Friday, October 28, 2005

A Very Short Post!

Found this really great web site. If you are a journalist or interested in media or law, check out
For law in India, and are good.
For a one stop site for the day's news headlines from leading Indian dailies, go to

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Some Travel Advice

Cant say I have travelled everywhere. But I have been around a bit in India and have read enough travel mags and books to be called something of an authority. Here is some advice:

Never, ever believe travel guide books or be fascinated with brochures from the information office. Never plan a trip based on the photos you see, they are never so good in real life. I had a hands-on experience last year. I had planned this whole trip around South India. We did cover a lot of places and had a marvelous time. But the places were of major disappointment. None of the temples and the paintings were as good as they had looked on the advertisements.

Also, talk to the local people. The purpose of travel is to meet people and interact. Talking to locals gets you the best deals as to food, shelter. They will also let you in on the places that are no where mentioned in guide books. I found out about Dhanushkodi when talking to this policeman in Rameshwaram. I am not fluent in Tamil but some sign language got us to one of the most amazing places I have ever been to.

Thirdly, don't travel with a fixed plan. Have a general idea where you want to go but keep some time apart to discover. That is where you will find all the adventures. The path along the road less travelled is where the mystery of discovery lies.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Motorcycle Diaries

I believe I wrote about this movie before. But it is so good, I just have to dedicate a whole post to it.

Motorcycle Diaries is a Spanish film made in 2004 by Walter Salles, starring Cael Garcia Bernal as Che (he is so cute!) and Rodrigo de la Serna as Alberto. It describes the journey Ernesto 'Che' Guevera undertook with his friend Alberto Granado in 1957. Che, as am sure everyone knows, was a Cuban revolutionary leader who has a cult following even today. This journey was the turning point in his life. He was a medical student who decided to take a year off and travel around Latin America, just for the fun of it. But this road trip turns serious when he sees the problems of people, their poverty and their destitution. This and a number of other events turn him into a revolutionary. The best thing is his ideology sprang from his real life experiences and not from the writing of anyone. For more on this amazing personality, you can check

Now about the movie. The entire film is an account of his travels from Argentina to Venezuela, first on a battered motorcycle and later on foot. The narrative is based on his diaries.
I am not an authority on cinema but I have seen plenty of films in my time! And I can confidently say that this is one of the best films I have ever seen. The cinematography is simply amazing. Every shot is like a picture postcard. The frames are lines of poetry in motion that flow like like the gentle river, now and then on stones and pebbles, now silent, now in a rush. See, I am writing poetry too! That is what the movie does to you.

The movie inspires you to just get up from you chair, sling a bag on your shoulders and just take off, even if it is just a day trip. I have always been a travel freak and this movie has just driven me to an extreme desire to travel- anywhere. I could go on about the movie but better still would be for you to watch it. And please do watch it and see if it does not change you at least a bit.

There are some great quotes in the film. Sample these:
"Let the world change you, and you can change the world." (This is the theme line.)
"...left behind civilisation to be closer to the Earth."
"When you cross a frontier, every moment seems split in two, melancholy at leaving something behind and excitement at what is ahead."
"We travel just to travel."
"How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world I never knew?", asks Che at Machu Pichu in Peru.
" gotta fight for every breath and tell Death to go to hell."

Travel is..... I cant describe its wonder. Everyone must travel, whether to your backyard or to anywhere. It opens up your mind, gives you something to get by, makes an existence a life, inspires...
So travel, or atleast watch Motorcycle Diaries! See It has some good links.

Friday, October 21, 2005


I was wondering how this tagging starts. Do these questions come out of anywhere in particular or from the creative depths of fellow bloggers, I wonder. Anyway, I thought I would start one on my own.

Things that touched me recently:

(1) An old couple: Was in the city today and I saw this couple at a departmental store. The lady was one of those traditional Tamil Iyengar pattis (thats Tamil for grandmother) in a nine-yard saree and diamond nose stud. She was ordering about the poor husband but her love for him was soooo obvious. On the way back to their hotel, he was leading her by hand. They looked so sweet. I dont want to grow to be too old but looking at them, I began to think that if I get married, I would want to grow old like that!

(2) A girl: The bus I took back to uni was very crowded and this girl asked me to hold her umbrella. While giving it back, she gave me a very sweet thanks. You dont get to see many genuine smiles these days.

(3) A dog: While going on the bus, I saw this cute little puppy tied to a pole. It was pulling at the rope with all its might. Made me think of my dog Ginger.

(4) Shiny stuff: I went to this mall in the city today and was just window shopping. I loved this one shop which was selling jewellery. It was brightly lit up and each piece of jewellery was looking so incredibly beautiful. It made me thank the good God that I was a girl so that I can dress up!

(5) Life: Travelling always gets me thinking and I did a bit of it on the 45-min journey back to uni. I realized that life had touched me in so many ways recently. I am surrounded with love from friends, family, my work. I realized I had a lot to be thankful for.....small joys matter!

Now, San Nakji, you are the first to be tagged! So are Arun, Adam, Ajit and Karthik, if they are okay with writing such stuff.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sick....and tagged!

San Nakji was wondering why some bloggers on his privileged list (Thanks so much for putting me there!) dont post regularly. I would if I had easy access to the net. We have just one cyber centre on campus and I hate waiting..... Anyway I was sick for the past few days, got a very very sore throat. I promised myself I would give my voice some rest, then broke it by chatting away to glory! Now its worse! :-(

I havent been reading any other blogs recently and didnt realize I was tagged. San Nakji reminded me that I had to write about...

