Monday, April 27, 2009

Overheard: at IGI airport arrivals hall

One man says to another, dekho ji, koi free drink ka coupon de raha hai, koi 'yes sir, yes sir' keh raha hai, yahan to pura mahoul hi badal gaya!

Welcome to the new IGI airport in Delhi. Where the floors and loos are clean, the duty-free shops are well-stocked and most shocking of all, the staffers are all polite.


Translation: Look here, someone is giving a coupon for free drinks, someone is saying "yes sir, yes sir", the entire atmosphere has changed here!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Kerala Trip - Day 7

Day 7

The backwaters of Kumarakom to Coimbatore

* Early morning --- we're all up for the alarms needed!

* It's so peaceful and quiet, I love it!

* Morning tea in the open air living area, while the handover for the next family vacation is discussed Olympic in before one Olympics ends, the location for the next one is announced! It's to be at our family village on the banks of the Soan river in Bihar, and we will hopefully explore Nalanda, Rajgir, Varanasi and more!

* A couple of hours of sailing back to our mooring....we have a bit of poetry reading, with my ma-in-law reading some of her new poems! Wah, what an atmosphere to read poetry!

* We're back already? No, no it's too soon, can we rewind, I don't want to get off the kettuvellum!

* I walk about a bit and find this lovely temple next to where we are moored. I pay my respects from afar, hoping to come back some day.

* All good things must come to an end, I suppose! We start our long drive to Coimbatore and then from there to Bangalore the next morning.

* Puncture stop! Luckily it's a nice shady spot, with an interesting love and happiness ashram across the road and a temple on a hill nearby....not that we go exploring, just nice sights to see from afar!

* End of the trip!

I suddenly realized I had not posted this last edition.....and thought I must clear all old vacation posts, before I head out on a new one ;-)

See my older posts on this vacation: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5 & Day 6

It's raining again!

-----------------on our front steps, fallen blooms of bougainvillea---------------

It's raining again!

I woke up at 530am to the sound of thunder and big fat drops of rain on the window. What a great way to wake up! It seemed to have petered off by 6am and so I decided to go for a walk, and lo and behold when I step out it's still drizzling! I went back to get my umbrella, which usually gets taken out only to combat the sun, and set out for a walk. I hadn't gone for a walk in the rain for ages and it was such a nice experience that brought back memories of college days, of driving my cute moped in the rain, bunking classes and sitting with a cup of coffee under a tree, with some intrepid thela-wala!

------------------------------------------stormy skies-------------------------------------

This morning it was so gusty that a couple of spokes in my umbrella broke by the time I got back home! Now I sit here in my living room, listening to the musical noise of the rain as it comes and goes and see it glisten on the trees outside. I'm listening to country music, which along with jazz is my perfect rainy day music. I think it's to do with the music we listened to at the orchard during summer vacations. Rain was a big deal for me then and it still remains to this date.

----------on my walk, holding on to the umbrella, holding on to the camera---------

Hope you enjoyed walking through the rain with me :-)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The end of the road for me on flickr

I'm really sad about it, but that's it I'm afraid. Living in the country that I am, means that sites like Flickr are not permitted, even though one of the two internet service providers was allowing it so far. I've immensely enjoyed using Flickr as a photo sharing site, and have enjoyed even more meeting a wonderful set of friends whose photos I love to see just as much as I love to post my own photos. I really cannot imagine how I will fill the gap, but I really cannot do anything about it.

Since I will not be in this country for the next month, I will be able to freely use the site and I suppose I will really relish it more than you can imagine. The past year has been an amazing experience and my flickr friends have helped me through so much, mostly without them even knowing what was going on in my life. It's been a great way to get away from the issues I have been facing and a great stress relief.

I have come to identify each of my close flickr friends and whenever I see a cup of steaming tea I will think of Archana and Nahal and how effortlessly they are able to create such drama with even the simplest of things, even a simple cup of tea. Ah, but you see, it's so much more than just a "simple" cup of tea for them and my love for tea is definitely owed to both of them. How can I see beautiful ceramic pottery without thinking of Madge, and how I am going to miss Sandy's posts of darling June as she grows. I will miss Chitra and Ashwin's fantastic skill with the camera, at finding magic in just a leaf and a cobweb and in beautiful loving hands so gloriously showcased to an ever-growing fan club.

I will miss my new flickr friend Lakshmi's view of the world, they way she makes even a single flower or a shadow on a cushion into art. I will miss sellinstix fantastic views of Alberqurque, where we find so many similarities to buildings right here. I will miss seeing the spring through Rosy's eyes, as the St Lawrence thaws. I will miss Kay and her amazing vintage finds and Amy's inspiring creativity.

I will miss Anoop's stunning panoramic shots of Kochi and Goa and his witty comments. I will miss KittyKaht's vibrant views of Bombay, Mayuri's quick wit, Shuma's view of London, Shilpa's adorable curly haired daughter, shilpa (silpam's) way with light and shadow, click-n-joy's awesome sunsets and Panache's creativity. I will miss Katja's quietly elegant photos and Leslie's stunning views of the sky and trees that I love so much.

