Friday, January 30, 2015

Wow! A tag after long back

DestinationInfinity trapped me in a tag, but to say the truth I took this into my favor as I was out of idea what to post in my blog today. Actually I don’t have a thought to write about me because my blog is a part of myself but still I like to make some notes. So here are 7 things about me. 

  1.  Liked to be simple, I like things related to same and also like it to be compact and neat. And to put it simple I even received a certificate while in school for coming neat to school.
  2. I am very easy/happy going guy and ever looked serious or can’t even act like that. I too forgive easily (esp. to avoid hurting others) and always try to give change to see if they could adjust or repeat it again.
  3. An atheist! But I don’t exhibit it to others unless it needed and also don’t interrupt others belief and accept the dear ones come up with scared ash/saffron in affection and love. Though I know nothing going to change by letting those, at least I don’t hurt their feelings until they understand me quite.
  4.  I am a Complan boy, but love coffee more than anything and lately addicted to butter biscuit and tea! :D  A non-vegetarian on limited intake with recipes/dishes but the favorite one is fish.
  5. I always go for things and think which is only possible; because I don’t want my life to lead stressful and let others suffer for my intention and desire. I feel content with what I have.
  6. I always want to go out exploring places and an adventure seeker, who likes to venture into the wild and take roads that less traveled. An off-road enthusiast who believes the true experience lies only out of comfort.
  7. I have a passion for world cinema and for me the films are not just entertainment but there’s lot to understand/learn and admire. I don’t like watching films in pirated DVDs or downloading a film before it crosses 100 days. But these days the TV Channels don’t let me wait long and as soon or even before the film is out of theater they drop at our small screen.  Quality is very important for me when watching a film in theater/television, because I don’t watch films just for that although my list of films watched are very less.
I am not going to tag anybody and I think many followers have been tagged for the same by their friends. So those willing to share about you can do :) 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

My current house gate

Ours is a corner house with a gate facing opposite to the gate of a school (sishya) and what I like about this gateway was its ladder arch.  I have seen many houses with such arches in my early days and this house, which is suppose to knock down soon, belong to the same old category.

House Gate and Arched gateway
The arch also let climb the eternal jasmine vine, beautifully adorning the gateway in pretty green and white little blossoms. After shifted to this house, plucking flowers from the jasmine vine has become an activity for my mom every evening. Planned to change the house in a week so, mom sure going to miss her one of the activities, but it isn’t a matter as the plant can grow anywhere planting its stems. The flowers also smell pleasant in fragrance.

Current house gate
I link this post to Run a Round Ranch for the Good Fences

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nerium Oleander @ Neighbour’s House

Nerium Oleander @ neighbour’s house
Nerium Oleander is an evergreen shrub thrives in the house next to ours and it has beautiful flowers in white with pale yellow centre. Native from the Mediterranean area to Southeast Asia, the shrub is one of the most poisonous shrubs known today which has toxic in all its parts. I captured the flowers (in couple of photos below) during the early summer season when the shrub was in its full blossoms.

Nerium Oleander @ neighbour’s house
Native to mild climates, the Nerium Oleander is a basic shrub for desert gardening and in coler climates they make an outstanding container plants. An untrimmed shrub can reach up to 20 feet tall with a spread of 10 feet and leaves grow to 10 inches. The easy to grow and drought resistant shrub, doesn’t have a particular soil conditions.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Photos: Ready for R Day

Yesterday I went to Marina beach, casually, and come across the arrangements for Republic Day (Jan 26). I actually forget about it even I watched news on the rehearsals related to Republic Day parade on TV. I usually used to visit marina beach, a day ahead to the celebration to check what’s happening around. For the last few years I couldn't make up to the marina beach during that time, and it was nice to be there seeing a bit of the display.  Here I share some photo taken last evening:

 An elevated stage erected opposite to Ghandi statue, in Marina beach, as part of Republic Day celebration.

A helicopter displayed near the Marina beach lighthouse as part of Republic Day celebration – car procession.

Tanks (above and below)

Zoom on people watching from the top of marina beach lighthouse
Zoom on people watching from the top of Marina Beach Lighthouse

PS: I received another lovely handwritten card from our fellow blogger friend Indrani, following Chandra’s greeting. It is so nice to receive cards from friends and it gives a feel that words can’t describe. But it produces a sense that was truly bliss and inspiring to go ahead with a feel of significant. Thank for your support dear Indrani!

