Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Saga of "Candy" addiction!

Today morning I realised that I have ignored my blog for long and that I was not able to write any thing in it. There was a time (I mean the April month and the A to Z challenge ;) ) when I was frequent on my blog but now I am not getting sufficient time to spend time with it. Just when I was getting a bad feeling about it ,Sid Balacharan from Iwrotethis tagged me on Project 365's prompt and I am taking this as a chance to write some thing which I will write in a free style, breaking out of shackles. Writing poems on anything and everything is not new to me and you won't be much surprised by this entry but you may find this either funny or silly. I can't really say that it is a misfit post for my blog as my blog is like jack of all trades and master of none. RANDOMNESS is the motto of my blog but this is something which in project 365's absence I would not have attempted!

Anyway before drifting away I need to say that I am going through many changes personally and professionally and hence with so much on my mind , I am not able to stick to the frequent blogging. One more reason which is keeping me away from blog is the game addiction. I was never a FB game addict. I played criminal case for some days and got bored but when I came across Candy Crush Saaga after seeing 100s of people playing I was intrigued. I too started playing it precisely after reading Dyanne's Haiku on Candy Crush for the letter C as part of April A to Z challenge. She blogs at http://iwantbacksies.blogspot.in/ . I must say I instantly got hooked to the game. I am so much addicted to it that I some times play it early in the mornings as and when I wake up. I play it in the gym, in the kitchen, during breaks in office and some times in mid of work :( . I am stuck at level 70 and I can write only about that now. As I cannot write a good haiku, below is a poem written in my style describing my love hate relation ship with Candy Crush!

A bunch of candies rolling down the checkered boxes.
The high I get when I decide the awesome candy mixes.
It is as if I am actually climbing that candy mountain.
All my efforts to think some thing else are going in vain! 

The happiness when I bring the same colored candies in a row.

Oh God, you will laugh if I say that I actually don't have candy love.
Too much candy gives me an instant migraine.
But too much of this game never felt a pain!

The sight of the multi-colored candy is so delightful.

For it breaks multiple candy rows and gives you points full.
The deeds the striped candy does will leave you in smiles.
It breaks the rows and columns of the candies in piles!

My heart breaks when I see the message, "level failed" like in the picture below.

For lives and help I reach out to my fellow players and bellow.
Help instantly comes for there are many who on this saga have a crush.
As and when help arrives I play it with increased enthusiasm in a rush!

For some this game is a total waste of time, energy and brain.
For me this is like a stress buster which relieves me from the toil and strain.
I agree that  at times I go out of bounds and ignore many other important things.
But some how I feel this is better than responding to unnecessary pings! ;- )

The best  part is I am reading the book Little women again as I am not crossing the level 70.

But I want to cross it, some one please give me lives and teach me the nitty gritty!
This sure is an interesting game which is unique at each level and keeps you glued.
You will just love and hate the game and at times you may even get rude!

Kudos to the creators of the game who indeed have a sharp brain.

It is not a great deed to mankind and it sure doesn't take away your pain.
But it is a great time pass and a fun indulgence for those who want to play.
Those who are bothered by others' game  can just ignore and stay away!!

PS: Wonderful thing about candy crush is you won't gain calories as you are just playing with candies and not eating them ;) :P

PS 1 : I am stuck at 70. Give me some tips to cross it and make me smile like the girl below ;) Have a fun filled day!
image source : here
This post is written for Project 365’s Open-to-All Prompt 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon- 2 : Premiere Experience

Last Saturday (June 7th) I went to watch the premiere show of How to Train your Dragon- 2 in Bangalore. It is produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by  20th Century Fox. Previously few premieres were released in Urvashi theatre in Lal Bagh Road. This time the premiere was more happening as I watched it in Phoenix mall , White field which is very near to my home. I am a frequent visitor to this mall, hence enjoyed the fact that premieres will be released in PVR of Phoenix mall going forward. The hustle bustle of the crowd as always was contagious. Many families adorned the red carpet with their kids, friends and parents. Every one was in high spirits and the arrangements were super good. The 3D glasses were provided at our own seats and the snacks were promptly given away to every one. Every one got settled in the comfy seats of PVR to finally have an adventurous ride on the Dragon.

