Family Katta movie review: This heartwarming Marathi film on Amazon Prime Video made me laugh and cry!

Family Katta Movie Review: This heartwarming Marathi family drama by director Chandrakant Kulkarni portrays the emotional upheavals that follow when Bhai (starring Prabhavalkar) and wife Malati (starring Vandana Gupte) take painstaking efforts to plan their 50th wedding anniversary and bring together their grown up children and families. Based on a famous Marathi play written by Prashant Dalvi and directed by Chandrakant Kulkarni, the film sends a powerful message about family relationships. I watched it on Amazon Prime Video and enjoyed it a lot.                                             [Image source: Cinecelluloid]
Family Katta Movie Review: What I likedRealistic Story:From the first scene to the last, the narrative pulled me in, like a fish to a hook. The love between the elderly couple and their frequent tiffs particularly with regard to their domestic help flow in seamlessly with the typical Indian family. Their daily routine is so natural and realistic that you feel transported…

Navratri 2020: Festive vibes in the air!

Festive vibes in the air! Everywhere, I can hear the Navratri chants and prayers and the energies invoking the Divine Goddess as we move towards the festival of Diwali. In the southern side of the country, Navratri golu arrangements are a beautiful way of honouring and celebrating the nine Goddesses and their strengths. A time to honour the Goddess within.
A time to renew one's unique strengths with fearlnessness and love.
A time to feel self-love and respect one's own divine energy.
What a glorious way to dispel the darkness within! 
May the Nine Goddesses prevail and show us the way forward to battle our inner demons.
Do drop a line and comment on the traditions and customs related to Navratri in your town/village and your memories of it and how you celebrate it.

Why I stopped writing poetry

Do you love reading poetry? Or maybe it was an activity during your early school days or something? For me, poetry was my life, the very crux of my existence. But that changed with my life's journey. I have stopped reading poetry.Meanwhile, a Malayali friend on WhatsApp sent me her poem and I told her why I loved reading it. She was so surprised that she said that she was very apprehensive to send it to me in the first place as most people don't like poetry. I can understand her concern. A majority of people laugh at poets more than poetry. There is neither any sensitivity nor any sensibility when we put ourselves on a pedestal and believe that everyone else is inferior to us and what they do is of no consequence.

I messaged her back that I used to write poems and used to love reading poems. But I stopped writing poems when I came to Delhi. 
Immediately she asked, "Why did you stop writing? Continue."
It struck me that no one in my life has said something so profound be…

Scorching summer in September: This delicious chocolate shake is a must-try from The Haven International Coffee House, Noida

Summer seems to be scorching the month of September from the word 'Go'.
I usually enjoy summers. Not this time. Too hot, too humid and it's beginning to choke me.Tempted by this delicious chocolate shake? Get it at The Haven International Coffee House, Noida.Simply out of this world!

Onam 2020: Best ever Thiruonam in my life!

Onam 2020: Have you ever looked back at the happiest ever Onam in your life? An Onam that brings a huge smile to your face? Well, I had mine this year! Yes, Onam 2020 has been the happiest Thiruvonam of my life. Here's a heartwarming photo of my mother and my son we clicked on Thiruonam. After many years, I enjoyed a complete feast at home with my loved ones. With hectic schedules year after year, I have mostly missed celebrating Thiruonam in the traditional Malayali way. Besides, there's no fun eating a sadya in a rush!
This year's Thiruonam, however, turned out to  be a blessing.
My son wore a traditional mundu (OMG, I cannot even believe this!) and I was an ecstatic Malayali mom! I too dressed up in a traditional Kerala kasavu saree with an innovative design from a brand called Ethnic Tarinika (@ethnictarinika on Instragram). Here's their unique Kerala kasavu saree design with ajrakh on it!

