A week with work-woes and a movie

Have you ever felt the need to get away from work? That you’ve had enough of it and cannot take the same old boring work-routine for even one more day or hour?! I guess, many of us would’ve been parley to such thoughts several times – especially considering the typically stressful work-styles we follow. Last week was one such for me. The work-days-juggernaut was rolling along nicely and I was working on the usual tasks and going about the boring daily work-routine. There was a planned project change implemented on a Thursday and everything looked fine. That night at 2.35 AM I got a call on the mobile from the night-support team. There seemed to be some issue with the implemented code, due to which some files which had to be generated and sent to the downstream partner systems was empty. Within five minutes I was awake and logged in – trying to decipher what could’ve gone wrong. I figured it out soon enough – I had overlooked some accompanying changes which had to be done and the empty file was a result of this miss. 😦 Amidst the thoughts of all the music I had to face  on the morrow in office, I was trying to check if there was a quick fix solution to generate that night’s file. I did some fix on the QA environment and drew up plans with the support-team-lead that this problem would require an emergency fix to be implemented on the very next day, before the next day’s file would get generated. I promised them that I would get into office early and work on it as priority.

Daylight was already breaking over the horizon and I thought that it was futile to go back to bed then; I might as well get the cooking etc. done and get ready for work. Accordingly I went about the morning chores and was ready for work at 6 AM, an hour before my regular morning start-time. I coordinated with the early shift cab driver and was in office by 7 AM, before most of the other folks started coming in. The rest of the day went by in a blur – the fix wasn’t as easy as it had initially looked, I had totally missed analysing the code earlier and had to figure out the logic, carry out tests and ensure that it would work seamlessly with the other changes. Added to this was the time constraint – everything had to be done within a couple of hours, the change orders raised and all necessary approvals sought to put it out-of-cycle as an emergency fix.

Phew! Luckily everything worked out well and by the end of the day the changes were in, after taking some help from colleagues. I was pretty jittery that night as well and had couple of calls at around midnight with the support team to ensure that the fix indeed worked and the issue was resolved. As they say, all’s well that ends well! But this episode left me drained – mentally and physically. Probably this too was routine a couple of years back, working late hours on deliveries and overseeing last minute fixes by my team were part and parcel of what I did regularly. In fact I remember doing such releases even when I was pregnant! But now, somehow, I found it very very tiring and stressful; I took almost a week to get over the dreadful feeling and get back to my normal working style. For a couple of days after that, I really did not feel like working at all!

What followed was something rather atypical for me – I decided to take off on a work-day, mid-week and for no reason! I just didn’t feel like going into work and facing another routine work-day 😦 I called the hubby and asked told him that he needs to take leave the following day and we would go out – probably catch a movie or just chill doing something else. Poor guy, reacted like a cat caught in the headlights! 😀 But he did some juggling around with his meetings and work-stuff and obliged like a dutiful husband 😛 The next day I was up and about at the usual time – the plan was, we would finish all chores like everyday, drop off our son at school and go catch a movie at the matinee show. The little fella, clever that he is, was surprised to see me at home – normally I am off to work by the time he wakes up in the morning. He seemed confused – what day is it?, he asked. Is it Saturday? Why aren’t you at work? I won’t go to school! 😮 He was even more suspicious when he saw his dad in non-formal clothes! 😀 After side-stepping his tricky questions, we managed to drop him to school and went on our way to watch the movie Neerja.

Neerja is a biographical thriller about Neerja Bhanot, the brave air-hostess who laid down her life in her call of duty. Her efforts thwarted the hijacking attempt of the Pan AM flight in Karachi on 5th Sept 1986 – she prevented the flight from taking off by having the presence of mind to inform the pilots in time for them to flee the plane. Her heroism and calm, cool-headed handling of the dire situation resulted in 360 hostages being saved from the hijackers’ hold. Instead of trying to save herself, she chose to save the lives of hundreds of passengers, showing immense courage and strength of character. The film was motivational and an example of how ‘work is worship‘ for several people – like our brethren from the armed forces and others like Neerja.

I wasn’t too impressed by Sonam’s portrayal as Neerja – she seems more suited and at ease with roles like the one in Khoobsoorat; but the scene-stealer was definitely Shabana Azmi. The feelings of what a child’s loss means for a mother, couldn’t have been brought to life more poignantly by anyone else. She is outstanding, especially in the last scene and one cannot but leave the theatre with misty eyes and a lump in the throat!

