Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fate - As we call it

A routine set of events happening in my life have raised a lot of questions inside me and most times I myself try to give a justified answer to it. I succeed few times, but fail most of the times. You wake up every morning, drive to office and on the way in a busy signal see people asking for money. You ignore them 97 out of 100 times assuming they are not genuine, as in are victims of a trafficking mafia or the fact that they shouldn't be begging given their physique. You reach office, give you car keys to the guy who does the valet parking, which you know for sure is one of the most difficult jobs given the space and the number of cars. You see a lot other employees not treating him with the respect he deserves. You think about it for a few moments and then you are off to your workplace.

You take a tea break, and when you are having tea outside your office premises, you see a family of four with two children asking for money, or at least some food for the kids to eat. You think of helping them, but most often than not you do not help. It pricks your heart for few seconds. But then you are off with your work. If it is a lucky day, you leave office early. You reach home, sit in the balcony and have a cup of tea. You watch children in your apartment play. You see two groups of children playing. One group, belonging to the children of the flat owners and tenants and the other group, consisting of the children of the domestic helps. And when one of the latter tries to communicate with one of the former, a housewife from the second floor balcony shouts asking the former to keep away from the latter. You want to throw the tea along with the cup directly on the face of the lady who is shouting. Instead you watch, just watch like a dumb man who can not speak even if he wants to.

I can keep adding events after events happening in front of us everyday. But what is the point?
The point is, what right do I have to earn more than what my father is earning in my first job just after college? A boy born on the same date as mine but to a father who is a lorry driver would be lifting bricks in a construction site now. Money speaks more than words, I agree. But what is more important than money is the mutual respect between human beings irrespective of money. It is very easy to call the situation of the boy I mentioned above is due to fate. But is it really fate or is it known as fate but in truth is human intolerance to responding to other humans needs as they would respond to their family's needs?

Respect comes with money and if you are the money provider, you never need to respect anyone. A very simple example is how we treat our domestic helps. For a fact, we know, our day will halt if they are not IN on that day. They are so essential to us, they drive the whole day for us by completing all "maintenance and ops" allowing us to concentrate only on "development". But what is our mentality towards them? We bargain with them even for INR 50, but we would not mind paying the same amount as convenience charge for booking 3 tickets on bookmyshow. Why? Because bookmyshow is not dependent on you, but the helper is. The most important factor that we forget is INR 50 is something huge for the helper and it is not something huge for you. The downsides are of their erratic behaviour, using foul language, not doing work properly and stealing/theft etc. If we, in a so called civilized society, have no sense of mutual respect and dignity towards a fellow human being, how can we expect a poor helper to be civilized?

We read articles and watch news about atrocities in villages being committed against human kind. We feel bad about it, we crib them, we call them uncivilized. Do we think for a moment whether we are civilized? Civilization is directly proportional to the amount of respect and proudness one is able to feel and is made felt by others on whatever work someone does. If someone is collecting garbage from your house, he is helping you clean your house. He deserves respect for that, we can not treat him like garbage. Another instance that comes to my mind is when I was driving my car and there was a road crossing. I slowly stopped the vehicle. And a small girl crossed the road whose mother was on the other side and a domestic help, a small girl in her teens, was along with the young girl. There was zero chances of any accident. The domestic help saw the vehicle stop and then let the small girl cross the road. Soon after this happened, the mother slapped the domestic help in public scolding her for not taking care of the girl while she was crossing the road. I agree she is concerned, but would she slap if the girl was her husbands sister or her sister or her sisters friend? This is what I can fearlessly call modern slavery. What right does someone have to beat up a young girl in public when she should have actually made her go to school?

I frankly do not have much idea about what I am exactly trying to project and I don't have a theory and I don't think I am talking wholly about communism as communism is huge and to understand what it is you have to be well read about it. The word sends fear across the cash rich middle and rich classes and I can openly admit I too do not want to get deeper into the word as I fear I may end up hurting my close loved ones. I wanted to express what I felt very vaguely and I would not mind if this post is never read. All it will do is motivate me to be respectful with fellow human beings of this world irrespective of anything else other than the fact that they are no different from me. The current generation of people who are in mid 20's and early 30's are more inclined to this and hence the change is pretty evident.
I myself, am a selfish human being who can just write some crap and actually can not do much to influence others. I am not helpless, I am just selfish to put it plainly.
Bare minimum, if not with adults, I would dream to see a day when all children in a gated community happily play together irrespective of who their parents are.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Deiva Thirumagal Review

This is one of the best movies I have ever watched till date. I have this feeling of greatness when I walk out of a theatre from an emotional movie without shedding tears. I have cried lastly after watching Nayagan when I was 51/2 years old in DD in Pune. I have not cried after that in a theatre. I even escaped crying for 'Tare Zameen Par' as it was controllable for me. But Deiva Thirumagal was too emotional and I felt audience would not do justice if they do not shed atleast a tear drop watching this movie.

