Nov 25, 2011

NaNoWrrMo Day 25 and where I've been ...

The current word count is 25650 - yep I'm behind by a lot. But I'm still writing. In the space of the past two weeks, my MIL has been diagnosed with two coronary artery blocks that will necessitate balloon angioplasty which is scheduled for next week. After a mad dash to Kottayam last week, I just could not pick up the momentum to keep up my word limit for the day. Still, just to keep my hand in, so to speak, I have been writing at least 10 words a day except on the days that we spent at Kottayam and in the hospital. Looking forward to the time when I can start writing fast again.

Nov 12, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 12

Whew, three sessions required to hammer out 1816 words. Total of 21,421. Will certainly make the 22K mark by evening tomorrow!

Nov 11, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 11

Just the update today: 1743 words. Total of 19605! Yippee.

Kitchen is calling....

Nov 10, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 10

1750 words for the day; total - 17852.

We went to the book lovers' extravaganza last weekend. The DC Books International Book Exhibition is attracting huge crowds at the Kanakakkunnu Palace Grounds at the moment. This is one event I look forward to the whole year. The times have changed so much. We no longer have to get receipts from each stall - they give us a basket at the entrance and you can go shopping for books among the various stalls as though you were at a supermarket. More fun! But not so much when you have a three-year-old who develops a fixation on one of the lovely girls (wo)manning  one of the counters. That means we kept having to go back to that particular stall and extract him a number of times! Next year, I'm leaving the kids at home!

Here is our horde!

The first little pile on the left are the books I bought from the Vivekananda Centre in Kanyakumari on our trip!

For the time being, I'm just salivating looking at all those virgin pages! Blast this NaNoWriMo! All my free time is taken up in reaching my word-limit goal of the day. :-( Well they will make the best reward for when I finish my novel.

And yep, yep, yep! They also mean a whole lot of book reviews coming your way! Bwahahahahaha!

Nov 9, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 9 and a little about Chitharal Malai Kovil

Word count of the day 1721; total of 16112!

On day one of our Kanyakumari district tour, we decided to check out the Chitharal Malai Kovil. It's not a usual item on a typical Kanyakumari itinerary, but we had heard of it from some of DH's colleagues who had been there. 

We turned left from the Marthandam-Pechippara road at Attoor. Then another left at Chitharal junction. The surroundings were idyllic, with small dwellings and a lot of farms. We wound through the meandering road and were wondering whether we were on the right path when a couple of helpful people on the roadside said we couldn't miss it because there was a huge arch at the entrance. Yep, they were right and we parked in a mostly deserted parking lot and went up.

Boy! Was that a climb! It looked all paved and civilized, but it was kind of like the Space Mountain ride at Disney World, only in reverse and of course very slow. For all its looking very level, it was a pretty steep and steady climb to the top - took us half an hour with minimal breaks. 

Fortunately stone benches have been provided at strategic points all along the path. But look who we found while we were about to sit down at one.

He was tiny, but we did not allow his size to lull us into a sense of security. The camera was the closest thing that got to him. We gawked at the poor thing (he seemed injured or too lethargic to move quickly although he was making a half hearted attempt to get away) and started moving towards the next bench we could find...

Anyway, we made it to the top and then climbed down some steps strategically placed between four of five huge rocks especially placed to intimidate anyone daring to pass between them and saw this.. I've been told that they are carvings of the Jain thirthankaras.

And then we came to the temple itself. This picture was taken from a rock opposite. Steps have been cut into the surrounding rocks so that we can climb to get good pictures from a distance!

Another view from above - there is a rock-pool just in front of the temple - tempting if it had not been for the carcasses of several mineral water bottles that had committed suicide... 

Bounding down the hill took us just 15 minutes - not long when you have sights such as the one below to hold you up - I mean both the guys and the scenery!

We unknowingly had picked a very good time to climb - it was cloudy, yet there was no rain. In the sun, the climb would've been exhausting and the rain would've made everything slippery. But hey, we have travelers' luck on our side!

Nov 8, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 8

Current word count: 14391! Ahead of daily word requirement till now! 

Some pictures of Kanyakumari's most prolific produce: seashells! don't these remind you of some graceful, long-necked birds?