After the movie, we grabbed some lunch and walked the shopping streets leisurely – doing more looking-into-windows than actual shopping; but happy to have the road to ourselves sans the crowds, thanks to it being a weekday. And just like that, the little get-away was over! 😦 Soon, it was time to go back – to be faithful to our line of duty, on the home-front and to get ready for the challenges of the work-day on the morrow. I felt much better the next day at office and am now back peering into the laptop screen and trying to tame/ slay the usual work-demons! These little, especially mid-week jaunts, do a world of good, I tell ya! 😀


The first movie experience

Last Friday was a landmark day – it marked one of the ‘firsts’ for our little one. It was his first time watching a movie in the theatre! 😀 Now, many people might argue that 4 years and 2.5 months is too early or too late, but lets just suffice to say that this is what I wanted for my son. My criteria was simple – he had to be at an age where he would understand what happens around him and on screen. Also importantly a child who would listen to when told to be quiet without causing a nuisance to the others around. And I wanted his first movie to be a kiddies movie – one he would be excited to watch on big screen and identify/ relate with a book or story reference. So till last year I wasn’t too keen on taking him to a theatre – if that meant total drought on the movie-watching front for me and the hubby, then so be it! Though there have been some good watchable kids movies this year, I’ve been at fault for not having planned this outing earlier. What caused this sudden plan was an episode from a couple of days earlier.

It was one of those extended holiday weeks and the hubby’s entire family had congregated at the in laws’ place. On that Saturday when it poured cats and dogs in Bangalore and put a damp blanket on all plans for the weekend, the hubby came home and declared that 8 tickets had been booked for the evening show of ‘Happy New Year’ at a nearby mall and the family was gonna watch it together. For all the afore-mentioned reasons, I was irritated and determined that I wouldn’t let somebody else take this simple decision out of my hands. I flatly said no. The hubby was right – the kiddo would definitely have loads of fun playing around with his boisterous cousins, but then this would be his first movie experience – which is not how I wanted it to be. And with due respect to Farah Khan, HNY was not the kind of movie I wanted him to be watching! This resulted in a row between us and I was all the more non-plussed that somebody else’s decision to book tickets in bulk was causing this argument amongst us! :-/ Poor hubby, I cannot blame him – it has been ages since he had a day out watching a movie and he was right in a way… I told him unconvincingly that he could go with his son, but I wouldn’t be coming. Of course, that didn’t happen and we didn’t watch the movie.

That very day I decided, the next decent kids movie that hits the theatres, 3D or not, we’d go to that. You see, another reason for not having taken the kid along earlier was because any kids’ movie that releases these days is in 3D. And my previous experience watching a 3D movie with those glasses hasn’t been great – I ended up with a terrible headache! But this time, thankfully all the ifs and buts were put to rest. I checked out the movies playing on Friday afternoon and saw that there was the Disney movie ‘Big Hero 6’ playing in many theatres. I didn’t have much background, I just read a few reviews and found that it wasn’t bad – it was about a genius kid dabbling in robotics and his escapades with a robot called Baymax. Since I was at work, I couldn’t watch any trailers. I called the hubby and told him about the plan – he checked the trailers online and said yes, it looks good, we can go. I was excited! 😀

That evening I reached home only to see the hubby going about the daily chores in his pajamas nonchalantly! I was like – aren’t we going?! He asks – where to?! *Face-palm moment*! I patiently explained to him that I had meant for us to go that evening, as pushing it to the weekend might result in cancellation as is wont to happen mostly often. We dilly-dallied with the decision a few times and when we had just enough time to rush to the theatre on a two-wheeler, we said – ok, lets go! The bewildered kid was grabbed and soon bundled into layers of jackets and warm clothes and was told to wait for a surprise. We rushed to the mall in time, to grab tickets and get into the movie-screening hall. The kiddo was suitably surprised and was asking questions nineteen to the dozen – where are we? theatre! why are we here? – to watch a movie! what is a movie? – explanation follows! why are there so many chairs? – for people to sit and watch on the big screen! what will come on screen? – it’s like the TV at home, only much much bigger. Is S-akka here? (his S-akka stays close by and is a regular visitor to the mall) No, not now, but this was the place she went to the other day when he was whisked away amidst wails… and so on

