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Showing posts from 2014

It's that time of the year!!!

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As 2014 is fast running out of days and 2015 is inevitably drawing near, it's been chaos at Karthi. Lots of year-end activities to be accomplished before we can usher in the New Year. New folders opened, old folders put away... Cupboards purged... Trash burned... Exams dealt with... The inevitable colds and fevers tided over...
And here we are on Xmas eve. This is where we take a few days off the internet and social media. It's a time for regrouping, time to spend with the family, time to spend some time in solitude with our own souls. A time for celebration and at the same time, a time to fall back a little in order to spring forth with more energy.
This has been a wonderful year at Karthi - a year of discovery of purpose, creative fun, some good stress - yes,  a little stress is beneficial - you might have heard the story of the tiny shark left in containers of fish to keep them alive till the deepwater fishermen reach the shore? 
So au revoir, my dear readers, till we meet…

Selfishness is GOOD...

... and please read on to the end before you chew me out!!!
"Don't be selfish," must have been the adjuration I have heard the most in my childhood apart from the constant instructions on how "good girls" have to behave. My Mom still enjoys telling me how I hated sharing my toys with my friends. She especially remembers how my closest chaddi-buddy used to complain, "Kala, when you come to my home, I let you play with all my toys. But you let me play with only this one-eyed teddy bear." (Well, she didn't know the honor I was conferring on her by allowing her to play with my personal confidant, nightmare-keeper-away and best friend, still!)
But this "selfishness" adjuration when accompanied by the dreaded finger wag and aimed at a little girl means much more than the simple meaning of the word. It means she has to be obedient, to never talk back, to be always gentle and humble and to be ladylike in all circumstances. 
Having had the time…

A first time for everything...

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Karthi was a bedlam of activity the whole of November. Why? Because Kala Chaarutha was gearing up for its first ever exhibition stall at a corporate event. The dining table was snowed under with paper clippings, metal findings and the occasional shiny rhinestone. 
There were few horizontal surfaces in the house where paper, bead or crochet jewelry were not reposing in various stages of formation. One weekend saw DH wandering disconsolately around with his open laptop in hand until he ended up in front of me. Of course, I cleared up some space for him immediately - but there WAS only just enough space to put down the laptop, not even the space for a coffee cup beside it. 

I also managed to rope in two people to help me. My cousin, to whom I had gifted a beginner's kit for quilling and had taken a class for came with her own wonderful creations to add to my repertoire. And my sis came in to act as cashier. We gathered at Karthi on the day before and were taking care of last minute …

Movie Review Digest: 9 movies at one go!!!

Due to a family wedding and subsequent activities, it's been a while since we got out to watch a film. But what is Karthi without movies? We decided to watch a few DVDs we have been holding on to for a while now. Here we go.
We do not watch many Hindi movies unless they are recommended to us by friends or family. That is how we got to see the following.
Highway: Wow, a fantastic cinematic experience in all senses of the word! Alia Bhatt was a revelation in this soul-scraping movie of an heiress who gets kidnapped on the eve of her wedding. She accurately portrays the angst of women who have to fear sexual exploitation from absolutely everyone - it's absolutely a miracle how all women do not turn out to be misanthropes! Great watch, definitely recommended. Also a road movie - which is another one of my likes!
Two States: Everyone I talk to either loves or hates Chetan Bhagat. I like a few of his books and would say "meh" to some others. Two States, I definitely liked. …

From my bookshelf - The Fault in Our Stars

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It's been a while since a book moved me so much that I wanted to write about it. What with Kala Chaarutha happening, my reading is limited to what I can snatch at bedtime before I drop off to sleep. Even so, I managed to somehow finish John Green's The Fault in Our Stars in just a couple of sittings. 
I had had my doubts about reading this book despite some rave reviews I've been reading for some time. When the protagonists are both cancer patients, it wouldn't certainly be a happy story, I was sure. And after the mind-numbing shallowness of Stephanie Meyer's vampire series, I was not sure I wanted to try a "teenage" romance again. It was probably the small size of the book and the promise of absolutely no sequels that made me go for it :).
And was I surprised. Yes, the story is unutterably sad. Yes, it is tragic. Yes, it made me cry.  But they were cleansing tears - the good kind. I will not set out the plot here or the points that made me love the book…

Is it worth it?

