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Showing posts from 2013

Movie Review: Drisyam

What a way to spend a Christmas day! After a disastrous attempt to watch Drisyam that ended up in it staying "Adrisyam" last Sunday - I couldn't even find the end of the ladies' queue - we tried online booking to find no more reservable seats. So after drinking some extra-strong tea yesterday evening, we reached the theater by 5 pm for the 630 show. I took the first place in queue in front of the box office and waited till 645 to get the coveted tickets. Canny soul that I am, I did carry a book in my bag that helped me bear the looong wait. Poor DH had the tougher assignment of getting our car into the theater parking lot - which he barely accomplished just before the ads came on. I haven't seen such crowds at a movie theater bar a few opening days - and those we religiously avoid.
Was it worth the wait? YES, YES, YES! I won't give away even a teeny bit of the story line here, because this is a must-watch movie. Suffice to say, you won't need but the se…

Movie Review: Neelaakaasam, Pachakkadal, Chuvanna Bhoomi

I seldom write reviews about movies that have already come out on DVD, but I had to write about this one. We got the DVD of Neelaakaasam, Pachakkadal, Chuvanna Bhoomi last week, but didn't get a chance to watch it. Mid-week, I put it on for my mother-in-law who was here. She barely sat through it and said finally that she didn't like it. So I for one was not looking forward to it. DH voiced his wonder why his Mom thought so when it had garnered a few good reviews when it was in theaters.
We put our reluctance and wondering aside yesterday and put the movie to the test. I was engrossed in cooking dinner, then serving it and finally settling down to decorating our Xmas tree (finally!) while the movie was going on. I had one eye and one ear on the movie, but was drawn in inexorably towards the middle and then I couldn't take my eyes off the screen...
Sameer Thahir's third directorial  venture is definitely a must-watch. Kasim (Dulquer Salman) and Suni (Sunny Wayne) set o…

Movie Review: Geetaanjali

Finally! We made it to a movie last weekend! Our first movie since we went for the stupendous Gravity in November. We had a tremendous choice laid out in front of us in the form of Philips and the Monkey Pen, Thira, Punyalan Agarbathis etc. that looked promising and were showing nearby. But no, we had to pick a movie that had been playing for three weeks and that too in a theater 25 kilometers away! But then, we had to after this encounter!
Priyadarshan's Gitaanjali (sic) had a lot of hype attached to it, especially that of a Priyan-Lal movie after a loooooong time, "Dr. Sunny" coming again and the debut of Keerthi, Menaka's daughter. One's natural inclination is to compare it with that magnum opus Manichitrathazhu. Yes, Gitaanjali comes a very poor second there. So let us drop such a comparison and look at it as a standalone horror movie.
The plot: A young techie couple decide to tie the knot, but just before the engagement, the bride's mother has a fall an…

Placeholder!!!

It's so easy to get out of a good habit. I can blame my non-writing hiatus on the rush I've been in. But I know that it is just an excuse. It was not a dearth of writing inspiration or subjects that prevented me either. It just felt so overwhelming ... the thought of having to keep tapping at the keys for a long time and think about the apt word to use in a particular context...
So this post is just a placeholder. To convince me once again that I can write and needn't be exhausted from tapping the black keys or revolving thoughts in my mind...
As to what we have been up to at Karthi - with the exception of the first weekend in November, we have been traveling every weekend since our Madurai jaunt. The trips were good, we had a lot of fun and cozy times with family. In the midst of all this traveling we also managed to squeeze in the enrolment of our younger one in his brother's school (took us two days) and managed to celebrate the elder's birthday.
But there was…

Our New Niece... and Some Thoughts on Being a Mom

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Last weekend we drove down to Kottayam to visit our new niece who hasn't been named yet. She is two weeks old now and sooooo tiny. Here she is with her doting uncle and adoring cousin...