We soon settled down with a popcorn bag and 3D glasses – a smaller cute one for the kiddo. It was a blessing in disguise that I didn’t go in expecting more, I loved the movie! The robotics angle appealed to my geeky side and Baymax, the cuddly healthcare companion robot stole my heart! 😀 As for the kiddo – the first half was spent digging his fingers into the popcorn bag and only asking questions about why the characters weren’t coming close to him! (that was the reason given by his dad for having to wear the glasses and he took it literally so!) He did watch the second half more interestedly and enjoyed Hiro and Baymax’s adventures till the end. So all in all, it was one happy amma and kanda who came home on that cold Friday night, with jokes being cracked about appa being the Baymax in the house in his white-banian avatar, what with the pot-belly et al! 😀

ಶ್ರದ್ಧೆಯಿಂದ ಮಾಡುವ ಶ್ರಾದ್ಧಾ – ಶ್ರದ್ಧಾ

 ಶ್ರದ್ಧಾ! ನಾವು ನಿನ್ನೆಯ ರಮಣೀಯ ಸಂಜೆಯನ್ನು ಕಳೆದದ್ದು ಈ ನಾಟಕವನ್ನು ನೋಡುತ್ತಾ. ಇದು ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧ radio jockey ವಿನಾಯಕ್ ಜೋಶಿಯ ಪ್ರಸ್ತುತಿ, ಅವರ ಇನ್ನಿಲ್ಲದ ತಂದೆಯ ನೆನಪಿನಲ್ಲಿ. ಕಳೆದ ವಾರ buzzintown -ನಲ್ಲಿ ನೋಡಿ, ಹೋಗಬಹುದು ಎಂದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೆವು. ಆದರೆ ನಿನ್ನೆಯವರೆಗೂ tickets ಕೊಂಡಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ನಿನ್ನೆ ಸಂಜೆ online tickets ಖರೀದಿ ಮಾಡಿದರು ಪತಿರಾಯರು. ಖರೀದಿಸಿದ 5 ನಿಮಿಷಕ್ಕೆ ಇಡೀ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಧೋ ಎಂದು ಮಳೆ ಸುರಿಯತೊಡಗಿತು! ಇನ್ನಾಯಿತು, ನಮ್ಮ ಸಂಜೆಯ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮ ಫಲಿಸಿದಂತೆ ಎಂದುಕೊಂಡೆವು! ಅದೃಷ್ಟವಶಾತ್ ಸುಮಾರು 6.30ರ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ ಮಳೆಯು ಕಡಿಮೆ ಆಗುವ ಲಕ್ಷಣಗಳು ಕಂಡವು. ಬಿರ್ರನೆ ಮನೆಗೆ ಸೇರಿ, ಥಟ್ಟನೆ ರೆಡಿ ಆಗಿ ಹೊರಟೆವು. ನಾಟಕದ ಪ್ರದರ್ಶನ ಇದ್ದದ್ದು ಮರಡಿ ಸುಬ್ಬಯ್ಯ ಕಲ್ಯಾಣ ಮಂಟಪದ ಎದಿರು ಇರುವ  K.H. ಕಲಾ ಸೌದ -ದಲ್ಲಿ. ಮುಸ್ಸಂಜೆಯ ಮಳೆಯ ನಂತರ ರಾಮಾಂಜನೇಯ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನದ ಬಳಿ ಇರುವ ಕಲಾ ಸೌದಾ-ದ ವಾತಾವರಣ ಅಮೋಘವಾಗಿತ್ತು! ತಣ್ಣನೆ ಗಾಳಿ, ಘಮ್ಮೆನ್ನುವ ಭೂಮಿ, ನಿಶ್ಚಲವಾದ ಪಾರದರ್ಶಕ ನಿಶೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮಳೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮಿಂದು ತೂಗುತಿದ್ದ ಹಸಿರು ಗಿಡ-ಮರಗಳು…  ಮನೋಹರವಾದ ಆ ಕ್ಷಣ ನನಗೆ ನಮ್ಮ KemmaNNugundiya  ಪ್ರವಾಸದ ನೆನಪು ತಂದಿತು! 🙂   
Shraddha - A kannada play directed by Vinayak Joshi