What Movie Scenes Always Make You Cry (Or would if you were a big crying crier):
This is hard because I am not a crying kind of person. Anyway...

(1)Braveheart- when Gibson cries out for freedom before dying.

(2) Black- when Rani makes her little speech in class.

(3) Titanic- when Leo dies (of course! I had a huge crush on him then!)

(4) Mathrubhoomi- when the female lead is assaulted even when she is pregnant.

(5)Khamoshi- the first and only movie I cried with. It was really long ago and I dont remember the scene very well.

Every Bollywood tear-jerker makes me sit up with a little doubt as to whether the guy and the girl will stay together even though I know they do. Like I said, I never cry at the movies, though I do feel sad.
And now for TV scenes. I have stopped watching TV altogether except for the news (yes people, I am a little boring!).
But the series Roswell overwhelmed me every time. I simply loved every scene, every episode of it.

Phew! That was tough! I know tag Karthik and Ajit Chauhan. Anyone else, you are welcome to invite yoursef and get tagged. Just leave me a comment!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

On The Personal Front

I sort of had decided against writing personal stuff in my blog but ah well...!
This is to say that I got my ears pierced again. I now have two ear studs in each ear. No big deal but considering what happened the first time I got my ear pierced, this was a big deal. I was very young and my mother had taken me to a hospital to get the piercing done. She tells me that i screamed so loud that people from the cinema theatre nearby came running to see what was happening!! She was sooo embarrassed.
This time was totally fine. I went with my friend Raji and it didnt hurt a bit. Looking at mine and her ears (she has three in each ear!), ma was very impressed and got a pair too!
Today she was hurting quite a bit and was cursing my lack of sensitivity and my inability to feel physical pain! He hee hee!!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Madikeri Dasara...Aha!

The pictures, not very good I am afraid, are from Google images.
Madikeri Dasara....! Where do I begin to explain its beauty!
Mysore Dasara takes the cake for its historical significance, the royalty involved, the sheer granduer and the kind of marketing that goes into making it world famous. Caprisoned elephants go in procession around the city. The main elephant carries a 750-kg gold throne in which an idol of Goddess Chamundi is placed. In front there are tableaux and artists showcasing folk dances from around the state. I hear it is very beautiful. It is so crowded, impossible to go near and have a look.
Madikeri Dasara is not so. It starts at night and the procession goes on till the next morning. There are ten floats/mantapas/tableaux like in the picture below. The idols are based on mythological stories and incidents. They are made by temples in Madikeri, are heavily lit with special effects and are accompanied by a band playing music and lots of people dancing. Now, to dance in front has been a dream of mine for so long. Ma puts her foot down here as girls dont go dancing like that. :-(
The preparations go on for a couple of months. The Navarathri starts with a lot of enthusiasm in the air. The first picture is that of 'Karagas' , where idols are placed on the shaven head of men and taken around the town. There are only four of these, one each from the four temples of the Shakti Devathes. These men are to be under strict discipline as to their diet and personal hygiene. These Karagas are not to come face to face with each other during teir walk around the town as that would bring bad luck. Also the idol is not placed on the ground anywhere except in the temple.
The procession starts in the late evening. There is an orchestra to entertain the crowds throughout the night. Madikeri Dasara gets lakhs of people every year.
It is our Nadahabba. And what can i say. The entire town is involved in it and that makes it all the more special. For us, it is a celebration of life and the spirit of faith that is embedded by tradition and culture so much a part of India. Though Navarathri is a Hindu festival, Dasara transcends all faiths and is more about faith in humanity.
I say this time and again, that the faith of people in India is amazing. Every year the rain plays spoil-sport on the celebrations. Priests and the devout pray in advance for the rains to stop. Though it rains nevertheless, it did this year too, The sky becomes amazingly clear during the main part of the procession. This may be purely coincidental but we like to believe in the power of collective faith.

This year Dasara was rather special. Two of my good friends from class, Raji and Mahesh had come. Also students from Norway who are in my uni on an exchange programme, were here too. So I had super fun with Marit, Maiken, Ingvild, Kim, Nils and Helge and Mahesh and Raji. Ooh I forget, my cousin Ranju too!
More later on Norway......

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Dog Club

Thanks to Ajit Chauhan's blog, I got to know about this really cool website at As is obvious, its all about dogs. There are these little doggies that bark when you place the cursor on them. Sooooo cute!
Also found this clock that I have put up on my blog. I realize it looks sorely out of place on the template that I use, but what the heck! Its too cute!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

;-( Tagged Again!

I have been tagged again by San Nakji! This time, five songs that I am loving right now. I dont get the time to listen to music much but here goes....

1.Jo Pyar Tune Mujhko Diyatha- by Mukesh. Its a very sad song and always manages to depress me. I love it nevertheless.

2.Here With Me- by Dido. It was in the soundtrack of my favourite series Roswell and I have always liked it a lot.

3. I Shall Believe- by Sheryl Crow. It has a haunting kind of sound that I love.

4. Forever and For Always- by Shania Twain. Soooo romantic.

5.Bhale Bhale Chandada Chenduli- from the Kannada movie Amritavarshini. The music of this song is amazing.

Whee! That was easy. Actually there are many more songs that I know i love, just cant remember right now. I would tag Karthik, Arun, Adam and anyone else who want to be tagged because i still dont know who reads my blog!

PS: is a good website to listen to Kannada songs though I think you will have to register.