                    [Image source:]
We cl…

Who is Mahakavi Kumaranasan? His magnum opus 'Chinthavishtayaya Seetha' marks his poetic legacy

Chinthavishtayaya Seetha poem: Mahakavi Kumaranasan began writing 'Chinthavishtayaya Seetha' in August 1914 and it was published in 1919. One of Malayalam literature's true gems, this great poet did not have an easy life, found himself subjected to considerable travails one after the other, particularly in the field of literary greats. [Read: Dark Night of Soul] [Source: Pixabay]

The tragedy of Mahakavi Kumaranasan life is also that he was not given the due recognition that a person of his literary brilliance truly deserved. Among his finest works, 'Chinthavishtayaya Seetha' takes the spotlight always.Rather than portraying Sita Devi solely from the perspective of being the wife of Lord Ram, the poet views her as emerging from her Goddess-like stature to experience the travails of womanhood and motherhood as she inhabits earth as a divine being in sync with Mother Nature. Inevitably, poems are deciphered by scholars and readers differently, based on their own interp…

Ramantey Edanthottam is about a woman's transformation by walking out of marriage

Ramantey Edeathottam review: Director Ranjit Shankar has treaded on the 'sensitive ground' of marriage and opened up a Rumi-like approach to dealing with marital issues.Kunchacko Boban, in this unusual Rumi-like role, is fascinating but the real star is Anu Sithara. Her every expression is a dream to watch!     [Source:]
Ramantey Edanthottam: Memorable performances While it is a pleasure to watch Anu Sithara, whose expressions are a dream to watch throughout the film,  Joju George portrays a remarkable 'dark' side of a man, who treats all women including his wife as an object of enjoyment.
[Gautamantey Radham: This Neeraj Madhavan starrer is a heartwarming family entertainer]
Ramantey Edanthottam: Storyline
Trapped in a lifeless marriage spanning over a decade, the melancholy portrayal of Elvis (starring Joju George) and Malini (Anu Sithara) begins with a car accident. That the accident happens even as Elvis is boasting about his 'liberal' outlook tow…

Adi Shankaracharya teaching will transform how you look at victory in life

When contemplating on Adi Shankaracharya, words fail to capture the 32 year old scholar-turned-spiritual master's timeless wisdom, knowledge and greatness. Not only did he win every debate with religious scholars far older and learned than he had been, the factual precision of every argument he put forth remains undisputed.

Image source: Shreemaa.orgToday's generation is familiar with trolls and loud, one-sided debates. In contemplating on Adi Shankaracharya, they will understand and appreciate the greatness of every open debate where he easily won every argument and still remained the epitome of humility.[READ: Wisest Lesson in 2019]Adi Shankaracharya's teaching: Who is a real conqueror in this world?Adi Shankaracharya, in an interaction, with students posed a question: "Who is a real conqueror in this world?" His disciples gave different answers. One said that a real conqueror is one who subdued the world and brought it under him. [READ: How to treat your ego wi…

Gautamantey Radham Movie review: This Neeraj Madhav starrer is a heartwarming family entertainer

"A car is not just a car, it is like bringing home a new family member," Gautaman's wise grandmother tells an 18 year old grandson with a naughty sparkle in her eyes. In another moving scene, Gautaman talks about how the car is the only place where family members sit in the closest proximity to one another while traveling their everyday moments, a safe haven that is second only to home. These fleeting glimpses are one of the many heartwarming moments from this quaint family entertainer that revolves around a coming-of-age phase for a young boy. 
Starring Neeraj Madhav, Valsala Menon, Renji Panicker, Devi Ajith, this family entertainer packs in precious moments in a middle class family.
Adding to the old-fashioned charm of this clean family film, this grandmother-grandson bonding is a joy to watch. 
From buying one's first car to dealing with other people's judgment of it,  'Gautamantey Radham' shows the reality of how a highly brand-conscious Malayali identit…

Who is Thirumoolar? Tamil Nadu's revered Siddha Yogi who wrote 'Thirumandiram'

Ever heard of Thirumoolar, a great Siddha Yogi? I am almost certain you haven't! Stories about Rishis, Siddha Yogis and spiritual masters have so much to teach us. In one of Swami's divine discourses, I read the story of a highly revered Siddha Yogi from Tamil Nadu known as Thirumoolar.  This is the story of Thirumoolar.
[Source: Facebook] Thirumoolar's story Once upon a time, there was a Pandyan King, who wanted to develop his kingdom by breeding horses. A young minister in his court, known for his exemplary character, was entrusted with the task of buying horses by the King himself. On the way, he met a holy man, a 'Shiva Yogi', and became his disciple. The young Minister lost interest in the task of buying horses and gave away the King's money to build a temple for Lord Shiva and he immersed himself in prayers.
Imagine the wrath of the King when he found out that his Minister had not only not returned but had failed to buy horses and had not even returned the mo…