The heart of the movie is in a village called Avalanche near Ooty. Art direction and cinematography make it look like a village in Switzerland, hats off for that. And how much ever I talk about Vikram, it would not be enough. Krishna, the character played by him is so likeable that you just go nuts watching him on screen. Nila, played by Sara, is cute, beautiful and so admirable. I was thinking of Vishal bagging an award for Avan Ivan for his performance, but truly what Vikaram has done here will put a huge question mark on whether the former would be possible. Even Vishal would agree to that.

The other characters who hold the script together have been penned down so well that you don't feel irritated even with a single one of them. Anushka, Amala Paul, Bhaskar, his wife, Vikrams friends have all done an extra ordinary job. Santhanam, is his usual and fits in so well to make us laugh. The tea-coffee scene and the hotel room door knocking scene are worth mentioning. GV Parakash Kumar started to haunt me slowly and after the final court scene, moments before the father and daughter hug, a small bit of the BGM just sweeps you away. The innocence in "Kadha solla poren" song is so realistic that you never want that song to end.

Excluding the climax, the other scenes that just blew me away were the scene where Vikram and his friends buy shoes for Sara, the scene when the boy kisses Vikram after the poetry competition and the scene where Sara for the first time says Appa.

Director Vijay has given his best work till date. Adaptation from 'I am Sam' does not make me write this script off. Population of TN is around 10 crore and not everyone would love to watch 'I am Sam'. What Vijay has done is made everyone go back and call up their relatives and ask them to watch this movie. We, in the theatre gave him a standing ovation, I am sure everyone would have clapped after the movie.

Deiva Thirumagal is a feel good, emotional entertainer that would sweep you away and if you had forced someone to come with you to the theatre, I can definitely bet that someone would have thanked you for doing so.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Srihari alias "Vadai" alias "Mr Responsible Number 1" alias "One of my close friends" got engaged on 27th Feb 2011 to Janani Ramakrishnan (we will add aliases for her once we start knowing her) in Coimbatore. The couple, food, mandapam and our short stay in Coimbatore was awesome, one because obviously, there was a function and two because we got to eat in some of our favorite restaurants and thattu kadais in the city.

Congrats to the couple.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nadunisi Naigal - Movie Review

First of all, Gowtham Menon has to be appreciated for taking a new effort of movie making without BGM and just sound effetcs. How? By reading about the movie, its storyline, camera work etc, but never by watching it. After a very long time (I think in 2002 while watching Kadhalil Azhivadihllai), I felt that a one hour forty minute movie looked like a three hour movie.
I recomend everybody to not even thinking of watching this movie, not because it is boring but because it is irritating. The Apt title would have been "Verupethum Naigal" (Irrirating Dogs), that was what everyone associated on and off screen were doing. And because none of you are planning to watch the movie, I would give a small jist of the story line.

Samar is an eight year old kid whose mother is dead and whose father abuses him sexually. Their neighbour Meenakshi saves the kid and adopts him becoming his gaurdian. She names him Veera. He starts falling in love with her and one day his old memories gets back to him and he rapes her. She gets dejected and decides to marry an old friend of hers though forgiving Veera. After the marriage, Veera kills her husband and in that chaos, fire breaks out severely injuring Meenakshi, who is saved. Meenakshi is in hospital for eight months, gets discharged, gives a statement that her husband was the reason for all this, transfers all her wealth to Veera and they move to Chennai. Veera keeps killing women, Meenakshi insists him to do so and they collect their hair. Finally, it is reveiled that Meenakshi is actually dead and Veera becomes Samar sometimes and thinks Meenakshi is alive. He is sent to a hospital for treatment. Sameera is one of the girls in the whole story.

Negatives are very bad screenply, very painful story and to the core irritating sound. Even if a real life Veera watches this movie, he will get irritated. Positives are above average acting by everyone and camera work. Please do not watch this movie, wait for a week and it will be out of theatres. My irritation reached the limits when Menon tried to convery a message in the end.
Can this be comparable to the classic "Sivappu Rojakkal"? Never ever.

