Category: Mind voice


Euro 2016

The itch to travel can never be cured.. I might not be a nomad but I definitely need my timely breaks and my love for Europe just keeps growing every year. Therefore, it was no surprise when I decided to hit France, Switzerland and Italy for a much-needed holiday and what best time to do it than in the festive season. Also for a change, this time was all about fun and I was totally game.

Paris:

Lucky me.. I was ensconced in a home away from home. I had my ever-loving Sr. S to pamper the hell outta me and Sr. M was so much fun to hang out with. Sr. L tried to keep the Indian in me happy and Sr. F was adorable on her own (It’s much easier to refer to code words than calling out Sisters randomly). Those days with them meant so much to me and I am grateful for that.

 

 

A visit to Versailles was a mandate and trust me you would need a whole day to do justice to it. If its in your cards, just be ready for a lot of walking.. You can always eat yummy Parisian food out there so it was a win-win for me..

 

 

Next on the cards was the beautiful Montmartre. I sat through a wonderful service and had a splendid view of the city later. The quaintness will definitely hit you here. Then it was a whirlwind with the regulars like Notre Dame, The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees. The happy spot was the Christmas market… the colors and games with delectable French food.. Ooh la la…

 

 

The city’s charm rubs on me pretty quickly and I felt dejected to leave it. Also I realized that there is more to see and explore. So until next time..

Switzerland:

The second leg was my favorite destination and the first thing I hit in Swiss was Gruyeres.. For the love of cheese.. 😛

 

 

Then the next stop was Wilderswil in Jungfrau region and I was in love instantly. The view I had from my room was amazing and it just raised my expectations for my trip to Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe). It was a long time pending one on my list and I happily ticked it off.

 

 

The next one that I was excitedly waiting for was a stay in an igloo atop the Alps near Zermatt.. I would happily suggest it to everyone. I had so much fun and the exhilarating feeling is so surreal.. To watch the snow-clad mountain peaks in such proximity and feel in one with the wilderness cannot be explained.. Cheese fondue.. Snowshoe walk at night.. Stargazing.. Open Jacuzzi.. Skiing.. I was living a dream.. A wonderful dream indeed.. 😀

 

 

Italy:

After a lot of contemplation skipped Milan and hit Venice. It was pretty cold and foggy but serene on its own way. Just a lot of walking around and munching on. Yummy Ravioli and Gelato made my day..

 

 

Suddenly I am at the end of my trip with just a day to spare in Rome.. I had a lot of walking and quick planning to do.. Pretty much covered everything I wanted to see along with a visit to Vatican.. Not bad at all.. I hope the coin I threw in Trevi will bring me back to the eternal city once again..

 

 

It was very different to travel on my own without fixed plans or schedules. It gave me better perspectives and made me feel liberated as well. There was so much to watch and so much to learn.. It was a happy sign-off to 2016!

Baahubali

baahubali

What can I say.. the most anticipated movie for the casting and the money that went into it seems to have a bit of everything.. I am amazed by how Mahizhmathi has a bit of every landscape.. Some scenes are just overboard and makes you wonder where the logic is (Maybe we should look out of the window). Cinematography and the much anticipated battle gives you the high..

For me just the battle scene would do.. I would happily skip the first half.. If someone can give me a good reason for Prabhas doing the lead role.. I am all ears.. Do enlighten me.. As for Tamannah.. seriously why would someone carry such a stony expression all the time? If she did that to convince us as a warrior then why on Earth did she forget that rebels would not have time for manicure?

The strip-tease that happens is another joke altogether. Even if I grudgingly accept the concept, I seriously veto the up close shots of two stony faces. Doesn’t theatrics require expressions any more?

Ramya Krishnan steals the thunder amongst the artists. She exudes so much of confidence in the role. Sathyaraj and Nasser have done their roles in the best way possible. Anushka doesn’t have much to do and all that we can hope is to see her more in the sequel.

Rana and Prabhas have done immense justice to the fight scenes and come across as fighters convincingly. The battle sequence will just keep you hooked. The wonderful sets, witty plots and immense landscape will definitely make you feel great about this Indian movie.

