Tuesday, January 30, 2007

God’s own country

I am back from Kerala, the land of Mohan lal, Mamooty, Karimeen (Black Fish), Kappa (Tapioca), Kall (Toddy), Putta, kadal, Idi Appam, Boiled Rice, Back Waters, Houseboats, Indonesian Print lungis, Communism, Tea Estates, Spices, Boat Races, Temple Elephants, Kathakali and Kalaripayattu.

What we did:

Stayed on a Houseboat on the backwaters for a day and a night (from Allepey to Kumarakom), a most amazing experience!

Travelled to Munnar, a hill-station covered with lush green forests and thousands of acres of tea estates.

The People

The Water

The Land

The Flora

The errr…. Fauna

That’s all folks!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Five Things you do not know about me!

Fink Tagged me and I have to come up with something about me you did not know ( If you know all of these, either you are in my inner circle or you are my parents!)

Useless Fact #1.

Contrary to popular belief, I have an extremely short temper. And I flare up every 2.35 mins (on an avg.)

Useless Fact # 2.

Adobe Photoshop is my favorite Software, my second favorite software is Macromedia Freehand

Useless Fact # 3.

Statistics is my favorite subject, at one point I was seriously considering pursuing a PhD. in Statistics!

Useless Fact # 4.

I have a very close set of friends whom I refer to as the inner circle. It consists of 2 Guys and a Girl.
I have known the guys since school and I meet up with them almost everyday. I have known the girl for about 20 years and I have met her only Thrice !!

Useless Fact # 5.

I can Read Write and Speak 5 languages :D
Marathi , Konkani, Kannada, Hindi and English

Bonus useless Fact.

When batting I am a predominantly offside player. To get me out, pack the offside, bowl shortpitch into my body and place a catcher close in on the leg side.
I bowl lots of offcutters, To score runs off me, do not commit early, wait for the ball to come in and then select a shot to play

And yes, I would like to tag: Puneet, Neha, Apurva, Dpal, Krishnan, Seemantini, Ashmita and whoever else that wants to accept the tag

Places to be (that I know of, of course :P)

Ok, so here is my list of places -in Southern and Western India- to visit, before you die.

So in no particular order, here goes

1. Halebidu and Belur - Hassan, Karanataka

These temples built by the Hoysalas, simply have the finest pieces of architecture I have ever seen. If you have not been there you have not done a thing!

While you are at these 2 places you could also visit Gomateshwara, Biggest Monolith in india.

Quick Tip, get a guide or you will miss the all important, finer nuances.

2. Namdroling Monastery (Golden Temple) – Coorg, Karanataka

This is an awe-inspiring monastery, with massive statues and brilliant paintings, in an unexpected location bang in the middle of Coorg surrounded by beautiful coffee estates. Coorg is very rightly called the Scotland of India.

3. Tiracol Beach Goa

This is at the confluence of river Tiracol with the Arabian Sea having a French fort (now a heritage hotel) as backdrop. You would probably find the beach completely empty (with an exception of few firings). Beautiful cottages available right on the beach.

Do not go there if you are used to the hustle and bustle (read pretty chicks) of most Goan beaches, because chances are you won’t find any. What you will find however, is Peace and tranquility (Big Words, eh?)

4. Malvan Fort – Sindhudurg, Maharashtra

This fort (built by Shivaji) is situated 2 kms into the Arabian Sea, accessible by boat. The coolest thing about it is the fact that it is very well maintained, and does not have an entrance fee. As Yossarian would ask, what’s the catch? Simple, you need to pay for the boat ride :) (a very minimal amount).

5. Swami Vivekanada Rock – Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu

Southern most tip of India. The Sunrise and the Sunset is what Kanyakumari is popular for. However as far as I am concerned it is the view from Vivekananda Rock, that looks out to Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean which is worth the trip. One is able to see the different shades of the seas and identify which one is which!

6. Kerala BackwatersCentral Kerala

I once took a boat ride from Kottayam to Allepey across the backwaters, and that memorable ride took almost 6 joyous hours . Kerala is known as Gods own Country for a reason (yeah other than for promoting tourism).

Next time I go to Kerala I am going to be on a houseboat (hey not a bad idea, hmmm).

7. Marine DriveBombay

Eating chaats at midnight on the Marine Drive, wonderful wonderful.