Shraddha - A kannada play directed by Vinayak Joshi

   7.30 ಕ್ಕೆ ಪ್ರಾರಂಭವಾಗಬೇಕಿದ್ದ ನಾಟಕವು 10 ನಿಮಿಷ ತಡವಾಗಿ ಶುರುವಾಯಿತು – ಬಹುಷಃ ಮಳೆಯ ಕಾರಣದಿಂದಿರಬಹುದು. ಹೊರಗಿನಿಂದ ಅಷ್ಟು ಸುಂದರವಾಗಿ ಕಂಡ ಕಲಾ ಸೌದವು ಒಳಗಿನಿಂದ ಅಷ್ಟೇನೂ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಹಾಗೆ ಇರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಸ್ವಚ್ಚತೆ, ಸೌಕರ್ಯಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ – ಕನಿಷ್ಠ ಪಕ್ಷ ಒಂದು ನಾಟಕ ಅಥವಾ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮ ಇರುವ ದಿನವಾದರೂ, ಇನ್ನಷ್ಟು ಗಮನ ಹರಿಸಬಹುದು ಎನ್ನುವ ಭಾವ ಮೂಡಿ ಬಂತು. ನಾಟಕ ಶುರುವಾದದ್ದು ತೆರೆಯ ಮೇಲೆ ಒಂದು ಚಿಕ್ಕ video  ತೋರಿಸುವ ಮುಖಾಂತರ – ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆಲವರು ಅವರ ತಂದೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ, ಅವರೊಡನೆ ಇವರುಗಳು ಹಂಚಿಕೊಂಡ ನೆನಪುಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಇದ್ದಿತು. ಈ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗಳು ಯಾರೆಂದು ತಿಳಿಯಲಿಲ್ಲ – ನಿರ್ದೇಶಕನ ಹಲವು ಗೆಳೆಯರಿರಬಹುದೇ ಅಥವಾ ನಾಟಕಕ್ಕೆ ಇವರ ನೆಂಟೇನಾದರೂ ಇದ್ದಿರಬಹುದೇ ಎಂದು ಊಹಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದೆವು – ಇದರ ಉತ್ತರ ಕೊನೆಗೂ ಸಿಗಿಲಿಲ್ಲ. 

Prabhakar Rao - as Sheenu, the son

   ನಾಟಕದ ರೂಪರೇಖೆ ಹೀಗಿತ್ತು – ಅದು ಒಳ-ಹೊಕ್ಕಿ ನೋಡ ಬಯಸಿದ್ದು ಒಬ್ಬ ತಂದೆ-ಮಗನ ಸಂಬಂಧದ ಸೂಕ್ಷ್ಮತೆಗಳನ್ನು – ಎರಡು ತಲೆಮಾರುಗಳ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿತ್ವ, ಚಿಂತನೆಗಳ ನಡುವಿನಿ ಅಪಾರವಾದ ವ್ಯತ್ಯಾಸಗಳನ್ನು. ಸದಾ ಕಾಲ ಚೂಪು ಮೀಷೆಯನ್ನು ನೇವರಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ತಂದೆಯು, ಬಾಲ  ಗಂಗಾಧರ ತಿಲಕರ ಮೂಲ ತತ್ವಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ನಿಚ್ಚಳ ನಂಬಿಕೆ ಉಳ್ಳವರು ಹಾಗು ತಪ್ಪದೆ ಅದನ್ನು ಪಾಲಿಸುವವರು. ಅವರ ಜೀವನ ಶೈಲಿ ಬಹಳ ಶಿಸ್ತು, ಕಠಿಣ ಹಾಗು ಯಾವುದೇ ರೀತಿಯ ಭಾವನೆಗಳ ಅಭಿವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗೆ ಅವಕಾಶ ನೀಡದಿರುವಂತದ್ದು. ಇದು ಮಗನಾದವನಿಗೆ ಅರ್ಥೈಸಿ ಜೀರ್ಣಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದು ಬಹಳ ಕಷ್ಟ. ತುಂಟತನದಿಂದ ಕೂಡಿದ ಬಾಲ್ಯ, ಕಸಿ-ವಿಸಿಯ ಯೌವ್ವನ ಮತ್ತು ಪಕ್ವ ಪಡೆದ ಪ್ರಾಯ – ಎಲ್ಲದರ ನಡುವೆ ಅವನು ಹಂಬಲಿಸಿದ್ದು ತಂದೆಯ ಪ್ರೀತಿಯ, ವಾತ್ಸಲ್ಯದ ತೋರಿಕೆಗಾಗಿ. ಕೊನೆಗೆ ಬೆಳೆದು ನಿಂತ ಮಗನು ನೌಕರಿಯ, ಭವಿಷ್ಯದ ಶೋಧೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಂಬೈ-ಗೆ ಹೊರಟಿ ನಿಲ್ಲುತ್ತಾನೆ . ಆಗಲಾದರೂ ತಂದೆಯು ಅವನ ಪ್ರೇಮ, ಕಾಳಜಿಗಳನ್ನು ಅಭಿವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗೊಳಿಸುತ್ತಾನೆಯೇ? ಇದು ಈ ನಾಟಕದ ಅಂತ್ಯದ ದೃಶ್ಯ.  ಇದಷ್ಟನ್ನು ಮಗ ಶೀನು ನೆನೆಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದು ಬಹಳ ವರ್ಷಗಳ ನಂತರ ಅವರ ತಂದೆಯ ಶ್ರಾದ್ಧದ ದಿನದಂದು.  ಅವನು ಹೇಳುವಂತೆ ಈಗ ನಾವು ಮಾಡುವುದೇನು – ಬರಿಯ ಈ ಶ್ರಾದ್ಧ ಅಷ್ಟೇ – ಯಾರೋ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಿಗಳನ್ನು ಕರೆಸುತ್ತೇವೆ ಅವರೊಂದಿಷ್ಟು ಮಂತ್ರಗಳನ್ನು ಬಡಬಡಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ – ನಾವು ಎಳ್ಳು ನೀರು ಹಾಕಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಕೆಲಸ ಮುಗಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ. ಆದರೆ ಈ ಕಾರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಮಾಡುವಾಗ ಬೇಕಾಗಿರುವುದು ಶ್ರದ್ಧೆ. ಈ ಶ್ರದ್ಧಾ ಭಕ್ತಿಗಳಿಂದ ಮಾಡುವ ಶ್ರಾದ್ಧ-ವೇ ಶ್ರದ್ಧಾ!         