Kudos to SS Rajamouli for thinking such a wonderful battle strategy (All earlier flaws can be overlooked for the 30 minutes). The director has indeed thought out the entire plot well and has executed it in an impeccable manner. The last shot ends with a suspense and leaves you hanging for more. Smart move, director!

Senthil Kumar’s cinematography is brilliant and just makes you fall in love with his work. Keeravani’s BGM is supportive but the Tamil songs definitely did not make an impact.

I just hope SS Rajamouli spins the sequel well enough with some interesting plot involving the main cast.

Uttama Villain

Uttama-Villain

Uttama Villain definitely shows Kamal’s acting prowess but the story could have created a much better impact if Crazy Mohan was actively involved. Uttama Villain is about an actor’s life that portrays the good and bad in him. The movie is supposed to be light unlike some of Kamal’s movies in recent times and I personally feel he could have done wonders if the story was much more gripping with witty one-liners.

Manoranjan is a superstar who has his own misgivings and is nearing his end because of a malignant brain tumor. The actor wishes to do his last film with his Guru and ironically the movie is about the immortal Uttaman. Therefore, a movie happens in a movie. The Uttaman story is based on the folklore and doesn’t have the punch to it.

Kamal is the best in business and needs no one to vouch for it. His love for the art is proved with his precise moves, his rendition and the lyrics. Nasser, Urvashi, Andrea have done justice to their roles while Pooja Kumar could have avoided screeching. In some sequences Nasser and Kamal brings a nice touch of humor. Its nice to see KB just like the mentor he was i real life. The BGM by Ghibran is good but songs doesn’t stick to you much.

For a man like Kamal, we wish to see a wonderful screenplay and that is what lacked here.

O Kadhal Kanmani..

Mani spl

O Kadhal Kanmani.. maybe I expected too much out of you..! My bad.. I read too much about the movie before I could watch it..so I ain’t giving any more spoilers and I am not discussing the story as well… One thing I would definitely say, ‘I am happy that the Mani Ratnam whom we knew in the late nineties is still there’.. After the likes of ‘Kadal’ and ‘Raavanan’, some really started to wonder whether we lost the man who had such charm in creating beauty out of nothing. Trust me OK Kanmani is a reprieve but it will not be the top of my list in Mani Ratnam’s must watch.

Maybe I still dig ‘Bombay’ for it’s wonderful portrayal of emotions.. ‘Alaipayuthey’ for it’s simple story and ‘Aaytha Ezhuthu’ for the connect you feel with the characters.. All in all, truth be told, I am still someone who liked the innocent romance of ‘Alaipayuthey’  than the knowing kind of ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’..

The movie is breezy and I definitely have no qualms about it. I just wonder how Mani Ratnam always has the right people for the right characters. Imagine doing it for decades.. Awesome is all I have to say.. He just makes you feel at home by not going overboard with the choice of cast. This movie might remind one of ‘Alaipayuthey’, ‘Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal’ but I don’t see anything wrong in this as the essence of the movie is what matters.

PC Sriram.. what can I say about the man who is just down right wonderful with his camera… You will just love the frames and you will totally be able to understand why PC is best at what he does… He makes the screen come alive.. It is so easy for you to transport yourself to the world he creates.. Pure bliss..

The magic of ARR along with PC’s camera under Mani’s guidance is something one should not miss at any cost. The actors have not overdone their roles and its a definite plus. The one-liners that is in sync with the current trend will bring a smile on your face.

kanchana_jpg_2377532fKanchana 2 could have been much better if not for so many ghosts.. Raghava Lawrence has tried the same goodness over evil formula but somehow it does not adhere much to the audience liking like Kanchana.

Raghava works for a TV channel along with Taapsee and they try to shoot a story based on ghosts. Raghava who is basically afraid of spirits accept the project for the sake of his love for Taapsee. They encounter a mishap during the shoot and Taapsee starts having visions. Later, Raghava and Taapsee are possessed by 7 spirits who wants to take revenge on their killers. As usual Raghava channels the spirits and kills the wrong-doers.