She fits into the crook of one arm and her tiny fist fits on to the end of her uncle's little finger


It was great to have an infant sleeping in the crook of my arm once again. I think one appreciates a newborn better when it's someone else's baby! For one, I was not sore and hurting all over. And then, I just had to hand her over when she needed to be changed or fed!!
Jokes apart, I must admit that motherhood has been one of the most fulfilling parts of my life so far. A lot of women commented recently after watching the Blessy movie Kalimannu that they would love to conceive once again just for the sake of enjoying the pregnancy and infant care like Shwetha does in the movie. I have no such regrets because I thoroughly enjoyed both my pregnancies - even with all the discomforts and …

Rameswaram and Dhanushkoti

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It's no fun typing without all 10 of one's fingers. I am an old-fashioned touch-typist. When two fingers are out of commission with huge burn-blisters bulging at their ends, typing becomes very painful. So after two attempts in which I tried to remember to use other digits for the letters frequented by the left middle and ring fingers and succeeded in only hurting myself more, I gave up trying to post this last week. Much better now, thank you!
I left off our journey at the river-mouth of the Vaiga. Well, we passed on to that man-made marvel which held the record for the longest sea-bridge in India for a long time - the Pamban bridge, along with the railway bridge that connects Rameswaram to the mainland. It stretched and stretched ahead of us...

The bridge is now under renovation and fortunately we were allowed to stop and take pictures. Here is the drawbridge part of the railway bridge...

Boats dotting the bay and lined up against the island shoreline...

And here's all …

Puja Weekend Long Trip - Madurai Rameswaram

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Talk about a hasty travel plan! Last Wednesday we were looking for options to travel during the Diwali weekend, found the complete absence of bookable train/bus tickets and opted for a long drive. But since we are expecting the arrival of a new niece/nephew in the last week of October, (DH keeps wondering aloud whether he'll be an aunt or uncle this time over and I tell him that is a very stale PJ!) we decided to keep that weekend for baby visiting and settled for the Puja hols. We didn't make any reservations whatsoever and just plunged ahead on Saturday morning.
On Saturday, the sun came up on us entering Kaliyakkavilai via Poovar and Uchakkada. The road that had been silky smooth till then but suddenly gave way to huge pits that seemed to have been left by some Decepticons who had preceded us to go to Kanniyakumari! It was with relief that we reached Arulvaimozhi and joined the fabled NH7 - wow, what a road!!!


She enticed DH so much with her buttery complexion and sinuous …

Eyes bigger than tummy...

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For years, DH has had this habit. He peeks over my shoulder while I am cooking and I can anticipate his question well in advance, "Is that going to be enough?" Never mind if I was cooking for just the two of us in our younger days, or for a party of ten or daily meals for the four of us now - it has been  always the same question, "Is that going to be enough?" The ONE single time there hadn't been enough was when I had slightly underestimated the amount of rice required for an Onam meal in Minneapolis way back in 2006 and that was soon remedied by a second pressure cookerful which was ready by the time we needed it. Nevertheless, the question has continued down the years and never fails to elicit an eye-roll reaction from me and this comment:
"Your eyes are way bigger than your tummy!"
Well, things have a way of coming back at one. Last Wednesday, we went to the DC Books International Book Festival here (I got a personal invitation over the phone on …

It doesn't pay...

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... to be a too cocky novice microwave baker, or one might end up with this... boo hoo


Why, why, why after I had used the same recipe to make two perfect cakes before should this happen? Any answers? And that too when I was expecting guests?!?!?! 
Oh well, after a long clean-up session, the kids had fun eating up the chewy, brownie-like portion left in the dish. Sigh... when we should have been eating moist, melting chocolate cake - oh well. There has to be something once in  a while to justify the name of my blog, right?  :)

Movie Review: North 24 Kaatham

After a hectic Onam riddled with hearty sadyas, a lot of payasam and running around to meet family and friends, we settled down to the first post-holiday peaceful, normal weekend. Which in our case means again more traveling around in the name of errands! And we had to watch a new movie for evening entertainment.
So there we were, settled down in our cushy seats, about to watch the laser show when a sudden panic seized me and I turned to DH and asked, "Oh God! This is a Fahad movie, was it safe to have brought the kids???" For a moment I saw my panic reflected in DH's eyes, but then he calmly replied, "I didn't see anything like that in the reviews..." So we decided to make the best of it and hoped that even if the kids asked us any awkward questions, they would do it pianissimo.
Thankfully, our fears were groundless for once. There was only one instance of a word that should have been bleeped IMHO. Otherwise, North 24 Kaatham is an eminently watchable mov…

Wish You All a Happy (Soggy) Onam!

