Month: December 2007

Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal

goal.jpg The official poster with the slogan ‘A Hero Will Rise’, which I feel is a bit misleading.

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Arshad Warsi and John Abraham as Shaan and Sunny respectively, who start out as enemies and end up as friends. Yes I know, a little cliched, but in my opinion such positive cliches never go out of style.

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A still from one of the many soccer scenes which my son Rishi enjoyed so much. That’s the great thing about movies. You watch all these people racing around and you feel like you are the one running and playing. And then you wonder why, after all that exertion, you haven’t lost any weight!

I went to see this movie here in Chennai last night. From start to finish it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. First of all, it was so easy to book the tickets online. Collecting the tickets at the theatre was a breeze too. There was the option of ordering snacks online that would be delivered to our seats during the movie. With my kids panting over my shoulders as I stared at the monitor there was no way I could refuse. So we had popcorn and nachos with salsa without having to queue! Parking was a dream with 5 attendants to show the drivers where to park- no circling the lots waiting to swoop in should one miraculously be available. We had dessert at an exclusive cafe just before the movie: dreamy chocolate cake and creamy cheesecake at stratospheric prices.

Hang on, I hear you say. Dessert? When exactly was this movie? Here’s the best part- we went for a 10pm show, something I would never do in Singapore. My kids were so excited by the idea of going for such a late show. And yet it was so safe. There was no point at which I felt I had to watch my back. People are really indulgent of children here in Chennai, and if my son laughed rather too loudly at parts, there was no one turning to give indignant glares. Instead they laughed along with him, enjoying the sight of a happy child.

The movie itself was pure fun. I have to say I was a little hesitant because some people who had seen it told me that it was boring. But after seeing it for myself, I think that it is aimed at kids- no great intellectual thrust or anything. It is about a football club in England whose players are of Indian origin. The club is struggling to keep its grounds in the face of a takeover bid by a developer. They lose almost every match till they find a coach and a star player who help the team to victory. Of course it is pretty easy to predict that they keep their club in the end.

What I liked about it was the upbeat storyline and the inclusion of themes such as racial discrimination, sportsmanship and believing in yourself. The movie’s feel-good element stemmed from the fact that none of the themes were portrayed in such depth that they took over the movie. Ultimately it felt like a jolly good sports romp, where you could enjoy the matches shown in spite of- and maybe even because of- the fact that you knew who was going to win. The comedy was no less engaging for being gentle, and I was thrilled that my Hindi was good enough that I was able to understand the dialogues even without subtitles. It helped that every fifth line was in English, of course!

There were only 2 songs- very unusual for a Hindi movie, but both were excellent. This is a movie I would not mind watching again.

Has anyone watched any good movies this holidays?

From Chennai to Bangalore and back again

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I spent the last few days in Bangalore, a very pretty city in India. For those of you who don’t know, India is divided into 28 states, and each state has its own capital city. While Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nadu, Bangalore is the capital city of Karnataka. It helps if you look at the map above. My roots are in Andhra Pradesh, the capital of which is Hyderabad.

It is deliciously cold and flowers bloom everywhere in Bangalore. The houses are beautifully built, and apart from the ubiquitous traffic jams, it looks like a great place to live. My husband’s sister lives in Bangalore, and she has 3 golden retrievers- Sandy, Zack and Bruno. I am not an animal lover, but even I have to admit these are gorgeous creatures. My children look forward to going to Bangalore every year to play with the dogs. I admire them (my children and the dogs) from a distance. Luckily the dogs are pretty smart, and they have realised that while I don’t mind petting them occasionally I do not like being licked or jumped on. Being big dogs, when they stand up, they can put their paws on my shoulders. It freaks me out when they do that, and to their credit, they did not try it more than a couple of times.

india1st2007-016.jpg My sister-in-law’s garden. It takes a lot of work to maintain it, but I would say it is well worth the effort.

 india1st2007-058.jpg I can never imagine myself kissing a dog but Rishi seems to have no qualms at all kissing Zack.

 india1st2007-043.jpg And now Arjun is face-to-face with Bruno. How does he do it?

 india1st2007-030.jpg This is Mrs V senior, grandmother to my kids!

 On Saturday I travelled to Puttaparthi, a small village about 4 hours’ drive from Bangalore, to visit my grandfather. He will be 100 years old on the 27th of this month. As is typical of old people, he had amazing long term memory, but has had some short term memory loss. It was wonderful listening to the experiences he had to share with us, and he was so calm and peaceful that he made us feel calm as well. I think the key to his contented state is his detachment from worldly affairs: he was affectionate towards me, but did not ask me to stay back when I indicated that I needed to leave. He speaks of family members but makes no judgements about their actions. Perhaps when you have lived for 100 years, you have pretty much seen all there is to see of human behaviour, and you neither anticipate nor are you disappointed. I do not wish to live as long as he has, but I hope that when my time time comes, I am as serenely ready as he is to meet my maker.

india1st2007-038.jpg Here I am with my grandfather

We went to Bangalore by train, but flew back to Chennai. I have to say that the train journey was more comfortable than the one on the plane. More leg room, more time to relax, less waiting around, less time spent standing in queues. Although the flight took only 25 minutes, if you add up all the time spent in the airport before and after the flight, it comes to almost 4 hours, which is how long the train journey was.

Are you reading?

Hi all! This is Mrs V here writing to you from Chennai where the weather is lovely if you are just staying home. It is raining lightly and very cool. The clothes aren’t drying but that goes with the territory! My big question for you is this:

questioning.jpgARE YOU READING?

Is anyone going to answer my question?