Friday, December 18, 2009

Movie time...

There are some movies that forever get etched into your being, they somehow end up shaping you by influencing you. I had two movies like that... The Sound of Music and You've Got Mail. I've seen The Sound of Music more times than I can remember. Ever since I first saw that movie as a kid, I've been hooked to it. Loved everything about it, the songs, the dances (specifically the Austrian Folk dance, the Laender), the dresses, the scenery, Captain Von Trapp and Maria. In fact my love for wedding gowns stemmed from watching Maria on her wedding day with that long flowing trail... made a vow to wear one on my wedding too. I was even fascinated with Liesl (Charmian Carr) the eldest daughter in her pink ruffled dress singing I am 16, she looked so beautiful and grown up... I remember thinking 16 is so far away and wanting to grow up soon to be 16 like her. Even now when life tends to get a little bit rough, just singing 'I have confidence in me' or 'These are a few of my Favorite things' or just about any song in the movie will somehow make things better. That movie still holds me captive and no other movie compares to it.

You've Got Mail is another heartwarming movie and every time I watch it I feel foolishly happy. I loved the charming little book store called 'Shop around the corner', loved the
background score, loved the dialogues and most of all loved Meg Ryan's character Kathleen Kelly. Meg Ryan is so adorably funny in the movie, her cute short ruffled hairstyle and even her goofy smile were endearing... and how can you not believe in love when she says 'but there is the dream of someone'. I guess it was that age when we were now grown up, and realized that no captain with seven children would ever turn up... but we had the dream of someone else. Now whenever I see daises or listen to 'Somewhere over the Rainbow', a smile appears and I plan to name my dog Brinkley... yeah, am so in love with the movie.

The Magic of Ordinary Days is a movie that I saw quite recently, and its one of those rare movies that will make an impact on you. It tells the story of a well bred city girl (Keri Russell) who finds pure happiness and love in an arranged marriage that she wasn't keen on earlier. Circumstances force her to marry an adorable country lad (Skeet Ulrich) who is a farmer and she slowly begins to discover simple joys and happiness in an ordinary existence. After Charmian Carr I think Keri Russell is amazingly pretty and I loved Skeet Ulrich's character in the movie, its easy to fall for him, he is the perfect husband you could ever imagine...

I was kinda hesitant to watch this next movie cause Sajeeve (a cousin) was raving bout it. After watching a few movies that he said were brilliant (like Men in Black II, Bourne Ultimatum) I learnt a lesson and skipped all the movies that he liked... which if you ask me was an excellent selection process for me to watch good movies. So when Sajeeve told me to watch Hangover, I decided not to and left it at that. But the entire movie watching world couldn't stop talking bout the movie and I started to wonder bout it... when Arun (Tonio's brother) gave me a copy of it I sat down expecting to get bored with some filthy talking action kinda guy movie. But the movie took me by surprise, I absolutely loved it... I was laughing throughout the entire movie, it was that hilarious. Loved Bradley Cooper in the movie, I think he made all the difference... cause I hated that fat guy, he was so disgusting, I hope they drop him for the second part.

Julie and Julia is a wonderfully entertaining movie, loved all the food and all the cooking and baking process. Amy Adams looked good with her short hairstyle and she's a delightfully confused little creature in the movie, who finds happiness in cooking. Meryl Streep outdid herself, she is this gregariously loud and animated woman who finds her passion in life and then goes on to master it. I liked the husbands of both these women too, they really loved their quirky wives... it was sweet. I wish I could make the last dish that Julie bakes in the movie, something about boning a duck and then stuffing it, it looked deliciously awesome.
Yeah, that's what she is holding on the tray, the boned duck thing... when she removed it from the oven I gave a gasp, it was that beautiful. I wouldn't eat a duck though... they are cute.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A wonderful week ...

I was home last week and it was awesome... spent my time visiting the people I like and seeing places. Here are a few pix's...


Took this picture from the train as it was creeping into my place slowly in the morning... seeing the water logged fields and those rolling hazy hills always brings on a palpable sense of excitement.

St. Xavier is the patron saint of the town and I was there during his festival, which is a major affair... the whole place is so beautifully lit up and the crowds keep swelling. Anyway, I was kneeling down in church when I see a yellow bus slowly snaking its way to the entrance and I run out to stop it, its the Santhi Nilayam school bus with the special kids inside and I was overjoyed to see them there. Every year during the festival the children are taken on a trip to the cathedral and I remember that on my first day of work at the school I accompanied these kids to the cathedral in November 2004 and it was so beautiful going with them and now when they all saw me... they literally pushed me into the bus and told me they were taking me back to school. They are just so adorable and hug able and friendly... I miss hanging out with them.

Visited my farm and this is another place that I love, its a perfect place to get lost within yourself and to just walk around observing nature. Here you see two cloves that I just picked off the plant, you dry it and you get the aromatic spice seen below.

Clove buds on the tree... waiting to be picked and dried.
A cluster of peppercorns laid out for drying...

Pepper that I just picked off the climber plant. I think peppers are beautiful...

This is the place to chill out when I go home... soaking in the water, surrounded by greenery and listening to the sounds of nature is blissful and peaceful.

Made this cheese cake and fell in love with it, me and nam were surprised at how good it tasted, since it was a boxed product. You just have to mix the ingredients in proper quantities with milk and butter and I am telling you it was the simplest thing I've ever made and it tasted awesome.
Visited Our Lady of Perpetual Succor church in Sahayapuram.
Green fields and the hills on the way...
White feathery stalks swaying in tune to the breeze...
Visited Vattakottai, a fort that was built in the 18th century. Here's the pool that you see in the center of the fort, the king must have sat here under the shade and watched his many wives bathe in the pool. Or if the king was anything like me, he would have read his many books here under the trees and enjoyed the solitude of the place.

On one side of the fort is the sea... standing there on the fort and gazing into the horizon as the wind plays with you is beautiful. The king must have enjoyed his evenings here... the view, the smell of the sea and the breeze takes you away, you get lost in the grandeur of nature.

The fort enclosed on one side by the sea...

Celebrated Nameeta's birthday...

Priyanka (the kid at home) wanted to give Nameeta a gift, so me and Grandma made something... a small boxed gift with a dancing figure inside (symbolizing how my sister loves to dance).


Here is the dancing figure (I know she looks a little scary) with her skirt made of paper roses.

My Grandma provided the ideas and the design and I made it, pretty cool huh. My grandmamma is amazingly talented even at her age, she's 92 and she's making another Christmas gift for the parish priest.


Attended Sajay's (a college friend) wedding reception and the bridal couple looked great together.

After the wedding reception hopped over to Home church to attend the Carol songs event... it was in one word, spellbinding. Here you see a few of Nam's friends strumming out a few Christmas songs on their instruments... they were really really good, loved their performance.

There were many choir groups that evening and they all sang like angels... it was heavenly. It made Christmas seem more real and beautiful, it was a wonderful way to start the advent season.
Made these meat puff pastries that I love, they are so warm and they melt in your mouth. Not a good picture to see before you go to sleep... I am all hungry now.

Went to school too (the special school I used to work at earlier, Santhi Nilayam) and it was great seeing all the familiar faces after a long time, will put those pictures up later...