The movie started with much applause and cheers from the crowd. This animated movie is a sequel to the 2010's How to Train Your Dragon. Below are few important names of the people who worked for the movie. (source : Wiki)
Directed byDean DeBlois
Produced byBonnie Arnold
Screenplay byDean DeBlois
Based onHow to Train Your Dragon
by Cressida Cowell
Even if you haven't watched part 1 before going to movie just like me, you will still be able to enjoy the part 2. Part 2 is charming , colorful and beautiful to say the least. The movie has a unique charm which draws you towards the screen, story, characters and you become one of them. This time it is more colorful with many dragons and the story line will attract adults and kids equally. The humor quotient is maintained. The flight on dragons reminded me harry potter a lot and that is one more reason I loved this more :)
Image source: here

With Toothless - Image source: here

Story line and my take : Hiccup, our hero and his dragon Nightfury which is named by him as Toothless live life their way ,searching for the adventurous new territories. Toothless is so cute and expressive. Their conversations are fun to watch. During one of his explorations Hiccup discovers that  Eret is capturing dragons for Drago - the bad man of the story, whom Stoick - Hiccup's dad who rules the kingdom of Berk knows from long. Stoick alerts his people to be prepared for war but Hiccup and his girl friend Astrid both hoping against the hope go to Eret to talk out and stop the war. The effort becomes waste and gives rise to fights and arguments. Another girl from Berk falls for Eret and starts flirting with him which is fun to watch :- )

Hiccup  angrily leaves the place with Toothless and comes across many surprises. The viewers will get awed along with Hiccup on seeing the magical land built with ice for Dragons. It is beautifully shot.  An alpha dragon called Bewilderbeast protects all the dragons in that land and every one obeys to him except the baby dragons. Each dragon looks different and very colorful.Drago attacks them along with a similar "bad" Bewilderbeast.  The fight between the two groups, basically the fight between good and bad happens for long till good wins like in any other movie but even if it is the animated characters who are fighting and not the real people, you will be engrossed in the war and feel  bad by the consequences. All is well that ends well but deaths and sacrifices also happen in this process which lead to a happy ending!

The audience for sure will leave the theater with happy smiles plastered on their faces.

Some of my favorite scenes:
1.) The moment when Stoick meets his wife Valka in the enchanted land of dragons

2.) The war and the moment when Toothless is controlled by the bad Bewilderbeast of Drago by hypnosis 

3.) Every frame where Hiccup and Toothless shower love on each other

4.) The baby dragons' attack on Drago's army in the end

Some memorable dialogues:

(source: IMDB)

Hiccup: Dad, there is something you need to know.
[Hiccup takes Stoick and Gobber to where Valka is]
Gobber: Oh, boy...
Valka: [to Stoick] I know what you're gonna say...
Stoick the Vast: You're as beautiful as the day I lost you. 

Astrid: THAT'S your mother?
Hiccup: Now you know where I get my dramatic flair. 

Hiccup: [drawing a new spot on his map] What do you think? What should we name it?
[Toothless scratches under his arm with his snout]
Hiccup: Itchy Armpit it is.

Like every time this movie also made me happy. I loved this movie as much as I loved the Croods . The story line is simple and flows seamlessly with out boring you.  Any movie where the bond between human and pet is shown is my most favorite :) This movie is getting released all over the world on 13th of the June. Enjoy the dragon ride along with your family and friends. It for sure is worth it and do watch it in 3D as it magnifies the beauty of the movie.

Hoping to enjoy many more premieres in the phoenix mall. Good luck to the future ventures of Dreamworks - The penguins of Madagascar and Home.

Last but not the least, it felt so good to see my husband Imran Khan's name in the India Unit names during the end credits :)

My rating : 3.5/ 5

The cute pet we have at home now :

Official movie trailer: 

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Kerala Travelogue- Day 1 - Bangalore to Cochin -- Munnar"

Finally I can almost strike off one long lasting wish from my "Wishlist of places to visit"! Kerala was on my to visit list from long and finally we formulated a plan to visit Munnar & Alleppey in Kerala (well there are many other places in Kerala which I want to cover but had no time). As we were 8 people (Me, my husband , my parents, In-laws and my brother and sister-in-law) the itinerary slightly differed for us. I started with my husband from Bangalore at 8:30 A.M. on the morning of May 1st and the rest of them started from Hyderabad at 9. A.M.. We reached airport well in advance and spent our time by doing something which will please both of us. No.Before you put your naughty minds to work, we both relished the hot BisiBellebath and Pongal at a Tiffin center followed by hot coffee. After strolling aimlessly in airport finally the boarding of our flight was announced and we got in to the bus which will take us to the Air India flight which we need to board. For a moment I felt we will go to Kerala in the same bus as it rounded the entire airport. We got down and the first thing I remembered was a toy airplane with which my nephew Ayaan plays. The plane was tooo small and looked pretty old. Due to recent MH 370 news I was dead scared and kept chanting whatever prayers I know. Unlike the look and feel of the flight which is ancient and rugged , the take off and landing were smooth.