 ಒಟ್ಟಾರೆ ಈ ನಾಟಕ ನೋಡಿದ ಅನುಭವವು ಬೌದ್ಧಿಕವಾಗಿ ಉತ್ತೆಜಿತವಾಗಿಯೂ, ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ಮುದ ನೀಡುವಂಥದ್ದಾಗಿತ್ತು.   ಅವರ ತಂದೆಯ ಮೂರನೇ ವಾರ್ಷಿಕದ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ಭಾವಪೂರ್ಣ ಶ್ರದ್ಧಾಂಜಲಿಯಾಗಿ ಅರ್ಪಿಸಿದ್ದ ವಿನಾಯಕ್ ಜೋಷಿಯವರ ಈ ನಾಟಕವು ಒಂದು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಭಾವನಾತ್ಮಕ ಕೊಡುಗೆ ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಬಹುದು.  

with Vinayak Joshi, as the father

ಮಗ ಶೀನು-ವಿನ ಮುಖ್ಯ ಪಾತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಭಿನಯಿಸಿದವರು ಶ್ರೀಮಾನ್ ಪ್ರಭಾಕರ್ ರಾವ್-ರವರು, ಹಾಗೂ ತಂದೆಯ ಪಾತ್ರ ನಿರ್ವಹಿಸಿ ನಾಟಕವನ್ನು ನಿರ್ದೇಶಿಸಿದವರು ನಮ್ಮ V +ನಾಯಕ, ವಿನಾಯಕ್ ಜೋಷಿ-ಅವರು. ವಿಭಿನ್ನವಾದ ಮನಸ್ಸಾಕ್ಷಿಯ ಪಾತ್ರ-ವಹಿಸಿದವರು ಅಭಿ.  ಪ್ರಭಾಕರ್-ರವರ ನಟನೆ ಅದ್ಭುತವಾಗಿತ್ತು – ಅವರ ಸಂವಾದದ ಶೈಲಿ, ಭಾವನೆಗಳನ್ನು ವ್ಯಕ್ತಪಡಿಸಿದ ರೀತಿ, ಅವರ ಇಡೀ ಪ್ರದರ್ಶನ ಮನದಟ್ಟುವ ಹಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಬಾಲ್ಯದ ತುಂಟ ನೆನೆಪುಗಳನ್ನು ತೋರಿಸಲು ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸಿದ ಇಬ್ಬರು ಪುಟಾಣಿ ಪುಂಡರ ಪಾತ್ರ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಪ್ರಿಯಕರವಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಅದರಲ್ಲೂ ಪುಟ್ಟ ಶೀನು-ವಿನ ಪಾತ್ರ ನಿರ್ವಹಿಸಿದ್ದ ತೇಜಸ್ ಎಲ್ಲರ ಮನಸ್ಸು ಕಳವು ಮಾಡಿದನು! ವಿನಾಯಕನ ಅಭಿನಯವು ಸಹ ಬಹಳ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿತ್ತು – ಆದರೆ ಅವನ ಧ್ವನಿ ಇನ್ನು ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಜೋರಾಗಿ ಮತ್ತು ಉಚ್ಚಾರಣೆ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟವಾಗಿ ಇದ್ದಿದ್ದರೆ ಇನ್ನು ರಂಗೇರುತಿತ್ತು. ಕೊನೆಯಲ್ಲೂ ಸಹ ಬದಲಾಗುತ್ತಿರುವ ನಮ್ಮ ಸಮಾಜ, ಅದರಲ್ಲಿನ ತಂದೆ-ತಾಯಿ-ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಸಂಬಂಧಗಳ ನಿಲುವು – ಇದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಕೆಲವು ಪಿತೃ-ಪುತ್ರರ ಮಾತು-ಕಥೆಯ ಒಂದು ಸಣ್ಣ video ತೋರಿಸಲಾಯಿತು. ಮತ್ತೆ – ಇವರುಗಳು ಯಾರು, ಈ ನಾಟಕದ ಮೇಲೆ, ಪಾತ್ರಧಾರಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಇವರ ಸಂಬಂಧ ಏನು ಯಾವುದೂ ತಿಳಿಯದಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಇದನ್ನು ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ವಿಸ್ತರಿಸಿದ್ದರೆ ನೋಡುಗರಿಗೆ ಇನ್ನು ಖುಷಿಯಾಗಿರುತಿತ್ತು ಅನ್ನಿಸುತ್ತೆ. ಜೊತೆಗೆ ನಾಟಕದ ಕೊನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ವಿವಿಧ ಪಾತ್ರಧಾರಿಗಳ ಪರಿಚಯವೂ ಕೂಡ video -ದ ಮೂಲಕವೇ ತೋರಿಸಲಾಯಿತು. ಇದರ ಬದಲು ಪಾತ್ರಧಾರಿಗಳನ್ನು ರಂಗಸ್ಥಳಕ್ಕೆ ಕರೆದು ಅವರ ಪರಿಚಯ ಮಾಡಿಸಿದ್ದರೆ ಬಹಳ ಸೊಗಸಾಗಿರುತಿತ್ತು.   

