Thursday, August 17, 2017

Temple Trip - 2

... and the saga continues.
My friends tell me that I associate every small thing into a story and make a big deal out of it. I guess that is what I am doing here, making a 3 hour trip to Malleswaram sound like a 15 day trip to Switzerland 😉...

So, after saying bye to the fishies, the turtles and the 'beku' cat at the Nandi Thirtha temple, we plodded (read M&M plodded) to the next temple - the Laxmi Narasimha temple - which had a big queue lined up to see the god, who got covered with the 'sacred' screen - while the esteemed pujaris had their 'secret' conversations with the almighty. I always wondered why they close the screen and what they do behind - wish we could have a sneak peek sometime. So, at the time of the Hide 'n' Seek, they ran the bell loudly and there was a guy beating a big drum rhythmically. It was so mesmerizing the twin sounds - i felt transported to a place in my mind where I could dance unlimited to no audience except my own self. We waited and waited ... the holy pujaris would go one from one Sannidi to another but didnt show signs of opening the drapes and kids got restless and finally my mom suggested we go around the temple and come back - and as she mentioned - we did so, but still the drapes would not open. So, we decided to give this god a break and bug another one - and walked to the next and last temple - A Shiva temple again...

This time we had to climb up some steps to reach the temple - which hosted probably the smallest shiv ling I have seen and it seemed to have sprouted from the bottom of the earth itself. There I met my 'competitor' - this Aunty (well technically i am also an Aunty now - but she looked older than me) was wearing a beautiful black silk saree with an orange border. She was wearing awesome matching bangles and the blouse was designer - it has such wonderful embroidery work. Amma and I couldnt take eyes off her. By the time we came out of the temple, it was quite dark. The surroundings were so peaceful and calm - the dimly lit Gopuram was fascinatingly serene.

When we came down we peeped into the Lakshmi Narasimha temple, hoping to get a bit of the prasadam that was smelling awesome.. No such luck - guess Ummachi(the name we use for gods when we talk to little kids) was not pleased with our impatience...and decided we should not have any prasadam. But we got to go very very near to the God's idol - oh that was magnificent. 

I was so satisfied, I told amma that this will carry me on for another 6 months, but Big M so done she said no more temple visits for another year!!!

Walking through the lovely narrow houses and shops lined streets we happily reached Maiyas for a yummy dinner. There I realized another Vishnu/Krishna temple that we seemed to have missed :( ... Ah! Well for another time maybe ... We walked through the very very narrow "East Temple Street" savoring the sight of unending vegetable and flower shops, picking one or two veges here and there to reach amma's Holige Mane - where we got some really scrumptious Holiges... coconut, dhaal, badam ... and they had other flavours too which we were not brave enough to try ... 

The wonderous evening ended with M&Ms each getting a cone of Joy chocolate ice cream (and peace in the car for us as they were busy devouring it)... 

I am now waiting for the next exploration of temples in Malleswaram.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Temple Trip - 1

I wouldnt say I am a very religious temple. Infact these days I am wondering if I am going on the path of being an atheist, considering the lack of any religious activities at home. Thankfully this weekend vetoed that out :)... not that I am believer that lighting the lamp daily or visiting the temple every week proves that I am religious.

So, with the Mr. gone to meet mama dearest, I had the Sunday free - so decided to make best use of it - doing something which he probably would anyway not been party to - temple hopping in Malleswaram. Like I said, I dont consider myself too religious - in the traditional sense because I dont know many Slokas, or dont know what needs to be done on certain festival days - but I have a very good relationship with gods in my own way. I love temples in my own way - I love the chanting of mantras, the lamps being shown in Aarthi, the variety of decorations that are done to the gods and goddesses using flowers, the most amazing colored sarees and jewellery, the smell of the incense, the slightly wet floors due to the theertham falling down when people receive it, the ringing of bells and in some temples the beating of the drums and above all not to forget my two most favourites - Kolams and malli poo. 

We started off by visiting the Circle Mariamma temple. I must say I was quite disappointed. Having crossed this particular circle couple of times or more, while cycling, I have always been fascinated by the gorgeous facade of the temple - picturing a very big statue of a Devi. Unfortunately the temple was being repainted, so I could only have peeks of the facade from in between the gaps of the thatched covering around the temple.I was not quite impressed by the inside of the temple. There needs to be a certain kind of structure missing in the inside of the temple. It was not quite clear where one must go next and so on. Also I liked it when there is a bit of fresh air circulating inside and a bit of cleanliness that was missing here. Strangely though
, this was the only temple that gave us prasadam that evening :) .


We took an auto from there to go to the next temple that we thought will be the start of the rest of the visit. The first time we cycled to Veena stores we got a flavour of the galis of Malleswaram - they are all made of roads that are either a steep up or down. The Auto too us through such galis and such narrow ones, it almost felt that we drove inside one home and came out from the other side of the house :).. The kids had never seen such small roads and were quite amazed how people even had cars in such houses. 

We reached the most amazing place I have ever seen. It was like a Temple Square. A big area on the road that houses only temples on both sides. I just wished I could stay there forever. We first went to the Gangamma temple. OMG! the idol of the goddess was so radiant. But a better version of the goddess are the two statues that are outside the main sanctum sanctorum. The life size idol of the Ganga devi on the left side is outstandingly radiant. Dressed in the most beautiful embroidered maroon saree and adorned with two Thali chains admist other ornaments - what stands out are her eyes - they have been painted just so beautifully that they look real. It is as if the goddess can stare into your soul and find your inner desires and soothe all your troubles just by looking at you. Her lips were also painted so lively - they glowed and had the most peaceful smile on them.  The other goddess that was outstandingly cute and beautiful was the tiny version of the goddess - I am guessing which is used for for processions outside the temple. She was wearing the most beautiful orange-violet saree I have ever seen. Though her eyes were sort of mismatched - left eye and right eye did not match ; she had the cutest little feet that I have seen. What the kids loved the most about this temple was that we were given a lemon each along with a flower as a prasadam - their favourite - lemon. 

