Category Archives: Reviews

Breakfast theme outings on Saturday mornings

Last week I had been to a story session for adults which revolved around a food information story session in Bangalore. The session was held by one of the popular storytellers in Bangalore and a simple breakfast was presented to the audience. So it was a session over breakfast. I had been there alone and got to interact with a few other participants, some who had come with family, some single and some of them being friends outing on a Saturday morning breakfast. Though I was unable to decide at the end of the session whether I truly liked the session what I did feel was it was a different outing in my experiences list and felt good about that.

So it is no longer Sunday brunches that have been attracting Bangaloreans as an outing. Now we have Saturday theme breakfast sessions too.

Again it was only last week that I tried looking for walks to go in and around Bangalore, specifically for heritage walks. And the ones I checked indicated walks ending with a sumptuous breakfast at a south Indian eatery.

As more number of people are trying to explore new forms of outings either for ‘me time’ or family, looks like Saturday breakfast sessions are here to stay.

Maybe soon we will have story session over a breakfast. Maybe I would begin that soon.

Why a leisure holiday is worth your time in Candolim beach, North Goa, India? Read more to find out

A long pending post that was waiting to be posted on to this space..

It was a holiday in 2014 to Candolim, North Goa that literally made sure that we lost track of time. We were two couples travelling with two kids and were hopeful of a holiday to remember especially with small children hovering around us.

Candolim is less than an hour’s journey by car from Vasco-da-gama railway station. We had reached around 7am by an overnight train journey from Bangalore and reached Candolim in about 50 minutes.

However we did notice that there are enough options of not just resorts, but guesthouses at Candolim where you can stay if there is enough planning made for the stay. After checking into the guest house, we had two reasons to directly go to the beach. There was a taxi driver’s strike and the temperature was rising. So it was wise to hit the waters before making any other plan.

Nevertheless post our inaugural breakfast session that was to commence our holiday, we decided to be on the beach for the next two hours. While the men and the kids jumped into the water, the women, that is myself and a fellow woman companion had a good glance at on the fashion quotient on the beach. Obviously we were overdressed for the beach. Thankfully even the local residents give you the comfort level attitude that it is fine with whatever you want to be dressed as to be at the beach.

During our earlier visits, we have had vegetarian cuisines but those were limited ones. This time again, we read the boards that prominently read sea food, but we were optimistic of accessing good vegetarian options. Rightfully we were not disappointed.

For a shopoholic, there are plenty of options to shop –goods that either would be useful during the stay or as a memento. Hats, caps, beachwear for all shapes and sizes, sarongs, skirts, shorts, tees, Indian brass gift items, kashmiri shawls, were some of the items that were seen across displayed at several stores along the main road. There are options of massage centres for those who wanted to de-stress through a massage.

Time flies, when you watch the sunset at the Candolim beach or at the Fort Aguada that is adjoining Sinquerim–Candolim beach. Walking along the pathway leading to the fort and the wall of the Taj at Fort Aguada during sunrise or sunset is a worth a visit. Make sure you take your digital tool to capture the picturesque scenes.

Something that struck us blatantly on our faces in Candolim was that there were several boards that were trying to lure customers to Ayurvedic massage centres, restaurants, but were written in English and Cyrillic, thanks to high Russian tourist population at Candolim.

Lastly like the earlier visits at Candolim, we were greeted by fellow International tourists who want to say a hello to you and smile at you even though you are a stranger. This gives the feel-good factor of being in a place that is a friendly destination. At the end of stay all of us had just one thing on our minds- Wish we could stay longer at Candolim to feel the leisurely Goan holiday much more.

List of suggested activities when in Candolim:

Soak yourself in the sun at Candolim like most of International tourists like to do it at Candolim. If you are not in favor of sun tan, you have the ready option of getting into relatively clean waters. The stretch is less populated and people are on their own so you can be assured of your own ‘me time’.