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All my flower-gardening efforts were mainly geared towards one purpose: starting an Onam pookkalam tradition at Karthi. For that sole reason I gathered and planted my old, native favorites,  Chemparathi, Chethi, Nanthyarvattam, Banthi, Vaadamulla, Kolambi etc. For two years the soil and weeds resisted my efforts strenuosly, but I prevailed with the help of heaps of cow manure and biogas waste water. This year, all my efforts literally bore flowers. I happily looked forward to the dawn of Atham....
And it rained... on Atham, Chithira, Chothi and has gone on raining since then!!! Here was our puny, soggy attempt for Atham in defiance to the climate...

It's no fun pulling soggy flowers off the plants, so I went for minimal damage. Well, we'll do it next year for sure!!! Meanwhile I'll find more old favorites and concentrate on growing them in this exceptionally rainy year! 
And this grainy old picture took me on a nostalgic trip down memory lane...

That's me in the middl…

Anything to tilt the balance?

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My day started off with gratitude meditation (on day 247 currently), a cold bath and some confusion regarding there being classes or not for the kids due to the statewide protest against fuel-price hikes. Having fed everyone and sent off DH to work, I sat down to breakfast and the newspaper. Nowadays, I usually skip the disaster news to avoid useless worrying. But I couldn't help noticing two items of news almost side by side in the inner pages: 

The one on the right side is about a murder. A visiting aunt strangled her  10-year-old nephew who had been asleep with his grandmother. She says it was so that her brother could finally divorce his estranged wife and start a new life since he was averse to losing his son through divorce. The murderer is said to be on some medication according to her family and is suspected of being unbalanced to have committed such a crime.
Please wait before feeling horrible and start cursing the whole of  the human race for depravity and self-seeking.…

Another craft project out of the way! Yippee yay yay!

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Take a look at the following picture:


It's a page from the Jan 2006 issue of Crochet magazine. I ripped it and the accompanying instructions out when I came back from Minneapolis in Dec, 2006 (Luggage space was at a premium, so I couldn't bring the whole mag!)

And today, I give you this:


This is the first doily I've ever tried and you can see it's a bit lopsided because my blocking skills are not that good. It had some tricky stitches in it - a horror called fpdtr (front post double treble stitch) that started at one place and ended somewhere totally crazy. I had to keep glancing at the picture to see if my fpdtr's was going the way it was intended to, and I think they were!


When I completed round 6, I found that these spaces in the middle were not aligned properly and had to unravel all till round 2 and make it all over again. That's one of the things I LOVE about crochet - it's so forgiving, we can always go back to where we made a mistake (provided we f…

Movie Review: Memories

Okay, the verdict is out - Prithviraj the actor trumps Prithviraj the producer this festival season! Last week we watched Kadal Kadannoru Mathukkutty which would have been better named Kadalil Mungippoya Mathukkutty. This weekend, the Association of Whodunit Fans at Karthi made a beeline for Attingal where Memories is playing. Another weird thing - we searched high and low for movie listings online since our daily did not carry the listings on Saturday (no paper on Friday because of Independence Day holiday). Know what? They simply were not available! Do let me know if there are any reliable online show listings for theaters in and around Tvm. We relied on Thursday's paper and kept our fingers crossed till we reached the theater and saw the movie hadn't changed on Friday.
Memories is the story of a cop Sam (Prithvi, of course) who has been trying hard to drown his sorrows in alcohol since the tragic abduction and murder of his wife and daughter. When a series of murders leave …

Remembering four ideal brothers...

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Another Karkkidakam is drawing to an end... Ravana has been finished off, Sita has just passed her "fire-test" and Lord Rama is getting ready to take his family and army to Ayodhya (at least that's where I am in my annual reading of the Adhyatma Ramayana). As the monsoon rains slowly slacked off, hopefully to bring a sunny beginning to the new Kollavarsham, we left Karthi for the weekend for a jaunt to our hometown. 
This time, we had a definite pilgrimage plan on our agenda. Karkkidakam is the best time for the "Naalambalam" (four-temple) worship. The little town of Ramapuram ( north of Pala, Kottayam) has 4 temples dedicated to each of the Ayodhyan princes. (A similar foursome are the famous temples of Thriprayar, Koodalmanikyam, Moozhikkulam and Payammal in Thrissur and Ernakulam). A complete circuit of all the temples starts at the Ramapuram Sree Rama temple, proceeds to Lakshmana Swamy temple at Koodappulam, the Bharata Swamy temple at Amanakara and the M…