Seven Nations of My Travel

1. United Kingdom: As I place a quick writing on the seven countries which I have visited in my life, this one basically counts as two nations, as we did visit both England and Scotland. We remember the same from those cricket matches itself. It was also the biggest journey we had, not just with the amount spent for flight as well as the time spent on transit, but also with the world which we had there to witness. From the monuments to writers to those huge church buildings, there were a lot to be witnessed, and the traces of history out there was indeed splendid. You know that there is Canterbury Cathedral, Lake District, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and more, being part of a very long list.

This is one massive structure at Liverpool that reminds us of our minuteness.

2. Sri Lanka: The Sri Lankan trip happened in the same year as the journey to UK. Both of these trips were actually the result of the inability to go for that Israel-Palestine-Jordan-Egypt trip which was supposed to be the official Holy Land trip. So, we ended up in Ceylon, the world of serenity with tea and Buddhism, even though we were there more for a Ramayana tour rather than anything else. The most beautiful place out there was Nuwara Eliya, a hill station which was indeed the Little England. It was a world which felt closer to Kerala in many ways, especially the nature and the climate prevailing out there. We were very close to going back there again.

Nuwara Eliya, my favourite hill station with awesome tea and natural beauty.

3. Thailand: Well, we all know that everyone wishes to go to Pattaya. The Malayalam movie, Amar Akbar Anthony had made it clear already, and there were indeed more Keralites around than people from anywhere else outside that nation. Pattaya is indeed a charming place, a perfect beach-based destination, while Bangkok is the city with the charm. Bangkok Metro also became the third metro I had traveled outside India after London, Singapore and Malaysia, a metro which I traveled in, even before traveling in the Kochi Metro which was already running. The Buddhist temples of the place has the charm too, even though we got to visit only two of them.

The beach at Pattaya about which you know very well from movies!

4. Indonesia: The trip which followed exactly one year after the journey to Thailand was to Indonesia, or the beautiful island of Bali, to be exact. Visiting the one place in Indonesia which was so popular with its natural beauty, beaches and Hindu temples became the next on the list. It is also that nation where you become a millionaire due to the exchange rate even though the cost doesn’t go down in comparison to India. You have those differently designed temples, the rice terraces, volcanoes and a divergent culture out there. There are places for some nice shopping too, even though we do need a direct flight to Bali rather than being forced to travel through Kuala Lumpur.

Everybody loves Bali, and you will love the place too, once you are there!

5. Singapore: This is a journey which happened much earlier in comparison to those other foreign trips. The trip to Singapore was also our first journey outside India, and it is also the result of a failed plan to travel to the United States which had become very strict with its visa policies after the World Trade Centre attacks. Well, you have Singapore, which has been the cleanest place you could be, as far as Asia is concerned. Being in a place outside the nation, it was a rewarding experience, and it would take another five years to go on a journey like this one, and another eight years for another foreign journey. Well, some years are indeed special in more than one way.

6. Malaysia: While Singapore had its Sentosa Island, Genting Highland make the highlight for Malaysia which was known for its Petronas Towers. We could go to the top of the tower though, as we were restricted to a few levels then. One has to say that Genting is a place of beauty like no other, not just related to nature, but also associated with the attractions which were provided in that particular theme park. We do have the journey on the ropeway, and Kuala Lumpur is a nice city to roam around too. It is to be noted that my first visit to a shopping mall was not in India, but at Singapore and then in Malaysia. We visited Kuala Lumpur airport again during our journey to Indonesia and back.

7. UAE: Almost everyone from Kerala has been to UAE, or rather Dubai in particular. Our visit to Dubai was rather a short stay during the journey to the United Kingdom. Emirates flight made a happy journey, and Dubai indeed has one of the best airports around, even though my personal preference is still the Cochin International Airport. We had to spend a lot of time at the airport, and therefore I could explore the place very well. I can go to Dubai at any moment as there are so many people I know right there, but even so, we are indeed getting delayed. Easiest places to visit are often the most difficult places to reach, just like it has been a while since we wanted to visit our relatives in Bangalore. A detailed note on the place will come soon enough.

<—Click here to go to the previous post.

<— Click here to go to the last film review.

