Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Alagarsamyin Kuthirai

After a long time, i watched a natural, real, nice and not jarring tamil movie. Usually I find supposed real movies like Subramaniyapuram, Chennai - 28 etc quite boring and actually bugging.This however, was an exception. The characters are so real and their ambitions, likes, dislikes, dreams, desires are simple and you can somehow relate it to someone you know.

The story revolves around a village- the villagers believe that it has not rained in a long time as they have not had a tiruvizha (which is a village festival where the God is taken out around the village on top of a mud horse and they pray to him). They decide to host a tiruvizha, but unfortunately for them the horse gets stolen. They call in a magician, search high and low but to no avail. The horse has just disappeared from their village.

The police get involved and in the mean while, they stumble upon a real horse which Alagarsamy has lost(another play on names - the god of the temple is Alagar - Alagarsamy and kuthirai is horse). Whether both the Alagars get their original horses back or not forms the rest of the plot. A very good watch if you like simple beautiful movies.

Kanchana

I have an aversion for horror and action movies simply because of the amount of blood and gore in the same. However, I have enjoyed some movies like Singam belonging to the action genre and now i have to say, i was able to tolerate Kanchana.

The direction by Lawrence is quite good and we can enjoy a funny horror movie with very good screen play. The songs are for the most part forgettable

Sarath Kumar has done a good job and as with most movies, we do have a supposed eye candy in Lakshmi Rai. She is constantly competing with Lawrence for the worst actor position. Thankfully for her, she does not feature in too many scenes which require acting (strutting around half clad doesn't count as acting) and Lawrence wins the prize. Oh and yeah, i forgot his irritating Sis in law - Devadarshini is jarring and very disappointing.

Overall a decent watch for even people who might not particularly enjoy horror movies.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Aleph - Paulo Coehlo

I have read almost all of Paulo's books and enjoyed most of them. This one was a quick and easy read. I did enjoy the philosophy in some places but it was not actually something that set me thinking for hours on end. Maybe i was not in a philosophical frame of mind when i began the book - you can never say. I will not call this book brilliant, as he has written a lot of other better books. But it was a decent read.

The book follows Coehlo as he goes on a book signing tour across a lot of countries. As part of the journey he decides to take the Trans-Siberian train across Russia. Accompanying him on the trip are his publishers and a careworn translator with a sad story of his own. By a turn of fate, a girl called Hilal joins the group and insists on sticking along despite a lot of dissuasion. Coehlo's relationship with her and the translator is described in detail. They share a lot of unique experiences and conversations, some of which make for an interesting read. The author deals with the Aleph and also has a lot to say about life and repeatedly reminds us as to how the soul never dies. The author touches upon reincarnation but takes care to not describe the process of past life regression in too much detail.

Though there are a lot of other smaller plots, the book mainly describes how Hilal helps him find the missing piece in his life. An OK read but not his best work - Veronika decides to die wins hands down.

Seven Dials Mystery - Agatha Christie

I like Agatha Christie. Rather, she used to be my most favorite writer for a very long time. I chanced upon this book of hers in Bookworm and literally jumped at it as it has been ages since i had read a Christie and I hate to admit it - this was a let down. I will not call it a bad book, it is just that it could have been way better.

Battle plays a major role in the book and we also see an aristocratic Bundle (Lady Eileen) trying to solve a mystery she stumbles across by accident. Gerry Wade and Ronny Deveraux, two promising young men die under mysterious circumstances and there seems to be a shadow of doubt hovering over the seven dials.

The book revolves around what Seven Dials is and why the young men died in a seemingly mysterious fashion. An OK read which reminded me that even the best of us can goof up from time to time and create something less than a masterpiece.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Apple Wood

My other half subscribes to newsletters that tell him about new restaurants and what to eat where. So thanks to one of those we learnt about "Apple Wood" in Indira Nagar. And again, thanks to Mr.Sidharth who very sweetly offered to treat us(if you are reading this blog, sid, here is your complement) we ended up in this place. They had opened in early September so I don't think the word has spread about the place yet and it was quite empty when we went.

It has very nice ambiance and the staff were really polite. The service was quick, and I hope they are able to maintain the same standards when the crowd increases. The food was ok though it could have been better (especially the mushroom starter we ordered - it was not very well made). Since it was a mixed group, we ordered both veg and non veg and compared to the usual restaurants with the same theme(Sizzlers and Steaks)/price range(Medium to High), the portions were actually big. The sizzlers in the main course were apparently good (the guys had non veg) and the veg spanish dish I had was quite yummy. I loved the sauce but unfortunately ran out of it soon (thanks to me consuming huge portions of it)

I would recommend this place for a nice weekend dinner/lunch. They apparently have buffets in the afternoon so I am planning to go and visit them sometime for the same.

Mankatha - Mannangatti aatha

I believe the best of us can make mistakes. We are but human. This weekend, I made possibly the worst mistake i have in the last 2-3 weeks and decided to watch Mankatha. Man, did i regret it!

