The long Navaratri festival

Sir Vidia Naipaul

The long Navaratri festival weekend is here and is already promising to be fun. The Nobel Prize in Literature winner, V.S.Naipaul will be here in Landmark today for a book reading session of his latest book, The Magic Seeds. His visit to Bangalore Landmark store, yesterday, seems to have awed the Bangalore book lovers.

The Magic Seeds is set to be a sequel to his previous bestseller, Half a Life. Willie Chandran (who first appeared in Half a Life) continues his quest for purpose and a place that he can claim as his own.

Having read his path-breaking short story collection, In a Free State, very recently, I was interested to check-out the session. I am still not sure if I can make it. But I am hoping to. And if anyone makes it, do share the wit and images.

7G Rainbow Colony was out last week. Seems like Selvaraghavan has done it again in the box-office. 7GRC has recieved some rave reviews already, in the media. The word is spreading and the theatres are already crowded. Thanks to the curb on video piracy too. The tickets are sky rocketing. Getting tickets over the weekend is going to be tough. But thats the disporting thing in watching tamil movies on the opening weeks. I am going to make it.

Thenmala – Angel's Shangri-la

Close to 10-12 hours of Jugalbandhi, rap singing, yapping, singing, shouting, yelling, antakshari, aimless dancing, corporate games and team building stuff got my vocal chords torn mischievously. I could hardly whisper now. Similar for most others who came alongwith to the Thenmala.

The trip to Thenmala in Kerala, was a magical experience. God’s own country was truly a god’s own country. Having small-time water falls on roadsides, Kerala boasts of more than enough water. A cribbing Chennaite like me would certainly be envious about the water running there. All I could do was to hope that I could carry a train compartment load of water back to Chennai. Some parts of Kerala are still unexplored. Completely wild and untamed. Thenmala is one such destination. One surprising thing, the chaaya you get in every other nair shop there is more or less similar. Great consistency.

The Paallaruvi falls is a nature’s miracle. The water plunging from 80 feet above falls straight on your head with all that speed it gathered on the run and runs down further to end up in the dam. A couple of hours under that could get back your senses. Any time more than that may result in vice-versa. And the steam boat ride with just hills around and water everywhere, transported us to a different world. Not to mention the romatic rain that caught us unaware in the middle of the ride. Imagine, a terrace of a steam boat, hills where clouds hang around upon their peaks, foggy weather in the evening and that rainfall. Shangri-la!.

Thousands of pictures clicked by the entire team. Some ten digital cameras. Couple of camcorders that recorded most of the travel and our silly dance programs. To share them would be difficult. So we finally decided to join all the pictures and the footage and provide a copy of the CD to everyone. Will post some of the good ones in the my photolog.

With two full days of no television, no newspapers, no internet, no blogging and no googling was a moral booster to me. Made me believe that we(especially me) could live even without these things. Something that I wasn’t ready to believe off-handedly. And today morning when I woke up lazily with a berth coffee and the dailies in Chengulpat railway station, it said, Indians had chance of winning against the Aussies. Twenty minutes from then when I landed in Tambaram, I knew we were to be blamed for getting the rain back from Kerala.

Deepavali Shopping Polamaa??

The road opp to Lalitha
[Click Pic. The above pic was taken a few weeks back and hence it looks uncrowded]

With just 29 days to go for the biggest festival in India, here’s a commentary on Deepavali shopping as lived by me, a proud citizen of Chennai.

So, what do you remember when you think of Deepavali? Not Diwali. Deepavali. Pattas, Tappas, Lakshmi Vedi, Laddu, Boiler, Mullu Murukku, Seyakkai, Marundhu, New Jeans, Rajini’s pudhu padam, Mathaappu a.k.a Susuravathi, Rockets, Patti Mandram, Pottu Cape. Which one comes first?

Read moreDeepavali Shopping Polamaa??

This weekend our whole team[a

This weekend our whole team[a huge crowd] at office is off to a ecotourism spot called Thenmala in Kerala near Trivandrum. We are taking the Thirunelveli route to catch a refreshing bath in the Indian Niagara, Kutraalam.

Thenmala, is India’s first planned Ecotourism Destination. The website boasts of this – Thenmala : “Then + Mala” , i.e. in local parlance “Then” means honey and “Mala” means hillock i.e. it mean honey hills. The honey collected from Thenmala forest region is of good quality and of high medicinal value because of the unique floristic composition of the forests. The Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary is the ecotourism resource of Thenmala.

The best part is the adventure zone that they recommend which consists of Mountain Biking and River Crossing. Not the usual River Crossing. Looks like you to hang on a rope to cross the river. Pretty adventurous, huh!!. Check out the adventure zone pics here.

We have booked a whole compartment in the train. The guys are already excited. Not to mention the whole lot of halwa shopping that is going to happen on the way back at Iruttukadai Halwa Shop, Thirunelveli. Looks like its going to be lots of fun.

Unrelated Note – This link on MIO that says Kamal Hassan’s next film is (re)named as Mumbai Express and there is already a conflict running on that. I guess it’s a rumour going around. Thanks to praveen for the pointer.