Sriman and Kovai Sarala cause a laugh riot with their body language and dialogues. Raghava Lawrence tries to portray his acting by doing too many roles. His dancing is impeccable as always and Tamannah has definitely kept up to it. The movie could have been much better if the story was brief.

Songs are not that catchy like in Kanchana. Graphics are much better in the current movie when compared to the previous versions. Second half could have been edited some more.

Furious 7

fast-and-furious-7Furious 7 has all the elements to give you the adrenaline rush. What else can you expect with the likes of Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham? Tony Jaa makes his Hollywood debut as well. The movie also marks the last of Paul Walker and the team pays a nice tribute to him.

The movie is about Owen Shaw trying to take revenge on the team for crippling his brother. While trying to defend themselves, the team also tries to rescue a hacker and her creation ‘God’s Eye’ from a terrorist. How the team manages to do it in their own street smart style is the movie.

The movie is done in such a way that you will feel entertained all along. The glitz of Dubai and the thrilling chase sequences are a must watch. You will definitely be moved at the end when the team says goodbye to Paul.

Nannbenda – My Take

nan

The movie is about Udhayanidhi falling for Nayantara.. Want to know more…? Even I wish the same.. I just wonder why director Jagadish did not have a storyline..If we wanted to watch just some comedy.. we can very well watch ‘Just for Gags’. One thought that lingered after watching the movie is – Why this baseless attempt?

I am pretty sure that people have come to accept various genre in Kollywood and definitely they would appreciate a decent story. Just because Jagadish was associated with Rajesh, he might have tried to emulate the style but what is the point of having a style without a story. The movie has no need for villains and yet they have force-fitted few.

Udhayanidhi who comes to meet his friend Santhanam falls for Nayantara. He tries to impress her by doing silly stuff. Meanwhile even Santhanam is in love with Sherin. Nayantara tries to tell the truth about her past and Udhay makes fun of it. So Nayantara becomes upset and moves away from him. Whether they unite or not is the rest of the story.

Udhay has improved his dancing skills and it is in display even in a fight scene. Udhay does salsa moves instead of stunts.. Amazing I say.. Nayantara looks pretty pleasing to the eye and has not much scope. It is high time that Santhanam handles his humor well.. Too much of puns are not required..

Music is more of an annoyance and none of the songs are that great.. If you want to enjoy the comedy, I am not sure whether you will sustain the song sequences along with it..

I wish Udhay believed more in a story than the presence of a pretty damsel alone… You might enjoy the comedy if you are with your friends (perhaps booze might help as well 😛 )

Shamitabh

shami

Shamitabh.. A story about how ego can play a nasty game in one’s life. Portrayed beautifully by Big B and Dhanush.

Daanish a mute boy always dreams to become an actor. Once he grows up, he travels to Mumbai from Igatpuri just to fulfill his dream. Initially, he doesn’t get a chance to prove his talents but later luck comes in the form of Akshara who plays the role of an AD. She tries to help him gain voice with the help of an advanced technology and becomes a buddy as well.

Once the surgery is over, they start searching for the suitable voice. They find a drunk Amitabh Bachchan on the footpath and Daanish insists on having his voice. They explain to Amitabh about the situation and he warms to the pair. Amitabh was rejected from Bollywood because of his voice and now he feels its time for payback.

Daanish changes his name to Shamitabh and hit movies become a hit. The duo is quite happy about their success and slowly ego creeps in. They have an argument about which is best.. the acting or the voice. So they both split up and do movies alone. As expected, the movies become a flop in box office.

Akshara speaks to them and convinces them to work together again. They plan to reveal their identity to media but unluckily they meet with an accident on the way. Daanish dies and Amitabh loses his voice.

Amitabh is amazing… Be it the moves.. the voice.. the singing.. the attitude.. You just know that you are watching a master perform what he does best.. Dhanush has definitely done well and proved his mettle to share screen space with Big B. Akshara comes across as a cool college kid rather than a heroine.