Restaurants Vegetariens in Paris

On one of our sight-seeing trips around Paris, when we visited Notre Dame and it’s surroundings we bumped into this – Le Grenier de Notre-Dame – a vegetarian restaurant bang in the middle of Paris! Come on! Who would’ve expected to find something like that in the heart of this city? Needless to say, my colleague was overjoyed, especially since it was past lunchtime and the stomach had started doing the talking. As we walked in, I wasn’t too interested – I had my packed lunch anyway and would just take a coffee or juice I thought. 
As we entered I knew immediately that I’d love it. It was a small area set with quaint little tables to seat two persons each. As we took our seats I started noticing the other things that only piqued my interest some more. Each table had an arrangement of a small little glass – set with flowers and was lit by the soft glow of light, which deceptively looked like candle-light! I also noticed that there were plants of different kinds adding a touch of green to the various nooks. They had an open kitchen with a counter which too was adorned with some more fresh flowers and greens. I saw that at a corner by the entrance was a spiral staircase which led to a similar area in the floor above and that also brought into view the lovely hanging vines of the money-plant. Also set-up next to the staircase was a counter-top with the day’s menu handwritten on a blackboard in chalk, in the midst of a lamp shade suffusing warm light around another pot-ful of beautiful roses. Needless to say I absolutley fell in love with the ambience of the place and the final icing on the cake was the way in which our bill was presented to us. Why don’t you take a look at it yourself?! 🙂

Disclaimer – I cannot however vouch for the quality of food at the place because I didn’t eat anything. My colleague ordered lasagne which he said was OK, but nothing great. The staff however was very courteous and mindful of our needs. Do check them out if you are in their neighbourhood in Paris – they have 2 restaurants located closeby – one in Notre Dame (Saint-Michel metro) and the other in Saint Louis ( Pont-Marie metro).