8. Dandeli – Karnataka

If one wants an adventure tirp in Southern India, head to Dandeli. Some of the most dense forest in the Western ghats are found here. The River kali forms a section of Rapids (Scale 3) making a great White Water rafting place.

One can do mountain biking, explore some real scary caves, travel in an open jeep into the wildlife sanctuary, trek and yeah camp out in the forest. Pretty good eh?

9. Hogenekal falls – Tamilnadu

Super place, the river Kaveri snakes through a ravine and one can hire coracles to take you along the river, between towering sheer walls of rock, under waterfalls and to a more calm part of the river where you can relax in the water and wait for the natives to fry fresh catch of the day.

Seen the ‘Raat ka naasha’ (Ashoka) video? the place is 10 times better than it looks in that video (despite it being Santosh Sivan behind the camera).

August is the best time to be there.

10. Stay at home and read a book! Serious, best place to be!

Over heard (true stories)

- (in a voice dripping with sarcasm) Dudette the only thing I missed was your sense of humour, can I pack it and take it home.

- Dialogue

A: I had Saadha Dosa today

B: Hey what does ‘saadha’ mean ?

A: Sada means ‘Plain’ so saadha dosa translates to Plain Dosa

B: Really? I always thought saadha meant Forward…

A: Why??!!

B: Bcos, Seedha Saadha means Straight Forward na?

- Every time I go to pee, it costs the client 2$ !!

- You need to help me!! I am unable to reproduce :-|

- That stupid cat should be put in the paper shredder.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Yesterday I went crazy (I know, this is not news to ppl who know me to be a mental case).

I went like real mad, and all because I happened to stumble onto the wiki page for 300 the film and from there on to Warner Bros page for 300 and so on to the trailer. (I even read up on Spartan history!)
This is one movie I want to watch baaaadly, I was told the trailers were good,

but I did not expect them to be insanely good!

If anyone were to adapt a comic book into a movie, learn from Mr. Miller (no he has not directed this one).

But the panels just come alive in the movie, it looks animated (well I am sure lot of it is sfx, but still!).

I never get excited by mere trailers, but the sheer genius!! Wow I am Ranting and Raving now??

So What!! I await.

Persian ‘Peace’ Envoy: This is Madness, This is Blasphemy

King Leonadis: This is Sparta!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Movies Over the week

Magnificent Seven
Seven Samurai has influenced Mag Seven, Saat Hindustani, China Gate and to a certain extent Sholay. This movie with a star studded cast lives upto its reputation.

Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind
Extremely beautiful movie very well made and very touching.

A very well made movie, crisp flow of narration makes this one a good watch.

Napolean Dynamite
This one is supposed to be a cult classic, but I found it a little lacking in energy, not too bad however.

True Romance
Written by Quentin Tarantino, this is a romantic movie full of blood. Worth a watch, there are hints of Lock Stock and Two smoking barrels. The high point of the movie is definitely the presence of Dennis Hopper and the absence of Amanda Plummer

From Dusk to Dawn
Written by Tarantino, funnily weird movie.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Song of the Week!

A little bitty tear let me down,
spoiled my act as a clown
I had it made up not make a frown,
but a little bitty tear let me down.

- Burl Ives

The Truth

The 25th DiscWorld novel, This one is about Journalism, as De Worde starts a newspaper called ‘The Truth’

The characters are wonderful (as usual)

Some new ones like...

Otto, a Vampire whose interests lie in photography despite being burnt to dust at every flash

Goodmountain the dwarf who owns the press

Rocky the troll

Mr Tulip and Mr Pin representing the ‘New firm’, bring out Pratchett’s brilliant spoofing ability (These characters spoof Samuel L Jackson’s and Travolta’s characters in Pulp Fiction)

Mr Slant the zombie lawyer

And ofcourse the time tested characters

Cut-Me-Own-Throat dibbler

Lord Vetinari, the patrician

Commander Vimes of the Watch

The Watch (Nobby, Angua, Carrot, Igor)

DEATH (Johnny Depp should play death in the movie if there ever is a movie)

Gaspode, the talking dog

In all a book I thoroughly enjoyed. Or as Mr Tulip would succinctly put it “ A ___ing good Book”.
If you have never read Terry Pratchett before, please please read one of his discworld books, you will not regret!!

Next in my list is Neil Gaiman’s latest best seller ‘Anansi Boys’, I am already rubbing my hands in anticipation.