  • If you do not mind on the budget go for at least one water sport like para-sailing, water bike ride or the banana ride on Candolim beach.
  • Visit a restaurant that has a prominent beach view. It is sheer pleasure to look at the sea during late evening hours. Ideal for a romantic date or a family evening where the kids can have fun on the artificial sand dunes.
  • Make sure you visit a restaurant that offers live band music. There are enough of such dining spots across Candolim beach and also at the by lanes joining the beach coast. You will get to listen to live music right from 7pm onwards with songs in English, Hindi and a few Goan numbers.

Lastly when in Candolim, discover a good holiday in India.

BY RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA

 

 

A getaway from Bangalore

yercaud-review2
Getaway in the hills in South India

Four hours away by our own self-driven car took us sometime back to the hilly region of Yercaud in Tamil Nadu. Driving through the roads from Bangalore to the foothills of Yercaud at Salem is itself a pleasure to experience, a rarity in Bangalore when it comes to pushing your vehicle’s speed limit beyond 100kmph without any road hump or pothole.

This was not the first time we were there at this small town of Yercaud. But there was a considerable difference how we were going to enjoy our stay in a hill station thanks to the attitude and service given to us by two different hotels.

One claimed to be a historic hotel which was present in this sleepy town for ages and presumably we thought they would care about their guests too. But Shevaroys at Yercaud was a complete disappointment. Neither had they, had their loos up-to-the mark as should a hotel that charges over 3.5k per night in this part of the country nor they had bothered not to greet a new guest at their hotel with stained bedspreads, pillow covers or messy pathways. When complained about the dirty washroom in the room, they did attempt to clean up the space but still it didn’t remove any stain marks from the allotted washroom -hence dented the hotel’s image  in our perspective.

Earlier I was under the impression that it is the destination that makes the difference in a holiday. But over the years I have learnt about myself that I enjoy a holiday destination more when I am spending even a few hours in a clean, well-lit, airy and pleasant room hotel room. So thinking of our last stay at Grand Palace, we just walked into the hotel and asked them if we could see a room and book for a stay for the next night. We were shown a room and yes we were ready to pay for it almost triple the amount spent at Shevaroys with an extra family member in the room.

Getting a room booked instantaneously seemed heavenly and thankfully the next 22 hours at Yercaud made us feel luxurious and pleasant memory to hold on for a long time. The Grand Palace at Yercaud has some major plus points for a traveller who is looking for a relaxed holiday. Right from spectacular views from the hotel, the hotel is perched high above many other hotels and this is an advantage for the hotel and its guests. There is the option of choosing sunrise view room or the silent view. Opt for the silent view ones and you would be lucky if you are allotted a room that has an enclosing balcony that leads to the sprawling garden. The place also has benches spaced across the garden and one can spend the evening enjoying the views. There is also the swimming pool and it gives the view of swimming on top of a hill. Of course there is a reasonably good restaurant and a lounge bar apart from a small kid’s play area.

Make sure you carry badminton rackets, a ball if you are travelling with a child and even cricket set if are game to play the sport. There is enough space to play all of these games. We may not really visit Yercuad in the immediate future but the stay at Grand Palace ensured we did not come back with unpleasant memories.

Disgusting lyrics that make me as a woman cringe and hate talented Indian actresses.

I happened to read a few days ago in the supplement of the daily I get at home that Kareena Kapoor the cine actress will be starring in a song that praises her booty. Repelled by such meaningless writing and journalism, I just moved on to read something else.

Yesterday I happened to watch the video of the song (on the telly) of the upcoming film ’Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’ in which Imraan Khan and Kareena have been featured.

A few years ago I had written a similar article (link mentioned at the end of the article) when I was unhappy seeing one of my admired young actress Deepika Padukone dancing to a disgusting number where she smirks saying ‘kal to mera skirt keechega na? keechega ya nahin?”. Today we have Kareena dancing to this song that refers to the rear side in Punjabi, Gore gore, round -round ,naughty naughty toonh’

Heavens… please give some sense to those working in films. It is complete insensitivity and lack of talent that make writers write these song and women get featured in these. Stop the torture. It doesn’t even have good music or a humming tune for people to feel good.