Poor starfish! Four-legged in addition to being the runt of the family ! Can you imagine how much bullying he might have gone through? He looks forlorn even now.

Mirrors, mirrors - a pair looks like huge earrings!

Gorgeous colors! DH had to literally drag me away  because I wouldn't stop snapping pictures!

Nov 7, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 7 and more pics from the Kanyakumari trip

Word count: 12,160! Still going! :-)

Day 3 in Kanyakumari - while everyone was at the sunrise point, we zoomed off to the sunset point and found fisherman on catamarans bringing back their early morning catch...

There were intermittent drizzles, a blustery wind, so someone soon sought protection from my cap and a dry towel

 But no amount of wind or rain could get these out of the water - they were in for so long I thought they'd grow gills and fins...

Home inside a home: looks cozy, doesn't it?

Nov 4, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 4 and more Kanyakumari pictures

Reached a total of 7052 words today. Day's count: 1776. Was so busy today that I was sorely tempted to just type in my written manuscript pages of the beginning of the novel. But really sat down and wrote out fresh pages. 

Here are a few more pics from our trip - this time from Day 2

Forest of "fans" as our kids called them. The wind farms in Thovalai - a view from atop the Murugan kovil rock in Thovalai.

Lost chance: A fresh rose that got inadvertently trampled... On the way to the flower market in Thovalai

Beautifully landscaped central courtyard of the Vattakkotta. I was bowled over by the change. On my last visit 14 years ago, there was just sand and one or two trees. The Tamil Nadu tourism department certainly deserves some kudos on this!

It's waaaay past my bedtime and I'm almost sleeping at the comp. Ta..ta!

Nov 3, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 3 and a few pictures

Written today: 1684. Total word count: 5276! Still going strong!

Adding a few pictures from our trip to Kanyakumari last weekend. We spent 3 days in the Kanyakumari district visiting several places and enjoying the beach...These are from day one.

The kids posing atop the hill at Chitaral

Enjoying the rain at the Padmanabhapuram palace

Cloud-swathed sunset at the Triveni Sangamam point at Kanyakumari

More to come... :-)

Nov 2, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 2 and Review of Ra-One

Logging in my total word count - 3592. Passed the day's target!

I don't want to write in detail about Ra-One. Will give in short:
Special effects: Fantastic
Dialogues: Inaudible, but inane when audible
Plot: Brilliant where lifted, horrible when not
Humor: Please don't get me started!
Songs and dance: Good, especially "Chamak challo"
SRK: Up to his old tricks, even as a game prototype, can't control his emotions
Best things about the movie: Kareena and Arjun Rampal
Rajnikanth as Chitti: What was he there for?????

All said and done, our kids enjoyed the movie from start to finish. I enjoyed looking at Kareena and Arjun Rampal. Finis!

Nov 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo and a new television channel

I have accepted the NaNoWriMo challenge once again this year. The target for each day is 1667 words. Today I have completed 1857!

Before I tell you the rest, I must get you up to speed on my TV viewing habits, which don't amount to much. They are confined to occasional episodes of "Masterchef" while I'm folding the laundry, snippets of English movies when the kids are not clamoring for cartoons and almost nothing in the evening.

Yesterday, a famous media group launched its first entertainment channel in Malayalam. The launch was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and I promptly re-tuned our TV to find the new channel. I also had two coupons in hand - one from the newspaper and the other from the group's ladies' magazine. They are conducting a "Watch and Win" 'housie' game with fabulous prizes for winners including gold coins. The numbers appear in the upper left corner of the TV screen from 7-9:30 p.m. Yesterday I stayed in front of the TV as much as I could in that interval, getting my son to watch in my place while I had to make a few forays to the kitchen. It was about 8:30 when my almost-7-year-old started asking me some pertinent questions. 
"Amma, how long is this game for?"
""Several weeks", I replied. 
"So, do you have to watch this everyday for so long?"
"What for?"
"We might win a gold coin!"
"So what, if you want a gold coin, I'll give you one gold 5-rupee coin that I got the other day. Why do you want to waste so much time sitting here???"

It's past 7:30 today and I have not touched the game coupons.

How many numbers did I get to circle yesterday? Just one! Thank God for straight-thinking children!

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