Birthday and the Conclave

March 12th is my birthday, and there are lots of facts which are related to this particular day. I have never been that much fond of celebrating this day, even though when the friends were there, it was kind of different – giving and taking those treats were essential things. It had become a tradition to celebrate the birthdays more than the rest of the celebrations. But things did change, and I was back to my normal situation, of not celebrating anything – celebrations did leave me, and I was a lot happy to skip them all.

But sometimes, the birthdays become more than just birthdays – it will have other memories and special things happening on the day which will make it the memorable day, but not directly related to being the day on which you were born. There is something special about this year’s birthday – it will be the first birthday of me on which I will be working; the first time on a birthday that actually have a job; it has a special status in that case, but there is something about the last year’s birthday too.

It is good to have an identity - we don't always get to have one.

The last year’s birthday had me at three different cities – in the morning, I was at Cochin, at noon, I was at Mumbai and in the evening, I was at Delhi – well, that was surely a different day for me. Usually, it was like, each and every day, I am either at home or at the theatre watching a movie. This one special advantage of not going directly to a city – well, I had so much to spare at that time, and so this kind of journey was not going to waste my time! The return was through Bangalore for some change.

That was what happened on March 12th last year, and then the big moments were to be on the next few days. It was about attending the India Today Conclave at Delhi, and it was what I was there for, even though visiting Delhi for the first time was also a priority. After winning the contest, I found myself at Taj Palace, and right there in the hall to listen to those eminent personalities. I also found my new friends there, my co-winners and delegates – Arvind Passey, Shoma Abhyankar, Shreya Das and Yogita Aggarwal.

One of those interesting things which I found about tea :D

When a day has Sachin Tendulkar in the beginning, you know how awesome it can become. There were people like Katrina Kaif, Lisay Haydon, Chetan Bhagat, our honourable central ministers and others on that wonderful first day. On the second day, there were Viswanathan Anand, Ranveer Singh, the ambassadors to India, Shobhaa De and the others, along with the Chief Ministers of a number of states – and when everything ends, you are not happy that it ended, but you can’t wait to travel through Delhi!

The memories stay so well that I often wonder if this is my birthday or the conclave anniversary; a few things are a lot meaningful than the rest, and it changes according to the person; for not everyone thinks the same about their own lives. Maybe I was never really going to think about it as my birthday and as the reminder of myself getting older; it was going to be remembered for my big journey rather than anything else. I didn’t think that much in that way at that time, but now I feel that it might have been the biggest moment of my life, and nothing bigger is to come; especially related to writing.

And there is the legend - notice the divine light that burns bright ;)

There are more facts about the same – I have never seen a Malayalam writer this close, but Chetan Bhagat was right there; I have never seen a Kerala cricketer close enough in my life, but I have seen and heard Sachin Tendulkar speaking in that hall; I have never seen a Malayalam movie star in my life, but I have seen and listened to Ranveer Singh, Katrina Kaif and Lisa Haydon – I consider that surprising, but it is something that I am a lot happy about. I guess that some things just happen in life, and there are others which will never occur.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me during the 2015 India Today Conclave at Delhi.

TeNy

Vathmeekam with a Twist

There are not many movies which inspires like Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam. Yes, Malayalam movies have had motivation flicks which have worked, but this one has managed to come up with a life of its own, and the same has provided it a status high above Punyalan Agarbathis as far as the connectivity for the common man is concerned. The other inspirational movie, My God just worked less for the viewers, and none of the others like Rani Padmini and Mili were kept this simple, and the strength of its simplicity will surely amaze you. It is a quality that the movie can cherish.

Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam is not the kind of inspirational movie which is made for the kind of people who enjoy individuality by traveling all around the world, finding love of lust and changing himself in the end like a psycho who is against the society – here, it is a lot about being part of the society as an individual. As it continues to run in a number of theatres and will make a comeback to other screens due to the quality of its idea and content, lets look at some of the reasons why this one works so well, and a special addition, the twist comes in the end related to a birthday!

