tell them that even after all these years I haven’t made much tours around. Besides I was itching to get out of the routine and spent some time in fresh air. Besides the new camera was tempting to make a go for it.
The next part was the arrangements. We didn’t have much idea on best places to visit. House boating was cancelled because of huge expense and lack of purpose. We faced a constraint in both time and money.
Munnar is a hill station comparatively nearer to our place. It was chosen as the destination. Making an economical trip during the tourist season is going to be the biggest challenge now.
The journey:
We did a permutation on various modes of transport. It will have to meet the criteria of taking us there in shortest time, it has to come cheap and ensure maximum comfort. A combination of train and bus was rejected because of the odd time we would reach the place. Then someone said about a state Transport that starts out at night to reach there by next day morning. It came cheap. Without thinking twice we went ahead and booked it. Sadly my friends didn’t know the condition of our buses.
Without making any arrangement, other than book a journey to, we started out Saturday night. The cold air rushed through the closed window shutters. The driver didn’t miss any pothole on the way. These troubles combined with the curving climb uphill denied us any sleep.
Destination and the guides:
We felt we had reached the coldest part of earth. With less sleep and lesser warm clothes we stood on the pavement shivering. The good senses prevailed when we decided to rush into the nearest lodgings. Fortunately a friendly auto-driver took us to a cottage fit to be used as an out station for security guards. There was no heater. TV had no remote control and to make the matters worse he asked us for double the rent.

But fortunately we got a great guide cum cabbie. A nominal rate was agreed on for a few places
he would take us. I was not mighty pleased with the choices. But due to lack of knowledge we didn’t have much of a choice.
The sun started coming up. Surprisingly weather started turning warm. It never happens in Munnar at this time of the year. Another example of global warming perhaps.

Wild flowers: You will not believe it but you will see some of the most beautiful flowers growing on the walls, drainage and sidewalks. I took a couple of close up pictures.

The first couple of places we went to where dams and a boating spot. This was a tourist season and most of the tourists were made up of Non-Malayalee Indians enjoying their honeymoons. Bunch of pathetic looking guys walking around with hot-hot girls send us into desperation. We were the only single guys around.

I got desperate enough and took a few pictures of couples cozying with each other (yes, it’s sick). The boyfriends and newly wedded honchos got pissed off naturally. Since the mode of communication was Hindi, you can imagine what they said to your discretion.

To make matters worse we got a lesson in English. I was asking my friend (in English), ‘Should we buy more peanuts?’. A girl turned to us and said ‘It’s not ‘should’, it’s ‘shall l’.
Apart from all these crazy incidents we had the greatest time of our lives. After Mattuppetti dam we went to see Kundhalai dam. My friend wanted to do boating. Rest of us were against it. My friend Bhaskar became the first person in history of Munnar to injure his mouth while shooting balloons with a toy gun. We are figuring out how he managed to do that.

They were monkeys jumping around the trees. And some were gracious enough to pose.

Later we came to a boating spot. The rest of us obliged and we got into a paddle boat. There were two boats each with a capacity of two. We were the only same sex couple waiting in the queue. The guys around must have been thinking what the hell were we doing there. But my dear readers, if you get a chance to do a boating on a calm river please do it. There is no such tranquilizing experience on earth. We floated for 30 minutes (maximum time allocated) far away from the hustles and bustles of earth. We went to middle of the lake. No, we couldn’t see any traffic, we couldn’t see anyone. I couldn’t help but imagine what if we drown!! .

I had miscalculated my camera battery life. From Day one the camera was showing low power. All of us were looking forward for photos to put in Orkut, Facebook, etc. All of us were pissed off big time. We tried to manage with an ordinary battery but it couldn’t manage to hold on. We lost out quite a lot of photos on Day 1. And to make matters worse my camera fell down and came up with quite some repairs.
By afternoon we went for the Eravipuram National park. It was quite a long way from the town and by the time we reached there we were right at the end of a very long queue. We had no hope
that we will make it to the front. Thankfully the cabbie of ours did the first he took us out of the queue in the pretext of going back home and made us stand in the front. Apparently he knew the guys in ticket counter.

The park was actually a mountain. Once in twelve years the mountain is covered in violet flowers. Climbing up we will get to see mountains covered at the tip by clouds. It’s really an awesome sight. If you get the angles right you can get some of the most beautiful snaps. The main attraction is Nilgiri Tahr which has the ability to climb vertical rocks. They got so used to humans that they won’t mind posing for you. I was able to get a couple of snaps. By the time my camera battery called quits.

The evening temperature went down suddenly. It was unbearably called when we started the journey back to sunset point. We had a hot cardamom tea which was a huge relief in the cold. I had to change the exposure to get some photos which would have been impossible in the dark. But I am glad we managed to get some decent ones.

Udhay was planning to leave the same day night. Since it would have been a great loss to leave without boozing, he had bought a beer. The driver had kept a few glasses in the cab for occasions such as this. I was about to take the photo when camera shook and I managed to get a picture in the Dev-D model even though it was by mistake.

Udhay had to take an exam the next day. He left Munnar by an evening bus. We wished him all the luck for the exams. Sadly on reaching the centre he realized there was no exam at all that day. Poor guy had failed to check his time table.
The next day for us was an exciting one. The schedule was packed as we had to catch an early afternoon bus back home. We didn’t want to spend the first day of a new year at office sleeping. Early morning it was found that there was no soap to be found. We were relieved- an excuse to escape bathing.

The day started with a not so good breakfast. There was little time and a great distance to cover. The speciality with Munnar is it’s no place to hurry up. The road side too can be really beautiful. Despite the lack of time we stopped many a times mid way and took a few snaps.

Lakkom water-falls was beautiful. We were not prepared for a bath. Besides water was too cold. We were not willing to bath with our jeans on. So I went about snapping pictures. I secretly wished there would be a wet lady to stare at. But no there were only guys in under wears to bathe. But I could snap a few good flowers which turned out really well.

We had to rush back to catch our bus home . The return journey was a nightmare. The driver was too slow. I missed a lunch midway. We managed to reach home some 30 minutes late.
But we promised ourselves to return soon.

(This post was too long with all the pictures. Uploading the pictures was really fustrating. Blogger should do something about it!!)

About Me

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Shakespeare,Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Lincoln never saw a movie,heard a radio or looked at TV. They had loneliness and knew what to do with it. Thay were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.