Cinematography by P.C. Sreeram is known to be classy and stays that way in this movie as well. Maestro Ilaiyaraja’s music is soulful and can speak volumes in certain portions of the BGM. Balki could have cut short some scenes but definitely the movie is worth a watch.

Initially my mind couldn’t take Amitabh’s voice for Dhanush.. It felt so wrong indeed. The baritone was funny to imagine on a man who is so different on the feature front. I still dig for a happy ending.. While so many bad movies can have good ending why not this one?

 

K2K – A trek to remember!!

Sometimes you just need to leave the cacophony of the city life to enjoy the pristine beauty and bounty of Mother Earth… The Kumbakkarai to Kodai trek via Vellagavi on Feb 18 &19 was one such occasion..!! It was CTC’s 4th birthday and I felt I had to be part of the celebration!! And hence after a lot of contemplation (obviously with so many treks to choose from) & work issues it was decided that Kodai trek it will be..

So much of checking and cross checking happened on things to be taken, weather forecast, food to be taken & timings.. And finally Kaushi (my partner in crime) & me were at Koyambedu by 9 only to find the bus being late by an hour.. So much for punctuality.. Uff.. but yeah we know things sometimes doesn’t go as planned.. so we literally waited out the whole time & was happy to get into the bus which had smiling faces welcoming us!! It was amazing to be a part of a group where people of various work backgrounds join together just to enjoy one thing that had us bound.. The journey started with us becoming friends with one another as our bus weaved out of Chennai.. After some time of talking, snacking, singing and sleeping..Dindigul was our first stop.. It was our pick-up point for the trekkers joining from Bangalore (which included my bro & Sudhir) as well as our breakfast & lunch!! So once everything was in place we set off to Kumbakkarai which we reached by 10.30 or so..

The food packets were distributed to all.. Our breakfast was idli, vada.. Once our tummies were filled we started towards the sliding pool of the Kumbakarai waterfalls with Chikki bars, Corn, oranges, chocolates jostling for space in our bags.. The sliding pool was in a different direction from the path that we had to take.. It looked quite calm and the guys were all set for the fun.. Somersaults, gentle dips and slides were happening simultaneously while few of us chose to be the spectators alone!! As much as I enjoy water, I was just too worried about trekking in wet clothes.. so just skipped the tempting slide!!

At one point when we realized that we might be too late.. we started towards the trek path.. It was nearly around 12 when we started the hike.. Not a happy thought I accept as the sun was merciless..!! We trudged happily with lots of talk.. At some point I really started wondering how bad my fitness was!! Thanks to my knapsack which was adding to the agony ..!! Luckily for me, Shiv & Sudhir took the burden (Thank you soooo much guys!!).. We kept on trudging and I was seriously wondering whether we will really reach somewhere or not..

Around an hour or two later we decided to lunch.. by when most of us were split in groups depending on our pace.. I skipped the biryani knowing well that my walk would be worse than what it was.. We came across a small temple on the way where we re-energized ourselves with Chikki bars and water.. Then again we started our walk.. we even saw some of the Vellagavi villagers walking in complete ease with so much load (Gosh!! So much for the sophistication in the city, I was literally worn out.. Embarrassing indeed!!) Thanks to Jayanthan who kept on convincing me that we were almost near the village!! Alas!! the whole group reached the village by 4:30 in the evening.. I was truly amazed at the way the people lived there with no mode of transportation..!!  Either people walk all the way up to Kodai or all the way down to Kumbakarai..!!  

 

After a brief rest and a lovely coffee (courtesy of the villagers), the guys were ready to have a game of Volleyball with the villagers.. You got to give it to them.. the villagers were exceptional in the game and got our guys hands down!! The volleyball court was located in a picturesque place where it was just surrounded by the view of the mountains.. The trek had just two other ladies other than Kaush and me.. All four of us played the role of a spectator while the guys got pummeled.. Then it was soup time.. The chillness started to envelope us.. The guys were trying to make use of so many physics concept before they got the soup done.. Thanks to the villagers the vegetable rice was ready by then!! After a lovely dinner, it was time to sleep.. Eventually day 1 came to an end!!