SuSuSudhiVathmeekam()

Among the reasons that you find for watching this movie, there will always be Jayasurya, the man who does the role of the main character Sudi/Sudheendhan – he has also co-produced the movie here. There are not many actors who could have done this role with such perfection. As most of you have noticed, here he plays the role of a man with a stammering problem which affects his life. May be the problem could be brought to the screen well, not with such effectiveness as we can see in this movie. He is amazingly good in this flick as the titular character.

Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam is at its best as the inspirational movie because it tells the viewers that all of them can, and it says that idea without any doubt. This inspiration is not radically focused on a certain thing, but on the individuality which is the thing where all the attention happens be. Here, the change begins when accepting oneself as another person and not someone else to whom the comparison is made. Being better or like someone else is never the idea of this movie, and the protagonist himself clearly states that point relating to his life.

For the same reason, the feel-good factor here is stronger than that of many other movies, and in all its simplicity, Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam leaves you with the much needed happy feeling – there is absolutely no negativity around. It is not that easy to spread happiness, but the director Ranjith Sankar has done that without any moments of trouble. It is his success, just as it was for most of his previous movies. As the character itself is safe in the hands of Jayasurya, the feel-good factor works fine along with the inspiration that this movie provides.

So, the special addition to this post is that yesterday, December the thirteenth was the birthday of one of two main actresses in this movie, Swathy Narayanan. Even though she can’t be considered as the heroine of the film with her appearing with the flashback running strong and disappearing along with the first half of the movie, she makes a fine debut here. There are not many better movies to make a debut than a successful inspirational feel-good movie, as such flicks have special place in the minds of the viewers. With the cuteness factor heavily working in favour of her, she does her job very well as expected of her.

SuSuSudhiVathmeekam(0)

An Ayurveda Doctor by profession, she is also a skilled dancer, as we could understand from her appearance during the Lunar’s Comedy Supernite program in Flowers channel. She made that episode a charming one. She has the skills, and so I would like to wish her a happy birthday even though belated, and also wish her all the success in her upcoming projects. She has only bigger heights to achieve in her career. Swathy is the lady in the last poster used in this post. All images you see here are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie and are used to support this particular post about the flick.

TeNy

Malayalam Cinema: Beginning

November 28th brings a birthday, and it is not just another birthday, but the date of birth of the man who is considered as the father of Malayalam Cinema, JC Daniel. He is maker of the first Malayalam film (even though it was a silent film like the rest of the flicks of that time), Vigathakumaran; meaning “the lost child” in the year 1928, it is the first Malayalam movie, and also the first movie to be made at this part of India. The Travancore National Pictures established by him at Trivandrum was also the first film studio in Kerala.

Vigathakumaran was followed by Marthanda Varma based on the 1891 Malayalam novel by C. V. Raman Pillai of the same name, but that came five years later. JC Daniel had to go through many hardships to bring the movie to the screen and also after the release, and so it was not really a path which the later movie makers were confident in following, even though his legacy has been accepted now, and Kerala Government introduced the Kerala State Film Award for Lifetime Achievement in his name as part of the Kerala State Film Awards from the year 1992.

Celluloid is the bipoic on which most of our information about the man is based.

Celluloid is the bipoic on which most of our information about the man is based.

All of these came very late, and the path after the release of movie was never smooth for the man, even though the film was one of its kind, dealing with a social issue rather than traveling the usual style of the other films of the time. With problems over a lower caste woman PK Rosy playing the heroine character far above her, the conservative sections of the society created big problems over the movie. The first actress of Malayalam Cinema didn’t have much to remember during her time.

As the movie couldn’t go on to become a commercial success at that time, the studio at Trivandrum had to be closed down and Daniel had to sell his belongings and leave, to live as dentist and go deeper into poverty in later stages. It wasn’t a fitting journey for the man who brought the cinema to Kerala. As the government earlier refused to give him the recognition as he was born and died in Tamil Nadu, it was the journalist Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan who worked for bringing the attention to the man behind the first Malayalam movie. It was late, but thanks to him, the deserved recognition arrived.