The director seems to think :

1. IIT Gold medalists look like nut cases who have just escaped from Kilpauk and have a horrible sense of humour
2. A hero saying Money,Money,Money multiple times in a villainous tone is different(Come to think of it, it is different but not in a nice way if you know what i mean)
3. You can get away with Horrible acting by a decent cast by normal standards. This is definitely Ajith at his worst. He has acted better in say "Rettai Jadai Vayasu"!
4. This movie is a cigarette commercial
5. Half clad females who pop up in arbit intervals can make up for the  horrible screen play

I am wondering which English movie/novel this movie is a rip off from. For the sake of that director/writer, i hope he never watches this movie.

STAY AWAY unless you want to lose your sanity. But on the other hand, if you are a sane person with no qualms about your sanity, go ahead watch this movie and laugh your heads off.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Of music in a desert

I went back some 7 years in time today. It is not my native tongue but i have a strange fascination for Telugu and watch some movies from time to time. It all started when i landed in a desert called Pilani. I was in a 3rd floor room in the 6th block and for the first time in my life truly alone in the actual sense of the word. Thankfully for me i met this bunch of really friendly and nice girls from Andhra Pradesh. By the end of the semester I understood telugu and started listening to telugu songs and watching telugu movies. :)

I am really nostalgic and listening to all these songs from Anand and Arya today has taken me back there to those days when I somehow slowly became the person I am today. The music indicates my morphing to be a lot more open minded, accepting and flexible (yeah i am sure a lot of you are glad you dint know me 7 years ago). It reminds me how difficulties are not as difficult as they seem and when i look back, all those issues which i was terrified of then hardly matter now.

The memories of the music and that period in time are there in my mind - telling me how strange life can be and how the best laid plans crumble and what you get is actually very beautiful, though when your dream castles bite the dust, that is the last thought that is running through your head. I am glad of the past and I definitely do embrace my present for what it is - I did contribute to it after all.

As always with memories, the present is not as beautiful as the past as long as those relationships go. I am hardly in touch and that's simply because all of us are pursuing our varied interests and of course the usual distance and you know our favorite friend - time (Usual excuses i know. I am normal :) ). But then today i am paying a tribute to the 6th Block memories of mine. They are beautiful and I have to admit, the past need not flow into the present for it to be beautiful. It can simply be. Two different time frames and sometimes even realities associated with the same person.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Obsession

I was obsessed a year ago with Terry Pratchett. So much so that i finished the entire discworld collection of 30 books in 3 months. Then I simply forgot about the books. Last week, i started rereading them. I have already finished 2 and am midway through the 3rd book in the Death series and I have to admit that though i know the plot, i am still lost in the magical world each time i start reading the books. I wish i get such an awesome flair for the language the fluid flow the author has. He seriously rocks. (I am reading Soul Music so i hope somebody gets the pun)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

God's Own Land

I have to admit it, it has to be Kerala - God's Own Land. I am just back after a trip to Mallappuram from Bangalore and I really fell in love with the state. It is so green and beautiful. The whole drive from Karnataka to Kerala, i could slowly see the landscape changing. From Bangalore's concrete jungles to mysore's dry roads to Bandipur's greenery and Wayanad's amazing valleys, i saw the transformation and understood what  makes Kerala so special.

There are trees everywhere you look. People seem to take pride in their state. I am seriously considering settling down for good in a beautiful town in Kerala. :) More pictures to follow in the next blog.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Traffic

This was a racy malayalam movie. The plot follows the multiple characters - a journalist, an actor, a radio anchor, a doctor, a traffic policeman and the journalist's friend. It shows their dreams and desires and how a seemingly unrelated event throws them all together. The plot is really good for an indian movie and you watch as the characters race to fulfill their destiny.

I don't know if the theme is inspired by a hollywood movie but it has been morphed really well to suit the Indian audience. I would definitely recommend this movie for those who can understand malayalam and even for those that cant.

Sure Fire - Jack Higgins

This was my first Jack Higgins. I did not know what to expect. So maybe because of my lack of expectation, i actually liked the book. A slightly racy thriller with two crazy twins forced to live with their father. They know not whom to trust and though a little idiotic, their antics are actually enjoyable. The plot is decent and the characters are likeable. Though the book is a bit predictable, you can definitely risk a read on a sleepy evening. :)

I finished it in a single sitting and I am seriously contemplating to getting back to reading some thriller or the other. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 02, 2011

Road Trip

It is a restaurant in Indira Nagar - we dint go on one (though i really wanted to) for the long weekend. The place is nondescript - located right opposite the Subway and yet you will definitely miss it if you are not looking for it. The place is very casual and cool. It is a nice place to hang out with friends. I loved the bread there. It was soft and nice. The bruschetta was good and if my friend is to be trusted, the sausages were very well made.

We had shaslik and pasta for the main course. It was really truly awesome! I have not enjoyed pasta so much in a really long time.The service is quick and non intrusive. The ambience is also really good and very peaceful. If you want a really good place with awesome bread, please go ahead and pamper your taste buds. :)