Here her beautiful card

Friday, January 23, 2015

Shanker’s "I"

There’s something impossible to avoid when it comes to Shanker films. Yes, Anticipation! He’s a man truly behind this cause and deserves much to look forward. Teamed with A.R.Rahman, except for Anniyan, they have rocked always. I really thought do I want to write a review on “I”? Because I can’t appreciate this film just like that or consider as another Tamil film, because each frame has something to behold and feel magical though the many marvelous beauties exhibited in front of the big screen. To say in a word/phrase “I” is a visual treat encompassed by delightful music, even the awkwardness provoke wonder and admiration.

Shanker’s “I” is not a regular film from the director of grandeur, but to say in their style “I” is beyond that and incredible.  Not that to say as a fan of Shanker, his knowledge and ability is sophisticated and so his daring to touch things that are practically impossible or narrow peak. With a director with international content, what upholds the structure (“I”) and burnish was Vikram’s double standard: as bodybuilder and hunchback. I don’t think I need to say anything about Vikram, perhaps, because I couldn't get a word to appreciate him quite.  But who needed when the protagonist is universally acclaimed for his acting and “I” is an added crown to his humble summit.

Thought the story of “I” can be shrunk within a line: where a bodybuilder (aspiring to become Mr. India) accidentally becomes a supermodel and how does him revenge those disabled him awful to take back their course, is set in super-rich scenario, awesome recreation with ambiance and settings and terrific characterization. As a bodybuilder Vikram has harshly worked out like ever bending from tip to toe... he’s sure to inspire many who aspire to become same and as hunchback he take possess everything within his hood. Emy Jackson looks literally super cool, sexy and admirable entirely.  But her performance has went beyond the expectation and skimpy to pickup her own place/space.

The foremost to take the center stage of “I”, as soon it begins, was the camera. P.C. Sreeram! Renowned as master of cinematography, has conveyed a lot and through his perspective our views get enrich and remarkable. The scenes relevant to China have been quite fascinating, and next to songs, either though visual or music, emphasis and produces enormous support in background was extraordinary when it comes to stunt and actions scenes. The fight using men and muscles was massive and amazing to watch, although it doesn't show off well, as every other men were muscular than Vikram, it was challenging and gives a feel of raw.

The film goes off partially fun filled and entertaining was quite thrill after the interval as they unleash how each get revenged. Santhanam played a decent role as supporting actor and humorist and Ramkumar and Suresh Gopi as indirect villains in their unusual/new role. The director has utilized the ad film making as the part of content and recreated real brands in his own style. The movie is also very stylish in trendy costume designing, had maintained the feel of local in slang and it’s funny to hear Emy spoke on. It is a movie truly enjoyed/experienced only in theaters; if you are my kind admire the advance in technology, beauty and quality in films. To feel Mersel – sound mesmerized!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fence in chains

Father of nation

Here's a portrait on the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, inside the Bryant Park in Kodaikanal. Though the picture was shot in 2009, I find the fence in chains around the statue was pretty to link for Good Fences at Run a Round Ranch.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Our Pongal

The last we celebrated Pongal in our traditional way i.e. cooking in firewood stove, was five years back, on the terrace of our native home in Adyar. Surrounded by close family members, we settled for a firewood stove, enclosed in bricks, and placing a new mud pot atop and calling Pongalo Pongal as the Pongal (boiled rice/milk) overflows the pot, it was quite delight as we ever so directly celebrated the festival under sunlight. Pongal is a festival celebrated esp. to thanksgiving the sun for it’s entice source of energy and other natural elements for helping farmers in good harvesting. Not only farmers, Pongal is believed to bring auspicious to everyone, the way Pongal boils over the pot.

Pongal Kolam
Mom's Pongal Kolam, - in front of the gateway
Shifted to an individual house in 2013, I planned to celebrate the festival in more traditional flavor, bringing my dear ones into another cheerful enclosure of firewood, mud pot and sugarcanes. But nothing worked out and I couldn't make anything as I wished, as I myself suffered with the fracture in my femur. This year, still living in an individual house with enough space to make firewood stove, we went ahead to celebrate the festival, in our personal interest, as it was not possible to recreate a then moment.  I think personally, Pongal is a social festival and it should be celebrated by all together. Not only Pongal, but I think every festival is celebrated to bring togetherness and sharing.

