Sherlock Holmes 2: The Brilliant Game of Shadows!

  Professor Moriarty    Holmes
So, what happens when a Superman meets his Lex Luthor? A Wolverine his Sabretooth? A Batman his Joker?
A Sherlock Holmes, his Professor Moriarty?

Ooty–The Queen of Hillstations

Its holiday season!!! Bells jingling everywhere to signal joy and happiness, so isn’t it the perfect time to find a scenic beauty-spot to escape from the mundane activities of life and catch a glimpse of paradise? Now, at such a time, imagine your door bell rings and you open it to find your secret Santa gifting your family a trip to Ooty! As for me, when I saw the tickets, my jaws just dropped..

Its heaven on earth – simply magnificent. Ooty, or Udagamandalam, is around a 100 km from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Situated amidst the Nilgiri range, you are at a height of 2300 m. For those of you who want to make their visit to South India worthwhile, especially for the excited honeymooners out there, this is the best bet.
I am sure you aren’t worried about accommodation! Villas and cosy hotels are aplenty, horse rides and boat rides tempting and the scenery breathtakingly beautiful. Take a break from your hectic office schedule to be in the womb of nature, with dense greenery all around to please your senses. Experience what you will cherish for the rest of your lives!

Having applied for leave and told the maid to enjoy her mornings too, we set out. The roads to this hillstation are well-kept, and the ride is very welcoming – through the Mudumulai forest and wildlife sanctuary. Here’s a peek at who escorted us. :)


Upon reaching Ooty, the pleasant weather of the valley and the unpolluted, free air took us quite by surprise. As its a tourist hot-spot, Hindi functions well, though a decent knowledge of Tamil will earn you an extra bonus from the rickshaw drivers.
Actual “tourist season” includes the summer months and October to a certain extent. That is when hotel tariffs are at their highest along with the population density. However, if you are looking for some space for relaxing and tranquillity, the other months are better – just pack enough sweaters and mufflers to befriend the cold temperatures and foggy days.

Lodge yourself comfortably in a nice hotel by the Lakeside, dump your bag and set out to discover. For those young at heart, there’s a hiking cum biking trail that’s been opened recently. And for others, the lake itself is wholesome entertainment.  Boating is irresistible, rowing your way to Neverland! I’m a little hesitant to admit, but the deep waters intimidated me. Nevertheless, they had enough options for people like me too, as I gleefully noted! For shopping lovers, there are several shops dotting the streets – for herbal products, organic gardens and winter wear to keep you warm and cosy. As for children, they forget about time as they enjoy all-time favourite games like Dashing Cars nearby! 

How can a visit to Ooty be complete without visiting a Tea Garden! Yes, you got me right. The aromatic leaves that give you flavoured tea – Honey, Chocolate, Ginger etc – originate from these hundreds of acres of tea farms. There are organised tours to conduct you all throughout the processes that go into converting a leaf to the delicious tea in your cup at home. Ready yourself to go back in time to see how tea was introduced to India, what role the Britishers and Chinese played, how to select the best of leaves and the high temperatures at which the leaves are dried!
Having finished these, we went on the famous Blue Train to Coonoor. These sister towns are very similar yet unique in themselves. The train ride is worth every second..making your way through woods and dense lands while getting sudden glimpses of terraced fields. 
In Coonoor, there are several high points and cliffs like the Dolphin Nose; the Flower garden and Botanical Garden are definitely worth a watch too. You can hire an auto to show you around the whole day, but be sure to bargain for a good deal. 

Catch a train back to Ooty before nightfall or stay overnight and come back the following morning. Three days flew by and one doesn’t even notice!

Before you know it, you are on your way back home  - to the routine of office, college, work and cities.
But well, fret not! On a lazy sunday morning the following week, flip through your photo album to recollect these golden memories. For, it’s a trip you’ll love..just like CCD’s Ms. Macchiato in the cool evening to warm you up.


