Fun at Thirumullavaram beach


in procession

in procession

photoshoot

photoshoot

enroute to some fun at the beach

enroute to some fun at the beach

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'Top'less

‘Top’less

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MOVIE REVIEW: CHINATOWN [Malayalam]


Day 3 of my cold. I woke up at 0330 am to see Vishu Kani. Took a shower in the morning and went to the temple. Prayers for a better year ahead and on the way back, I remembered I was to reserve tickets for the family – to watch a Vishu release movie. Choice was limited, only 2 releases this year – Chinatown vs Doubles. Mixed reviews from the previous day, but Chinatown seemed to have edged over Doubles. So I went forth and booked for the second show.

Come evening, getting into the Archana – Aradhana theatre was hectic. The first show was JAM PACKED in both theatres. Feelings of  ‘Oh, this might just be worth it!’. With a sundae in hand, I sat amongst my cousins, surprised at the amount of family crowd that was out there for a 9pm second show.. either the Vishu effect or the 3 names this movie was riding on – Dileep, Mohanlal and Jayaram. [I go for the latter!]

An Aashirvad Cinemas production [Mohanlal’s], directed by the celebrated Rafi-Mecartin duo, the onus was always gonna be on humor and the humor went through a plateau of phases as the movie progressed.

The movie begins in the beautiful coastal state of Goa, where gambling and Casinos are legal. 4 Malayali friends were running a Casino there and minting money. In the quest for money and power, the local Goonda Mr. Gawda [Pradeep Rawat], murders all 3 of the Mallus, whilst the 4th [Mr. GomezCaptain Raju] survives.

After 25 years, Gomez is back in Goa, purchases a casino and plots revenge on Gawda. He recalls Maathukutty [Mohanlal], Zachariah [Jayaram] and Binoy [Dileep] {Children of his 3 friendsto return to Goa and manage the casino. Maathukutty is known for his avid indulgence in fights and has a number of cases registered against him; while Binoy is a guy who keeps falling in love with girls every 6 months and Zachariah has only one thought all throughout the day = MONEY!

The first half of the movie is filled with umpteen moments where one literally bursts out in laughter at the mimicry, the raw as well as the adult jokes delivered in the script. Jayaram and Dileep deliver comedy with ease, while Mohanlal seems to have lost a bit of his touch.

Kavya Madhavan [Rosamma] alongwith Poonam Bajwa [Emily] and Dipasha [Chandni] form the female trio in the movie. Rose was supposed to marry Maathukutty’s brother, but she eventually falls in love with Maathukutty. Emily is Gomez’ daughter and she pairs up with Zachariah; and Binoy has the hots for the home minister’s daughter – Chandni.

While Kavya has some substance to her role, the other two are merely involved in the merriment. Suraaj Venjarumoodu [Chandran]  as a goonda gives us both the extremes of the good and the bad of humor.

The buildup of the movie until the interval is brilliantly interlaced with humor that is so naturally depicted by all the actors and makes us go for the interval snack with the satisfaction that yes, this movie is gonna be a HIT.

Following the break, the movie does a COMPLETE U TURN to our expectations. The likening to the English movie ‘Hangover’ is strongly felt as the 3 heroes go through varying stages of intoxication as they party all night long leaving the 3 friends in a confused state on what did or didn’t happen the previous night. The sudden complicity of events took a heavy toll on the audience who were enjoying light humor until then. The ugly state of events characterized by the obnoxious Sumo wrestler who spends more screen time than any other in the last one hour, combined with the pathetic dialogues delivered by Dileep  in particular left the audience bewildered and surprised to how quickly the standard of the movie spiralled down!

To cap it all off, Jagathy Sreekumar‘s arrival towards the end of the movie as Jaggu Bhai [the biggest criminal in Goa] – oh well, no one was really bothered to figure that out by then!

Jassie Gift‘s music is foot tapping good as usual, but this will be one movie I will list among my ‘not worth watching 2011’

Kavya Madhavan on twitter: “So China Town..out n out entertainer for relax n watching..Leave ur thoughts n worries in schools n offices n come…..Sit..Relax..n Enjoy”

Final Verdict –  **1|2 out of 5. 

Kollam Pooram


When it comes to Pooram, the name that pops up in any Malayali’s head is Thrissur Pooram. Well Kollam Pooram is the equivalent of it in South Kerala.

I was able to attend it the last couple of years and been yearning to blog on it.  A half day holiday is usually given for all schools and offices the day following Vishu, the Malayalam New Year [mid April]. The whole event occurs at the Ashramam ground, in sync with the annual festival of Shri Krishna Swamy Temple.

