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 more

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 !!

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.

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Evan Williams moves on

Evan Williams, the founder of Blogger leaves Google. Ever since Google had acquired blogger in Feb 2003, Ev was a part of Google. On his blog, he announces that he is leaving Blogger/Google. Without allowing for much speculation, he also answers the probable questions that might crop up on the event of him moving on.

Bloggers will directly/indirectly miss this ‘Evan’gelist but it looks like he has some idea of what to do next and probably will come out with another revolutionary service as Blogger. If you are a blogger, you can see his goodbye note on your Blogger dashboard, in Blogger news section.

Tamil Hits (!) – People's Choice

With SCV Channel going live for most of the day, people call in throughout the day to request songs of their choice.

Some observations from the requests. The great Sirichu Sirichu Vandhaa Seena Thaana song from Vasool Raja seems to be topping the requests. Every hour atleast it’s been asked for nearly 5 times and played thrice. Every hour. Appidi Podu from Gilli ranks second. Reema Sen’s dance number May madham song from Jay Jay is also one of the top requests.

Lessons learnt – Item numbers are people’s choice. Appidi Podu isn’t a item number in the literal sense. The other two are certainly the best examples available. This being a representation of what people ask for, you know why producers and directors are hell bent on having Item numbers on their movies. What you ask for is What you get.

On a related note, a program on Zee Music called Item bomb, seems to bring a tease club into the drawing rooms. Item Bomb is an India wide search for bombshell girls who want to dance Item Numbers in the ‘worthy’ Bollywood movies.

Being called as a reality show, they follows closely the participant girl of the show and bring on-screen their prepartion and the performances during prelim rounds. It looks like show for Peeping Toms. Reality TV is been screwed up, completely. Why wouldn’t we think of rating the TV shows. This one would be rated A++ or RR.

Shyam Benegal and the art of admiration

shyam benegal
[Pic: hindu.com]

Shyam Benegal‘s interview to Business-Standard is one of the best interview columns I’ve read in the near past. It’s as refreshing as the energy he holds.

With his latest grand movie Netaji Subhash: The Last Hero, set to hit the screens soon, he talks about his admirations towards Indian cinema and it’s film makers. He admires many of his contemporaries and also the new comers in the same level. From Satyajit Ray to Gurinder ‘Beckam’ Chadha to the mushy mushy Karan Johar, his admiration levels shows his broad spectrum of liking towards Indian Cinema. He was very right when saying about Mani Ratnam, “He is an intelligent filmmaker, with a good control over the medium, and Nayakan is my favourite”. And expectedly he has so much to say on Ritwick Ghatak.

“Younger directors,” he continues, “are looking at cinema in a entirely different way. Their attitude is different.” How so? “For the older filmmakers, tradition was not be touched and whatever you did, ultimately you had to accept tradition. This is particularly true of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. But the younger lot grapple with tradition, much like they did before Independence.” Good he said that and now wait for the arguments to suffice from the oldies. It’s Engrossing. I would have expected that such an sweeping interview would happen with the filmy magazines. He finally opened up with the Business-Standard. Film magazines can go dump themselves. But you read ahead.

Informatica proves yet again !!

Informatica proves yet again !!Informatica, the Data Integration Software giant along with CNA, Wins DM Review’s 2004 World Class Solutions Award for its successful implementation of Informatica’s market-leading data integration software. The World Class Solution Awards are symbols of excellence within the business intelligence and data warehousing industry. This piece of news reassures Informatica’s presence among the top notch Data Integration software providers. Cool news guys.

Seven Reasons Why Businesses Should Blog Now. Makes Sense.