Verdict: "Meenakshi ammaa. Dhaivu seidhu theatre lendhu velila poidunga ammaa".

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The night

The night was getting darker, just a gleam of light produced by ITO. Tempers were raising up and lowering down. One body, one heart, one sound and one silence. This wasn't a dream, am I sure?, but was it reality? I was not sure either. "What was my dinner last night?", I thought. A multi grain bread with paneer stuffing in Subway. But why was I eating in Subway in the first place. That is because I was in a mall. What mall? Why in a mall? "I am wasting time thinking of crap", I thought.

Why is it dark still? Is the night longer than 12 hours? Am I in Norway experiencing the polar night? I was not able to handle any more unanswerable questions. WAKE UP!!! I shouted to myself. This has to be a dream. Why should this be a dream? Aaargh, another question. I can not tolerate this anymore. Wait a second, Am I breathing?

I have to find the answer to this question. Yes I am breathing. Phew, what a relief. But, why am I breathing with my mouth and not nose? Please, this is torture, please never ever ask any more questions that have no answers. Think, think hard, real hard. This is the last question you may have to answer. Am I in water using oxygen cylinder and hence breathing through mouth. No. It is dark and me being inside water is irrelevant.

Let me go back to the mall. It seems to have some relevance. Before dinner, I am at Cream Stone, eating a 140 buck "Death By Chocolate" all by myself. Would any fool eat this all by himself? Why not? Ahchoo!!! The sneeze made me come back to my senses. It is 3 PM in the evening of a Monday. My laptop is nearby, screen saver running. My head is heavy, and I was relieved to realize this was all just the after effects of "Benadryl" and 2 dose of "Cold Acts". Would I ever catch up some sleep anymore today? I was again not sure. Your conscience is crazy, it creates magic. But how much of the magic someone can actually remember? Can you answer this?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Get together in "The Andamans" - Volume 3

Chapter 9 : "Adieu Havelock" and Sun Sea
Date : 28th Jan 2011
Day : 4
Sunrise is not a big friend of Radha Nagar beach as it is located in the west side of Havelock and the Sun has to come out of the woods containing very tall trees. So, we decided to give it a miss. Breakfast menu, that too complimentary one, all over Havelock is quite similar, but Barefoot's was definitely tastier. We took a set of group pics near the beach jumping in air and rest was taken care by Vijesh and Arun Raag. We checked out of the hotel at around 11 AM and booked a cab back to Havelock jetty. The return journey to Port Blair was quite boring and everybody slept. Arun Raag and Srihari were the only ones to check out the deck and the news was the sea was very rough and thus contributed to a lot of folks puking that day. For the record, none of us did.

We reached Port Blair at 4:30 PM and checked in Sun Sea Resort. I don't know why they gave this name as it was not a resort and the word "Sun Sea" had no relevance to the ambiance or location. But the hotel was in the heart of the city and very easily accessible. We decided to catch up the sound and light show in the cellular jail which was at 6:30 PM and luckily on just Fridays, the 6:30 PM show was in English to help everyone understand the show. The jail was around 3/4th of a km from the hotel and we took auto's to reach the place. Sound and light show was good, not excellent. Arun Raag was the highlight when he kept looking at me on the right and Santy on the left, every time they played a Hindi patriotic song. After 2-3 songs, he started guessing the timing of the song and said, "Paatu poda poraanga da, ayyo." Overall, I would say, the show was not bad. We walked back to the hotel room and had dinner on the way in a Pure Veg restaurant called Annapurna. Dosa's, Poori's and different varieties of idlis were served. Highlight was tomato soup, which tasted like 'sweet puliyankottai'(tamarind seed) and lemon fried idli which was supposed to be shared by two, but they advertised enormously to get rid of it by calling it tasty and asking others to taste.

Chapter 10 : Jolly Bouy and Kaalapaani

While having dinner, we had a voting session on which place to visit on the next day, Baratang or Jolly Buoy island. Baratang was around 135kms drive and required us to wake up by 4AM. Initial votes were very less for Baratang and then, after some convincing and under the table dealings, we had majority. Santy and Abi were very clear on their stance and they voted for Jolly Buoy. Luckily for them, Baratang tickets were sold out and we had to go to Jolly Bouy.