Most of the Keralites will know him now, thanks to the movie Celluloid from Kamal, starring Prithviraj Sukumaran in the role of JC Daniel and doing the same to perfection providing him the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor and the movie with the Best Film Award. The movie has Mamta Mohandas doing the role of his wife Janet, the newcomer Chandni in the role of Rosy and Sreenivasan performing the character of Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan. It is a movie which I recommend the most among the films of the last few years.

The awards to this biopic is part of the justice which is served to the man.

The awards to this biopic is part of the divine justice which is served to the man.

The movie was based on Life of J. C. Daniel, a biography of the man which was written by Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan and also Nashta Naayika by Vinu Abraham. Receiving also the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam, the movie made its point so well that by the end of the movie, people knew the man who was behind the first Malayalam movie, and this movie was a tribute to the man who did something which none other could dare to do at that time, as it was the big risk.

Some movies make the big impact and some don’t. The one special thing about Celluloid is that it released at a time when one just couldn’t be sure about its success. A lot of the viewers did have the doubt because the period drama wasn’t a preferred genre at that time, especially when it was not about kings and warriors. The situation is safer these days, with Iyobinte Pusthakam becoming a hit and Ennu Ninte Moideen becoming a success despite its slow pace. But the latter movie was a very safe bet as it released these days, and when considering the same, Celluloid is a true and righteous tribute to JC Daniel with its success well earned during difficult times.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie, Celluloid.

TeNy

November the Fourteenth

The thing about November the Fourteenth is that it is the birthday of a popular actress – she has been a favourite among the youth since her debut through Mayookham in the year 2005 along with Saiju Kurup. It was a much appreciated movie even though there were cliches present. Due to cancer and the relapse, Mamta Mohandas hasn’t been much active in the Malayalam movie industry as expected. She was my favourite actress for a long time, and as she returns to the big screen with the movie Two Countries, I wish her all the best! Here is something about a few of her fine movies, as we celebrate Children’s Day in India.

Big B (2007): After Lanka and Madhuchandralekha, came Big B for Mamta Mohandas. Even though there is not much here for the leading actresses in this movie with nobody opposite Mammootty as the main heroine, this one had her catching our attention, thanks to the song “Muthumazha Konjal pole” in which she featured along with Bala. An unofficial remake of the American movie Four Brothers, the movie was more style than anything else, but it surely had Mamta as the main lady to be in the spot-light. That one song will be the first thing I will remember about this movie for sure.

Passenger (2009): After her fine debut in the movie Mayookham, there were many movies in which she caught out attention including Lanka and Big B, but I consider Passenger to be her big role. In this movie, she plays a journalist named Anuradha Nandan who tries to bring to light an influential politician’s secret plot to finish off a group of villagers who stand as threat to him. The movie which talks about the common man’s responsibility to the society, and how he has the right to challenge the system has been effectively portrayed in this movie. The movie works as a social thriller which tells us that we should be responsible.

Kadha Thudarunnu (2010): Another flick in his usual style from Sathyan Anthikad, this one still has the strength to make the desired impact. His 50th film as a director has Mamta Mohandas in the role of the protagonist Vidyalakshmi who runs away with a man from another religion Shanavas (Asif Ali) who is killed a few years after the birth of a child. The rest of the story talks about how she survives later, with no money or help from her relatives who have abandoned her, as an auto-rickshaw driver named Preman (Jayaram) along with local people who struggles with their daily lives decide to help her and her child.