Follows our Pongal Pot: 
Our Pongal Pot 

Pongal Pot - Yet to flow 

Pongal Pot - Overflowing

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My celebrations and memories of Bhogi!

Among the festivals we celebrate, Bhogi has been my favourite one once, next to Deepavali/Diwali. A day ahead to Pongal – the harvesting festival of Tamils – Bhogi (Jan 14)  is celebrated according to an old phrase in Tamil: “Pazayana Kazithalum Puthiyana Puguthalum” which means discarding the oldest and let in newest, in all possible ways. Though the way of celebrating Bhogi has changed latterly from the real cause, which is relevant to cleaning up and replacing old seed grains in the storehouse with newly harvested. The generation of ours and the previous ones celebrate it simply by lighting a bonfire, at the dawn, with the old and useless woods and materials related to same.

Pic shot back in 2007 (my last witness to bhogi)
My Bhogi celebrations with bonfire have ended even before the beginning of 21st century or age less than 15-16. It was a time I wasn't conscious about much anything, including the pollution of environment and endanger of fire, and liked burning things without an idea. Though we haven’t burnt tyres or plastic things, or to say literally, my mom never let us uses tyres despite having many in my uncle’s workshop. We usually put card-boards and old cartons into fire, along with household items like worn out grass mats, broomsticks and winnowing baskets. In our street we are the only to make bonfires – as most residents are faith in different and modest – but compared to our neighbors in backyard, who set huge blazes and light tyres, we put less flame.

I think it is the passion for Bhogi influenced me to always wish for bonfire whenever I visit a hill station or mountain landscape with chillness. Bhogi, being the last day of the Tamil month Margazhi, which is a midwinter time here, the bonfires produce enough warm to bask during the cold winter dawn. Personally I used to look forward to this day, as previous celebrations haunt me while festival nears and more than burning things, gathering along with friends make it keen. What is there a festival without some sound? And having a bonfire in front of us how can we miss a beat? Of course, beating the skin drum is a part of the Bhogi which is impossible to forget.

One doesn't need to be skillful of these drums, which is made of bovine skin covering a terracotta ring, but whoever takes the small skin drum is a composer on their own gesture of hands. Waking up early in the morning we keep beating the drum, heating it often by showing on the bonfire flame so that the skin become tight and make loud noise. And we don’t stop there, but go further around the area beating the drums with friends until it quite dawn. For some time or until the Pongal holidays end, we take the drum and beat whenever it feels and sometime heat the drum on the gas stove. Few times I have saved the drum to beat next year by hiding it somewhere, if unbroken, because  parents don’t allow to have skin products at home.

My brother mostly get two drum each year, as he will broke it very soon it was bought, we sometime fight for the one, if drums anymore available. Because the accessible to these drum are limited for a day or two with Bhogi and we used to get it from the pot-pan makers in our area.  Usually we use to beat the drum with a stick removed from the coconut broom, but many used to stick tar to the tip of theirs. Seeing those I too wished having a similar one but except couple of occasions (to my memory) I couldn't make it out. One of my memorable trails with Bhogi was carried out to the streets. During an occasion we (friends) took a cycle tyre from a bonfire in the neighborhood and carried out along our way to show heat to the drums.

I have seen some people used to boil water with the last bit of fire on the bonfire to take hot shower on the cold winter morning. On this day households carry out cleaning process and some whitewash their house with fresh coat of paint. I spent the Bhogi only once at my grandfather/mother place and being a congested/crowded residential area, the festival is light up heavily and waking the street in barefoot means dyeing in black. Many residents there burn mostly tyres and at the entrance of each by-lane a pile of ashes would wait to spread all over the tar road. These years I almost forget there was a day like this! But memories...  

