RIP: Simona the Kitty

I had been looking forward to post this one, but as most of my friends here are friends with me on Facebook or is in contact with one person or the other who is friends with me, I thought they knew. But the news about Simona’s death had to be told, at least for the people who don’t yet know about the same. It happened on a terrible night, when she jumped in front of a vehicle which was passing through the road in front of our gate. We have been missing her a lot, especially from a few days after the event; the absence was really felt!

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Here are a few of my favourite photos of her from the past which you might have seen in this blog; I have kept them separately…

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Simona shows her tongue in defiance of the latest food ban.

I declare this as my property. Nobody touches this :D

And also falling asleep in different ways.

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TeNy

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

Malayalam Movies: Fantastico List

Here I am going to write about those Malayalam movies from the last century which are my all-time favourites; in no particular order, but they are my most admired entertainers and they are fantastico!

Nadodikkattu (1987), Pattanapravesham (1988) and Akkare Akkare Akkare (1990)
Directors: Sathyan Anthikkad (1, 2) and Priyadarshan (3)
Cast: Mohanlal, Sreenivasan, Thilakan, Innocent

The best comedy trilogy is here in the form of these three movies which compete which each other to tell us which one has the best lines and provides the most fun. It tells the adventures of Dasan and Vjayan, two jobless people who become CIDs and solves the cases by luck. From the “B.Com First Class” and “Great professional killer Pavanayi” dialogues to the “both having the same kind of voice” and “corpse markings” in the second and later to the big questions about “who is Paul Barber and where is the crown?” along with the “Akira Kurosawa trying to kill mosquitos” in the final movie, this one is a full laugh riot as a trilogy. There is always the need to watch them all, as this is the true fantastico trilogy!


Manichitrathazhu (1993)
Director: Fazil
Cast: Mohanlal, Shobana, Suresh Gopi, Innocent

There is no questioning this movies which has been remade into Hindi (Bhool Bhulaiyaa), Kannada (Apthamitra), Tamil (Chandramukhi) and Bengali (Rajmohol), all versions making fine impact. The Tamil version was also dubbed into Telugu and itt even had a spin-off named Geethanjali, but it couldn’t do that well due to the very high expectations. It is still considered as one of the best psychological horror films around, and it even had some comedy scenes which are remembered a lot. Shobana’s performance won her the National Award as well as the State Award for Best Actress. Well, you should have watched one of the remakes, so you will know the story – and the original is the best!

Dhruvam (1993)
Director: Joshiy
Cast: Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Vikram, Jayaram

If you see the cast of this movie, you will know the potential without even realizing anything more about it. This is a top thriller which everyone needs to watch. The movies which is loaded with beautiful songs, emotional strength and thrilling moments, has its share of powerful dialogues too. In Vikram’s first Malayalam cinema, this one has the protagonist Narasimhan looking for revenge against a dangerous criminal and wanted terrorist called Haider, but is unable to get to him. What follows are the plans brought forward by the man to have his revenge and how the antagonist tries to keep himself away from justice as well as the revenge-seeking Narasimhan.

Commissioner (1994)
Director: Shaji Kailas
Cast: Suresh Gopi, Ratheesh, Shobana, Vijayaraghavan

Known for its powerful dialogues which became part of every stage program, inspiring another successful sequel named Bharath Chandran I.P.S. eleven years after its release, Commissioner is that movie which brought Suresh Gopi to the role of a righteous police officer, a character which he played in many more movies to come. If I remember it correctly, this is the movie which brought him to the next level of superstar, and in school, a lot of kids were imitating his one particular dialogue in that movie; or rather two of them. This was next big thing for Suresh Gopi – Shaji Kails combination after Ekalavyan.

Yodha (1992)
Director: Sangeeth Sivan
Cast: Mohanlal, Madhoo, Jagathy Sreekumar, Urvashi

The idea to dismiss this one was an entertainer won’t be the smartest of plans, because Yodha is one movie which has a good plot, and its comedy scenes as well as songs are more than just favourites – they are everywhere; they have been so for more than twenty years, and it is the kind of popularity that this movie has managed. I watched this one for the first time as kid, and even now my opinion about the movie remains the same. It is that kind of an impact that this one has made, for people of all generations, and of all ages. With the A.R. Rahman touch in the songs, this one has the Mohanlal-Jagathy comedy combination at its best, and it is great fun to watch.

