Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Vihaan - A Fairy Tale Story for You

Happy Birthday, Vihaan! Adi & I love you, lots and lots and lots.

Chechiamma (meaning me) has a fairytale to tell you. Chechiamma says many stories to Adi too:)  Someday, you can read this one yourself and tell Chechiamma if you liked it.

Once upon a time, there was a sad-looking girl. Every evening, she would go for a walk, with tears in her eyes. 


No one asked her why she always walked and cried. No one had cared or perhaps no one had time. It's a very busy world and people respond to people only on Facebook:)

So, this girl continued her routine. She saw a light from the sky and it caught her eye. A star - it shone so brightly among others as though it was meant just for her.  And so it was - they became friends and exchanged secrets.  She whispered her sadness to the star. The Secret Sadness was wrapped in a golden colored casket. The winds carried it up and the angels passed it through the pathways lit with heaven's candles and there it flew and flew and into a world where no mortals had entry, it reached the Star. 


The next day, the Star told the girl. "From tomorrow, you will not hear my voice anymore."
"What?" The girl couldn't believe this and felt heartbroken. "I shared my Sadness and now you are also flying away from me, never to return."

The Star said, "I will not shine in this sky ever again for you. I will not see you walk and look longingly in the skies. But the gift I share with you shall be much greater. I will find my way into your life and into your heart because even eons ago, we shared a destiny to give each other light, love and life."

The girl was not pacified. She asked, "If I cannot find you in the sky, where else will you be?"

The Star replied, "Where you know I have always been - in the prayers of your heart, in the music of your voice and in the tears of your sadness. Haven't I always been there?"

And so, the girl whose eyes had once been sad, no longer saw or heard from the Star. The gift seemed to have spilled out of her reach.
But you know what the good thing was? She never cried again and she gave hopes and dreams to others around her. She learned to let go and smile again, with life.

The Star had given her a new birth - the miracle of light & life. 

So you see, in life, God always gives us His love & light but at times, we do need to look His way and ask for it by sending a Golden Casket of Love and Prayer at the right time.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Movie Review: Zindagi Na Milegi Do Bara & What I LOVED about it

Friends, here is my layperson's movie review of Zindagi Na Milegi Do Bara. I loved this movie & I would watch it again if I could.



Refreshing, Colorful & Young!
Right from the film's colorful poster to its peppy music and refreshing trailors, this movie packed it all for the fun-loving Indian audience with lots of color as bright as red tomatoes and golden colored parachutes! Zoya Akhtar plays to her beliefs in friendship by telling this tale of love, friendship and the growing 'possessive' culture that epitomizes the creme-de-creme new generation.



Best Friends Getting Together with Fun
We can easily imagine a best friend getting married and supporting their special moment with happiness and fun. That's why the central characters click in our minds easily - Kabir (starring Abhay Deol) who's easy going, fun and caring about others around him; Imran, (starring Farhan Akhtar) who loves to flirt, woo and show off his down to earth attitude and his sense of humor at the right time and at the right occasion and yes, Arjun, (Hrithik Roshan) who appears to have it all because of the money he flaunts and yet he is the poorest among them all because he forgot to find happiness through the simple things that make up life.

Refreshing Conversations & Brilliant Visuals
With Kabir all set to marry Natasha (starring Kalki Koechlin), the guys go for their 'bachelor trip' and the rule of the game is that each one gets a chance to try out an adventure sport of their choice and the choice will remain a secret till they reach the spot. You can sit back and simply enjoy the brilliant visuals of Spain, its culture and its heady romance with colorful festivities. They meet the lovely Laila (starring Katrina Kaif) and the romance sets in smoothly. She delivers the 'message' of the movie subtly. That happiness is not about working 24X7 to plan for one's retirement but it's about choosing your attitude to life and living fully in the present instead of stashing away and slaving for hours in anticipation of tomorrow. She convinces Arjun that by living fully in the present, you enjoy to every breath and savor it to the fullest. That, she reminds him, as important as letting go of the past and cutting the ties of insecurities that bind. Katrina Kaif has blended in with the character she represents & done it delightfully right down to the bold kiss.
Memorable Moments
What resonates most is the deep friendship between the characters, with all its undercurrents and high moments. You can sense tension in the air when one friend's expensive mobile is tossed aside in what was meant to be a fun filled gesture and when one friend asks the other if he is truly happy with the girl that he's getting ready to marry. The tomato festival and the 'Bagwati' character, I really enjoyed.  The 'Diamond biscuit' rendering and the 'Doordarshan' humming - Zoya Akhtar definitely got it right because that's exactly the kind of memorable conversations that best friends enjoy while chilling out. There's a lot more to this movie than that, of course.

You know what I loved the most? I could see a slice of my college life & I simply didn't want the movie to end. My favorite character was that of Farhan Akhtar's - I think he was the best because he was the most natural and seemed perfect in the character he represented.

Watch Zindagi Na Milegi Do Bara - it's worth your time and money.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Classical Music Maestro Kavalam Srikumar launches online music lessons


I had heard a lot of good things about the young Classical music singer - Kavalam Srikumar and about his highly respected, illustrious father - Padmabhushan Sri Kavalam Narayana Panikkar, an icon one hears about in hushed, respectful tones for such is his stature as a famous Theater Director and Poet. My father is a person who has tremendous respect for creative artists and musicians. Together, we used to listen to Kavalam Sri Kumar's classical music, particularly the distinctive and powerful energy vibes of his that brings to life the rendering of scriptures such as the Ramayana, Bhagawatham, Lalita Sahasranamam, devotional bhajans and much more. His voice is powerful, clear and there's a purity about it that's hard to express in words. You have to listen to his music to understand what I mean.
Among my favorites, I love the way he has sung  "Radhika Jeevana."

For those who love Classical music, there's nothing better than using a golden opportunity to learn from Kavalam Srikumar himself.  If you have kids who are musically inclined, this is a real opportunity for them to learn from some one who's considered a master in the musical realm.  Yes, you heard me right. He has launched online music classes that will be conducted for an hour daily through Skype or Gmail chat. 

For more details, you can mail him directly: srilakom@gmail.com  

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