Opposite the Gangamma temple is the most fascinatingly cute little Shiva temple I have ever seen in my life. The area surrounding the temple is large with many big tall trees and small paths and even some small benches - it was getting dark by that time so we could not explore much (maybe another day during daytime). The temple inside is very tiny, in comparision, and has the most unique layout. It is a two level layout - with a tiny pond right in the center of the temple. Stairs are laid around the square pond where people can sit and watch the fish and the turtles swimming in biss in the tiny pond. From the top level, one can see across at the other end a huge gold plated background depicting Lord Shiva, Parvathi and Nandi and a small Nandi idol on the ground. Water pours out of the Nandi's mouth, which falls through a hole into the floor below into a pot and directly on top of the Lord Shiva's linga to depict as if Nandi is doing pooja to the Lord. It is the most aesthetic thing I have seen I felt. Wonder who thought of this brilliant idea. The water from the side of the Shiva linga then flows back to feed into the pond. The best part of the temple that it is open to air. Sitting there, in the darkening evening, with a slight breeze flowing watching and hearing the sound of the water, while viewing the swimming fish and turtles - it felt very therapeutic. I just wanted to stay there forever. Big M started feeling hungry and they were giving prasadam packets - 40 rs - for 2 laddoos and 1 Holige - both of which were very yummy - because of being shared with two other kids sitting next to us. A small cat came over to sit next wanting to be petted. Very reluctantly we left the temple as we had 3 more temples to cover .. 


.... so to be continued.... 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Chocolat(i) Chunnu.... Biscutta Bunnu.....

Has it every happened that there is this movie that you just happen to adore beyond reasons and when you tell that to people, who otherwise like your tastes pretty much, look at you as if you have lost your mind ? That you watch the same movie twice in two days and even then you are ready to watch it a third time too, without batting an eyelid ... 

This is how I am feeling about 'Jagga Jasoos'. I keep scouring the internet hoping for news that the movie is as hit as I am feeling it should be. Everytime I ask a friend to watch the movie, I am hoping he/she feels what I felt about the movie - that I loved every frame of the movie (except of that really unnecessary "khana-peena-chale-gaye" song).

In a very very long time, I have felt this about a movie I feel. And I have been racking my brains, what is there in it that makes me feel so? So, I thought what better than to jot it all down here.

Some things that I loved about the movie :

  • In a movie world where a "good" movie means having an overdose of gadgets and jargons that otherwise would be limited only to the unused dictionaries ; or sleazy romance with lack of clothes or otherwise; or over-the-top action scenes and songs which just seem to be patched into a story which is non-existent ; comes a movie that makes sense from the very word "Go" .... a story that brings a fresh air of hope, positive spirit and simplicity at its core. 
  • I have always been a, if not completely firm but to a larger extent, believer in the "Red Circle" and to see that being established and described so beautifully in front of my eyes - was overwhelming and beautiful...
  • I loved the musical part of the movie - the lyrics or should I say conversations were so simple yet so magically rhyming.. Kudos to the brilliance of Amitabh Bhattacharya... every single "conversational" song is filled with beauty - beauty of the words ... The best being of course Chocolate-a Chunnu.... what a brilliant ice breaker and conversation starter :)
  • There are many scenes that stand out in the movie. One of them is the first sight of the house that they are going to live in - I simply adored the expressions Tutti-Futti and Jagga had on their faces - one was filled with abundant joy of finally having a house to live in ; and the other a silent pride in showing the place where he is going to house his new found partner-in-crime.
  • One another scene that inadvertently bought tears  to my eyes is the scene where little jagga carries the bench containing the names of two sweethearts in school and drops it at the old man's host and how he breaks seeing the bench....how many times in our lives have we accidently chanced upon an old letter or an old piece of cloth that was once upon a time our favorite or an old photo and how it has brought back flood of memories....
  • I just adored every single song in the movie...most mornings you will still find me making chapathis or dosas savouring 'jhumritalaya' or 'musafir' or 'phir wohi'... I love dancing to 'galti se mistake' with mili just as much as I loved drooling over RK in the movie... I let even promotional calls ring on just to listen to my ringtone - 'ullu ka patta'...in the theatre I was dancing  completely to the song....did you notice the amazing synchronized quality of dancing that RK and Katrina did? I don't know why it was not so praised as much as any hrithik dance...guess the world is prejudiced... Shiamak is certainly one extraordinary choreographer...kick out the jhatkas and matkas.
  • The depiction of 'bad luck' was extremely hilarious....and so creative...especially the one where they find Tutti-futti thanks to the stairs!!! And the Rock!!
  • Did you notice the entry scene of Saurabh Shukla and how is was exactly the same copy of his scene in Barfi - his scratching his beard while the hero escapes from the backdoor...
  • I am sure 90% of folks would have been bored post interval - the nimboo-mirchi song...but do you realize how this is the current state of our world where we are totally agnostic to what happens to the others as long as we are safe behind our shatter proof glass house...
  • I absolutely loved the cinematography....want to visit Africa right at this moment....how lovely the crowded houses and streets have been depicted....
  • Last but the most important of all is the most romantic scene in the movie - the 'hoth phatt Gaye the'....according to my buddies who I watched the movie with, I was almost at the screen...to provide the much needed 'moisture'...😉
I could go on....but better part this atleast now....especially for S who has been waiting for this post.