Ekalavyan (1993)
Director: Shaji Kailas
Cast: Suresh Gopi, Narendra Prasad, Geetha, Maathu

Suresh Gopi has one of his best police roles here, and Narendra Prasad comes in the role of one of the best antagonists played by him. Ekalavyan is often considered as one of the best police roles of Suresh Gopi, and the dialogues here are amazingly good. Suresh Gopi plays Madhavan, who goes on a mission to investigate into some murders and smuggling of narcotics in which a particular godman is involved. There are many things which will be brought to light, that can also deal with many influential businessmen, powerful politicians, and all. So, going through this investigation won’t be something that can be considered as a smooth one.

Spadikam (1995)
Director: Bhadran
Cast: Mohanlal, Thilakan, Urvashi, Spadikam George

Its main villain is known in real life by the name of the movie itself, and so there is no need to think twice about the impact created by this movie. It tells the story of a boy who has problems in Mathematics, but is good in other subjects; but his father who is a Maths teacher as well as the headmaster makes him fail in language exams; with this particular incident and frustrated of being compared to the students who are good in Maths, he leaves home only to return as a rowdy. The movie has the cult status, and I am sure that a lot of youngsters have faced the same problem in their lives, fighting the worst evil of all time, Mathematics. Mohanlal and Thilakan steals the show here.

The rest of the movies include Sandesham, Chamayam, Ramji Rao Speaking, Oru CBI Diary Kurippu, Irupatham Noottandu, Lelam, Rajavinte Makan, Kilukkam, Pathram, Crime File and many others during a golden age; they are all fantastico!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

TeNy

The South: Nilgiris

I have been wishing to travel again for a long time. It is one of those many things that I think about these days, and as I look back, I remember that it has really been a very long time. It has been so long that I have gone for a trip for the traveling purpose alone. But it doesn’t stop me from looking at those old photos of travel, and as you might have figured it out, I have so many of them. Well, I am going to need a hard disc to store them all soon – a separate one. As one journey provides thousands of photos, I have always felt that there would be the need. But here, I share ten photos of Ooty and Coonoor.

We stayed at Coonoor when we decided to get to Ooty. Well, I have been to Ooty only once and that journey actually came too late. I visited Ooty in the last few years, and I should be the last one in my friends circle to visit the hill station for the first time. Both of these places were nothing less than charming; I loved my stay at Coonoor and the tea there. The places to visit exist close enough both towns. Coonoor is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris, and you will want to stop there too, along with being at those usual tourist destinations at Ooty. The photos shared here were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

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Meanwhile, I hope most of you haven’t missed Charlie.

TeNy

When Darkness Calls

Vampire Hamster: A strange creature has arrived, Sir Vampire Bat and Sir Vampire Owl. It just can’t wait to meet you and has told me that it is urgent.

Vampire Bat: Let it in, after checking for any magical devices in its possession which can cause harm to the vampire kind.

Vampire Owl: Don’t you think that we taking the role of Uncle Dracula when he is not here, is not really the right thing to do as he hasn’t named a temporary substitute?

Vampire Bat: Well, in that case, he should have named someone before choosing to watch some of those terrible Bollywood movies. As of now, we have to take control or the whole of the New Vampire World will fall into chaos. The werewolves, the Lich Queen and the dark elves are looking for this opportunity. The rest of the creatures including the orcs, high elves, goblins, dwarves and the wood elves are no different either.

Vampire Owl: We shall defend the vampire world, whatever be the cost. I am sure that we can’t trust that Werewolf Anger at all. Lich Queen is a bloody opportunist and we know that she wants to rule us.

Vampire Bat: Yes, it is exactly what I am talking about.

Vampire Owl: I would say that this is also a nice time to talk about it as the Vampire Crocodile has gone to study break-dance.

Vampire Bat: What? Is he seriously going to do that? He told me that he was going to the bathroom.