Day : 5
Date : 29th Jan 2010
We got ready by 7:30 and had buffet breakfast in Sun Sea; dosa, vada and toast. It was quite filling. Chinnaya, our cab driver was on time. He promised us that if we were back from Jolly Bouy boat before 3PM, he would drop us in Cellular Jail on time as the entry was restricted after 4PM. Jolly Bouy is around 30 kms from Port Blair and is a plastic free zone. We required permits and no one was allowed to stay back. We bought some bread and snacks for lunch since no food would be available there. We reached the entry point at 9AM and out boat started at 9:30AM. On the way, we played a very good game, which I would name as, "Kannu Adi Kandu Pudi", suggested by the Vijesh Abi couple. Again for rules, contact me offline. The game was hilarious and when we were done, we reached Jolly Buoy.

Jolly Buoy is famous for Snorkeling and corals. It is a INR 500 package that includes one snorkeling and one glass boat ride. The water was so clear that when a glass is the base for a boat, from the top we could see the sea life. Most of us went for snorkeling. The scuba certificate holder in Vijesh and Shruthi cautiously avoided it after trying out once or twice. I would rate the snorkeling experience from the perspective of how much marine life I saw as slightly better the the scuba one though the island is the one that makes the difference. We paid INR 200 extra for more snorkeling and me and Santy went twice for the paid one. When I returned, I heard a new tourist attraction had come up suddenly in the last 2 hours in Jolly Bouy. I came running to see what it was and what I saw there was that a Tamil guy was discussing the architecture of the castle built by our girls. It was good work by Shruthi and Aparna and while we were leaving back in the boat, we could see everyone taking snaps of it(no, not mana brandi, its true).

We were on time for the jail entry. The jail, called as kaala paani, was historic and the events were painful. A must see place, if you are in Port Blair. We hired two guides, one who speaks Hindi and the other, named Arun DK, who would translate the Hindi into Tamil. The guide morally cheated me by not giving any commission, but was forgiven. And for this act, the banyan tree saluted me. Why not, it has smelt the aroma of forgiveness for the first time in history inside the jail premises. I humbly bowed. We left the jail and split ourselves while walking back to the hotel.

After reaching the hotel, we decided to shop in a nearby gift store. Srihari, who was blossoming with the butterfly effect, desperately wanted to do shopping, not for him of course, and Abi and Shruthi helped him out. They spent around an hour in the shop without knowing the shopkeeper was a high BP patient. Srihari, with his bargaining skills made him reach the threshold and he started scolding everybody around. Me, Santy, Arun Raag and Gopal has gone to another shop and 3 of us got a tshirt which was very useful the next day photo shoot. When we came back, we watched the drama in the shop. It was very hilarious from a distance. Once the shop keeper cooled down and said one item cost INR 370, Srihari again asked, "350?". The shopkeeper lost his control again and when Vijesh asked if some item was unbreakable, he started throwing it away proving that it was indeed unbreakable. Somehow, they managed to pay the bill and come out of the shop. Dinner was good in Sun sea and we guys(only guys) spent some together after dinner.

Chapter 11 : A photo shoot called Ross
Day : 6
Date : 30th Jan 2011

We had our flight scheduled at 12:45 PM so all we could afford to do was start early and visit Ross island, the British headquarters in the Andamans. We finished breakfast, checked out from the rooms, kept the luggage in the reception and were off to Ross, just a km from the hotel in auto. After reaching there and purchasing the tickets, me and Shruthi had to go back to the hotel so see if, "where Shruthi thought her camera was" and "where it was truly" matched or not. God is great, it matched, and God is double great, the camera was not there in the store where we shopped yesterday. Ross island is a beautiful place, with ruins of the British colony. Ideal place for photo shoot and would we miss it. We took around 400 pictures if I am not wrong and every picture in that place has come up great. The place is famous for film shooting and the picture on the right side is the ruined church where "Kaaka Kaaka" movies "Uyirin Uyire" song was shot. Unfortunately we could not spend much time there and came back to catch the return ferry where Chinnaiya was waiting for us in a cab. We did not waste time, took the luggage and were off to airport.

Flight was on time. And we were exactly on time. On our return journey, we again had some very ok tasting dish(name was not worth remembering) in the flight. We were in Chennai at 2:45, collected the baggage at 3 and paid adieu to each other at 3:15. The trip is over; phew, what a trip, more than the place, the togetherness was what made it so special. Ran away fast, but not very fast too. Perfect number of days for a perfect holiday, one or two more would have been good too but not a second less.