It is time talented women from the film industry, more importantly sensible women taught their sons, and explain to men in large that women SHOULD NOT BE SEEN AS AN OBJECT.

When you women are already doing great in your careers, I am sure you have a say to where you can agree to dance to a number and where you put your foot down.  You women have sure shown the changing India that there are depth-oriented roles for you and scripts written for you. ( Though I completely was aghast at the Dirty Picture with the so called depth oriented role for Ms. Balan).

It is men in villages, upcountry and of course in cities who need to be made understand that women are absolutely more valuable than their bodies. Only if women themselves stop describing themselves in disgusting manner, hopefully some change would happen. I really do not want this song to be played in future marriages that would occur in the next year and least my child sing even a line of it.

Please so called lyricists and music directors, directors and actors do not make women look degraded. I really hope there is an end to these songs and the damn item songs in hindi films.

Of late I have begun to feel it is the mind which is more sexier than anything else. I don’t know I have found many women who admit to admire men who are intelligent, charismatic, good humored and polished. It is not that we have not liked men who are good-looking but never to the extent that makes a woman or a man feel objectified.

I am sure this song like many other films are looking for promotional value but such numbers are definably going to detest me to avoid these films at any cost.

http://reshmaks.com/?p=127

 

 

 

 

Chennai Express- Bokwaas… to the core

There you go. Being a person born and brought up most part of my life in southern part of the country, I did expect a little bit of authenticity from the director and the lead actress Rohit Shetty and Deepika Padukone respectively, who are born south canara people. But hey, I guess I did expect too much from a intended nonsensical film.

I had to go for this movie as my ticket was already bought by my friend. Looking at the hype and interest of those around me I thought maybe I could be wrong. But naah-it was out & out bokwaas -the only phrase that kept ringing in my mind when returning back home after the movie.

Be it Deepika’s complete wrong accent -showing a Tamilian in poor light or the stereotype characters of southern India shown in the film or SRK’s romantic streak. Please…we have better heroes to play romantic characters. It is time Shah Rukh to move to mature roles that suit your age. The movie plot is taken from countless southern movies that had almost similar themes two decades ago.

My frustration is not because the movie is very bad but because I have contributed to its so-called box office collection.

Next time I will go with my gut feeling of not to watch bokwaas movies. It’s time to wait until the first week of a Hindi film release and then watch it. At least I can make the decision based on several reviews- paid and unpaid.

 

 

 

 

Review of English Vinglish -from my perspective

It’s been quite some time right since I happened to watch  a Sridevi movie and this one of Sridevi -English Vinglish -I actually went for it only after receiving a lot of good reviews for it.

I had my own apprehensions in the beginning when the movie was announced as I had quite disliked one of my other favorite actresses so called comeback -Aaja Nachle.

As I sat in the theatre, for a night show after a  interesting work day, I actually started relating to the movie in many ways. Perhaps I was the brat where I would think my mom doesn’t know English like the daughter shown in the movie or mine and my mother’s first flight to London where neither her or me (in my fifth grade) didn’t know the right usage of the language.

Yes I did my schooling where that was the best one in that area but when I came to Bangalore to join Kumarans, I was completely freaked out.

Today as I write the blog and hold my job as a Communication Manager I do feel it has been a long journey though it can be better in the coming years.

Coming to the movie, Sridevi looked her age and I was actually glad scripts are written according to the required characterization and did not feature a young heroine.  Thank you Gauri (director of the movie)  for making people realize people need not be Judge mental (as spoken in the movie) of anyone in life.

 

An experience watching Kahaani-Vidya Balan starrer

Since the time I have enjoyed reading novels which is more of a recent activity than my teenage habit, I have enjoyed murder mysteries and thrillers. Whether it was novels, plays or movies I have always been fond of thrillers, particularly murder mysteries.

Watching ‘Kahaani’ was one of the most enjoyable activities that I had undertaken in leisure since the last fortnight. An actress who undoubtedly gets moulded very well under the supervision of an able director, Vidya Balan really makes you feel heroines in Indian cinema can get audiences without a ‘hero’.

