Tuesday, 27 December 2011

D:2 - a quick review

There have been several series of DON in Indian cinema with most of them making good business in the box office. The huge gatherings at the theatres for the newest DON2 simply suggest that the trend is continuing in a greater eagerness to watch the Donning on the big screen every time. So justifying is the beginning of DON2 which introduces the DON in completely stunning looks in the first five minutes of the film itself; which will surely cheer up the auditorium in its every run! There have been very good efforts in choosing a completely different plot (compared to the earlier versions of DON) in which the extremely brilliant DON confronts with smart and gorgeous Roma at many instances; yet escapes in every attempt of her. DON is too good in making his moves much before other's which is equally complimented by an excellent script. He delivers his dialogues to perfection with his effortless style and unique timing which is surely going to fetch a lot of applauds and whistles from the crowd. Vardaan is fantastic as before. Hritik’s guest appearance was really surprising!
The intermission is not very impressive which is followed by repetition of encounters with DON with much more focus on his actions and stunts matching Hollywood style. However, the advanced technology and the technical details of the master plan may not be very easy to grasp for a common man. Action and screenplay have been up to current standards but the music seems to have lacked the pace which can be attributed to the complete dependency on the earlier DON themes without much innovations. Sensible and well thought of twists towards the climax provide a very good ending to the film. It would have been a big plus if the makers had justified the usage of powerful word 'DON' with much bigger and violent crimes of his than just limiting the script to a bank robbery. The 3D trailer of one of the upcoming Hollywood movie JOURNEY 2 during the intermission was much more exciting than the movie we were watching; which makes me feel that DON2 is not a must on 3D. However, there are enough hints of a DON 3, so let's wait after we watch this once!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

So much is so little away…..!!!

There is always a good reason behind some things which we hate doing. So was the feeling while getting up at five thirty on a Saturday morning without advancing the irritating alarm clock for the third time. What better way than to start the weekend with an early morning ride on the NICE road? I and Mohan took hardly about twenty five minutes to get to the Mysore road, touching 121 on the speedometer to beat our earlier best of 115. We had to ride all the way till Srirangapatna to catch Manju and Praveen who had earlier promised to wait in RASTA near Ramnagar on Mysore Road. Thanks to the flat tyre which did not allow them to move beyond a nearby puncture shop there.

We are almost there! Yes, the heritage city Mysore of Dussara fame is just about 20Kms away now. So many thoughts in the mind about which all places I have missed during my college here six years back. Because, the so called ‘already visited’ places are also due for a re-visit to bring back the memories of the good old days.
We started off with a brief visit to the Rangantittu bird sanctuary which was disappointing with not many great birds around. We moved on to the Balmuri falls which was so refreshing with 'just fine' water level allowing us for boating. We enjoyed different dishes of fresh river fishes cooked in the nearby restaurant as well.

Next, we are on the way to the KRS backwaters. The giant Krishnaraja Sagara dam built by one of the greatest engineers of India (unarguably the best in the context), Sir M. Vishweshwaraiah must still be inspiring many lives. The backwaters surround the Venugopalaswamy temple so well that, in no way this great man's work goes unnoticed.
Finally we are heading to Mysore for the main purpose of my visit - one of my good friend's wedding reception. This area is close to my college and it is the place where I spent 90% of my time then. On the way I knocked the door of the house where I stayed during my college. I was very excited when the owner's grandson recognized me and shouted "mama has come". I could hear the elders coming out whispering "which mama?" They were so happy when their granddaughter helped them identify me by shouting "Vicky mamaa". After talking about how life has been these years, I had to move on though they insisted me to stay back.
I am sure we were the top customer to the Mylari Tiffin Center eating all the varieties they prepared that day and the supplier could only smile when I asked if there was anything else they had prepared.  Karanji Lake is not very far from here and we had a very good time with our second boating of the trip, this time the pedal one. So many beautiful birds around make this place very colorful and we did not have much difficulty in capturing them in very close shots.

One can’t imagine a Mysore trip without visiting the royal Mysore Palace and the steep Chamundi Hills. But we are running the risk of being an exception to that, mainly because of time constraints. We quickly opted to go on to the hills. We witnessed a hearty welcome at the Chamundi temple with the fireworks, which were actually intended for the recent Bellary by-election results. The view point on the hills is very well utilized by the guy with a telescope who allows tourists to see through it for a bare minimum charge of just 10 Rupees each. The Palace, Lalit Mahal, Race Course were all so clear through the telescope which the guy claims to have bought for a whopping 3.5 lakhs!!!