Around 15 temples in and around the city take part – Anandawalleshwaram, Puthupally Madaswamy, Asramam Sree Maryamman, Pattathanam Sree Subramanya Swamy, Kadappakada Sree Dharma Sastha, Thumbara, Erattakulangara, Sree Sankarakumarapuram, Uliyakovil Kannamathu, , Kollurvila Bharanikavu Koikkal, Uliyakovil Sree Durga, Sree Narayanapuram Subramaniyam, Thiruvadivattam and Chekodu.

Pooram Ezhunallathu

The tuskers from these temples set out early in the morning to participate in the pooram. On an average around 50-60 elephants take part ranging from the little ones, to the old tuskers. All the tuskers are then bathed and readied.

 

 

 

Thirumumbil Melam and KettuKazhcha

Kollam Pooram 2010


The tuskers then line up in the temple ground, and we are treated to some wonderful percussions by the Chendamelam and Panchavadyam groups

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Kudamaatam

Following the melam, the tuskers are dispersed, except the two teams participating in Kudamaatam. Invariably the two teams come from Thamarakulam Maha Ganapathy temple and Puthiyakavu Shri MahaBhagavathy temple. The two teams are then paraded to the Ashramam ground where the eminent guests [Ministers] will officially kickstart the pooram celebrations. The two teams display a multitude of umbrellas one after the other, and the team with the better innovation wins.

Fun and Frolic

As we always religiously wait indefinitely for the arrival of the ‘Guests’, a multitude of eats, fun toys, balloons and objects of interest will keep us occupied till the event kicks off. Thousands of people crowd up the entire Asramam ground on the day to be a part of the big event.

 

 

 

Fireworks, Programmes

The kudamaatam is followed by a 30min long fireworks, which, well hasn’t impressed me as much [I have seen better ones at my college campus, but then Manipal is Manipal]. The evening is further lit up by the presence of some wonderful stage programmes by movie|tele artists to wind up a wonderful day of celebrating the start of a year.

I plan to blog in detail of the events this year hopefully if I get time to attend it.

 

 

 


 

National Voters Day – Jan 25


When I read the paper today morning, it said at 2pm today, the District Collector would inaugurate the 60th National Voters Day event and thereby initiate the distribution of the Voters ID. Mom having applied 2 months ago, needed me to collect it for her.

So after a sumptuous lunch I took a lazy half hour break watching highlights of the 2nd half of last night’s Chelsea romp of Bolton.

Knowing how all inaugural functions in India start typically at +30 min Indian Stretchable Time [IST] I headed to the Boys HSS Kollam around 1430ish.  The numbers were just coming in and people were settling and as usual the eminent guests yet to arrive. As I lazed around adjusting my focal lengths on objects of interest, I came across a pamphlet with the program schedule and was excited to see that among the listed guests, was a Malayalam Actor Kundara Johnny! Probably most of you don’t recall him by name but this pic will say it all. Looking the very same, I was a tad excited of having seen him at arms distance for the first time. [Din’t carry my camera as the last thing I was expecting to do was capture shots of people from the Election Commission ;)]. Was kind of odd to see him drive up here in an 80’s model Ambassador  RESPECT

Eventually at 1530 when the final bell of the school rang, all the students ran out excited with the prospect of a holiday beckoning [Republic Day], and all of us who were eagerly waiting for proceedings to begin were not disappointed.

Some of the eminent guests were: Malayalam Actor Mukesh’s mom, District Collector, Olympian Suresh Babu and a student of the school who recently won the Gold Medal for the State Kalothsavam Kathakali.

One by One, each of them elaborated the beauty of democracy, the success of it in India, the power of the people and many more. It reminded me of the days while I was attending Social Science or Social Studies as it was called when I was in school.

This being a working day, as the time was passing by, almost 1500-2000 people had crowded up in the school and were waiting and waiting, desperately for the ID cards to be distributed.  What irked me more was when the Kathakali female started doing it on stage for like 20min!!