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Yesterday I was chatting to one of my neighbors while we were waiting at the bus stop. Our chat meandered among a few topics when we fell into chatting about a recent gold-chain snatching incident just 2 km away from our home. 
Ever since gold prices have been going up, Kerala has seen a steep rise in chain-snatching incidents. The snatchers almost always travel by motorbike, snatch the chain and disappear. Not content with just pedestrians, a daring few have knocked women riding on two-wheelers to the side of the road to snatch the chain in peace. 
In the land of Unniyarcha, some modern Unniyarchas refused to be cowed by the snatchers and grimly held on to their end of the chain or fought the robbers off. So the current trend is to bash the woman's head in with a stone or bottle from behind before snatching the chain. 
As I walked to the bus stop today, I was wondering what would be the best method to deter such robbers. Obviously everyone cannot drive around in cars all the tim…

Movie Review: Vellimoonga

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(Pic courtesy - Cinema Mangalam)

A teeny tiny whopper: that's the only way I can describe this movie. It came without any hype or hullaballoo, first pricked the curiosity with the unusual title, then drew us in with positive initial reviews. My own review would have come earlier had it been not for a combination of circumstances that led us to waste a whole weekend when we could have watched Vellimoonga and its antics. As luck would have it, the hot, hot sun in Kozhikode where we were on an exploratory weekend led us into the confines of the refurbished Apsara theater and we finally caught the "silver owl" in full flight!
The story is simple: Mammachan, the long-suffering son of a highly idealistic politician father decides at an early age to eschew his father's calling. But by a miracle of sorts, he comes to don the same "uniform" of his father, only Mammachan goes to the other extreme of embracing only "practical" politics. Whether the aspirin…

Back again!

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Aha, it does feel good to be chatting again on my own blog. In the past two months, Karthi has been in an upheaval of sorts because the lady of the family decided to venture out into something new. And that something new meant a lot of things had to be put in order, a lot of things were to be learned in a short space of time, a lot of soul-searching and questioning was required... which left precious little time to attend to the affairs of the home and the family, let alone a blog!
But first let me show you a pic of serenity: an unexpected sight on a Sunday morning and just looking at it makes me want to indulge in a quiet and peaceful hour...

Two kids and a cat, just welcoming a Sunday morning on our front doorsteps. What better way to start the day..
So what have I been up to? I finally decided to take my love for craft to the next level. It all started with a jewelry making workshop conducted by a leading daily to promote one of their new books. I've always been interested in …

A trip down the Blue Hills - Part Two

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So there we were, chugging through the tunnels on the mountain railway, with me having to push my fingers into my ear whenever the train approached a tunnel. I literally counted the seconds it took us to traverse each tunnel and had I written it down then, I could have told you how long each tunnel was along the journey. But the scenery made up for all the hullaballoo. Here was a meandering stream...

Sometimes the railway line hugged the serpentine road...

We caught glimpses of very orderly looking tea estates...



 And sometimes we were treated to craggy vistas...

Soon the sedate pace put some of us to sleep...

And then we drew into Hillgrove station where they began pumping more water into the engine. This my train enthusiasts HAD to see. Can you see the water pipe amongst the billowing steam clouds?

Our groggy sleeper had to get up because there was another side show going on involving some of our little cousins...and by "our" I mean all mankind's!!!

There was a horde …

A trip down the blue hills... Part One

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Ideally a travelogue should be written immediately after a journey, when the impressions are fresh and memories are still crystal clear. So why am I writing about a journey we undertook in the month of May? A bit of perversity on my part, that's all. When the weather is hot, I like remembering green, green fields. So now when Thiruvananthapuram has finally decided that it should get its fair share of this year's monsoon, I am thinking of cloudless skies and a cool and dry clime! :)
You've all probably heard of the Nilgiri "Toy" train that runs from Mettupalayam to Ooty. DH set his sights on riding this train very early this year. And the foresight proved extremely essential because it is a very coveted ticket and we couldn't grab first class tickets (waitlisted) and barely got the second class ones. There are only 3 reserved compartments and a single unreserved one, so you can guess the competition! We opted to hire a car to go up as the up-train takes more …