My Boss (2012): Undoubtedly the funniest movie of the year, this one from Jeethu Joseph came before his two big ones Memories and Drishyam. Dileep and Mamta Mohandas made sure that this movie was full fun and among the big comedy entertainers, this one will have a special place. Mamta gave her most memorable performance in the comedy genre in this movie. Rich with the visuals of Kerala backwaters, this was a movie which came up with standard jokes instead of the low level which the genre was following during those days. You will see the comedy scenes from this movie very often on television.

Celluloid (2013): Winning the Kerala State Film Award for Best Film and National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam, Celluloid also went on to become a hit at the box-office. As the movie tells the story of J.C. Daniel who is known as the father of Malayalam cinema, Mamta plays the character of the protagonist’s wife. The winner of seven Kerala State Film Awards, this movie had Mamta in another memorable character which she managed amazingly well. It is a beautiful, tragic story of a man who tried to make the first Malayalam movie, Vigathakumaran and had to sacrifice a lot for the same.

I hope to see Mamta back in the Malayalam movies very soon. Even though I don’t like the movie Anwar because its original Traitor is a lot better movie with no slow-motion action sequences and having a more believable story-line, “Kanninima Neele” from that particular movie is the best song which she has been part of. I will leave you all with the video of that song. The movie also has another nice song “Kizhakku Pookkum”, but this one with its visuals remain my favourite. I am sure that you will love this one.

TeNy

Not Just Another Day

Nostalgia goes back by many years, but before reaching the beginning, there is another stage which can be directly related to the Malayalam movies. It is to this stage that one particular actor and his movies are related. The situation goes back to 1997 when his first movie was released, even though I watched the flick only later. His birthday was yesterday, and as usual, I realized that it was another birthday one day later. The actor in picture here is Kunchacko Boban, and it is about his movies that the rest of this post is going to be about.

Aniyathipraavu (1997): The biggest hit of the season and also of his career on his debut as a hero itself – it is something which every newcomer will dream about, and Kunchacko Boban did manage to achieve that. It also had some of the best songs of the century, and it was remade into the Tamil with the name Kadhalukku Mariyadhai and Priyadarshan used the same story for his Hindi movie, Doli Saja Ke Rakhna; it also had Telugu and Kannada remakes. It was also the first movie of Shalini as heroine, and the two established themselves as the new crowd favourite pair in the Malayalam movie industry. The movie was strong in emotions as well as comedy.
The great evergreen romantic song!

Mazhavillu (1999): This was not that much of a preferred movie at the time of its run as I remember people more concerned about this being a sad flick with tragedy awaiting to finish the story sending the audience into unexpected depression – the overall mood of the movie was so happy. This is also Preeti Jhangiani’s first movie and makes a really cute debut in this one. Kunchako Boban along with Vineeth in a rather negative role, this movie would have worked better if it had released later; the audience of the time just wasn’t ready. With some of the most melodious songs of its time, the movie is a lovely memory.
This song was the cutest one of the time!

Chandamama (1999) and Niram (1999): Chandamama was his first full comedy movie and with some good songs, it had enough to keep the laughter going throughout the flick as long as you don’t think much. But the grand movie was Niram, and it will remain my favourite movie from him, and this teamed him up with Shalini yet again. Remade in Telugu as Nuvve Kavali, in Tamil as Piriyadha Varam, in Kannada as Ninagagi and in Hindi as Tujhe Meri Kasam, the movie was a grand success. Once again, beautiful songs aided this one as the movie became a big boost to bring more of the campus based stories which followed.
A long time favourite song from Niram!

Doctor Love (2011): I wouldn’t like to remember any of his solo movies after this except for Kasthooriman, as it wasn’t a good stage in between. There were some nice movies in which he teamed up with others or played interesting roles in movies which were heroine-centered. Meanwhile, teaming up with other actors like Biju Menon had fine results as hit movies, and the trend followed after this movie too. Doctor Love was a nice return for him as the solo hero, as the man who solved the problems related to love in an arts college. The songs are good and the movie has the feel-good power.
And a lovely song from the romantic movie!