I was sitting in the flight back to Hyderabad and remembered Srihari's email. As I said earlier, the email was worth millions, but the trip was priceless...

While I am penning down the last words of this post, I am watching a song from the movie "Samurai" in Sun Music, the movie for which we went together for the first time in July 2002. The journey has continued till now and I strongly hope it does continue forever.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Get together in "The Andamans" - Volume 2

PS: This is lengthy as I want this to remain as something we could recollect when read after a while.

Chapter 6 : The Arrival
Day : 1
Date : 25th Jan 2011
It was around 10:45 AM and we were in mid air, most of us cursing Mr, sorry Dr Mallya for looting Rs 200 for a worth for nothing breakfast which we assumed initially was for free. I would like to let people who are reading know that my travelogue would always have huge contributions towards the stuff we ate, so please forgive me for the same. 3-4 cola bottle cap sized idli's soaked in sambar, 1/6th of a masala dosa and some fruits for just INR 200. Gopal's concern that we would always require snacks to eat during the trip was rightly experienced as we opened one pack of manoharam (muruku soaked in jaggery and rolled like laddus) and thatai in the flight which we purchased from Grand Sweets, Adyar.

Flight landed on time, Arun Raag asked a wonderful question, "Ask in which belt the baggage's would arrive?". In an Airport that had around 6 flights operating per day, having an automated belt itself was a luxury. Our agent Ashraf had informed someone would be waiting for us with a hoarding. Yes, there was someone and the hoarding read "Welcome Mr NK Arun". He was revolutionary, providing a guy his wife's initials after marriage, the first person to do it in the history of mankind transforming Arun DK with NK Shruthi's initials. His name was Anil and he seemed quite friendly. He was a mallu and when I wanted to intervene and showcase my expertise in Malayalam, he revealed he spoke good Tamil. I was shattered.

We purchased some bananas, boarded the ferry to Havelock Islands which was scheduled at 2PM. Ferry journey was quite boring except for the bananas and snacks and the fact that we had "Ace" photographers in Vijesh, Arun Raag, Srihari(to encourage him) and Shruthi(so that I don't face any consequences).
We enjoyed the photography sessions and then killed time playing UNO in the deck. It was 4:30 PM and Hevelock Islands welcomed us. Our pickup was ready in place by the Wild Orchid resort where we planned to stay located at beach no 5. We had some issues regarding rooms as the allocation was split into 2 rooms each at a distance of around 50 meters. Sun sets in the Andamans at 5:30, so we knew all we could do would be do have food and sleep.
Food was good. I saw a lobster dish for the first time after watching it in Mr Beans holiday ordered by the non veggies. We had Roti's, Briyani's, Rice, Dal and the special item of the day, roasted papad. During dinner we decided we would check out Scuba diving and inquire about the same. Day one was coming to an end.

Chapter 7 : Bikes and Vijaynagar
Day : 2
Date : 26th Jan 2011
I woke up at 6, got ready at around 6:45 and started calling the other folks. Me, Shruthi, Gopal and Aparna had tea in the neighboring restaurant. Always remember, in Havelock, just tea means green tea, not the milk tea. And if the tea is flavoured with tulasi, ginger or honey, it is definitely green tea. We inquired about scuba diving near the restaurant in an institute called Andaman Bubbles. Everyone else joined for the complimentary breakfast in Wild Orchid. Breakfast was good. Toasts, parathas and the highlight was banana pan cakes. Please never ever order pan cackes for breakfast in Wild Orchid resort, Havelock. Any guesses on who would have ordered it and who eventually liked it and finished it? Gopal and his wife respectively of course.

After breakfast we planned to check out two things. One was regarding Scuba diving in an institute called Barefoot scuba located at beach no 3 and two was to rent bikes. Me, Santy and Arun Raag took right from the resort towards Barefoot Scuba. It was supposed to be a 5 minute walk. Please note, never ever ask this question, "How much time will it take to reach that place?". Always ask, "how many kilometers that place is located from here?". We kept walking and walking and walking and after 10 minutes asked another shopkeeper who said, "5 minutes". And as we were leaving, I think he got some sense of telepathy from our pissed off faces that he called us back and said, "3 minutes, not 5". We reached Barefoot Scuba in next 10 minutes, inquired rates and were back in auto. Meanwhile, two other things happened. One, as I already mentioned, Srihari and Gopal took left from the resort to check out bike rentals. We rented 4 bikes, 2 Activa's and 2 geared bikes. We planned to rent another bike somewhere else as this shop had only 4 bikes available and we were 9 folks. Two, as we requested we were all shifted to the same block and we were no more having the 50 meter gap we had yesterday. Arun Raag said he would not join us in the bike ride and would spend time in the beach. When everyone were getting ready, Santy and Srihari collected cash and headed towards Barefoot Scuba to book scuba diving on the next day.