I was not in too much awe of ‘Dirty Picture’ due to various reasons as I somehow felt skin showing was not really required for the script. (I don’t care if you think I am of conservative ideas. But it’s my opinion).

Being a mother myself and reliving the pauses that the actress shows to indicate a pregnant lady’s gait, mannerisms, and opinion of how others view a pregnant woman in India was really good. Yes like a good story the movie keeps you engaged until the end and it is the end that makes you feel it’s paisa vasool. For a person like me watching pregnant women on a daily basis (courtesy the place I work, a mum and baby care hospital), the climax did give me a shock value to make me feel ‘ God forbid I witness something like this in real life!!)

One of the few movies where you keep going back to the scenes to relive those moments, Kahaani is something I would be happy to recommend for others to view it.  And I am indeed contemplating of watching it again maybe with a few women colleagues. Let’s see.

ENTERTAINMENT – DOES IT NEED A NEW DEFINITION IN BANGALORE?

When it comes to entertainment in Bangalore many might voice out that munching a grub at a café or fine dining restaurant or even at a food court just before a movie show is the most preferred option. But are most of these people happy with this option of eating out or do they want more options? With a city that has truly adapted different cultures, lifestyles and various cuisines, is entertainment defined in terms of merely to fill hunger pangs or can more options be explored in the city.

For Priya Sebastian, an illustrator living in the city finds most of the entertainment options suited for the younger generation. Nevertheless she finds eating out as one of the most convenient and apt options to go out with her small set of close friends as she finds good food and great conversations a great combination.

While some may find fine dining or ‘eating out’ as a convenient option there are a few who find this more overrated and suited for those who dare not try newer options or interests. Says Mallika Balu, corporate trainer, “I generally look forward to my weekend trekking outings. And if it is not for a trek then I am game anytime for watching movies or browsing at various book stores. Though I do indulge in going out to eateries once or twice a month by itself dining out has never has really fancied me too much as an entertainment option.”

While Priya finds the dire need of people to visit art galleries and cultivate it as a regular leisure outing she thinks that cultural activites like those interested in western classical music should have scope and to be staged accessible venues in many areas of the city rather than one major cultural venue like Chowdiah Memorial Hall. On the other hand Mallika opines that time restriction not only hampers eating out entertainment options but production houses that stage theatre plays start early and end early while the ideal thing would be to let people attend a play even late in the evening and catch up with friends post a play.

Time restrictions seem to be a great matter of concern for a sizeable number who find the very base of entertainment in a cosmopolitan city like Bangalore gets a beating due to this issue. Says Gauri Kapur, make up artist and stylist, “Thinking of going out on a weekend seems too very painful, due to traffic and lack of good happening parties. Also people seem to get concentrated in one happening party which can get irritable. Another major problem in Bangalore is the time restriction that seems to work adverse with someone like me who want a good night life.” She further reasons out that as other than star hotels almost all eating joints are closed by 11.30pm which makes one wonder what kind of entertainment does the city offer?

Increased spending power, lifestyle changes and need to utilize time in varied interests are making people to look for different kinds of entertainment sources. While youngsters are content with the existing ones those who are exposed to art music or late night parties want the city to change its fabric to cater to wider audiences. Like for someone like Swapna S, an engineering student, Bangalore has definitely become one of the most happening places with so many malls and eat out joints coming up very fortnight.

Not to forget many opine that it is high time Bangalore gets out of the tag of being a pub city or eat out city to more entertainment options showcased at accessible venues that promise to cater not only the teeny weenie’s but also 30 plus generation.

So if one thought it’s all about dining and dancing is all that people of Bangalore want to spend their leisure hours then one is sure to be mistaken as most Bangaloreans want different interests to be explored

MANNA DEY AND AMEEN SAYANI LIVE IN CONCERT – MAY 10, 2008

It is going to be two months since I have attended this live in concert with Manna Dey and Ameen Sayani but the experience is still fresh. To be honest had attended the concert for one strong reason to see and listen to one person’s voice. The voice that had swooned listeners one and all across the nation. No, I am not talking of Manna Dey (with due respect and after seeing him perform even at 87, I was bowled over) but I had actually gone to see Ameen Sayani.