Monday, January 12, 2015


Change is a thing obviously everyone needed and hence to beat boredom or to be frustrated, a change in environment or activity is must at least. For a Chennaitie or whoever lives in a coastal town/city, the first thing comes to mind of escaping could be the beaches, if there isn’t malls, restaurants and events happening around. A place just to relax, breathe in fresh air or sit ideal watching the waves and things happening around, in random, is an entertainment unplanned.

Last week I went to Elliot’s Beach and in the usual way spent something sitting inside the car parked in front of the promenade.  Though it’s good to see new faces and people from various walks, there are certain things keep disturbing. The average fee collected for cars to park at Elliot’s beach is 5 ₹ and 10 ₹ for vans, but what they insist was 20 ₹, that too without producing a ticket. My dad, who is a regular walker at Elliot’s beach, had come across the board, that mention the exact ticket price which is only five, many times, but what they insist is against the regulation of corporation.

The other day when we parked the car, the person in charge demanded 10 ₹ by placing a ticket valued for just 5 ₹... No matter where the partial amount goes, but how dare they bring it into force without any hesitance or thing to prove their price is fair. I think the amount they collect differs from person to person, and anyone dare to deceive could easily implement their task. Among them I find few genuine people like the one who (understanding - with the number plate - that we are from the local) gave us excuse from paying even the fair amount.

If the parking system was like this, the mobile vendors who do business along the promenade have touched the worst state of ever. Already the beauty of Elliot’s beach has lost its charm to the occupation of number of shops/eateries spread all over the sandy beach. Though I am not dared to explore the eateries to put my health at risk, I always go with the bordering items like peas and peanuts. But this time I was quite surprise to note when I bough peanuts (plain nuts), it was very less than usual and priced doubled i.e. from 10 to 20 ₹. But what really bothered me much was what I heard from my dad who came back the vendor...

He has been insisting 150 ₹ from a foreigner to get slices of spicy mango! ...expressed provoke and anger. Even a whole mango doesn’t cost more than 10 ₹ and however rich in class they doesn’t going to extend more than 50 ₹, but in which way a few slices spread with spice become special for him to insist such amount. Whoever let it be, fairness is oneness and just being fair and came  far away from isn’t we have to be cruel or scare them to never turn back. Let us be smart and generous to consumers whichever country and skin tone they bore.

I don’t understand why there’s so price difference between local/national resident and international visitors. Not only tourist places, but I guess at every level/layer foreigners have to pay more than the amount Indian pays. Let’s keep away the economic boon perhaps involved it in, but what comes with food and restaurants? Why do we need to make big holes in their pockets just because they are foreigners? Food is an essential of life and there shouldn’t be partiality/discrimination at least with the price tag at eateries. I don’t know does it happen with every other country in the world or we Indians alone insist this pattern. But I wish we become a moral example to be fair enough at least with eateries. When we say globalization, I wonder why there’s still differentiation. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Photo: A monkey peek

A monkey peek

Sitting on a Neem tree at the backyard of the home, the monkey looks down at who shoots him alike. Yesterday I come across a bunch of monkeys, wandered around the neighborhood and it was fun to watch their acrobat took place over the cable wires that pass our house. The bigger ones just march past the street with younger ones made a beeline across the cables. 

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Another red letter box and gate from neighborhood

Perhaps, you all know my love for red letter box which used to be my favorite thing from childhood. My neighborhood has many houses with letter box to drag my attention towards their gate and they aren't quite red and I also find some milk boxes similar to letter boxes but in blue.

IMG_8619 copy
Following my previous post on the red letter box, I received few calls from the friends to send my address in regard receiving a card as intention of love and harmony. I really feel gratitude for their sweet gesture and taking time to make a handy note sense touch. While the technology has reached a height unimagined, receiving card through post feels quite nostalgic!

The red letter box in picture above belongs to the neighbor opposite to our house. Since we are 10 months old to this area, though it isn't new for us being a native to same, they are the only family (of four) to share few words and exchange smiles occasionally. They have been a resident of this area for more than 20 years and the letter box is hanged to the gate in front of their doorstep.

