Sunday, July 8, 2012

Let me to the Valley go...

It's been a real long time, since I jotted down something, here. And it feels strange as I go through the process, acutely aware of the fact that, words flow less freely, and sense the same strangeness that creeps in, when you get back with a friend after a long lull.

But then, it feels wonderful to be back in India, and with family, slowly relishing and savouring the moments. Capturing them in words or pictures would seem to morph or distort or define the actuals, but then you get to capture them for eternity, which may otherwise dissipate (even if not all) into disjoint figments, which may again be a better alternative for some! Well, the intention of this post is to try and relive that wonderful time capsule, during which we made a short trip to Coonoor, and record few impressions which may otherwise become progressively obscure and faint.

Enroute our six hour journey, we took a short break, which was pleasantly refreshing, especially as we had a go at the swings, and the local 'bondas'. And then set off on our uphill ascent, from Mettupalayam, up the expansive Nilgiris, standing tall and impressive, 2,000 metres above sea level. Seated (clinging to our seats for dear life) in our vehicles, watching the drivers ease their way through the tantalisingly dangerous 'hairpin bends', with consummate ease was a nerve-rackingly exciting experience! And finally  found ourselves at Coonoor around lunch time, a tiny little bustling town interspersed with lush green mountain slopes and an abundance of  towering trees. The 'De Rock' took time reaching though, tucked away, almost along the edge of Lamb's Rock, from where the view down was breathtaking, and a sublime sense of tranquility pervaded our senses.

The stay at the quaint, red bricked cottages was an interesting one, with campfire and barbecue enlivening our chill evenings. The Coonoor Railway Station was a veritable scene lifted right out of a Movie, with its misty backdrop, the noisy steam engine chugging in, the ancient stone structure and the pretty wooden benches. It was a delightful experience, atleast to me. 

The Pykara Lake , the Botanical Gardens, the Kodanad View point,were the other places covered. The Kodanad had an impressive, what is termed as 'Panaromic View' and the Rangaswamy Peak and Pillar (picture) was a prominent part  of the vast landscape, with the Moya river meandering its way across the rocky terrain. Had small doses of shopping by way of Home made chocolates which much to our surprise were delicious, unlike the brittle sand like stuff dished out in Kodaikanal. Few herbal remedies, and books at the local Higginbothams,  were picked up too.

The short trek along a gurgling stream early in the morning, was the icing on the cake. Moments where you truly feel you are one with nature, when you realise how much we intrude upon her space, with scant regard or thought; how dark and mysteriously beautiful she is and how inept and insignificant we are.

The trip was a memorable one for several reasons, and truly glad and blessed we got to do it. I got to ' Stand and Stare' and ' I gazed and gazed but little thought, what wealth the show to me had brought'! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Passing Clouds

Winter seems to take leave, with a flourish, making an exit with a roar and a flash, accompanied by bursts of torrential rains. It turned bitterly cold towards the fag end of January, and we're in for some intermittent showers and strong bellowing winds.

Come to think of it, it happened last year too. Temperature plummets, before it gives way to a short but pleasant spring season. It touched around zero degree this time, and maybe lower in the wilderness. But was thankful when it slipped back to single digits, and led me to wonder how people get on with long dreary winters, putting up with the brutally harsh cold, for days together!

Skies here, are generally a huge dull blanket of greyish blue and sightings of clouds are a rare occurrence. And so when I came upon them (couple of weeks back), as they seemed to drift along and hover for a while, having lost their way, was filled with sheer, simple joy!

So tried to capture the blazing sun in its westward journey against the lovely backdrop, while racing across the desert in designated concrete paths. Was reminded of the countless mesmirising twilight scenes captured or witnessed, in India. Dusk always evokes a sense of awe and bliss, and was left with lingering thoughts as, how nature fills and paints our world in different hues, and back home led me to these immortal lines by Keats  :

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon ...


Of the few movies watched this month, nothing struck me as incredible, but wouldn't say it was disappointing too, except for Life of a Tree, which was. So thought shall put down my two cents, with scores.

~ Rango - Characters were adorable; could've been better. 7.5
~ Hugo - Was like an old fairytale, the little girl was charming. 7
~ Tintin - Good light entertainment, impressive transformation of the characters we are so used to in print. 6.5
~ Return of the Planet of Apes - Surprisingly liked parts of it, leaves an unsettling feeling. 7
The Tree of life ~ Well, somehow was left untouched, by the gravity or the sensitivity, as it should have. 6.5

Wanted to watch Descendants, but haven't as yet. As an afterthought, liked the last part of Harry Potter, the way it was wound up and absolutely loved Midnight in Paris. And how is Agneepath, honestly?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Am I Versatile??

Well, prepare yourself for a boring, insipid, narcissistic post ahead! Having said that I have to announce that I have been 'awarded' 'The Versatile Blogger' (for reasons best known to her) by Nancy of Reflections, and have been asked to do the Tag.