Being a movie buff and a RJ by profession, passion towards retro Hindi tracks is obvious. I guess I am more inclined towards these songs because I host Meethi Yaadein( in addition to the 2’o clock show and the request hour) on FM Rainbow on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Coming to the concert, the auditorium- Chowdiah Memorial Hall was packed filled with lot of Bengali enthusiasts and quite a number of other people. A co – RJ who had interviewed Manna Dey had mentioned to me earlier that he is short tempered. Had how artists can rise theri temper in front of a live audience during a Jagjith Singh concert. However was expecting Manna Dey to flare up just in case a mobile rings in the concert or if the audience asks him to sing for long. But Manna Dey went with the flow and though he ws strict in asking his musicians to get the ‘sur’ right, he was just magical. He made me wonder if I would speak continously the lenght he sang at his age.

Coming to Amen Sayani, had heard of India’s first RJ who had seen fame that no one else had seen, when I heard him speak on stage in conversation with Manna Dey, I thought is it luck god’s gift or sheer magic of the voice that got him adulation. In the tea break Manna Dey went to take some rest while people were rushing to talk to Ameen Sayani. I could not miss the opportunity and even I rushed to catch a glimpse of him. Mentally feeling like a young teenager I was in complete awe looking at him. Am attaching two snaps, one Manna Da performing and the other where Ameen Sayani is signing an autograph for me with my lucky green pen. Do I sound like a little girl (maybe I am!!).

When I mentioned that I am an RJ, he stared at me and smiled. I added saying no RJ or announcer in the country has seen the kind of popularity he has seen, he commented humbly, “You see at that time All India Radio had banned film songs, and I was on Radio Ceylon, people had no choice but to listen to Binaca Geet Mala.” Another point, which hit me because once I had mentioned it on radio on air, was when a couple of listeners had sent SMSes as though I was a diva and they thanked me profusely for making their day. I mentioned on air that I am not doing much, I am playing songs which someone else has sung, someone else has composed, acted, some one penned. Similar kind of thread with of course with great humility Ameen Saab mentioned that he wouldn’t be where he is if singers, music directors or lyricists didn’t exist and he is because of them.

Eating at up scale restaurants in Bangalore!

Does ambience count when it comes to eating for a lunch or dinner especially if it is a planned outing? It very much counts for me. I have found myself to be lenient towards not so appreciative cuisine if the ambience of the restaurant makes me feel good.

Thought of listing down few places that makes for a great evening if you are going out for dinner. Please note this is not in order of rating or preference.

Aura, on Cunningham road – Had visited this joint a few years ago and the ambience made me feel quite comfortable after a hectic day. The ambience is almost outdoor and relaxed in the evening.

Second on my list would be Sahib Sindh Sultan at Forum mall. Have visited this place quite often and the first time I saw the train set-up with the royal finish to the ambience I was overwhelmed. If you have some money to put in for a relaxed & expensive dinner book your table right away.

Next the restaurant that comes to my mind is Trivoli Gardens, the roof top restaurant of Capitol hotel on Rajbhavan road, right next to my radio station – All India Radio. It has a great outdoor ambience. Good to go for lunch or dinner but I think one would enjoy the ambience better when gone for a dinner. The service and luckily the North Indian cuisine too is excellent. Definitely worth a try.

A recent article that I wrote on the current generation not minding spending excessively on entertainment revealed to me that a lot of people prefer going to Grasshopper, a restaurant situated in a farm house on Bannerghatta Road. Am yet to check it out, but the feedback has been good. Have written about it too in the feature, but can confirm on its excellent ambience only when I check it out myself.

As of now this is what that comes on my mind regarding excellent ambience oriented restaurants in Bangalore. Obviously over here I am not talking of star hotels.