Sunday, April 26, 2009

shivaji resurrected!

a movie has to be really good to inspire me to write about it on my blog on the same day! (i watched delhi 6 a few weeks back and didn't write about it at all... well you know what that says about that movie! :) )

but this is about a completely different movie... its about this marathi film called 'mee shivaji raje bhosale boltoy' which has been making waves ever since it was released... in fact it is touted as the largest grosser for a marathi film ever!

this film could also be the comeback vehicle for actor-director mahesh manjrekar whose cousin brother santosh manjrekar has directed this film.

though the film is in marathi, most of you will be able to understand if you can understand hindi... though the film is about the 'marathi manoos' rediscovering his lost pride, a person of any other community also will be able to connect with the theme of the film...

the film is very slickly produced, just like a nig-budget mainstream hindi bollywood film... the casting is excellent, the dialogues are forceful and the pace doesn't ease up at all...

the film is about a middle-class bank clerk, dinkar bhosale, who is making ends meet... he is constantly ridiculed and pressurised and insulted by his office colleagues, family members, and many others in his day-to-day life... a strange twist in the story brings him face-to-face with the resurrected maratha warrior king, shivaji maharaj at his pratapgarh fort... (this does remind of you munnabhai m.b.b.s. but this film is very different)

after this he becomes a hero of sorts and resolves many issues related to the education system, police, politicians, builders, film industry, etc. some of these resolutions are fairly cliched but the overall charm of the film is not lost...

i must've watched a marathi film after more than 20 years! and i have been trying to watch this film for the last 2 weeks and for over 5-6 times my plans changed... i was convinced this film was jinxed :)
boy, am i glad i persisted and finally watched it earlier tonight...

if you are a maharashtrian, its a shame if you haven't wacthed this film yet!
if you are not, but are living in maharashtra (or were living in the past) then you must definitely watch this film...
and if you are not living in maharashtra and you do not understand marathi, then you should hire a dvd with sub-titles and watch this film...

you will thank me after watching it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

bon appetit!

yesterday was vishu... which is the mallu new year ... it also happens to be the new year for tams... (if i don't mention this here, big boss will go 'hmmp' at me! :P )

like any other mallu festival, vishu is also just another excuse for mallus to go around wearing their crisp white shirts and starched dhotis and have a huge meal on a banana leaf...

no mallu festival is complete without a huge stomach-stretching meal! and its called a 'sadhya' and there's nothing sad about them except that we have only one stomach to stuff all the food into! these are literally mini-orgies where mountains (some might call them mounds, but that depends on which side of the vindhyas you are from!) of rice are polished off with almost a dozen other accompaniments... and you better not try say the names of the dishes to any hot-blooded north indian else he will bloody your crisp white shirt assuming you were saying rude things to him and his ancestors!

no mallu sadhya is complete without a few basic dishes including avial, olan or kalan, sambar, ingi-pulli, thoran, pachadi, papadam, payasam, banana chips, chakaraperati (sweetened banana chips)... trust me, all these dishes taste much better than they sound! :P

and then while i was recovering from a huge meal by wallowing all over the couch like a beached whale, i started thinking... which is what i do when i am full and satiated...
among other things i thought, i realised that its not only the mallu festivals which are about food...

most hindu festivals are gastronomical celebrations... and i think that's the single most important reason why kids love festivals and all of us have fond memories of festival celebrations... whether it is diwali or holi or vishu or pongal or navratri or teej or khojagiri or any other festival of any of the hundreds of communities in india always have some focus on the unique kind of food that is associated with that festival...

and somehow food plays an important part in these festivals because, i think, food generates a sense of well-being and prosperity and peace in the community... a well-fed person, like a well-fed lion, is always less likely to snap or growl or be a general nuisance to the soceity at large!

i'm all for all our festivals and i believe that they should be celebrated with all the elaborate ritual and gaiety... and on those days, keep aside your chronic concern for calories and just dig in... bon appetit! :)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

lost in the grandeur

last night i dreamt of
snow-capped mountains
and mountain streams,
virgin beaches and dense woods.