I was wondering about the new palace similar to the Lalit Mahal both in structure as well as color, only to hear that it is a newly coming up shopping mall! The best part according to me is that, nothing much has changed about Mysore over the years and it still continues with the rich cultural values. The intent to carry the old tradition forward is very clear in the minds of the authority here unlike other cities.
On the way back, the nice little wish to check which movie is running in the Laxmi theatre, where the famous 'Aptamitra' with dolbey effect of 'ra raa…!!!' used to run to packed houses over an year near our college that time; was also fulfilled.
The only thought which provoked me to write this and title it so was the fact that - it took just a little travel to unwind so much of sweet memories which is worth doing at any time. But so many times in our life we unnecessarily constrain ourselves with many useless things in the city where we work; and often neglect the fact that the best places where we actually belong to, are actually not very far from us!!!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Trip without a clip

Reading a long write-up about a trip is obviously an old/unusual method compared to the usual showcasing of an outing in terms of photo and video uploads in this facebook era. But, you might understand my purpose after reading till the end, so let me begin the story now.
It was in the middle of the week during a regular phone conversation with my family, I told my mom that I am going to this place in the weekend. Mom replied “Oh! Is it? It’s a great place, capture nice pictures for all of us to see”. I said “Sure”.
Friday evenings can be crazy to any extent in Bangalore traffic, but thanks to the flexibility that our companies provide. The namaaz prayer by the rickshaw driver before playing both sides of the late 90’s bollywood blockbuster cassette Mohra, reminds me that we started from BTM layout around five in the evening. I still remember the poor look on driver’s face to extract more money from us showing the spot on the mirror which was cracked by a stone from somewhere before we got down in our usual assembly point in Malleshwaram at six. It was a nice feast at Kodial before taking the next auto to the private bus pick-up point on the race-course road. With some difficulty (as always), we spotted the bus a few minutes before the start time - 8.30pm and took some snaps in the comforts of the lovely multi-axle driven Volvo bus. I think we were the last in the bus to decide to rest our eyes after rounds of calls to family/friends and some chit-chats.
1.15 am in the night, suddenly the lights are switched on! Disturbance slowly continues with speakers testing. With hardly few blinks, though everyone preferred to continue sleeping with the lights on regardless of the fact that wherever the bus may be, here comes an annoying voice with a surprise announcement – “Bhayya  Namaskara, Welcome to Tirupati!!!”. He is our guide Lokesh and here on he is known with the first word he uttered – ‘bhayya’ (meaning brother in Hindi). He has mastered his job so well that he conveys the urgency in a way - it seems like any sleeping souls can be awakened at any time in this world. Suddenly all are so energetic; I have never seen people so active at that part of the time. Everyone got inside their respective cottages to freshen up and assemble in the guest house lobby. You believe it or not, breakfast is next in line! It was for the first time in my life I had breakfast with Idly, vada, pongal all in one round plate as early as 2.30 am. But believe me, nothing seemed forceful. People can hate bhayya only for one reason – he didn’t allow us to carry any electronic items with us including camera!!! We had to leave all our baggage inside the bus and board the then hired local government bus which is certified to climb the upward roads leading to Tirumala temple. For being the last one to reach the bus, I had to sit on the engine as all the seats were filled by early birds; and bhayya was standing between me (engine) and the driver.
It was around 3.30am that we got down from the bus to enter the main gate of the temple and then on it was a combination of sitting and standing alternately in the long queue until we got the glimpse of Tirupati  Balaji at about 7.30. Now don’t ask me how we spent those four hours of waiting, because even I don’t remember it! Yes, I remember how restless I was waiting for half an hour in the queue to get my voters ID card done in a post office. But here its completely effortless wait with all curious people in the queue to see the Lord. Definitely this place has hidden power for sure! This is not all, there are numerous places inside here. There is a golden well showcasing the richness of the place, there is a ‘write-your-wish’ stone where you can write your wish which will turn true if it is genuine, there is Godess Lakshmi’s feet which upon touching with a currency (coin/note) will duplicate it to an unimaginative figure! The enthusiasm with which people seem to believe and follow them, suggests that these things can be very practical if you have the right mindset. But it was unnecessary to keep a security guard to prevent people from touching the Godesses feet so that the golden material is not worn out.
It was a good mix of cool breeze and the freshly risen sunshine which set the tone for our next destination – Padmavathi temple. This time I was a little early and was privileged to sit in the only vacant seat in the bus parallel to the driver in front of the rear-view mirror. It was a needless for all of us to wait for an hour for four of the missing co-passengers who did not return to the said spot. The driver was so perfect in taking the steep turns which reminded me the Agumbe roads in the Western Ghats back home. Someone rightly says that the purpose of Tirupati visit is incomplete without visiting this Padmavati temple after seeing Lord Venkateshwara. This time it did not take long and we were all set to go back to the guest house for lunch. The trip is over by 10am! Yes, we finished our lunch and drove back to Bangalore around eleven in the morning! Bhayya’s co-ordination ensured that the four missing ones were also a part of the return the journey.
It took a while to convince my niece who was upset for wishing her on her birthday so late; as bhayya dint allow us to carry mobile phones earlier in the day. I was successful in explaining to my mom about not keeping my promise to take pictures; before we reached back to BTM layout by five in the evening. This is how I came up with the fitting title for this outing - ‘Trip without a clip’. However, the trip was so satisfying with the right company of three wonderful people – Kanthi (one who got us tickets on a very short notice), Shubha (one whose prior experience to this very place helped us a lot) and Pooja (the main head whose energy made this trip possible and so eventful). This trip by all means is registered in my memory.
To end this on a high note with bhayya’s dialogue – “Bhayya ek baar sab bolo – Tirupati venkatramana govindaa………..GOVINDAAA”

Thursday, 4 August 2011