Sunday, December 11, 2016

Kahaani 2 - Could Have Been Sharper

Went to Kahaani 2 with lots of expectation but returned with a feeling that the movie could have been sharper and shorter.  Like in earlier Kahaani, Vidya Balan is in almost every frame and has carried the movie single handedly.

Movie starts off showing the strong bond between Vidya Balan and her teenage kid who is confined to wheelchair.  All of a sudden, child goes missing and in ensuing panic Vidya Balan gets hit by a car and goes into Coma.  Then comes the dramatic twist about Vidya's past in a Kalimpong school.  All these does keep the momentum of the movie, but after a while scenes become predictable and one could also predict the next scene.  

Also,  I wish the story kept the focus and not branch out into to subplots.  Storyline should have just focussed on Vidya and the kid.  Instead, it starts veering into the first marriage of Vidya and the police officer, an unnecessary twist which just 'slows' down the story telling and doesn't contribute to the main thread.

But, I liked 'realistic' cinematography.  Art department hasn't tried to create perfect visuals, but has let the narrow streets of Kolkata and Kalimpong speak for itself.

Overall, enjoyed the movie and would give 4 stars out of 5. See it for Vidya Balan. (Rating - ****)

ps: For the first time, went to INOX theaters in Chennai Citi Center.  While getting in and out of the movies was relatively easy (unlike Satyam complex), sound system left much to be desired and definitely needs an upgrade.

Also, got to experience the playing of national anthem after the recent Supreme Court order.  My only gripe is that anthem version played was too fast.  It should have been slower.. lot slower.

#Kahaani2 #Movies 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Yoga By the Beach

I had been wanting to do this for a while.. got a chance today.  Thoroughly enjoyed the session, wish had done more..
 Sirasana - Doing this facing the ocean was tougher than doing it facing west.  It has got to do with the slope towards the water.
Anjaneyasana - Needed to stretch even more.. could have done a better job.. :-)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

'Stuff of the Legends'

Who is the legend in this photo?

So, I bumped into this guy in my routine Bengaluru flight.  I generally dose off during this puddle jumper to makeup for waking up early.  But this time I somehow struck a conversation with my neighbor and that made the generally monotonous one hour flight interesting.

Guy next seat mentioned that he has seen me in some runs and boy I started yalking away about my running 'exploits'.  As I was reeling off my running stories, I too remembered seeing him somewhere.  So, I asked him..

"I have seen you somewhere too.. Was there a story about you in The Hindu?"

"Yes".. He said coolly and politely.  What I discovered later about him, squarely shut my mouth.. :-)

He turned out to be Sridhar Venkatesh who is perhaps the only 'Indian' to have participated in Marathon De Sables, the gruelling six day, self sustained 250k trek across Sahara.  I asked him how did he train for it in Chennai?

Sridhar said, he got an online coach and ran a minimum of 10K per day and a marathon every weekend (with a backpack) for the Sahara adventure.  He also learned the value taking 'salt tablets', which according to him is very useful in the long runs.

Marathon De Sables is definitely stuff of the legends and I am glad I got to meet one.

So, now you know who is the legend in this photo.. A big bow to you Sridhar.  You have inspired me to 'dust off' Comrades from my bucket list.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

My Vote Goes to..

My Vote Goes To..

Tamil Nadu is under severe election fever besides the usual heat wave during this time of the year.   This election is also seeing a unique electoral alliances by various parties.  While Amma has decided to go it alone, Kalaignar has aligned with his old ally Congress.  After much dilly dallying, Captain has gone with 5 other parties, who have divergent views on everything.  PMK & BJP, finding no partners, have decided to go it 'almost' alone.  I hear BJP has aligned with some 'letter pad' parties who are inconsequential.

This election season, campaigning has come our living rooms.  Every party worth its salt has a TV channel and have been beaming their biased views 24x7.  We get to see political leaders zooming in their custom fitted luxury vans and their party workers toiling (and in some cases dying) in mid-summer heat.

But, I must admit besides the media noise, no party has made any noise in my neighborhood.  I am yet to witness the much talked about 'money' distribution.

With balloting to start in less than 24 hours, who am I going to vote?  Let me start with who I will not..
My vote will NOT be for AIADMK for a) promoting Sycophancy to the hilt b) making generations addicted to liquor c) institutionalizing corruption.

My vote will NOT be for DMK for a) being synonymous with corruption b) promoting family politics  c) poisoning Tamil minds with brahmin hatred for over half a century.

My vote will NOT be for DMDK alliance for a) hodgepodge alliance with diverse political ideologies b) lack of credible leadership (Vijayakanth is tolerated for his comic relief and not much else) c) not having clear 'common minimum' program.

Now that I have eliminated three major combos, here comes the two parties I would consider voting..
My vote could be for BJP alliance for a) Steering India's economy back to 'decent' growth b) reinvigorating India's foreign policy c) implementing 'direct transfer' of many subsidies and cutting middlemen. 

 My vote could be for PMK for a) consistent & early stance on prohibition b) clear growth manifesto sans freebies c) trying to prove its mettle by standing alone in all 234 constituencies.

ps: It's a different story that I can't vote, though would very much like to.  But, even if I could influence one prospective voter then this blog is worth it.