I will miss MsGooner's special brand of silvery bokeh, Leelawadee's heartfelt photos of flowers and the temples of Chiang Mai, Wandering Hermit's stunning shots of snow peaked mountains, rajat's photos of my favorite place in the whole wide world, the beautiful hills of Himachal and so many more.

I suppose now I will focus a bit more on blogging and will catch up with the photos of all those who also have blogs and post photos on their blogs, but I will certainly miss the feeling of home that I had among these and so many more of my friends on this wonderful platform. Thanks to the constant encouragement from all of them, I have progressed to this extent, which is really obvious if you to to my oldest uploaded photos.....actually don't go there, they're really not very good.

I will miss all of these and so many of my other friends whose photos I see on a daily basis, whose comments I get on a daily basis and whose support I will always cherish. Hopefully I will be able to come back one day....who knows when!

Interestingly, I can still see comments on my photos there as I had subscribed to the comment feed via Bloglines! Oh how complex is our Internet world of today, but I do love how it offers so many interesting solutions as well. I could probably try to upload via Big Huge Labs, but it's not just the posting of photos, it's the interaction that's so important.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

quote: living life

Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
-Hans Christian Andersen

Sunday, April 05, 2009

list: movies that I love going back to

A list for every month, said us list maniac's Kanchan at Elan and Lakshmi at Celebrations of Life, and so here is a new list for a new month!

The list this month is on movies, those that I love to see again and again, movies that resulted in a lifelong interest, and movies that inspired me. The list is quite varied and includes movies that I have seen ages ago, but still remember scenes so perfectly. I love all kinds of movies, so found it really hard to make a short list of favorite movies, so have kept it to those that have stood out and become more than movies to me.

* Anne of a Thousand Days, about Anne Boleyn, the infamous and scandalous second wife of King Henry VIII of England, who ruled for only 1000 days. I saw this movie in boarding school, where we were shown suitably historic and classical movies every other Sunday, probably when I was 10-12 years old. It is the reason for my continued interest in Tudor England and historical books and movies till date. When I visited London several years back, going to The Tower of London was my most important agenda, so see The Tower Green, Traitor's Gate and the rest of it all. The movie stars Richard Burton as Henry VIII, which is reason enough to see it again even now!

* Young Catherine, about the early life of Catherine the Great of Russia. I saw this movie on TV on the recommendation of my sister who loves history even more than me and has a great memory of dates, names and places. This movie stars Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Plummer, Julia Ormond and a host of other great actors. The movie is about a young German princess who is selected to marry the Russian King, who is a bit demented and is controlled by his mother. A great movie for history buffs.

* Gandhi, the movie that we see every year. I love this movie not only because it has so much history for all of us, a movie about a man who changed the country and a movie that always makes me emotional. I find this movie to be very inspiring, a movie and a man that one should not forget and relegate to calenders. One of my favorite quotes of all time " the change you want to see in the world" is by MK Gandhi.

Another reason that I love it so much is because it has my hubby, and in-laws are in it! My father-in-law and hubby (he was 12 years old then) appear in the beginning of the movie as part of the crowd walking by on Birla House lawns, my father-in-law in the traditional topi easily stands out! My ma-in-law was in the scene at the end of the movie when Gandhi is shot, and still has the sari she wore that day with the fake blood on it. She also played the role of Nehru's secretary in a couple of scenes, but they didn't make it to the final edit and so I'm always on the lookout for a DVD of Gandhi with the deleted scenes :-)

* Sholay, one of the best Hindi movies ever made I feel. A predictable choice, since millions of people love it, but I love it's cowboy western feel, since I was a big fan of Louis L'Amour books growing up. It was great to see where it was shot on our recent Kerala trip....we drove past the area with the huge boulders!

* Musicals, all kinds of musicals, everything from Grease to Dirty Dancing to Flashdance to Footloose. I loved all of them and love seeing them again.

* Thrillers, who-dun-its, crime-capers, I find them all hard to resist. Everything from The Day of the Jackal, Sidney Sheldon's adaptation of If Tomorrow Comes (which was a mini-series and not a movie), The Eagle has Landed, The Bourne series and many more!

* Some English movies that I love include Seabiscuit, Mr Holland's Opus, Chocolat, Remember the Titans, Good Will Hunting, The Emperor's Club, Music of the Heart, Shakespeare in Love, Stick It, Immortal Beloved and Amadeus.

* I love the newer type of contemporary Hindi movies such as Lakshya (listening to it's music as I write this!), Dil Chahta Hai, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Saathiya, Guru, Monsoon Wedding, Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par (oh god, how I cry each time I see him being left at the boarding school, brings back so many memories and butterflies in my tummy), Jodha Akbar, Swades, Chak De, Munnabhai and so many that I can't seem to remember right now!

Hope you enjoyed my list!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

waqt ka kya bharosa

Heard the song 'Right here, Right now' from Bluffmaster after absolutely ages and remembered how unexpectedly beautiful the words were.

Waqt ka kya bharosa
ban ke paani beh jaaye
kal agar na mil paye
reh na jaye baat baaki