 

DAY 2:

I was happy to wake up around eight because the much needed sleep seemed to have done the magic of rejuvenating the tired muscles.. and I was looking forward to the hike again.. Had a lovely warm bath, the villagers way.. and it was time for some warm milk & chocos along with protein mix… Wonderful I say.. Whereas some folks were literally early and enjoyed the sunrise along with a game of volleyball.. Again we were all split in groups as some decided to hang around in the village for some more time while some wanted to hit it early before the heat started scorching us!! So few of us started around 10..

 

The walk was pretty ok.. We were literally traversing from one hillock to the other.. and we were also picking up altitude.. The sun was literally on us.. Trust me, even at that height, the weather was at its worst.. It was tiring us quickly.. but thanks to the spirit that prevailed amongst us.. we kept on joking about something or other and pushed ourselves.. By the time we reached Dolphin Nose we were just too happy tired I would say..!! We all reached the road by 2… and a sense of accomplishment was felt (still a guilty thought reminded me that the Vellagavi villagers did this as their routine!!).. Then to add to it we found that we had to walk further down the road as the bus couldn’t make it to the point…. (Arghhh!!!)

 

We strolled all the way till the main road then and were just happy to settle in the bus.. All of us were looking forward to the yummy lunch in Kodai.. Once near the lake, everybody took to the food joint of their choice.. It was one happy meal I would say.. after which we set off in search of yummy snacks from Pastry Corner…but to our dismay, the stocks were sold long time ago.. Bad!! Then after getting some local chocolates.. it was time to hit back to Chennai.. We bid adieu to the Bangaloreans and started the descent.. We were talking happily about the trek and it was fun to watch the pics!!

We had dinner somewhere on the bye-pass road since we did not want to waste time by entering Dindigul.. Once the dinner was done, all of us were pretty quiet as we wanted to rest well before the hectic workday… We reached Chennai by 6.30 with happy memories and good friends.. knowing well that the road towards reality beckons!!

Beach collectors on prowl!!

Beaches have given different people different memories..for some its the best place to have fun.. for some it may have been a thought provoker/decider.. At the end of the day, its the silent companion for many through the years.. Its been a background for million games, walks, friendly conversations, proposals and break-ups… All of us go “awww” when we see pristine beach pictures but the irony is our own beaches make us go “ughh” at times.. We would feel so disgusted at why people enjoy dirtying the beach..and why no one seems to bother about the garbage strewn around.. And thousands of such like-minded souls along with CTC made a conscious effort to take up the onus of cleaning the coast from Marina to Injambakkam on Feb the 5th..
With the volunteers split in groups.. it was time for the mission..to reclaim our beloved beaches… Its our beach, if not us then who?? seemed to be the mantra for many.. The groups assembled in their respective zones to get things done before the scorching heat appeared with a smiling face!! I was actually amazed at the number of kids who were in the beach up so early (Trust me.. Many of us would have rather loved to sleep late on Sunday mornings!!).. Even some older citizens were willing to do their bit for the society.. All of us got armed with gloves and disposal bags..all set to attack the garbage with a vengeance!!
Nearly two hours of picking all random items…made me realize how plastics have literally invaded our space.. Bottles, wrappers, coirs, torn nets, buckles, slippers, hooks, paste tubes, brushes, spoons and much more.. If you are just inquisitive, you will even start wondering how certain things end up in the beach… We were certainly amazed at the amount of litter we collected.. Though it made me feel great for being socially responsible, it also makes me wonder will this have an effect on those who litter…
Some people who came for their regular morning walks did give a surprised look.. whereas some had this passive look as if the cleaning is not happening at all and every litter has the right to be there.. One thing that gave hope was that few kids who came for their session of games took some interest and cleared the litter in the play area.. I know a day of cleaning will not set everything right.. but its just a beginning.. Its always good to try than to contemplate about it… Its just that if those who were there at the moment of the cleaning ensured not to litter the place in future..its quite a success on its own!! I am happy that I did something to the wellness of our society and I just wish this paves way for much better things!!