The rules of this tag:

 Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your Blog Post
 Thank the Blogger who nominated you
 Share 7 Random things about yourself
 Nominate 15 fellow Bloggers
 Inform the Bloggers of their nomination

So here goes, Thank you Nancy, for having conferred on me the title and the tag!

7 Random things about myself :
~ I like to add the finishing touches to any project done, and actually love the sprucing up part more than the actual project!
~ Love pastel colours, anytime, anywhere, anyday.
~ Totally at home with kids, more than grownups!!
~ Flounder a great deal when it comes to expression of speech, as compared to the written form.
~  Irked by people who do not follow the tag, 'Let live'.
~ Hand work as always been a weakness, which goes into hibernation but manages to surface with renewed passion, thankfully.
~Love Baking, and wish( if only) cooking = baking!

Now for the nominating part, it is next to impossible to hunt for 15 bloggers who drop in here! So will restrict to two, Dee, who with her open  conversations, laced with amusement and witty observations  keeps the readers entertained; and KP, with his versatile plots, storylines and characters, is a spinner of interesting tales.

More randomness -
In memory of our dear cat who choose to walk away one fine day!! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This and that

Finished the abridged version of Mahabharata, by C.Rajagopalachari, and felt that, a small part of me would be at rest, as I have always felt we gorge on stuff from across the seas more, than what is at home! Or atleast it is definitely true in my case, so don't mean to generalize. Also realised, as they say in our journeys, the destinations need not be new, the vision has to be, every time. So it goes for reading too I guess. A book may reach out, with different perspectives, over the years, as we grow, assimilate, and as our thought processes change, and invariably so does the impact the book has, on the reader. The comprehension of what is offered is in a fluid state, and such books rightly called reference guides, offer insights into the nuances of life, whatever stage one might be in. 

In this epic, there are equal doses of noble and evil individuals, fair and unfair practices, impulsive and premeditated decisions, wars won and wars lost, the whys and why nots, and all loose ends tied up in the final chapters. Interestingly came across this video clipping and it was amazing the way the presenter actually gets to analyse the epic, dissect it  ruthlessly, twist and twirl it, to come up with some brilliant analogies. (Actually enjoyed it!) 

Have started 'Ponniyin Selvan' yet another book which used to make me cringe, whenever the topic came up, for I had no inkling as to what it was all about. It is one of the most popular Tamil Classics by Amarar Kalki, a historical novel, which captured the hearts of many in the 70's. Well, was enamoured by it, even in the first few pages. Its incredible, the descriptions, the plot, the detailing, the emotions and the unraveling of the mystery laden story. 

I have never been a huge fan of historical novels, and so this makes it all the more intriguing, that I should have been taken up by it, so swiftly. Well, for now, am glad I  have a good book in hand, for the coming days or months, as it is a huge five volume tale, with fine print running across weathered, dog-eared,  musty pages.

This TED video was a bit alarming, especially those blue bubbles, and totally off beat from the above topic. (Maybe I'm watching way too many videos for my own good!)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Down memory lane...

Wishing all a Splendid New Year Ahead!!

Mine started fabulously with music, that revoked fond memories, as we were led down memory lane, by the inimitable SPBalasubramanian himself. It was an unique and an almost inexplicable experience, and was truly glad that I was able to be a part of it. 

It was a New Year bonanza for the audience, as he mesmerised them with the still magical, golden soulful voice of his. It was just as he sang...Andhi mazhlai pozhigirathu (Its raining, the evening showers), as the crowd was drenched in Golden Oldies as Engeyum Yepothum, Kaathalin Deepam onru, Mannil intha kaadhal inri, Ilaya nila...and many more lovely songs, even as we seemed to almost relive the songs and the scenes that have been entrenched for years, and held dear, in our personal 'hard disk'.

SPB as he is fondly known as, was his casual self, and there was never a dull moment, the entertainer he is, enamoured the crowd with his impromptu jibes and his near caustic witty observations. It was a treat to watch him perform on stage.

The orchestra (Saadhaga Paravaigal) was amazing too, especially the Flutist and the Drummer, and the Key Board player too. They did a flawless job, and served as a fitting accompaniment to the masetro. The new comer Sathya Prakash was  a refreshing surprise, an youngster meting out classical songs as 'Oru Naal Pothuma' and 'Paatum Naane' with ease, much to the delight of the crowd. All in all it was a lovely night, and would not have asked for a better start this year!

As the reviews for 'Mouna Guru' kept trickling in, thought will give it a shot, and did. It is a movie which has make the audience sit up and take notice of films, once again, films which do not rely on heavy cast or expensive locations, but focus, as in actually focus, on story, acting and coherence. Period. And it works. There were many loopholes, but all said, comes across as a very brave and valiant attempt. Personally the movie was a bit disturbing,-  the bordering-on-excessive use of violence and the potrayal of the fiendish, diabolic streak in men, was disheartening, even if it be the truth.

But then you can always have your dose of Pirates of Carribean, or episodes of Planet Earth to fall back on!!