Wake-up call!

I watched “Wake up Sid” and loved it. It has woken up a lot of supine thoughts in my head – the most prominent being the need to love one’s work. It has left me wondering – how wonderful it must be to get up every day and actually look forward to your day ahead at work with happy thoughts about tackling the challenges that lie lined up. How thrilling it must be to actually work where your creative interests and instincts lie – work not to complete a task or to see your salary credited in your account end of month, but for the deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment it provides you every time you do it – be it every day or month or years.  I simply fell in love with the work that Sid and Aisha do – the magazine they work with, the ambience of the place, the spirit, the passion and precision with which the deadlines are met and the long hard hours of toil put in before the product takes shape and the thrill of pleasure that is sure to run up and down their spines when they spot the fruits of their labour – in the form of the glossy magazine hitting the stands every month.

Wow! Through the weekend I sulked and told the hubby – I don’t want to go back to my boring office work and computer, come Monday. Voila! Here I am, back doing what I always do – type away long winding emails – giving explanations and reasons, follow up and get work done by the team, solve issues or ensure that they get solved, prepare excel sheets and update statuses… well you get the drift, don’t you? Do I have a choice? Of course I do! I can give it all up and run away and say I’ll do what I wanna do – albeit, with the keen thought that I won’t have a promised on-time pay-packet at the end of the month. But what is it that I wanna do? Do I know? Well… I have ideas… which I know don’t amount to much by themselves… am I exceptionally good at something? Well… there’s singing and there’s writing… and that’s about it… that’s about it?? Am I really really good at this? Well… not really, if you wanna put it that way! And then, am I brave enough to step away from the well-trodden path and do something out of the ordinary? Hmm… umm…So there, that doesn’t leave me with much choice, does it?

Seriously speaking, I did leave the movie hall envying people who get to do what they love – I understand that it depends on the choice one makes when it comes to taking up a profession – and it goes right back to one’s high school/ college days sometimes – choosing to stick with one’s love of art or literature or Science – instead of going along with the crowd and making a choice simply because that seems to be the right thing to do at the time or yielding to parental pressure.

Well, there’s still hope for me, I hope! If not now, at least in later years I hope to be doing something I love and loving what I do!

Mussanje Maatu – notes

mella mella melluva
sanneyalle kolluva
sadde irada utsava
preeti onde allava?

This is one of the most singularly beautiful descriptions for love, I have heard in recent times.
Roughly translated, it means –

Slow and stealthy
Signals and gestures…
is all it takes – to kill
The noiseless celebration that is…
Isn’t that love and love alone?

This and seven other songs are the only reason why one would want to sit through this otherwise ordinary movie – called Mussanje Maatu.

Frankly, my expectations – looking at the refreshingly different posters and the melodious songs, were high. And they were simply not met. The movie and Sudeep’s performance have been praised excessively by several folks, as I found out – on the net and by the media. But it is exactly the latter that was a total dampener for me. Sudeep, with his new lean look in the role of a radio jockey – with a stylish haircut, snazzy glasses and trendy clothes, is fab looks-wise, but it’s when he talked that I had a problem. Though the role he plays has undergone a massive change from the regular tapori/ goonDa roles he has mostly played with a few notable exceptions, the same change is not effected in his dialogues. The Kannada he speaks lacked the refinement and the polish that the role demanded. I found it totally jarring and it played havoc with my patience and nerves. That along with the repeated hamming in mouthing his RJ lines – most of which are overbearingly philosophical – I simply couldn’t forgive to appreciate his performance otherwise. On the other hand Ramya has put in a restrained and pleasing performance. The other actors’ roles never really developed enough to warrant any mention. The haasya-kavi Pranesh looks totally out of place and Anu Prabhakar is wasted in an inconsequential role.

