Jan 22, 2023

Pongal celebrations at Sobha city

 


The Tamil Sangam at our residential society (Sobha City) organized a grand two day pongal celebration event at our Sobha city Club house. The grand festivities included cultural shows, sports events and culminated with a delicious community lunch! Here are some glimpses of the festivities...

Traditional Kolam

Program started with Mangala isai...

Thiruvalluvar in action

V.O.C in action

Traditional oyil aatam

Traditional dance

Folk dance



Actress Anju Aravind trained the traditional dancers

Children of Sobha city in colorful attire

Little Barathiyar

The grand traditional vegetarian lunch on plantain leaf

An array of side dishes

Crispy Appalams


Vadais

On the leaf...a sumptuous lunch

Jan 19, 2023

Ashokism award 2022 ...Kadaisi Vivasayi


My choice for the best Tamil movie of 2022 goes to Kadaisi Vivasayi (The Last Farmer)...a film by Director M.Manikandan. The down to earth story of a simple 80 year old farmer has been told with metaphorical layers of surrealism and spiritualism yet staying within grounded realism. Every character is believable. Manikandan does a superlative job in conveying the messages on social issues without being preachy. Nallandi as the farmer impresses you from his first shot till the finish. Its hard to believe that this is his first movie! Sad to know he passed away before the movie hit the screen. Vijay Sethupathi does a lovely cameo role. Manikandan's camera work was a treat to watch. I would love to see more of such grounded movies in Tamil... Thanks Manikandan.

[The movie is on Sony liv if you plan to watch on OTT]



Other praise worthy movies I saw in 2022 were  Gargi and Taanakkaran

Best Song of 2022 :  Chola Chola from PS1 
Composer : AR Rahman
Singers : VM Mahalingam , Nakul Abhyankar and Sathyaprakash
Lyrics : Ilango Krishnan


Jan 16, 2023

Yellow Station !




 The good old Cantonment railway station in Bangalore... In yellow avatar 

#clicked on the way

Jan 15, 2023

My favorite black fastrack


My black fastrack watch turns 25 this year and still runs faithfully on time and remains the favorite among my watches! I wear it on special occasions even today... My memory goes back to the day I "met" my watch for the 1st time!

During my M.Arch days (1998) at SAP with a column I had painted...the new fastrack on my hand!


It was the year 1998 and I had just joined The School of Architecture and Planning (SAP) at Chennai for my Masters degree in Architecture. I was at the SAP hostel when I suddenly received an anonymous money order for Rupees One Thousand. It did not have the senders name or address..but only a message note saying that the sender will contact me later. I checked with my parents..they had not sent it. I couldn't imagine who would send me 1000 bucks (till today its an unsolved mystery!) .. But anyways I was very happy and I decided to get myself a nice watch of my own liking, as I was wearing an old fashioned watch gifted by my uncle during my school days... In the same evening I went to the Titan showroom at Adayar along with my friend MC Ramesh. As soon as I entered the showroom my eyes fell on this black beauty priced at 1000 bucks! Fastrack brand was just then newly launched by Titan and it was love at first sight! 
I have owned many watches in the past 25 years...but this black fastrack remains very special through my good and bad times....Thanks to my mystery sponsor !

As time flies...
The journey ticks on...



Jan 9, 2023

Bonjour Bonheur Ocean Spray resort near Pondicherry

Our two day stay at the Ocean Spray resort near Pondicherry was pleasant and comfortable. 
The sprawling resort has a man made waterbody as a central theme.  Its a great place to chill out as a group with a range of outdoor activities available. The huge swimming pool seemed to attract many visitors.. The front house staff were generally very friendly. The house keeping staff were also very polite and helpful but it was evident that they were not well trained as you expect in a 5 star resort. The resort lacked in fineness of a star hotel in many fronts..but the overall ambience made up for this. Maybe a professional GM could turn this place around into a world class resort.
The Grand arrival Portico








View from my room 

The water body


at the Amber restaurant
The food here was generally good. The morning complementary breakfast was in fact excellent. We loved the spread and the quality as well. The alacart lunch and dinner were very expensive. The exorbitant cost didn't seem justified at all.






Tiramisu was their best dessert

 






The quite Mudhaliar kuppam beach behind the resort was an added advantage. It was a 200m walking distance from the resort with hardly any soul in sight.