We started from Wild Orchid at around 12:15PM in our bikes to beach no 7 which was located at around 15 kilo meters. The journey was enjoyable and before that we also checked the counter to booked return ferry tickets. It was lunch break in the counter and we were getting hungry. Even the bikes sounded hungry when we reached beach no 7 in next half hour. We were not sure of making it back with just one liter of petrol we had filled in each bike; we had earlier neglected Gopal's warning that the quantity would not suffice. We had lunch in a small mess. INR 50 for a thali which served rice, dhal, soya curry, potato fry and appalam. Charges for Roti was extra and we had them too. I should say, for the money we paid, the food was excellent.
The afternoon and evening were spent in beach no 7 and 5 respectively. We somehow reached with the same amount of petrol. Beach no 5 was called the Vijayanagar beach and our resort was located there. We took some amazing snaps in the beach, thanks to the photographers again. We played the double passing ball game here. For rules, please contact me offline.

The moment we saw roasted papad in today's special menu, we decided we should be eating outside given that we still had the bikes. For future travelers, bike rental is INR 250 for 24 hours with INR 1000 as deposit. We had dinner in a restaurant of Symphony Palms resort located at beach no 3. This time I will skip the list of items we ate as it was more or less the same. During dinner we played a game that has to be the part of every trip, Dumb C. Highlight was "Letters from Iwo Jima" which was written in text and given for enacting by Abi and no one knew until she revealed Iwo is pronounced as "Aiyyo". We went to bed early that day after returning the bikes as we planned to catch up the sun rise and get ready mentally for scuba diving.

Chapter 8 : PADI and Radhanagar
Day : 3
Date : 27th Jan 2011
Sunrise at Vijayanagar beach was fascinating. The moment it looked like it would disappoint, a reddish ball of beauty kept rising and we were overjoyed. Again, great pics. Vijesh got himself a Polish friend; Abi, be careful. For breakfast everyone had toast, Gopal and Shruthi wanted corn flakes eventually eaten by Aparna. Yes, both of theirs, after they complained lack of taste and had the anger of getting served with cold milk. We left the luggage in Wild Orchid reception before breakfast. We reached Barefoot Scuba, like Vadivelu says, "Ellaru kannuleyum kalavaram therinjudhu", as scuba diving was no child's play. We signed documents, where I read almost in 10 places the word "death", somehow took courage and managed to sign.

Scuba diving is an interesting and fascinating learning experience. Please do not miss this even though it costs you INR 3000-4000. And to sustain the suspense and thrill, I would not elaborate at all on the experience of a lifetime I had. I finished my session and was out of water to see a guy, a friend of mine, wearing a yellow tshirt, sitting as if somebody has offered him a banana leaf south Indian meals. His name is Gopal and he was enjoying the beauty of the island and the calmness of the sea. Of course, like everyone else, he got the certificate from PADI(Professional Association of Diving Instructors). To be fair, he did what he required to do to get a certificate. We were served pasta in the boat and we headed back to check-in Barefoot at Havelock resort.

Beach No 7 is called the Radha Nagar beach and the only private resort available is Barefoot. Awesome place, location and mesmerizing beauty. We reached the resort at around 2:30 PM. We came back for lunch and snacks. Food was awesome, Avarakai poriyal was the highlight. Evening was spent in the beach. Radha nagar is the most exotic beach I have ever visited till date. My fingers are paining while I mention this again, but the photographers did not feel any pain in their fingers. Snaps were super good. After the beach session, we had an amazing and hilarious time during dinner and then we were off to bed. Oh, I forgot, we had another time pass friend, his name is "Talking Tom", he just used to repeat whatever we said. Thanks to Arun Raag and his phone.

