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Movie Review: Mayanadi

Mayanadi, Ashiq Abu's latest directorial venture comes after a gap of two years. His work is not always to my taste. I loved Salt n' Pepper. 22F Kottayam was okay. Didn't like his later ventures till Rani Padmini which I liked enough to watch more than once. So I was a bit skeptical about what was touted as a "newgen romance", but decided that for the sake of keeping an open mind, I would go and watch the movie. 
Let me tell you straight away - I liked the movie. Liked - not loved and I don't think that it is awesome to the nth degree. It is the "love" or "friendship" story of two very flawed people - Mathan (Tovino Thomas) and Aparna (Aiswarya Lakshmi). The two form an attachment while in college. They break up due to trust issues. Mathan goes on to become a bit of a conman till he gets into real trouble. But he has always kept his love for Aparna alive. So he asks her to run away with him to the Gulf.
Aparna, on the other hand, never go…
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My New Year Gift to You!

Happy New Year, dear readers!
Oh I know it's almost half way through the first month of the year... Things get way unsettled from mid-Dec to mid-Jan here at Karthi. We have been fortunate enough that a prediction hasn't come true, but Ockhi happened and showed us that even if there is a warning system in place and information had been handed to government agencies, it didn't percolate down to the people who really needed the warning. There are still 300+ souls whose fate is unknown. Let us continue to contribute what we can to ease the suffering of the loved ones that the departed and the lost have left behind.
Back in the summer of 2013, my kids made an amazing discovery - they learned that cakes can be baked at home! Blame the summer camp that they attended at DH's workplace. And although they saw and helped in the baking process at the camp, did they want to be bakers themselves? No sirree, they colluded with their father to buy a microwave and made ME do all the h…

2017 is over, so soon?

I love being a homemaker. One of the reasons is that it offers a wide variety of activities that appeal to me. No two days are alike on this job. One day I might be a cleaning diva, the next day I could be a nurse, on the third day I can wow my family with baked goodies... the list is endless. 
The only problem with this is, unlike a day job where the milestones are marked with pay raises, promotions, certificates and congratulatory parties, homemaking is a mostly thankless and featureless career. When I look back, it all seems like an endless corridor of cooking, cleaning and other mundane tasks that I have traversed with my apron firmly tied on.
So this year I've decided to sit down and list the things that I have learned and accomplished in the past 12 months. I don't want to remember years just for the memorable trips we took or tragedies in the family and friends circles.
Here is my list:
Gardening: Grew my first ivy gourds or kovakkai in pots and devised a pandal using …

Hampi 3

The sky is overcast. The rain drizzles, intensifies and drops off never to stop completely. Cyclone Ockhi is knocking at our doors, felling trees and flipping umbrellas. The power comes and goes.
But I am an Aquarian and am nothing if not contrary. 😀 After filling my water tank till it overflowed - will last us for two days - then charging emergency lights, making sure we have candles and charging the power bank, I am now settled with a hot cuppa. Now let me take you to sunny Hampi where we had left off seeing the grandeur of the past that has been preserved in their half-damaged glory.
We took the long route across the bridge to Anegundi, on the northern side of the Tungabhadra. It's no wonder that Hampi and the surrounding area is famous among rock-climbing and hiking enthusiasts. The place is simply littered with rocks of all shapes and sizes, as though some ancient giant kids had played with them and left them scattered all over the landscape (Why didn't their Mom insist…

Yaay! She finished it!!!!

We interrupt the regularly scheduled program to bring you a story of triumph that is likely to get your heart to speed up and your eyes to tear up! 
At the heart of the story is a crafter who loves all craft and hoards supplies, but has a massive case of nonstartitis and procrastination. This May, she overhauled her craft room and in the process, unearthed an Anchor needlework kit that she had bought around... oh just 4 years ago? The autumnal colors had piqued her interest, but the kit had soon been interred in the pile that was in one of her craft cupboards. 

The crafter is inordinately fond of small projects that can be finished in a day or two. She had never been successful with a long haul that would need patient, incremental work day after day. "This time I'm gonna change that," she vowed as she had done several times before. I don't think she believed it herself because somewhere in her mother-in-law's house is a half-finished little doggie that was way m…

Hampi 2

Why did it take me so long to get from Hampi 1 to 2? On the way I got attacked by a teeny mosquito and got dengue fever. Thus I have attained a hat trick in fevers this year, falling prey to viral fever, chest infection and dengue all in the space of 6 months. I must say from the expert's point of view that the dengue is the worst of all - it is making itself felt even after three weeks in the form of easily tiring, getting headaches when tired and aches and pains all over. I avoid going out as much as I can to stave off fatigue and further infections.
On to happier things:
Here is a bird's eye view of the royal enclosure at Hampi

The palaces built of brick and wood were destroyed and all that are left of them are the stone foundations and whatever was made from stone. And the ornamentation left on those plinths are enough to make us salivate thinking of the palaces as they had been...

Just look at the detail...

The grounds have a huge step-well...
A cute but scary undergroun…

Hampi 1

One of the greatest pleasures that the denizens of Karthi indulge in is envisioning our next long trip. This time we were going somewhere special, a place that had always captured my imagination and that caught my family's attention when the movie Anandam came out. I for one, went into full research mode, reading up on all I could about the Vijayanagara empire's history and even buying a coffee table book off Amazon - Hampi - Discover the Splendours of Vijayanagar by Subhadra Sen Gupta and photographs by Clare Arni. 
Six months ago we booked tickets on the Hampi Express from Bengaluru leaving on the Durgashtami day. We got confirmed tickets, so were placid seeing the crowds on the platform as our train chugged in. We managed to find our seats and settled down despite there being several people standing around. Confident that the ticket examiner would chase away those without reservations, we went to sleep. When a call of nature woke me up at 2 pm, I reached for my sandals ben…