IMG_7796 copy

To add an additional gate image to the post, I link to Run a Round Ranch’s Good Fences, is the aluminium plated gate (of the same house) that enclose their car park.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

New Year Eve

The New Year begins for me with mild disappointment, even before the former end, as I anticipated my cousins to join me on the eve to welcome another brand new year. Though it isn’t a matter really to discus or argues or anything new to complain, as I have been through this many times but I wished they were beside me, like they nod for my midnight cake-cutting plan, despite whatever keeps them away.  It was for the birth of 2013 that we all gathered at our home and celebrated the night in a similar way. Thus I wished to recreate the moment. But at least there was enough greetings shared through phone calls during the wake up of the course to another 365 days.
New year collage (thanks
Excitement is something always exits when beginning a thing or so in anticipation and for the New Year the excitement is something special and always stimulates a mindset to celebrate or at least share the joy though greeting each other for a healthy, wealthy and peaceful journey ahead. I know nothing is going to change big whether we gather or not for the eve, at least it creates an opportunity to share a bit and lean warm greetings through the winter cold night. The night was noisy like ever, while many pedestrians on foot following their faith, bikes and cars sped ferociously creating a bang to head out at risk.

I was at home leafing through the final stage of the book I intend to finish before the yearend as I took vows to read more books in the coming years, I find reading books comforting and inspiring to see life ahead. I also decided to watch enough movies (except Tamil) this year, since my list has been growing with the collection of movie titles from overseas, I want to watch at least a movie per week whether I write a review or not. Coming to the New Year eve, we had a small cake cutting witnessed by my only parents (since bro went asleep already) and cousins couldn’t make up, we spent an hour next catching with dear ones either calling or receiving at phone. Mom used the time to complete her New Year Kolam, she suppose to drew in morning, added colors under our sight as it is untimed to leave her alone to do so at gateway. The New Year day was spent almost in front of the TV, watching movies I haven’t. 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Kayal – Fall in Love

Kayal is a feel good movie I watched, as a night show, from the usual drive-in theatre here and I enjoyed it quite heartfelt and moved at the same time.  Though the Tamil film is development on the background of 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the heart goes with the characterization – in a natural tendency, expression and attitude that drive towards admiration. All new/less known faces adds fresh coat to the scenario (that takes on a brief journey from Kashmir to Kanyakumari) and gives a distinct feel related to the local realities.

The most pleasant thing to say about this film, which has pleased me even before its release, was the songs and music.  D.Imman’s composition was such a backbone to this film that featured a straightforward love story, simultaneously stroke the hearts strings causing pain and pleasure. Kayal (representing the title) is an orphan girl grows in a big family and guardian in her grandmother, encounters love when she meets Aaron, a traveller who proposes love confronting the big family, who caught him, along his friend Socrates, mistakenly for helping a runaway couple.

Aaron, along his companion Socrates lives a life travelling almost six months a year and works for the rest to spend their next half-dozen on travelling.  Coming across India, they head to Kanyakumari – almost their last destination of the country – while seeking a bright light which Aaron believes his destiny, finds out that the light  is nothing but Kayal. Feeling the love deep within, piercing the heart, the unrest Kayal leaves the house in instinct reaching Aaron while he’s on the same path, meets with great destruction but yet happy ending.

Epicentre with earthquake and tsunami, the film embark on a trail towards ending with anticipation. But what fascinates me lot was the lifestyle of the friends and love affair which incline some positive vibes, intertwine by realistic comedy produces a whole entertainment flick. The love expressed by Aaron (Chandran) and Kayal (Anandhi) through their eyes were powerful than the words conveyed. Anandhi has an expressive face, whether its pain or happiness receives to be real and natural. The mole beneath her lips was a notable aspect that adds beauty to her already exist face.

Directed by Prabhu Solomen, Kayal communicates the emotion of love and nature side-by-side... unlike his early films (Mynaa and Kumki) the director, even though he decided to send tidal waves, concluded without letting down. The tsunami related scenes were partially graphics and couldn’t provoke anymore, as it isn’t anything different from Hollywood movies, also reminds titanic when the companions run thought the railway station carrying a sack just like Jack and his friend embark the ship. The man floating on a piece of wood plank is also subject to same.

The film locations were one of the worth checking and most of the scenes captured in and around Kanyakumari sent me nostalgic with memories. Amazing to note the director has also shot a scene at the living bridges in Cherrapunji, along many unknown places were impressive. The camera work was fabulous and captured great light moments! Overall, Kayal was admirable.