Chirakodinja Kinavukal (2015): There are not many spoof movies in Malayalam movie industry, and this one comes as a full spoof entertainer. Even though one might still think that this could have been an even better movie, this flick manages to bring enough here to catch our attention. The movie is successful in making fun of a good number of cliches in the movies, and Kunchacko Boban does a fantastic job as more than one character. It also successfully makes fun of some of the incidents which have happened related to the movie industry and that comes as a bonus – variety works here well.

Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi (2015): I do not consider this one as a grand movie which needs to be given the status of Avatar from Malayalam movie industry. But it is surely a nice try and it is a variety attempt which needs to be applauded. Kunchacko Boban plays Philipose John Varkey, a survivalist and nature enthusiast in this multi-starrer movie and is the leader of a gang which tries to save a village deep in a forest, as too many people from the world of modernity hopes to end these trees and destroy their world. There is beauty in the way the movie is taken, and it is best experienced in the theatres.
Read full review of the movie here

Wishing Kunchacko Boban a very happy birthday! 🙂
Leaving you with a song from his movie Visudhan.

TeNy

A Blessed Birthday

Today is November 1st, the day after the Halloween night. I usually try to come up with a Halloween night post, but as horror always exists in my life a lot better than anything else, I thought that I should come up with the Kerala Piravi post instead. Today is the birthday of the state of Kerala or the Kerala Piravi Dinam. It is believed that Parashurama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu created Kerala as he threw his axe into the sea, and water gave way to bring the land which is now this state, A part of his creation also forms a very small part of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Most of the Keralites do know all these, but I will share this for the first time on my blog. A reminder will only help to keep the memory filled.

Parasurama, who is credited with bringing Kerala out of the sea :)

Lord Parashurama, who is credited with bringing the land of Kerala out of the sea

I have read a good amount history, but all that I have studied has not got much about Kerala; still, I will bring something here. Kerala history also forms only a smaller part of our history books except for the times of the Renaissance, if I remember correctly from my school days. Three big kingdoms of Kerala on May 27th 1498 when Vasco Da Gama landed at Kappad included Travancore in the South with its capital at Padmanabhapuram which later shifted to Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin at the centre with its capital at Kochi and the Kingdom of Calicut based on Kozhikode.

Once the most powerful among the Malayalam speaking kingdoms in the South, Calicut made good progress into Valluvanad and through Cochin, forcing the ruler to shift the capital to Thiruvanchikkulam and then to Kochi itself. Calicut was controlling most part of Cochin soon and later they were making tributaries out of the smaller kingdoms. After coming under Vijayanagara Empire, the ruler of Calicut under the title of Zamorin or Samoothiri could rise again only to face the Portuguese threat, changing the alliances and friends teaming up with the Dutch against the men from Portugal and their earlier nemesis Cochin.

The Mysorean invasion of Kerala led by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan began the end for Calicut with the ruler setting himself on fire as he faced certain defeat. Calicut would never really recover, and the kingdom would be part of Madras Presidency under British after the fall of Tipu. Once extending between Ponnani and Kochi, Cochin was restricted to a smaller state forcing it into alliance with Portuguese. The destruction of the city by the Zamorin of Calicut and Mysorean invasion would affect the kingdom, but would still rise to its best situation under Sakthan Thampuran, the most renowned king of the state.

Cochin also had its alliance with its former rival and the bigger Kingdom of Travancore in the South against Calicut. Covering most of central and southern Kerala along with the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, the rise of Travancore meant unity. The Battle of Colachel in 1741 had Travancore defeating the Dutch, becoming the first kingdom to win a battle against a European power. Led by the Flemish commander, Eustachius De Lannoy who surrendered in the battle, Travancore went on further North to conquer more. With the successful defence against a stronger army of Tipu in the Battle of the Nedumkotta and providing asylum to those who escaped the Mysorean onslaught, Travancore would rise to become the second most prosperous state in India with its kings of the people and a high level of religious tolerance.