Vampire Owl: You know what kind of a person he is. He is always looking for opportunities to overtake his. He thinks that learning this strange art form of humans can make him more popular. It is not just the usual dance, because it has breaks; he once said!

The Creature: Greetings, vampire lords. I am from the Shadow World with a message from the Dark Overlord.

Vampire Owl: Speak, strange creature. I hope you bring good news.

The Creature: As the King of Kings, Dracula is hospitalized, we have decided to declare emergency in the borders, which means that you will have to pay tribute to the dark souls with one place of darkness for a month.

Vampire Owl: Is this really happening?

Vampire Bat: Yes, this declaration of emergency and the protection of the shadow creatures are needed to ensure that the vampire world remains safe from terrorist infiltration through the border areas.

The Creature: I shall return again next week to collect this month’s tribute, a place with darkness in its name.

Vampire Hamster: I don’t like this creature at all. Why do shadow creatures wander around the world of vampires which has no shadows or reflections?

Vampire Owl: Do you think that we can do it? Is there such a place with darkness in its name?

Vampire Bat: Yes, there is one; Andhakaranazhy – it is a beach, and the name means “The Darkness Lagoon” or “The Lagoon of Darkness”.

Vampire Owl: Fine, lets just go and explore that place then.

[Transforms a unicorn into a Honda Unicorn and leaves for Andhakaranazhy with chocolate chip cookies].

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You are arriving at Andhakaranazhy Beach. You are welcome here and be good.

Andhakaranazhy is located about twenty eight kilometres from Cochin if you take the usual route through the highway; the distance will be shorter with a few other smaller routes though, but they should be harder to find and travel through. The distance from Aleppey is around thirty four kilometres, which makes this location a nice choice from both sides of Kerala. The Cochin-Alleppey route is a nice route to travel, and there is also an Indian Coffee House at Aroor when coming from Cochin. When coming from the Aleppey side, the best option for food is the KTDC Restaurant on the way.

As you know already, there is a nice beach around here!

As you know already, there is a nice beach around here; take a walk around!

The journey from the Cochin side is through Vyttila, Maradu, Aroor and you have to take a right turn a few kilometres after you pass Thuravoor and when you go through Vayalar Railway Station, you know that you are traveling in the right direction. When you are coming from Perumbavoor, the total distance will be sixty one kilometres through thet Chithrapuzha route – people around the town can calculate accordingly. Coming from Aluva requires traveling fifty eight kilometres, and so those who are coming from places beyond that town needs to calculate based on this – it is the same distance from the Cochin International Airport.

Well, we are always fond of such wonderful sunsets, aren't we?

Well, we are always fond of such wonderful sunsets around here, aren’t we?

Those coming from Muvattupuzha side can take the Tripunithura route, and travelers from Kothamangalam side can follow the same path. The closest big town for Andhakaranazhy should be Cherthala, and it comes under the Pattanakkad Panchayath of Cherthala Taluk. If you have watched Aashiq Abu’s heavy nostalgia movie Idukki Gold, you will remember seeing this beach and the area around it. It is a beautiful place, and quite different from those usual beaches which you see around in Kerala. It is quite a neat place which is well-maintained, but will require more attention to develop it into something bigger.

The sea meets the backwaters, and the sands separate them.

The sea meets the backwaters here, and the sands separate them in style.

The crowd was there when we visited the place, but that was expected because it was the evening on a Sunday. We had some cardamom tea there, enjoying the view of the sunset. There are some good small shops all around to have some snacks. Even with the clouds threatening to bring the rain and also obstruct the view, we had some good time there on that day. The silhouettes of the trees were around, and the people looked very confident in playing with the waves; it can get rough though. There is that place where the sea joins the backwaters, and a lighthouse is also present there, catching our attention along with the other structures which are already built there.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

TeNy

The Tea Photos

It is a lovely Friday even though my laptop’s display screen desired to commit suicide; I can’t access most of my saved material, and so I will share a few tea photos taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 to make sure that this day doesn’t go as a waste 😀 The movie of the day, My God was good though. All these photos shown here were taken at Munnar, Coonnoor and Ooty.

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Hope this inspires you to have more tea 😛

TeNy