In roughly 2 hours we reached Kochi (Cochin) airport and started waiting for our parents who joined us in half - hour. As and when I stepped out of the airport I realized Kerala was too humid and too hot. The horrible traffic jam en-route Cochin- Munnar dampened my spirits. We stopped at a hotel named Nanny's to have lunch which didn't suit our taste buds at all. There was mota - rice (rice bulkier than the usual rice we have here in Andhra) , fish fry and chicken , dal , avial and some other curries. Every thing looked delicious but there was less salt which made me eat less food. So in a way I was able to follow my diet regime perfectly :p

We had a mango ice candy to get temporarily relieved from the burning sun ! With out much ado we started off to Munnar. Zig zag roads, hair pin bends and the wet mud smell were all inviting and soothing. In no time it started drizzling and then it rained heavily.As we traveled more and more it got more and more dense and green. We came across many waterfalls and many churches on the way to Munnar. Clicked few of them. The below shared image is of Cheeyappara water falls
Cheeyappara water falls
The beautiful weather and backdrop of a church
The weather and the greenery made me sing songs and I totally got drenched when I got down to click some pics.
Clicked from the car window
After a long journey of about 4-5 hrs which actually seemed short due to blissful climate we reached our destination - "The Birds Valley resorts." We were warned by the hotel personnel that if we don't start by 4 we won't be able to catch the Kathakali and Kalaripayattu performances. We were informed that as it is a hill station by 5 - 6 O' Clock every thing will be closed. I felt bad as it was already 4:15. We all were pretty tired and hence ordered some tea which was served cold or may be it got cold due to the foggy / misty weather. We enjoyed the ambiance and clicked few pics quickly.

The beautiful Birds valley resorts

view from the resort room
We got ready asap and started off to Punarjani traditional village.  I always love the bumpy / scary rides at hill stations even if I momentarily get scared. We couldn't stop any where as we already got delayed. Unfortunately Kathakali performance has already started and I felt devastated as I always wanted to watch it. Kathakali is Indian dance-drama noted for the attractive make-up of characters, elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion (source: wiki ) . We tried to peep in to the auditorium from the gap between curtains but were glared at by one of the organizers. The performance seemed too energetic with a lot of rhythmic shouting along with the dance. The ticket was 200/- per head but I guess it was worth it. We went in to the arena where Kalaripayattu will be performed after Kathakali and waited patiently. Kalaripayattu is a Indian Martial art. It seemed like forever as the audience watching Kathakali had to come and settle in the area where we already were seated on benches. The seats were raised and arranged like in a stadium, in a circular fashion so that every one gets a clear view of the performance. Finally the show started and before going there I never thought it would be such an enthralling experience which I can remember through out my life. I only saw songs and performances on TV and never admired it much. I remembered SRK from Dil se and the song Jiya Jale Jaan Jale as and when I saw their attire but once I started watching I realized the performers are the real heroes. Enchanted is a small word to describe my feeling. Below are few glimpses of the performance. Their strength mesmerized us. Their body mind co-ordination amazed us and their valor made us stand and applaud!

One of the most dangerous acts with fire

Jumping through fire rings. I gasped
We got an opportunity to pose with the performers. Many other visitors who watched Kathakali got an  opportunity to pose with artists and dancers too. I almost wanted to take an autograph of an young chap who was exceptionally good compared to others but I was not partial and praised every one and clicked most of them. Punarjani means rebirth and every performer's name had this suffix when they were called in to the arena to perform!

My husband posing with one of the energetic performers. He was more charismatic than the others :) I became a FAN, no, not to my husband but to the actual performer :P

This was a great show and if at all you are visiting Munnar you should make this a must visit place in your itinerary. This is truly a nail biting show and will make you gasp and shriek. I also felt very good as our traditional art forms are preserved. I wish they get more and more funds and help and they make it  more BIG! You will be engrossed for a total 2 + hours and after watching you will feel the ticket was not that pricey! For more reviews go to trip advisor. After this performance we reached our resort and called it a night immediately post dinner as we were exhausted. This ends the day 1 of my Munnar trip which was soothing and the Punarjani performance spiced up the day :)
The Kathakali performance which we missed at Punarjani

                                             Image source: here
It was love at first sight as soon as we stepped in to this town midst Western Ghats! Sharing this beautiful love song- Jiya Jale Jaan Jale about which I spoke earlier. SRK looks extremely hot in this ;) It has few Malayali words which I decoded with the help of few Mallu friends! Meet you soon again with day 2!

"When God Spoke to Me!"

Is it for the love of God, you do what you do? Or is it your hunger to wake up something sleeping within you? What do you mean to do with th...