The Dutch surrender to Travancore

The Dutch forces surrender to Marthanda Varma, King of Travancore

Travancore and Cochin would later join forces again to come up with the Travancore Rebellion against the British East India Company. The later history of Kerala goes back to three provinces named Malabar, Cochin and Travancore; as the first one was under the Madras Presidency directly controlled by the Empire, the second and the third being kingdoms allied to the British. After independence, the first state to be formed was that of Travancore-Cochin, which was created on 1st of July 1949 by combining two kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin. Parur T. K. Narayana Pillai, the Prime Minister of Travancore, then became the Chief Minister of Travancore-Cochin with the ruler of Travancore as the governor.

This arrangment existed for a few years until the situation had to change with Travancore Tamil Nadu Congress launching a campaign for joining Tamil-speaking regions of Travancore-Cochin with Madras State. Later, according to the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, the current state of Kerala was formed as the Travancore-Cochin state combined with the Malabar district of Madras State and the Kasaragod taluk of South Canara district while Kanyakumari district was added to the Madras state. This is the fifty nineth birthday of the state which is known as the God’s Own Country, as that day of its current existence began on November 1st, 1956.

Happy birthday, Kerala 😀 There will always be only one true home and there is no other place like home 🙂

***The images used in this blog post are from the Wikipedia pages of Kerala and the Battle of Colachel.

TeNy

Actors and Birthdays

I have not cared much about birthdays, and as I am not specifically inclined towards any actor or actress except for liking a few people, I have never found the need to post on the birthdays of celebrities. Birthdays were never really the days which interested me, as they have always been the dates which started counting towards the end of our lives. But I was randomly going through a number of Malayalam movie industry related pages and found that it was Dileep’s birthday yesterday. Then I thought that I would just provide something for the day, a list of the most popular movies which he has acted in, and those which I have liked more than the others.

Well, Dileep has always been the favourite of the crowds. He did have three smooth movies this year with Life of Josutty, Love 24×7 and Chandrettan Evideya, all three of them deserving better reception at the box-office than they got, because Dileep was very good in them and they were of fine quality as well as working for people from all walks of life and generations. But the movies below are the ones for which I remember him for; the same is the case with a lot of Malayalis. The true fact is that even before he became the leading star, he had started becoming a favourite with his comedies.

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1. CID Moosa: There are movies which have many memorable comedy scenes from Dileep, but CID Moosa is a movie which is full of them. The story of the jobless youth who wanted to be a police officer, but ended up being a private detective is one of those movies which is full fun. The memorable moments include the protagonist trying to learn Hindi from cinema posters, situations related to his pet dog and the adventures of the private detective himself. The support is amazingly grand here with a long list of awesome comedy actors who bring awesomeness, but Dileep is once again the man to look out for.

2. My Boss and Darling Darling: The former has Dileep paired with Mamta Mohandas who plays his boss, and this movie was the funniest movie of the year, and the best comedy entertainer from Jeethu Joseph, the maker of Drishyam and Memories. The latter is a movie from a much earlier stage, as Dileep played a funny character with negative shades which came as a surprise to many – he plays a man who tries to marry the girl whom his best friend is supposed to marry; what follows is the comedy which remains classic; most memorable one is the “pennu kaanal” scene, which might be the best ever in Malayalam cinema after the same in Sandhesam.

3. Meesa Madhavan: Establishing Dileep as the big star in the industry, Meesa Madhavan provided Dileep as well as the viewers with the magic of comedy as well as feel-good, as it also brought Indrajith Sukumaran as the grand villain. The process had started with Kuberan, but that was not of such grand scope as Meesa Madhavan which was heroic with him playing the role of the good thief. With movies like Two Countries and King Liar coming up, what the viewers expect would be something that reminds them of this glory. Beginning from Father Abel’s Kalabhavanat Cochin, Dileep has come a long way, and this movie was the right deviation.

