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Movie Review: Take Off

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I don't really like conflict films or war movies - give me a choice and I will always opt for a soppy, syrupy love story any day. I hate watching the aftermath of armed conflicts in terms of loss of limbs and lives. I especially hate watching medical dramas in conflict zones and the endless parade of bloody and maimed bodies.
Then why did I go to watch Take Off? For one, it based on the real story of the rescue of a group of  Malayali nurses stranded in Iraq during the first onslaught of ISIS attacks there. I still remember praying for the safe deliverance of those women. It is also a tribute to the director who gave us that perfect movie called Traffic - Rajesh Pillai. Which is why perhaps I choked up when the titles of his three movies blossomed on the screen before the movie. That I was not the only one so affected was proved by the heartfelt applause in the house-full movie hall.
The movie drew me in with the title scenes themselves - the montage of nurses across history prom…

Why I Quit from Whatsapp groups

I have always been wary of social networking platforms. One of my friends had to bug me for six months before I joined Orkut. And when Facebook turned up, I was one of the last among my friends to join. I haven't gone anywhere near Twitter or Instagram, which would make me a dinosaur, I think. It was not until 2014 and my second android phone that I finally gave in to peer pressure to install Whatsapp.
As in any relationship, the honeymoon period was fabulous! There was a lot of catching up to do in the five groups I was added. Friends all over the world, in different time zones, came together in shared waking times and chatted, sharing tidbits from their daily lives. Some chats continued for days. There was a lot of good-natured teasing and reminiscing.
Whatsapp helped a lot with dealing with tough times too. When a dear friend was in trouble, one group chipped in and helped out. It helped in organizing 3 reunions in the past 3 years. Most of the time, the news enthusiasts kept …

The Aftermath

The moment I hit 'Publish' on my last post, I began to have second thoughts. "Was it okay to have written that?" "Will people perceive me as a lecher/disaster  magnet?", "Was it alright to have mentioned the proper name for a part of my anatomy?" - all these raced through my mind. Couldn't help the effect of several centuries worth of conditioning that has been handed down among women across generations. I have seen the sort of inane comments that appear below completely innocent posts of female celebrities and felt relieved that I am not a celebrity and hoped that the few friends who read my posts would not take it wrong. It just felt good to have poured out the rant I had been harboring for a weekend. 
After the day was done, I came back to Facebook where I share my posts and saw the first few comments - all of them encouraging and I even saw a few shares. Intrigued, I went to check the stats on the post and was flabbergasted... 5000 hits, …

Thoughts of an Ordinary Malayali Woman

Yesterday I watched a bunch of Malayalam movie personalities expressing wonder and stupefaction at the attempted abduction/compromising photographing/blackmailing of a noted Malayali actress. They seemed to think that such a thing was not heard of in God's Own Country at all - and it set me thinking of my life journey as a woman in Kerala. 
I think I was 7 years old when my Mummy asked to me to stop sitting in the laps of the "uncles" who came to visit us in Saudi Arabia. She refused to tell me why even though I pestered her for an explanation. But the warning was enough to awaken a sense of self-preservation in me when barely a year later, I found myself being tightly hugged from behind by an "uncle" who had wandered into the kitchen while I was mixing Tang for our visitors as my Mum had asked me. I made a fuss about not being sure if I had added enough sugar even though he insisted that I had. I yelled aloud for my mother and was instantly freed from his arm…

New year on a note of gratitude

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Hi everyone! 
Much as I would like to subscribe to the view that each day is the beginning of a new year, the feeling of an actual new calendar year is still exciting! The last page of my 2016 diary has been written up. All the receipts and papers of the last year have been transferred to a new 2016 folder that has gone to live in the lower cupboard instead of in my desk. The 2015 folder has joined its brothers in the archives on the top shelf. The last box of decluttered items is waiting for the recycling guy in the shed. This year I even managed to clean out the garage and get rid of a lot of junk - some of which was as old as Karthi!!! 

My old planner and new diary! I am a BuJo fan now. No planner that I bought over the years was completely satisfactory because they had no space for the myriad things I wanted to keep track of.  That is when I encountered the Bullet Journal - a planning system that is (a) totally customizable, (b) very economical - you can adapt any notebook for th…

Movie Review - Puli Murugan

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Are you a Malayali fan who has watched The Avengers movies or even Baahubali and wondered with a sigh, "When will such a movie come out in Malayalam?..." Even as you wondered, you probably knew that it was an impossibility because it would call for world-class animation technology and action expertise with a humongous budget which a small regional movie industry can ill afford. 
Well, for the first time in Malayalam, a truly tiger-hearted producer called Tomichan Mulakuppadam has taken up that very challenge. He shared the dream of director Vysakh and together they have brought forth:

Yep, we had heard the hype. Yep, we heard that there was not much of a story. But that didn't stop us from going to two theaters last weekend to book tickets, only to find they are unavailable. Next we tried online and luckily got four seats for a second show in a town 20 kilometers away. 
And was it worth it all? Yes, yes, YES! I don't know if it was the realistic setting as compared …

Last quarter of 2016 coming up!!!

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I am sitting here with a slightly shell-shocked countenance, staring at the beautiful, crescent-like shore of Minicoy - on the wall calendar, that is. It's the date that boggles my mind. Really, September 30? ALREADY???  But school just started yesterday....
I take a look at our 2016 photos folder and try to find out where the days went...
We celebrated Ani's birthday in July. One more non-exploding cake under my belt!
After 13 years of on-again, off-again trying with a shuttle, I finally mastered tatting with a needle in the same month thanks to my dear friend Elsa who brought me the needles and to a couple of hours in front of YouTube (Thank you all crafters out there who share their expertise on video! Love ya!!!)
Then it was time to go back to a place that is so dear to my heart, CMS college, where classmates from 21 years ago gathered to catch up and reminisce...



And before we knew it the Independence day weekend was upon us and we went to a favorite spot - Ponmudi and i…