Now for the good bit – the songs are an absolute delight to the ears. There are eight songs in the album and the beauty lies in the fact that there is no single song that would qualify as being the best – all the songs being equally well composed and well-sung too. Sonu Nigam gets to sing 2 of the melodies – one aforementioned duet “Ninna nODalento” with Shreya Ghoshal and the inspirational song “Enaagali munde saagu nee”. Kunal Ganjawala excels in the peppy foot-tapper – “kaddaLu manasanna”. Shreya also does a solo with “Akasha bhoomi” which is a relatively average number as compared to the rest. Our dear Udit gets a look-in with the sad and sentimental “O hrudaya” which seems heavily inspired by his own “Ae ajnabi”. The remaining three are sung by the local singers – “Mussanje maatali” – the title track well-sung by Hemanth; “Anuraaga araLo samaya” – a soothingly fresh romantic ditty sung by an inspired Karthik and the sober lullaby “hettavaLa muddu maatu” rendered beautifully by Nandita.

The music by V.Sridhar (though there have been complaints that many songs are inspired!) is by far the best feature in the movie and the cinematography by the veteran Sundarnath Suvarna is worth a mention too. I was compiling a list of the latest songs that I’d like to have a CD collection of and to my own surprise I found that there are nearly 35 songs – from movies released in the past 2 years, that easily find their way into this list! It is heartening to note that there is some sort of a revival in the fate and fortunes of the Kannada film music. Though it would be foolish to expect a resurgence of the golden times of yester-years which saw the likes of GKVenkatesh – PBSrinivas – RNJayagopal – SPB – SJanaki; this nevertheless is not a bad trend.

Tune into the lovely tracks of MM here. Happy listening! 🙂

1947 – a love story!

Greeted by a darban clad in a simple khadi kurta, we entered along the pathway skirted by bamboo railings on one side and a tall painting capturing the proud moment of Independence with the unfurling of the Indian flag by Pandit Nehru. And that set just the right tempo for our dinner visit to the new restaurant on ring road in Banashankari – “1947 – traditional Indian cuisine”. Owned by the Insignia group, this is the latest theme-based restaurant in town – the best part being, it offers completely vegetarian fare. Finally – one should say!

As we made our way inside, the settings and the artifacts decorating the innards beautifully enhanced the theme – the huge authentic door made of stolid wooden planks holed and worn with time, complete with a heavy iron chain for the clasping and locking mechanisms; a small cannon tank at the entry; a Gandhi-esq charaka adorning the central wall; the staff dressed in elegant kurtas; the chairs all made from coir and jute; the muted lights shaped like lanterns; the mats doubling up as the curtains; the menu as a simple paper booklet in B&W; the frames with trivia about the events dotting the independence struggle resting on the tables and hanging on the walls; the soothing instrumental melodies of Kishore in the background; the bill handed out in hand-made decorated coir boxes – every small detail accentuated the theme and perfectly set the ambience for the place.

The setting of the tables themselves is tastefully done, with there being the right air of comfort and casualness to the place. The staff is always at hand, quite adequate to handle the crowds if the tables are full, I reckon. They answered all our questions about the dishes/ ingredients with deference without a trace of any disinterest/ condescendence.
The menu was interesting with a sprinkling of some uncommon dishes. We ordered a “roti ki tokri” – which is an assortment of 5 types of rotis of the Chef’s choice (it will be a definite plus if this can be the customer’s choice) with “Methi malai mutter” and “Sabzi Pancharatna”. While the former would’ve tasted much better with a little less elaichi , the latter was an excellent accompaniment for the rotis, with just the right blend of spice and masala . The “amba panna” that I tried was a unique tangy drink made from raw mangoes and pudina – just perfect for the summer! The soup and salad were well appreciated too. The only discontent we felt was with the ice-creams, which for some reason arrived all melted and floating (I suppose they had a problem with their freezer!); but to be fair, the manager took a personal interest and ensured that it was soon replaced.

All in all, it was an eating experience that left us feeling happy and contented, after a long time. The bill was not too heavy on the pocket as well; while the rates are a bit higher than your regular north Indian fare available at other hotels, it is not too expensive – it was a price well paid for the great food, lovely ambience and superb service rendered, is what we felt.

The contact details for the restaurant are as follows:
Tel nos.:
Mr.Rajesh – 9964804090 (probably the manager for the place)
Their website – www.insigniagroup.in – is under construction! 🙂

Landmarks – it is located on the ring road, above Bella Casa (kitchen and sanitary-ware shop) – at a drive of about 5 mins from the DeveGowda petrol bunk, on the left-hand side, going towards Mysore road.

The good news, as told to us by the manager, is – there are more outlets opening soon in the city – in areas like Jayanagar and Koramangala, from the same Insignia group, with probably different themes. I think that is something really worth looking forward to!