***The images used in blog post were taken by me during these trips between 2005 and 2019.

TeNy

Creating New Destinations

There have been lots of occasions when movies have created future travel destinations for us, just like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara created and developed Spain as a popular destination among us, even as I don’t have that much of a high opinion about that bourgeoisie movie rooted in Carpe Diem. Some of the popular destinations include the United States, UAE and Malaysia as far as Malayalam movies are concerned, but these won’t be part of this, as I would rather talk about some movies which has given us certain destination to keep in our minds.

The movies that I have listed here are all recommended, even as I can’t guarantee that they will work for everyone. But there is certainty about its assertion of location, and we shall not go on without feeling something for the places where these movies were shot. There will always be people who are not in need of magic or imagination in their lives, and for such people, I hope they will find their own movies of this kind. All the images used in this post are from the official pages of these movies (Amen, Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal and London Bridge).

The masterpiece which was Amen; it is also a visual spectacle at its best

The masterpiece which was Amen; it is also a visual spectacle at its best

5. Mazhavillu (Germany)
This is a tragic love story set in Germany, and the songs as well as the cinematography makes one fall in love with a location which was not much popular in Malayalam movies. The movie has about five beautiful songs, two of them powerfully linked to the seasons of the place, and clearly reflecting the moods of nature. Even as there is city life, the rural locations are given a lot of significance in this movie as it focuses on the romance and the terror that awaits the lovers which would break down their life and can send them into the depths of a never-ending abyss. I would strongly recommend the songs of this movie with the video, especially “Ponnolathumbi” – the lyrics and the tune nicely works in the minds of the viewers with the visuals.

4. Yodha (Nepal)
Nepal has been one of my favoured destinations since the first time watched this movie, and with its wonderful monuments, and the feeling that this movie gives, there should have been a lot of visitors to Nepal. But that time of release was not really a period of travel, wasn’t it? The human life used to be so simple at that time, and we could live life as it was meant to be. One thing certain about Yodha is that it has undoubtedly created that spark for one day traveling to Nepal in the minds of a lot of people, and even as it won’t come alive now, that factor will show its flame sooner or later. Such is the influence that this movie, its situations and dialogues got for its viewers.

Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal nicely portrays the scenic beauty and connects it to the idea

Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal nicely portrays scenic beauty & connects it to the idea

3. Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal (Lakshadweep and Andaman)
This movie takes its viewers to that enchanting world of islands, lagoons and sea like never before, as it explores human selfishness in comparison to the sword-fish, and a love story that stands the tests of the world, and another which blossoms into beauty. With its excellent style of narration and the beautiful world that it brings to its viewers in the form of seaside splendour, Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal is a thought-provoking adventure with a strong romantic side, working strongly to create an eternal bond with the islands off the Indian coast and will surely boost its tourism up-to an extent – only if people had the brains to understand its idea better! Read review at: http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/mosa/

2. London Bridge (London and Scottish Highlands)
Despite its average performance, London Bridge is a powerful display of the beauty of the city of London as well as the natural splendour of Scotland. If you get a chance to go through any of the songs of this movie, it would be perfectly clear. As a beautiful movie with beautiful people and beautiful locations, this movie has got complete control of its locations as it uses them to full advantage, especially the seasons of autumn, winter and spring. The bridge itself is the symbol of the connections in this movie, and we can see it quite often. If nothing much has inspired you enough to visit the United Kingdom, this surely will, as long as you have the eyes to appreciate beauty and a mind worth enough. Read review at: http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/london-bridge/

London Bridge has that beauty which can make Dracula take a stake through his heart

London Bridge has that beauty which can make Dracula take a stake through his heart

1. Amen (Kerala Backwaters)
The visual glory of Amen is something that can never be questioned even in the least spectacular shot that the movie can offer. It is undoubtedly Lijo Jose Pelllissery’s magnum opus, and along with itself being a magical movie, the visuals are also simply out of this world. Set in Kuttanad, the movie tells the story of a group of people living around a church, and there is a romantic love story nicely woven around music and a competition among the music bands. Supposed to be remade in Bollywood with Ranbir Kapoor in the leading role, one has to wonder if the beauty of the backwaters which this movie has so efficiently using in portraying its message and visually mesmerizing the audience can work this well anywhere else. Read review at: http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/amen/

TeNy