At around 1700hrs, we had reached the last speaker of the day, one Mr. Jayadevan, a professor of Political Science. His opening statement was, “I am a professor of Political Science, I am not bound by protocol or hierarchy of the government. I have the freedom of speech, and the right to dissent. I can do anything I want within the purviews of the law of the land…..” and he went on about how he has been an active participant of politics right from his college days, when all of a sudden, someone vented out his frustration by walking up on stage and asking him to cut the show short and distribute the cards immediately. Such was the worrying nature in which the mob was reacting that this man who was just talking about the laws of the land etc ended up saying “ Ok I am stopping!” and he left the podium to the most rousing ovation I’d heard all evening 😉

Immediately the Electoral Commission members decided, it is in the best interest to wind up the program and distribute the cards. And that is exactly what they did, and after all the waiting for close to 3 hours, almost everyone left frustrated with some people still not having got the IDs. J

I did feel privileged to be attending the “Eshwara Prarthana” and the National Anthem in the end. In fact I don’t remember the last time I stood in a crowd and sang it.

Olympian Suresh Babu pointed one very significant thing and that was the decision of the Kerala Government to initiate Physical Education as a compulsory subject in the curriculum of schools and I personally agree with him. Think it will do a lot of good to the all round development of students and at the same time help both students and parents understand, appreciate talent and maybe even pursue a career.

  • As always at a public event, lack of organization was written all over, with people turning up not being given the right guidance on the where and the what to do.

If you are an Indian, Non Resident or Resident, 18 years or more, please do apply for the voters ID, be a responsible citizen, and vote on the merit of your good judgement and not others.Put words into action and be Proud. Jai Hind

 

Ganga, Yamuna, Upper Circle, Lower Circle


Ganga, Yamuna, Upper circle, Lower circle, 40|50|60. In a town as big as Kollam, the only thing lacking is a pVr or Imax or Big Cinemas! The college going and the youthful ones below 30s are no doubt the bunch who eventually decides whether a movie ‘makes or breaks’ here in Kollam. While some of the theatres hold tradition and history and have been around for a longer time, some have emerged more recently and are doing a fair job.

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On an average a movie runs only 10 -14 days, with Malayalam suffering the most and Tamil enjoying the best collection. Families throng the theatres preferably for first shows on weekends, and sadly I have seen a small % of people using the theatre merely for a 2 hour nap or to smoke up!

Dhanya theatre is the lead promoter of English films, and hence is my favorite among the lot. However Pranavam and the Archana Aradhana complex come fairly close. Prince –Grand and Kumar tend to run movies for a much longer period due to its mere location in the heart of Kollam and easy accessibility, though quality of service has deteriorated.

Kumar:  8.884361, 76.591007

Prince – Grand: 8.886124, 76.590529

Pranavam: 8.884515, 76.594834

Archana – Aradhana: 8.889555, 76.586766

Dhanya: 8.89135, 76.60351

So next time you are in town, you will know where to head for a movie!

P.S: There is an Adult rated theatre if I am not mistaken right in the centre of town, but I am not listing it here 😉

In the Name of GOD


Finally bought myself a bicycle and been more than happy to drive around town and capture photos. As a part of my effort to list the important places of Kollam on the world map [Google], here I begin with some easily accessible places in and around Kollam town, kickstarting off with a few churches and temples.

P.S. To see my uploads on panoramio, go here.

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Shiva Temple, Thamarakulam – 8.883307, 76.586230

Shree Ganapathy Temple, Thamarakulam – 8.881030, 76.591570

Puthiyakaavu Temple, Opp. Railway Station – 8.885167, 76.594124

Vasudeva Temple, Vadayattukotta – 8.886023, 76.588416

Ooramman Durga Devi Temple, Vadayattukotta – 8.886161, 76.588204

St. Sebastian Church, Convent Road – 8.886890, 76.585602

Velankanni Shrine – 8.889608, 76.585205

Mahadevan Temple, Anandavalleeshwaram – 8.89334, 76.573248

Shree Maha Ganapathy Temple – 8.890806, 76.574879

Moorthy Temple, Ammachiveedu – 8.889343, 76.572864

St. Antony’s Church, Vady – 8.882946, 76.573951

St. Peter’s Church, Moothakkara – 8.882660, 76.577148

Kollam – What, Who, Where!


Done with my first exam for 2011 and rearing to balance some fun with work throughout the forthcoming week. Was all pumped up and excited to watch the FA clash only to be disappointed – No live stream on tv!

So here I am instead! Been running in my head since a week and was thinking of blogging about Kollam, the southern most district of the state of Kerala.. or the second most ..after the capital city of Trivandrum. My parents hail from here and I think I should do little more justice  and maybe share a few words on some of the culture, hangouts and ‘happening places’ if any exist here 😉

So watch out this space for some updates soon!

Resolution of the week: Watch one movie per day!