Feb 23, 2012

A finished crochet project and a favorite book series...

Ahh, it's good to be back, sitting at home and not rushing about getting ready for another hospital visit. Both the kiddos are still a bit under the weather, but are in manageable shape. What a rough beginning for the year this has been!

Well, all that time at the hospital did not go to waste as I managed to finish this...

It's a gift for my favorite aunt who celebrated her 60th birthday in Feb. We were to have given her a surprise party in Kottayam when all the plans went kaput due to my Dad's illness. Anyway, it's finished and ready for whenever I get a chance to meet her!

I also got time to read - and I enjoyed going back to one of my favorite series: Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I currently own five out of the 12-book series. Let me show you what first attracted me to the books:

Yep, I was first attracted by the covers that are wonderful works of art. And once I tried the first book, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, I was hooked! 

To give you the background: Precious Ramotswe, a native of Botswana starts the first detective agency in Gaborone. Mma Ramotswe is  "traditionally built" (oh, how I love that epithet!), extremely observant, kind and tactful - all factors that make her trustworthy and therefore sought after by her clients. She has a highly qualified secretary called Mma Makutsi (whose ambition is to become Chief Detective) and together they solve various minor and major mysteries and problems that come to them.

I'll tell you right away that this is not a detective series in the usual sense of the word. It's more the exploration of a lifestyle, a look into the lives of simple people and their little problems. The overall tone is light and pleasing with a lot of profound truths thrown in. We read a lot about Africa and its life, it's so difficult to tear our imagination away from those usual exotic descriptions and to think of the people there leading mundane lives just like ours. Once, I was talking to an Irish lady who had come to India for research and she told me that she had been totally surprised to see "normal" people leading "normal" lives in India. Till she came here, she had pictured India to be a land of the poor and suffering living in dismal conditions.  Of course that was before the IT boom period and I think the outlook has changed a lot now! 

Back to the series, Precious Ramotswe's  adventures are the perfect remedy for a tornado-paced life. Whenever you need a break from the breakneck speed of daily life, press the pause button, pick up any book of this series and revel in a story that is in no hurry to get anywhere. The author will charm you into understanding that Mma Ramotswe's circumstances are not so different from yours and that you need not run around like a headless chicken to sort out your life.

If you become sufficiently enamored of the writer, you can try out more of his book series (he's a very prolific writer!) like the Sunday Philosophy Club, The 2 1/2  Pillars of Wisdom or 44 Scotland Street. My personal favorite is The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency!

Feb 15, 2012

Just keeping my hand in...


As some of you may know, my father has been hospitalized for a week and my sister and I are taking turns keeping him company at the hospital. By the grace of God, he is out of danger now and the doctors are running more tests to see if he is okay. A huge thanks to all of you who gave us your support and wishes. We hope he will be leaving the hospital soon.

Meanwhile here's a pic for you to think about...

It's a picture of our grocery shopping for the month of February. What's so special about it? Yep, I reused some plastic bags I already had to bring home the goods. How was the experience? I did feel  a little embarrassed bringing out folded old plastic bags from my "big shopper" and passing it on to the bagging lady especially when the other shoppers in the queue stared so hard. I was tempted to explain my "reduce, reuse, recycle"  action plan, but I didn't. And they were too polite to ask. So I will blow my trumpet just in front of y'all :-)!!!!

And yesss, I intend to use these bags again and have put them back in the "big shopper" and placed it in the boot of our car. No additional plastic covers will step across our threshold if we can help it!

Feb 5, 2012

Movie Review: Casanovva

Old wine in a new decanter...but what a decanter - probably the best Spiegelau or Riedel. That sums up Casanovva. 

The "story" - Casanovva (Mohanlal) is a flower merchant mogul. He lands in Dubai with plans to nab a gang of four thieves who are kinda like John Abraham's gang in Dhoom. When his first plans go awry, he has to lay a very elaborate trap not just to nab them, but to make them suffer. And he wants to do it before the Interpol officer (Riyaaz Khan in a decent role for once) can cotton on. Why does he want the thieves for himself? Aah, for that you have to watch the movie. 

Casanovva could be described as a hedonist's ultimate fantasy and has enough "speed" for an action junkie. That's about it. There are a couple of glaring errors in the plot - or am I being too finicky by searching for ants in Black Forest pastry? The costumes are wonderful - except for Lalu Alex's purple suit (the actor must have hated it, good thing the tone of the scene was meant to show his anger and discomfort, the suit brought it out beautifully). But there was lots of eye candy to compensate for anything like that. Do watch out for a sequence in the "Love" song for Casanovva singing in all magazine covers on display - fundoo...

All in all, a well-packaged respite from a fortnight of all-night battles with kids' flu, emergency hospital visits and dealing with residual infections. No one but a frazzled mom can appreciate the world of perfect mani-pedis, loooong smoooooth legs and the recreational sport of shopping better than the world's greatest Casanovva!

Worth watching? You won't be bored - except while watching the daredevil thieves doing their mid-jump roll ad infinitum....

Edited to add: Do I sound as though I liked the movie in the review? I was being totally sarcastic. Ok, let me make it clear - remember Kamal Hassan's wonderfully packed boxes in "Pushpak"?  Casanovva is like that - all glitz and glamor on the outside, putrefaction inside. I hope everything's clear now!!!!

Spring/Summer Projects

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