4. Punjabi House and Kalyanaraman: The speciality of these movies is that they were combined efforts, and they had Dileep in a team play. While the former had Cochin Haneefa, Harisree Asokan and Indrans doing the big support, the latter got Innocent, Salim Kumar and the other serious actors contributing to the comedy. The former was remade by Priyadarshan in Hindi as Chup Chup Ke with Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor, but could never be the same, and it is more of a credit to Dileep and his team rather than anyone else. Both movies were huge hits of the times!

5. Marykkundoru Kunjaadu: I haven’t forgotten Romeoo, Pandippada, Thilakkam, Chanthupottu and Ee Parakkum Thalika, but I would finish the list with Marykkundoru Kunjaadu because it came at a time when we were looking for such nice comedy from Dileep and it was missing before that. With a sequel already announced, this movie had great fun in store, with Biju Menon nicely contributing and supporting Dileep in such a way that we just loved each and every moment of their presence. The title translated as “Mary had a little lamb”, this movie became what Kaaryasthan had partially become.

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***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the movies Love 24×7 and Life of Josutty.

TeNy

The Conclave Saga: Intro

When my post won a prize which was the pass to the India Today Conclave (https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/the-vision/), I wasn’t actually ready for this. Yes, I always knew that there was this prize for the contest, but was rather more interested in writing about that idea than thinking about the prize. It was the same reason why I posted that one which turned out to be the winning post – coming to Delhi wasn’t among my worries when I posted that on my blog at a time when I was bored and was looking to write on something.

There are not many of my readers who don’t know the Vampire Bat story, even as it started the same more on the other blog – Movies of the Soul. I wanted this idea of the Vampire Bat’s world to work, and this time, it did, and I am really happy about it. The Vampire Bat’s utopia was to be mine, and there was no other way through which I wanted to write the second post for the contest.

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As I wasn’t ready, I couldn’t really reply to the winning mail fast enough. But then I thought, what was there to lose? Except for the money played for the flight tickets, stay and the food when not part of the Conclave – but there was no replacement for an experience. Then there is the element of time – I was preparing for the PSC exams and would miss the coaching for a few days, but it wasn’t something that couldn’t be brought back on track with some effort, but the Conclave was something that was a first opportunity for me.

Yes, Delhi is quite far away, and I was sure that I have to cover a lot of distance for this programme. I asked myself, why not? This is the first time I actually won a contest from a major blogging community (Thank you BlogAdda – http://www.blogadda.com). I didn’t need to miss out on this, as this was a special event and I had never visited Delhi. This was also a trip, and not just an attempt to claim a prize and see a few celebrities on the stage. This also had an intellectual side, and even though I had the ability to come up with many excuses, there was not the need for any, because I could just go.

It was not a good start for the journey. The flight was delayed and I was caught in the heavy traffic of Delhi later – that kind of traffic from which I had doubts about making it out alive even though it made me a lot more confident about driving around Cochin. The wait at the Mumbai Airport was worse, and the waiting procedure continued only to have me at the destination much later than expected, and I had to wake up early on the next day to get to the Conclave at the expected time.

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It was my birthday when I started from my hometown, but it didn’t go the usual way. Half of it was spent at Cochin getting prepared for the journey, and the rest at Delhi and in the flight with a part at the Mumbai Airport. The day for the Conclave was to begin was waiting to arrive. It was cold and I felt like being frozen, coming right out the hot climate at Cochin. I haven’t been good friends with low temperature for quite a long time.

I reached Hotel Taj Palace at 7:45 AM next day though. I did feel that it was more than needed, as I thought that I was not going to make it on time after that birthday which had no celebration at all – yes, people who were not on my Facebook list completely forgot that I was born on that day. But it is quite natural, and I hoped, or at times knew that it could only get better later. After all, I had come all the way from Cochin to attend this one programme. The post about the experience of those days coming up 🙂 #Conclave15

*The photos used in this blog post were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 at Delhi.

TeNy