I was sitting in my rooms veranda before dinner with my wife thinking of the fact that we would be checking out tomorrow and would be leaving this beautiful island. But somehow, the amount of fun and happiness I was carrying in my heart didn't make me feel bad, it rather just made me look great. After completing college four years ago, after some of us got married, and after settling down in different cities, we still managed to do this. No words. Get ready Cellular Jail, I will meet you by dusk tomorrow and you will really feel like you got an old prisoner back and almost goodbye Havelock.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Get together in "The Andamans" - Volume 1

I wanted to do some research with my English before writing this one but could not hold the excitement and hence writing it sooner than I intended to write.

Chapter 1 : The initiator
Date : 21st September 2010
I was overjoyed to receive an email from Srihari at 7:24 AM. It made me very happy to even think of the fact that we would get a chance to spend time together.

When was the last time where ALL of us shared funny incidents of college that tickled our bones??? I can't remember anything very recent. It's time to bring back the the moments and joy to be fresh in our memories, so lets plan for a something Grand...
This will be NOT be the routine get-together, Will NOT be the regular meet, but we are going to make it big and special.
To the plan a Grand get-together, you guys should be send me your available dates.
My suggestion is last week of December, either the weekend ending Christmas or the New Year. I know there are married, going to get married, out here. So we will need to plan that will be convenient for all of us to spent some valuable time together.
We need suggestions on the place and I will take responsibility of planing the get-together.
The get-together will only become GRAND if there is maximum participation

Subsequent threads followed up and we narrowed down on the place, Andaman and the date, 26th Jan weekend. We knew we would miss the company of Dams, Sethu who opted out and Karthik who was in UK. Truly, the content and timing of the email was worth millions.

Chapter 2: Didn't your mother tell you - PLANNING
Date : 30th October 2010
We had too many discussions on the flight we should be catching and finally on this date Gopal booked the flight tickets, came up to around 95k for 9 folks.
Date : 26th October 2010
Meanwhile, Santy took the lead on checking out the places we should visit. He did a huge amount of research with the list of hotels and locations and shared the same. He sent his proposals with the complete itinerary. It was very helpful in planning. Hotel bookings were done well in ADVANCE, which proved to be highly useful as we ended up having a no tension holiday.

Chapter 3 : The Folks
Me, Shruthi, Srihari, Gopal, Aparna, Santhosh were all in in the first call. Arun Raag had to attend his mothers retirement function in Ooty the very next week but he was in. And our Suryavamsam Sarath Kumar had to wait on the confirmation dates of Devayani's exams. Somehow, even with these three slightly doubtful, they readily nodded in for booking of the tickets and hotels, which made it very easy for folks who were making the bookings.
Date: 11 Nov 2010
Vijesh and Abirami confirm their presence in the trip. Her exam dates did not conflict and to add to it, it ends just the week before the trip eventually giving her the required break.
So we were all set, close group of classmates with their family done with all the preparations for a trip to the Andaman Islands.

Chapter 4 : Shopping
Place : Hyderabad
Date : 25th October 2010 - 24th Jan 2011
I am not aware of shopping plans for other guys/girls, but trust me if I have to detail just the Hyderabad girls share in it, it would be lengthier than a Chetan Bagats book. They kept shopping and shopping and shopping. I stopped counting the number of footwear my wife was buying as it was difficult to remember the count. They would take us out saying they would buy something for us and all we learned to buy was patience. To be fair to them, we purchased one or max two items, in the span of 3 months. We landed in Chennai with our bags packed and assuming all shopping was done, but the Besant Nagar shopping ghost haunted us this time, the reason however was to get us beach shirts and of course, you would have guessed we did not get one.

Chapter 5 : Get Ready Folks
Date : 18 Jan 2011
Vijesh initiated the mail "A week to go". Objective was to plan, confirm, carry and not to forget.
We crossed checked and confirmed flights, hotels, ferry and prepared a list of stuff to bring, though not rigorously, but it helped. Gopals idea to bring a lot of munchies turned out to be quite useful.
Date : 25 Jan 2011
Time: 7:50 AM
Gopal and Aparna arrive at Chennai airport. I get a call. I call Santy and Arun Raag. Everyone is on the way.
Time : 8 AM
Me and Shruthi arrive. Gopal and me go the departure section, check the timings and grab some coffee.
Time : 8:20 AM
Everybody is in. Greetings are done. Some of us are meeting Abirami for the first time after their marriage and are yet to mingle with her.
Time : 9:15 AM
Flight is on schedule. We are on the bus to the flight. I am thinking of the next five great days we are going to spend together. I definitely knew on that day it would be great, but was hoping it would be, whats the word, Legendary.