Mani Ratnam and Sachin come together

Mani Ratnam and Sachin Tendulkar
[Pic: dinamalar.com]

Sachin Tendulkar may not be playing the Chennai test against Australia. But he is certainly appearing in Mani Ratnam‘s documentary for a social organisation called Shakthi Foundation on physically challenged kids. Seems like Mani Ratnam wished Sachin to be a part of this documentary and Sachin had agreed instantly. It’s reported in today’s dailies that the documentary is set to be shot from today in Chennai.

While it came as a surprise to me as I have been looking around and guessing what will be Mani Ratnam’s next project after Aayitha Ezhuthu. And a big plus when you know Sachin is also contributing to it. I am not speculating here but only hope Illayaraja would tune for it. Then this event would be a great catalyst to bring together Mani Ratnam and Illayaraja, after a long time.

Update: The shoot is scheduled to held at SAF Tennis Stadium, Nungambakkam. Thanks to Ajay for the pointer to the picture.

Bala's Maayaavi & Shankar's Maayaavi

Surya and Jyothika in Maayaavi
[Pic: vikatan.com]

The only Maayaavi [Magicial Man] I knew was a comic hero with the same name in yesteryear tamil comics. But this one is the first film Bala’s production house B Studios. The movie will be directed by Bala‘s assosiate Singapuli.

Mayaavi teaser pics in Vikatan seem to have kindled the interest of many as Surya dressed like as an aspiring hero from a village. He looks comical with that thin moustache and that ridiculed hair style. Jyothika looks rejoiced. You know why. The ads today state the film starts shooting today with Rathnavelu handling the camera and Devi Sri Prasad on the tunes.

On the other hand, Sujatha writes in his vikatan column about the 120 cameras, one shot, different frames stunt that Shankar experiments in Anniyan. With that kind of technique, one is certain to believe that Anniyan is also a Maayaavi. The one that I referred to from tamil comics. Read more.

The Terminal Movie Review – Go Nowhere

Tom Hanks in The Terminal
[Pic: terminal movie]

Steven Spielberg, other than creating visual magnificence’s in his movies, has also a soft side. The last few films, spoke of it, way too much. Despite the soft side was even well known from Schindler’s List and Amistad, the last four/five films have brought out an interesting side of Spielberg. Having been inspired hugely by Spielberg films, I’ve created myself, a personality of Spielberg to be a technical showman. And Schindler’s List was nothing but a different film for this showman. But Artificial Intelligence and Catch Me If you Can broke those assumptions on him. They showed how Spielberg has grown-over the techie image. I believe, Spielberg has evolved into a style of filmmaking that allows him to take a simple story and weave it into an amazing masterpiece.

The Terminal is one such film. More than the premise of the story, the humane side stands out, clearly displaying the different arena of film making, where Spielberg now treads. The film talks about a man who gets stranded in the JFK Airport, New York because of a legal logical hole in the law. No one could do anything about it, just like Victor Navorski. He couldn’t get anywhere. He abides the law, stays in the airport terminal for months and finally gets a chance to step in the American soil. What would he do ?

Read moreThe Terminal Movie Review – Go Nowhere

Blogstreet India had sent me

Blogstreet India had sent me a mail saying that this blog was featuring as Blog of the day, today. Thanks !! You guys made my day.

India Blogstreet has been live for sometime now and they have been consolidating Indian Bloggers to provide one centralised place for all-about-indian-blogs, inclusive of ranking to RSS. With the current number of Indian Blogs closing in at 900 and given the fact, the media has started talking about blogs extensively, blogs might increase exponentially. This service might become just like a portal to blogs/indian blogs. Great Job !!

Swades Music for We, the People

Sharukh, Swades and Junta

A R Rahman and Ashutosh are back and their combo is working magic up the charts. Rahman’s music for Ashutosh’s Swades (not the english swades but the hindi swa des) has its moments of brilliance.

If you weren’t aware then, Swades, as defined by Ashutosh Gowariker, is a movie that talks about Mohan Bhargav [Shah Rukh Khan] who realises it’s high time we stop dreaming about greener pastures abroad and giving a blind eye to our responsibilities at home.

Read moreSwades Music for We, the People

Chellamay !! – Intelligent Rehash

Bharath

It’s the time of rehashes. With the recent kollywood heroes(namely two, guess who ?) movies being re-made from re-made movies, Gandhi Krishna has certainly delivered a re-hashed movie, with lots of interesting moves in the script. Chellamay, may well be called Kadhal Konden 2.0, except for variance the director has shown in the script and the backdrop of the movie is a lot different from the original.

If Selvaraghavan, used a orphan kid, to talk about possessiveness, love, affection and sympathy between the kid and a girl of his same age, Gandhi Krishna makes a similar relationship a little complex. The girl with whom the protagonist or anti-hero(however you may call), is related to, is an elderly mother-figure for him. Worse, she is also married. So we have a true hero here, too. However one is prone to get miffed by the perplexed situations that doesn’t tell you for a long time, how the hero considers his relationship with girl.

Read moreChellamay !! – Intelligent Rehash