It was a magical surreal moment when I saw the vast expanse of white salty marshland .I had read about the place being the largest salt desert stretching across 7,505.22 square kilometres.One has to see this place to believe that.We reached there by 4.30 PM and left after witnessing the beautiful sunset. Also walked on the crunchy salt barefoot and took a camel ride.None of us wanted to leave .
The best time to visit is from October till March.The Rann Utsav is an annual cultural festival and is held in December.I can only visualise the ethereal beauty of this place on a full moon night.And I will be coming back some day soon to witness that.
Many have asked me when did I get addicted to movies.I do not have to think long or hard as the answer I give always is -as long as I remember.My mother and her aunt were known for their weakness for the celluloid and our childhood days were filled with many cinema outings.There were some days when we managed to see two movies in different theatres .Those were the premultiplex days .We used to wait for the new releases and the D day would see us marching into the theatre in our fanciest clothes.Grandparents,parents,siblings,cousins, assorted relatives and our pet dog Tomy made up the contingent.Tomy was granted entry as the manager of the village talkies was known to my grandfather and he would sleep throughout at our feet without a whimper.Post movie sets in the postmortem and each one would dissect the movies.Actors,direction,music,costumes,location,cinematography and the most vital aspect- the story would be discussed at length.Movie stars were revered demigods.We would devour the movie magazines to learn about their life and new releases.I was introduced to gems of regional language movies thanks to Doordarshan and discovered many new directors.
Medical college years did nothing to dampen my interest.I found a few kindred spirits and merrily bunked classes to see the latest releases.All genres were explored.Also had the fortune to attend a few film festivals. I used to look forward to the Oscar awards and would see the live telecast sitting up late at night.Somehow Oscars don’t fascinate me anymore.
I am lucky that I have some good friends who are also into movies.We discuss all aspects of movies,exchange disks and enhance our knowledge.Residing in a land of more than 200 nationalities I get to learn more about foreign language films. A korean couple was delighted to know that I have seen all the movies of Kim Ki duk,Bong Joon-ho and Park Chan wook.
I am no longer interested in the actors.Directors and story writers have replaced them .Nuri Bilge Ceylan,Hirokazu Koreeda,Wong kar wai ,Asghar Farhidi,Avinash Arun,Paresh Mokashi, Kaushik Ganguly and Srijit Mukherji are my new heroes.
Are you a movie buff? How has been your journey?
I belong to that rare species who have not seen a single episode of Friends.Yes,I have watched bits of it and have always been amazed by its popularity.The last series I had watched religiously was the X Files long back. Someone recommended this Sundance original series and I thought of checking it out.Yes,I saw all the three seasons and eagerly waiting to see the next.
It is about a person who has been in the death row for 19 years for a gruesome murder and has been released following DNA evidence. We get to see his struggles to adjust to his newfound freedom,his family and the society. The story is narrated beautifully.Each character is given adequate time to develop and they connect to you and one can’t wait to know what happens next.I didn’t want the series to end and feel a sense of loss now that it is over.Each episode is like reading a poetry.The dialogues sparkle and there are long periods of brooding silence .The actors live their chosen roles and I am not able to choose a favourite as all are excellent.The complex relationships tend to test you.Kudos to the entire team for bringing out such a stunning,mesmerising and thought provoking drama.
I have found a way to bounce back whenever I feel out of sorts and it has always helped me. What I do is very simple-think of a place I have always wanted to visit ,read about it and see the images .This is a sure way to get the endorphins rolling and I am back to normal in no time.
Yesterday I was going through my Ladakh pictures and made a promise to myself that I would go there again.
Ladakh is fast becoming the most favoured destination for Indians.I was happy to see “desis” of all age groups when I went there in August 2014. This was on top of my wish list for a long time .Whenever I read a Leh travelogue I would tell myself that I am going there at the first opportunity.Well ,finally I found myself in this magical land and it was a dream coming true after months of frenetic planning and unanticipated delays.
How can one process so many emotions ?Can anyone do justice to its beauty?We can take zillion pictures but can we capture all the moments?You have to be there to experience the magic .I wish this land retains its purity and charm and that one never gets to see a KFC or Pizza hut there.
.You may go there with minimum expectations but I assure you that you will return a different person.I have read that many got the wander bug after being there once.As for me,I want to go back and explore more .Are you a wanderer? Do you have a dream destination?
Last week I saw a marathi movie Killa and since then I have been thinking why don’t we have more of such movies. It won the award for the best marathi film in 2014 and also some international awards.A simple tale of a child having to adjust to a new place,a new school and classmates is narrated with touching sincerity and insight.It took me back to my school days and the simple pleasures of village life.The child actors are brilliant.How effortlessly they bring about the pain, fear,insecurity,jealousy and above all the joy of being a child.I do not understand the language and may have missed subtle nuances despite the subtitles.Still it was a deeply touching movie.I can’t help but marvel at the resilience of children.This is a must see for children and grown ups- a sure way to revisit that magic phase of your life “childhood”.
Wish we get to see more of such gems.