Apple iPad for Lok Sabha MPs: A Historic Decision!

iPad for MPs
I woke up with this news headline featuring on my Facebook page: “Apple a day: Lok Sabha MPs to get iPadsand started calculating in awe:
No. of members in Lok Sabha now = 544
Amount Sanctioned for each MP = 50,000 INR
Price of Apple iPad 64GB Wi-fi, 3G = 47, 900 INR
Total amount to be spent = 544 X 50, 000 = 2,72,00,000 INR. Only.

The Dirty Picture–A tribute to Vidya Balan’s range as an actress

Silk Smitha and Vidya Balan.
The comparison is unavoidable. And, wanted. What with releasing Ekta and Shobha Kapoor’s The Dirty Picture on December 2nd, 2011 – Silk Smitha’s birth anniversary!
The posters are bold and unabashed. Vidya Balan is hot and wooing audiences even before the film releases. The music is “killer” in the true sense of the term with Vishal-Shekhar composing 5 tracks and Rajat Aroraa penning the lyrics.


To all the hesitant crowd out there, this movie is dirty only to the extent of its title. Even as I’m writing this post, Tusshar Kapoor clarifies for me and all the listeners on Radio One that “ there is nothing that you haven’t seen onscreen before”. So, Bollywood fans out there, grab the tickets and go for what might turn out to be a turning point for Indian Cinema!

“Silk” is Vidya’s character name in the movie and is based on the South Indian siren Silk Smitha. Google for her and you’ll see a very ‘beautiful’ woman, a famous heroine in the ‘80s. But the movie isn’t only about this. Milan Luthria painfully tries to clarify [if possible, try to ignore the fact that the cast and everybody is trying to clarify a LOT about the movie, lest negative publicity ruin it] that they have made the movie very aesthetically appealing and NOT crude or crass.
This, I don’t think I have to press further. We already know our Vidya is most comfortable in sarees and salwars. So what made her take the hot pants, low necks and petticoats?! Not to mention the extra 12 kgs!

There is only one answer - Vidya Balan is a true artiste. And when you have someone like her as the protagonist, you can surely expect a mind-blowing 2 hours in the theatre irrespective of the genre. This pretty Tamilian already has an awe-inspiring share of movies in her kitty. Recently, with Paa, the much acclaimed movie which starred Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, she showed us a completely new side to her diverse persona. From the proper Bengali girl in Parineeta to the bubbly RJ in Lage Raho Munnabhai, she has won the hearts of millions of us.  Cross your heart for you cannot lie, my dear friend.

Most importantly, unlike several others artists, she has braved the media and refuses to be stereotyped. The Dirty Picture is no different. Possibly her bravest performance ever, she has fiery dialogues and a character that requires a lot of courage to pull off. My jittery fingers are crossed, as the movie releases today in cinemas all over India. Cheers to my favourite actress, and hope people love her performance just as much as I did.
Coming to the movie itself, it talks about the life of the heroine who, like Silk Smitha, became the ultimate symbol of sensuality and the ups and downs such a typecasting has in an exploitative industry like Indian cinema. Full of raunchy dance numbers, red-lipstick and bold dresses, Vidya is definitely at the centre of all this limelight.
Accompanying her, we have one of the finest actors Bollywood has ever seen – Naseeruddin Shah – The Shah of Acting , as Ekta Kapoor herself put it. Tusshar Kapoor is a script-writer who is initially unclear about himself and confused. With Silk, he gains confidence and sees success. Our talented serial kisser Emraan Hashmi has a character with an interesting graph. A director who makes artsy movies, the film starts off with him disliking Silk, who is synonymous with entertainment. However, expect the twist when love makes it impossible for him to hate her anymore.
Smitha was found dead in her apartment in Chennai. What is the fate of Vidya's character Silk, in the movie? Is this a movie you want to take your kid to? I am not so sure. But is this a movie you should watch? I say, Why not! It promises to be different and the casting is unique with Balan and Hashmi paired opposite each other – now, who could have thought of that if not the Balaji house! Have a fun-filled Friday evening with Balan dancing to Ooh La La and Naseer with black hair and a moustache.
However, if the movie disappoints [ which I pray it doesn’t, after so much attention pre-release! ] don’t forget to tell me. Let us warn the ignorant before it’s too late, what say!