The Great Indian Kitchen: Fabulous [Movie Review]

A little bit of foreplay will help  - a rough translation of a dialogue in a recent Malayalam movie - a movie that seeks to break more than one taboo in the society. It minces no words to talk about periods and sex! Malayalam cinema has been on the roll for quite some time now. Movies with stories standing out has been the norm in the recent past. Spectacular stories that veer off the commercial track of a savior hero with plenty of sidekicks and mass masala has been making Malayalam Cinema very popular. The most interesting part is the "coming-of-age" of popular stars who were considered comedians in the past.  Suraj Venjaramood is a phenomenal artist who began his career has a comedian - portrayed plenty of comical characters, including Dasamoolam Damu  of Chattambinadu, or Idivettu Sugunan  of Pokkiriraja, to name a few. Suraj's transformation from the comical sidekick to a powerful performer shook people - his short role in Action Hero Biju, and his dialogue, " T

Getting a Passport - My experience!

The passport is perhaps the most important travel document one can ever have! The passport allows a person to travel from one country to the other - being an important travel document, the passport is issued after detailed background verification. I am presently holding my third passport - the process of getting each of these was different. The process became easier over the period.  Circa 2007 - My first passport! I was in final year of my Pharmacy degree. Those days, the nearest Passport office was in Thane (Maharashtra). Passport Seva Kendras didn't exist then. We had to apply through the Regional passport office. One didn't have to visit the office in person - the application was a handwritten form, and a photograph used to be pasted on. I had visited the office, in person, to submit the form - if I recall, I hadn't used an agent. The application form is verified by the officers, and a paper form for police verification is sent to the nearest police station. Those days,

Chennai to Bengaluru: SpiceJet Q400

I was quite confused about my journey - should I return to Kochi from Chennai, or should I head to Bengaluru - back to work. As the day for my journey came closer, it turned out that I had to head to Bengaluru for official purpose. Fare shot over the roof as the journey came closer. I had a new issue at hand - I had work in the Chennai until evening of December 2nd. Taking an evening flight out of Chennai had two 'issues' - one, the fares were too high; two, I hadn't returned to my home since over 8 months and I had no clue what would be the condition of my home - I thought it was safer to stay overnight in Chennai and then take an early morning flight to Bengaluru instead.  I finally booked a ticket for December 03 - SpiceJet again. I got a cheaper fare on an Online Ticketing Agent website - the entire fare, including a seat and a sandwich, worked out cheaper than the base fare quoted on the airline website! For some reason, the SpiceJet website wouldn't let me do an o

2020: Phenomenal!

The year 2020 has been happening for everybody across the globe!  The year was off to a roaring start like every year - January and February were normal. I made my annual Shirdi visit as well. Things took a turn in March. Towards the mid of March, people moved into house arrests  - shutdowns first affected the education industry, followed by the complete nationwide lockdown.  What followed was Eight-and-a-half months of Work from home. The pandemic taught many industries that every industry could have a bit of work-from-home. The most slow to change academic industry adopted online teaching methods as well.  2020 is the year with lowest travel in my recent times. 2020 is a turning point year for me - a lot of changes in me, that would manifest itself over the coming years. I expect travelling to be lesser in the forthcoming years as well.  I got to spend a long time with my parents, and also watch my kid grow up - from the time she started crawling to her making her first steps. It was

Kochi to Chennai: SpiceJet Q400

Travel was the last thing in my mind as the pandemic continued unabated. I hadn't considered returning to my workplace unless my presence there was unavoidable. I kept pushing off any possible travel as much as I could. It was sometime in early October that I was told that I would have to travel to Chennai in December. I was hoping this journey gets pushed off - and I avoided booking a ticket for as long as I could. As November came, this journey confirmed, and I had to travel to Chennai on the last day of November, to be available there on the first and second of December 2020.  Twenty-Twenty ravaged the travel industry - the year has been unpredictable, exactly how the Twenty-20 format of the game of Cricket is! I was reminded some-time during the middle of the year that I had a credit voucher with SpiceJet (against a flight that was cancelled in mid 2019) - they had extended the validity of the voucher, all thanks to the pandemic. I had to use this voucher - because the year was

Travelling out of India - Mistakes that I did!

Some of you might have read my previous post on my wait for the red seal on the passport. Getting the first visa itself was an experience, traveling out of India for the first time was another experience of its own! I learnt a lot of new things from the mistakes I did during this process. I thought I must compile this to help you avoid the mistakes I did!  1. Plan thoroughly! Depending on where you are heading to, make sure you plan thoroughly. Have a rough idea of what all are you planning to carry - clothes, food products, medicines, cosmetics, toiletries, etc. I was quite unplanned at this - I packed my bag just a few hours before I departed to the airport. I ended up having all my toiletries in my bag that was checked-in. I had to run around in the last minutes to buy food products - some unnecessary last minute shopping.  2. Get an International SIM Card if you plan to remain there for long -  I was out of India for 45 days. I hadn't purchased a SIM card, and ended up having t

The First time: Visit to the Dentist!

March of 2012: One fine day, I was busy picking my tooth. Something had just lodged itself "behind" my molars. I had been experiencing this since long - and I was believing that there was a "hole" there.  I was taken to the dentist by my brother. Stanza after stanza from This is going to hurt just a little bit  by Ogden Nash, that I had studied at school, came to my mind, as I sat with my mouth wide open on the dentist's chair. It was quite comfortable to sit, rather lay, on the chair till the dentist came around with all his tools and began examining my tooth.  Like Nash said in his poetry, " And that I will never have to do it again is a hope that I am against hope hopen. ", I just wanted to get off from there, never ever to return there again. A prescription for an X-ray was written and handed over. A "panoramic" X-Ray was taken - the dentist pondered over the X-Ray and broke the news to me. I'd require a "surgery" to extract