and you were flying
by my side as we took in
the panoramic scenes
that filled our vision while we
lost ourselves in the grandeur.

and when i awoke
you were still there beside me
and i watched as you slept
your perfect lips lightly smiling
the cascading hair, and a few
errant strands across your face.

and that's when i lost myself
again in the grandeur of this vision!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

sun and sand and a good time!

the golden square gang was at it again! doing what we love doing... we used the holiday last friday and went on a weekend getaway... this time it was to the coastal city of karwar.

we were 10 families, 37 individuals... the youngest was a little over a year old and the oldest was... (i am not telling you our secrets! it makes me feel too old actually! :P )

we had booked cottages at the devbagh beach resort which is a beautiful resort with furnished cottages, log-huts and tents situated in the midst of a dense casuarina grove. the resort is on prime property, right next to the devbagh beach with clean, beautiful sandy beaches and blue-green waters of the arabian sea.

we took the matsyagandha express from mumbai which is a convenient train to reach karwar and the kids always enjoy a good train ride. it always adds a sense of adventure to any trip!

we spent three days at the resort and didn't move out for any local sight-seeing, though there are many options in the vicinity. but we still had a action-packed and fun-filled time at the resort itself.

we were taken out to the deep sea for a joy-ride and we were hoping to see some dolphins which can be spotted here... but we were not lucky. though one of our team members was luckier and he managed to spot some dolphins the next day when he had gone snorkelling.

we also managed a few water sports including a banana-boat ride, water scooter rides, kayaking, etc. and these were activities which even the kids could do safely... and they had a whale of a time! we also spent a lot of time at the beach... and it was so refreshing as compared to the beaches in mumbai... it was far less crowded, the sand was golden, the water was also so clean... the kids and adults alike did not want to step out of the water!

the food was also very good... not the usual greasy punjabi food that you get in most of the resorts... here they served a lot of local dishes which everybody enjoyed... since we were the largest group at the resort, they even asked us if we would like any specific dish prepared... and they made some amazing local crab preparation (as reported by the carnivores in the group! :P )

while the kids did their own thing, we adults played antakshari, dumb charades, taboo, teen-patti, etc. but the highlight of the trip was the impromptu game of throw-ball that we came up with... we played on the last two days and they were very exciting matches... each point was hard-fought... the only problem was that in the enthusiasm we'd forgotten that our bodies were no longer as young as they used to be... we were all aching all over after the trip! :P

so if you are looking for a relaxed weekend to destress yourself, then karwar is the place to head for!

here are the pics of our trip which will give you an idea of the place and the activities

and here are some amazing nature pictures from karwar

(all pics courtesy - murli nambiar)

Friday, April 03, 2009

lazy sunny afternoon

i lie on my back
on this grassy knoll
content watching the clouds
as they form strange patterns
in my head.

a lazy stream gurgles
somewhere nearby
as it meanders across
trying to find meaning
through its wandering
towards the sea beyond
the distant horizon.

she's also lying beside me
maybe dozing
or is that her humming
my favourite song?
we both don't utter a word
lest we disturb the
comfortable silence
cocooning us.

her delicate perfume
wafts across and mingles with
the smell of the grass
crushed under our bodies
and makes for a heady mixture
that i inhale deeply.

i shut my eyes softly
and now
i'm at peace with the universe.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

at the ocean's edge

i sat at the ocean's edge
for three days at a stretch,
watching her every move
as her waves crept up and drenched me.

i could taste her salt in the wind
as it whipped against my face.
she supported life within her
and at arm's length i waited
for her life-saving embrace.

i was thirsty, parched
my lips cracked
but not a drop could she spare
to quench my thirst.

and finally defeated, i stood
to turn back home.
and that's when the cloud burst
and she reached out to me
from the heavens!